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  #11  
Old 08-20-2011, 11:12 AM
mowingmachine mowingmachine is offline
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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.
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  #12  
Old 08-20-2011, 12:42 PM
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Richard Martin Richard Martin is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrassGuerilla View Post
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.
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  #13  
Old 08-20-2011, 01:32 PM
Mark Oomkes Mark Oomkes is online now
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Originally Posted by GrassGuerilla View Post
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.
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  #14  
Old 08-20-2011, 01:42 PM
JDiepstra JDiepstra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Oomkes View Post

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?
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  #15  
Old 08-20-2011, 01:54 PM
Mark Oomkes Mark Oomkes is online now
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Originally Posted by JDiepstra View Post
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.
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  #16  
Old 08-20-2011, 03:28 PM
JDiepstra JDiepstra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Oomkes View Post
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....
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  #17  
Old 08-22-2011, 12:42 AM
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kemco kemco is offline
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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.
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  #18  
Old 10-07-2011, 01:38 AM
Jungle J Jungle J is offline
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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.
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  #19  
Old 11-03-2011, 09:02 PM
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DA Quality Lawn & YS DA Quality Lawn & YS is offline
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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?
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  #20  
Old 11-06-2011, 10:34 PM
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rob7233 rob7233 is offline
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Ethanol free - Gas Sources by State

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.
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