By on October 26, 2015

 

ethanol. shutterstock user FUN FUN PHOTO

Robin writes:

Sajeev, here is a possible line of discussion: ethanol fuel. It’s hard to find straight gasoline now and impossible in the more populous counties of Texas. E15 is around the corner. My old D21 is still running strong at over 200K (previously discussed here and here —SM) but I fear that adding E15 might be the kiss of death for its early ’90s system.

Additives, alternatives and a point of discussion?

Sajeev answers:

I wouldn’t worry about it. If this was a problem, there’d be more upset people writing about the dangers of ethanol in EFI-motivated vehicles that weren’t designed for it.

The best information I found was via the boating scene, as they use far more E10/E15 than we do. Boats tend to keep more fuel sitting around for months, so their input is pretty valid. And while this test is interesting, I question its relevance to a small truck driven regularly. You aren’t letting fuel sit around to get wholly contaminated (so to speak) by water, and have it eat up gaskets in a carburetor, etc.

While your fuel system may not be designed for ethanol-infused fuels, at your age and mileage, any fuel leak is from age/deterioration exacerbated by ethanol. You can fix the leak with new parts and it’ll last for years to come.

Any E15 ethanol insight, Best and Brightest?

[Image: Shutterstock user FUN FUN PHOTO]

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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95 Comments on “Piston Slap: E15 and The Kiss of Death?...”


  • avatar
    PeterKK

    Well I only buy gas at the valero closest to me. It’s a tad pricier, but it’s real gas dagnabbit. So it’s worth it to me to avoid the watered down tripe most people are selling. :p

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      That depends on where you live. In New Mexico and Texas E10 is mandated and E15 will be phased in throughout New Mexico by either 1 Jul 2016 or 1 Jan 2017, if the State Legislature mandates it.

      I’m fortunate in that I have access to 92-octane PEMEX gasoline brought in from Ciudad Juarez in Old Mexico, and top off my gas tanks when I have it.

      Both my newer vehicles are FFV and can run on E85 if need be, but my 1989 Camry V6 is not designed to run on E15 or E85.

      I’ve had to replace the gas tanks’ overflow rubber hose with a neoprene hose to stop the ooze and drip when the tank was overfilled.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      I have an E85-capable pickup, and I have five carbureted motorcycles. The truck doesn’t care. The motorcycles do. Fortunately, I live in Virginia and have some choices. Even Texas has choices, though not many in the cities. Check where E0 is sold at:

      http://pure-gas.org/

      Small engines that are more than a few years old and all two-cycle engines do a whole lot better with pure gasoline.

    • 0 avatar
      EvilEdHarris

      Being a boat owner who plays on the salt water quite a bit, I am willing to pay as much more as it takes to get fuel without ethanol. The main reason is that the ethanol component of E10 and E15 gasoline alcohol (as you all know). Alcohol is hydroscopic by nature meaning it absorbs water molecules. The risk with E10 or E15 fuel on a boat is that you can end up killing your engine if there is too much water in your fuel. Yes there is a fuel water separator but try working on that in rough water without control of the boat.

      Out on the salt water with an average annual temperature of 50 degrees it is a huge safety hazard to lose your engine due to water in the fuel. Especially if the wind picks up and the waves start to grow beyond the 4-5 foot size; which is a huge hazard for small vessels. In 50 degree water you have about 15 minutes before hypothermia sets in… not good.

  • avatar
    slance66

    Why would we go to E15, when everyone knows that E10 is nothing more than a government payoff/boondoggle? It makes no sense to continue the ethanol requirement at all. Hopefully we will go back to ethanol free.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    You can’t get anything BUT E10 in Maine. I’ve never had an issue in anything from lawn and garden equipment to my old Triumph Spitfire. All of which sits 4-6 months a year.

    I think a lot of problems that gets blamed on the alcohol is actually due to the other things in the witches brew we call gasoline these days – it varies fairly widely from place to place. I can’t imagine that another 5% is going to harm anything but your gas mileage and the price of food.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    I never had a problem with small gas engines running on E10, and I don’t use any stabilizers when the equipment is stored for up to six months without use.
    Here is a list of a few of the pieces that come to mind.

    1. 1999 Cub Cadet yard bug riding lawn mower. Used six months of the year and stored without draining the tank for the other six months. It starts up in seconds as long as the battery is charged.
    2. 25 year old two cycle leaf b lower that sometimes sits for months without being used, It starts on the third pull.
    3. 2013 Cub Cadet 26″ snow blower. Too new to tell, but is stored with E10 in the tank since there is no easy way to drain it.
    4. 20+ year old Sears push leaf vacuum used only in the fall. It has a drain on the carb bowl, but I don’t bother to drain the E10. It too starts easily after sitting for up to eight months.

    I have no problems with the idea of using E10 gasoline. I do have a problem with the gubmint requiring it’s use which is just another farm subsidy.

    • 0 avatar
      cwallace

      That’s interesting, because I have terrible luck with E10 in small engines down here in Houston. Then again, it is really humid here– maybe ambient moisture isn’t that common where you are?

      I have a few smaller-displacement motorcycles (150 – 500 cc) and, without lots of Sta-Bil and running them every couple of weeks, the carbs will gum up badly enough to require breaking them down to clean. The rubber bits hold up OK, but the moisture in the air turns ethanol into glue inside the jet passages.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Yeah, me too. I had terrible luck with E10 in small engines, including my lawn tractor, Cub Cadet 4-stroke weed whacker/blower/trimmer/edger, my Troy-Bilt B&S lawn mower, and my Murray Tecumseh Edger.

        Had all the carbs and fuel lines replaced with plastic and neoprene at a local repair center.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        But how do you know the issue is the alcohol, and not some other component of modern fuel? No shortage of humidity here on the coast of Maine, and I have never had a problem. But who knows how closely related our gas is to yours… Remember – much of the reason different areas have different gas prices is that they have different gas blends. There are over 45 different ones in the US, some so esoteric that only a handful of refineries can even produce them.

        Here is a GAO paper about this: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB4QFjAAahUKEwioh-yT4-DIAhWJoD4KHZGXCjs&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gao.gov%2Fnew.items%2Fd05421.pdf&usg=AFQjCNG0ICI3WYmp3VsJOqQV_i_602Lfdw&cad=rjt

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        @Cwallace.

        I too live in a humid climate and CONSTANTLY have issues with carb’d engines when using E10. There are a few stations around me that sell gas without it, but either demand is too great or they dont stock much of it because its a crap shoot as to if they will have it or the nozzle will be covered with a plastic bag. This was especially annoying when my daily driver was an Isuzu Trooper with a carb’d 2.3L. I rebuilt the entire fuel system when I bought it, and before I sold it, sometimes it would choke down and run like crap. I took it to someone more knowledgable than I am about carbs and was told ethenol was the source of the issue (not sure if I believe that or not, though).

        Every piece of equipment I have and every carb’d vehicle Ive had since E10 became mainstream has had issues. If something not fuel injected sits for 6 months or more, you can rest assured thay you’ll have to repair or rebuild the damned thing before it will run or run properly. My neighbor/cousin recently bought a new outboard fuel injected engine for his fishing boat because he was tired of problem after problem with his older unit, almost always fuel-system related (especially if it hadnt been run recently).

        The high humidity must have something to do with it. Notice a lot of people saying they have no issues live up north.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Ironically, I’ve had more issues with E10 and new small engines than old ones. My Honda powered snow blower will never start with fuel in it from the previous season. I always have to drain the tank and carburetor. Once it’s full of fresh fuel, it fires up on the first pull. The old Briggs and Stratton always fired up no matter what garbage is in the tank. For all of my small 2 cycle machines, I use the premixed ethanol free stuff from Lowe’s. It already has fuel stabilizer in it.

  • avatar
    mike1dog

    I started using only pure gasoline in my 1986 Ford Mustang. The gas station I buy it from is as sketchy a place as I’ve ever seen. It’s a no brand station with one ancient and noisy pump, and I pay about twenty percent more than for the blended stuff. I couldn’t even prove to you that it is actually alcohol free, or that it makes any difference whatsoever. My car seems to run better lately, but that may be because the previous owner had sat the car for so long.

    • 0 avatar
      imhousing

      It’s actually quite easy to test for alcohol and water in your gasoline. At any engine or RV dealer they should have ethanol test kits. You can google them too they are super cheap (~$8) and very handy

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Imhousing, thanks for that bit of info! I will get a test kit and see if Im wasting my time driving 15 miles out of the way and paying $0.20/gallon (+/-) more for supposedly ethenol-free fuel.

      • 0 avatar
        eManual

        You can test it for free. Find a small glass (1 ounce or so) bottle, add water about 1/2 way up and mark that level. Fill to the top with the gasoline under test and close the top. Shake the mixture and let it stand. If there is any ethanol, it will dissolve into water (typically turning it cloudy) and the new “water + alcohol” level will rise higher than the original mark.

        I can use unleaded auto gas in my airplane, but almost all local gas stations now carry E10.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          Shouldn’t it tell people something that we don’t trust it in our aircraft?

          • 0 avatar
            eManual

            Like previously discussed on this thread, the major problems with Ethanol in aircraft are in the carburetor floats, fuel lines, etc. In addition, evaporation / vapor pressure at higher altitudes can be a problem. IIRC, auto gasoline blended for higher elevations is 85 octane, and usually doesn’t have as much (if any) Ethanol.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    In my Haynes Volvo 244 manual it stated the fuel injection system was designed to use ethanol from 1980 onward. Evidently there was some kind of national security law passed around this time and the automakers had to comply at the time.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Back then it was called “gasohol.” As much as people like to complain, ethanol has been blended with automotive gasoline for a long time. Any car made in the last 35 years that can’t handle it is defective.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        And if your car is older than 35 years old?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          S.O.L.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          If your car is older than 35 years you’ve probably swapped-out all your rubber bits by now. That’s easy enough if your car uses common parts. It’s obviously an issue if you drive something really rare.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I would guess 35yo cars still in operation are a healthy mix of common and rare.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            I’ve been running standard E10-15 in my ’63 Thunderbird’s 390 4bbl for years and tens of thousands of miles with no ill effects. It even gets stored with a full carb and no stabilizer.

          • 0 avatar
            CobraJet

            I drive a 46 year old car every week. I only use pure gasoline unless I am on a highway trip and can’t find any. E10 simply doesn’t run well in my Mustang. The car surges at highway speeds and idles poorly when I use it. I think it is the BTU content.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Fuel injection can handle it but there were mainstream cars sold with carbs until around MY91 which I wouldn’t classify as “defective”.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Carbs per-se aren’t the issue. Lots of older motorcycle that runs just fine on ethanol gas (including mine). The problem is if your carb’s rubber bits dissolve in alcohol.

          As I wrote earlier, any common carb should be OK with a modern rebuild kit. Obviously, those will be hard to find if your daily is a 1937 Delage.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            hh, most carbs and pumps I have rebuilt had paper or cork seals and gaskets. They’re not affected by solvents like alcohol, methane, nitrous, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I agree, and oddballs such as the Delage or Stutz Bearcat do exist in limited quantities.

      • 0 avatar
        Felix Hoenikker

        I have a 1974 Mercedes 450SL (R107, M116 engine) . See what I did there.
        I have owned this car since 2001 and have used E10 exclusively since all the gas in northeast PA seems to be E10. The engine is equipped with the first generation Bosch electronic fuel injection. To my knowledge, the fuel pump and all of the fuel injectors are original. The only problems I have had with the fuel system is leaky rubber fuel lines. But that could just be age related. The other hoses on the air side of the engine were also brittle and they have no contact with the E10 gas.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    E10 has ruined the carburetor in both my 1981 Trans Am and my lawn mower. It also killed my neighbors lawn mower. Had both carbs rebuilt and started using non ethanol premium from Fastrak. Both still run perfect the past 3 years after the switch over in gas. Will never use E10 gas in anything other than my 2013 car.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I wrote in to Sajeev about a similar concern when I had my Diplomat. Other than 14 MPG combined, the E10 fuel didn’t cause any ill effects that I noticed.

    That said, all three of my current vehicles (built from 1989 to 2014) state in their manuals that E10 is fine but anything greater can cause damage. So I’m not excited about E15.

    Interestingly, it is much easier now for me to find ethanol free gas than it was in the past and the price is much lower as well (about the same as 93 octane). I’ve never seen E85 or E15 offered in my part of Florida.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    E10, E15 or E0, the market place should decide, not the government.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Yeah, same with seatbelts, or the color and placement of exterior lights. Freedom!

      Fun fact: you’re welcome to purchase and run whatever fuel you want on your private racetrack or dragstrip.

      The government only gets involved when you want to drive on the roads that they financed and built.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        I agree on the seatbelts. Not the exterior lights though, as that directly affects others.

        The government gets involved when lobbyists pay them to support the interests of those funding the lobbyists. I hope you’re being paid for being such a shill.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    While on the subject, I noticed E85 is within about 30 cents of E10 gas. I do hope a month goes buy with not one sale on those pumps because that’s ridiculous to price it so much. Try $1.00 less next time.

    • 0 avatar
      wumpus

      Priced any other 100 Octane gas lately? If you are streeting a race car you should be thankful they are selling at such prices. Everybody else can be thankful for the [relative] lack of your subsidy.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Right, because Joe Sixpack is fielding a race car and needs 100 octane fuel.

        If they want it to be sold there has to be some kind of incentive, otherwise what is the point. In 2007 as gas prices ran up there was a 65c difference in E85 so I occasionally bought it.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Which given the reduction in fuel economy it is probably more expensive to run on E85 than E10 at that price. But math is hard… ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        E85 was $2.05 and gas $2.70 per my recollection, and it was 24.07% cheaper at the time which I think was a net gain to me (unless ethanol actually yields nearly 24% less economy which even I doubt).

        Per this site, the avg E85 is $2.15 with E10 at $2.39 in this state for a 10% spread in price. Zero incentive to switch (wanna go for a ride?). If somehow this is a supply and demand thing so be it but I think the pumps which installed it are underwater on their costs and are willing to scalp consumers stupid enough to buy it.

        http://e85prices.com/pennsylvania/pittsburgh.html

        • 0 avatar
          285exp

          E85 has around 28% less energy than E0, so an engine set up to use it should get around 28% less mileage. If it’s only 24% cheaper it costs more to use it than E0.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Really, 28%? I did not know this. I wonder why E85 still exists in the US market.

          • 0 avatar
            285exp

            The reason E85 is still available and people still use it is that math is hard, and most of the suckers who use it look at price per gallon not cost per mile.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            When we still had our 2012 Grand Cherokee V6, we filled up outside of Hastings, Nebraska, with E85. It was the only fuel they sold at that convenience store, and we were running on fumes.

            And my wife who was driving on that leg of the trip immediately noticed that it took a lot more gas pedal to get that beast to roll than it did with E10 or E15.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Wrong.

            In the real world E85 is rarely 85% ethanol. E85 is only 85% ethanol in places/times of the year with the lowest average temps are above 60 degrees. The rest of the year it is 74% Ethanol or 70% ethanol. So the drop on BTU’s per gallon is not that high.

            BTU per gallon does not reflect the big picture. Fact is that E85 has a much higher octane than pure gas or E10. Because of that higher octane the vehicle can run a much more aggressive timing table and increase its efficiency. The good mfgs, Ford and GM, take full advantage of that and as a result of the tuning changes and the real world ethanol content their vehicles only experience an average of a 12-15% drop in MPG. Which means that if E85 is 24% cheaper it will cost less per mile for fuel and you’ll have more power too. Note in a number of instances Ford has advertised the power rating of their E85 capable vehicles with a *. Get to the bottom of the page and you’ll find something like * only when operated on E85.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ HDC, Chrysler is the worst at FFVs. They do not take advantage of the greater octane and only adjust the fueling to compensate for the different required A/F ratio. Ford and GM on the other hand take advantage of the higher octane and their vehicles make more power and do not suffer from as big of a drop in MPG when you use E85.

            Years ago we had a Taurus FFV that was mainly used as my wife’s daily driver/beater. I was going to take a trip and along the way there were a couple of stations that offered E85 so I took that car to try E85 for myself. On the way down I topped it off adding about a 1/2 tank of E85. Then on the way back I filled it up so it would have had 75-80% E85.

            I got home Sun night and my wife took it to work as normal Mon. When she got home Mon night she asked me “what did you do to my car?” A little scared I answered “nothing” (I was afraid maybe there was a new dent somewhere or some other problem). She then went on so you didn’t tune it up or change something because it sure has more power than before. It was the E85 that caused the bump in peak power and a healthy jump in the mid range torque that accounts for much of the daily driving.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “Which given the reduction in fuel economy it is probably more expensive to run on E85 than E10 at that price. But math is hard… ;-)”

        Thats the problem. Our ’07 Chevy ‘Hoe can run E85 but even with the cheaper price per gallon it’s still more expensive to run with the reduced fuel economy. And the reduced fuel economy means your stopping for gas more often. So what’s the point?

        Lastly per the owners manual that came with the ‘Hoe your not supposed to be switching back and forth between E10 & E85. So on top of it costing more to run now your tied to those gas stations that sell E85. Any wonder it hasn’t seen E85 since shortly after we bought it.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    A pickup built during that era was not built to run on E15. It would be wise to avoid using E15 as much as possible (and that should be possible for awhile.)

    On the other hand, the truck is old enough that the fuel probably won’t matter that much, as there are many other things that are more likely to fail that would not make the truck worth fixing. So I wouldn’t lose that much sleep over it, either.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Why is it that the people that claim to be ruining our world based on what they feel in their bleeding hearts always have a complete lack of empathy?

  • avatar
    cjpaul

    More ethanol would allow a higher octane rating meaning more boost from turbocharged engines or higher compression ratios for NA ones equaling higher thermal efficiencies.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Which will not make up for the lower energy content of the ethanol.

      Sure, you can get 450hp out of a BMW N54 (3.0L twin turbo) running E85, but the single-digit fuel economy means you won’t do it for very long.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      And the extra oxygen atom will allow you to produce more power per gallon but you still get crappy gas mileage which is the opposite of what (a lot of) people are asking for.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I do put “STA BIL” in the tank of my 1967 Mustang over the winter. STA BIL, fill up, drive a few miles to pull it through the lines and into the carb. Other than that, I don’t sweat it. There’s little that could happen that wouldn’t be chalked up to the fact that most of the parts are 40 plus years old and have almost 200,000 miles on them.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I can’t even be bothered to do that with my Spitfire. I fill the tank and park it for the winter. Just did it today actually, as to make room for my new toy the Spit is wintering at my favorite lady friend’s place. There the little guy will sit until about Easter, when it will start on the first turn of the key, same as the previous 19 years. And if anything was going to be affected by gas, it is a late 60’s vintage Triumph. Gas is about the only fluid that car doesn’t leak.

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    The closest gas station to my house (2 miles) only sells straight gas, so that’s what I run in my lawn tools and Suburban. I still have trouble with the carbs gumming up sometimes – my chainsaw and weedeater currently need teardowns. The ‘Burb sits for weeks at a time, so I’d rather run what’s least likely to gum it up, but I’m not convinced that straight gas is much better, and a 40+ cent premium times 44 gallons is a kick in the shorts. As for our daily drivers, I usually run E10 unless I find straight gas for less than a 10% premium – anything more than 10% and ethanol gets you more miles per dollar. For reference, E10 is currently about $1.95 and straight gas is $2.40.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      I started running straight gas in my 3 snowmobiles & had fuel related problems in 2 of them. Two seasons in a row I had problems w/my kids 120 snowmobile. Never an issue before I started running straight gas. After cleaning the carb in that for the second season in a row because it wouldn’t run right it now gets only E10. I’d bet my paycheck when I fire it up for the first time this winter it runs like a champ.

  • avatar
    bcboat

    I know this is way a over the top simplification, but I refuse to put food in my gas tank.
    Also, my ’12 Focus 5dr had a fuel use/mileage calculator thingie and I could immediately see the 5 to 15% drop in mileage using the ethanol. What is the current government subsidy per gallon?
    Pillory me if you want, the corn farmers around here area filthy rich as it is….

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The presence of brand-new six-figure equipment in the driveways and fields of BTOs (Big Time Operators; farmers with thousands of acres) is not indicative of any actual wealth. The operating costs are astronomical. Small fortunes run through these farmers’ hands in a single season, and they might not see more than 5% of it in actual profit.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        Yep my uncle farmed in Renville county MN just south of Bird Island. He had some pretty impressive equipment but he was not filthy rich. 5 boys and not one of them took that farm over, wonder why?

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          In about 1984, my grandfather asked his two sons if they wanted to take over the 50-head dairy and all its related duties that they had been working at since they were old enough to lift a pail. Both said “nope”. The younger went off to become a successful homebuilder, and the older, my father, eventually took over after working at the Case IH dealer for a few years (still a customary practice) and eventually expanded the crop holdings; they got rid of the cows in ’94. I was not explicitly asked the same question, but it’s unspoken knowledge that despite my high regard for the profession and the indelible effect it has had on my psyche, I am not cut out for the farm life. I’d be dead before 30, and not from the physical aspect. Luckily, we’ve got a good friend of the family who would be perfectly cut out for the farm life and will probably take over when the time comes.

          After the farm crisis of the ’80s, the only guys left were corporate farmers, anyone who bought out all their neighbors and became a BTO, or anyone who steadfastly refused to expand in the ’70s and so kept all their wealth (what little there was) in the land rather than in the bank. My grandfather was one of the latter group; even then, it’s hard work with not much payoff and even less recognition (but an awful lot of blame, imagine that).

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        My Grandfather’s family were and are farmers here in Maine on the same land in my hometown. First chickens/eggs, then vegetables, finally morphed into a greenhouse/nursery/shrubbery business. The first two are methods of working really, really, really hard while slowly going broke at small scales. The last is an absolute gold mine – that side of the family is now RICH. People will pay WAAAAAY more for decorative plants than they will for food. But that plan only really works if you are lucky enough to own a farm in a stupidly wealthy suburb.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          We’ve found some economic prosperity in selling straw to urbanites. Or rather, we sell our straw, which costs about $2/bale to produce, to a chain of produce stands for $4/bale. They then sell them to the customer for somewhere around $6. Occasionally the produce stands will also sell to Lewis Drug stores, which sell them for $10. And everyone along the way thinks they’re getting a great deal!

          The best part is that the city slickers want smaller bales that are light and eay to fit in their car, so we’re selling 3-foot-long, 20-lb. “baby” bales for $4.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Why do people buy straw?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Hey, us city folk gotta decorate our houses with straw so our houses look good when we give candy to strangers from 6 PM to 8 PM this Saturday.

            28-

            Around here, any grocery store. Kroger, Meijer, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            So its for Halloween?

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            People also use it for archery target backing, and evidently to feed to various animals?

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            That’s a good question! You’re all correct, up to the animal feed part. Being the stalk of the grain plant, straw contains very little nutrition–it’s just what we would call “roughage”. As such, it’s mostly useful for animal bedding (it’s a good insulator, and it’s obviously biodegradable) rather than feed.

            In some parts of the country, straw is used as construction material (and not just by architecturally-challenged pigs). You can use it as either insulation or (in some instances) the actual load-bearing element.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw#Uses

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw-bale_construction

            Every small grain produces straw.
            Wheat straw is the nicest IMO, as it smells a bit like flour and it breaks up nicely. Mostly, we make oat straw (wheat prices haven’t been good enough recently to make it worthwhile to grow), but just this year we started doing rye.

            Baling straw is a different experience than baling hay. The bales are significantly lighter (80% of the weight of hay), but the dust is smaller particle size, particularly with oats, so it gets everywhere. Unlike hay, which can be baled well into the evening (say, no earlier than 2:00 and no later than 9:00), straw must be baled in the heat of the day (1:00-6:00), because once the sun gets low enough, the stalks get too tough and you risk breaking something on the baler (usually the twine knotter). But the hottest part of the day is also the driest, so it’s not so muggy.

  • avatar
    wumpus

    I can’t see Iowa changing presidential elections. Sucks to be you, E15. And there was much rejoicing in the rest of the USA.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Remember the picture used in an article here a few months ago from an Iowa pump. They had both E10 and pure gasoline. That’s really nice since they imposed this stupid rule on the rest of us, but they have the option to choose while I don’t.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        It’s the EPA that says *you* can’t have pure gasoline, isn’t it?

        • 0 avatar
          Number6

          It’s the location of a presidential primary that says you have to buy E10. Certainly not chemistry or thermodynamics.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          The EPA just says how many gallons of ethanol we use collectively. Ironically, In the farm belt you usually have the choice of ethanol free. From Driving cross country, usually at least premium was ethanol free from Montana through parts of Wisconsin. The laws vary from state to state.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          No it is the individual states that prevent of at least make it very difficult to get pure gas. Sometimes it is the state next door that messes you up.

          In my case it is the state of OR’s E10 mandate that makes anything but E10 next to impossible to find in WA. My state just says that they have to sell an average of 3% and they don’t care how that happens. However since the refineries in WA supply much of the fuel used in OR they have switched to producing sub-octane fuel that is only useful for blending into E10.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    As a card-carrying member of the Big Corn Ethanol Conspiracy (a.k.a. somebody with actual experience rather than anecdotal evidence in this field, no pun intended), I will say that I have no problem with buyers refusing E15+ blends on an economic basis. If you’re not paying X cents less to make up for any MPG losses, you’re gonna lose out. The only thing I have a problem with is refusal of gasohol because of a mistaken belief that it will destroy modern engines.

  • avatar
    285exp

    E15 isn’t replacing E10, they’re just trying to get higher than 10% blends approved so they can sell more ethanol to people who can’t do math. They can’t eliminate E10 because there are too many cars, boats, motocycles and small equipment engines that are not designed to use it. So, the cure for this is just don’t put it in your car unless it’s a model year 2001 or newer or is flex-fuel approved, and don’t put it any any boat or small engine equipment. If you can’t figure out which hose to use, that’s your problem.

    That said, any station that wants to sell the stuff should have to install a separate pump that is designated for the higher blends and have prominent warnings to try to prevent misfueling.

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    63 Valiant Signet with 225: used it all: leaded, unleaded, E10. I’ve owned it for 35 years. Running problems came from a cracked exhaust manifold and old age. Carb rebuilt seven or eight years ago. Sits for long periods at a time. It doesn’t seem to have the problems I feared would happen with ethanol.

  • avatar
    raph

    >>shrugs<< Fuel economy aside since E10 and E15 have less energy content on the GT500 if I can run a more aggressive tune or bump the pulley size down that would be nice.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Until and unless we’re motivated and committed enough to change the BS fixed order of presidential primaries, we have to pay off big corn. Maybe we could work something out where we pay them to not contaminate our fuel instead of this? It’s uglier in that it is more transparent, but at least we’ll get the range back from a tank of fuel.

  • avatar
    50merc

    The guy asked for alternatives. Here’s one: move to Oklahoma, where non-adulterated gasoline is all over the place. Gas stations put up big signs that say “Real Gas”, “100% Gas”, or the like. Typically costs about twenty or twenty-five cents more per gallon.

    Ethanol mandates are the offspring of crossing Crazy Greens with Corrupt Government.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Interested parties had been waiting three decades for their ethanol con to pay off:

      “Interest in ethanol was renewed in the 1970s, when oil supply disruptions in the Middle East became a national security issue and America began to phase out lead (an octane booster) from gasoline. The American Oil Company and several other major oil companies began to market ethanol as a gasoline volume extender and as an octane booster. Ethanol was blended directly into gasoline in a mix of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline, called gasohol. In 1978, Congress approved the National Energy Act, which included a Federal tax exemption for gasoline containing 10 percent alcohol. The Federal subsidy reduced the cost of ethanol to around the wholesale price of gasoline, making it economically viable as a gasoline blending component. The growth of ethanol was enhanced substantially by State tax incentives to ethanol producers. By 1980, 25 States had exempted ethanol from all or part of their gasoline excise taxes in order to promote consumption. Ethanol production jumped from just over 10 million gallons in 1979 to 175 million gallons in 1980.”

      http://www.progressivefuelslimited.com/ethanolpg.asp

      • 0 avatar
        50merc

        That’s from Progressive Fuels Limited, with the emphasis on “Progressive”, the ideology in which greenhouse gases are a Chimera, and socialist utopia the chimera.

  • avatar

    I’ve run ethanol blended fuel in an 86 Ford Escort wagon (200K + miles) and a 98 Dodge Stratus (currently 178K miles), both with no ill effect. It’s the least expensive fuel here in Iowa due to the “price support” it receives from the state (I think). Both vehicles were – and the Stratus still is – daily drivers (23K+/year). I realize I get less mpg with ethanol, but, for me, it isn’t significant enough to not purchase it. I make less than $36K a year so the pocketbook somewhat dictates what I buy – or don’t buy. I get around 33 to 35 mpg with the ethanol fuel. My thought is Sajeev is on the money with his assessment.

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