Regular with up to 10% booze-a-haul, or high octane w/out?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by Toadmund, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Toadmund

    Toadmund New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    792
    Likes Received:
    0
    Which would be best to put in my tank?
    I'm thinking regular with 10% is the right choice.
    But I don't want high octane, but it has no alcohol.
    I really don't know.
    Why are they putting alcohol in gas anyway, it is heavily subsidized, uses food crops and is NOT the better environmental choice as it requires more energy to make than to produce gas.
    Is gasahol bad for a little 2 stroke?

    Anyone else have to type around cats?
     
  2. DaveC

    DaveC Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    970
    Likes Received:
    0
    Go into a motorcycle shop and ask them. I'll bet they got nothing to say but nasty stuff about mixed fuel. The E85 cars they make are hardened against the corrosive nature of Ethanol fuels. I worked on a USAC Midget in the 80's. One of the chores I had was to go around with a pair of pliers and squeeze all the fittings in the fuel system. The Midgets ran on 100% Methanol. Every once in a while a squeezed fitting would crumble into a powder-like substance and I would replace the fitting. I got real good at stainless steel braided hose line repair. That chore has been lessened or eliminated by the new stainless steel fittings they use now. They cost more but there's no replacement problems with them, they are unaffected by the methanol.

    I know the amount of alcohol in the gas is small but it's still enough to cause problems down the road, especially when it sits in the aluminum fuel bowl on your carb. It's eating away at your carb as you sleep :p
     
  3. Longshot270

    Longshot270 New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    The high octane is safer for your engine than the E10. Octane rating just refers to the stability of the fuel. Higher number means it is more stable.
     
  4. DaveC

    DaveC Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    970
    Likes Received:
    0
    The higher number means it burns slower. Gasoline actually burns too fast for hi-compression motors and is not resistant to pre-ignition. That's why if you put regular gas in a hi compression motor you get "ping". And the additives needed to slow down the burn cost more so the the price for hi-test premium is higher. Alcohol has a hi octane rateing which is why it's used for racing, it just takes twice as much alcohol as gas. Air/fuel ratio for gas is 14:1, for alcohol it's 7:1. A not-so-cheap way to raise octain rating is to add tolulene, a paint thinner, to the gas. Tolulene has an octane rating of 117 which is why it's added to gas now. When they first cut-off tetra ethyl lead for use in gasoline they needed something to raise the octane and tolulene is one of the things they used.
     
  5. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    11,529
    Likes Received:
    4
    Been running gas-o-hol for years in everything I own, no problems.

    Why waste money on high octane gas when it has no added performance value?
     
  6. Longshot270

    Longshot270 New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exactly

    Where do you live? I've heard that some areas have fuel that isn't as problematic.
     
  7. 2door

    2door Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    16,310
    Likes Received:
    38
    What you have to watch out for is fuel lines, anything rubber or neoprene will see a shorter life running alcohol based fuels. The kit supplied fuel lines are prone to premature degradation and the alcohol will hasten that. The engine won't really care but gaskets and other parts that are in contact with your fuel will suffer. That includes the 'O' rings in the kit petcock and the one on the intake manifold/carburetor, if you're using one there.

    Tom
     
  8. Toadmund

    Toadmund New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    792
    Likes Received:
    0
    So if I replaced the petcock with a quality resistant one, and same with the hose I should not worry to much?
    Do some 2 stroke oils mix not well with it in the gas?

    Thanks for the replys.
     
  9. Longshot270

    Longshot270 New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't forget the rubber in the carb. Other than that you should be fine. But I'd run a tank of good gas ever so often. Even E85 vehicles say to run regular gas every few tanks.

    Not sure about mixing oil with it. I toyed with the idea of E85 conversion but the only place around here with that is Valero, and they are the price of Shell without the quality.
     
  10. wayne z

    wayne z New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,746
    Likes Received:
    0
  11. Goat Herder

    Goat Herder Gutter Rider

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    6,251
    Likes Received:
    3
    I work in a small engine shop and the fuel here does it's toll a bit on the rubber cut out diaphragms in the Chinese petcocks. Wind up putting diaphragm kits in carburetors and needle valve kits for the floats that utilize a rubber tip on the needles seat. It is not the end of the world but one can access it does dry out and harden the hoses as well.

    I have seen first hand the pit marks in a float bowl. Not worried about it much as that takes a very long time to do and has not compromised anything. Occasionally there is a mystery carb that will not tune? Not going to say that is a coincidence tho as a cheep carb is a cheep carb.

    My currant two stroke engines are of high compression ran at a high altitude. The manufacture specs call for a tad higher octane. So at 100 plus miles to the gallon been using higher grade pump fuel. Tried racing gas once ''high octane blue colored'' and liked it in this engine.Have not actually used regular in quite awhile so could not really say the difference here. If I was using a H.T. and never modded the compression it would be regular low octane grade, but I don't use those engines anymore..

    As for our lawn mowers weed whackers etc plain ol regular grade here works just fine.;)
     
  12. bigbutterbean

    bigbutterbean New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    A lot of people have different opinions about ethanol, but I did some research on it, and didnt find any information to back up any of the negativity typically associated with consumers opinions. I myself have had the same carburetor for 3 years, and inspect it every so often for wear and tear, especially since I have no fuel filter. Havent found anything wrong with my carb yet. I never used the kit fuel line, so I cant speak about the degradation associated with that. I buy the mid-grade gasoline and use supertech universal oil from wallyworld. I dont believe that E10 can cause any excessive amount of wear and tear to an ht engine in any short amount of time. An ht engine kit will probably far outlive its usefulness before E10 does any serious harm. There are also a plethora of fuel stabilizers available to combat any potential harmful effects that may be associated with ethanol for those that may still be worried about it. i dont use a fuel stabilizer. I wouldnt recommend E15 or E20, because above a certain percentage, ethanol mixed with gas will burn hotter than regular gas. at ten percent, it actually burns a bit cooler, which is good for small engines. I am basing this information solely on my own personal research. if it is wrong, then please provide links to accurate information showing facts about ethanol, so that we all may be better informed.
     
  13. Toadmund

    Toadmund New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    792
    Likes Received:
    0
    wayne z,

    My city is not listed.
    I don't know how long they have been putting ethanol in the gas, but I just realized last week this fact.
    I thought it was just a US thing.

    I noticed my rubber fuel line is not soft like it used to be, it's hard and does not like to go back on, one day it got cracked.
    I blamed it on the regular gas leeching out the plastic softeners.
    Could be that 10% ethanol then.

    My Echo power blend 2 stroke oil contains stabilizers, I thought that was there primarily to store the gas, but perhaps they do it for the ethanol damage too?

    Alcohol, the cause of, and the solution to; all of lifes problems.
    Homer Simpson.

    Not just bad for your liver and brain anymore.
     
    #13 Toadmund, Jun 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  14. bigbutterbean

    bigbutterbean New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    The "stabilizers" in oil are there primarily to make it sound good on the container. They have nothing to do with storing the gas or protecting your engine. The stabilizers that are sold separately are of a much better quality, and not very expensive. few dollars for a pint or a quart, forget which, that you only need a capful or two to mix with a whole gallon of gas. I dont use fuel stabilizers myself.
     
  15. GSX

    GSX New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    E10 IS JUNK! It accounts for 75% of breakdowns i fix. Dont use it whatever it takes!
     
  16. Greg58

    Greg58 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,937
    Likes Received:
    90
    Here in Ga. in the 13 county metro Atlanta clean air zone all fuel contains ethanol. What I have found is over time every small engine leaks fuel, all hoses will harden and crack. My leaf blower only made it about three months before it started leaking. So now everytime I buy fuel I put ethanol treatment in first then the fuel and mix. Red stabil does not have the additives needed, the green does. I use the additive 4 plus 2 by omc marine for outboard engines in my boat, so that what I use in all small engines. The mechanic at the marina says since the adding of ethanol to fuel the carb problems on older engines has increased.
     
  17. bigbutterbean

    bigbutterbean New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    a lot of people offer conjecture about the harmful effects of E10, but no one seems to be able to provide data or facts regarding the subject, other than what they claim to be their own personal experiences.
     
  18. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    7,209
    Likes Received:
    5
    Direct personal experience isn't conjecture, the conclusions one draws may be however.

    Regardless, the detrimental effects of ethanol & blends while sometimes overstated, are well known & documented in galvanic effect, hygroscopic nature and it's propensity for the degradation of elastomers.

    Try keyword searching "ethanol harmful effects on engines";

    For our application however, the above is easily compensated for as the corrosive galvanic effect on aluminum alloys with an E10/E15 is negligible and the elastomer gaskets/seals and lines are easily replaced with alcohol resistant components.
     
  19. bigbutterbean

    bigbutterbean New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah I guess the conclusions are what I meant to call conjecture, not the experiences themselves. I should have clarified that.
     
  20. Mozenrath

    Mozenrath New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    Since I've already done the ethanol experiment, I'll share my findings.

    The majority of the parts in these kits work just fine with ethanol fuel. The only parts I have found that need replacing are the fuel line(any quality fuel line will do), the float bowl gasket on the NT carb(this thing melts with E85), and the stock petcock(which is a piece of chinee junk anyway and should be replaced). Other than that, I have run my engine hundreds of miles on E85 with no negative effects. The only downside is the amount of tweaking involved; you have to re-size the jet in the carb, and even then, it can be a little tough getting the engine to idle properly. Oh, and you can only use ester-based synthetic 2-stroke oil, which can usually be found at motorcycle/dirtbike shops.

    Running on mostly ethanol shows a noticeable decrease in power, but marginally. It still hauls my fat rear up hills. If you are riding on a level grade, chances are you won't notice any significant difference in power.

    I have also run my engine on pure denatured alcohol and it runs just as fine.

    So is E10 gasoline bad for your engine? In my opinion, no. I am sure there are some other older 2-stroke engines that have issues with ethanol in fuel, but I have found very little evidence to show that ethanol is harmful to our little bike engines themselves. The only thing close to that would be the fact that ethanol absorbs a lot of water, and supposedly running old ethanol fuel in an engine will cause rust. But then all you'd have to do is keep ethanol in a sealed container and try to use fresh stuff as much as possible.

    Sure, I don't see any harm in using pure gasoline, but with these engines, I doubt there will be any significant difference in engine life and performance. I personally prefer ethanol fuel because it is cheaper and it has an awesome smell to it. Riding with gasoline made me smell awful after a ride, but I don't have that problem with ethanol.

    By the way, if any of you have seen my thread on my broken crankshaft, I am certain that was not caused by my ethanol fuel. I foolishly tried to hammer off my small bevel gear multiple times(and failed), and I think that jacked up my crankshaft.
     

Share This Page