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Old 09-27-2008, 01:12 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 15
Safety problem? Ethanol gasoline & fuel lines??

I recently had my 1975 450sl burn (total loss) due to what appears to have been leaking gas lines. I experienced this same leaking earlier in the month on my 1982 BMW R100RS and determined it to be, most likely, from the ethanol dissolving my OEM rubber hoses. NOT GOOD. I replaced the BMW hoses and carb parts, but it didn't dawn on me to replace the 450sl hoses.

Is this a problem we might all face with the changes in gasoline formulation, or could it be something else?? I guess I will buy another car, but I'd like to know so I don't make this same mistake more than 3 or 4 times !!

Any thoughts?

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Old 09-27-2008, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
The low percentage mixing of ethanol causes no corrosion issues that I have heard of. if you try the 85% version you need a flex fuel prepared system.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:59 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,263
I would bet that the reason your lines leaked is not due to ethanol, but simply that they are more than 30 years old.
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:03 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,263
From your link:

Many motors, especially older engines, are constructed with parts that become very brittle over time and cannot withstand the effects of alcohol. When E10 gas is used, the engine components can disintegrate and clog the engine with sludge and grime, causing the engine to "lock up" and seize. When this happens, often the engine cannot be fixed and must be replaced.
This is the first claim of engine damage from running ethanol that I have ever heard of. Is this site for real? It looks like they want to sell you something to evaluate your fuel.

There is a simple test for ethanol in gasoline that the SCCA used to use (I don't know if they still do). In a graduated tube, introduce 10cc of your fuel and 10cc of pure ethylene glycol and shake. The ethylene glycol will absorb the ethanol from the fuel, growing the "green" part of the mix and shrinking the fuel. How much gets absorbed is the approximate ethanol content of your fuel.

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