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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I figured i had better mow my grass since it has been about 3 months(we are in a severe drought here). I have a Honda tractor mower, liquid cooled that I have had for years and hope for many more. Anyways, I was mowing and the fuel light came on so I took her to the barn to fuel up,lowered the throttle to idle and she was doing that roughly, and began pouring in the only gas I had on hand, and that was pure,alcohol free,Shell V-Power that the local airport guys use in their planes. Amazing........the tractor's engine went from a rough idle to a purring kitten !!! I couldn't believe it.... I had always used the cheapest stuff for my mowing chores and thought it was ok. And it probably is but my bike is a different story. I won't ever chance knowingly using ethanol crap in my pride and joy. I said all that to say this; THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.
 

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I doubt that it was because the gas in the mower had ethanol and the new stuff didn't. It is more likely that it is because the stuff in the mower had been sitting in a tank with a vented cap for at least 3 months and you were running on the dregs of that so that when you poured in the fresh stuff it diluted the dregs sufficiently for the engine to run properly again.



How humid was it there in August? How many day/night hot/cold expansion/contraction cycles drew cool, moist air in through the vent where the moisture could condense and run to the bottom of the tank, never to get out until you ran the tank low enough for it to find its way into the carbs?



BTW: 2 questions (if you don't mind me asking)



1) How did you get away with not cutting your grass for 3 months this year? The grass grew so fast around here that if I let ours go for more than a week I felt like I should have a bailer behind the mower




2) What were you thinking of filling the tank with the engine running? The fumes could have ignited from a stray spark or if you spilled some on the hot engine or exhaust it could have ignited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I always use Seafoam or some other kind of fuel stabilizer and besides my fuel was not anymore than 30 days old. And my mower usually idles kinda rough but I didn't realize how rough. And we here have been experiencing a very dry summer(officially called a drought now) which puts the grass on hold(which I don't mind). My mower's gas tank is rear mounted,top fill behind the seat, and far away from the forward firing hot exhaust, and the winds have been pretty high for this time of year. So, safe to say that refueling is a safe procedure, at least with this mower. I wouldn't do it with my push mower for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I forgot to also say that you are right about refueling while running not being a safe practice,which I don't usually do.Thanks for the comment.
 

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Well, I always use Seafoam or some other kind of fuel stabilizer and besides my fuel was not anymore than 30 days old.
OK, now I'm confused. You hadn't used the mower for 3 months but the fuel in it was less than a month old? You can understand why I assumed the gas was old.



And we here have been experiencing a very dry summer(officially called a drought now) which puts the grass on hold(which I don't mind).
Wow. You had a drought and we almost drowned. It was so wet here that I was only able to drive the mower into the bottom of our front ditch a couple of times without getting stuck in the mud.



Fortunately for the farmers, whenever it wasn't raining it was hotter than normal and very sunny so they should have bumper crops this year.



Well, at least the grass has finally started growing slowly enough that I can get away with not cutting it. Cutting grass in October is just plain wrong but I heard several neighbours out cutting theirs in the last couple of days.
 

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Cutting grass in October is just plain wrong but I heard several neighbours out cutting theirs in the last couple of days.





Would you rather be shoveling snow ?




If I am still cutting grass, there is a good chance I am still riding the bikes.
 

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I said all that to say this; THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.



It's my opinion that (most) internal combustion engines were designed to be operated on gasoline, not some governmental corn grower's subsidies. Keep the ethanol for the FlexFuel vehicles that were specifically designed to burn the stuff.
 

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Would you rather be shoveling snow ?
No, but I would have liked a bit of weather between cutting the grass & blowing the snow that was warm enough to get the 650 ready for its winter duties without having to put the heaters on in the garage




As far as ethanol in the fuel goes, we haven't been able to buy anything but E10 here in at least 15 years and I haven't heard of any engines failing because of it. My mowers both started up this spring like they had been used the week before with E10 & stabilizer in their tanks over the winter and I have noticed that my bikes' carbs are always really clean inside on the rare occasions when I have them apart.



The biggest problem with ethanol in the fuel is that there are no real benefits to using it. The energy inputs required to produce it are greater than those derived from burning it so it doesn't help to conserve anything.
 

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I have had to replace all the rubber parts in my Shindiawa weed wacker and my Homelight Chain saw since the E10 was in all the gasoline here. They are both pretty old units but run well. We have E85 available her and I am suprised the hot rodders don't build engines for it as the octane rating for it is 110 or better. I would think they could run some interesting compression ratings. The fuel mileage would be lousy but in a hot rod who really cares. BillRod
 

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Yeah. I had to replace all the rubber parts in my GoldWing's carbs a couple of years ago too (I put in a Randakk kit). You know, it must have been the 15 years of running on E10 that made those rubber parts go hard - they were only 30 years old, after all
 

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My rubber parts did not get hard. They completely dissolved. At first I had considered that there was some strange animal in my barn that was eating the fuel lines. Inside the fuel tank the only thing that was left was the weighted fuel pickup. Really was strange. Billrod
 

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Well that kind of stuff has never happened to me and I can't remember the last time I bought gas that wasn't E10. Unless Illinois ethanol is significantly different from Ontario ethanol I would say that it must be something else in the fuel that dissolved the rubber. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that some gas companies add all sorts of bizarre & untested ingredients along with the ethanol.



BTW: There is one advantage to E10 - you don't need to use gas line anti-freeze (which is usually just methanol anyway).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I sent a query to Shell oil co asking about ethanol in their gas and they replied that it's a federal mandate to add alcohol to their gas but since most of their stations are independently owned that it's up to them what to sell (ethanol fortified or pure gas).

I haven't had any major trouble yet but I'm just trying to stay ahead of it.
 
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Just joined and was glancing around the forums and saw this discussion.........



Thought I would pass along a link.......if I am allowed...don't want to step on any toes yet.........



http://pure-gas.org/index.jsp



This shows some of the gas stations in Canada and the US that do not use Ethanol



My daily rider right now is a 78 cb550k and have heard that ethanol is hard on "O" rings and make some bikes run hotter,fact or fiction I'm not sure.
 

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I am amazed. I have not seen a pump that didn't have the little sign that says 10% ethanol in so long I was sure they did not sell it in Ontario any more, but according to that site it looks like you can get non ethanol fuel at any Shell station (it would take almost a tank of gas to go to the nearest one to me & return home) and some Canadian Tires and independent places.



There are all sorts of horror stories about ethanol causing problems in carbs, but all I can say is that it hasn't been my experience.



My GoldWing's engine & carbs came from a '79, that flipped upside down and skidded along the road that way long enough to destroy the handlebars, instruments and seat. It sat at a shop for 3-4 years until I bought it in '92. At that time I disassembled the carbs and cleaned the motor oil out of them (it ran through the breather to the air cleaner when the bike flipped and then down into the carbs, displacing the fuel when the bike was righted.

I took carbs apart for a rebuild 2 years ago. They hadn't been opened up in at least 15 years and still had the original rubber parts that I re-used in '92. Every o-ring had hardened and had to be removed by breaking it with pliers but the metal parts were really, really clean.

I doubt that the failure of 29 year old rubber parts that have been sitting in gasoline for extended periods had much to do with ethanol. I'm sure it would have taken a lot less than 12 years of running E10 fuel for ethanol related problems to surface.
 
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