The Staff of Motorsport Marketing
The Staff of Motorsport Marketing Writer
1/26/21 10:00 a.m.

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Is that 10% ethanol found in most pump gasoline good or bad for your classic? Like many things in life, it’s complicated. 

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Bardan
Bardan New Reader
1/26/21 3:26 p.m.

Ethanol was used to promote corn sales in the midwest. It's political! 

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
1/27/21 2:24 p.m.

In reply to Bardan :

You are exactly correct, there is no other reason for ethanol in our gasoline, pseudo science notwithstanding. The politicos would have you believe that it's there to stretch our gas/oil reserves. Hogwash, the amount of ethanol in our gas wouldn't stretch granny's girdle. It's simply that the farmers have a strong lobby in DC and are looking to increase the use of ethanol even further. Don't get me wrong, I love our farmers, they're one great group of people, but shoving ethanol down our fill tubes does not make anyone happy except them and their paid shills.  End of soapbox rant.

 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/27/21 3:35 p.m.
300zxfreak said:

In reply to Bardan :

You are exactly correct, there is no other reason for ethanol in our gasoline, pseudo science notwithstanding. The politicos would have you believe that it's there to stretch our gas/oil reserves. Hogwash, the amount of ethanol in our gas wouldn't stretch granny's girdle. It's simply that the farmers have a strong lobby in DC and are looking to increase the use of ethanol even further. Don't get me wrong, I love our farmers, they're one great group of people, but shoving ethanol down our fill tubes does not make anyone happy except them and their paid shills.  End of soapbox rant.

 

It's simpler than that.  What is the first primary election on the way to the White House?  Yep it's that simple.  
   Now is ethanol good or bad?  
It's wonderful at making power.  Indy cars use 100% ethanol. They used to use 100% methanol which is slightly more powerful. But that stuff is nasty deadly. Get it on your skin it and attacks internal organs. Breath it and it attacks your lungs. 
     Ethanol on the other hand is what's in beer, wine and booze.  Drink ethanol and you get happy. Drink Methanol and you die. 
Ethanol does a wonderful job of cleaning crud and deposits.  It also make the engine run cooler.   it won't hurt any rubber used on a car in this century or much of the last for that matter

Now the facts about Ethanol and our classic. Cars. Alcohol attracts water. Absorbs it out of the air. But Gasoline has always had some water in it. Cars from the 40's early 50's often had a glass bowl so you could actually see how much water was in the gas.  A little bit of water helps, it cleans plugs and etc. If your cars electrical system is good notice how much nicer, smoother a car runs on a rainy day.  
      Yes there are additives like Stabil that help with water absorbing.  But if you aren't going to use your car for more than a month you are probably better off storing it with non oxygenated fuell. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/27/21 5:34 p.m.
300zxfreak said:

In reply to Bardan :

You are exactly correct, there is no other reason for ethanol in our gasoline, pseudo science notwithstanding. The politicos would have you believe that it's there to stretch our gas/oil reserves. Hogwash, the amount of ethanol in our gas wouldn't stretch granny's girdle. It's simply that the farmers have a strong lobby in DC and are looking to increase the use of ethanol even further. Don't get me wrong, I love our farmers, they're one great group of people, but shoving ethanol down our fill tubes does not make anyone happy except them and their paid shills.  End of soapbox rant.

 

Well you can complain about Ethanol or you can take advantage of the extra power it makes.  According to actual GRM tests E85 makes more horsepower than race gas. Seriously more.  
    I have a flex fuel Ford pickup. My seat tells me that there is a lot more power. But it does cost me in fuel mileage. I get about 22 MPG. With my 2016 F150 V8 4x4  

When  I use E85 I get about 2MPG  less but right now gasoline sells for $2.29/9 a gallon. But E85 sells at the same place for $1.64/9 a gallon  

It works out that I save about $5 a tankful and have more power.  Cheaper and better. Thank You tax payers. 

84FSP
84FSP UltraDork
1/27/21 6:35 p.m.

The latest tune for V is all setup on E85 ala the bigger injectors, flex  fuel sensor, and bigger pump.  It costs me about 4mpg but I'm way ahead on filling up cost at 1.70 vs 2.90.  

It felt better everywhere in the rpm band but didn't show any peak power gain despite exhaustive tuning efforts on the dyno.  I decided to give 93 a go again the other day to verify with the old butt dyno.  The E85 ran noticeably better all throughout the range and had noticeably more grunt from 2k to 6k.  Strangely it just has better manners at idle etc.  

Corn fan for life.

CJ (FS)
CJ (FS) HalfDork
1/27/21 6:35 p.m.

Two words - Corn Lobby

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
1/27/21 9:19 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

I'll give you that you'll see power with the proper tune, but I'm not about to run that much ethanol through the fuel system on a 30 year old Z, can't see anything good coming from that.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/27/21 9:46 p.m.

In reply to 300zxfreak :

I agree,  it will clean all the accumulated crud and residue. 
    If there isn't a good fuel filter system just keep running it until it catches up to you and stops you someplace.  Then you can take it apart and clean it by hand. 
     You might get lucky and it won't happen during your ownership. Stranger things have happened. 
Besides if you have a fuel cell the foam will need to be updated. ( it's supposed to be every 6 years anyway ) 

Goluscombe
Goluscombe New Reader
11/22/21 1:37 p.m.

Not only did the farm lobby influence (Oh, I'm sorry, it's really just those ever-neccessary campaign donations given out of the goodness of their hearts.)  our politicians, it's realy not a good way to reduce pollution and reduce green house gases.  

For our common auto gas, it takes one unit of energy to make eight units comong from the ground to the pump.   For corn grain alcohol it takes seven units of energy to make eight.   I understand that this is because of the enrgy needed to make nitorgen fertilizer and for the traveling by truck to move all the components needed to make and produce alcohol.      

While alcohol in the fuel provide an opportunity to increase horsepwoer, it's less energy dense creating less power per gallon of gase.  This means a greater volume of fuel will be needed for the same horsepower.   Put another way, your fuel mileage goes down accordingly when greater fractions of alcohol are mixed into gasoline.  

Other than that, it's pretty good stuff.

 

 

 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
11/22/21 3:57 p.m.

Nothing but pork barrel politics. But that is nothing new and something that is not ever going to go away. Electric cars are the same deal but different. 

yupididit
yupididit PowerDork
11/22/21 6:04 p.m.

I have a question for GRM. A lot of gas stations near me sells ethanol free gas. As well as 89,91,93 gas with ethanol. Ethanol free gas costs somewhere between 91 and 93 per gallon. 

Are there any advantages in running ethanol free in my Expedition? Usually do 93. Same with my wife's Accord. Both have a turbo and two lol. 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
11/22/21 7:28 p.m.

In reply to yupididit :

Might get better mileage since corn juice gives less  mpg than gasoline. Debatable if any savings to be had.

The ethanol free stuff is prized by classic car guys because it is easier on fuel system components  that were designed before ethanol became a thing, and it also keeps better over the winter storage periods. Last fill up on the Molvo was $1.70/liter. 

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