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Old 02-11-2011, 02:12 PM
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Default Yet another ethanol question... switching back to regular gas?

Hey guys,

I have a question that I haven't really found a definitive answer for:

Where I live, getting regular (non-ethanol) gas is a pain to get, so since we took delivery of our boat, it has been running on 10% ethanol gas. We trailer the boat, so getting gas on the way home from a station versus paying almost $2.00 a gallon extra on the water just isn't worth it for us. So, we run ethanol and keep the tank full, change filters often, and use additives. Haven't had any problems (in this or our last boat).

However, we rented a house in the keys for the month of June and the marina around the corner sells non-ethanol gas..

Here's the question: I've read lots of posts where the recommendation is to keep from mixing ethanol gas with non ethanol gas. However, most of these responses are towards boats that have been running regular gas forever and are being forced to switch over to ethanol. When we switched the old boat to ethanol, we ran out as much of the regular gas as was possible and had the tank pumped and cleaned, then started running the ethanol...

Would there be any negatives to running the non-ethanol gas in the boat while we're in the keys? If we choose to do that, should we run out as much ethanol gas as possible, then fill up? And vice versa, when we return are have to go back to the ethanol gas, would we have to do the same?? Or are the "mixing ethanol and non-ethanol" related problems not relevant in my case...?

Any opinions, facts, or discussion is appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:23 PM
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Not sure I would read into all of the BS about Ethanol. I have an old 2 stroke that started its life with regular gas and was converted to the 10% Ethanol a few years ago WITH ZERO ISSUES. Knocking on wood...

Not to be a smartarse but isn't 10% Ethanol "gas" just gas with 80% regular gas and 10% corn alcohol aka Ethanol? Probably not that simple but you get my drift.

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Old 02-11-2011, 02:26 PM
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In November, I moved my boat to a wet slip and started to buy my gas from a marina. Their fuel is non ethanol.. No problems at all. The boat has been running on ethanol fuel it's entire life (10 years).

Since ethanol gasoline is ethanol mixed with gasoline, I don't understand why more gasoline and less ethanol would create a problem unless the ethanol fuel had already absorbed water and phase separated. I would recommend you stabilize your ethanol fuel, and proceed to add non ethanol fuel at will. As long as you are adding good fuel to good fuel, you should be fine.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:28 PM
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No problem using regular gas from running ethanol. The problems come up going the other way if your tank is not clean as the ethanol cleans your tank and fuel system by dissolving the gunk. Unfortunately the gunk is now liquid and your engine may not like it. You were burning 90% gas anyway.
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Old 02-11-2011, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by psachseJr View Post
Since ethanol gasoline is ethanol mixed with gasoline, I don't understand why more gasoline and less ethanol would create a problem unless the ethanol fuel had already absorbed water and phase separated.
Exactly. I never understood the don't mix advice. E10 gas is already mixed. Adding straight gas will lower the ethanol content, which is generally a good thing.

If you have problems from mixing, it's most likely from the ethanol fuel absorbing too much water. Same problems would likely have eventually surfaced by adding more E10, only they are masked a bit as the added ethanol can now absorb more water.

I ran into some trouble with water in the fuel a few months ago. Changed the water separating filters to Racors with the clear bowl (one of them was more than 60% full of water), and switched to running real gas. Took a little bit to clear out, but now they run smooth.
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:27 PM
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If I remember correctly the problem with mixing ethanol fuels and non-ethanol fuel originated due to the additive MTB which was incompatible with ethanol. Gas doesn't have MTB in it any more so you don't need to worry.

All that is from memory though and I'm too lazy right now to look it up!
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:37 PM
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slipkid is correct
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipkid View Post
If I remember correctly the problem with mixing ethanol fuels and non-ethanol fuel originated due to the additive MTBE which was incompatible with ethanol. Gas doesn't have MTBE in it any more so you don't need to worry.

All that is from memory though and I'm too lazy right now to look it up!
Correct, mixing MTBE and ethanol would create a gel.

Finding info on the demise of MTBE is a PITA This seems to drive a nail in the coffin.

http://www.sriconsulting.com/CEH/Pub...orts/543.7500/

The next-leading gasoline octane improver/oxygenate is MTBE. Starting in the late 1970s, MTBE was the predominant choice of gasoline oxygenate used worldwide because of its low cost, high octane value and easy incorporation into gasoline stock. However, in the late 1990s, MTBE was alleged to cause detrimental environmental impacts by contaminating water supplies. As a result, use in Japan ceased in 2003, and in the United States and Canada in 2006. Global use peaked in 2000 at about 20.4 million metric tons.

The United States still produces MTBE but practically all is exported. However, output will decline significantly as the largest producer, LyondellBasell, shuts down one of its units and converts 30% of its remaining capacity to ETBE during 2009.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by slipkid View Post
If I remember correctly the problem with mixing ethanol fuels and non-ethanol fuel originated due to the additive MTB which was incompatible with ethanol. Gas doesn't have MTB in it any more so you don't need to worry.

All that is from memory though and I'm too lazy right now to look it up!
Exactly.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:42 PM
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but isn't 10% Ethanol "gas" just gas with 80% regular gas and 10% corn.

Dang, Widman, here's a yawning cry for quality control and not a peep out of you!

More like 90% regular and 10% corn ...
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:44 PM
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So you are saying that the EPA/gov introduced a new fuel that was incompatible with the old fuel? You realize when it was being phased in, E10 and non-E10 was sold in the same areas. MTBE is still sold interchangeably in many areas. Our marina gas does not contain ethanol and it is regularly mixed with people who buy gas on a trailer and fill up elsewhere. Where is all the MTBE-ethanol gel? I've never seen it.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostShip View Post
Correct, mixing MTBE and ethanol would create a gel.

Finding info on the demise of MTBE is a PITA This seems to drive a nail in the coffin.

http://www.sriconsulting.com/CEH/Pub...orts/543.7500/

The next-leading gasoline octane improver/oxygenate is MTBE. Starting in the late 1970s, MTBE was the predominant choice of gasoline oxygenate used worldwide because of its low cost, high octane value and easy incorporation into gasoline stock. However, in the late 1990s, MTBE was alleged to cause detrimental environmental impacts by contaminating water supplies. As a result, use in Japan ceased in 2003, and in the United States and Canada in 2006. Global use peaked in 2000 at about 20.4 million metric tons.

The United States still produces MTBE but practically all is exported. However, output will decline significantly as the largest producer, LyondellBasell, shuts down one of its units and converts 30% of its remaining capacity to ETBE during 2009.
What do the words in italics say about "ethanol MTBE gel?" How does that quote support your argument? Everyone knows that MTBE was outlawed because a bunch of marys in California decided it was getting into groundwater blah blah blah. Those same californians were the ones who outlawed external vents on portable gas tanks because they released gas vapor into the air.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by miike View Post
So you are saying that the EPA/gov introduced a new fuel that was incompatible with the old fuel? You realize when it was being phased in, E10 and non-E10 was sold in the same areas. MTBE is still sold interchangeably in many areas. Our marina gas does not contain ethanol and it is regularly mixed with people who buy gas on a trailer and fill up elsewhere. Where is all the MTBE-ethanol gel? I've never seen it.
Er.... no where because you aren't getting MTBE in the gas. I've seen it when we got ethanol after hurricanes in 2004. I got 15 gallons of phase separated water and then had to remove the sending unit and basically scoop out the gel. I had thought it was sealant from my sending unit that was getting to my filter but nope.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:28 PM
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Or you already had sludge in your tank that you didnt know about and you cleaned the tank because of something related to the hurricane?

Originally, when E10 was introduced there was still MTBE. Statistically, at some point, roughly half of the gas stations had MTBE fuel and the other half E10. It was a gradual process, not all stations at once.

What evidence is there that MTBE and E10 makes a gel? Your story is not conclusive. What oxygenator do you propose I am buying that is not ethanol or MTBE at the fuel dock?
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
but isn't 10% Ethanol "gas" just gas with 80% regular gas and 10% corn.

Dang, Widman, here's a yawning cry for quality control and not a peep out of you!

More like 90% regular and 10% corn ...
Dang it I can't add either!

Bout the gel creation by mixing regular gas and ethanol...I still call it BS.

Y'all have fun with this!
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psachseJr View Post
In November, I moved my boat to a wet slip and started to buy my gas from a marina. Their fuel is non ethanol.. No problems at all. The boat has been running on ethanol fuel it's entire life (10 years).

Since ethanol gasoline is ethanol mixed with gasoline, I don't understand why more gasoline and less ethanol would create a problem unless the ethanol fuel had already absorbed water and phase separated. I would recommend you stabilize your ethanol fuel, and proceed to add non ethanol fuel at will. As long as you are adding good fuel to good fuel, you should be fine.
+1

I run ethanol gas all the time but when I was in VT I got a load of non ethanol. I have never had a problem but I do stabilize the fuel when I will be sitting for a long time.

I think that most people that have trouble own older boats that have crud in the tanks.

Given the opportunity I would go non-ethanol but never worry about mixing.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Belzelbub View Post
Exactly. I never understood the don't mix advice. E10 gas is already mixed. Adding straight gas will lower the ethanol content, which is generally a good thing.
Of course it will. Just like adding water to a shot of whiskey. It dilutes the alcohol.

I can't figure out why this seems so difficult to some people.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
but isn't 10% Ethanol "gas" just gas with 80% regular gas and 10% corn.

Dang, Widman, here's a yawning cry for quality control and not a peep out of you!

More like 90% regular and 10% corn ...
I was at the marina finishing up the replacement of four batteries and the charger. I can't be on duty 24/7.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by miike View Post
Originally, when E10 was introduced there was still MTBE. Statistically, at some point, roughly half of the gas stations had MTBE fuel and the other half E10. It was a gradual process, not all stations at once.
No, many were selling 100%, non-adulterated gasoline. In South Carolina, it's only been in the last year or so that ethanol has been added to gasoline.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsmith03 View Post
Hey guys,

I have a question that I haven't really found a definitive answer for:

Where I live, getting regular (non-ethanol) gas is a pain to get, so since we took delivery of our boat, it has been running on 10% ethanol gas. We trailer the boat, so getting gas on the way home from a station versus paying almost $2.00 a gallon extra on the water just isn't worth it for us. So, we run ethanol and keep the tank full, change filters often, and use additives. Haven't had any problems (in this or our last boat).

However, we rented a house in the keys for the month of June and the marina around the corner sells non-ethanol gas..

Here's the question: I've read lots of posts where the recommendation is to keep from mixing ethanol gas with non ethanol gas. However, most of these responses are towards boats that have been running regular gas forever and are being forced to switch over to ethanol. When we switched the old boat to ethanol, we ran out as much of the regular gas as was possible and had the tank pumped and cleaned, then started running the ethanol...

Would there be any negatives to running the non-ethanol gas in the boat while we're in the keys? If we choose to do that, should we run out as much ethanol gas as possible, then fill up? And vice versa, when we return are have to go back to the ethanol gas, would we have to do the same?? Or are the "mixing ethanol and non-ethanol" related problems not relevant in my case...?

Any opinions, facts, or discussion is appreciated.

Thanks.
I used to have fuel problems with my motors way back. I quit filling up at Marinas and the problem ended. (Hauling Jerry cans of fuel around is less a pia than going to the mechanic to rebuild injectors and pump tank clean) I am actually considering buying one of those Tempo 20+ gal tanks on wheels.

I would be more worried about what the Marina is pumping into my fuel tank than whether the gas had ethanol or not. Once you put crap in there the type of fuel becomes irrelevant.

Make sure the Marina you fuel up from is a well patronized Marina and pumps a lot of fuel. Old fuel, any kind, sucks.
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