Email of the day March 9 2013, unmolested gasoline.

washed out Bridge

Short Term Views

Today, I borrow a snippet from an email, in my attempt to remind you just how much damage ethanol can do to our older engines.

Certainly, you’ll make up your own mind as to the dangers, but I do remember the conversation I had with a man driven half crazy with the management of a fleet of small engines in the hands of employees. How to keep them all running on this fuel was a challenge. Here’s the email snippet..


I have a gas generator for backup use. Ever since they began putting ethanol in gas, I have been having problems. I have a 1939 John Deere and it is hand crank. It used to start on the first crank. Now I have nothing but trouble getting it started. I had to replace the rubber gaskets in my push mower carburetor and my old garden tractor wouldn’t start. When I took apart the carburetor on it the gas had turned to slime.

So while getting cans of gas to have in case we lost power due to an upcoming storm, I thought this is stupid. 

End of snippet.

As discussed on many pages, there ARE indeed advantages to diesel, in fact a lot of advantages, but in case you need live with gasoline fuels, and you want to avoid damage, or increase the likelihood this fuel will provide you service when you need it, an important link follows.

But first a note: Rabid Lisa grew fat at the hog trough, and now she’s moved on.. no doubt they’ve found a person even more of an activist to run the EPA. Expect diesel engines to be so expensive you can’t afford them. You will never see the EPA ever ask what pollution they create forcing  people to create emissions related to earning another $7000 more to buy that pickup they need! Or the emissions they make in the persuit of making enough to replace that lawn mower that dies such an early death because their short sighted and all too enept designs don’t allow us to perform simple maintenance as we once did, instead we toss it all on the pile. Do they think that extra $7000 for the pickup is made through prayer alone?

Here’s the link, keep this close, and if you have a smart phone, load the app! Buy gas without ethanol for your old engines, and for chain saws, snow mobiles, and more… OR pay the heavy price.

Have a great weekend, and do remember, there’s free cheese in a mouse trap, and there’s insanity at the head of the EPA.  Politics drives most decisions there, and there seems so little interest in all the damage done by their short sighted decisions. If you piled all the engines destroyed long before their time via EPA mandates.. the snow would never melt from the top of the heap!



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11 Responses to Email of the day March 9 2013, unmolested gasoline.

  1. David says:

    I often wonder how all this Green, save the planet Malarkey will be looked at in 10, 20 or 50 years time?

    My certain bet is it will be looked at as the greatest Con job pulled on mankind in the history of the world. Al Gore and Copycats will go down as the greatest con men of all time. People will wonder how on earth people were so Dumb to believe it all.

    History will review all these initiatives in a disbelieving way. Children of the future will laugh if they can believe that man spent more energy and created more emissions than what they would have 10 times over if they just stuck to what they were doing before they tried ” Saving” the planet. They will see that the things that had been researched and worked in the big picture rather than trying to be politically correct in the big picture of the Big blue earth were less damaging than when people got on the bandwagon and came up with largely money making ideas to save it.

    Kids won’t believe we threw away perfectly good machines and spent untold amounts of energy on creating new ” Cleaner” Vehicles that didn’t have a hope in hell of recovering the emissions used in their manufacture. They won’t believe we burnt the ” dirty ” fuel we already had in order to make clean fuel thus burning and creating double the amount of many of the emissions we were Supposedly trying to save.

    But then again, maybe the populations will be so dumbed down by then it will be all covered up and the gubbermint spin doctors will have us believing every and anything they tell us.

    Seems they have already got a lot of people in that mindset.

    • George B. says:

      Sorry to say, the majority who vote don’t know a BTU from and IOU. Tell the average voter what ever you want, he’s too lazy to notice if you don’t keep your word. What will change the course? Most likely bouncing off the bottom of an empty vault..

      Today people are all excited about where the DOW is. If you adjusted the dollar for the REAL inflation we’ve seen. Is where it’s at all that good?

      We need keep in mind.. they’ve stolen our ability to make a dime of interest on our savings.. they should hang for that alone… So I think, and it’s still legal to to say what you think.. but for how long? I guess it’s legal for >them< to drone me if they want.

  2. Bill knighton says:

    I recently converted a small engine to propane and am delighted with it in all ways. I will likely convert my antique garden tractor to it this spring too. It’s my fault for not caring for gasolene fuel systems but its a chore I’m not thrilled about.

  3. Mike p says:

    Hi George,
    I swore I’ve seen an ethanol measurement technique that involved mixing a known quantity of gas with a known quantity of water. Mix well, the ethanol clings to the water and, given a little time, the mixture separates into water and gas and allows “adjusted” readings on the water. Perhaps “washing” gas is an option for those that can’t buy the pure stuff. Draw the clean gas from the bottom, dump in some denatured alcohol or acetone to dry it off so to speak.

    • George B. says:

      Mike, in many states, they check the ethanol percentage at the pumps. This seems like a very logical test. I do know they find as much as 15% ethanol at times, when it should be 10%, enough to ruin an old treasure by running it too hot, and pushing the valves and seats, and what else? Into failure..

      • michael perri says:

        Hi George,
        What i’m wondering about though is say this, if testing gas like this draws all the ethanol from the gasoline, then say if one were so inclined to mix a gallon of gasoline with some water, and draw the gasoline from the seperated mixture, then theoretically one would have gas sans ethanol.
        I’ve been running ethanol in CT in all my small equipment for years now, no ill effects so far, which makes me wonder if certain states perhaps get different (nastier) grades of ethanol.

        • George B. says:


          If you were to read some of my first posts on this topic.., you will find a guy who writes and says … you are nuts! ethanol and gas makes a fine fuel, >I< have used it for years with no ill effects. facts are facts! Our world is full of variables, and many of us have never seen an outdoor water proof fixture with a light bulb full of water up to the socket! The sun is a water pump. The worst case problems show up in metal fuel tanks vented, and in full view of the sun. Closed tanks designed to seal give us less greif. BUT that's only part of it. There are engines with parts that ethanol attacks, and there are manufacturers that flat out tell you NOT to use this stuff. Those days where the air temperature swings wildly, and there is a good difference between the fuel and container temp and that of the air.... the amount of water than can be pumped into a fuel tank should be cause for alarm. There are folks who run small engines out of fuel, others who store then full to the very top.. and the most unlucky leave it half full with the filler lose, and in the full sun. but much depends on the weather and the moisture content in the air. In parts of the country, you can leave a gear box outside for 20 years.. here.. I opened one, and found the gears above the lube oil rotted and rusted, they were bathed in water pumped in almost daily for 20 years..I know when it was left there and for how long.. the loss of a good tractor left parked outside and never used 🙁 so you don't need ethanol to have troubles, it's only a multiplier, and makes all things worse.. BUT there's so much more to it.. some older engines were on the ragged edge as per their designs, just barely able to tolerate the heat under full load. The addition of ethanol forces the engine to run leaner and hotter unless the main jet is re-adusted. Overtime, this can help kill your old treasure, but blending ethanol into fuels is not done by rocket scientists, and all we need is a simple mistake, and that extra ethanol can make it run hotter still! All so easy to check exhaust temps.. that old flat head, how much cooler does it run on straight gas? So many of us have non contact temp readers, why not do a compare?

          • mike p says:

            your nuts. im just a blabbering idiot.
            water is funny.
            Where i come from the inside of wet fire protection systems look like the day they were installed, albeit with a somewhat unique stink.
            The dry systems, the piping that stays dry till the mechanical room clapper lets the water past…
            lets just say that if your in a building that catches fire and you know its a dry system… run like hell, cause the rusty hellhole that is the inside of those pipes is gonna plug every sprinkler head thats gonna pop.
            But its dry in there, and engineers love spec’ing dry systems…
            No sun involved though attic temps do tend to swing.

          • George B. says:


            We both know, if you want to know, you go to the the hands on guy.. I’d imagine the nightmare stories for ethanol wil be heard in coastal areas. But in the desert? who knows?

  4. Randall says:

    I have a test tube looking thing that you fill up to this line with water, add fuel mixture up to that line, shake well, let set while drinking coffee. then read the ethanol percent on the other side. Briggs and Stratton part number. Was about 5 bucks I think.

    • George B. says:

      Great! Sounds like a tool, we all could have fun with, sample the stuff you buy. There must be a profit made by blending more in. It’s often more spot checks find, mot less according to what I’ve heard. So.. if we were to design such a tool. How do we do it? If we added 10% water by volume, and the ethanol married the water with a result of twice the volume, we’d have 10% ethanol, if this volume were higher, we’d have more. What the reader, or hands on experimenter could learn quickly, is how much moisture ethanol can hold before it drops out of the mixture, if that part is significant, we’d need determine the plus or minus factor for our result. I’d bet it’s all written down in the instructions given wiht the B&S test tool 🙂

      Here’s an Amazon page, lots of test kits.

      Maybe I need to add, the chemist, or the DIYer will think about this kit, part of the critical thinking process DIYers naturally develop by doing. He’d likely envision the use of a tall glass graduate knowing we could get a much more accurate reading with it VS a shorter and wider measure. I guess it depends on what we want, a go no go test, or to have a better idea how much more or less was blended.

      The small engine shop owner who has taken in a no start engine, with a tank of gas. I go for the float bowl (if there is one), but if you took a sample and saw no ethanol, you might assume it packed it’s pack, and left with a slug of water.. to ruin the fuel system.. In some states, they check for a proper fitting gas cap on your car, if it’s missing you flunk an emissions test. Some testers attempt to educate the public, and explain.. that cap is among the most important parts of the fuel system!

      No matter what fuel you use, gas, eth/gas mix, diesel, straight eth, water is just waiting to enter the mix when the sun goes over the hill, or your vehicle cools. And.. it can be a VERY expensive fix..

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