15% ethanol and T’s

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AdminJeff
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15% ethanol and T’s

Post by AdminJeff » Fri May 31, 2019 12:40 pm

So I hear on the news there’s going to be 15% ethanol added as the gasoline mixture in the future.

It’s been stated that older engines, small engines like lawnmowers, etc. will not do well with this blend. Any thoughts on how this will affect the model T engines?

I used to work at Chevron that was back in the 1980s and most of my colleagues in the testing labs who would know this have long past on....

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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by Ruxstel24 » Fri May 31, 2019 12:48 pm

The biggest issue with E15% is storage for any length of time. Driving regularly should not be a problem. Sitting for a month or more, I would recommend Stabil, 3 or more months, I would recommend draining the tank and carb...


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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by Les Schubert » Fri May 31, 2019 1:34 pm

Dave pretty well nailed it. Some brands of “premium “ don’t have ethanol I believe. Depending where you are I suppose.
I now just turn the gas off to the carb and run it out on mag as standard practice. When I want to go I just turn the gas on, wait a minute and then then start it on mag by flipping the crank on my 27 roadster!!

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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri May 31, 2019 2:16 pm

My question would be how it affects mileage. If it's very little or not at all, go for it. But if it lowers mileage considerably it will cost more to cover the same number of miles, even if the price is lower. That's why I don't use E-85. It's wonderfully cheap, but costs more to use.
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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by TRDxB2 » Fri May 31, 2019 2:35 pm

E-85 fuel has been available for some time - The Iowa DOT vehicles all use it. car labeled as "Flex Fuel Vehicle" can use it or regular gas. Older vehicle's seals and gaskets may not be able to handle the higher concentration of alcohol. As far as gas mileage goes - cars designed to use it will get less MPG but their cost per mile may be less as well. Its likely that before E-85 gets widespread use electric vehicles will obsolete it use.


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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by Tom Hicks » Fri May 31, 2019 3:03 pm

It is an easy way to help out our corn farmers.
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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by Marv K » Fri May 31, 2019 3:28 pm

-Jeff-
If the ethanol is a concern for you, there are past threads which can explain how to separate the ethanol out from the 'real' gasoline. I have articles and studies to share if you need them. Personal experience is that NO ethanol works best for the longer term. My small engines on up have continued to last longer and more efficiently without the ethanol content. Ethanol is about 10% less efficient than the gasoline it replaces, plus, think about the corrosive attributes of ethanol. (There's a reason ethanol needs to be shipped and handled within stainless steel!) My corn-growing neighbors' lobby won't share those attributes...

Farming areas likely will have non-ethanol grades available. We have 89 octane, non-ethanol available here, which I have used exclusively for the T's and my small engines. A bit more costly and additional effort, a pain-in-the-posterior (sometimes), but I remain convinced it has been worthwhile. Some lessons need to be learned first-hand, some can be shared.
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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by mtntee20 » Fri May 31, 2019 4:20 pm

If you're seriously worried about ethanol gas, buy gas without ethanol in it.

Go to pure-gas.org then look up your state or province. You will be able to locate vendors who sell ethanol free gasoline. Most do not care if it's for a lawnmower or a brand new car. If there is a problem, buy it in a 5 gallon gas can and tell them it's for your lawnmower or snowblower or Model T.

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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by Henry K. Lee » Fri May 31, 2019 5:15 pm

The worse of all evils as older engines were not designed for this junk. Steel valves, conventional non bronze guides, etc play havoc with stem wear and scouring. The BTU burn rate to power produced is just a joke. You will burn approximately 18% more fuel. It is all politics, sad!

I believe if you put a some outboard TWC-3 type oil in your fuel tank to about a 150-1 ratio or more it will prevent this.

As mentioned too, drain the fuel out completely from tank and carbetutor. I have seen a lot of older carbs just rusting away. Been giving some a coating of fuel tank sealer in the bowls and inside castings. It does help.

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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by Oldav8tor » Fri May 31, 2019 6:52 pm

In Michigan we've seen an increase in the availability of "Rec" fuel. 90 octane alcohol-free. It costs about the same as premium but avoids some of the problems experienced by older boats and vehicles which have components that can't resist alcohol.

The model T was built to burn a wide range of fuels, so I think 15% Alcohol would probably be OK, subject to the advice given by others. This isn't the time to get into it but adding alcohol to gasoline is more political than scientific. Me, I'm not a big fan.
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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by noelchico » Fri May 31, 2019 11:39 pm

During the summer months, I burn E-10 in my T's as it works about as well as regular gas and is cheaper. I get better fuel economy with my vehicles with pure gasoline, but not enough to justify the higher expense. I realize I'm paying full price for gasoline and in essence throwing the ethanol aside but it's still cheaper. I winter the vehicles with gasoline. i also like adding 2 stroke oil to the gas. I was able to obtain about 6 gallons of older 2 stroke oil at an estate auction and just mix a a cup to a pint or so with each tank to act as a stabilizer and upper cylinder and valve lubricant. I don't like ethanol, but feel the local farmers are demanding it. It would be cheaper for me to just throw dollars to the farmers and not the oil companies with each fill.


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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by modernbeat » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:35 am

mtntee20 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:20 pm
If you're seriously worried about ethanol gas, buy gas without ethanol in it.
Go to pure-gas.org then look up your state or province. ..
That works well for rural areas, and I use it while on the road. But if you live in an urban area, where any sort of pollution controls are in effect, it's usually a long drive for non-ethanol gas.

Another alternative is to just buy "lab grade" or race gas. You don't really want any high octane gas for a Model T, but low octane variants are available.
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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by ironhorse » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:15 am

Others may disagree, but my rule of thumb is when you put your T up for the day turn the gas off and let the carb run dry. This removes the gas from the carb where it can cause the most headaches and you are then good for up to 45 days of storage with no issues. JMHO :D
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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by Mark Gregush » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:37 am

Conjecture here, but I think you will find that it does not matter how much alcohol is in the gas, it just does not have the shelf life as the old gas with or without the alcohol.
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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by John Codman » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:08 pm

A bit of reality here - A gallon of pure gasoline contains 114,000 BTUs of heat energy. A gallon of Ethanol contains 76,100 BTUs. Mix gasoline and Ethanol in a 90:10 ratio and you have a gallon of fuel with 110,210 BTUs of heat energy. Do the same in an 85:15 ratio and the gallon has 108,315 BTUs.
A vehicle running 90:10 will lose a bit more then three percent in fuel economy, because it takes a certain amount of energy to move the vehicle a set distance; less energy in the fuel means that to travel that set distance will require more fuel to achieve the same amount of energy. 15% Ethanol has even less energy per gallon, so the fuel economy will be even worse.
The major issue with small gas engines is that there are a lot of plastic parts (All but one piece in my wood chipper's carburetor are plastic, as is the fuel tank). Much of this plastic won't stand up to 15% Ethanol gas. The chipper has a warning label on it about just that. The 2012 Chrysler Minivan (that we loved, but have since traded) had a whole section in it's owner's manual about E85; essentially it said that the van would run on the stuff, but you would have to be nuts to do so.

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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by RustyFords » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:28 pm

A few years ago, on the same day, I bought a Stihl chainsaw and a Ryobi weedwhacker. Because Stihl offered a free one year extension on the warranty if I bought and used only their fuel in a can, I also decided to buy the Stihl fuel that has zero ethanol and I bought the premixed 40:1 zero-ethanol fuel at Lowes for the Ryobi.

I've let the Stihl sit for 6 months and it fires right up anytime I need it. Same with the Ryobi...it sits all winter (here in Houston that's only a few months) and fires right up.

Prior to doing this, I was using ethanol pump gas in my prior Stihl and making my own mix for my prior Ryobi and they were always terribly hard to start after long periods of non-use.

This is not a coincedence. The ethanol gas has a much shorter shelf life. And, when it does degrade, it creates a while chalky, sticky substance that carburetors absolutely hate.

And...for what it's worth, I was back at that same Stihl dealer a few weeks ago with my father-in-law to pick up some of his equipment that was being repaired and I asked the mechanic why Stihl offers the warranty extension for using their fuel. He said that it boils down to the fact that their fuel is an older style blend with no ethanol. He said that almost all of the repairs he performs on chainsaws and weedwhackers that are hard to start or won't start at all are due to degraded ethanol gas in the fuel system.

Model T's don't have rubber fuel lines (at least not from the factory) but degrading ethanol gas will still be unkind to them.
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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by John Codman » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:32 pm

BTW: To clarify my last post, I do know that E85 and 15% ethanol are not the same thing.


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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by 46woodduck » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:39 pm

Race gas will work, but the price can be pretty high compared to regular pump gas. If you live near a small airport that has fuel, aviation gas works well and will remain good over long periods of storage.
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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by noelchico » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:11 pm

In follow up or question to John's post above. I'm aware that theoretically, there is only a 3% difference in contained energy between E-10 and straight gasoline. However, I've never seen a gasoline engine that was 100% efficient at burning fuel. In the past 3 vehicles I've owned, 2001 5.4 F-150, 2011 3.5 ecoboost F150, and 2012 6 cylinder RAV4, the seat of my pants difference in fuel economy was 8-10% on long drives across several states on several occasions as I recorded fuel consumption using 87 octane gasoline and 87-89 octane E-10. That's where I came up with my statement that I might as well have been throwing the ethyl alcohol out the window as I drove the same number of miles per gallon of gasoline, whether mixed with ethyl alcohol or straight. I also read how E-30 was studied in a similar ecoboost several years ago in a South Dakota State University study on E-30, and how it gave comparable economy and power. I tried it on a 500 mile trip in my pickup and couldn't wait to dilute it with pure gasoline due to a near 20% drop (17.5 mpg vs 22 mpg) in fuel economy. I realize that's only my 3 vehicles, and your results may be different. I'm not an ethanol fan, even though I'm surrounded by corn.

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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by Duey_C » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:00 am

I just adjust the carb a bit. To suit them. From gas to non oxy gas to racing alcohol fuel. :oops:
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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by Doug Keppler » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:40 pm

OK since everyone is chiming in, here is my input, I am not a fan of draining carburators for the fact that if it sits for long periods of time the seals dry out and you are in the same boat of removing it and rebuilding it, I have seen it first hand. I have had lawnmowers, chainsaws, logsplitters and motorcycles for many many years and have always religiously gave them a squirt of the regular red Stabil in the tanks before storage for the winter and have NEVER had these issues of which everyone speaks of. I live in North Jersey and have the same ethanol gas as everyone else.
As a precaution I am now putting a squirt into every can of gas I buy for my small engines and the T!
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Re: 15% ethanol and T’s

Post by Doug Keppler » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:48 pm

As an added note I am seriously speaking from experience and I am not blowing smoke up anyones ass
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