Meaning the rubber parts found in the power valve; eccel. pump and float system? I have been rebuilding a 2150 Autolite and noticed all those parts have turned to dust. How corrosive is ethanol compared to gasoline? Thanks; Webster
If you're talking about the standard E10 type enthanol fuel that is widely available, I wouldn't worry about it. The dilution factor is quite low. Personally however, if you were looking at using E85, you would need to be doing some re-jetting of the carburator anyway, so you might as well look into a total rebuild for it. I am not convinced however that ethanol is such a great thing. I have seen way too many studies from Universities and independent research that shown ethanol definitely reducing mileage on a vehicle, that it's just as harmful (differently) to the environment as gasoline. And many other issues. Of course, they will play off of the consumer's desire to save money. Which of course it doesn't really do either because it is heavily subsidized by tax money.
But, to answer your question, at the 10% E10 level, it shouldn't be of any problem. At the E85 level, carburator vehicles are old enough that I would definitely have concerns about certain parts being able to handle ethanol. Later... Mike...
The Ford Family:
2000 Ford Focus - 143,000 miles
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My quess is the bio diesel will eventually run the entire country. Some say it would only take 20% of the available farm land to grow enough oil seed to pwer the entire grid and transportation. Might have plow under some wheat fields but it would be better than importing fossil fuels and all the trouble with it.
The big thing with ethanol is to prevent water contamination. This means you'll want to drive it periodically so moisture doesn't contaminate the fuel.
Actually, ethanol absorbs water, so the engine will continue to run even if there is a substantual amount of water mixed in, whereas with regular gasoline, the water will separate out and eventually the engine will stop because the fuel system has sprayed straight water into the engine, and no ic engine will run on water...
E5 would have been a better choice by Congress but the Corn lobby pushed thru E10 or 10% alcohol mix with gasoline which is OK with seals and elastomers at room temperature (~72°F). Unfortunately a carb on top of an engine, fuel pump on the side, or a vehicle sitting in the sun gets a mite bit warmer so the E10 "rots" out the elastomer parts. The hotter the fuel the faster it "rots" them out. It is not actually "rot" but the term is as good as others. The alcohol swells the surface and produces fine cracks from the expansion stress. The surface eventually crumbles off like dust or fine cube shaped particles. Different elastomers (rubbers) behave similarly bit the various types have different sensitivities to alcohol. Some like Viton are better than others.
The alcohol absorbs moisture from the air but it also leaves it behind when the temp changes or the alcohol dissipates. This forms liquid water drops in the fuel system. Liquid water will clog passages and cause corrosion on dissimilar metal parts in the fuel system (usually a white powder on aluminum, "rust" brown on steel). Since sometime in the 80's fuel systems have had a coating inside the fuel tanks and lines to resist this water corrosion. Older fuel systems and carbs don't have this protection.
Running E10 fuel thru the system rapidly, -like with an every day commute works OK. The fuel is cycled thru rapidly and does not have time to let the water accumulate. A vehicle or small engine that is only operated occasionally is a bad place to use E10.
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