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wheely
User Rank
Silver
E10 fuel
wheely   10/10/2012 5:26:43 PM
NO RATINGS
 Ethanol, not in my engines. I get approx. 2 more MPG in my car using gasoline & it has a smoother idle & slightly quicker starts. My dirt bike performs much better on gasoline also, when I'm on it I can't afford any less performance than what gas gives.

Tool_maker
User Rank
Platinum
Re: On-going design refreshes
Tool_maker   10/1/2012 12:58:08 PM
NO RATINGS
 Seafoam performed magic on my 115 horsepower outboard. It was running extremely rough and uneven. I thought it acted like a bad fuel filter. I called a repair shop and described the problem and was told to add Seafoam. I asked what it would do and the nechanic told me, "It undoes all of the bad things that etanol does." After I added the product my motor continued its erratic behavior for about 45 seconds or so and then started running as smooth as silk. I cannot say for sure it was the Seafoam, but I add it to all of my gasoline engines periodically.

Tell the truth
User Rank
Iron
Ethanol Ate My WeedEater
Tell the truth   9/28/2012 8:58:07 PM
NO RATINGS
I work on all kinds of 2 cycle trimmers, chainsaws and blowers all makes. I am curious about what brand of equipment the carburetor is installed on? I have not seen a carburetor with a primer bulb that has a plastic retainer ring integrated on the carburetor, I have seen primer bulbs that are separate from the carburetor that have a retainer ring sonic welded to the base of the bulb assembly. What brand of carburetor is it, the brand is usually Walbro, Zama or Ru-Ing, the last one does not have rebuild kits available and have to be replaced. 

Almost all of the work that I do one 2 cycle engines is fuel related, that being said about 95% of the carburetor work is caused by ethanol. Ethanol attracts water and is corrosive to aluminum and rots your fuel lines and seals. All of this could be solved by adding fuel stabilizers specifically made for 2 cycle engines. It all boils down to maintenance, mantain your equipment and avoid costly repairs or the purchase of new.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Weedwacker repairs
Dave Palmer   9/28/2012 8:37:35 PM
NO RATINGS
@Gregarious2: Most OXO containers are polycarbonate, although some of their newer ("BPA-free") ones are made out of Tritan copolyester.  I don't know much about the Tritan material, since it is relatively new.  However, polycarbonate is extremely sensitive to environmental stress cracking.

If your container was polycarbonate, I wouldn't be too surprised to learn that the oils from the granola caused it to crack; it's not too big of an exaggeration to say that everything causes polycarbonate to crack! (Also, if it happened to be one of the first containers made that day, it might have had higher-than-usual residual stresses, which wouldn't have helped -- just a guess).

One of the side benefits of going to the BPA-free material is that it should also be less susceptible to environmental stress cracking.  I think OXO should give you a new BPA-free container.

(I realize this is getting away from the topic of ethanol and weed whackers, but it's a related topic, and it's interesting -- at least, it is to me!)

Gregarious2
User Rank
Iron
Re: Weedwacker repairs
Gregarious2   9/28/2012 6:31:09 PM
NO RATINGS
Mahalo for the offer but it's more of a curiosity.  I have an email off to the manufacturer (OXO) concerning this with hopes of getting a replacement container. The cracking stops precisely at my usual fill level for the cereal ( about 2/3 of the way up the container ). This corresponds to one  17.6 ounce package from the cereal box. ( Two doesn't fit and in our 80%RH, I only open one at a time.) The plastic is a 7 ( other ) for the  recycle code. I hand rinse and dry the container just before I refill it which follows the manufacturers instructions. The container is 3.5" x 3.5" x 8.5" with roughly 1/8" thick walls.

Sorry.. didn't mean to derail the weedwacker thread.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Weedwacker repairs
Dave Palmer   9/28/2012 4:08:31 PM
NO RATINGS
@Gregarious2: I'd be surprised if anything in your organic granola is causing environmental stress cracking of the plastic container, although some fatty acids can do that.  But if the container is made out of HDPE, it may be susceptible to environmental stress cracking from detergents.  This is particularly true if it had high molded-in stresses (which is suggested by the fact that the cracks originate from the injection point).

If you'd like for me to take a look at it, send me an e-mail (dpalmer01 at gmail dot com).  I'd be glad to do some testing and try to identify the root cause.

Gregarious2
User Rank
Iron
Weedwacker repairs
Gregarious2   9/28/2012 2:15:46 PM
NO RATINGS
I have similar "corrosion" problems here in Hawai'i with weedwackers and other gas powered farm equipment. Like us, many people here cherish their older 2 cycle machines for power, durability and ease of maintenance. In my case, these are not "yard" machines but farm equipment used for clearing acreage. After several trips to the local repair shop for cracked fuel bulbs and new o-rings, we go the extra few miles and buy ethanol free gas. Fortunately, older marine equipment ( outboards,etc... ) has the same problem so we can buy boat gas locally.   But I often wonder what's next. My car is older too.

I was also quite surprised to see unexpected fracture phenomenon in a high end, clear, o-ring sealed plastic food container.  After emptying it once again of my favorite cereal, I was cleaning it and noticed small linear internal stress fractures following the contours of the container from the injection point on the bottom up to my average fill line. Since it was designed specifically for food ( the packaging for the container actually showed cereal in it ), I'm now wondering what component of my organic granola is causing this degradation in the plastic. It's only about 2 years old and was about $20.  

Haggar
User Rank
Iron
The destructive nature of the Ethanol delivery
Haggar   9/28/2012 10:55:38 AM
NO RATINGS
Guys (and Gals),

I am surprised to see so many posts that suggest there is not a problem with the ethanol.

Granted in a THEORETICAL  world a small percentage of ethanol SHOULD NOT adversely effect a standard internal combustion process.  (The efficiency will change from the base gasoline mixture, but that is expected.)

The problem in the REAL WORLD is the inability of the product to be delivered at the proper proportions.  The mixture is made significantly (both in time and distance) farther upstream than the use.  Our country's local fuel delivery/distribution systems were not designed to mix at the nozzle, so who knows when and where it was mixed.

I have confidence somewhere in the system it was mixed at 10% (is this a volumetric or weight percentage....)  I have ZERO confidence that at any given instant that percentage is 10%. 

I have components from both automobiles and agricultural equipment (from small yard equipment to 80hp tractors), that should not have failed at 10%, but are significantly damaged.  (I am working with my congressman to try and get tax credits for the damaged equipment... not going so well.)  Our theory is that they were exposed to ethanol percentages much larger than 10%.   Hard to prove, as the equipment rarely fails instantly, so the fuel in the tank is not the fuel that melted the components. (and I supposed we will get into defining the term "damaged" or "failed".  No catastrophic failures meaning the item was not taken to a junk yard, but getting a tractor out of the field without its own power can be fun, and loading vehicles from the side of the interstate is not always a picnic.)

If you read documentation closely and talk with the manufacturers of the fuel pumps, carburetor kits and components,  they know that their gaskets and seals will fail in solutions with > 10% Ethanol. 

I think this is not as apparent, as most newer cars are more tolerant of the Ethanol percentage.  It is the older equipment.

This brings us to.... Is it really greener and better for the environment?  I am CERTAIN the engineers that did the study do not have a coefficient for lost equipment (not to mention DOWN TIME.... but hey that is just money.) or all of the parts that need to be replaced in the "carbon footprint" equation.  (not to mention all the shipping of those parts and definitely NOT the labor needed to exchange those parts....)

I have to drive to another state to find non diluted gasoline.  Is that in the footprint equation?  The travel is by far less expensive than the tractors KIA in the field.

This is why in the news the other day the 4 gallon fuel minimum was floated with the introduction of the IMPRESSIVE 15% dilution.  (someone is hoping you didn't get a gallon of 100% ethanol.... wohoo EPA and legislators HOPING!! (hoping with quite possibly the SECOND most expensive single item you own!!!) That makes me have good feelings.)

The good news is most cars from 2000 up seems to be pretty tolerant.  Large urban areas pump enough fuel to keep the tanks stirred well and the mixture to stay pretty well distributed.  Take either (or worse BOTH) of those items out of the equation and I can show you pictures or let you hold melted rubber.

 

 

Wayne Eleazer
User Rank
Iron
Re: ethanol and damaged engines
Wayne Eleazer   9/27/2012 9:35:24 PM
NO RATINGS
I have measured the alcohol content of ethanol contaning gasoline by using the well known water test, using a graduated cylinder.

I have also attempted to remove ethanol from gasoline using the same process.  It works, but not good enough.  The amount of alcohol you can remove seems to vary somewhat with the maker of the gasoline but in any case you cannot get all of it out.

Aside from the direct impact on certain components, alcohol is an effective cleaning agent for tars left behind by gasoline.  Use of alcohol in the fuel of an older piece of equipment, even with an engine that withstand it, will flush the accumulated tar out of the system, with disasterous results downstream.    

I have not experienced a problem with alcohol in my lawnmower or portable generator, both of which use 4 cycle engines, because I do not use alcohol containing fuel in them.  My personal aircraft can not use fuel with ethanol, and it is normal practice to drain a small portion of the fuel from the tanks before flight to ensure that water and dirt is not present.  For almost 30 years now I have saved that fuel and burned it in my mowers. 

So, if you cannot find fuel without ethanol in you area, you can always go to an airport, and pay maybe $6.00 a gallon for heavily leaded 100LL aviation fuel.  Considering how little fuel a mower uses, this is probably far more attractive than buying a new one.

And I use an electric weed-whacker.

     

 

geness
User Rank
Iron
Re: ethanol and damaged engines
geness   9/27/2012 4:56:47 PM
NO RATINGS
This is an age old problem, not new.  Most small 2 cycle engines have warnings about using gas containing ethanol.  The ethanol will disolve not only the rubber priming button but the fuel lines and and the intank gas filter.  This can happen using gas with under 10% ethanol.  Once you get over 10%, the metal parts can also get attacked by the ethanol. 

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