Is Florida ethanol different?

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George Mills
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Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by George Mills » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:05 pm

Seriously…I have run my T’s on NJ ethanol mix, winter and summer since they first started blending by law. I NEVER had any Ethanol issues in all those years on any car.

Moved one of my T’s, a very well running, extremely well running, T to Florida 18 months ago…but couldn’t use it that first year so ‘stabled’ the new gas once we got it filled and running. ( I had already made arrangements for the move and lost the use of my left leg once the final commitment was already made). So it was started and run around the neighborhood from time to time that first year, but only the street and neighborhood as it was an act of congress to get me in and out of the car with lots of help.

’18 rolls around and I still was in a walker, but made a goal that for a spring outing venue, I’d be stable enough to take the T. It started well,the day before drove around the neighborhood, practiced getting in and out. (It’s a Hack and with the twisting here and there to get out, I’d typically smash my head against the roof sill…flashes of light type…but hey…I was getting in and out by MYSELF!) Went on that venue, made it ¾ mile and it sputtered and coasted to a stop. I couldn’t remember which way the gas shut off was ‘right’ so reached over/around/and down to get the carb bowl drain. Got that in the right direction (not sure if it was the same as before or not, but…it refilled and started! Made it ½ mile this time and there was no sputter, it was like someone turned the switch off! Darned, only another half mile to the venue where all the experts are and here I was on a 6 lane county road, one usable leg and a parking lot nearby but a tad uphill. Florida folks are great, had lots of immediate offers to push and one lady actually did a laying on of the hands which she admitted later—sometimes it doesn’t work. I called and got the wife to take me to the venue where for the first time in my life no one there was willing to offer assistance even though you could literally see the T in the distance! Oh well, do carry AAA and for the first time in over 40 years and many T’s there was an incidence and I didn’t baby it back home on my own <sniff> So, it sat for the rest of the year as I planned on getting to it, but could only work from the top. The local club was willing to come over…but our schedules never worked. I ‘thought’ of draining the fuel and hitting it hard in ’19 as maybe I could walk and maybe even sit to work by ‘feel’ then figured had ‘stab-ile’ let it ride, drain it before next time and start afresh.

’19 and a neighborhood guy says he is willing to ‘wrench’ if I tell him what to do. GAME ON! The day before, just for kicks I wanted to see just how limber it was…and…surprise started right up! Yeah, right... let it run at idle for about 15 minutes, wanted to see if it would stall…nope. Put it back to bed. Guy comes over Sunday ready to wrench, in my haste I blurted, “It started and ran smooth…want to go for a ride first?” Since he agreed to wrench in return for a ride and driving lesson, he did the pre-flight while I watched, I jump in to do the start, and all I get is a whrrrrrrr that was almost like the Bendix was stuck. Hopped out, gave a nudge, nope, free rolling. Tried again whrrrrrrr. but the coils were buzzing proper Hmmmm….she’s fuel starved! Knew I had 3 gallons in it, lets open the bowl again…nada. Let’s loosen the compression nut on the carb---a trickle…lets open the potato drain---nada!

So now the fun begins…carb off, fuel line off, potato had to be unscrewed from the tank as the access plate is rock solid stuck! (The carb was relatively a new rebuild---maybe 200 miles on it, the potato was new when a new tank went in a coupleof years ago…oh, wait…I forgot to mention…EVERYTHING WAS COATED WITH TACKY MOLASSES LIKE STUFF THAT STUCK TO MY NAILS LIKE FINGER POLISH! The carb bowl was gross, the carb body gunked up through the riser. Blowing out the fuel line was like ‘turn purple’ and the potato? Well the screen was coated with this molasses like coating---almost like cosmolene, the actual valve ports on the potato spool gunked. So everything was picked at, soaked, cleaned once, cleaned twice, and eventually was able to get through this stuff but Tom Brady would like our fingers…it was like fly-paper coating, we stuck to everything!

Drum roll>>>>>>>>>>So we had drained the tank earlier to a bucket and on pulling the bucket out at the end of the night the fuel was a tad cloudy but here ya go…if reflects GREEN! Looking through it while poured...Green! Hmmm..not sure how clear it was to begin with…know it had stab-ile which is whiskey colored added to it…

So my friends…what happened? The stuck stuff was almost black and very difficult to solvent down to flush it or soften it.

My garage in FL gets to 120 or so in the middle of summer….none of my own practices changed. I’m from Southern NJ where the summer humidity is just as nasty as the place in Florida and this car lived in NJ weather for years.

Florida ethanol different than other places? Does someone know what this crud is/was? Are there tricks to leaving a car sit for a while in FL? I def innately don't want to do this again!

Thanks


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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by KeithG » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:29 pm

Hi George, I understand your dilema and give you sympathy.

The only thing I would suggest is for storing your T in FL for anything longer that maybe a week or two is to drain the tank and carb completely.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:35 pm

George

as a lifelong resident of FL and long-time T owner, I used to POOPOO the ethanol horror stories. I never had trouble and sometimes stored T's for up to 6 months...they'd start right up and be fine. Then 2014 came along, with whatever changed in the gas. What a DISASTER! Green brass parts. "Cosmoline" deposits. Rust. Rebuild. Repeat.

Yes, something is different. And it happened in 2014.

No longer in FL but keep pure gas in cars now just as a precaution.
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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by signsup » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:41 pm

Only if it goes through the board of elections. Than, it's whatever they want it to be.
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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by PDGx » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:47 pm

You you can’t keep gasoline down here like you can up north. Stabil doesn’t do much to prevent evaporation or the varnish build up as it does evaporate. And with the heat it doesn’t take long to sludge up a carburetor.
I’ve switched from using stabil up north, to Seafoam here. It supposedly stabilizes, but also cleans the varnish/sludge. It has worked well for me.
Also watch your battery(s). You will use much more water here.
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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by TFan » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:58 pm

I had the same thing happen on my 8N a couple of years ago. Hadn't used it for awhile, one day walked past it and noticed the clear glass bowl was green. The same remedy that you had to use worked on it, after the cleansing I would drain and run the gas out when I was done with it. I have been playing Russian roulette with all my other gas powered toys but they get used a lot more often. Jim
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George Mills
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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by George Mills » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:26 pm

Thanks for the responses so far, and sage advice.

Sounds like I am not unique. Scott describes it perfectly...the float was groady green brass too.

Hey Scott, maybe you can help me “better”. My local folks here at Indian Rocks area don’t seem to carry “pure”. Where did you find it when you still lived in St Pete?
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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:36 pm

George

try this for something near you: https://www.pure-gas.org/

I always fueled up at WAWA's on 22 Ave N around 28 St. We kept our T's near there and that was very handy for me. The pumps are on the end of the line and are marked "blue". The RV and boat guys line up there for their gas. Also bought it for the old jeep as a treat, periodically at McMullen fuel on 49th st as that was on my way home from w**k.
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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by HaroldRJr » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:40 pm

George - I too, used to think that people that thought ethanol gasoline caused problems were wrong, as I never had any trouble. But guess what? Three or four years ago, and now that you mention it, I think it WAS 1914,....anyway, I won't bore you with all I went through with my '27 depot hack to try to get it to start that spring, but suffice to say, little by little, I replaced about everything I could think of that might be the problem, especially things that I kept telling myself,....(probably wouldn't hurt to have a spare xxxx,.....whatever) and nothing helped. "NOTHING"!!! As a last resort, even tho' I thought that stale fuel problems with ethanol fuel was just another "ol' wives tale), I drained the gasoline and replaced with fresh gasoline. Well, the first "tip-off" should have been that the stuff I drained was about the color of maple syrup! Again, no use writing "War & Peace" here, but after that, I started using NOTHING but ethanol free gasoline and I haven't had a problem since.

What I'm gonna' say now is pure conjecture, but I have a theory that one other problem with ethanol gasoline is this:

Enter the term,...."hydroscopic". Not only does the ethanol gasoline collect water, but over time, the water actually separates from the fuel and collects in the bottom of the gas tank. And here's the real "kicker" that I don't think many people consider,....if water collects in the bottom of the gas tank, why wouldn't it also collect in the bottom of the float bowl in the carburetor, right? Granted, not a lot of water in that little float bowl, but even that little bit collects in the BOTTOM of the float bowl ain't good, right? And even with fresh gasoline in the gas tank, could a bit of water in the bottom of the carb float bowl cause a problem? I sure think so,....FWIW,.....harold

P.S. Oh,...one other thing, and then I'll shut up! (.....said I wouldn't write "War & Peace", right?) I am a great believer in the fact that a Grosse Jet (sp?) float valve is troublesome as they have a tendency to stick, both open or closed", and from what I've heard, this modern ethanol gasoline makes THAT problem worse too!

O.K......enough,.....harold


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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by HaroldRJr » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:50 pm

Yeah, I know,....I said I'd "shut up", but this discussion got me to thinking about something else:

You young guys might never have heard of this, but the old guys like me (and yeah, you too George) will remember.....

I remember my Dad (R.I.P.) filling his little two hp Johnson outboard motor gas tank by carefully pouring the gasoline through a piece of chamois skin, which he explained to me would serve to eliminate the possibility of any water going into the tank, so I guess he obviously though that just a little bit of water would mean "trouble"!

O.K.....that's it,.....I'm really done now,.....I mean, REALLY,.....honest,.....harold


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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by KeithG » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:11 pm

Harold, I also had the same problem with a Grouse Jet. It stuck either open or closed. Replaced the grouse jet with a stock needle and seat that the problem went away, and the carb. doesn't leak either.

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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by yukonjack » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:40 pm

I knew that the US EPA had seasonal gasoline blends to control volatility, but this article says the US is also carved up into zones based on state and local clean air standards. The article is short on specifics but does have a map produced by Exxon/Mobil showing that, indeed, Florida and New Jersey have different standards:

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a1533 ... explained/

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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by jagiven » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:45 pm

A bit OT, I got into some bad ethanol free this past month. I bought it from where I usually get ethanol free for the T.

I topped off my snowblower when I got home, ran fine under a light load, and like crap as soon as I got a heavy load. Dumped in Seafoam and it ran good. Ran Seafoam for that entire jerry can. When I got down to the very end of the jerry can, I had to top off the snowblower when it was -15oF, and saw ice in the snowblower tank! Bought my next can of fuel from the other station. Has ran great every since.

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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by Henry K. Lee » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:50 pm

Your crappy ethanol blended fuels are meant to be consumed not stored. As mentioned by others, there are regions which have other additives and I believe in the near future this situation is going to worst. I only keep minimum fuel in mine and for the winter and run only ethanol free gas, I drain, purge the system with mineral spirits. No residue issues anymore.

Watch your grounding tangs on your spark plugs too folks. Some cheap ones have been known to break off in the engine due to "ethanol shock".


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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by GrandpaFord » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:42 pm

Gasoline is a mixture of many different molecules, some light and some very heavy. An interesting experiment is to boil some until you are left with only the heavy stuff, which looks a lot like the tar that others have posted pictures of. I did this in college as part of my automotive engineering class. (if you do this be very careful that you don't blow yourself up. Use an electric hot plate at low heat and not a flame.)

Crude oil is cracked to make more of the lighter molecules and then blended. This is all done at local refineries. Different refineries blend for the local market and climate. In warm climate and summers there is less of the lighter stuff, which is needed to start the car when it is cold, and more of the heaver stuff. So it is logical that you will find more tar in your fuel system in Florida.

Ethanol is one of the lighter components and doesn't have any tar in it. I am no chemist, so I don't know if the ethanol will react with the gasoline to, perhaps, convert some of the cracked crude oil back into heaver molecules. It is possible, but more likely the lighter stuff is evaporating leaving only the tar.

The best defense is to drain the fuel system if you are going to store the car for a while. White gas doesn't have any of the heavier molecules so you could use that, but it is expensive. Some people have reported good results with ethanol free gasoline, which may have less of the heavy molecules.
I am lucky that the gasoline where i live stores well. Still, if I am not going to run the car for a while I will turn off the fuel and run the engine until all the gasoline in the carburetor is used up.

I admire your gumption for not giving up because of your disability. It must be very frustrating at times. Maybe you could look for a gear head teenager to help with the mechanical work and perhaps help with the driving. It could serve both of you.


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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by Dallas Landers » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:59 pm

About 2014 is when I started having trouble with all my small engines in the spring. After trying to clean the white goo from the carb and seeing the pitted aluminum inside the carb I just replaced them. Chainsaws , weedeater, leafblower ect. Took a while to figure out the problem but after that it was pure gasoline for all small engines. I run ethenol blend in summer in the T but about the end of august I run pure gasoline in it. By the time winter comes it has pure gas in the tank. Havnt had any problems doing it this way. I am lucky to have pure gas at the pump about 6 miles away.


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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by John M Maslack » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:13 pm

Stabil is one of the worthless ones....The only decent one that I have found ( And I have tried them all) is the Lucas green stabilizer in the tall bottle... I have forklifts, air compressors, generators etc....I am in Vt and the Humidity is bad and having some history in Florida, it is much worse there....Green Lucas would be what I would use.....Hopefully, some day we will be finished with this foolish experiment...


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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by John Codman » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:55 pm

George - I have had the same issue here in Collier County. I never had that issue in Massachusetts after I did a total cleanout of my fuel system. A month ago I had to tow my '27 home after an episode exactly as you described. I literally had to use a chipping hammer to clean the float bowl of my freshly rebuilt NH.


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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by E THOMAS » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:56 am

at the end of the season I put in a few gallons of 100LL avgas into a near empty tank. Avgas does not go bad in the fuel lines and carb. I get 5 gallon jerry cans of it at the airport. In the spring, I just add new normal fuel from the regular unleaded pump.


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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by MikieB » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:57 am

Most places in FL have non-ethanol fuel they call "Recreational Fuel". It cost more, but, worth it. I leave a vehicle in the panhandle and one in south FL. Sometimes it's months between fillups, and, after paying over a thousand dollars a couple of years ago to replace sensors and clean tank and lines, I now put nothing in those but Rec fuel. Likewise, in SC where I have T's, 4 wheelers, etc, I use non-ethanol fuel only and have had no problems. Several years ago I let my 29 Chev sit for about 6 months with ethanol gas, and the pot metal choke in the carb swelled and cost me nearly $600. It was said best above...."ethanol gas is to be used, not stored..."

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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by George Mills » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:17 am

Thanks again to all who have replied, I really appreciate it.

Using Scott's link, I found a few places local that have/had 'pure' fuel. I'll have to go and check them out to assure they do. Would make sense though, I'm within spitting distance to the inland waterway and a marina. Never thought about that since getting out of boating years ago...but good thing to know.

As an aside, my 'helper' hasn't come back...tells me shortly, but has yet to show...lol He probably caught heck going home smelling like he was swimming in the stuff...I STILL have the garage overhead door up a foot and fans blowing across the car and pans...and think twice before open the door to the garage from the house. This crap is horrible and I've had some sour gas in the past but this stuff is worse...

p.s. in the photo below, that's old failed epoxy paint on the floor that I've tried chipping off, tried everything known to remove epoxy....yet where this gunk splashed or dripped? Old paint crinkled right up where normal gasoline splash never phased it...lol
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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:22 am

Many will swear by this additive or that but the real bottom line is what was stated above. It's meant to be used not stored. Additives empty your wallet not your fuel tank. You cannot save this stuff. Period.
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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by Tmodelt » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:51 am

Ethanol will also breakdown any sealer inside the gas tank. I applied a sealer several years while using ethanol and couldn't figure out why it would run and then sputter to death. I started finding "strings" of yellow stuff in the carburetor bowl and filter. Finally figured out that the sealant was releasing from the inside of the tank and breaking down.


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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by katmankingkat » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:44 pm

Here in MN a number of stations have ethanol free gas. A sign on the pump says for collector vehicles, marine use and small engines. I use it in all my old vehicles, motorcycles, and small engines. During storage I add stabil and they always start right up with no problems.

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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by ironhorse » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:45 am

Whenever I am finished driving for the day I turn off the gas to the carb and let it run dry. Never have a problem doing this, If I know the T is going to be out of service for more than a month I make sure the carb has been run dry and put a small piece of duct tape over the vent hole in the gas cap. I don't think the ethanol is different but we do have a lot of humidity especially along the coast. A few years ago Gov Scott did sign a bill making non-ethanol available to all counties but it is expensive. JMHO YMMV :mrgreen:
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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by Henry K. Lee » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:53 am

On your garage floor issue, I have found that a water base epoxy paint with a catalyst is not effect by fuels. Just some shared info.

All the Best,

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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by Billdizer,Spencer In » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:21 pm

Check to see if your ethanol free gas has methanol instead! Some places do that, which can be worse than ethanol. Briggs&Stratton used to make an ethanol tester that was sold at small engine shops, to test your gas. Worth it!

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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by George N Lake Ozark » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:32 pm

I suspect that the ethanol from up north are Corn Squeezin's . Where by Florida is probably using 'gator/Python squeezin's :lol:


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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by yukonjack » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:20 pm

George N Lake Ozark wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:32 pm
I suspect that the ethanol from up north are Corn Squeezin's . Where by Florida is probably using 'gator/Python squeezin's :lol:
I don't know about "up north", but the folks in Kentucky and Tennessee certainly know what to do with corn squeezin's, and its not to put them in gasoline! Back in the early 1980s I worked on a couple of jobs on the Eastern Shore of MD and VA and discovered Rebel Yell...now, that was a perfect use for corn, but their strategy at the time was to offer it for sale south of the Mason-Dixon Line only; it was NOT sold in Yankee markets!

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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by Henry K. Lee » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:35 pm

Now Yukon Jack don't be tellin' on us ya here!

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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by 46woodduck » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:55 am

Aviation gas can sit for long periods of time with no problems. If you live close to a small airport try running some.
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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by TBill » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:09 am

After ruining a chain saw, a weed wicker, and almost an out board I don’t put ethanol in anything I don’t run almost every day. My TT, Fordor, future Speedster, 42 Ford GPW, and 46 Willys CJ2A will only see 100% gasoline. Don’t know why it cost more cause it’s cheaper to make.

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Ruxstel24
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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by Ruxstel24 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:23 am

TBill wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:09 am
My TT, Fordor, future Speedster, 42 Ford GPW, and 46 Willys CJ2A will only see 100% gasoline. Don’t know why it cost more cause it’s cheaper to make.
Same reason diesel is more than gas...
They have it and you want it !! :evil:


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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by Kts » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:38 am

pure-gas.org

Lists gas stations in every state that sell non ethanol, ie pure gasoline. Essential for touring in old cars! If you use their lists and find discrepancies, let them know so they can keep things up to date. I would still consider draining tank and running carb dry for winter storage, or alternatively fill tank with ethanol free, and run engine once a month to keep everything working right!

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pdgriesse
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Re: Is Florida ethanol different?

Post by pdgriesse » Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:20 pm

You should ask your local Model T guys if THEY are having similar problems, as you have described. If they are running OK using local gas sources, it would suggest your car may have problems with tank sealers or additives as several have suggested ,above. Obviously the "gunk" you found in your carb disassembly caused your running problems but it may NOT be the gas you are using.
Good luck on finding the source of the "gunk" and eliminating the problem! paul

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