fuel additives :- Ethanol
The UK is about to be blessed with 10% ethanol additive in pump petrol by courtesy of our misguided HM Gov't, It is generally understood that all cars over 10 years old will be effected in several different ways ,even some new cars have notations in their drivers handbook stating they are not suitable for the new fuel. therefore it may be interesting for owners to report any problems in order that others may benefit from their experience.
While working in the USA on British sports cars I had a whole load of fuel and driveablity problems with models like Triumph TR7./8, MGB &midgets and Jaguar series 3 E types all fitted with Stromberg carbs and SU pumps .A great many good cars were sent to the scrapyard because of constant nagging problems. I would hate to see that happen here in the near future
I live in New York and run both a Mustang Convertible and a Triumph TR-3A. We have been using 10% Ethanol for several years. We hate it.
1. Ethanol delivers 15% less horsepower.
2. Ethanol corrodes aluminum, will eat right through it.
3. Unless you change your fuel lines to Ethanol proof material you will experience problems. Ethanol will become gummy, it thickens like sludge. It gums up everything it touches, do not allow it to sit for long periods un-used. We use an Ethanol stabilizer with each fill-up.
As I don't use the TR-3 in winter, I fill the tank with gas and then use a large dose of stabilizer. In early spring I clean the gas filter, clean the carburetor bowls and then proceed to drive as many miles as I can until the gas tank is near empty so I can fill it with fresh gas. This usually works fine. Two years ago I had a mess and we had to change plugs, filter, clean carbs and replace fuel lines.
The Mustang has not given me these problems because it has the proper fuell lines and the engine was built to run with Ethanol. Also I add fresh gasoline once or twice each week. I do add a fuel injection cleaner once each year (add to gas tank). Replace fuel filters once a year.
Would like to have back that 15% horsepower loss
Reply Shell 24, Thanks for your response this is just the type of information we need to make life more bearable with this latest attack on the UK motorist, now we are paying the equivalent of $9.75 a gallon for this abomination we will need all the help we can get to keep the service and maintenance costs to a minimum and try to keep our motoring enjoyable. I was in Florida where the high summer temperatures caused the fuel to separate in the fuel tank into 3 distinct levels :- bottom ,would be sludge and coagulation ,in the middle of the tank a lighter element of gasoline (petrol) and at the top an even lighter element which evaporated very quickly , often in just a few weeks , very noticeable with show cars that did very little actual driving , Once it started to separate in the TR7&8 , The tank lining would lift-off in flakes and micrones,then clog the fuel lines, filters and finally the entire system. I had to convert my fuel injected Triumph TR8 to a 4 barrel Edelbrock carburetor to achieve an acceptable degree of reliablity. My neighbour even put stabilizer in his off-road bike and lawn mower because of fuel problems.
You can probably get the 15% loss back again ,if your ECU for the fuel injection is programmable by visiting a rolling road facility and getting a remap on the FI but then the MPG could suffer ? depend on the skill of the operator ! or maybe just buy a rechip.
News released just this last Wednesday that our totally brainless Govn't has thrown in the towel ,admitted that it is completely confused about future policy regarding the addition of Ethanol to pump petrol in the coming months. A complete U turn on previous announcements means that this gets kicked into long- grass. PHEW !! thats a relief ,It seems we can motor on for a while without interferance, but don't loose sight of the fact that this all came about as the result of an EU Directive reguiring harmonization of all member states (countries) on the use of sustainable energy. It's a only a matter time untill the Europeon bandits come after us motorists again, play it safe and vote to escape the EU before you have to make do with a push-bike .Just think of the number of old vehicles that will have to be laid to rest for ever !!
This Maserati Sebring GT is fitted with Joseph LUCUS Ltd petrol injection which is quite rare today, when I had it back in the 70's it was rather difficult to keep in tune and No parts were available for the injection system, the only option was an exchange pump at a cost £250 ( no vat then) and they were notoriously unreliable. Fortunately LUCUS comps-dep't was just up the street and we did work for them on occasion so I could call-in a favour, but today this car could not live on todays fuel without serious and expensive modifications. What about your TR6-PI ?
Did anyone notice that the M of T put out a press release a couple of weeks ago relating to the introduction of Ethanol fuel 10% additive in the near future, the Classic Car Weekly picked up on the news and featured it on the front page ,all very confusing. I was under the impression that this problem had been kicked into the long grass by the politicians months ago. If it does get introduced at the 10%rate a lot drivers with older classic cars will be in a heap of trouble ,If anyone is up to date on the current situation could you please post the information up so that we can stay abreast of this problem. " To be forewarned is to be forearmed"
I raised the question of Ethanol Additive fuel a little over a year ago but only one person replied and he was Canadian everyone else chose to ignore the situation or hoped that it would mysteriously disappear when the politicians made their routine U turn . Unfortunatly that has not occured and now the EU directive is about to be enforced ASAP according to the Daily- mail. Please read the following site :- www.dailymail.co.uk-news-article 2292318- transportminister
We have had nothing but headaches with 10% and now they want 15%. I had 170 gal of gas in boat had to rebuild 6 2bbl carbs on outboards 4 times so far. Change fuel filters every 30 hrs running. Use 10 micron racor filters. Last year I pulled the tank, all 96" by 24" by 16" and weighting about 100 lbs. The stuff I pumped out looked like tar it was so thick. Inboards were blowing because the ethanol would loosen up sluge in the top end and clog up oil lines. Look at marine reports like The Hull Truth from past articles.
I can't comment on the lack of replies from the UK, except to say there seem to be very few Brits on the forum anyway, but the situation in Australia is pretty bad. E10 (91 octane basic unleaded with 10% ethanol) is the most common 'cheap' petrol here and most people do not realise the damage it does, they just go for the cheapest pump.
There have been discussions about this on here before, and probably every other car related forum, but the great apathetic public do not read them.
The comments above are typical of the problems, I know someone here who takes his boat out fishing when he can, but as work often gets in the way that may be weeks or even months between uses, and leaving an ethanol blend in the tank has caused him similar problems. Having to rebuild the carb every time he wants to go out rather spoils the rare day off.
Ethanol is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water from the atmosphere. In a lot of cases where a motor is run daily this may not be a problem, but if fuel is left in a tank for a while the ethanol attracts water, and also separates from the petrol. Of course the water goes to the bottom. If enough collects it will cause starting problems and corrosion. Ethanol also attacks some plastics and other materials including the rubberised sealant used inside some fuel tanks, which turns to blobs of gummy deposits which in turn block pumps, lines and injectors. The local lawn mower service man told me he gets no end of work from people who leave a can of E10 in their shed, not used often, (so the fuel has separated, and accumulated some water) and then decanted into a mower tank, which may be used only occasionally, and so on. The most common type of Briggs & Stratton motor has a plastic diaphragm in the carby that splits and then he gets another $50 clean up job.
Another problem with E10 with some cars, certainly the various older Mercedes I use, is the timing has to be retarded to stop pinking, and this results in a significant drop in power resulting in much higher fuel consumption. They also run hotter because of this. It is actually cheaper and more efficient to pay more for 98 octane, set the timing to factory specs and have a happy motor, never mind the other savings from damage not done.
Now there has been talk of introducing E15 here too.
Anyway, like I said, you get what you pay for and if some think they save a few quid on a tankful they will pay for it in repairs. As long as you still have a choice as we do here, go for the high octane undiluted stuff.
I should have added I am located in New Jersey, USA, which is on the east coast.
Here is an interesting little video regarding the use of the Ethanol E10 fuel currently being introduced onto the UK market in the near future courtesy of a big brother EU - Statutary -Directive . Please read it to convince yourself what a bad deal remaining in the union really is. Check out :- Live Leak. com.-epa--approved E-15 fuel voids warrannty in 6 car brands.