I was reading MailmAn's post on "Changing the Oil on a Bolens Estate Keeper EK-10" and got to thinking about todays 10% ethanol fuel being used in older engines. Does this fuel blend harm older engines? I have been told that using 10% ethanol in my 1973 Honda will hurt it, but I nobody ever told me why. What does ethanol do to an engine that was designed to run on leaded gasoline? MailmAn mentioned the ZDDP zinc additive in STP (or in Kohler oil, as Bolens 1000 mentioned) Do these help compensate for the engine wear that is possibly induced by the ethanol?
The reason for my question is that the Wisconsin S-14D in my 1455 has been rebuilt 4 times since 1983. One rebuild was MY fault, allowing the snow blower discharge to blow snow back onto the hot engine, (OOP's). Having forked out all that money for rebuilds made me VERY conscience to preventive maintenance . So I was thinking that I was doing good with oil and air filter changes. Just recently the head gasket popped and I noticed excessive scoring on the cylinder, heading towards another rebuild. I understand there are many variables that can cause this scoring, (please feel free to comment) but my basic question is can ethanol additives contribute or cause this scoring problem?
Leaded gasoline IS available, but at $5.00 a gallon I am not going there!! There are leaded gas additives available that can be used, but that is problematic (mix ratio's) and has a cost also.