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Author Topic:   Oxygenated fuel - Ethanol
prm1177 posted 01-02-2004 06:43 PM ET (US)   Profile for prm1177   Send Email to prm1177  
With the retirement of MTBE here in sunny California, we will begin receiving gasoline with ethanol as the oxygen supplement. Most marine engine site emphatically tell you NOT to use gasohol. Two questions.

1) Will gas shipments to marinas not contain ethanol?
2) If no to the above, should I be concerned for my Optimax 135?


Sal DiMercurio posted 01-03-2004 01:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
I'v got an e/mail into Bombardier right now & will post their reply.
Man, this could really be a big hurt on us if we can't use it.
Peter posted 01-03-2004 04:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
My recollection is that you can use a gasoline blended with ethanol for outboard motors as long as it is not higher than a certain percentage. I can't recall specifically, but I have a vague recollection of 10 percent as the limit.

Sal, Bombardier apparently makes a version of the Ficht that will run on JP4. Thus, I think Bombardier's simple direct injection system is quite robust and will burn just about anything as long as the engine management system is programmed accordingly. As with any oxygenated fuel, power output will be down somewhat as there are less BTUs in a gallon of fuel as compared to non-oxygenated fuel.

In the late 80s, ethanol blended fuels caused problems for OMC's VRO system. They came out with the VRO2 system to deal with it. I don't know what was different but suspect it was the use of different materials for seals. The Bombardier direct injected motors shouldn't have any problem because the oil and gas paths are completely separate.

Sal DiMercurio posted 01-03-2004 09:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Pete, your absolutly right.
Just got the reply from my buddy at Bombardier.
We can use fuel with up to 10 percent ethanol or 5 percent methanol but it's possible we may have vapor locking & other minor problems in very hot weather.
The engines will be fine but the componets in the boat fuel delivery system may not be compatable with alcohol [ fuel pumps, filters etc ].
Also says keep an eye out for the new articles on the E-TEC™ engines in next months Trailer boats & bass & walleye, says these engines are awsome.
jimh posted 01-04-2004 08:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Subsidized by the federal government and your tax dollars, ethanol/gasoline fuel blends are a political pay off to Archer, Daniels, Midland company. They have all the pols in their pocket, and we pay the cost.

Ethanol is not good for anything but extra profits for American farmers and companies making their corn into alcohol. And taxpayers provide the subsidy that is needed to make this happen.

In the midwest ethanol/gasoline fuel blends are common, to our misfortune.

Sal DiMercurio posted 01-04-2004 01:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
I hear you Jim.
Here in North central Calif, the rice farmers are doing a dance because they found out their rice stubble is going to be used to extract ethanol.
The only thing good about that is, they wont be flooding it to make it rot, & "maybe" our duck hunting might improve if they don't flood the 250,000 acers of rice that holds all the birds on private land.
I agree it's a political pay off big time.
jimh posted 01-04-2004 05:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Perhaps the newer, more sophisticated engines whose combustion is monitored and controlled by sensors and computer control modules will be able to tolerate the greater variation in fuel that is being offered today.
prm1177 posted 01-05-2004 10:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
Mercury just called me (I'm impressed with their customer service). They say there is no issue in running the newer Optimax and 4 strokes with ethanol blends. Last check is with Whaler to see if there are issues with the fuel lines and/or tank in the Outrage. (I still remember my 1981 Saab and it's dissolving injector seats when running on gasohol.)

The only other recommendation I've had is to check the fuel filters and water separator more frequently when running ethanol mixed fuel.

Tom2697 posted 01-05-2004 11:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
Please bear in mind that I am going off of a delapidated memory after the holidays...

The ethanol is not harmful to the engine components. It is harmful to the fuel seals, lines, and diaphragms. Most newer motors and boats already have these components installed with ethanol resistant components. I don't remember the year that the materials where changed though. So, while your motor will probably be fine, worry about your fuel lines. I don't think your tank should have a problem but it would be better to ask BW about it. But then again, what choice do you have? If you want to use your boat, you have no choice, right?

Chalk up another mark for Government regulations!

jimh posted 01-05-2004 09:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Fuel lines rated for marine fuel use after about c.1988 are rated for alcohol blended fuels. Fuel lines rated for marine use are required to show the date of manufacture in clear text on the hose, and if your line is more than 10 years old give strong consideration to replacing it. The line should also indicate the alcohol fuel rating, too, I believe.
JohnJ80 posted 01-05-2004 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
The whole ethanol thing is a crock. Supposedly for renewable energy, but it takes more energy to raise the corn than it provides as ethanol. Now, isn't that a good bargain?

My motor is ok with up to 10% ethanol, so I don't pay attention. I buy all my gas at a marina gas dock but I can't remember if they are required to add ethanol or is that only for road use?


lhg posted 01-09-2004 06:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Here in the mid-west the only gasoline we've been able to buy for the last 15 years has 10% alcohol. It's no big deal, especially with EFI/DFI engines, which easily accomodate it. My older 1985 carbed Mercury in-line 6's also run fine on it, but not quite as clean with respect to water pollution at idle.
AQUANUT posted 01-17-2004 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
here in oregon where people seem to be anti gov...and consumer is state law to post at the pump the proubable damage that ethanol can cause to electronic fuel injection delivery systems....p.s. oregon not a corn state..its a peoples freedom
lhg posted 01-17-2004 05:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Sorry to be blunt, but above poster does not what he is talking about.

My pair of Merc 200 EFI's, 300HP Cadillac Northstar, and various Chevy 5.7's all run fine on the gasohol, and have been for years. This has been the ONLY gasoline you can buy in the Midwest & Southeast (including FL) for 12 years now, and we all seem to get around just fine.

Boats with built-in fuel tanks, built before 1989, should have fuel hoses replaced, however, with the newer alcohol resistant variety. And keep your fuel tank topped off for winter storage to prevent phase separation which will cause your aluminum tank to corrode through and leak.

hooter posted 01-18-2004 09:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for hooter    
When Tom axed above, what choice does he have? he forgot one: Move off the left coast or outta Garrison Kieler-land. Most of the rest of the state legislatures in the country's not owned by the farm lobby. Down here in Louisiana, Ah'm happy to say, our legislature is owned by the trial lawyers and the gamblin' concerns. Thankfully, they's got no interest in screwin' up our infernal combustion:-!

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