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Ethanol vs Non-Ethanol 24 year old 2-stroke

Old 05-18-2020, 11:01 PM
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Default Ethanol vs Non-Ethanol 24 year old 2-stroke

Alright, the obvious answer is Non- Ethanol is preferred. I can't be certain but I would bet this motor has run fuel with ethanol.
It's takes me quite some time to get Non-E, so I'm looking for advice on what is the worst case if I run with Ethanol and if I do would higher octane make a difference?
The motor is a '96 Force 40.
Old 05-19-2020, 12:06 AM
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The worst case....

You have varnish from all the non-ethanol (we call it gas) that gets loosened up in the tank and lines and clogs all the filters, pickup tube, etc. The ethanol also ruins parts in your fuel system that were not made for it and you have leaks. The ethanol doesn’t get used fast enough and phase separates and you blow the powerhead. All very possible outcomes. If you started with an ethanol friendly setup, and you stick with it, and don’t keep any excess gas in the boat, you will probably never have any problems but if you go from gas to corn, you are likely gonna have problems. We have gas all over FL so I use gas as the Yamaha manual even recommends it.
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:56 AM
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Don't worry about it. I have a 97 Force 40 that gets nothing but 87 E10. Never had a single fuel system problem for as long as I've owned it.
Old 05-19-2020, 05:45 AM
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Definitely be careful about switching from gas to ethanol. Make sure your boat doesn’t have a fiberglass tank. I had an old Maverick HPX with a fiberglass fuel tank . The previous owner started using ethanol based fuel ( I continued as that was only thing available in my area). The coating of the tank actually started dissolving and fun king up the fuel line and reed valves . A total nightmare. If you have to switch from ethanol to gas, run it down as low as possible or drain the tank as I believe there are chemicals (emulsifier?) in real gas that also will congeal if mixed with ethanol. No, they are NOT interchangeable.
Old 05-19-2020, 06:07 AM
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May the Force be with you
Old 05-19-2020, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by BTL View Post
Don't worry about it. I have a 97 Force 40 that gets nothing but 87 E10. Never had a single fuel system problem for as long as I've owned it.
This surprises me- NNK has a pretty decent supply of non-E. I think the truck runs down 17. You're out there seemingly a lot though- probably not enough time for the gas to go bad between fill ups. One more week and I'll be back in action down by you..
Old 05-19-2020, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by KPHuss View Post
This surprises me- NNK has a pretty decent supply of non-E. I think the truck runs down 17. You're out there seemingly a lot though- probably not enough time for the gas to go bad between fill ups. One more week and I'll be back in action down by you..
The Force 40hp I have is actually on a boat that I leave in Minnesota for my annual vacation. Down here I use a 1988 Evinrude 25hp and once in a blue moon a 1992 Mariner 150. I use E10 in everything though, never had a problem with it.

Wish I could get out more often. It's a 2.5hr trip one way for me to fish the NNK. May go this weekend and that will be the last time until the end of June. Hope you catch em up.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:16 AM
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If you don't have it already, download the PureGas.org app. Nothing wrong with switching, but if you have original fuel hoses and carb seals you could run into some rubber compatibility issues, in addition to clogs due to varnish.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:58 AM
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i wouldnt give it much thought. i ran a 2003 yammi with the cheapest gas i can find on my way to the launch( always had ethanol) for close to 15 years before i sold it. Motor ran just as it should. on my current 4 stroke i also grab the most convenince gas on the way to
the ramp and it also has ethanol. Seems like every other boat stops at the same gas station on the way tot the ramp.\
Old 05-19-2020, 01:14 PM
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you might be fine and might not. the downside is worse than the upside little bit of money and time you save. just because someone else says they didnt have a problem doesnt mean you wont. other wise we all would still smoke and not wear seat belts.
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by thesamarai View Post
i wouldnt give it much thought. i ran a 2003 yammi with the cheapest gas i can find on my way to the launch( always had ethanol) for close to 15 years before i sold it. Motor ran just as it should. on my current 4 stroke i also grab the most convenince gas on the way to
the ramp and it also has ethanol. Seems like every other boat stops at the same gas station on the way tot the ramp.\
That is a much newer boat and you always ran ethanol. That’s apples to oranges. Ethanol was widely available when your boat came out. You probably had seals and hoses that were ethanol safe.
Old 05-19-2020, 02:39 PM
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Lets put it this way. For a number of years you couldn’t find real gas in FL unless you looked really hard. Now its everywhere. Why the demand? There is good reason. I bought my boat brand new only 20 months ago and it has never had and never will have ethanol as long as I can buy gas at any price within reason. I already pay $1/gal more for it. Diesel is high too. I can’t even buy real diesel anymore even though thats what the trucks like best. I have 2 pre emissions trucks.
Old 05-19-2020, 02:40 PM
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If you want to know the facts versus opinions, read the MSA on any brand ethanol gasoline. You will find the culprit is not the ethanol. Its all the other carcinogens they add. Research it.
Old 05-19-2020, 02:45 PM
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OP- Where in VA are you located? Second the vote for Pure Gas. Northern VA- you are out of luck; but you can find nonE out in the country
Old 05-19-2020, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by WhaleProphet View Post
Alright, the obvious answer is Non- Ethanol is preferred. I can't be certain but I would bet this motor has run fuel with ethanol.
It's takes me quite some time to get Non-E, so I'm looking for advice on what is the worst case if I run with Ethanol and if I do would higher octane make a difference?
The motor is a '96 Force 40.
Theres nothing in your motor not made for up to 10% ethanol compatibility wise.

If you use it frequently, dont let sit months, and get 10% etoh.....you wont have problems ....most likely

If you use infrequently....you will
If you get greater than 10%.....it can drastically shorten motor life....

A sure way to avoid all the problems.......is to avoid ethanol.
Old 05-19-2020, 06:10 PM
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Make sure the fuel lines from the tank to the motor
are newer and ethanol resistance, the old ones can degraded from the inside and deteriorate and clog the motor.
Old 05-19-2020, 06:28 PM
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Recommendation ? Just use Sta-bil with each fill up. If your gas lines are original, it would be a good idea to upgrade them to ethanol resistant. Ethanol does degrade plastic and rubber. Current fuel hoses will be stamped with "ethanol resistant" or a similar claim. Shields hoses are available at West Marine.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:37 PM
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My 1993 Johnson 200 fuel requirements per the OMC service manual was 87octane with up to 10% ethanol or 5% methanol with 5% cosolvents is listed as acceptable fuels. Just make sure you have a good fuel/water separator filter and don’t let it sit for extended periods of time without use.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:48 PM
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Replace the fuel lines and fuel tank with new. Or replace the fuel lines with e10 resistant ones and clean the fuel tank with Berryman's B12. That's what I used to clean the 6 gal tanks reg fuel varnish off the bottom. Emptied tank, poured a can of Berryman's B12 and left it in there 2 days. Shook it all together evey time I remembered then on day 2 I Dumped the junk out and filled with fresh E10. Never looked back. Ran that thing for 20 yrs without any carb or fuel problems. I got tired of reg fuels continuous carb cleanups and assorted issues. I ran the motor out of fuel whenever I stored for more than three months.

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Old 05-19-2020, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by El Comandante View Post
If you want to know the facts versus opinions, read the MSA on any brand ethanol gasoline. You will find the culprit is not the ethanol. Its all the other carcinogens they add. Research it.
So you are saying the corn alcohol is not to blame for the insides of rubber hoses falling apart and such? We weren’t allowed to use isopropyl on pinch rollers when cleaning the heads on the multitrack machines back in the day because it would deteriorate the rubber parts. Numerous (thousands) of claims of this being an issue with old (or new, but wrong) fuel hose. What precisely is the chemical that is the issue? Honestly I would use ethanol because its cheaper and will keep everything clean, but I’m concerned it would separate and absorb water in the FL humidity particularly since we can’t always be on the boat for a while.

Last edited by nautikel; 05-19-2020 at 07:07 PM.

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