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Old 04-01-2009, 07:49 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: White Stone, VA
Posts: 25
Ethanol and fuel probs

Just a thought on the many threads describing stumbles, no-start and a myriad of other potential fuel supply related posts. Has anyone considered/researched the ethanol being added to our fuel? In my experience in the marine industry it causes a ton of problems particularly in older fuel systems by dissolving deposits in the system and sending them downstream to pumps/filters/screens, etc. Most horrific is the fiberglass fuel tank where it actually dissolves the resin in the tank and sends the sludge downstream!! The USCG industry specs for fuel hose have also been updated (years ago) to adapt lest your fuel hoses dissolve. We have a case of filters for our fuel sales pumps and have been advised to "replace at least once a week for the first month or two" after we have switched over to the ethanol spiked fuel. Comments?

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Old 04-01-2009, 09:11 PM
babymog's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Northeast Indiana
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Some of the biggest problems in the marine industry involve aluminum and resin tanks, as well as fuel lines and extended storage.

We have mostly the fuel line problem, and of course as you mentioned, the possibility of dissolving and sending contaminants downstream, but as most cars are used much more frequently than boats and have been burning the ethanol-mix fuels for some time, I think it's less of a problem.

ULSD and boats is another topic.

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- Jeff
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:12 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,236
Sounds like it keeps your fuel system cleaner, provided there's nothing for it to dissolve that's actually part of your fuel system.

I dunno. There are a LOT of posts here about ethanol, but most of them are merely wild speculation and anecdotal attribution.

Shell recently got in big trouble for additives that screwed up fuel systems. I think that if Ethanol was as bad as some speculate, there would be far more widespread reports of damage, and probably class action law suits as was the case with Shell. Ethanol will dissolve the epoxy used in fiberglass fuel tanks, and Florida boat owners are now suing the oil companies over this.

Any modern car should be able to handle the ethanol at 10%. My 1990 300SE says in the manual that it can use up to 10%.

I still can't stand the stuff though. Until we derive it from cellulosic sources rather than food stock, it's a complete waste of arable land.

1990 300SE "Corinne"- 145k daily driver - street modified differential - PARTING OUT OR SELLING SOON - PORTLAND OR. AREA - PM ME FOR DETAILS
1988 560SEL "Gunther"- 190K passes anything except a gas station
1997 S420 - 265k just bought it with a rebuilt trans. Lovely condition
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:37 AM
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