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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-06-2014 12:11 AM
PTRider Anything new (or relatively new) will get the blame for a lot of problems that people just don't understand. Ethanol in gasoline fits this.

Ethanol is the cheapest and least toxic way to increase the octane of gasoline and to oxygenate it to reduce carbon monoxide emissions, certainly much less toxic than tertraethyl lead or methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) . It also displaces some oil we'd otherwise buy from foreign governments. And, ethanol absorbs water from the air and produces lower fuel mileage.

Here's the reason to use a fuel stabilizer when fuel is stored:
"Gasoline & diesel stabilizers are added for a different reason. To understand the need for them you would need a lesson in basic refining.

"Crude oil is mixture of hydrocarbon molecules that have from 4 carbon atoms to 50 or more. Most of the molecules in crude are long single chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. Called "alkanes" or "paraffins" these molecules have no double chemical bonds.

"A very simple refinery would process the crude by distillation alone. The distilling process would separate the crude into smaller fractions of mixtures of similar hydrocarbons. These fracions are called "straight runs" by the blender. Because they come straight from the crude without further processing. The problem is that distillation alone doesn't produce very much of the gasoline and diesel components. A typical barrel of crude might only produce 1/2 barrel of these valuable products. The rest of the crude would be in very light components (C5 pentanes and lighter) and low value heavy fuels (C50 & greater).

"To create more gasoline and diesel components, the refiner uses further processing with heat, pressure, and exotic catalysts to break down longer chain hydrocarbons into shorter ones with the desired properties. These processes might include cat-cracking, vis-breaking, hydrocracking, coking, etc.

"During this process, some of the hydrocarbons form double bonds (a carbon atom making 2 bonds with an adjacent carbon atom). These compounds are called "unsaturates" because they are not fully saturated by hydrogen atoms. Double bonds are more reactive and less "stable" than single bonds. In the presence of oxygen, like in a gas or diesel can that is opened frequently, the double bonds react to form longer chain hydrocarbons, cyclic compounds and other undesired forms that can lead to gums and heavy deposits.

"Adding stabilizers to the diesel or gasoline the stabilizer reacts with the double bonds to keep the heavy compounds from forming."
The Oil Drum | Refining 101: Winter Gasoline
01-05-2014 09:09 PM
phoenixsteve Great job, Rayzerman - thanks a bunch for sharing all that!

I get why the problems occur, but I can't get past "it's the alcohol, stupid!"

In other words, yes - I suppose it's MY fault if I forgo the convenience of mixing a whole GALLON of 2 stroke fuel instead of running back and forth to the gas station every few days. Yes, I suppose it's MY fault I don't drain tanks and have additives ready to go if life gets in the way of my riding plans for two weeks. I should just keep buying these "wear out" fuel lines, pumps, and tanks and blame myself.

But wouldn't it be nicer if the gov't would just quit trying to cram ethanol down my throat in the first place?
01-05-2014 07:44 PM
dkayak1 Very good summary raYzerman.

Years ago my local station was out of gas when I drove home from work on a Friday. I returned the next morning and filled up just as a tanker was leaving. My car died in less than 5 miles. I had to remove the fuel tank, have it "boiled" and replace the fuel pump. Lesson learned the hard way. Refilling EMPTY tanks is likely to stir up all kinds of water and crud! In hindsight that's obvious. Now I avoid any station with a tanker visible, even if they haven't run out of gas.

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01-05-2014 08:51 AM
raYzerman It's marketing-speak.. I've done a lot of searching into ethanol issues over the past few years, and I'm not a chemist, just a layperson trying to do a bit of homework seeking 'truth' about this stuff. Here's my spin........
Pure gasoline will last a year or so in storage. We don't have pure gasoline. Ethanol I don't think 'bonds' with gasoline, because there is phase separation that starts to occur in a couple of weeks, when ethanol reaches it's saturation point with water (about 4%). The excess water settles to the bottom of the tank (water does not 'bond' with gasoline either), and the ethanol separates from the gasoline. Rather it probably should be termed 'dispersion' or 'mixing' in some sort of 'suspension'.
The marine world experienced probably the worst symptoms of ethanol as it loosened (not dissolved) gums and build-ups that naturally occur in any gas tank or fuel system over time, then attacked fiberglass and plastic tanks. It settled and undissolved bits clogged fuel system parts. Yamaha's partial fix was to recommend a 10 micron fuel filter in boats (prior filters were 20 or 30 micron). Other fixes are the snake oils that are fuel system cleaners, injector cleaners, stabilizers.... most of which, if you do your homework on MSDS sheets for the product, contain naptha, isopropanol and on occasion harsher solvents that claim to be injector cleaners. Some have 'proprietary mixtures'... OK, doesn't necessarily make them better than anything else, but might be. Some list CAS numbers, which can be looked up to tell you what the chemical is.

Seafoam seems to be the old standby 'mechanic in a can'. It is mostly/simply naptha and isopropanol. Slower acting solvent that dissolves gums better (and e.g., removes glue residues better than a harsher solvent like toluene or lacquer thinner), and the isopropanol can absorb water better than most other etha- or metha- alcohols. The loose gunk will take harsher solvents to work on it.

So here's the deal...... 99% of the time you don't have to do much but ride your bike and have fuel in it that's not over a week or two old, depending on humidity levels in your neck of the woods. Don't fill up if you see a tanker at the station or one that just pulled out (water in suspension). You can use Top Tier fuels that have better 'detergent' additives. E.g., Chevron has 'Techron' in their fuel (sold retail as injector cleaner). I'd say the occasional ounce or two of Seafoam in the odd tank of fuel is not a bad thing...... especially if you let your bike sit or in storage.... maybe once or twice a year do a 'techron' type treatment.... moreso with direct injection systems than throttle body or carb systems. Ethanol-free fuel is hard to find, and usually in higher octane (translate, more money).

One can see why there's a huge range of opinions depending on their experiences. One that rides every day likely says he never has a problem, and maybe he's never had a boat that sits around. Other bike riders say, it won't start today but I haven't ridden it for 3 weeks..... a little bit of water in the bottom of the tank can cause a no-start, doesn't take much. Didn't much happen in that short a time in the pre-ethanol days............

OK, layman edumacation done. Go do your homework and decide how much to spend on additives.......... help eliminate all the snake oil and old wives tales........
01-04-2014 11:54 AM
MikeB From their website:
What does Ethanol Equalizer do to my gasoline?

Ethanol Equalizer helps keep the gasoline and ethanol bonded to each other regardless how much water is absorbed into the fuel.
I don't know whether this is doublespeak, nonspeak or just plain gobbledegook. It's brilliant, though, one of those statements that looks like it makes sense but is impossible to interpret. Some clever marketer earned his pay when he penned this.
01-04-2014 09:33 AM
Texas Oilman
Originally Posted by phoenixsteve View Post
That sure sounds like begging the question to me.

Fuel lines are "wear" parts BECAUSE the ethanol "wears" them out. I don't remember routine maintenance including frequent fuel line changes prior to the introduction of ethanol-blended fuel.

I had many cars built in the 70's and 80's than ran more than 10 years/ 100k miles on old-timey gasoline that never gave me a lick of trouble with the fuel line, tank, or pump. Same deal with countless mowers, outboards, blah, blah, blah. Fuel FILTERs would eventually clog, but fuel lines and plastic tanks never dissolved.

Maybe I'm alone, but experience with ethanol-blended fuels has not been good.
You are correct on fuel system parts not being wear and tear items prior to ethanol. My 79 280zx runs through rubber lines every year, if I push it to two years, I'll usually have one bust while driving. My fuel system however, is spotless, 280000 miles and it's first rebuild, I tested and inspected the entire fuel system. Everything meets specs, and no gunk, deposits, varnishing, etc. it is fuel injected, so the computer can slightly compensate for e10. Rubber lines are my only problem, I need to switch to something more chemical and heat resistant. I believe both ethanol and extreme under hood temps contribute to my lines wearing out.

With that said, ethanol free gas is non-existent in south texas, including high octane. We must deal with it the only way we can. But ethanol additives do not remove ethanol from gasoline, they just combat the bad effects they have on older vehicles, a vstrom not being such a vehicle.

Sent from Free App
01-03-2014 11:01 PM
Originally Posted by Texas Oilman View Post
... fuel lines and fuel pumps are not lifetime parts. They are wear and tear items designed to be replaced on a set schedule to prevent a failure on the road. ...
That sure sounds like begging the question to me.

Fuel lines are "wear" parts BECAUSE the ethanol "wears" them out. I don't remember routine maintenance including frequent fuel line changes prior to the introduction of ethanol-blended fuel.

I had many cars built in the 70's and 80's than ran more than 10 years/ 100k miles on old-timey gasoline that never gave me a lick of trouble with the fuel line, tank, or pump. Same deal with countless mowers, outboards, blah, blah, blah. Fuel FILTERs would eventually clog, but fuel lines and plastic tanks never dissolved.

Maybe I'm alone, but experience with ethanol-blended fuels has not been good.
01-03-2014 01:50 PM
Originally Posted by randyo View Post
I've never had a problem with my Vee or my trucks with E10, I did have issue with my honda snowblower, but easily resolved my shuting fuel off and let run out of gas instead of turning ignition off, then drain float bowl.

surprisingly, my chain saw, a Husqvarna 455, I have NEVER had issue with, and I know I've used gas that has been mixed for over 3 months, I've let it set that long
I bought a very old Deere snowblower used in 2010. Each spring I shut off the fuel and run it out of gas but don't bother with the float bowl (maybe this year). We got our first real snowfall just before Xmas. I wheeled it out, opened the fuel valve, closed the choke, pushed the primer 4 times, and pulled the starter. Started easily on the first pull and ran perfectly. I've never needed the electric starter for this old beast. The gas I bought in November (ethanol free when convenient) and treated with Stabil is what I expect it to start on and run out the tank on a year later. Works like that every year so I see no need to do anything else. Think of what that 11 month experience says about your bike's winter nap. Don't worry. Enjoy the ride.

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01-03-2014 01:26 PM
Kelly2012 This product, like any other fuel stabilizer designed to deal with water, is mostly just alcohol. Kind of ironic that the way to stabilize e10 is to simply add more alcohol.
01-03-2014 12:38 PM
Big B
Originally Posted by randyo View Post
can't find a MSDS online to form an opinion, Liquid Performance's website is not very helpful either

sounds like it may be SNAKE OIL
There is allot of "snake oil" out there.
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