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Impact of ethanol on OB motors????

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Porkchunker

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Anyone know what Yamaha's (or any of the major manufacturer's) position is on ethanol in the fuel? I believe E85 (which is the Federal mandate) is 15% ethanol.

Have heard that it wrecks fiberglass fuel tanks. Haven't heard anything about aluminum tanks, or the high-pressure fuel delivery systems of the HPDIs or the new 4-strokes.
 

Megabyte

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Porkchunker":14nsfup6 said:
Haven't heard anything about aluminum tanks, or the high-pressure fuel delivery systems of the HPDIs or the new 4-strokes.
Or our older OX66's :!:
 

John_Madison CT

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I know of several Ox66 Yamaha's that had problems with the Ethanol fuel. The VST filter gets clogged by all the very very fine sediment that gets by your regular Fuel filter.
 

Parker23

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Long island NY had ethanol gas last year, i have a ox66 200hp 2002 motor clogged the vst filter twice. You have to stabilize fuel and run the b oat often to try to avoid the problems it causes. Aluminum tanks also get cleaned of their grime/sludge and it gets into the vst filter. Fuel lines also show damage do to this. I heard yamaha did not really care last year because it was a regional issue but lets see now. Good luck. Also vst filter costs about 100 dollars for part and 30 dollars for o ring. :x
 

cbigma

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Parker23":1mpphxqu said:
Long island NY had ethanol gas last year, i have a ox66 200hp 2002 motor clogged the vst filter twice. You have to stabilize fuel and run the b oat often to try to avoid the problems it causes.
Stabilize the fuel....as in....put a slug of the same stabilizer we use for the winter.... during the rest of the year?...
 

Neckbone

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What about all of us w/ the old carbed engines? I hate that the gov't has gone to this. What is going to happen to all the old Bert's and other classics, not to mention the newer boats that are using fiberglass tanks like Yellowfin? Now the owner has to spend countless $$$ installing aluminum tanks????
 

Neckbone

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What about all of us w/ the old carbed engines? I hate that the gov't has gone to this. What is going to happen to all the old Bert's and other classics, not to mention the newer boats that are using fiberglass tanks like Yellowfin? Now the owner has to spend countless $$$ installing aluminum tanks????
 

Parker23

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Chigma, I add this Starbrite additive that stabilizes and has some enzeme stuff that helps stop this "Phase seperation" that ethanol causes, if i can not get the Starbrite I use Stabil. So know I add gas,ringfree and starbrite for a cost of about 5.50 a gallon! Neckbone you still will have trouble with a older aluminum tank because the ethanol cleans all the crud on the walls and causes problems in the filters.
 

Parker23

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Also I would only keep enough fuel on board that will get you through what you are doing that trip, and you have to make the effort to run the boat a couple times a week to keep all this stuff mixed up. It sucks and no one seems to care!
 

cbigma

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Parker23":2uxmbcxm said:
Chigma, I add this Starbrite additive that stabilizes and has some enzeme stuff that helps stop this "Phase seperation" that ethanol causes, .................. the ethanol cleans all the crud on the walls and causes problems in the filters.
Haven't we already been burning this stuff for the last several seasons? What is changing for this season? Who would be the authority on this stuff? Who would regulate the chemistry of the new blends? Department of Energy? You can spend an hour with Google chasing down this stuff.

The regulations are there. The mandates and the laws. Congress has said "you -will- use this stuff" They (Gov't agencies) admit that there may be a noticeable loss of efficiency. They have left it to the manufacturers to deal with fallout associated with changes in the chemistry of the fuel.

Eventually they'll figure out a way to handle the less efficient fuel, and the other unforseen side effects such as the alcohol acting as a solvent for water and other impurities or emulisifier of normal gasoline paraffins and waxes. Just think, in the winter we add drygas (isopropyl alcohol) to our automobile gas to absorb water and prevent freezups. The more alcohol they add to our boat fuel, the less chance we will have of seeing water in our Racor filters :p

The Usenet FAQ on Gasoline has been consolidated here: UseNet Gasoline FAQ It's full of everything you would ever want to know about gasoline.

Now the question is......how should we best store the stuff in our tanks.. and what is Yamaha going to tell us about how it affects their engine performance?
 

Parker23

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Cigma you will see more water in your seperator because the ethanol which is alcohol draws the moisture out of the air and into your tank, you do not see autos with to many problems because you use the fuel alot faster than on a boat.
 

cbigma

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B-Faithful":afb4777a said:
Owners manual says not to run more than 10% Ethanol in gasoline according to page 9 of the 115 manual. (it wont let me cut and paste so search here: http://www.yamaha-motor.com/outboard/se ... s=outboard )
B-Faithful's got it right. The manuals (some going -way- back to pre-2000) recognize ethanol as an additive, and up to 10% is OK. As long as the Octane is at least 86.

So we -have- been burning this stuff, Yamaha says it's OK within limits, and if you haven't had nasty adverse reactions in your fuel system in the past several seasons, you shouldn't start now.

How do we monitor the blend? How will we know if they "kick it up a notch" to,,,say...15% ethanol? I don't think your average dock jockey at the pumps would have any clue as to what is in his tank.

FWIW my YamaTech put a new 10 micron fuel filter in-line this year, vs. 20 micron in years past.

John
 

Parker23

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The 10 micron filter helps out alot, up in the Long Island NY region ethanol came to the area last summer before that gas had A MTBE additive but it was stopped due to the related health problems, my boat is a 2002 and i had alot of trouble as did numerous boats in my marina all fueled at differant locations. Good luck!
 

cbigma

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Parker23":2cs8a76s said:
Cigma you will see more water in your seperator because the ethanol which is alcohol draws the moisture out of the air and into your tank.
Not sure we are capturing the correct dynamics between 10% ethanol in gasoline and atmospheric water vapor in this thread. I'm also not convinced that my 5/8-inch fuel vent is big enough to allow this 10% ethanol (basically anhydrous alcohol) to start pulling moisture out of the air in any quantity to be concerned about. But then again, I'm not a chemist. 8)

What -is- clear is that Yamaha says up to 10% ethanol is OK with them. So we need to be vigilant against >10% ethanol, and use standard line filter protocols against debris, excess water from fuel dock tanks, etc. If we find that they are delivering >10% alcohol mixture to our region, then we should start thinking about additives (other than Ring Free which is a -given- regardless of alcohol percentage). I think I read on the DOE.gov website that where and how much alcohol is added to fuel is a function of the air quality in a given area at that time of year.
 

cbigma

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Parker23":202w3nae said:
The 10 micron filter helps out alot, up in the Long Island NY region ethanol came to the area last summer before that gas had A MTBE additive but it was stopped due to the related health problems, my boat is a 2002 and i had alot of trouble as did numerous boats in my marina all fueled at differant locations. Good luck!
Do you know how much ethanol was added in place of MTBE? Were you guys using the 10% stuff that they are talking about moving in later this summer, or was it a higher percentage?

If you all had problems in LI at only a 10% level (which Yamaha says the engines should tolerate), then maybe we should dig deeper into this. ....
 

Parker23

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Who knows if it is 10% or higher I have no way to know what the Big guys are doing to us. I heard that if you buy form a major company there is a better chance of getting 10% as opposed to a fly by night company because the big guys add it at the refinery as oppposed the the smaller company that adds it at the depot and it is not as regulated at the depot as the refinery , THAT is what I heard who knows I am not a expert in this field all that i have posted is what i have been told and tried in the past year.
 

cbigma

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Well it sounds like we may be susceptible up here in the Northeast. John in CT and Parker23 in NY report knowing of multiple issues with ethanol-blended gasoline last year. Anyone else across the country know of any OB performance issues in areas where Gasahol is seasonally distributed?

As Parker owners we all have similar fuel storage and distribution systems and the same OEM powerplants. So any performance issues related to Gasahol as a fuel should be easier to track as the only major fuel system variable.

If there is a modification or retrofit that could avoid impacts of this fuel additive, we should be in a good position to help identify them. I'm sure we'll all be anxious to hear of the first potential signs of performance issues this season.

Thanks to Parker23 and John in Madison for sharing this data.
 

Porkchunker

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E85...guess I had it backwards.

I'll probably not run off the top 1/2 of the tank while in the Ches. Bay this summer, so that the fuel doesn't get too old.

Got a ton of posts over on thehulltruth.com when I searched for "ethanol." Biggest problem seems to be in boats with fiberglass tanks, and older boats where there may be sludge or build-up in the tank. Apparently the ethanol, acts like paint-stripper and cleans the walls of the aluminum tanks, which of course then has to be filtered out at the filters. Guess I'll change to 10 micron Racors also.
 

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