View Full Version : Ethanol fuel

05-10-2010, 06:41 PM
Is anyone having problems with using the 10% ethanol fuel? I'm about to replace my fuel pump for the second time in two years. Any and all tips, suggestions, or info would be appreciated.

05-10-2010, 07:01 PM
I decided to never use ethanol on my boat (barring any emergencies) because of the higher burn temp, decreased efficiency, increased likelyhood of vapor lock, and water absorbing qualities. Many have run it without issue though... that's just my decision.

05-10-2010, 07:22 PM
I just picked up an ethanol test kit from Mercury Marine. They said that I will be very surprised as to how much ethanol is in "Ethanol Free" gas. I will post results when I use it.

05-10-2010, 07:24 PM
Very interested to hear these results. I have heard before that these ethanol free gas claims are far from the truth.

05-11-2010, 09:48 AM
I am sure there is a standard like everything else. For example, if it's less than 4% ethanol the sellers are permitted to claim it's "ethanol free". Mike?

05-11-2010, 10:22 AM
I wont be able to use until this weekend,I left it at the lake house. Its just a test tube with a cap and some marks on the side. You put water up to the first mark gas to the second shake it up wait 10 min. and read the%. I think it was 8 dollars if you want to try your own. No chemicals involved.

05-11-2010, 01:48 PM
do you know how sensitive it is....ie can you distinguish between a 5 and 7 % ethanol concentration?

05-11-2010, 02:00 PM
Yes but it only goes up to 20% if I remember correctly. They said it will go higher but you have to guess. I will see if I can find it online.

05-11-2010, 02:09 PM
Try this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsSQSuCiUjE

05-11-2010, 06:32 PM
I don't know who sells ethanol free gas in the Atlanta area anymore. So far, I've decided to drain the tank and replace the standard fuel filter with water separator/filter. I'm pretty sure my fuel pump is toast, so I'll replace that, too. After draining the tank and replacing the parts, I'm going to put a water remover in the gas and always use StaBil in the gas.

05-11-2010, 06:54 PM
pure-gas.org is an ethanol free gas locator,just be sure to click on details for each station. Its nationwide.

05-11-2010, 09:13 PM
Check this one also fuel-testers.com

05-11-2010, 09:34 PM
Is it the water or the ethanol thats hard on the fuel pumps?

05-11-2010, 09:41 PM
Ethanol is the most corrosive, water is next, gas is last if at all. Water is a byproduct of the gas ethanol mix.

05-17-2010, 10:48 AM
I did the test Saturday on 89 oct. gas from WalMart 7% ethanol.

05-17-2010, 11:52 AM
your results are going to vary from region to region as the gas that we get at our chevron stations locally is not the same gas that someone in florida would get at same chevron station.

just an fyi..

05-17-2010, 12:02 PM
My company sits on old Chevron Property (right on the bay) but right next to us is the current Chevron Fuel Depot. As a matter of fact Right now a large barge is offloading fuel (I have to listen to these diesel pumps run all day long). This happens about every 4 days. One of the large white tanks which is about 75 yards away now says "ethanol" on it. They spent 6 months modifying an old Jet A tank to get it up to standards. Since they started using it to store the ethanol it slowly started to get a black color at the top. It is now about 1/4 of the way down the tank. When I asked them what this was they said "mold" from the sugar in the ethanol. And this year for some reason everyone here was complaining of sinus problems. The guys that run this depot also hate having to deal with it because of the issues it causes in their own system!

05-17-2010, 12:36 PM
Thank your congressman!

05-17-2010, 12:44 PM
no kidding. I've got no issue with us trying to find an alternative fuel and the associated technologies, but I don't think ethanol-blended gas is the answer. too many downsides to it..

although the street racing community loves E-85.. nothing like 105+ octane fuel right out of the pump...

05-17-2010, 08:03 PM
Thank your congressman!

You know I hate to complain to him about this because he just got us 2.5 million to help the Navy. But I might get to see him soon and I should mention that nasty black stain on that Chevron tank! :)

Mike G
05-19-2010, 12:47 PM
Has anyone tried the STA-BIL Marine formula that is designed to be used with Ethanol? All of the gas stations around the lake contain 10% Ethanol so I was toying with the idea of the STA-BIL but wanted to get some opinions. If I read the instuctions correctly it states to use this at every fill-up.

05-19-2010, 04:20 PM
Has anyone tried the STA-BIL Marine formula that is designed to be used with Ethanol? All of the gas stations around the lake contain 10% Ethanol so I was toying with the idea of the STA-BIL but wanted to get some opinions. If I read the instuctions correctly it states to use this at every fill-up.

I use it every time. Had a problem with the fuel vaporizing in the line 2 summers ago on a HOT summer day. Never encountered that since using the blue, marine Sta-bil.

05-19-2010, 04:57 PM
I, too have had the vapor lock issue. easy and almost free solution is to ensure you run your blower while surfing and before/after each run for a while. if it does vaporlock, just take a cup of lakewater and dump on the fuel pump. solves the issue in a second..
the long-term fix is to add a second inline pump down prior to the fuel filter, but that cost $$..

05-20-2010, 09:05 AM
For those using sta-bil in their fillups, are you keeping true to the 1 oz treats 1 1/4 gallons? Looks like ~$20-$30 for a 32 oz which is about one full tank of gas. Seems a bit of a premium on top of gas already but if that's the price of making sure we avoid problems then that's the price. There's no gas station near me that sells fuel without ethanol, and I don't know how quickly I'll turn over fuel so better safe than sorry I suppose.

Looks like it has a shelf life of ~2 years so if there was a place to get in in reasonable bulk (maybe enough for a season or two) that might take the sting out of it a little.

05-20-2010, 10:18 AM
that's a ton of cash to avoid a problem that can be 99% averted with a little bit of preplanning.

heck, the $150 or so for the added fuel pump would pay for itself in a month of heavy use.. better to go that route.