The joys of ethanol gas.

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72HCODE

"My World is Fire and Blood"
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71 Mach 1.
I hate Ethanol.

I know many people think that Ethanol is nothing and just a fact of life now but i have seen Ethanol cause damage to my own cars first hand.

I've had to replace fuel pumps and hose and injectors on modern cars when my state first switched over to 10% some years ago.

I saw it eat rubber hoses and accelerator pumps and seals on my older cars and went through a nightmare some years ago with holly fuel rails leaking all over the place.

nothing as bad as what happened to me this weekend.

So i'm driving my car which has been ok for the most part now for a couple of years, cruising along and i start getting a Wiff of Gas through the A/C

you know these cars its hard to tell what smells are coming from where is it traffic in front of you or is it your car. cruising along and now i'm thinking wow my car is running rich all of a sudden, something is not right.

i decide instead of going home which was at least 20 miles more let me go to my parents park in the driveway and just take a look cause i have a bad feeling about the fuel smell. keep in mind engine is still running fine i don't detect a problem just a smell from time to time making me worried.

pull into my parents driveway shutdown the car and get out and pop the hood. I don't think i have ever been more scared;

my intake manifold top is a LAKE of fuel at least 1" deep. every nook was full of gas. OMFG i grab the fire ext and stand back just in case. i had been driving for at least an hour before popping the hood.

well thankfully the car did not blow up i ran inside my parents place and grabbed rags to soak the fuel and see what happened. i thought my holley fuel bowl cracked or something, as i soaked it up the pressure still in the system from the fuel pump and refilling the intake valley. i had to wait a while for the pressure to come down and engine to cool off to take off the air cleaner and start to diagnose what happened.

i could feel fuel coming out of the fuel line for the secondaries i thought a fitting came loose so i grabbed my emergency tools from the trunk and tried to tighten the fitting which was 100% tight but gas was still coming out.

when i saw all the gas from first opening the hood i knew it was not safe to drive the car so my parents were nice enough to let me leave the car over night and i would deal with it in the morning.

I packed my car with tools and spare parts including another carb to take over to my parents to see what happened.

pulled my old carb off and no cracks on the fuel bowls everything looked fine so why was it leaking.

i started to loosen the Earl's AN fuel rail from my carb and this black gum was getting all over my hands. OMFG all the O-rings and the rubber fuel lines had turned to Jelly! the earls fittings came apart in my hand as there was no rubber holding anything together.

i googled and sure enough it happened to others as a byproduct of ethanol absorbing into rubber over a long time.

i know this happened to me before because the idiots that fill up the service stations mix ethanol as the fuel is delivered they do it by weight, to try and make it 10% but you could be getting up to 30% when they screw up.

I also noted the ethanol safe lines that i bought about 5-6 years ago were now all cracked and one was split on the bottom side where i could not see it until i took the carb off.

well long story short i replaced everything with new parts that i was lucky i had, i will have to go back this winter and redo all the fuel lines again. I bought ethanol safe lines about 5-6 years ago but the dame gas just eats it over time.

Stay safe out there everyone and keep a fire extinguisher in the car somewhere.

:(

 
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That sucks, glad everything and you are ok. Surprisingly enough living in Iowa, the land of corn and ethanol, I can still get 91 or 93 fuel with no ethanol in it. I really hope that doesn't change here.

 

Mister 4x4

Too Big to Sneak
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Holy Cow! Glad you were able to get stopped and nothing bad happened.

Ethanol. Why is it with all the hungry people, genuine petroleum reserves at our disposal, and other alternative energy sources being developed, do we continue to use our food as a gas substitute? :shootself:

 
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Cheaper for the government to require use of all available corn for ethanol than to pay subsidies to farmers for not growing it. I'm guessing the amount used for ethanol is approximately equal to what the surplus would be if not used in ethanol.

 
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Bad to hear. Can you fill up anywhere else that has a lower ethanol content?

Here in the UK 95 and 97 ron is normal and we have a 5% ethanol mix, which isn't so bad. But I'd prefer no ethanol.

 
Joined
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Up here pretty much Shell fuel is my only ethanol free gas. It is also premium fuel which is a waste at my engines CR, but worth not having any ethanol.

That being said, I have had a few fuel leaks that have turned the manifold into a lake.

 
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Ethanol is without doubt my pet peeve. Absolutely the biggest government con job in recent years, well almost, but it would be politically incorrect to go there. (wish I could!!)

I ONLY use Shell 91 here in Ontario. We used to be able to get Sunoco 94 without Ethanol until Petro-Can took over Sunoco. Now it has been 'watered down', so no more 94!

What I have done is change all my old rubber lines to high pressure fuel injector ones. Holley tell me that my 670 S/A is good for 15% ethanol. What about the fuel pump? I can't find anything to confirm it is up to ethanol proof standard. The fuel tank still looks Ok inside, but there is a new tank that I am told is treated to resist ethanol corrosion, told being the operative word! For now, I use a product called "Phase Guard 4" that is supposed to negate the effects of ethanol.....hmmmm maybe! Even with our Shell 91 not having ethanol, it still is delivered through the one hose, meaning we are getting some ethanol at the start of the fill-up, so without pumping into a can for the first gallon every time, we're screwed.

 
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72HCODE

"My World is Fire and Blood"
Joined
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Messages
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Location
New York
My Car
71 Mach 1.
when i park the car for the winter i plan on swapping the fuel soft lines again. I've been googling and even the rated ethanol fuel lines have problems over time. it almost seems like you have to swap the rubber hoses as part of maintenance every 1-2 years to be safe.

i need to look into a better fuel rail, I wish they made a one piece rail that fit the 4150-4160 carbs

 
Joined
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Arlington, VA
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1971 Mach 1 351-4v
1971 Boss 351
I hate Ethanol.

I know many people think that Ethanol is nothing and just a fact of life now but i have seen Ethanol cause damage to my own cars first hand.

I've had to replace fuel pumps and hose and injectors on modern cars when my state first switched over to 10% some years ago.

I saw it eat rubber hoses and accelerator pumps and seals on my older cars and went through a nightmare some years ago with holly fuel rails leaking all over the place.

nothing as bad as what happened to me this weekend.

So i'm driving my car which has been ok for the most part now for a couple of years, cruising along and i start getting a Wiff of Gas through the A/C

you know these cars its hard to tell what smells are coming from where is it traffic in front of you or is it your car. cruising along and now i'm thinking wow my car is running rich all of a sudden, something is not right.

i decide instead of going home which was at least 20 miles more let me go to my parents park in the driveway and just take a look cause i have a bad feeling about the fuel smell. keep in mind engine is still running fine i don't detect a problem just a smell from time to time making me worried.

pull into my parents driveway shutdown the car and get out and pop the hood. I don't think i have ever been more scared;

my intake manifold top is a LAKE of fuel at least 1" deep. every nook was full of gas. OMFG i grab the fire ext and stand back just in case. i had been driving for at least an hour before popping the hood.

well thankfully the car did not blow up i ran inside my parents place and grabbed rags to soak the fuel and see what happened. i thought my holley fuel bowl cracked or something, as i soaked it up the pressure still in the system from the fuel pump and refilling the intake valley. i had to wait a while for the pressure to come down and engine to cool off to take off the air cleaner and start to diagnose what happened.

i could feel fuel coming out of the fuel line for the secondaries i thought a fitting came loose so i grabbed my emergency tools from the trunk and tried to tighten the fitting which was 100% tight but gas was still coming out.

when i saw all the gas from first opening the hood i knew it was not safe to drive the car so my parents were nice enough to let me leave the car over night and i would deal with it in the morning.

I packed my car with tools and spare parts including another carb to take over to my parents to see what happened.

pulled my old carb off and no cracks on the fuel bowls everything looked fine so why was it leaking.

i started to loosen the Earl's AN fuel rail from my carb and this black gum was getting all over my hands. OMFG all the O-rings and the rubber fuel lines had turned to Jelly! the earls fittings came apart in my hand as there was no rubber holding anything together.

i googled and sure enough it happened to others as a byproduct of ethanol absorbing into rubber over a long time.

i know this happened to me before because the idiots that fill up the service stations mix ethanol as the fuel is delivered they do it by weight, to try and make it 10% but you could be getting up to 30% when they screw up.

I also noted the ethanol safe lines that i bought about 5-6 years ago were now all cracked and one was split on the bottom side where i could not see it until i took the carb off.

well long story short i replaced everything with new parts that i was lucky i had, i will have to go back this winter and redo all the fuel lines again. I bought ethanol safe lines about 5-6 years ago but the dame gas just eats it over time.

Stay safe out there everyone and keep a fire extinguisher in the car somewhere.

:(
Well, you are not the only one. The exact thing happened to me (but my cars does not have AC, I just smelled the fuel). Glad to say alls well, but it scared me to see the pool of gas on the intake. Ugh. The ethanol fuel sucks on older cars, for sure. Sorry you had the issues, but glad it didn't end in disaster. Your friend in ethanol hate,

Harv

 
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I'm glad nothing worse happened. I almost can't discuss this issue in public because it almost always turns into a rant on my part. Not only does ethanol do all the bad things that have been mentioned, it also promotes increased ring and bore wear. The lunacy of tax dollars being used to turn good food into bad gas is mind numbing. It is not just what the EPA (Everyone's Personal Adversary) is mandating be put into gas, it is also what they are mandating being taken out, sulphur in particular. Look for increased injector and fuel pump problems even in new cars in the future. It is creating new markets for expensive ethanol protection additives and the selling of real gasoline in 5 gallon pails at big box stores for $9.00 per gallon so powered yard tools will continue to function. I'll stop now while I'm still at the pre-rant level.

Chuck

 
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