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Fuel and engine oil for older engines


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#1 flyboy OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 08:53 AM

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.

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 larrybl OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 09:54 AM

I have been using this mixture for many years with no ill effect. 5 Gallons of Regular 10% gas, 1 oz. Red Stabil, 1 oz. STP Carb cleaner, Year round.

I also fill a 1 gallon can from the above 5 gallon can and add 2 stroke oil for the weed whacker.

Replace the Fuel lines from the tank to the engine, and fuel filter every 3 years.

I use Rotella 30 W year round.

I don't drain the tanks, and they always start up.

Central Texas.


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#3 propane1 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 09:59 AM

Great questions, will be interested in the comments.

Noel

#4 MiCarl OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 11:39 AM

You've raised two issues:  Lead and Ethanol.

 

As I recall the issue with unleaded in automobile engines was the valves.  The lead protected and lubricated the valves at the head.  Some older engines were prone to valve damage with unleaded.  Whether this was an issue for small four stroke engines I do not know.

 

There are several issues with ethanol.  The ethanol grabs moisture from the air which can cause corrosion and snot like deposits in the carburetor.  Anything I'm not going to run for a couple weeks has the fuel treated (and run into the carburetor) and parked with a full tank to reduce condensation.

 

Another issue with ethanol is it will degrade certain types of rubber.  This can be an issue for o-rings, diaphragms and fuel lines that are exposed to it.  All you can do is replace with ethanol tolerant materials.  I'm not sure I'd do internal parts until there was a problem but I'd be replacing any 30 year old fuel lines.

 

The third thing with ethanol is is burns hotter than gasoline.  My new STHIL chainsaw recommends 89 or higher octane to reduce combustion temperature.  I think that's only an issue for air cooled 2-strokes though.  All my air - cooled two strokes are filled from a can of 89 octane mixed 50:1 and stabilizer.


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#5 stiemmy OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 11:40 AM

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.

First, the only reason these older engines are NOT compatible with ethenol blended gas is because the carb parts were not designed with that in mind. (Running ethenol)

The non metalic parts do not resist the alcohol, and break down, and besides not only that, the alcohol attracts water. Water collects at the bottom, ie carb, tank, and so forth. Common sense tells a person that water ain't gonna burn good, and that low grade gas sux to begin with, so lower performance is to be expected.

Second, if let to sit too long, it boogers all parts inside because of the moisture, and alcohol.

Lastly, most old engines were designed to run lead in the gas. Of course you can buy additives to compensate, but have never run the stuff, and I have never had an issue with valves/seats realated to unleaded gas.

Your milage may vari, good luck on your fuel choices;)

Edited by stiemmy, August 23, 2016 - 11:44 AM.

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#6 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 12:18 PM

I add Marvel Mystery Oil to the gas in all of my engines. It cleans, lubricates, and prevents corrosion. For long term storeage I empty the fuel tank and and change the crankcase oil. MMO leaves a coating on the fuel system that reduces corrosion.

 

The engine gasket popping and the scoring indicates that something is wrong. Either the rebuilding is done wrong or the maintenance is being done wrong. Scoring can be from dirt getting in through the carb, or the rings breaking, or small parts(or carbon) broken off inside the engine that were not removed by proper oil changes.  Are you changing the oil as called for in the manual? Are you keeping the air cooling fins clean and making sure that the cooling air circulates adequarely? Is the air cleanner clean, tight, and intact?

 

Show us some pics of the engine. Investigate more using the troubleshooting guide in the Wisconsin Manual. Good Luck, Rick


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#7 propane1 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 12:25 PM

I have heard that high test 91 octane gasoline , has no ethanol in it. Is this right ?

Noel

Edited by propane1, August 23, 2016 - 01:03 PM.

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#8 adamjd200 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 01:06 PM

I have heard that high test 91 octane gasoline , has no ethanol in it. Is the right ?

Noel

It depends, some does, some doesn't, I have 7 stations within 10 minutes of me that sell it, this is the only gas I use in everything except the truck(doesn't stay in there long, trust me), it's only about 25 cents difference fro 87, so imo it's worth it.


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#9 stiemmy OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 03:11 PM

I have heard that high test 91 octane gasoline , has no ethanol in it. Is this right ?
Noel

Most places dont, and don't quote me, but I believe its required by law to be shown as such at the pump!!

Edited by stiemmy, August 23, 2016 - 03:11 PM.

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#10 MiCarl OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 03:56 PM

There are state by state regulations on whether ethanol needs to be indicated.  Here in Michigan I don't believe a label is required for up to 10% ethanol.

 

My understanding is that there is ethanol in most "car" gasoline.  The mandates on the industry to blend a certain percentage of ethanol virtually requires it.  Ethanol is actually higher octane than gasoline so it's a cheap way to boost the octane rating.

 

The only way to be sure is to buy aviation gasoline.  The FAA will not let them put that crap in airplane fuel.


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#11 stiemmy OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 04:15 PM

There are state by state regulations on whether ethanol needs to be indicated. Here in Michigan I don't believe a label is required for up to 10% ethanol.

My understanding is that there is ethanol in most "car" gasoline. The mandates on the industry to blend a certain percentage of ethanol virtually requires it. Ethanol is actually higher octane than gasoline so it's a cheap way to boost the octane rating.

The only way to be sure is to buy aviation gasoline. The FAA will not let them put that crap in airplane fuel.

Ah, NO.

Ethanol is NOT higher octane, infact it IS lower BTU's.

All engines, street, pulling, drag, or whatever...even flex fuel cars use ALOT more alcohol to get the same heat (BTU's) as gasoline.

The ONLY ADVANTAGES are, 1 it burns cleaner, and 2, it burns cooler! FACT!:)

Edited by stiemmy, August 23, 2016 - 04:29 PM.


#12 heliosuk OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 04:46 PM

Actually the correct version is that ethanol based fuels have a higher Octane rating but a lower energy output. The two are linked but not directly. Ethanol supports the theory of harmful emissions reductions as a result of combustion but its properties mean that it is very aggressive towards traditional sealing components during the fuel storage and actual use as being an OL is very aggressive on certain types of rubber based seals such as used in carbs. Modern day engines are generally fuel injected with seals that can resist emissions reduction additives and this has ben passed on to small engines however there is probably no business case for manufacturers to develop parts capable of withstanding the attack ethanol has unless it falls under EU regs where they are required to support upto 10 years. 


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#13 stiemmy OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 06:09 PM

So that all means, I think "WE" can agree, JUNK on a stock engine.

Not trying to pi$$ on anyones shoes, or start a pow-wow here, but it does not help the common antique garden tractor/engine enthusiasts.

Use it if u wish, fix it if u want!! I digress.

Good luck, and theres your dinner!!!! ;)

Edited by stiemmy, August 23, 2016 - 06:12 PM.


#14 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 06:32 PM

Leaded gas was mainly designed for the valve /valve seats that were not hardened by the 60's most manufactures already had hardened stellite valves that did not need leaded fuel

 

Newer engines designed to run on ethanol  fuel will be fine with ethanol as components were designed around it, older engines however can often suffer because of it, the main problems ethanol causes is the fuel is actually worse in energy output than the original gas and makes the older engines run much hotter than with regular gas, the older gaskets and seals were not designed for this fuel so will often have shorter lifespans.

 

In typical government fashion Ethanol was supposed to be "  efficient " but is actually less efficient (burns faster) and more toxic than the regular gas we used to use! LOL


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#15 propane1 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 07:03 PM

So, Bolens 1000, what your saying is, that regular gasoline, 87 octane is lower than 87 because of the ethanol. ??

Noel




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