Ethanol mix gas - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-18-2006, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Since everywhere in the state of virginia is switching over to 10% ethanol mix gas, I am just wondering if anyone has had any problems runing this or not?

thanks

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 12:03 AM
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I don't think there would be any problem running this gas. However the only effect on the engine I know of is octane level. If you don't know, this is established by a kinda funny method. They basically have established a standard at which they determine when an engine begins to knock (knocking begins when the fuel is ignited due to compression and not spark) and thus they have established a weird standard. So basically octane is just a reference between engine knock, thus is why high compression engines need higher octane.

So as long as its the same octane I would think your good to go. However my dad won't put ethanol in his Trans-Am don't know why, guess it's time to give the Pops a call.

Hope this helped (if not for you then some other RAT)

[ This message was edited by: Aviator2007 on 2006-04-18 23:04 ]

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 02:16 AM
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Odds are that you will be fine. All American cars built past 1980 or so can run a 10% ethanol/gas mix. Ethanol is more acidic to engine components and in cars/motorcycles that were not designed with ethanol in mind it can wear out faster.

However I am pretty sure that you should be able to run the mix no problem. Most vehicles built past the 1980's or so has been constructed to handle the mix.

And Aviator, if your dad's trans am is pre 1980 then he would not want to use the mix, as it will eat away tubing and bare metal components in the engine over time.

I am 100% positive but almost all post 1980 vehicles can run the 10% mix, and if you have some wear problems or dont feel safe, get acid neutralizing oil for the engine.

And yea, ethanol raises octane rating. Running a higher octane than recommended wont really hurt your engine, but it wont make max power either. However it does make for better forced induction work! :-D :razz:

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 07:21 AM
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Thanks for the info. I didn't know it was more acidic. Does this have an effect on rubber tubing, tubing , engine metals???

Thanks again

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 06:12 PM
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Its good to know info... Seems like most of the midwest and east coast states are adopting E10 and E85 ethanol gas mixes.

Yea, what happens is when the Ehanol gas mix is combusted it form formic acid if I remember correctly (I may be wrong). But its a very weak acid in 10% Ethanol mixes. So yea it can eat away are old rubber tubing and bare engine metals. But most companies now make thier components with ethanol in mind.

Matter fact, the Big four bikes can all run off of E10 and it wont void their warrenty. Dont know about Triumph though.

Makes me want to contact Triumph to see what they say about it. But running Ethanol mixes in new engines is useally really safe. The following site has some good explanations, if you want to check it out.

Ethanol Facts

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 09:50 PM
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Very interesting (good technical info). My only question is if it's after in combusts that we have formic acid forms, then what rubber components are in jeopordy at this point. I know theres no rubber hoseing so are we just worried about metals??? There's a good possibility that I'm missing something, but I just can't think of any time when exhaust should come in contact with any rubber.

Thanks again Comrade for the good post. :upthumb: :gpst:

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-20-2006, 01:11 AM
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Well, what I believe happens is the acid eats away at the cylinder wall, and piston rings (or just gets straight trough if the rings are not set well enough) and then starts leaking through, thus contaminating the oil in the engine, and starts destroying rubber seals like the ones on oil filters. Really though in a 10% Ethanol mix most acid/harmful chemicals are expelled in the exhaust stroke.

So once a significant amount of acid has built up in your oil (this is of course only if your oil is not acid neutralizing) it starts eating at crank case, gears etc anything that comes in contact with the contaminated oil at all. So the tubing most people would be concerned with is any that has a rubber lining and runs oil.

Matter fact if I remember correctly the first thing your supposed to do if you have been running a high concentration ethanol mix in a non-adapted car, is to change your oil and add normal gasoline to the tank until an acceptable running mix is achieved.

Thanks for the good post compliment :-D I try

On a side note, normal Ethanol (the stuff not used to mix with gas) is not very acidic, its only when it is highly refind will it react with other things.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-20-2006, 04:14 PM
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What nervous Nellies! :-D

What Triumph says about ethanol blends should be in your owner's manual. You remember...that plump little rectangle of paper under your seat? In all of mine, it says hurray for ethanol, all commercially available blends to 15% are absolutely fine with no alteration to the fuel system or service procedures.

But no methanol!

All combustion of complex hydrocarbons produces various acids and other byproducts. That's why you want to change your oil on a regular time schedule even if you don't reach the number of miles specified for a service interval. The additive package can only cope with those products for just so long. A 10-15% ethanol blend is not enough to significantly affect this.

And forget about higher octane numbers unless you're blending the fuel yourself! When oil companies blend the fuels, they're normally not going to give you one point more than it states on the pump. They formulate the petrol to a lower octane rating in the first place and then let the alcohol bring it back up to the usual commercial values.

There is one drawback to ethanol blends, but it's not about the fuel, as such. The alcohol makes it possible for water (and any contaminants dissolved in it) to be absorbed from the storage tanks. It used to be commonplace after a filling station converted to 'gasohol' for them to sometimes receive complaints about poor performance because their customers' fuel systems got clogged. I don't think this is as much a problem with the modern, environmentally sound storage tanks that most stations are converting to now.

Gasohol was rare when I lived in western Georgia, but is quite common out here. So far, I've had no problems running it at all.

If your local stations have clean modern tanks, pump away and enjoy knowing that you're reducing a fraction of a percent of oil imports.

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