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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Please learn from my bad experience and do not use ethanol laced fuel in your old cars! I have two old cars with long term ownership experience, 28 years and 22 years without a problem getting them to start- until they started putting ethanol in our gas! Now neither car will start; all four Weber's are gunked up supposedly by formic acid which forms after ethanol has absorbed moisture over time. Yes the cars have not been used much over the last two years but that was not unusual. The brass jets and accelerator pumps have noticable green corrosion products, the fuel lines have been dried out etc.

I will now drive to Alabama to get non ethanol fuel if necessary!:mad:

Don't believe me? Check this link:
U.S. House Committee Passes Bill Requiring Independent Scientific Analysis of E15 Gasoline
 

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No argument. I restore and rebuild vintage Webers. Below is a picture of a pair of 40DCOE floats that sat over one winter with 10% ethanol fuel. This is just an easy to see example of the damage that was all through this customers fuel system.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Well, it's not surprising. The ethanol absorbs water from the air and the water will attack the metal. Not a problem in cars that get driven frequently, but if you let it sit all winter, well...

Sta-bil fuel stabilizer claims to prevent this, but I have no data on how well it actually works.
 

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Here in the frozen midwest, we use "SeaFoam" which actually does keep moisture out of the ethanol in non sealed systems for about 6 months or so, as long as temperatures (condensation rules) of storage remain reasonably constant.
My own Weber equipped cars sit in temperature constant environments from November until early April, (December this year), and remain completely crud free. There is minimal storage preparation, and I have been doing this for about 45 years with no ill effects.
Once out of storage, they are driven but fueled with premium BP fuel with either no, or at most 10% ethanol, depending on what I can find available.
Note: For those that do not know, any pure race fuel sold for non road use at race tracks or in bulk, deteriorates QUICKLY in storage and should NEVER be left in your race cars fuel system. I have found nothing that keeps real race fuel from breaking down chemically over time!
Webers left with this stuff in them come in with a sticky coating that is difficult to remove without some pretty nasty solvents.
 

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Sta-bil fuel stabilizer claims to prevent this, but I have no data on how well it actually works.
There are now at least 3 products that Sta-bil sells, 2 specifically for gas with ethanol:

1. Sta-bil fuel stabilizer (the original Sta-bil... red in color)
2. Sta-bil Ethanol Treatment (yellow in color)
3. Sta-bil Marine Ethanol Treatment (for engines in marine climates... blue in color)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gubi says "The ethanol absorbs water from the air and the water will attack the metal." It is not water that attacks the metal, it is much, much worse! If I knew how to post a photograph here I'd show you what I mean. The brass jets are oxidized (green) and physically etched by the acid fuel mixture once the green is cleaned off with Gumout carb cleaner. After pulling all of the jets and cleaning everything up the car would start but not accelerate. I pulled the tops of the Weber's off again and checked and both accelerator pumps were stuck! On one carb I was able to get the pump lever free with a screw driver (leveraging the screw driver against the stud that the 'jets' cap screws onto) but on the other carb I pulled the accelerator pump lever out of the carb and will now need to figure out how to reattach the lever to the sliding weight...one step forward, two steps backwards.
I put Sta-bil red in the gas tank but it was probably too late as the car would already not start by that time. The car has covered 54,000 miles in 53 years so it is not your average daily driver; in fact it won't drive now. When I got the car, it had sat for two years and fired right up and drove fine with two year old non-ethanol gas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
This is a photo of my emulsion tube and main jet as removed from the carb:

Auto part Metal


This is a photo of the emulsion tube after spraying with Gumout carb cleaner; notice how the brass has been etched by the Ethanol Gas/Acid mixture:

Brass Metal Fastener Screw


Mark
 

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The old days are past. Any gas with ethanol should be cycled through a car in less than 3 months, less in the humid South.. If not, pump it out and feed it into your daily driver, then refill with only what you will need to burn over the next three month period.

http://www.echo-usa.com/Warranty/Learn-About-Ethanol/Ethanol-Fuel-062512

Gasoline Expiration - Ethanol Blend Fuels Have a Short Shelf Life

I never put more than 5 gallons in my car if I know I'm not going to burn it off quickly. Filling the tank just compounds the problem of sparse usage.

I recommend you install an electric fuel pump on your old cars to purge the system if the gas is getting old.

This policy works for me. Even gas without ethanol has a shelf life and years in your system aren't good with it either.

The New Stab-il orange is out now but that is a Band-Aid IMO. I think it just disperses the water...not make it disappear. Drive the cars. It makes you smile and you will not be so grumpy about how the feds have screwed us again.
 

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I like the pitting on the brass and aluminum you get above the fuel line. Acid fumes. Makes you want to go Diesel!
 

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I use stabil in my car and in the spring I put a fuel injector cleaner in her and I have no problems at all. On top of that the car sat for 3 years before I started it this spring, and it started right up. Beats taking apart your carbs to spend a few buck on some additives.
 

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A lot of Conoco stations in the Northwest sell a non ethanol premium.

I've often thought about going to our municipal airport to get fuel. Does anyone have any comments on this? Is piston aircraft fuel OK for my 2000, and what are the octane ratings?
 

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Aircraft fuel is called 100LL, which stands for low lead. It still has a TON more lead than anything we ever ran in cars. It is 100 octane, but not sure if that is research, engine, or average. Locally it cost about $6/ gallon. I haven't checked on the local price of racing fuel, but it's actually closer to me than the airport.

It is illegal to operate either on the street, as neither collect road use taxes.
 

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A lot of Conoco stations in the Northwest sell a non ethanol premium.

I've often thought about going to our municipal airport to get fuel. Does anyone have any comments on this? Is piston aircraft fuel OK for my 2000, and what are the octane ratings?
I think it is illegal for airports to put avgas in cars. They have to log fill-ups in aircraft.
It sometimes works if you put it in a gas can though.
 

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non-oxy gasoline

This may be common knowledge, but I thought I'd pass it along anyway. There is a website that lists where you can get non-oxygenated (ethanol-free) gasoline for every state (and province):

Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada

It's not uncommon to find ethanol-free premium in some Upper Midwest states (SD, MN, WI); I'm not certain why, but I suspect it has to do with power boats and the popularity of sports fishing in this part of the country. However, that doesn't explain why non-oxy gas is difficult to find in Michigan. Probably some undo influence of politics in formulating the policy for fuel sales. Not much to find in CA or NV, either.

It's a very useful website that people update all the time, often with GPS data, phone #s, etc. Who knows, there may be a service station very close by where you can fill your tank with ethanol-free premium.
 

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Yes we have seen this post before, BUT IT IS IMPORTANT that it be posted again and again as new stations are added while others vanish.
Thanks for the post Daniel. No Ethanol does help save Webers!
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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For the record I've been using nothing but ethanol gas in the Weber'd Giulia for the past 2.5 years (and I'm sure the PO was using it much longer than that because that's all we've gotten in CA for a while). Usually go a couple of months between fill-ups. No corrosion seen in the carbs or on the jets.

I am using Sta-bil in each tank, but mostly to help with ease of starting as the gas gets older than a few weeks. No idea if this has helped prevent issues.
 

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I have a patient who has a collection of old cars. He told me he runs marine fuel in his car. Marine fuel is pure gas with no ethanol. He goes down to the marina and fills a few cans full. Never had a problem over the Winter. I'm going to siphon the gas out of my car tomorrow and put some pure gas in. According to the website, there's a station close to where I live.
 

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here in uk i read from an article in our club magazine that most if not all the normal unleaded gasoline has some ethanol content and that it is set to increase in percentage.

The other thing that I noted not only in the article but in the additive I use was that ethanol eats the old material rubber seals and other rubber parts along the way to the engine.

Now we use solely a premium gasoline, Shell V Power (not sure if it is available in the states) which has 99 octane standard in the uk and 100 octane in mainland europe.
Added to this I add "millers" classic VSPe Power Plus which contains ethanol protection to inhibit eating of old rubber material, lead replacement, and octance booster which adds up to 2 points so I am guaranteed 101 octane fuel on the continent
 
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