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Thread: ethanol in gas

  1. #1
    Member franklinfleagle's Avatar
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    Default ethanol in gas

    does anybody know if any of the gas stations in alaska sell gas with no ethanol? below is an excerpt of an article from amsnow explaining what the ethanol does to us 2 stroke snowmobilers... so if anybody knows which, if any in alaska, sells pure gas, be it premium or whatever... i live in wasilla, i'm going to do some asking around when i stop at gas stations see if they know anything, but if anybody else might have an idea of somewhere to get some good ol school gas that won't run as high of a risk of burning down, please lemme know, thanks in advance

    "Unless youíre a serious horsepower junky with an engine built specifically to run on alcohol, this kind of fuel is very bad for your fuel system and engine. Ethanol, the form of alcohol widely blended into many grades of gasoline today, has qualities that can cause major headaches when used in your snowmobile engine.

    First, itís an oxygenate, which means that it contains or draws in oxygen. This has the same effect on your engine as an air leak in your intake tract or seals, causing your engine to run considerably leaner.
    Another bad quality, ethanol is hygroscopic, which means that it ingests water. The ethanol in your fuel will, by nature, draw moisture from the atmosphere. The longer it is exposed to air, the more it will ingest. Finally it will reach the point that the alcohol/water mixture becomes heavier than the gasoline that suspends it. This is where phase separation occurs. The mixture of alcohol and water drops out of suspension in the gas and becomes a blob of nasty crud in the bottom of your fuel tank, float bowl, or gas can.

    Phase separation causes two problems. One is that blob that will find its way into your engine where it will wreak havoc, but the underlying problem can cause just as much trouble, or more. When phase separation occurs, the gasoline that is left behind loses its octane rating.

    Ethanol has a higher resistance to self-ignition than gasoline. This resistance to self-ignition is the basis for your octane rating. The higher the number, the more a fuel will resist self-ignition. For example, if your blended fuel had a rating of 87 and you take away the octane benefits of the ethanol, your rating will drop considerably. If youíre already playing tight to the fence of your octane requirements, this could mean death for your engine.

    Another negative, ethanol does not facilitate an oil mixture as well as gasoline, at least not for long. Ethanol, because it is vegetable based, does not blend well with petroleum. Over time your 2-stroke oil will separate from the alcohol just as the alcohol will separate from the gasoline. While it may not be quite as big of a deal for oil-injected engines, it can be vital in a premix situation. "

  2. #2
    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    No doubt alcohol is hard on rubber carb parts like diaphrams and stuff, but you add heat to your gas to keep things from freezing up and your basically taking good gas and turning it to the same thing as corn gas when you do that. You don't need heat with corn gas is all I'm saying. You just make it worse by doing so.
    Do I like corn gas? NO NO NO, but get used to it, cuz were stuck with it I think. I don't think it hurts your carb/s that bad in the winter when your running it, but get some Sea foam run thru it for summer storage and start it now and then to keep the carb from drying out. It's the dry carb that the alcohol starts to corrode. Keep those diaphrams wet all summer and they last way longer. JMO
    And I won't say no more on this subject as I know it's gonna get ugly from here on in....
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

  3. #3

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    Don't take anyones word on it. Too much misinformation out there. Test it for yourself. Get a small clear bottle. Get some of the gas you normally want to use/test. Fill the bottle halfway up with gas. Draw a line on the bottle with a Sharpie, at the level of the gas. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with water. Shake the bottle. Note the level of gas now in the bottle. If it is above the line you drew, you are in for trouble. The gas absorbed some of the water.....bad medicine for 2 stroke or aluminumn motors/parts. Only want to use gas that won't absorb water.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I am not sure but I don't believe they sell ethanol blends in Alaska.
    On the Peninsula I have never seen it anyway.
    I guess Tesoro could ship it up and blend it in but I am unaware that they do so.
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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Don't take anyones word on it. Too much misinformation out there. Test it for yourself. Get a small clear bottle. Get some of the gas you normally want to use/test. Fill the bottle halfway up with gas. Draw a line on the bottle with a Sharpie, at the level of the gas. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with water. Shake the bottle. Note the level of gas now in the bottle. If it is above the line you drew, you are in for trouble. The gas absorbed some of the water.....bad medicine for 2 stroke or aluminumn motors/parts. Only want to use gas that won't absorb water.
    OK, one more comment on water in gas / versus alcohol. Alcohol (Heat, etc) does not remove water from gas like poof! The alcohol makes the water mix in the gas in non-freezing droplets so it can burn out via the carbs. Not my opinion, just a fact.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

  6. #6

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    Experiement a little bit on your own. Use several blends, of what ever you choose, Heet (yellow/red), STP Gas Treatment, etc. You will then see what I am relating to, when I speak of absorbtion. It is a visible effect, one you can measure...easily.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Experiement a little bit on your own. Use several blends, of what ever you choose, Heet (yellow/red), STP Gas Treatment, etc. You will then see what I am relating to, when I speak of absorbtion. It is a visible effect, one you can measure...easily.
    I'm a retired auto mechanic of 30 years. I have all the test equipment in my tool selection. Some alcohols will absorb water differently than others for sure. I'm not argueing that at all. But they all do the same in the end result and that is to bead up the water in your fuel and blend it with the gas to disperse it thru the carb in the end without freezing up fuel lines and the carb. There isn't a vehicle out there that can't run on 10% ethanol blend. BUT, 10% is the max you want to run in your gas for any machine, unless you have one of those new units designed to run on a higher alcohol blend. "E85"
    As far as I know, law states that pumps have to be labeled as having ethanol in them. Course this is Alaska and all the rules seem to be different here. Holiday Blue Planet gas is ethanol for sure. The rest I don't know for sure. When I need gas I'm usually not in a place I can be fussy so I just buy it and my vehicle keeps on running.
    All I'm saying is, if your running ethanol gas, be careful how much heat (or whatever fuel dryer) you use and don't get your fuel over the 10% alcohol limit. If your running fresh ethanol gas, you shouldn't need to add heat to your gas, unless you just got gas at a station with leaky tanks full of water. Then your screwed plain and simple. Time to pull the tank and drain and dry it out along with cleaning out your fuel system parts.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    We no longer have Ethonal Blended Fuels In Alaska......Uncle Frank Murkowski killed the importing of ethonal fuels when he claimed a spot on the 10 most disliked governor's list. I wish he was back...........somedays

    The other thing is if you are using HEET ensure you are using the stuff designed for 2 strokes. HEET in the "RED" bottles only.

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dupont Spinner View Post
    We no longer have Ethonal Blended Fuels In Alaska......Uncle Frank Murkowski killed the importing of ethonal fuels when he claimed a spot on the 10 most disliked governor's list. I wish he was back...........somedays

    The other thing is if you are using HEET ensure you are using the stuff designed for 2 strokes. HEET in the "RED" bottles only.
    Correct, the yellow heat is hard on carb diaphrams.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Member franklinfleagle's Avatar
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    sweet that sounds good, yeah i've only ever used iso in my sleds, and was just wondering seems like every magazine has mentioned e10 being of concern most places in the country, so was just curious as to what the case was in alaska, thanks

  11. #11

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    "But they all do the same in the end result and that is to bead up the water in your fuel and blend it with the gas to disperse it thru the carb in the end without freezing up fuel lines and the carb. "


    great statement grizzlyh!!

    i raced watercross back in minnesota, and wisconsion back in my younger days, and we used the red heat by the case.
    nothing better to get rid of any excess water in the fuel system, plus its easier to suck it out the jets, than to take the carbs all apart to clean, and all the fuel lines and such. just want to make sure and pull the drain tubes on the bottom of the carbs a few times a winter, where the water can accumulate and not go out the main jet, fuel injected machines, right out the injector.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    frankfleagle...i went to school with you...a bit older...but i'm from mcgrath..graduated '96
    Master guide license #212.....now what?!

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    Member alaska4ever's Avatar
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    Question here, I have a 1999 Polaris RMK Trail 550 oil injection. My nights and mornings are usually anywhere from -12 to -25 and my sled will never start unless I put a heater under the cowling for a few minutes. Would I eliminate this problem if I installed a primer?

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    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaska4ever View Post
    Question here, I have a 1999 Polaris RMK Trail 550 oil injection. My nights and mornings are usually anywhere from -12 to -25 and my sled will never start unless I put a heater under the cowling for a few minutes. Would I eliminate this problem if I installed a primer?
    It will help.

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