Alfa Romeo Forums banner
1 - 20 of 61 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
Does anyone know what components would need to be upgraded for a 164 to use E10 (10%) ethanol fuel? Is the plastic fuel tank OK with it? What rubber/seals aren't?
 

·
Moderator
1991 164L
Joined
·
27,872 Posts
Hi,
Does anyone know what components would need to be upgraded for a 164 to use E10 (10%) ethanol fuel? Is the plastic fuel tank OK with it? What rubber/seals aren't?
Do newer cars in GB have plastic tanks and use E10 fuel?
 

·
But Mad North-Northwest
Joined
·
12,242 Posts
It should be fine. We've had nothing but E10 here in California for almost 20 years now. It's not great if it sits for a long period, but beyond that I haven't had any materials compatibility issues in the Alfas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,419 Posts
I'd be surprised if Alfa built the EU version with ethanol incompatible components. All NA models have to be able to run on E10 because ethanol blending is required by environmental regulations. It's just ridiculous to legislate for that purpose but then most environmental C02 stuff is window dressing for the environmental fashionistas (fascistas?).

The 164 was designed from the outset to be Alfa's NA market penetrator. Big volumes were planned.

Ethanol blends deliver reduced fuel economy because they have less energy by mass. It's also an octane enhancer but more volatile so evaporates out of the fuel faster in long term storage. It is hydrophilic being polar So cleans water out of your fuel very well.

My SAAB 9000 Turbo didn't like the ethanol much in the higher octane blends presumably because ethanol contains oxygen. I use pretty much exclusively Shell V Power 91 (your 95) precisely because it has no ethanol. It's 10-15c a liter more expensive than ethanol 91 but it is a more effective anti knock fuel in my location (1,000 meters elevation) with boosted engines. The 164 gets the same fuel even though not boosted. The 164 will run on any 91 fuel over here (we don't get the flex fuel "gasohol" here which is truly horrible motor fuel for ordinary gasoline engines). We drill for our motor fuel, we don't try to grow it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
For Europe: I would recommend using 98, in particular when letting the car sit for longer periods. Possibly also add somethings to avoid condensation in the system. Just had the plastic piece in the fuel line between the fuel rails disintegrate on a 166 3.2, blocking 2 injectors.
1700152
 
  • Like
Reactions: richardbradford

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
The UK/ Euro spec 164s have a plastic tank yes, but they say E10 can buckle plastic too if it's incompatible.

All rubber lines across the car are incompatible from the small length of submersible in the tank (needs to be J30 E10) to the rubber lines from and to the engine (need to be J30 R9), the short lengths at the bottom of the firewall are a painful job.

Unsure on the long term effects on the fuel rail and injector rubbers too.

It's annoying as you can pretty much pee in the tank of a 164 and it will run, but your best bet it to run it on super, it's what I plan to do with mine now and it's a pain to say too!

Tesco momentum 99 and Sainsburys super are reasonably priced though.

Good to know I'm not the only one worried about this in the UK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
I forgot to mention the fuel pump basket has a rubber anti-vibration rubber collar in around the fuel pump, it dissolves with ethanol fuels but it's fine until you actually remove it, oh, and the pad on the bottom of the basket, again, a very similar story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Many thanks, everyone. I have upgraded all engine bay fuel rubber to R9 and plan to do the same tank end too, including submersible. Car used almost everyday so no sitting issues but is a concern if the fuel pump basket can't cope with E10. Think am going to just have to bite the fuel cost bullet and pay extra for premium E5. Have just bought a set of 12 viton injector seals but all systems are only as good as the weakest link. Heaven forbid that turns out not to be the fuel pump basket but the plastic fuel tank itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
And Sam, you are brave to use Tesco fuel after their 'sand' fiasco. I have always used BP regular, which always made my X1/9 run noticeably better than other fuels. Luckily I only do about 4,000 miles a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Out of curiosity, when E10 appears am going to fill a glass jar and drop o-rings and any other small test part I can find to see how they look after some months. Will post the results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Many thanks, everyone. I have upgraded all engine bay fuel rubber to R9 and plan to do the same tank end too, including submersible. Car used almost everyday so no sitting issues but is a concern if the fuel pump basket can't cope with E10. Think am going to just have to bite the fuel cost bullet and pay extra for premium E5. Have just bought a set of 12 viton injector seals but all systems are only as good as the weakest link. Heaven forbid that turns out not to be the fuel pump basket but the plastic fuel tank itself.
Just remember to use R10 hose in the fuel pump basket (R9 can't handle submersion) and seal the push fit connectors with viton rubber, too the basket collar is fine until you full it apart, I didn't touch my fuel pump in the basket, just the hose and the non return valve so I left the collar alone. I did replace the mat at the bottom of the tank though, it was just goo. Ferrari sell a matching part cheaper that Alfa.

I was unaware of any sand issue but it is rare I go into a Tesco, do you mean the contaminated diesel in the Sandhurst store? Shell obviously the best but hard to find in Devon. Esso in most of the country have had 0 ethanol in their super (again, not down here) but that may change now E10 is being deployed. Sainsburys super is very cheap. I must admit BP is the one place I have filled a car up and had it running rough so I tend to avoid, expensive too round here.

The actual V6 engine really doesn't care what you put in it though as a general rule of thumb, which is why it's annoying that the E10 might start corroding things. The only ways to be sure nothing would sustain damage would be to source all fuel components from a Brazilian car (they have run ethanol for decades) but I should imagine they are almost impossible to find and get parts from. Or convert the car to run on E85 and regular using a garage, they will undoubtedly know what you will need, maybe bespoke fuel tanks can be fitted?

I'll just bite the bullet and drive to a Sainsburys me thinks 😔
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,530 Posts
Years ago when I worked at the go kart center we started running E10. After about a year the fuel lines, tanks ect all started failing. The fumes were also much worse in that they caused watering of the eyes. This is purely anecdotal and I am not judging E10 one way or the other. Make of that what you will.
 

·
Moderator
2015 Chevy (Holden) SS, 1989 Milano (Shankle Sport), 1991 164S
Joined
·
17,335 Posts
"Think the simplest conclusion is to avoid E10 in a 164"

Have used 10% alcohol gasoline in the 91S since it was new in 91, no long term problems in 198k miles except the OEM fuel lines needed replacing eventually at ~125k miles. Same for the fuel line piece in the pump. Other than that, no problems. I regarded the fuel line problems as caused by an inferior product used by Alfa. Maybe related to E10? Replaced by a newer US product.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
"I regarded the fuel line problems as caused by an inferior product used by Alfa. Maybe related to E10? Replaced by a newer US product."
Yes, all Busso V6 vehicles including the later 3.2 GTA models are listed as incompatible with E10, other than in Brazilian markets.

Might be worth a look to see which components the Brazil vehicles use that are different to Euro models? As I understand it US models have a metal tank which could be a flight risk with ethanol (eventually). But Euro models are all plastic and rubber till the engine bay and rails.

I guess the Italians had access to a lot more proper unleaded than the rest of us as there aren't a lot of pre 2005 Italian vehicles that are listed as E10 compatible. Compare this to Japan where a lot of marques have been E20 compatible since the mid 90s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,419 Posts
I have used 91 (your 95) fuel in my 164 since new. Almost always Shell. This is our premium grade fuel and contains no ethanol. No fuel system problems other than seepage fumes from the tank screws and engine compartment clamping positions. O rings under the screw heads fixed the tank fume issue and double clamping fixed the engine compartment issue.

It's an unbelievably stupid idea to put ethanol in road fuel. Biofuel is generally fuel made from food crops, mostly corn (maize) in North America. Canada uses other grains as well because we can't grow enough maize this far north. We have some other sources of the necessary carbohydrates but sell most of that fuel to the US. Consuming food to make transport fuel is nonsense. Using arable land to grow transport fuel is stupid. Mind you, grinding up trees to burn to generate electricity is right up there with the top mind blowingly stupid ideas.

I just found out we are adding hydrogen to our natural gas, reducing its energy content to no useful purpose. The hydrogen is obtained at great cost by removing the carbon from some natural gas and remixing the hydrogen back in. Makes a greener fuel if you ignore the carbon dioxide problem created when you take the carbon out of the natural gas.

These are all government plans, not consumer driven at all. Don't encourage this idiocy.

This is all madness on a grand scale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It is a big question mark for Euro 164s with our plastic fuel tanks. Hoses and seals are easy enough to change for R9 and viton but what about the plastic tank and rubbers around the fuel pump? These are already incredibly hard to get hold of so the last thing we need is to risk destroying the limited stock we have.
I pulled into a BP petrol station today and saw their 95 octane fuel is now E10, only the premium 97 octane fuel is E5. Was so annoyed I left without getting any. Am actually debating going for supermarket fuel now - probably Sainsbury's rather than from Tesco - with intermittent purchases from BP. I only do about 4,000 miles a year but even so it feels like us older car customers are being ripped off - yet we are in many ways more environmentally friendly than new car owners, who pollute with all the nasties of a new car production and junking of an old. The emmissions on my 164 are a mere fraction of the maximum allowed, yet how many almost new diesel cars have we seen leaving clouds of black, carcinogenic smoke in their wake?
Mad.
 
1 - 20 of 61 Posts
Top