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olspeed

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Reply with quote  #1 
I wanted to bring this up in a new topic as I though it might make for some interesting discussion. It originates from the Super Beetle forum on Octane rating. As I said there "FFV autos and E85 isn't sold up here in Alaska". The main problem being the cold climate and the fact that ethanol doesn't like to burn in cold weather and draws moisture quite easily. But my month long trip to Wisconsin was interesting while I went down there to work(relative was ill and needed help with his business) I did get a chance to look around(only saw one..."1" bug the whole time). Flex fuel vehicles and E85 seems to be popular with quite a few folks. And it was about $.50  cheaper than normal unleaded. But, when I got back Lee's mention of a hot rod Bug using it "down under" is what got me thinking, so I  started with this site
http://www.drivingethanol.org/motorsports/racing_fuel_characteristics.aspx

 The more I read on it the better it sounded... But it could only be a summer thing for me. And I like the idea of more compression. The engine I have right now is set at about 6.9 to let me run 87 0ctane and I know it would perform better if I could run it at around 9 or 10 to 1. If I could do that it would be worth it to throw the dual carbs back on. I do have another web site that I have been looking at that others might like...
http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/id32.html
Yea I know it's "Mother Earth News" but they do have some good ideas(my shops waste oil burning heater for one, cost me $30.00) Anyway has anyone else tried it or have any ideas, comments (good or bad) about using ethanol I for one would sure like to hear.
Olspeed

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68autobug

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi again,
I was talking to a local from another town who has a hot engine and really revs it all the time...
His Son has a similar engine in His beetle and they run Ethanol E85...
 
I've never run it in My beetle..
I usually use Premium 95 or 98 octane fuel in My beetle..
timing is 32 degrees maximum with 009 dizzy..
 
I did fill up with regular unleaded gas yesterday...
was at the wrong spot with cars waiting to gas up...
so, I filled up with regular which is 85-89 octane...
I did have a bit over quarter of a tank of 98...
 
car went OK...
 
A motor cycle owner told Me He tried 85 ethanol once and His chromed exhausts went really blue...-hot..
so he never used it again...
 
ethanol will mix with water....
so its one way of cleaning Your tank out??? lol
but once its mixed with fuel it wouldn't be....
 
LEE
 



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68autobug

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Reply with quote  #3 
 
I believe E85 ethanol is 85% Gas and the remainder ethanol???
 
I'll have to find out about that...
 
there was some 85% ethanol in the large cities when the price of gas was sky high....
 
the experts said it wouldn't be good for older cars...
but I never heard any bad reports..??
 
when I saw Your E100... which must mean 100% ethanol...
 
the beetles in Brasil or maybe mexico were made to run on alcohol... low compression I believe...
but then the altitude of mexico city is very high...
 
If Your beetle will run OK on high dosages of Ethanol
I would suggest running another oil cooler to make sure
Your engine doesn't overheat...
 
cheers
 
LEE


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olspeed

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Lee, Thanks for the reply. I did talk to the local Chevron distributor up here and according to them they have NO intention of selling E85 up here any time soon so it looks like I might have to try to make my own if I want to try using it. To bad though as it sounds like it might make the ol' Buggie a little more fun.
Olspeed  

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68autobug

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Reply with quote  #5 
Well,
a new gas station just opened along with ethanol 91RON gas..
no "normal" unleaded as the government is phasing it out by next year... 
but  I haven't been able to find any 91ron NON ethanol gas anywhere...

and My beetle runs terrible with this fuel...
have been trying to tune My carby using this fuel...
without any real luck....

then filled up 300kms from home last week and it ran like a dream... lol

I didn't look to see if it was ethanol gas or not??
as the ethanol stickers on pumps have just gotten VERY small... lol

Lee in Australia



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olspeed

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Reply with quote  #6 
Good luck trying it Lee, but keep checking gaskets on the fuel system as from what I have read it IS hard on them. I wish they would get it up here in AK but as I said before at this time the fuel companies say they have on intention of offering it here any time soon. Also I would like to know what your area of the world is doing about Zinc(ZDDP) in your oils as it is being reduced over here to the point where it will be eliminated. Not a good thing for Bugs or any old car... A buddy if mine has a Triumph TD that just had a cam failure on a engine that was professionally rebuild about 3 years ago, the engine only had 12,000 miles on it.
Olspeed 

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68autobug

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by olspeed
Good luck trying it Lee, but keep checking gaskets on the fuel system as from what I have read it IS hard on them. I wish they would get it up here in AK but as I said before at this time the fuel companies say they have on intention of offering it here any time soon. Also I would like to know what your area of the world is doing about Zinc(ZDDP) in your oils as it is being reduced over here to the point where it will be eliminated. Not a good thing for Bugs or any old car... A buddy if mine has a Triumph TD that just had a cam failure on a engine that was professionally rebuild about 3 years ago, the engine only had 12,000 miles on it.
Olspeed 

Well, I won't be using any fuel from the BP  gas station for My beetle..
I have it tuned perfectly now, with My new SVDA dizzy.. its so smooth...

so I did have a problem with My 009 dizzy and didn't really know it...
maybe because You have to rev the autostick to get the torque converter working.  but I now know I did have a flat spot... but drove with it for 5 years and apart from having to really push the throttle down to get going.. it was OK...

but now with the super smooth acceleration of the SVDA dizzy...
I just couldn't use a 009 again.. lol

Ethanol will eventually be in all standard unleaded fuel by july 2011..  91 RON

but I believe it would be hard to find some in Our state already..lol

Funnily enough, ethanol is illegal to be added to fuel in the state of Western Australia..
whether that law was bought about by people making their own ethanol from wheat or other grain over the years I don't know...

If the cost of gas doesn't keep going up..
it won't be so bad..
but gas can be 10+ cents a liter cheaper on Wednesdays in large Cities.. lol

OK on the Zinc disappearing from oils..
I haven't heard anything about that yet..
We are usually behind the rest of the world in changes.. lol
The diesel fuel over here only got good enough for european cars about 2 years ago.. before that it was a very dirty diesel..

cheers

LEE

PS: there are people who have oil made especially for air cooled VWs.. maybe they can have the zinc put back in..
although its probably illegal in the US...??
Maybe a Zinc replacement additive??
I'll have to ask around for that one.. Lee



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68autobug

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Reply with quote  #8 

I just remembered that ethanol mixes with water... and is really alcohol.

so, maybe it can't be used at very low temperatures..??

LEE


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68autobug

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Reply with quote  #9 
Well
I have just heard that ethanol is too dry for the valve guides and the valves in small engines are already sticking open..
Boat and lawn mower mechanics are flat out trying to keep abreast of the failures of small 4 stroke engines.
I spoke to a local today, and He told me that a few days ago He was getting fuel for His lawn mower and the Gas station attendent told him to use 95 or 98 Ron fuel...
Not the E10 or even normal unleaded.???

so, I am now going to use 95 Ron in My beetle and everything else i own..

The marine mechanic advised that if You were going to use ethanol gas, to add some two stroke oil to it, to lubricate the valves...

YIKES...

LEE





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olspeed

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hi Lee
That is interesting... What I have found out so far on my end is that vehicles like GM's flex fuel vehicles still use stainless steel valves(like A/C VW) but I don't as of yet know what the guides are made of. Good A/C VW guides are made of silicon bronze, although there really is some cheap junk out there(like the heads I bought from GEX) As for lawn mower/little generator engines and the like, they have cheap valves and guides that are made from what looks like a powdered cast iron. This is in the Briggs & Stratton and Tecumsch  engines that are most used over here so I am not sure about whats in your neck of the woods. On the little generator engines especially we had found that even if you use a GOOD quality of straight weight oil and not multi-vis that the exhaust guide would still only last a little over a year. After that the thing would still smoke like a train! This is of course on engines that are used in a continuous duty situation. As for the marine end of it I don't know. But my local marine Honda dealer is going to get a visit soon(found a rock with my 50hp last year so I need a new prop) so I will ask them for their opinion. The only thing I can add is when they pulled the lead from fuels over here everyone was predicting gloom and doom for the older cars because of lack of lubrication from no lead, but engines that had or were rebuilt with SS valves and good valve guides never had a problem.
Olspeed

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68autobug

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Reply with quote  #11 
Yes
Briggs & stratton engines have just about taken over here too...
also some chinese engines on mowers about..
I may start to add some lead replacement additive to My beetle and mower ..lol
many people over here use the lead replacement products... like valve saver.. etc.
I've never used them before..
many beetle owners have used them since unleaded fuels came in..

the ethanol will be in "normal" 91ron gas in this state only as far as i know...
maybe the other states won't go ahead if they see whats happening here... lol

cheers

LEE




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68autobug

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Reply with quote  #12 
My engine was overhauled when I started My restoration about 1998...
Not sure what valves it has in it...??

I should have checked when I took the heads off a couple of times

anyway, if I keep away from the ethanol I should be OK...

cheers

LEE




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olspeed

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Reply with quote  #13 
Hi Lee
I don't know if you have access to any if Gene Bergs Tech articles, but as I always say if you can get your hands on a GB801 "Book of technical articles" read that sucker from cover to cover at least more than once. In  his GB heads tech article page 40 he states " All VW after 1967 could use unleaded gas" What this means is that all true VW valves after that time were made with a hard chrome stem. He also goes in to the manufacturing process of a quality exhaust valve talking about the stellite face and the hard chrome stem. These two qualities are important because if the manufacturer is not building a exhaust valve with these materials then they are providing a cheap part that costs a quarter of the price to produce and will fail almost immediately, Almost ALL of the heavy equipment engines produced use this type of valve for the relative low cost and the extreme reliability. He also talks about Titanium valves but states "Titanium is for racing applications"
 Anyway I bring this up because I don't think you will have any valve problems with Ethanol but I am sorry to hear that you can't seem to get it to tune up when running Ethanol, it just has to be a carb problem though(I think) I did hear that this stuff is hard on rubberized parts in the fuel system, like gaskets or the fuel pump diaphragm. Anyway if I hear anything else I will add it in here.
Olspeed

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68autobug

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Reply with quote  #14 
Hi
all the gas stations now selling unleaded fuel with ethanol, were closed for about a week of the past few months..
I bieve this may have been for new pumps or new rubber item in the pumps etc..
that will work OK with ethanol..
I happened to find a Shell gas station in the next town selling "normal"[no ethanol] Gas yesterday.. they said its being phased out..
but all the local stations now only sell unleaded with ethanol..
so, its 95 octane for Me.. lol
My engine didn't really idle good enough to tune it.. in tune or out of tune wasn't much difference..??   no nice smooth idle..??
excellent now...  very happy...
with 95 octane.. lol

LEE




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68autobug

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Reply with quote  #15 
Hi
I know that VWs had hardened valve guides, but the lead would have lubricated them anyway..
We haven't had Leaded fuel for a few years but ethanol is Now being phased in to ordinary Unleaded 91 Gas in NSW state..
I did find one gas station 50kms away with Unleaded 91 without ethanol a few days ago..

The only reason I don't use unleaded with ethanol in My beetle is because it doesn't like it... lol

so, I'm using 95 Octane Gas in My beetle...

and Now that ZDDP [Zinc] is being phased out of engine oil I have been using...  I'm looking at other brands of oil too.. lol

cheers

LEE


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