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Ethanol Ate My WeedEater

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darthofer
User Rank
Iron
Used alcohol for years in karting
darthofer   9/20/2012 9:32:34 AM
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There is no excuse for not selecting the right material for carbs on these weedeaters. We have karted for years using alcohol for fuel and no material problems! Maybe some corrosion, but that is it. I blame the engineers for poor material selection.. shame on them!

Ollie Prophet
User Rank
Bronze
Ethanol: Another Bad Idea from Washington
Ollie Prophet   9/20/2012 9:36:05 AM
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How about we demand the feds stop mandating the use of ethanol in our gasoline?  Are we sheep?  This was a bad idea from the get-go, it destroys fuel system parts and increases the cost of food.  The energy used to produce the ethanol, after you factor in raising the corn, the pesticides needed, the hydration, etc. does not justify the savings in imported oil.  A national energy policy that supported the exploration and drilling in and around the US is the way to go.  Supply and demand is still a solid economic model, despite what the Riech and Krugman espouse.  And let's get some new nukes licensed and construction started, while we are at it.  And build that pipeline to get friendly Canadian oil to our refineries.  And invest in using our abundent coal reserves instead of shutting down and refusing to license coal fired plants.  And.... Well, you get the picture.   

brewman007
User Rank
Iron
Re: On-going design refreshes
brewman007   9/20/2012 9:37:02 AM
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Connecticut recently switched from MTBE to ethonal fuel.  I use the highest octane for my small engines, to help in starting and I add a product called seafoam that helps keep the fuel system in working order.

Ollie Prophet
User Rank
Bronze
Re: Used alcohol for years in karting
Ollie Prophet   9/20/2012 9:38:01 AM
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I blame the government for forcing us to use ethanol.  Shame on Washington!

darthofer
User Rank
Iron
Re: Used alcohol for years in karting
darthofer   9/20/2012 9:44:04 AM
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That is a true statement also but it's going to be harder to change Washington than select the right material to deal with the problem. Unless we get at new president.

BB_cuda
User Rank
Silver
Re: Used alcohol for years in karting
BB_cuda   9/20/2012 9:51:32 AM
Ethanol didn't become mainstream as an additive until MTBE was outlawed perhaps a decade or so ago. MTBE was used as an additive to reduce pollution but was somehow making its way into ground water and became a public health concern. the government needed an alternative to the MTBE and thus began the ethanol 10% mix into our mainstream gasoline.  In rural areas, gasoline can be bought without the 10% mix but it is 1) hard to find and 2) higher cost. The next time i go to Louisiana, I will bring a 5 gallon container and get some of the straight stuff.

Ethanol plays havoc in a different way too for small engines. Ethanol mixed in gasoline becomes unstable and gunk separates from it in as little as 14 days. Small engine repair place advised that we use ethanol stabilizer in our small gas cans whether for 2 or 4 stroke use.  My girl friend's Honda lawn mower had its intake valve stick open due to this gunk.  This caused a total loss of compression AND it would back fire throught the carborator. He pulled the valve cover and removed the valve and cleaned the gunk off of it. Upon reassembly, she was back to running.  The repair guy suggested that after completing mowing that we pull the strating coard slowly until we feel the resistancebecome hard and STOP.  Pointis to store the mower with both valves closed. If the valve is closed it won't get stuck open during storage. This is for a Honda engine that says "OHV" on it's valve cover. 

kf2qd
User Rank
Platinum
Throw away products...
kf2qd   9/20/2012 9:57:10 AM
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More and more products are really designed to be thrown away, why would anyone want to fixw them?

 

Sure is nice to have my small milling machine and lathe in the garage. Amazing number of small parts that can be produced in a short time to keep various things running long after the manufacturers expiration date has run out. And then I also have a Neway valve seat cutter so a 4 cycle engine rebuild is rather simple... How many folks even have a set of box-open end wrenches and a 3/8 drive socket set? Forget a good set of screw drivers.

 

The other part of the problem is that fewer and fewer people have any clue about how to fix stuff. Shop class is no longer taught in most schools and no-one at home has ever handled tools so we have a generation that doesn't know that things can be taken apart and fixed. (and then there are Apple products, when the battery fails you just junk it...) All the time spent with electronic gadgets doesn't really equate to many manual skills.

Island_Al
User Rank
Gold
Re: On-going design refreshes
Island_Al   9/20/2012 10:03:39 AM
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Good point Rob on electric weed eaters unless of course the government "mandates" a new 50 or 100hz standard.  I'm sure they could come up with a good "reason" just as they came up with the ethanol scam that turns food into fuel! And it must be subsidized by all tax payers to boot!!  (Notice meat prices skyrocketing?)

Also folks can still find "real gas" at pure-gas.org who list about 5000 stations nationwide.  I'm remote but still can find it locally.

A couple months back some of our finest citizens broke into my place and took two Homelite chainsaws, along with lots of other stuff, that I have owned for years. I had not gotten around to fixing the enthanol damaged fuel lines so neither of them were operational. I hope they are having fun trying to sell these.

redandgearhead
User Rank
Silver
Re: Used alcohol for years in karting
redandgearhead   9/20/2012 10:07:58 AM
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Corn cartel spreading lots of money to both parties.

Island_Al
User Rank
Gold
Re: Throw away products...
Island_Al   9/20/2012 10:58:08 AM
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@kf2qd: Love it!  I too have a lathe and a small milling attachment that has saved me more money than the machine originally cost me. I have had it so long that I didn't even think about it until your post.  If I need a bushing, adapter, or spacer, I simply make one in less time than it would take to go on-line and find the 'correct' part.  Some of my stuff is so old no replacement parts have been available for fifty years. Now I'm putting together a home foundary to make some castings I need. Lots of videos on youtube on this subject.

I taught all 6 of my kids how to use tools, but my 3 girls don't like getting dirty!  At least they understand (hopefully) what they are looking at. They all carry duct tape and WD40 in their cars (the handymans secret weapons) to make it home where they each have precision calipers.  Then I often get the call "dad- can you make me a ....?"  Letting me off the hook is they mostly drive new cars these days while I still drive old ones.

Yes most things these days are throw away units. I recently had a rack mount flat screen that failed. Inside was a FPLA that controlled everything and it was bad. But I hate to throw away a $1000 equipment part, but cannot accept the reality that I can't fix it!  Everything these days has u-controllers, even my washing machine.

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