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Thread: Ethanol?

  1. #1


    I would like to hear from the 2 stroke guru`s how will the ethanol in today`s fuel affect our 2 strokes, primarily the GP1300R. Thanks...PR...

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Rotterdam,NY & Moneta, VA
    well im no expert. but if your talking about 10% in gas then non except a slight decrees in gph. but i doubt ever that would be noticeably.

    if your talking about e-85 it can be corrosive to some plastics,rubbers, and aluminum.

    im kinda curious how to stroke oil would react with large amounts of ethenal .
    Last edited by stingray152003; 03-15-2008 at 04:08 PM.

  3. #3
    Is it thrue that you only have around 91 - 93 octane in USA ?
    Here in sweden we have 95,96 and 98 octane...

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Harrisonville Missouri
    Yeah best at the pump I have seen is 93. Unless you find a rare station that has some race gas

  5. #5
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by zupra View Post
    Is it true that you only have around 91 - 93 octane in USA ?
    Here in Sweden we have 95,96 and 98 octane...
    Different octane labeling methods.

    European 95 is equivalent to about 90-91 US. For other grades the US pump octane number will be about 5 points less than the Euro number, for the same quality of fuel.

  6. #6
    cheatin' piston popper addicted's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    north jersey

    I believe that since the mid 80's when they started using ethanol in gas all IC motors sold in the us have to be able to handle 10% alcohol. I remember reading that somewhere. .. I'll find it eventually.

    Just realize that the gas here in NJ has had alcohol in it for YEARS.

  7. #7
    Moderator DrewNJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Marlton, NJ
    Yep Andy, you've been using ethanol for years here in NJ. Since we trailer our skis and use regular pump gas from the local station most of the time, you won't have any problems with it.
    It's a bigger problem for boat's that stay docked and never have seen anything but marina gas in the past. The ethanol acts as a detergent and loosens up all the junk in the tank.
    Last edited by DrewNJ; 03-15-2008 at 02:42 PM. Reason: hit the wrong clicker..

  8. #8
    txgp1300r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Dallas , Texas
    I tested 10% alcohol super unleaded (93) and super unleaded (93) w/o alcohol back to I cant explain it unless my ski was too rich to begin with but I pulled more rpm's with the alcohol fuel ( 50ish rpm's ) than no alcohol fuel. One of my buddy's put about 5 gallons of race gas 105 octaine in his ultra(ada head) and he slowed down. Im only running 140 psi and have been using mid grade 89 during the winter , or what we call winter in texas.. a side benefit of using alcohol in our fuel is that alcohol eats up any water in the fuel system and tends to clean things a using efi so i dont worry about rubber parts in the carbs which alcohol tends to mess up.
    Last edited by txgp1300r; 03-16-2008 at 01:12 PM. Reason: add info

  9. #9
    krispaintballz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Kenosha, WI
    Yeah here in WI we have been using it for awhile. I think it was posted on all the gas pumps about 7 years ago. Maybe a law or something. That is why i think everyone thinks ethanol blend was recently(7 years) being used. Just my thoughts.

  10. #10
    Moderator RX951's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    League City, Texas
    Please look at these links also. good reading. It looks as if 10% ethanol mix will be fine. And the use of a good two stroke oil such as Amsoil for good lubricity and mix in the gasoline.

    testing of conventional two stroke snowmobile enigne using ethanol fuels

    Ethanol is being used as a replacement for MTBE, a component of gasoline that has been banned in many states because of health concerns. The 2005 Energy Bill contained several changes that affect boaters: First, the bill eliminated the need for oxygenated gas, the main reason MTBE was used (reformulated gas is still required in high pollution areas, but is not necessarily oxygenated and is typically used only in winter); second the bill mandated a certain amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply; and third, the bill did not give liability protection against MTBE lawsuits. The last reason is why ethanol is spreading quickly – many gas companies are no longer adding MTBE even if they still can legally, and ethanol is used to add back the octane that removing MTBE took away. Because of its corrosive nature and affinity for water, ethanol is added at the tank truck just before delivery and the same truck that goes to the corner gas station also goes to the marina.

    Because there is a federal mandate for producers to use a certain amount of ethanol (which increases over the years), there doesn’t appear to be any economical way to keep it out of marinas.

    How this affects boaters:
    There are two issues – one is a safety issue for those boats equipped with fiberglass gas tanks, generally those made before the mid-80’s. Ethanol tends to dissolve certain resins, which then find their way through the engine intake and coat intake valves, which makes them stick causing bent pushrods or worse. More important is the possibility of a gas tank degrading to the point of leaking. As anyone knows, gas is the bilge is an explosion waiting to happen. In addition to boats such as Hatterases, Betrams, and Chris Crafts made before the mid-80’s, some smaller boats, notably Boston Whaler Montauks, have small above-deck fiberglass gas tanks. Some of these tanks have been reported leaking as well. Any boat with a fiberglass gas tank that was not specifically designed for ethanol should be suspect. There are some resins that are immune to ethanol (some vinylesters, for example) and are used in underground gasoline storage tanks, but most resins, including common epoxies are not able to withstand contact with ethanol. Though it’s no comfort to those with fiberglass gas tanks, fortunately, only a very small percentage of boats have them.

    Go to this website and click on the link for results of BoatU.S. sponsored test done on gas and fiberglass:

    Ethanol can also affect many plastics and rubber. However, most fuel hoses made after 1984 and marked with SAE J1527 are designed to withstand ethanol. Some older fuel filter bowls made of plastic may be affected and some seals, o-rings, or plastic parts could be damaged.

    The other issue is performance and driveability. Ethanol absorbs water readily and as little as .5% water will cause a phase separation. A water/ethanol mixture, being heavier than gas, will sink to the bottom of the gas tank, leaving a lower octane gas on top. This low octane gas can cause performance issues with 4-stroke engines, but can cause damage with 2-strokes due to a lean condition. In addition, 2-stroke engines can be damaged if a quantity of water/ethanol is ingested since the proper lubricating oil won’t be present. Keeping water out of the tank is obvisouly important.

    Another problem with the introduction of ethanol copmes from mixing gas with MTBE and gas with ethanol, especially in the presence of water. This chemical soup is believed by some manufacturers to create a gel-like substance that clogs passages in carburetors, most notably in outboards. Stalled engines and shop bills are the result. Fuel injected engines seem to suffer much less than carbureted ones.

    When ethanol is first introduced, you may experience more frequent fuel filter replacement as ethanol’s superior solvent properties cleans old varnish and other stuff from the tank.

    Note that boats with diesel engines are not affected. At this point ethanol is not being added to diesel and probably won’t be.

    Gas with ethanol also typically delivers slightly less fuel economy.

    What can you do?
    For those with affected fiberglass fuel tanks, the only sure cure is replacement, usually with aluminum. Ethanol itself does not appear to affect aluminum, except when mixed with water, where it may contribute to internal corrosion. Polypropylene gas tanks are unaffected by ethanol, according to manufacturers. Those with fiberglass gas tanks are urged to install a vapor detector in the engine space (a good idea anyway) until replacement can be carried out. And checking for the black substance under the carburetor or in the intake manifold will alert you to the fact that intake valves are also being coated.

    Keeping water out of your gas tank is important! Keep your tank filled if you are in an area with large daily temperature swings to prevent condensation, but remember that gas with ethanol has a shorter shelf life - use it up. Boats that are going to sit for long periods should store the tanks empty if possible. Note that gas drying additives are typically simply ethanol and won’t help. The installation of a water separator in the fuel line can help with small amounts of water. Outboard manufacturers also recommend adding an injector cleaner to the fuel.

    Keep some extra fuel filters on hand, especially during the first season.

    Most marinas are not required to post ethanol content on fuel pumps. Hopefully, marinas will be extra careful to avoid water contamination of storage tanks. If the lessons of Long Island Sound, where ethanol was introduced a couple of years ago hold true, problems will begin during the changeover and should lessen as the season progresses.

    The good news:
    Nearly all engine manufacturers say that up to 10% ethanol (the current federal limit) is OK to use. As long as water is kept out of fuel tanks and fuels are not mixed, aside from boats with fiberglass gas tanks, problems hopefully will be minimal.
    Last edited by RX951; 03-16-2008 at 01:32 PM.

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