Tuesday, 9 July 2013


This news item may be of interest to those who have ever considered using E10 Fuel. 

Tablelands Regional Council has tried it for five years but are not satisfied with its performance because of vehicle breakdowns due to moisture in the tank.

E10 attracts water, making it unreliable for the council's fleet of sedans.

From Tablelander Tuesday 9th July 2013:


  1. Most Outboard Motor manufacturers advise not to use ethanol blended fuels because of the water problems.

    It is too dangerous to head out to sea using ethanol fuel and then break down because of water in the fuel. Very dangerous.

    You can't just push the boat to the side of the road and call for help.
    Also most outboard manufacturers may void warranty if this fuel is used against their recommendations.

  2. The Tablelands council have in effect delivered a reasonable trail result of the use of E10 fuel. You do hear accounts of damage to some engines due to the use of ethanol blends but it this short report it makes no mention of that rather a problem with water problems in the fuel of all vehicles.

    Does anyone know how they get along in Brazil where there is a high usage of ethanol?

    Viv Forbes in an earlier post questioned the use of converting fuel crops to fuel in, Cows, Cars, and the Ethanol Con

  3. http://www.bia.org.au/TradeEvent/Ken-Evans.pdf
    An interesting link to read from Mercury (Marine)

    Going on this I think that , personally I would prefer to NOT use fuel with ethanol in it at all.

    There is no real $$ saving and you use more fuel per KM in your car with it in the fuel.

  4. V8 Supercars switched to a high ethanol blend a few years ago. Cars should be able to handle some water content as shown by the use of water injection to prevent pinging (pre-detonation) in some high performance motor applications. Most diesels seem to have a water filter don't boats too? Not advocating for or against and I agree it's silly to divert food production to ethanol fuel but if it's from a byproduct that would normally be dumped, can't see the problem. . Just Sayin...

    1. John,
      Have had a bit of experience with water injectors in motor vehicles. Some of the Austins etc back in the 50's and early 60's had a water injecting system. I think quite a few pommie cars did.
      I had Mobile workshop, a Karrier Gamecock truck (8 tonne made by Commer) that used to do 3 miles to the gallon so I put a water injector onto it and improved the fuel consumption by about 15%. If you turned the water off and set the revs then turned the water back on the revs would increase by about 10 rpm also.

      The water injectors in motor vehicles are usually into the intake manifold and increase the water content in the intake (humidity), it does not actually mix with the fuel.

      At one time there was what the manufacturers called a "water injection system" that you could buy from Super Cheap and similar places. There was a T fitting that went under where the PC valve went into the manifold and this connected to a bottle of water that had some chemical in it to cause it to evaporate But I am not sure that it really worked very well and the chemical kept the water wanting to evaporate but there was no valve to cut it off into the engine when the car was turned off and so it could possibly cause condensation in your manifold which if you did not use the car for a while could cause rust to start to form inside the engine.

      There was an old guy at Rochedale who had a kerosene engine on his pump during the war when fuel was short. He overcome the fuel supply problem by using old sump oil mixed with a bit of power kerosene but it built up carbon in the exhaust ports and manifold at least once a day.
      The answer was to fit a water injector to the engine and the carbon build up problem was almost totally gone.
      He could go for weeks without having to de-carbon the engine after that.

      The water problems are in the fuel in the ethanol problem where the water injectors are separate to the fuel.

      Water injectors properly fitted and controlled can definitely improve power and reduce fuel consumption.

  5. Ethanol destroyed the fuel injection system in an old Mercedes I had and so that good old car had to be dumped. Too costly to repair.

    Just this morning I drove a canoe with 15hp outboard accross open sea with severe currents from Rendova Island to New Georgia Island, a 1 hour crossing.
    The fuel hose is right next to me at the Telecom internet as I type this. The hose has a fitting on one end only, the other fitting useless and not used due ethanol dumped in the Pacific Islands at Unleaded price. The hose now has top be connected direct to the tank.
    I think ethanol softens and destroys the rubber seals including 'O' rings in older fuel systems.
    It appears no fuel company is informing boat operators of the damage to property and risk to life.

    Of course if you own a Rolls Royce and live at Tannum Sand you don't have to worry about anything.
    Cheers you guys.

  6. My experience with small petrol engines on farm is that they are prone to water problems in fuel. These motors do have a water trap & you simply just have to clean it out occasionally. I would believe that small motors on runabouts would have the same problem as both Peter & John C have said.
    High performing racing car engines are a whole different world.

    Agree Mikko on making use of a by product that would normally be dumped.

  7. As they say, horses for courses... Good to hear from the Ol Man and the Sea again too but shame about the old Merc, JohnCF.They had the same problems with rubber seals when they upgraded to low sulphur distillate some years back in Australia, I believe with leaking fuel pumps etc. Now hoses and seals must be made of better stuff. No I wouldn't want to run ethanol in the old 69 Mustang either. But there are also some good after market products, fuel treatments that disperse small amounts of water or suspend it in fine particles, in petrol fuel but they probably wouldn't be compatible with ethanol. So long as a petrol motor doesn't get a big mouthful of straight H2O, it should be able to cope with a fine mist fed thru the carby or injectors.

  8. Interesting reply above re the water injectors Peter. I have experimented with one (water injector) on my 69 Mustang too (351 Windsor V8), based on the type that used to be available from Supercheap etc using a manifold vacuum port at the base of the carby into the inlet manifold, with just a threaded screw in the end of the plastic tube at the bottom of a water bottle to control flow. But the screw is now pretty well closed shut because I was a bit concerned about any possible rust problems but while in use there were never any became apparent. The manifold is aluminium (Edelbrock after market 4V with 600 Holly carby) I never used any chemical in the water tho and the motor didn't object - you could actually see the flow thru the tube when you blipped the throttle. To perfect it, it would need a switch to turn it off if you were just starting the motor without driving anywhere, and to turn it off before you got home to prevent the possible condensation you mention. Otherwise it was a good if basic idea. and I believe it does clean any carbon of the valves and heads. I also use a upper cylinder lube in premium unleaded fuel to protect the valve seats and that would probably help prevent any liklihood of rust anyway.

  9. Water in fuel was a problem I experienced this morning after the Briggs & Stratton on the grain auger protested after having a 12 month break. Talking to my neighbour (an amateur tech head) who was delivering grain about condensation problem with ethanol blended fuels.
    Apparently ethanol will blend with both petrol and with water but not both at the same time. When presented with both the ethanol will blend with water and sit at the bottom of the tank. The line to the motor is at the bottom of the tank so it will grab a mouthful of blended water.

  10. Hmmm, maybe drain the tank from the bottom or move the intake higher in the tank and don't run it to empty (probably easier said than done :0)

  11. Go to Super cheap and get a couple of cheap, universal inline plastic filters. You will be able to see when there is water in them and it only takes a few seconds to change one.

    I have even seen these inline plastic filters at the el cheap shops as well.

    I used to put them on every small engine that I had and it saved hours in cleaning out garby's


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