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E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

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E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby m37jarhead » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:25 pm

I see that E85 fuel is about $.50 per gallon less than regular unleaded.
Is there any advantage or disadvantage in running E85 fuel in an M37?
At 9 MPG or so for an M37, a less expensive fuel might be worth the try.
I heard that NASCAR will be running E15. Does the E15 and E85 mean
15% and 85% alcohol?

Old timers tell me that they would start their Model A Fords on gasoline
and then switch to kerosene because it was cheaper. Maybe that's an
old time urban legend.

What's your take on this subject?
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Re: E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby MSeriesRebuild » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:44 pm

E anything is not a good idea. Stay away from it as far as you can is the best policy.
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Re: E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby Lifer » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:12 pm

m37jarhead wrote:Old timers tell me that they would start their Model A Fords on gasoline
and then switch to kerosene because it was cheaper. Maybe that's an
old time urban legend.


Yep! It's an old-time urban legend, alright. A model A will not run on kerosene. Tried it with mine when I was a "kid" of 24, and had a heck of a cleanup job on my hands.

The old-time tractors from the '20s and '30s did, though. Most had 2 fuel tanks, a small one for gasoline and a larger one for kerosene. Starting one was a trick if someone shut it down while running on kerosene. You would have to remove the sediment bowl from the fuel pump and drain out all the kerosene. Then you would put it back on, turn the gasoline valve on and wait for the bowl to fill before hand cranking the engine or flipping the flywheel. After the engine started, it was allowed to run on gasoline until it smoothed out and warmed up. Once it was idling nicely, the selector was moved to "kerosene," thus closing off the gas and the engine was idled until running on straight kerosene. Only then were you ready to start working.

When you were done for the day, you switched the selector to "gasoline" and waited for it to purge the kerosene from the system before shutting down. If you didn't do that, you had to go through the startup procedure already described.
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Re: E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby cuz » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:39 pm

Here's a good read for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E85
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Re: E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby m37jarhead » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:22 am

Thanks for the input from Lifer, Charles and Cuz. The information on the site recommeded by Cuz is very interesting.
The amount of info. is almost mind boggeling. Check it out. E-fuels are in the future for all of us. The availability of
100% pure gasoline may soon be a thing of the past. I don't consider myself a particularly "green" person nor am I
pushing the use of ethynol blended fuels, but it's a subject all of us should become familiar with when fueling our 50 year old
M37's.
Thanks again to those that contributed.
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Re: E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby rickv100 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:56 am

So what do we do if we have only E85 gasoline available to us? Is this a way to get older vehicles off of the road?

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Re: E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby MSeriesRebuild » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:55 am

rickv100 wrote:So what do we do if we have only E85 gasoline available to us? Is this a way to get older vehicles off of the road?

Rick


Well Rick I hate to be the bearer of sad news; but you have it figured out. That is just one more tactic the feds intend to use to get rid of older vehicles.

Ethanol is hard on rubber and composite components, diaphram materials, (even the modern types), and some types of metals as well used in older carbs, fuel pumps, etc. Top end current production car and truck manufacturer's are having a time trying to keep up with changes in an attempt to stay compatible with today's fuels. Even some so called flex fuel compatible vehicles have had and continue to have issues because of the stronger ethanol blends that keep coming. I wish, but it simply is not profitable for suppliers of parts for most older vehicles to tool up and attempt to produce 100% compatible components. As we all should know, if it ain't profitable for suppliers, it ain't happening; they simply can't afford to produce items that will never make a profit because of small sales markets.

Older diesels are suffering as well, mechanical injection pumps and injectors are fairing rough since the forced ultra low sulfur diesel fuels are the norm. This applies especially to the rotary distributor type of injection pumps. Some relief for them comes in fuel supplements that can be added to fuel to restore lubricity needed for the older components; but from what I've seen over several years, that isn't as good as the older diesel fuel blends were before low sulfur came along. Even with the brand new Cummins electronic engines we install, it isn't manditory, however they (Cummins) suggest using a lubricity additve in the fuel. They supply fuel filters with the engines that have slow released lubricity additives incorporated into the spin-on filter elements. Fuel system warranty is void if the filters aren't serviced on a strict schedule or if any other type filters are used as replacement.
Last edited by MSeriesRebuild on Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby Kaegi » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:02 pm

why would ethanol be harmful to a vehicle? I dont see it. Except maybe a 20 plus year old fuel pump might not hold up the diaphram would fail. just replace daiphram wiht modern material that wont fail. I think VPW sells modern diaphrams.
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Re: E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby repealThe17th » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:41 pm

Kaegi, the ethanol/gas mix burns hotter than straight gas does. so it can create hot spots in the combustion chamber where there were none before. don't believe me? try running your chainsaw hard using the new ethanol/gas mix and then wonder why the piston melted...
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Re: E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby Kaegi » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:49 pm

repealThe17th wrote:Kaegi, the ethanol/gas mix burns hotter than straight gas does. so it can create hot spots in the combustion chamber where there were none before. don't believe me? try running your chainsaw hard using the new ethanol/gas mix and then wonder why the piston melted...

ARe they running it in WA? If so I ahve not had any problems. I think they run E10 out here but have never folled those details. I have seen melted pistons but that was in nail head buicks and early 60s cadillacs running low octane. those 60s engines were made to run on 97 plus premium leaded. the ones I have seen melted were being run WOT with 89 octane. jsut not a good thing.
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Re: E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby Lifer » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:40 am

I have to chuckle at the "warning" labels on all the gas pumps in my area (and probably nationwide). The labels read "May Contain Up To 10 Percent Alcohol." The way I see it, there's no "may" about it. I think it's safe to assume that there's at least 10% corn squeezin's in it! The local moonshiners could make a killing just supplying the fuel industry! ;)
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Re: E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby rtkjmk » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:45 pm

You have to wonder where this will all end up . No question this is to get all the "OLDER" vehicles off the road . I am not THAT old but I started with points and carburetors and basic engine controls . Your NEW (BETTER) vehicle flames out now better have towing, because you can't even start to diagnose without a lot of very fancy equipment . My comfort zone is definitely with older vehicles . Don't get me started on "TODAY's" Tech's ,most are just parts hangers , there are some very capable people but few and far between , but boy can they TEXT ! I have driven LNG vehicles , Flex fuel vehicles , electric , and they all have lots of issues that nobody talks about , LNG , VERY poor mileage , electric , they loose 40% of there go power when the temperature goes below 40 . E85 is death to an older engine , seals ,gas tanks ,especially LINED tanks if not done correctly . I have worked 31yrs in the automotive field , I am ASIA/ASE certified Master Tech , and it is hard for me to keep up , as they say "O WELL" . sorry for venting , but I feel better :D Bob k
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Re: E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby T. Highway » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:52 pm

I have to agree with Mr Talberts statement.

I've noticed in the Hagery Insurance newsletter that there has been alot of talk about the new fuels and what the governments plans are for older vehicles. We are on a slippery slope. The comparison was made between an old collector car and a charcoal grill. On average a collector car is driven about 480 miles per year and the emissions from that are less than a person grilling out one meal on their charcoal grill. :shock:
I've also noticed since the low sulfur diesel was mandated that my fleet pickup trucks mileage dropped by 2.4 to 2.8 MPG on average. We now have to dump in lubricity additives during every refuel because the new fuels are so crappy. Now if you add the drop in mileage plus the cost of additives just to regain some MPG, you just can't get ahead.
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Re: E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby MSeriesRebuild » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:28 pm

With a few more post coming on line, all can more easily see some of the many issues federal mandated fuels are causing.

We have so many older engines coming in to service here that we have had opportunity to see a lot that can obviously be tied directly to this stuff. I can't discuss all in detail, just don't have the time. By force it is becoming the norm in more and more areas of the country; I don't know what else to say except what I said in my first post; simply stay away from the E fuels as much as possible; your older engine will hug you for your respect.

For you folks who have not yet experienced the proof personally; well you can be hard headed if you like is what my Dad used to tell me about things. He also told me that I would end up paying for my education; he was RIGHT!!
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Re: E85 fuel vs. regular unleaded

Postby Joe » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:25 pm

Jarhead, Regarding running kerosene in a "gasoline" engine, I just posted a question about something that I just read in an old US Army TM regarding a mix of gasoline and 20% kerosene in the thread "Running Gasoline/Kerosene mix?". You might want to follow that thread.
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