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  1. #1
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Fuel stabilizers, ethanol, winterization ...

    Quote Originally Posted by nvgtrsprt View Post
    ... I'm using a Johnson fuel treatment that I used in my E-Tec. 4+2 or something like that. Supposedly fuel and ethanol treatment. Been using it in all my toys and haven't had any problems..... yet...
    You may find this interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by wotxxxsd View Post
    I do not suggest stabil fuel products. I know what the bottle says it preserves the fuel but I've personally seen it turn to gel in the tank.

    Use Lucas fuel injector/upper cylinder lubricant. It neutralizes old fuel.
    I do not wish this to become a thread jack, but I must say that the vast majority of information and recommendations regarding fuel stabilizers is of the testimonial variety. When 'test results' are provided often the testing itself was limited in scope and incomplete. Solid and scientific information is amazingly hard to find and/or narrowly executed.

    Fuel stabilizing is not magic, gasoline is a complex chemical but the degradation mechanisms are fairly well understood, at least by the companies that manufacture and sell the stuff.

    Most of the fuel stabilizer products and bottle labels seem to say very little or nothing about what the product actually does. Often the product label is all about what machines you can pour it into (which is often a list of almost everything that runs on gasoline).

    Then the label will tell you what the product does not do. It doesn't damage your equipment (no shit, really). It is compatible with every flavor and type of gasoline imaginable, apparently. Or it says nothing at all about gasoline variations, with perhaps a mention of ethanol blends.

    They all suggest it is best to add their product to every tank of fuel, just in case. Sells more product, naturally.

    Independent product testing of fuel stabilizer products, when I have seen it, usually is quite limited in scope and often of limited scientific value.

    Here is an example
    Quote Originally Posted by BoatingLAB
    ...Our test parameters did not include substantiating long-term oxidation prevention claims...

    ...E10 can contain a maximum of 10 percent ethanol. It may have less. Our fuel undoubtedly did have less — perhaps 7 percent...

    ...We found very little difference between brands in preventing phase separation but did show definitively that fuel treatments can retard the process...Phase separation began for all treated samples at 2.5 milliliters--0.5 percent...
    While the article makes for interesting reading, the testing was based on gasoline with an inexact methanol percentage and did not test long term stability of the treated fuel.

    After the first page, the rest of the article just repeats each manufacturer's product claims without any further testing.

    And what's with not putting a date on the article? How old is this test info?
    Last edited by K447; 03-01-2014 at 12:18 PM.


  2. #2
    merkdog's Avatar
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    Sea Foam is the only thing I use but just my opinion.

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  4. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merkdog View Post
    Sea Foam is the only thing I use but just my opinion.
    Have you looked up what is actually in SeaFoam?

    Very old-school chemistry, as best I can tell. Most of the 'evidence' available seems to be of the testimonial variety.

  5. #4
    nvgtrsprt's Avatar
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    A marine tech who I trust has told me it's actually better to not switch back and forth between non-ethanol and ethanol fuel. Meaning, if you're going to run E10, stick to E10. Having access to non E10 fuel is always best but not to switch between the two. Any thoughts?

  6. #5
    "just sayin".. jetdave56's Avatar
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    Just gonna weigh in on this subject even though it's been discussed on the boards many times...

    Like many seasonal riders winterize by the book with a few of my own ideas but I can tell you this...

    Put the Stabil Marine
    in last riding day and run the ski for 30-60 mins,5-6 months later with a good trickle battery charge ski starts almost immediately and never experienced any stalling or bogging,then will ride that day not WOT but cautiously to give a good warm up and oil bath of the internals with its new fresh oil change...

    Been this way for almost 10 yrs NEVER had an issue with Stabil Stabilizer and it's chemicals then again only used it once a yr for one tank for winterizing...

  7. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvgtrsprt View Post
    K447, no problem on the hi-jack. Lots of information to digest. Not being an expert in the field, all we have to go by are other people's experience with certain products.

    In simple terms, an alcohol based product is not good for fuel treatment?
    In simple terms, Ethanol is a bad thing for marine gasoline, boats or personal watercraft. The less ethanol in the fuel the better, with zero ethanol being preferred.

    Adding ethanol to gasoline allows the fuel to 'absorb' very small amounts of water. Without ethanol any water in the fuel tank just settles to the bottom and sits there, under the liquid fuel. The gasoline is essentially unaffected. While having water in the bottom of the fuel tank is not a good thing, at least the gasoline is still, well, gasoline.

    Back in the 'old days' when cars would have troubles in winter with drops of liquid water freezing in the fuel lines running from the gas tank up to the engine, one 'fix' was to add some alcohol (ethanol) to the gasoline tank. As long as the amount of water in the fuel system was minimal enough the added alcohol would absorb the moisture and everything stayed mixed together. These ethanol in a can products had names like Dry Gas and so on.

    Where the trouble lies is when there is way more water in the fuel system than the ethanol can handle. Suddenly almost ALL the ethanol un-disolves from the gasoline and drops to the bottom of the fuel tank. This phase separated combo of ethanol + water does not burn and causes trouble if it gets drawn into the engine.

    The gasoline left in the fuel tank above the ethanol goop will also be degraded and about 3-4 octane numbers less than it was supposed to be.
    Note: Adding 10% ethanol to gasoline at the refinery or retailer boosts the octane value of the underlying gasoline by about 3. Taking that ethanol back out when the excess water forces phase separation removes the octane boost.
    87 octane gasoline with 10% ethanol becomes 84 octane when the ethanol drops out. This is of course useless as a fuel for your engine and will cause damage if you run the engine on it.

    How much water is too much for ethanol blended gasoline?
    For E10 gasoline (10% ethanol) the maximum percentage of water is less than 0.5% of the gasoline quantity that is in the fuel tank.

    If you have a gas tank that is maybe 1/4 full, it only takes about eight tablespoons of water (maybe less) to trigger phase separation. Once phase separation happens, it cannot be effectively undone. The entire fuel tank must be drained, and preferably cleaned and dried.

    You can see that even an accidental water splash while you have the fuel filler cap open at a refueling dock could be trouble.

    What the 'Ethanol compatible' fuel treatment products attempt to do is raise the percentage of water that the treated ethanol blended gasoline can handle before triggering phase separation. While this is helpful, the total amount of water that can be tolerated is still quite small.

    Best practice is to minimize exposure of your fuel tank to moisture entry and minimize your use of ethanol fuel where you have a choice. When you must use ethanol fuel, try to burn through it rather than store the machine with ethanol fuel.

    If you have a fuel tank that you suspect may have some water inside, or even worse some phase separated ethanol+water goop on the bottom, the best approach is to drain, clean and dry the tank. Then refill with known 'good' gasoline.

    Dispose or use the drained fuel in a responsible manner.
    Last edited by K447; 03-01-2014 at 02:48 PM.

  8. #7
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvgtrsprt View Post
    A marine tech who I trust has told me it's actually better to not switch back and forth between non-ethanol and ethanol fuel. Meaning, if you're going to run E10, stick to E10.

    Having access to non E10 fuel is always best but not to switch between the two. Any thoughts?
    http://www.cim-tek.com/pdfs/Treatise...Separation.pdf

    There are considerations when switching back and forth between straight gasoline and ethanol blended gasoline. It revolves around whether there is already some moisture dissolved into the ethanol or sitting in the tank.

    As I understand it, if the partial tank of ethanol blended gasoline has zero or very close to zero dissolved water, adding straight gasoline to the tank is just fine. Same with a fuel tank containing some straight gas, to which you want to add ethanol blended gasoline. No water = no problem.

    Where the trouble occurs is when there actually is some water hiding in the fuel tank or already in the ethanol fuel. On a tank containing straight gasoline that water would be sitting under the gasoline, at the bottom of the tank.

    When you then add a large amount of ethanol gasoline, the ethanol immediately begins to absorb that standing water. If there is enough water to trigger phase separation (remember, this is somewhere around or under 0.5% of the entire fuel load), well, that is bad.

    Going the other way, perhaps there is 0.4% water being held by the ethanol. No phase separation yet. Now you add 3/4 tank of straight gasoline. The ethanol percentage overall drops to a much lower percentage of the fuel volume, perhaps 2% ethanol compared to the 10% ethanol before you started pumping in the straight gas. That reduced ethanol percentage changes the amount of water the ethanol can handle and could trigger the ethanol to 'give up' and phase separate.

  9. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetdave56 View Post
    ... it's been discussed on the boards many times...
    Indeed.

    I suppose this section should be moved out to its own thread...

    Edit: Posts in this thread were extracted from this prior thread;

    http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/show...=1#post2336720

  10. #9
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    Here is a good link to read on fuel stabilizers. All kinds of good info here.
    Gasoline Tips for your Rush
    Last edited by K447; 03-01-2014 at 05:15 PM.

  11. #10
    Moderator beerdart's Avatar
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    IMO its all snake oil. I have never had a fuel problem from old fuel.


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