[DML] Re: What effect- Ethanol?
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[DML] Re: What effect- Ethanol?

In short, yes, yes, and yes. We've been running 10% ethanol here in 
the Chicago area since around 1982 so we have a ton of experience 
with it. I recently saw a dramatic example of the difference, as I'm 
in the process of "bringing back to life" the second of two long-
storage cars.  

Car #1 - not run in ~3 years, stored in the Chicago area so likely 
stored with ethanol gas in it. Stored inside in climate-controlled 
storage, car has never been in the rain. Maybe 4 gallons in tank. 
Noted - rust on boot support, very strong "turpentine" smell, fuel 
boot deterioration (replaced maybe 3 years ago). Very "stuck" fuel 
distributor, obvious signs of rust deposits inside fuel lines and 
accumulator. Fuel pump locked, it was also ~3 years old. Frequency 
valve stuck. Everything (but the pump) did clean up after 
considerable work an the car is now running great.

Car #2 - not been started since 1992 (14 years!), from outside the 
immediate Chicago area, so it was most likely driven and put away 
with normal 100% gas in it. Stored in a normal garage, normal 
seasonal humidity changes, etc. Maybe 1.5 gallons in tank. It still 
smelled bad, but there was NO rust on fuel support, perfectly clean 
lines and ports, fuel distributor plunger was sticky but not like 
glue, i.e. it came apart with a tug rather than a ton of solvent and 
violence. The original 14+year-old fuel pump still works. The two in-
tank hoses look fine. Probably another week before I get it running, 
though. I'm still replacing the filter and accumulator just on 
general age-related principals.

Between the two cars, I expected the opposite. The only thing I can 
attribute the better condition of Car #2 was thae fact that it was 
put away with plain regular gasoline albeit a bit less of it in the 
tank too. 

Moral of the story - if you are going to store a car for more than 6 
month, drain the tank and fuel system. Otherwise - DRIVE IT. The 
shelf-life of ethanol-containing fuel is very short, it attracts 
water, it's more corrosive. The ethanol is added to the gasoline as 
it is loaded into the delivery truck - there's a reason for this. But 
it still picks up water in the storage tank at the station. Once this 
is in your car, over time it separates (if not driven which serves to 
keep it mixed and fresh). Then it seems to start a nice little 
weather system in the tank causing rust on parts that are not even 
submerged in fuel.

I do not see these issues on cars that run more than a tank or two of 
fuel thru them per year. 

Dave S

--- In dmcnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "Tell you if you ask." <racuti1@...> 
> What effect are we likely to see on our engines and fuel systems
> as ethanol replaces MTBE in the fuel supply? 
> I'm not asking if our engines can run on E85, just regular fuel 
> the ethanol additive that replaced the MTBE.
> I've replaced my main fuel pump lines with Grady's orange non-
> conductive hoses and the fuel distributor lines with Special T's 
> stainless braided lines. I don't recall if the diaphram in the 
> accumulator is rubber or metal so it may be vulnerable. What about 
> other fuel components?
> Will the fuel degrade (turn into varnish/gum) faster?
> Should we be more concerned about water in the fuel since ethanol 
> absorbs water more readily than MTBE?
> Thanks,
> Rich A.
> #5335

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