PDA

View Full Version : EPA emissions requirements and Ethanol fuel. How much of your equipment is ruined?


JDiepstra
08-19-2011, 06:57 PM
Seems like tons of people are having problems with their equipment, especially the newer stuff, due to EPA mandated emissions equipment and the use of Ethanol in gas. I was hoping people would post their problems in one spot so we could see how big the problem is and see what good solutions we can find to help work around the problems we are having.

Greyst1
08-19-2011, 08:28 PM
Great thread....

I spent two hours last night researching this and here is what i've come up with....

Ethanol will eat away at your fuel lines and carb diaphragms, gaskets, etc...not to mention it holds moisture.

So far i found a product that combats the moisture issue which is Ethanol Shield. As for the eroding fuel lines there are marine grade fuel lines that are ethanol safe. I believe you have to look for SAE J1527 type B fuel lines.

This is all i have so far, my Stihl equipment has held up good (other than new carbs every year) but i only run two days a week. I am buying all new equipment next month from mower to handhelds and no chance am i going to risk any carb issues.

RozarLawnCare
08-19-2011, 08:47 PM
I just lost a Husky saw that I think was from the gas. Not sure, but it was the first tank of fresh fuel from the jug. I did not use anymore fuel from that container. I mixed new fuel. There are still stations that sell 100% gas so I am going to use that in future.

TNGrassCutter
08-19-2011, 08:59 PM
Busted rotted primer bulbs, rotted fuel lines, and a broken seal on a fuel tank.
Posted via Mobile Device

RTR Landscaping
08-19-2011, 09:47 PM
We were having problems with fuel lines, primer bulbs and water in the fuel all caused by ethanol. My dealer suggested we use a product called Startron in our fuel for 2 and 4 cycle equipment. It worked great, cured all my problems.

JDiepstra
08-19-2011, 09:50 PM
We were having problems with fuel lines, primer bulbs and water in the fuel all caused by ethanol. My dealer suggested we use a product called Startron in our fuel for 2 and 4 cycle equipment. It worked great, cured all my problems.

found a good price / supplier? What a scam that we have to add product to our fuel huh?

highlander316
08-19-2011, 10:11 PM
fuel lines and fuel grommets (that attach to the tank) on my hedge trimmers are getting eaten away. I suspect it's from those tools not getting daily use (unlike my line trimmers and blowers), so the fuel is sitting in the lines/touching the grommets.

mowerbrad
08-19-2011, 11:18 PM
I have not had any noticeable problems with my fuel (knock on wood). I recently started using mid-grade fuel (opposed to the regular I was using) in my handhelds and noticed that they start easier now.

I do use quality fuel and not just whatever I happen to come by or can get the cheapest.

GrassGuerilla
08-20-2011, 11:53 AM
I have not had any noticeable problems with my fuel (knock on wood). I recently started using mid-grade fuel (opposed to the regular I was using) in my handhelds and noticed that they start easier now.

I do use quality fuel and not just whatever I happen to come by or can get the cheapest.


What do you mean "quality fuel"? Anything to back that up? There's a fuel refinery near one of my jobs. There isn't a spigot marked "the good stuff". Virtually all fuel comes from the same place. If you have any solid evidence that one brand of fuel is better than another I'd love to hear it? The biggest difference between brands of fuel is marketing. 89 octane E-10 is what it is. Unfortunately there is no pure gas available within 100 miles of St Louis (that I've found).

As far as fuel problems, fuel lines, primer bulbs, diaphragms. Only in the handhelds. I have several old Toro T-bar walk behinds, one a 1998, one a 1994. Both with Kohler command engines. No fuel problems from them ever. Both have a zillion hours on them.

I've heard (no proof) that the ethanol blend is not very precise. One batch of E-10 may be 5% ethanol, another batch may be nearly 20%. Purely heresay, but it does explain the occasional meltdown of plastic/rubber.

I understand the EPA is in the roadtest phase with E-15... Won't that be lovely? More ethanol. Probably find the point it kills 4-cycle stuff soon.

The question I would like answered: does it make sense from an enviromental perspective to switch to these more "environmentally friendly" standards and fuels? How "green" is it to have to replace the equipment every couple years (or less). And how much fuel gets "dumped" due to concerns of age or moisture? Or due to DIY service to combat rotted fuel lines etc? I suspect in typical fashion, the new Government standards and fuels have made matters worse rather than better.
Posted via Mobile Device

mowerbrad
08-20-2011, 12:11 PM
What do you mean "quality fuel"? Anything to back that up? There's a fuel refinery near one of my jobs. There isn't a spigot marked "the good stuff". Virtually all fuel comes from the same place. If you have any solid evidence that one brand of fuel is better than another I'd love to hear it? The biggest difference between brands of fuel is marketing. 89 octane E-10 is what it is. Unfortunately there is no pure gas available within 100 miles of St Louis (that I've found).

As far as fuel problems, fuel lines, primer bulbs, diaphragms. Only in the handhelds. I have several old Toro T-bar walk behinds, one a 1998, one a 1994. Both with Kohler command engines. No fuel problems from them ever. Both have a zillion hours on them.

I've heard (no proof) that the ethanol blend is not very precise. One batch of E-10 may be 5% ethanol, another batch may be nearly 20%. Purely heresay, but it does explain the occasional meltdown of plastic/rubber.

I understand the EPA is in the roadtest phase with E-15... Won't that be lovely? More ethanol. Probably find the point it kills 4-cycle stuff soon.

The question I would like answered: does it make sense from an enviromental perspective to switch to these more "environmentally friendly" standards and fuels? How "green" is it to have to replace the equipment every couple years (or less). And how much fuel gets "dumped" due to concerns of age or moisture? Or due to DIY service to combat rotted fuel lines etc? I suspect in typical fashion, the new Government standards and fuels have made matters worse rather than better.
Posted via Mobile Device

I have absolutely no SCIENTIFIC proof, just some real world testing.

A couple years ago, me and my uncle were curious to see if the advertising claims of companies like Shell, were true...that they actually do help clean the fuel system and improve your mileage. While we didn't actually tear down an engine to see how well the fuel "cleaned", we did test the fuel economy improvements.

At the time I was driving a diesel truck, so I couldn't use my truck for the testing. We used my uncle's 1997-ish Honda accord 4 cylinder. For work he would travel several hundred miles a week (puts about 20,000+ miles on a vehicle each year). For years he had just been using fuel from multiple different stations as he needed fuel. He is very good at keeping track of how much fuel he uses, the miles he gets out of each tank, etc. So we had number to work off of from the start.

Like I said, he originally would go to just about any station as he needed gas...the old admiral station by his house, a marathon station off the highway, whatever. So after deciding to see if the claims by SHELL were true, he only filled up with shell fuel, same REGULAR gas that he always bought (never did the mid grade or higher fuels). After a couple tanks of Shell gasoline, he was getting a constant 30 miles more on a tank of gas from shell over gas from various stations. He was driving the same roads before and after switching to shell, there was no difference in the roads he took before or after.

mowingmachine
08-20-2011, 12:12 PM
I'm not a supporter of ethanol fuel but we have had it in our area for about 10 years now. In fact we haven't had a choice for about 10 years. I don't have any fuel related issues at all. I actually think I have less fuel related problems now than I did before. Varnished up carbs use to be the norm but not anymore. The ethanol does a very nice job of keeping the fuel system clean. I think ethanol tends to be the normal excuse for any carb/fuel related problems. Is it really ethanol fuel related though?? I have plenty of examples of dried up rubber components prior to ethanol fuel. Is it possible that these rubber components are coming from China and being made with inferior materials?? Just a thought.

Richard Martin
08-20-2011, 01:42 PM
What do you mean "quality fuel"? Anything to back that up? There's a fuel refinery near one of my jobs. There isn't a spigot marked "the good stuff". Virtually all fuel comes from the same place. If you have any solid evidence that one brand of fuel is better than another I'd love to hear it? The biggest difference between brands of fuel is marketing.

I have seen lesser grades of fuel cause problems especially in 2 strokes. In cars and trucks the biggest problems are usually with fuel injectors plugging up and deposits inside the combustion chamber. In my city virtually all of the gas costs the same so it doesn't make sense not to use a quality fuel.

And there is definately something different about BP gas. It's clear instead of amber like every other fuel.

Mark Oomkes
08-20-2011, 02:32 PM
I've heard (no proof) that the ethanol blend is not very precise. One batch of E-10 may be 5% ethanol, another batch may be nearly 20%. Purely heresay, but it does explain the occasional meltdown of plastic/rubber. Posted via Mobile Device

And if you can prove that it is higher than 10% the distributor will have to pay for any damages. They are allowed only 10% by law. Anymore and they're in trouble.

I haven't had anything ruined by ethanol as of yet, but the other thing to think about is make sure you don't use dry gas anymore. You will be increasing the amount of alcohol in the gas and cause even more problems, even burning up cylinders.

Many, many problems in the past couple years since our supplier switched. Filters, carb cleanings, water in fuel, plugs fouling, hard starting, etc. Stuff is crap.

I have some Startron and I guess have not been using it regularly enough to take care of our problems. Have to get a little more regular about it. NAPA carries it in small bottles, i bought a gallon from J Thomas, would like to find the 5 gallon pail because it is expensive, but so are the problems we're having.

JDiepstra
08-20-2011, 02:42 PM
I haven't had anything ruined by ethanol as of yet, but the other thing to think about is make sure you don't use dry gas anymore. You will be increasing the amount of alcohol in the gas and cause even more problems, even burning up cylinders.

Can you explain this more? Dry gas? Do you mean gas without the startron?

Mark Oomkes
08-20-2011, 02:54 PM
Can you explain this more? Dry gas? Do you mean gas without the startron?

Dry gas as in the alcohol stuff you put in to de-ice gas, mainly in the winter. HEET or whatever you want to call it.

JDiepstra
08-20-2011, 04:28 PM
Dry gas as in the alcohol stuff you put in to de-ice gas, mainly in the winter. HEET or whatever you want to call it.

Thanks. My mom loves that stuff....

kemco
08-22-2011, 01:42 AM
Ethanol is an alcohol, if you add another alcohol-based de-icer or water remover to gas that is already 10+% ethanol you might be doing more harm than good. The more alcohol of any kind added to gas the more the gas/alcohol blend will pull water from the air into the gas.

Jungle J
10-07-2011, 02:38 AM
Ethanol destroys engines and gasoline is costly, propane industry
officials say, with some now set to ask the region's maintenance
officials to give the cleaner combustible a trial run in the area's
commercial mowers, trimmers and blowers.
They intend to pose the question at a Feb. 4 meeting with municipal
officials and lawn care businesses, as advocates of propane-powered
lawn equipment make the case for what they contend is a greener
fuel.
The conversion to propane could cost municipalities roughly $1,500
per commercial mower engine, or just over half the cost of replacing
an entire engine, sales officials say. But the savings over gasoline in
spillage, theft and reduced maintenance costs could pay for the
propane upgrade within a year, they said.
"Chattanooga's trying to have a go-green push, and be a city on the
leading edge of the green industry with their buses and other facets,"
said Chad Haun of Southern Turf. "Why not do it in parks and
recreation, where they're out mowing eight to 10 hours per day?"
But Steve Leach, administrator of public works for Chattanooga, was
cautious about embracing the idea.
"Anytime you can burn cleaner fuel it's a good thing, but if you have
to retrofit the equipment and worry about refilling, that makes it a little
bit more problematic," Leach said.
Ethanol gunks lines
John Watson, owner of Common Ground Landscape Management in
Knoxville, participated in a three-year study through the University of
Tennessee and said he converted all his units over to propane.
Following his initial investment in engine conversion and a new filling
station, he said his costs have fallen 10 percent since he began using
cleaner-burning propane.
"My mechanic found that we could go further between services, and
[propane] is quite a bit cheaper in the summer," Watson said.
Lawn care and municipal officials confirm that they're on the hunt for
an alternative to today's gasoline-ethanol mix, currently available at
gas stations in Chattanooga for about $2.95 per gallon, because it
gunks up spark plugs, fuel lines and carburetors.
Wholesale propane, on the other hand, can be purchased for closer
to $1.45 per gallon, or about $2.80 per gallon at retail, according to
the U.S. Department of Energy, although it isn't as widely available as
regular unleaded and must be kept in special storage tanks.
"This is all going to be new to us," Tommy Burnette, general
supervisor at Chattanooga's Parks and Recreation Department, said
Tuesday. "Anytime you can do something for the environment it could
be a good thing, as long as its not astronomically high to switch over."
Cheaper operations seen
Jerry Lindsey helps outdoor equipment dealers to convert gasoline
engines to propane on behalf of Metro Lawn, a conversion kit seller,
and said converted units see an 80 percent drop in emissions and 40
percent drop in operational costs.
"Lawn guys who send their men out with tanks of gasoline, 10
percent of that fuel ends up in somebody's vehicle, but that won't
work with propane," he said. "Plus, that ethanol shellacks the
carburetors. It's a maintenance headache."
"The ethanol [mixed with in gasoline] is a big problem we're having
right now," agreed Burnette.
Barrett Fischer, owner of Chattanooga-based Fischer Irrigation &
Lighting, said he's also having a problem with the current 10 percent
ethanol/gasoline mixture.
He's considering the switch to propane in part because the ethanol,
especially in small engines, is "clogging up injectors and carburetors,"
which necessitates replacement every two months, up from once a
year with regular gasoline, or even less often with propane.
Feds boost level to 15%
To further complicate matters, the Environmental Protection Agency
last week expanded on a previous decision to allow the sale of
gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol, though the EPA admitted
that the new blend will not be suitable for small engines or vehicles
built before 2001.
"As soon as they start putting in the mandated 15 percent ethanol, I'll
be looking to buy a gizmo to put propane in our small equipment,"
said Paul Page, director of general services for the city. "I've seen
what 10 percent will do to engines."
Page said that while he's open to the idea of switching his fleet to
propane, the cost savings had better be substantial. It wouldn't be the
first time propane has been tried.
"It was very unsuccessful," he said. "At the time, the valves on the
vehicles were not sodium and you'd burn the valves and the clutch
out."
Fischer anticipates long-term fuel cost and maintenance savings by
switching, but he is worried about putting too many eggs in an
untested basket.
While gasoline can be bought almost anywhere, propane supplies are
less plentiful.
"If my guys are out mowing somewhere and they run out of propane,
where are they going to fuel up?" he asked.
There are currently about 50 lawn care businesses using roughly
2,000 propane mowers nationally, mainly concentrated in Texas and
Florida, according to Metro Lawn. Metro Lawn can take care of these issues by providing gas your way, how you need it, when you need it.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
11-03-2011, 10:02 PM
Plain facts folks, we aren't going back to straight oil based gas equipment. Alternative fuels are only going to evolve and be improved over time. Small equip/engine mfg need to get on board or risk being left in the dust on this. Which mfg's want to get innovative? Those are the ones that will survive, not the ones tipping up their nose doing the same old things they did 30 years ago. Just ask GM how that worked out for them.

I give Kohler credit for development of the EFI Flex Fuel small engine. Who's next?

rob7233
11-06-2011, 11:34 PM
Go to Pure-gas.org to find stations near you. Also feel free to add any stations that offer pure gasoline that are not listed.

The products I recommend are Marine Grade Stabil (not the pink stuff!) and StarTron. I am in the Metro Orlando area of Florida and our Ethanol issues are especially bad.

Personally, I use "old school" Shindaiwa hand helds and use only pure gas since new rubber parts, gaskets etc are getting hard to find.
Using Non- Ethanol fuel is the only way to completely alleviate all the alcohol fuel related problems since additives will only correct some of them.

CL&T
11-14-2011, 08:33 PM
The question I would like answered: does it make sense from an enviromental perspective to switch to these more "environmentally friendly" standards and fuels? How "green" is it to have to replace the equipment every couple years (or less).

Gasoline with ethanol isn't and wasn't implemented to be "green". It was a feel good move by the government to make people think we are doing something about foreign oil dependence which it actually does little for. You get less mileage from ethanol fuel than straight gas. E-85 has been shown to be damaging to flex-fuel vehicles which are actually designed to run on 85% ethanol blend. The government provides a subsidy for corn producers from which ethanol is made and that has had the effect of driving up the prices of other corn products like corn flakes.

So in reality ethanol is just another goverment intrusion that benefits a special interest group at the expense of everybody else.

jvanvliet
11-17-2011, 06:48 AM
Go to Pure-gas.org to find stations near you. Also feel free to add any stations that offer pure gasoline that are not listed.

The products I recommend are Marine Grade Stabil (not the pink stuff!) and StarTron. I am in the Metro Orlando area of Florida and our Ethanol issues are especially bad.

Personally, I use "old school" Shindaiwa hand helds and use only pure gas since new rubber parts, gaskets etc are getting hard to find.
Using Non- Ethanol fuel is the only way to completely alleviate all the alcohol fuel related problems since additives will only correct some of them.

Great link; found pure gas right around the corner! :clapping:

Am having the same problems as everybody else. I think using mid grade & Lucas helped us a little bit, but it's hard to tell.

Also, with so many "ethanol" additives on the market, how do you make a decision on which one? Does anybody rate them, like Consumers Report?

victorpide05
12-10-2011, 01:01 AM
I haven't had any problems with fuel in my equipment whether it is line trimmers blowers or my bad boy zero turn. I we reading some of the earlier posts and i am just a little unsure as to what is really going on here. Apparently there is a higher quality fuel provider? which companies would those be?
Also i maybe reading this wrong but some of the posts talk about using the low grade fuel 87 octane compared to the mid grade 89 or high grade 93 levels of octane. The difference in the fuels is actually opposite of most of the arguments presented. The Higher levels of fuel contain more ethanol than the low grade.
Certain engines (mainly air cooled engines) can create hot spots and cause the fuel to ignite prematurely or detonate or knock. The way they changed that a long time ago was to put additives in the fuels typically ethanol. Ethanol Changes the volatility of the gas. With ethanol it takes more pressure to make the fuel detonate, therefore ensuring that it doesn't knock or tear up your engine. Unless you are running a diesel engine you want the fuel as controlled as possible so that your spark plug is what ignites the fuel. you do not want your engine detonating while the piston has not yet reached the top of its stroke, because if it does, it will try to push that piston back down the wrong way and cause serious problems to your engines.
Although I read the other posts or primer bubbles and gas lines corroding and have not yet had that happen, those are sooo cheap to replace i would much rather replace a primer bubble than the engine.

CL&T
12-10-2011, 11:40 AM
Also i maybe reading this wrong but some of the posts talk about using the low grade fuel 87 octane compared to the mid grade 89 or high grade 93 levels of octane. The difference in the fuels is actually opposite of most of the arguments presented. The Higher levels of fuel contain more ethanol than the low grade.

Absolutely not true. The amount of ethanol has nothing to do with the octane and it's not an anti-knock additive like lead was. Its required by law to be no more than 10% for any E10 fuel and is simply thrown in the tank truck at the fuel terminal to be mixed with the gasoline as it all slosshes around on route to the gas station. The only reason it's added is because the government wants the dumb ass public to think we are doing something about foreign oil while they subsidize corn producers. They couldn't give a s*** if it damages our equipment and vehicles. This is purely political and has no benefit other than a negative one.

CL&T
12-10-2011, 03:42 PM
Unfortunately, this is correct albeit a bit political.


Sorry about being political but there are some people out there who don't know why ethanol is put in gasoline. Unfortunately there is no answer other than politicians.

There is a thread similar to this over at a Ford F-150 forum where somebody asked about using E85 (85% ethanol). Once again the government required all manufacturers to produce gasoline powered vehicles that will run on E85 (Flex Fuel). But if you read the owners manual Ford cautions about higher maintenance (more frequent oil changes) and not running on E85 all the time. That should send up red flags right there. What it looks like to me is that they did the best they could to comply but it's at the expense of higher maintenance and shorter engine life. I think if they could legally get away with it they would just say that in the manual but you have to read between the lines to come to that conclusion.

victorpide05
12-11-2011, 04:07 AM
Octane rating does not relate to the energy content of the fuel (see heating value). It is only a measure of the fuel's tendency to burn in a controlled manner, rather than exploding in an uncontrolled manner. Where the octane number is raised by blending in ethanol, energy content per volume is reduced.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane_rating

or this article showing the reasons WHAT ethanol does for octane rating. Now if you want to say that it is the government giving subsidies to someone your probably right. could they use a different additive to the fuel to achieve the same thing? yes! there are many other candidates on the list in the Wikipedia article. But that's a different arguement in my opinion. I hate the government in my business too but the only way to change that is move or vote.


http://retail.petro-canada.ca/en/independent/2069.aspx
Why is ethanol an effective octane booster?

The octane number written on the gas pump is Anti-Knock Index (AKI). Itís an average of two octane ratings using the same test equipment but using different operating conditions. The methods produce a Research Octane number (RON) and a Motor Octane Number (MON). Both were once considered important and thatís why AKI is an average of the two. With modern engines and fuels systems, recent studies have shown that RON is more important than MON. So in these cars, the higher the RON the better these cars perform. For an AKI rating of 91 the lower the MON the higher the RON. This difference is called sensitivity. All gasoline components have different sensitivity. Most hydrocarbon components have low sensitivity. Ethanol has high sensitivity and so, modern performance cars benefit from gasolines with ethanol. Why does ethanol have higher sensitivity? One reason is related to the cooler combustion that results from ethanol combustion. Higher knock tendency is directly related to higher combustion temperature.
Here is a comparison of two fuels with different octane with and without ethanol.

91 Grade - no ethanol
RON 97.2
MON 85.6
Ultra 94 - with ethanol
RON 101.5
MON 88

Notice the difference in RON number from 91 grade without ethanol (97.2) and the RON of Ultra 94 (101.5). The difference is 4.3 numbers. That is significantly more than the 3 numbers difference between 94 and 91 AKI labelled on the pump. That is why gasoline with ethanol can be the best performance fuel for today's cars.

CL&T
12-11-2011, 01:32 PM
91 Grade - no ethanol
RON 97.2
MON 85.6
Ultra 94 - with ethanol
RON 101.5
MON 88

Notice the difference in RON number from 91 grade without ethanol (97.2) and the RON of Ultra 94 (101.5). The difference is 4.3 numbers. That is significantly more than the 3 numbers difference between 94 and 91 AKI labelled on the pump. That is why gasoline with ethanol can be the best performance fuel for today's cars.

That's comparing apples to oranges. I want to see straight 91 grade without ethanol compared to the same gasoline now with 10% ethanol added. I agree that the RON is going to increase but with 10% it's going to be slight. Matter of fact I don't even think the R+M/2 number on the pump even takes into account the added ethanol especially since it's added after the fact. Further, the intention for adding ethanol is not to boost octane, but to tell the public we have reduced our gasoline consumption by 10% with something produced in this country. Unfortunately in reality it doesn't work that way because of poorer mileage.

Here is what Ford has to say about E85 and remember that this is 85% ethanol and only 15% gasoline:

Want to add power to Ford's all-new 5.0-liter V-8 for the 2011 F-150 without making a single hardware or software change? Just burn E85 ethanol fuel.

360 horsepower (at 5,500 rpm) and 380 pounds-feet of torque (at 4,250 rpm) running on regular unleaded gasoline.

Burning E85 fuel boosts 5.0 engine power to 375 hp and 390 pounds-feet of torque, said Mike Harrison, Ford's program manager for V-8 engines.

Ethanol has a higher octane and heat-of-vaporization point than gasoline, meaning it combusts at a higher temperature and with greater force (higher compression) than gasoline, while also having a greater capacity to cool the fuel/air mix in the cylinder before combustion.

This inherent efficiency is what enables the 5.0 to produce more power while burning E85 instead of regular unleaded fuel.

There's a trade-off, though. Even though E85 combusts with greater force, it has less energy per gallon than regular unleaded gasoline, so fuel economy is worse when burning E85.

There's the reason straight ethanol is used as a racing fuel but at 10% in an engine designed for gasoline the benefit is less than zero.

Boit4852
01-13-2012, 02:23 AM
What do you mean "quality fuel"? Anything to back that up? There's a fuel refinery near one of my jobs. There isn't a spigot marked "the good stuff". Virtually all fuel comes from the same place. If you have any solid evidence that one brand of fuel is better than another I'd love to hear it? The biggest difference between brands of fuel is marketing. 89 octane E-10 is what it is. Unfortunately there is no pure gas available within 100 miles of St Louis (that I've found).

As far as fuel problems, fuel lines, primer bulbs, diaphragms. Only in the handhelds. I have several old Toro T-bar walk behinds, one a 1998, one a 1994. Both with Kohler command engines. No fuel problems from them ever. Both have a zillion hours on them.

I've heard (no proof) that the ethanol blend is not very precise. One batch of E-10 may be 5% ethanol, another batch may be nearly 20%. Purely heresay, but it does explain the occasional meltdown of plastic/rubber.

I understand the EPA is in the roadtest phase with E-15... Won't that be lovely? More ethanol. Probably find the point it kills 4-cycle stuff soon.

The question I would like answered: does it make sense from an enviromental perspective to switch to these more "environmentally friendly" standards and fuels? How "green" is it to have to replace the equipment every couple years (or less). And how much fuel gets "dumped" due to concerns of age or moisture? Or due to DIY service to combat rotted fuel lines etc? I suspect in typical fashion, the new Government standards and fuels have made matters worse rather than better.
Posted via Mobile Device


GG: You hit a grand slam with your questioning how green is it to have to toss equipment into a landfill because ethanol is ruining our tools. Also, what sense does it make to turn food into fuel when the population is increasing throughout the world? Was it Tunisia where the riots started last year due to spiking corn prices due to ethanol use as a fuel and then expanding into the so-called 'Arab spring'? The feds now want to increase the ethanol content in gasoline up to a point where it will have a seriously detrimental effect on ALL internal combustion engines, whether older or currently produced. BMW and M/Bz have already voiced their protests about this development. I betcha the feds don't give a damn about that. In the meantime, I have to add Startron or Sta-bil(ethanol fixer) to my fuel. It absolutely infuriates me that our politicians are sooooo stupid and get paid so highly for being stupid. Look at CFL light bulbs that are being touted as 'green' and yet, they have MERCURY in them. P.S., hey barney frank, please wear a bra! ( No caps for barney due to personal contempt.):rolleyes:

Fox Landscape Services
01-13-2012, 11:13 AM
I only use pure gas and have been for quite a while. Ethanol blended gas messed up every small engine I had. Hopefully, these stations will be able to continue to sell pure gas without the government stepping in.

whoopassonthebluegrass
01-13-2012, 02:45 PM
Ethanol is the only option available here now.

Bought a new Stihl trimmer back in May. By August, the primer bulb had already hardened, cracked, and failed.

I never get more than 2 years out of any handheld anymore. And, quite frankly, that 2nd year is often problematic.

whoopassonthebluegrass
01-13-2012, 02:53 PM
I've heard (no proof) that the ethanol blend is not very precise. One batch of E-10 may be 5% ethanol, another batch may be nearly 20%. Purely heresay, but it does explain the occasional meltdown of plastic/rubber.

This is not heresay. There was an article in ?Landscape Digest? (a Moose River mag) where they were discussing the threat of 15% ethanol. It was in that article where a guy down in the south had been testing ethanol fuel for years - and found wildly erratic percentages (from 5-20%). I'm too lazy to look up the article, but that really struck me when I read it and I've retained it since.

RussellB
01-13-2012, 03:53 PM
I'v seen several commercials for a TV show where they supposedly go out hunting for Bigfoot after reports of numerous sitings. I am now afraid to venture into the woods. That said, I have never experienced any issues with ethanol fuels.
Posted via Mobile Device

Richard Martin
01-13-2012, 05:07 PM
There is something you can do to help your larger equipment like mowers. Part of the problem with ethanol enhanced fuels is it eats rubber. If you're having a problem with it eating your fuel lines you can do one of 2 things.

1: Buy high quality, American made, fuel injection hose. These hoses are made to resist the alcohol. They do a much better job of it than a regular hose and a much better job than a Chinese manufactured hose.

2: You can use an even better hose than that though. I've been using EFI nylon fuel line when I can. It is a hard nylon tubing. It's inside size is .275" or slightly larger than 1/4". You have to heat it up to bend it into the shape you want and to slip it over fuel fittings. I've had no failures of this line so far and it's good for at least 20 years or so. You can buy it here: http://www.ronmorrisperformance.com/miva/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=rmp&Product_Code=9130&Category_Code=Fuel_Fittings_and_Fuel_Line

DA Quality Lawn & YS
01-16-2012, 11:08 PM
C'mon small engine manufacturers, get your technology up to date renewable fuels aren't going away.

CL&T
01-17-2012, 02:31 AM
It's not just a matter of making fuel system components resistant to ethanol, that can be done. It's the separation and water absorption that occurs in ethanol fuel that is causing damage also and that is not something that any vehicle or equipment manufacturer can do anything about. You can't make an engine run on water and crap. The only way to solve this is to vote the clowns out of office. Then this renewable fuel nonsense will go away.

Richard Martin
01-17-2012, 02:40 AM
The only way to solve this is to vote the clowns out of office. Then this renewable fuel nonsense will go away.

Renewable fuel isn't going anywhere. We can vote these clowns out and another set of clowns gets in. America doesn't have the balls to put someone into office that doesn't think like the rest of the clowns.

I can tell you right now the choice is coming down to Romney or Obama. They're one in the same. There might be slight differences in how they destroy America but just as sure as the day is long, they will both do the wrong thing.

CL&T
01-18-2012, 12:31 AM
Sadly you make a good point.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
01-24-2012, 12:39 AM
It's not just a matter of making fuel system components resistant to ethanol, that can be done. It's the separation and water absorption that occurs in ethanol fuel that is causing damage also and that is not something that any vehicle or equipment manufacturer can do anything about. You can't make an engine run on water and crap. The only way to solve this is to vote the clowns out of office. Then this renewable fuel nonsense will go away.

Yes you can, your ignorance clearly shows.
Lots of vehicles out these days that run on E-85. And at least that 'crap' is grown and harvested right here in the USA you dingdong. And although it is far from perfect, who knows what technologies it may segway into. I state again, renewables are not going away, they are only going advance

CL&T
01-24-2012, 02:18 AM
Yeah right. Let your Flex fuel vehicle sit for a few months with E85 in the tank and see how it runs. Ethanol is crap. The sooner you realize that the better everyone will be. You people that are drinking the government Kool Aid need to realize that ethanol doesn't save us ANYTHING and is just another asinine program like all the rest politicians dream up to put money into their own pockets.

CL&T
01-24-2012, 02:33 AM
And I forgot to add- remember MBTE? That garbage was added to gasoline before ethanol. Wow, this is great stuff. Really going to cut emissions. Then they found that it was seeping into ground water and contaminating it for miles around. Jackasses.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
01-24-2012, 03:40 AM
I always buy mid-grade fuel and have never bought more than I use in a week and I haven't had that many problems with my equipment other than maybe a fuel filter and primer bulb but that's about it....

pressley10r
01-24-2012, 01:32 PM
I was buying one new carb per year for all of my 2t handheld equipment until I found a couple local stations that sell ethanol-free. Startron and marine grade stabil are only a bandaid, you will still have gummed up carbs, just not as often. I'm happy as long as they keep ethanol free gas available, cause that's the only real option IMO to keep small 2t's running.

CL&T
01-24-2012, 01:55 PM
Sorry for the name calling that was aimed at politicians, certainly not members of this board. And yes I do get really upset when politicians force something down our throats that is obviously defective, benefits only the ethanol producers and pays subsidies (out of our tax money) to the gasoline producers.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
01-24-2012, 11:04 PM
I just got introduced to a products that reduces emissions and carbon build up inside engines, etc.. www.gpg3.com

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
01-25-2012, 12:21 PM
Well it got my buddys older truck to pass emissions when it failed a couple times prior so I know it works...
Posted via Mobile Device

Mark Oomkes
01-25-2012, 12:53 PM
Yes you can, your ignorance clearly shows.
Lots of vehicles out these days that run on E-85. And at least that 'crap' is grown and harvested right here in the USA you dingdong. And although it is far from perfect, who knows what technologies it may segway into. I state again, renewables are not going away, they are only going advance

Besides the other replies, tying food supplies into fuel\energy is just sooooooo brilliant. :rolleyes:

MSTmarc
03-14-2012, 03:39 PM
We have seen a lot of carbutetor problems because of the gass, these problems can't be fixed easy. Most of the time we are removing & replacing them because of cost.
Briggs just came out with there New Fuel Fromula and this should take care of all your carburetor and fuel problems.

Richard Martin
03-14-2012, 04:39 PM
We have seen a lot of carbutetor problems because of the gass, these problems can't be fixed easy. Most of the time we are removing & replacing them because of cost.
Briggs just came out with there New Fuel Fromula and this should take care of all your carburetor and fuel problems.

Something else to add to the cost of expensive gas.

gusbuster
03-17-2012, 10:45 PM
In CA, been dealing with this crap for a long time. Bout the the only thing you can do is just follow manufactures recommendations of at least using 89 octane gas, good quality gas(brand names like shell Exxon Chevron) all use secret formulas adding various detergents bla bla bla....(that can be argued if worth the extra cost) and they maintain there storage tanks better. its the storage tanks where moisture will get into fuel.

Since the intro of ethnoyl to CA market, our spark plugs foul easier...gas prices are never really stable and our food prices have skyrockted because of politics of ehtonoyl.

Simple fact, if they took the tarrifs off of sugar beets, our food prices would drop and possible fuel cost too. Corn ethnoyl is subiside too much. tale the sugar beet tarrif off and watch the corn market take a dump.

John

MSTmarc
03-19-2012, 09:44 AM
Kohler had a recall on one of there engines because the gas killed the carburetor. As for the price it's 10 bucks and treats 40 gallons.

Michael2000
06-16-2012, 07:28 PM
I have replaced the carburetors on 80% of my equipment now. On one piece of equipment, the engine didn't cost much more than the carburetor, so the engine got replaced. I'm sure the manufacture of that engine used a fair bit of energy. I had two carburetors go in one week due to ethanol gas. It's amazing how fast it can ruin a carburetor, just a few minutes.

If there was good equipment that ran on propane or cng (with home base filling unit), I would be all over it. I'm really sick of this so called gasoline, and where I live, that's all we have for 400 miles.

Michael

Mark Oomkes
06-19-2012, 06:09 AM
My runnability problems have disappeared.

Has something to do with no longer using ethanol. I am paying more for real gas, but it is worth it.

cgaengineer
06-19-2012, 06:54 AM
That's comparing apples to oranges. I want to see straight 91 grade without ethanol compared to the same gasoline now with 10% ethanol added. I agree that the RON is going to increase but with 10% it's going to be slight. Matter of fact I don't even think the R+M/2 number on the pump even takes into account the added ethanol especially since it's added after the fact. Further, the intention for adding ethanol is not to boost octane, but to tell the public we have reduced our gasoline consumption by 10% with something produced in this country. Unfortunately in reality it doesn't work that way because of poorer mileage.

Here is what Ford has to say about E85 and remember that this is 85% ethanol and only 15% gasoline:

Want to add power to Ford's all-new 5.0-liter V-8 for the 2011 F-150 without making a single hardware or software change? Just burn E85 ethanol fuel.

360 horsepower (at 5,500 rpm) and 380 pounds-feet of torque (at 4,250 rpm) running on regular unleaded gasoline.

Burning E85 fuel boosts 5.0 engine power to 375 hp and 390 pounds-feet of torque, said Mike Harrison, Ford's program manager for V-8 engines.

Ethanol has a higher octane and heat-of-vaporization point than gasoline, meaning it combusts at a higher temperature and with greater force (higher compression) than gasoline, while also having a greater capacity to cool the fuel/air mix in the cylinder before combustion.

This inherent efficiency is what enables the 5.0 to produce more power while burning E85 instead of regular unleaded fuel.

There's a trade-off, though. Even though E85 combusts with greater force, it has less energy per gallon than regular unleaded gasoline, so fuel economy is worse when burning E85.

There's the reason straight ethanol is used as a racing fuel but at 10% in an engine designed for gasoline the benefit is less than zero.

Hmm...this backs up some of my posts in another thread.
Posted via Mobile Device

cgaengineer
06-19-2012, 07:01 AM
I've had one problem with a fuel pump that I can only think was from ethanol...first pump (mikuni) lasted 5 years, second pump (rotary) lasted 1 month, third pump (mikuni) has been good so far so I can only think that the first pump that sims decided to dissolve one day had had enough...the second was inferior plastic not designed for alcohol and the third being OEM is again designed to handle alcohol fuels.

Zero problems with other equipment and I but the cheapest fuel I can find...I am not fuel brand loyal. I use no additives in any fuel.
Posted via Mobile Device

cgaengineer
06-19-2012, 07:05 AM
There is something you can do to help your larger equipment like mowers. Part of the problem with ethanol enhanced fuels is it eats rubber. If you're having a problem with it eating your fuel lines you can do one of 2 things.

1: Buy high quality, American made, fuel injection hose. These hoses are made to resist the alcohol. They do a much better job of it than a regular hose and a much better job than a Chinese manufactured hose.

2: You can use an even better hose than that though. I've been using EFI nylon fuel line when I can. It is a hard nylon tubing. It's inside size is .275" or slightly larger than 1/4". You have to heat it up to bend it into the shape you want and to slip it over fuel fittings. I've had no failures of this line so far and it's good for at least 20 years or so. You can buy it here: http://www.ronmorrisperformance.com/miva/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=rmp&Product_Code=9130&Category_Code=Fuel_Fittings_and_Fuel_Line

Fuel line for radio controlled equipment should be alcohol resistant, also look for fuel hose for alcohol kart racing.
Posted via Mobile Device

Mark Oomkes
06-19-2012, 07:10 AM
I've had one problem with a fuel pump that I can only think was from ethanol...first pump (mikuni) lasted 5 years, second pump (rotary) lasted 1 month, third pump (mikuni) has been good so far so I can only think that the first pump that sims decided to dissolve one day had had enough...the second was inferior plastic not designed for alcohol and the third being OEM is again designed to handle alcohol fuels.

Zero problems with other equipment and I but the cheapest fuel I can find...I am not fuel brand loyal. I use no additives in any fuel.
Posted via Mobile Device

My mechanic loves ethanol. He said it is great work for him as it causes the rubber inside fuel pumps to swell and stop pumping.

Then again, he loves Ford's 6.0 POS diesel because that brings a lot of work his way too.

cgaengineer
06-19-2012, 07:33 AM
My mechanic loves ethanol. He said it is great work for him as it causes the rubber inside fuel pumps to swell and stop pumping.

Then again, he loves Ford's 6.0 POS diesel because that brings a lot of work his way too.

This particular pump was a diaphragm pump on a mower, not a typical gear pump on an auto.
Posted via Mobile Device

Keith
07-06-2012, 03:31 AM
Busted rotted primer bulbs, rotted fuel lines, and a broken seal on a fuel tank.
Posted via Mobile Device

And quick too, apparently. All of my current equipment has never seen E10, until July 4th. I didn't want to do it, but I ran out of gas with two lawns to go. Picked up 1 gallon and threw the bottle of oil in there. By late yesterday afternoon I had a Kawi edger and trimmer with split primer bulbs. The edger refuses to rev at all. This a piece of equipment that has never given me a minute of problem. On the last lawn today the blower is slow to revs and sounds terrible.

I guess I should have just called it a day and waited until Thursday morning the get my gasoline. I knew not to do it, but figured I was being paranoid and one tank wouldn't hurt anything.

GreenT
07-06-2012, 08:04 AM
And quick too, apparently.


That would be way too quick, imo.

.

cgaengineer
07-06-2012, 08:13 AM
That would be way too quick, imo.

.

Yeah, one day ain't gonna do what you describe.
Posted via Mobile Device

ngibson6
07-08-2012, 07:22 PM
I see you folks are quite passionate about this subject. Discussion good, namecalling bad. Just my .02.

I think we can all agree that ethanol costs much more than is passed-on. How long the Gov will continue to support this cost, who knows?

Unfortunately unless we go E100 we are still forced to import a substantial amount of oil.

The shelf life of ordinary gasoline is two weeks. Ethanol separates from gasoline (floats) a lot faster than that.

I don't think ethanol is the answer. It simply costs too much to produce plus it's very hard starting in cold weather.

We have domestic fuels available and not just propane. Why reinvent the wheel?




Hard starting in cold weather has nothing to do with ethanol. I'm originally from up north and experienced temps as low as -35F and never once felt there was a starting issue with a vehicle because of ethanol.

Also to those of you whining about subsidies, those expired at the end of 2011.

As for the notion that the entire kernel is used for ethanol production and there is nothing left, this is false. One of the by-products is dried distillers grains (DDGs) and this is fed to livestock.

I have never had an issue with any piece of equipment because of ethanol. Have a Shindaiwa trimmer that's six years old with the original carb. Shindaiwa blower that's 7 years old with original carb. I have read so many times someone will buy a trimmer or whatever and after a month say that ethanol ate the primer, fuel lines, ect. Then why don't you have to replace all primer bulbs, fuel lines, carbs, fuel pumps on everything monthly? This just doesn't make sense. I know someone who has a stihl trimmer that is almost 25 years old with the original primer, fuel lines and carb.

As far as ethanol wrecking fuel pumps in cars and trucks, I had a early 90s truck that ran ethanol all it's life. Original fuel pump was replaced at around 250,000 miles.

We had ethanol come to the pumps up north in the late 80s. I remember all the doom and gloom talk about how it was going to wreck everything and small engines would burn up and all that. Funny thing after a few months nothing happened and it was never talked about again.

These are all just my observations obviously but just can not understand how one guy has nothing but problems that are supposedly traced back to ethanol, and another guy has no problems. And they are running similar equipment.

Mark Oomkes
07-18-2012, 03:39 PM
Hard starting in cold weather has nothing to do with ethanol. I'm originally from up north and experienced temps as low as -35F and never once felt there was a starting issue with a vehicle because of ethanol.

Also to those of you whining about subsidies, those expired at the end of 2011.

As for the notion that the entire kernel is used for ethanol production and there is nothing left, this is false. One of the by-products is dried distillers grains (DDGs) and this is fed to livestock.

I have never had an issue with any piece of equipment because of ethanol. Have a Shindaiwa trimmer that's six years old with the original carb. Shindaiwa blower that's 7 years old with original carb. I have read so many times someone will buy a trimmer or whatever and after a month say that ethanol ate the primer, fuel lines, ect. Then why don't you have to replace all primer bulbs, fuel lines, carbs, fuel pumps on everything monthly? This just doesn't make sense. I know someone who has a stihl trimmer that is almost 25 years old with the original primer, fuel lines and carb.

As far as ethanol wrecking fuel pumps in cars and trucks, I had a early 90s truck that ran ethanol all it's life. Original fuel pump was replaced at around 250,000 miles.

We had ethanol come to the pumps up north in the late 80s. I remember all the doom and gloom talk about how it was going to wreck everything and small engines would burn up and all that. Funny thing after a few months nothing happened and it was never talked about again.

These are all just my observations obviously but just can not understand how one guy has nothing but problems that are supposedly traced back to ethanol, and another guy has no problems. And they are running similar equipment.

Then explain to me why after switching to recreational gas (ZERO ethanol) all my problems have gone away? Heck of a coincidence.

Panhead
07-26-2012, 09:57 AM
2004 Exmark, sat for 3 weeks due to drought. Rained the last week and didn't think anything of it. Went to cut my first lawn of the day and it sputtered, couldn't stay running. Replace fuel filter, I mean you could actually see dirty floating. That didn't work so I drained the bowl, found water...literally water inside the bowl. Also had to play with the mixure adjustment screw to get the passage cleaned. Wasted 2 hours trying to figure it out, all because of this ethanol bullshit. They also need to filter fuel better!

Mark Oomkes
07-26-2012, 10:12 AM
2004 Exmark, sat for 3 weeks due to drought. Rained the last week and didn't think anything of it. Went to cut my first lawn of the day and it sputtered, couldn't stay running. Replace fuel filter, I mean you could actually see dirty floating. That didn't work so I drained the bowl, found water...literally water inside the bowl. Also had to play with the mixure adjustment screw to get the passage cleaned. Wasted 2 hours trying to figure it out, all because of this ethanol bullshit. They also need to filter fuel better!

No, I'm sure you're mistaken.

Despite that's what I've seen time and again.

Despite all the money I've spent on filters, carb cleanouts, throwing gas away because of all the water in it, and despite the fact that I have not had any problems in close to 2 months since switching away from that crap.

It just couldn't be the ethanol. :rolleyes: ;)

ump107
07-31-2012, 12:32 PM
I am Firefighter /EMT in my town we have multiple Gas and Gas oil mix tools on average we were sending out tools every 2-3 months for carburetor repairs cleaning and adjustments, one solution we tried was running the tools 15 min every week, still resulted in engine problems. I know in the lawn care business you guys are running the tools a 100 times more than that. There is nothing worse than trying to start a saw to vent a roof or trying to fire up a pump engine to operate a hydraulic tool and not being able to get it to run, or walking into the station and having fuel running out of the compartment because the fuel line rotted away.
On the recommendation of a Stihl dealer we switched to SEF94 fuel. It is a small engine racing fuel (Not cheap about $8-14 a gallon). Since we made the switch after the initial run in period and minor adjustments the tools start right up and have no issues we are actually back to running the tools 1 time per month as opposed to 5 times. Other agencies have switched to Tool fuel and True fuel, and seem to have had similar results (I have been using True Fuel in my personal equipment found it at Lowes). Iím not sure if any of you have tried these fuels but there is no ethanol in them and you can even buy it in premixed cans for your different tools. The cost may be a preventive factor for some running it in mowers, but for trimmers and chain saws it might save money in the long run. Since I didn't see any posts on these alternates to gas station fuels I thought I would throw it out there for consideration.

CL&T
07-31-2012, 01:26 PM
Yeah, I know I talked about SEF 94 around here before. That's another companies version of what you are talking about. Stihl makes a version also that is available from their dealers. Unfortunately for the quantities we use and also considering shipping the cost is way prohibitive.

If the government is going to continue on this crusade of ever increasing ethanol levels they are going to have make E0 available to those who need it. No power equipment manufactured to date is allowed to run on anything more than E10 and we all know the damage and problems even that causes.

If they are concerned about E0 being used in over the road vehicles, work something out along the lines of dyed diesel and make the nozzels too large to fit into gasoline fillers like is done for diesel. I would also expect that the cost would be more per gallon also but it shouldn't include highway taxes because it's for off-road use.

Mark Oomkes
07-31-2012, 02:47 PM
I am Firefighter /EMT in my town we have multiple Gas and Gas oil mix tools on average we were sending out tools every 2-3 months for carburetor repairs cleaning and adjustments, one solution we tried was running the tools 15 min every week, still resulted in engine problems. I know in the lawn care business you guys are running the tools a 100 times more than that. There is nothing worse than trying to start a saw to vent a roof or trying to fire up a pump engine to operate a hydraulic tool and not being able to get it to run, or walking into the station and having fuel running out of the compartment because the fuel line rotted away.
On the recommendation of a Stihl dealer we switched to SEF94 fuel. It is a small engine racing fuel (Not cheap about $8-14 a gallon). Since we made the switch after the initial run in period and minor adjustments the tools start right up and have no issues we are actually back to running the tools 1 time per month as opposed to 5 times. Other agencies have switched to Tool fuel and True fuel, and seem to have had similar results (I have been using True Fuel in my personal equipment found it at Lowes). Iím not sure if any of you have tried these fuels but there is no ethanol in them and you can even buy it in premixed cans for your different tools. The cost may be a preventive factor for some running it in mowers, but for trimmers and chain saws it might save money in the long run. Since I didn't see any posts on these alternates to gas station fuels I thought I would throw it out there for consideration.

This is what has been confusing me, because we haven't had any problems with our saws, fans, power units for jaws, etc. I am in amazement, other than they sit in a relatively constant environment except when on calls. We run them once a week for a couple minutes at a time.

If the government is going to continue on this crusade of ever increasing ethanol levels they are going to have make E0 available to those who need it. No power equipment manufactured to date is allowed to run on anything more than E10 and we all know the damage and problems even that causes.

I don't know this for a fact, just what my mechanic has told me, but he is pretty up to date on these things. Supposedly, the EPA has allowed recreational gas for marinas and those using small equipment. I did not sign anything when my rec gas tank was delivered, but I only have 1 gas vehicle in my fleet.

Maybe someone could talk the Google master Green T into finding an article or chart about this. :cool2:

CL&T
07-31-2012, 06:36 PM
Supposedly, the EPA has allowed recreational gas for marinas and those using small equipment.

As far as I know from everything I have read there is no law that says gas stations have to sell ethanol fuel. They do it for two reasons: First is that they only have two tanks for gasoline, one for 83 octane and another for 97. In between grades are a blend of the two and obviously they are going to be E10. So a station selling E0 has to have another tank and pump like those selling E85 or diesel. The second and probably the biggest reason is that the stations get a kickback to sell ethanol fuels from the government.