E10 (ethanol/ gas) and 2-cycle engines

I was down at my local hardware / lawnmower shop getting a new chain for my Stihl. (It was a cold winter, I thought I'd get a jump on the wood pile.)
They had these signs warning of the damage E10 ethanol fuels do to 2-cycle engines. They wanted to sell me "special" ethanol free fuel at a huge markup. First is this really a problem? I've been running my Stihl for years with basically no maintenance. (The only thing I do is to run it dry at the end of my wood cutting season, so it doesn't sit all winter with gas in it.) If it is a problem then why not just get ethanol free fuel at a gas station. (there are a several in my area.)
Wondering what y'all do?
Thanks George H.
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On Thu, 29 May 2014 09:25:13 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I have been told that the ethanol is bad for the carbs on small engines. All my modern small engine powered devices came with warnings to not use fuel with more than 10% ethanol. The Honda powered stuff have stickers with this warning. I was talking to the woman at the local tool rental place and she told me that they were having all sorts of small engine powered equipment problems until they switched to ethanol free fuel. They tried Sta-Bil first and it helped a bit but since they changed to ethanol free fuel and require customers to also use this fuel their fuel companent related problems have drastically decreased. Ethanol free fuel is available here on South Whidbey Island for about 25 cents more per gallon. Since I started using the stuff about a year ago I am also having way fewer fuel related problems. One weed whacker that I have would experience clogging of the main fuel passage in the carb. It would only idle. Pulling on the throttle would cause it to lean out and die. Pulling the carb apart I could see, with a magnifier, brownish crud in the fuel passage. Since changing fuels the carb has been working properly. Eric
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On Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:50:45 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@whidbey.com wrote:

<snip>

Hmm, well how about stickers for engines that can burn it?

Woah, Whidbey island looks nice. (There's a certain sense of security on an island.)

about $0.50 here, (I think), but no matter, an ounce of prevention and all that.
Thanks, George H.

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Use Premium gas. No ethanol in it around here... I use it in all small engines and my old snow plow truck. UP of Michigan, btw.
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You can take the un-gasoline, pour it into a transparent container, and add water. Let it sit. The water & alcohol will bond, and sink to the bottom. Carefully suck off the gas on top.
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"David Lesher" wrote in message
You can take the un-gasoline, pour it into a transparent container, and add water. Let it sit. The water & alcohol will bond, and sink to the bottom. Carefully suck off the gas on top.
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On Fri, 30 May 2014 10:50:08 -0400, "Ed Huntress"

Actually due to it's affinity for water, E10 will saturate faster than pure gas if the air is humid.
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When gasoline is shipped, it's stored in tanks that hold 2-4 million gallons. (But the industry uses barrels [42 gal].)
The gasoline is left to sit for days, and then the operator goes to the valve on the lowest part of the tank floor, and drains off the water. Sometimes there is an inch, sometimes far more. (On a 120 ft dia tank, every inch is about 7,000 gallons.) At later stages of delivery/storage, again water is drained off.
The methonal must be injected at the tank loading point, because otherwise it would absorbing water as fast as it could. I've not been in the pipeline business for decades, but when I was, that was the SOP.
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writes: >>

The startup checklist for the multifuel truck I drove in the Army included draining the water separators. When I learned to preflight a Cessna the instructor carried a fuel sampler tube like this to check for water in gas drained from the wing tank. http://www.lakeandair.com/Fuel-Sampler-p/1920.htm
jsw
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On Thu, 29 May 2014 09:25:13 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

My circa 1987 Stihl doesn't care. I don't drain it, run it dry, or use Stabil, and it always starts with a couple pulls. It's not unusual for it to sit idle for 6 months.
On the other hand, my little Yamaha inverter generator won't tolerate sitting with fuel in the carb for more than a few months. But it's a tiny 4-stroke.
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On Thursday, May 29, 2014 1:42:40 PM UTC-4, Ned Simmons wrote:

Grin, I love my Stihl, inherited from previous owner of my house, so I can only say it's at least 15 yr's old.

Oh, even little 4-stokes.
George H.

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Your Stihl will work fine on ethanol blends. Mine does. And I've been using ethanol blends in my Husquavarna since the late 70's and the only issue was replacing the rubber fuel line going into the carburetor.
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On Thursday, May 29, 2014 3:43:15 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@googlegroups.com wrote:
<snip>

Good to know, Thanks. It might be good for those engines that can burn "most anything" to advertise that fact.
George H.

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wrote in message wrote: <snip>

Good to know, Thanks. It might be good for those engines that can burn "most anything" to advertise that fact.
George H.

=========================================================================Hi George,
I just stopped in to see if my cross-posted reply to rangersucks ever got through, and here I run into one of my favorite subjects... Sorry for the messy posting but I don't have a newsreader anymore and I have no reason to get one. This is a one-shot.
I can't stick around to get into this, but you seem to be genuinely interested, so here are some facts that may help or confuse you, depending on which way you tilt:
Ethanol will not gum up a carb or an engine. But they often mix it with low-grade gasoline (under 91 octane, among other, bigger issues) and that gas *can* crap your engine. It does seem more prone to varnishing the carb jets, but that isn't because of the ethanol.
Ethanol will not do damage to a carburetor, large or small. *Methanol* will do damage to aluminum or zinc (or brass, I think) if it's left in the carburetor bowl too long. Race cars that burn methanol generally drain the carbs, and often the tank, between races. The ethanol-damage myth probably is a carryover from admonitions about methanol, dating back to the 1930s.
Ethanol *will* eat some kinds of gaskets. I got little bits of damaged O-rings in my lawnmower carb soon after they started with the ethanol in pump gas. I had to change gaskets and blast the carb with carb cleaner every season for a couple of years, until I learned what was happening and sought come ethanol-resistant gaskets. Newer ones seem to have solved this. Obviously, the material in automobile gaskets is immune now.
The MIT report on efficiency with ethanol was misrepresented in the posts here. I read all 61 pages of it, and the story is that up to 20% or so ethanol will allow enough BMEP from boosted compression to increase efficiency in a high-speed highway cycle, with long runs above 60 mph and peak over 80 mph, if you are comparing a very small turbo engine with a much larger normally-aspirated one. That engine cycle is not used in EPA city/highway cycle comparisons. In normal driving, the MIT report says, there is almost no difference -- and required boost can be achieved with spark retardation that is so low it has almost no effect on performance. At some point, the lines of volume efficiency cross, where the lower caloric content of ethanol is compensated by the very high turbo boost that ethanol allows. The report is worth reading.
FWIW, I read SAE engine-research reports at least once or twice a month. That's where most of my info comes from.
Happy motoring...
Ed Huntress
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On Fri, 30 May 2014 09:47:12 -0400, "Ed Huntress"

I have been told in the past that ethanol was added to low grade gasoline in order to make it suitable to burn in cars. And maybe that's the difference. Lower grade gas that has added ethanol is actually the culprit. When I use the ethanol free gas it is a higher grade and so does not "gum up the works". Eric
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wrote in message wrote:

I have been told in the past that ethanol was added to low grade gasoline in order to make it suitable to burn in cars. And maybe that's the difference. Lower grade gas that has added ethanol is actually the culprit. When I use the ethanol free gas it is a higher grade and so does not "gum up the works". Eric
==================================================================== I don't know which came first, but my (unresearched) understanding is that they can use a lower-grade gasoline to mix with ethanol because the ethanol boosts the effective octane rating. It also is conventional wisdom (again, unresearched on my part) that low-octane gasoline may be low on detergents and other additives.
Before it was required, there was some use of ethanol in gasoline to replace the octane-boosting effect of tetraethyl lead, which was outlawed in 1995.
All gasoline sold as motor fuel in the US also has been required to contain detergents since 1995 -- a result of previous maintenance problems with fuel injectors. Whether they short-change the additive quality of gas they mix with ethanol now or not, I can't confirm with any authoritative data.
Ed Huntress
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Ed Huntress wrote:

It costs money (and energy) to increase octane. In the refinery business, selling a fuel that has higher octane than the minimum required is called an "octane giveaway"
It is difficult to determine the actual value of ethanol in motor fuel. The large quantity used means higher octane components of gasoline are less valuable than they would be if there was no ethanol used. That means the gasoline without ethanol (usually premium grade) is cheaper than it would be if there were no ethanol used. And if there were no ethanol the price difference between regular and premium would be higher because refiners would be required to reform a lot more of the hydrocarbons into higher octane components.
I've seen estimates on what it would cost to produce all the octane necessary without ethanol that range from 5 to 50 cents a gallon.
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wrote:

And what does the ethanol cost?? Amd how much more would it cost without the multiple subsidies???
I think reforming would be just as "cheap"

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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Ethanol is about 50 cents less than the CBOB blend stock last time I looked.

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On 5/30/2014 8:19 PM, jim > wrote:

http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id '&t
All gasoline vehicles can use E10. Currently only light-duty vehicles with a model year 2001 or greater can use E15. Only "flex-fuel" vehicles can use gasoline with an ethanol content greater than E15.
The energy content of ethanol is about 33% less than "pure" gasoline, although this varies depending on the amount of denaturant that is added to the ethanol. Thus, vehicle fuel economy may decrease by up to 3.3% when using E10.
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