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Thread: Dry gas

  1. #1
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    Dry gas

    After reading the Tech Tips in the latest Turning Wheels I was wondering if dry gas would help with some of the problems with alcohol gas.

  2. #2
    Silver Hawk Member Chris Pile's Avatar
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    Dry gas has alcohol IN IT.
    The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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    Golden Hawk Member Dick Steinkamp's Avatar
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    https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/what-is-dry-gas

    Gasoline with ethanol does essentially the same thing as Dry Gas, HEET, etc. The ethanol binds with any water in the fuel to keep it in suspension. Without the alcohol, water goes directly to the bottom of the tank (gas floats on water). The water is then the first thing picked up when trying to start the car and that doesn't work so well. Eventually the water sitting in the bottom of the tank causes it to rust out.

    Since gasoline at most pumps is only 10% ethanol, it won't bind with massive amounts of water in the tank of course.

    If you store your car over the winter, I suggest you keep the tank full to help prevent condensation and put in the proper amount of a Stabil product.

    Ethanol will attack soft fuel system parts made before gas containing ethanol was popularized. When in doubt, replace hoses, fuel pump diaphragms, accelerator pumps, O-Rings, gaskets etc with modern, ethanol compatible products.

    I have run e10 in all my collector cars for 20+ years with no ethanol related problems. Your experience may vary.
    Dick Steinkamp
    Bellingham, WA

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    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    I highly recommend Marvel Mystery Oil rather than Stabil, not only for winter storage but for daily use all year. I won't run my small engines without it. Our Studebaker engines were not designed for ethanol, often exacerbating vapor lock issues and, as Chris pointed out, why would you want to add more alcohol when alcohol is already part of the problem?

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    Silver Hawk Member Chris Pile's Avatar
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    Most of us already know this.... Alcohol is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs and holds onto water. That's why Dry Gas was called DRY. It sucked up the water. So does a paper towel, but you can't flow that through a carburetor and burn it in an engine. Confused yet?
    The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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    I don't know what the issue is about water in the gas and employing alcohol to control and remove it by mixing the two elements and burning them. I have owned at least a dozen vehicles and have driven close to 3,000,000 miles in my life and have never encountered a water problem with the fuel. I have driven a John Deere tractor for hundreds of hours and at regular intervals the site glass would have to be drained of water. With the tractor fuel it was from a barrel, pumped into a container or open pail then poured via a funnel in to the tank and some times this is done in the rain. Nobody used alcohol in their tractors they just drained the site glass. Standard procedure in a light aircraft is to drain a small amount of fuel before each flight to confirm that there is no water. Alcohol was used for a very short time then discontinued as it was determined the amount of alcohol required to eliminate the small amount of water was equal to the amount of fuel. The small amounts of alcohol that was used did nothing to combat the water and it only corroded the aluminum carburetor parts. The practice was prohibited. Water and gasoline will mix, take a clear container (8-10oz) add about one ounce of water and fill the remainder with gasoline and shake it, it will take considerable time for the gasoline and water to separate and can remain in suspension for an extended length of time. The fuel in a tank is constantly splashing about and sometimes violently and therefore any water may remain in suspension for longer times. With 16 - 20 gallons of fuel in a tank and a couple of drams of water will cause no erratic fuel issues. When the quantity of water is greater than the system can consume it will be trapped in the site glass or in the bottom of the carburetor bowl. Most fuel systems can consume the normal amounts of water that enter the system. In many of our vehicles the fuel is not consumed fast enough to maintain and control the moisture content and therefore require extra maintenance ie regular draining of the site bowl, regular draining the carb bowl and in some cases removing the plug in the tank. No amount of alcohol will eliminate the need to perform these tasks. With a small amount of water in the tank of an aircraft and the tank is just filled, the water will suspend itself in the gasoline for a long time and in freezing conditions the suspended water can freeze into minute ice crystals and remain in suspension and can cause fuel delivery problems. Again no amount of alcohol will counter this condition. I was reading the yourmechanic.com site about Dry Gas and I feel it is a product for sale.
    At the conclusion of the pitch there is a link to "terms of service" and it is 13 pages of legal text covering virtually every molecule of their behind. This causes me to question the purpose of Dry Gas. FWIW.

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    I have been using sea foam with great success. My small engines start every spring.Does marvel mystery do the same thing? We have non ethanol premium available here which keeps the water out of the tank but you still have to treat the gas to have any sort of shelf life. Two different issues we are dealing with.

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    The prime purpose of ethanol in gasoline is to extend the life of the gasoline reserves and to create an additional secondary industry for all the corn farmers. Currently it is only 10% but they are lobbying to have that increased, they want to make more money. For over 50 years the compound methyl -ethyl - lead was mixed with gasoline to prevent/reduce detonation (engines would still detonate if lugged or the timing was off). Water in the form of vapour was still entering the gas tanks of automobiles and for the most part was consumed. Excess amounts would collect in the site bowls or the base of the carburetor and would have to be manually drained. Many vehicles had no site bowls to drain and many were fuel injected and water was never a problem. Temperatures have to be within the correct range for the water vapor in your gas tank to condense in to a liquid form. Most of the water vapor inside the tank will be disbursed back out to atmosphere when refilling or returned back into the system where vapor recovery is in use. Alcohol was never intended to consume the water/vapor. Alcohol's function in a gasoline fueled engine is to prevent/reduce detonation. In the early transition from the leaded gasoline to ethanol, engines were fitted with knock sensors whereas if the engine started to detonate the computer would retard the spark to a point where the detonation would not occur. On a Model T ford there is a spark advance/retard lever to control detonation as in the day lead was not in use. Water would enter the fuel system from time to time mostly from mechanical means and would have to be drained from the site glass at regular intervals. Alcohol was firstly used in light aircraft to remove water however it was a negative effort and became prohibited. Aircraft fuels still have a high quantity of lead to counter detonation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by altair View Post
    The prime purpose of ethanol in gasoline is to extend the life of the gasoline reserves and to create an additional secondary industry for all the corn farmers. Currently it is only 10% but they are lobbying to have that increased, they want to make more money. For over 50 years the compound methyl -ethyl - lead was mixed with gasoline to prevent/reduce detonation (engines would still detonate if lugged or the timing was off). Water in the form of vapour was still entering the gas tanks of automobiles and for the most part was consumed. Excess amounts would collect in the site bowls or the base of the carburetor and would have to be manually drained. Many vehicles had no site bowls to drain and many were fuel injected and water was never a problem. Temperatures have to be within the correct range for the water vapor in your gas tank to condense in to a liquid form. Most of the water vapor inside the tank will be disbursed back out to atmosphere when refilling or returned back into the system where vapor recovery is in use. Alcohol was never intended to consume the water/vapor. Alcohol's function in a gasoline fueled engine is to prevent/reduce detonation. In the early transition from the leaded gasoline to ethanol, engines were fitted with knock sensors whereas if the engine started to detonate the computer would retard the spark to a point where the detonation would not occur. On a Model T ford there is a spark advance/retard lever to control detonation as in the day lead was not in use. Water would enter the fuel system from time to time mostly from mechanical means and would have to be drained from the site glass at regular intervals. Alcohol was firstly used in light aircraft to remove water however it was a negative effort and became prohibited. Aircraft fuels still have a high quantity of lead to counter detonation.
    I feel compelled to correct your chronology and the conclusions derived therefrom. I agree that tetraethyl lead was added (in the 1920s) to gas to reduce pre-ignition and allow increased compression ratios. It was eliminated from gasoline (in the US anyway) in 1971 over concerns that lead, known to be a poison, was getting into the environment. Compression ratios had to be reduced across the industry in response and stayed down for more than a decade. Knock sensors did not come on the market until the mid-1980s, and were generally installed only with fuel injection and microprocessor-controlled engine management systems. They permitted compression ratios to start climbing again.

    Agree that alcohol in gasoline does tend to reduce detonation, but that attribute is not why it is being added to motor fuel today. Methyl tertiary butyl ether was developed in the late 1980s as an additive to reduce the production of the oxides of nitrogen in exhaust gases. In the US, Congress mandated the use of MTBE or other acceptable oxygenate as part of the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act. When MTBE was shown to be a carcinogen, ethanol became the only readily available alternative. You are correct that the mandate remains (in the US anyway) because of the political power of the corn farmers and associated ethanol industry. Ethanol supporters have asserted that oxygenated fuels reduce the reliance on imported petroleum, but there are serious doubts that this is true. The fact that Congress has prohibited any analysis of the real costs of the oxygenated fuels program makes one wonder.

    This thread started as a discussion of dry gas, which does in fact contain alcohol. In vehicles that are driven regularly, a little bit of alcohol doesn't hurt anything and actually can help to rid the fuel system of water, which can cause frozen fuel lines and carburetor icing. In carbureted cars that are driven infrequently, it can cause fuel tank rust and the deterioration of rubber fuel system components.

  10. #10
    Silver Hawk Member Chris Pile's Avatar
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    Overall, alcohol was pushed by the greenie weenies because the exhaust is very clean compared to gasoline (which can be cleaned up post combustion). Unfortunately, during the making of alcohol fuel so much water is polluted it's just ridiculous. Makes a great racing fuel, though - burns at a lower temp (and yields less energy). That's why alcohol fueled vehicles get about 2/3 the mileage of gasoline powered vehicles.
    The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockne10 View Post
    I highly recommend Marvel Mystery Oil rather than Stabil, not only for winter storage but for daily use all year. I won't run my small engines without it. Our Studebaker engines were not designed for ethanol, often exacerbating vapor lock issues and, as Chris pointed out, why would you want to add more alcohol when alcohol is already part of the problem?

    I've been using Marvel Mystery for more than I can remember, it truly quits the engine and make it run smooth, in the old days used car dealers used it to make worn engines run as quit as a steam engine.
    I know it's a "top oil" but how it works remains a "mystery" to me.

  12. #12
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    I have used MMO for the past 10 years in all mu small engines and antique cars, along with the better gas with no corn crap in it.
    Today's gas doesn't have any lubricity like the gas of the 50's and 60's had, so I figure the MMO helps.

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    I feel that we are on the same page or very close, good points. I don't however feel that water or water vapor mixed with gasoline is related to carburetor icing.

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    DryGas and other products are NOT ethanol. They are designed to hold water in suspension. In cars not winter driven they sit and frost forms inside the tank. When it thaws the water goes to the bottom of the tank and rust soon ensues. I avoid moonshine in all old cars so I put a bottle of Heet or Drygas in the tank in the fall. Adding it to crap ethanol gas is super stupid! Also agree with altair and Marvel Mystery Oil fans - love that stuff. Carb ice has nothing to do with the gas; when gas vaporizes in the carb and the temp and humidity are conducive (low temp and hi humidity) ice will form in the carb. This causes many an air plane to lose power before carb heat was routinely installed on aircraft engines. I have seen a very heavy coat of frost on my Case 400 carb in the spring of the year. Heet is methanol; Isopropyl alcohol is recommended for diesels.

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    Agree with Jeffrey Cassel about the conditions that cause carb icing -- typically temps in the 30s or low 40s with high humidity. As noted, when the fuel vaporizes the air is cooled enough to cause the water vapor to freeze. Agree that the vast majority of the water vapor comes from the air, but any water in the fuel will freeze, too.
    Last edited by Skip Lackie; 02-19-2018 at 11:11 AM.

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    President Member 345 DeSoto's Avatar
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    Just to be safe, I use alcohol free regular. It's a few cents more/gallon, but it will NEVER absorb water like 10% regular...and the engine has noticeably more "punch".

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffry Cassel View Post
    DryGas and other products are NOT ethanol. They are designed to hold water in suspension. In cars not winter driven they sit and frost forms inside the tank. When it thaws the water goes to the bottom of the tank and rust soon ensues. I avoid moonshine in all old cars so I put a bottle of Heet or Drygas in the tank in the fall. Adding it to crap ethanol gas is super stupid! Also agree with altair and Marvel Mystery Oil fans - love that stuff. Carb ice has nothing to do with the gas; when gas vaporizes in the carb and the temp and humidity are conducive (low temp and hi humidity) ice will form in the carb. This causes many an air plane to lose power before carb heat was routinely installed on aircraft engines. I have seen a very heavy coat of frost on my Case 400 carb in the spring of the year. Heet is methanol; Isopropyl alcohol is recommended for diesels.
    IIRC, dry gas is isooropyl alcohol - I believe that is the same as rubbing alcohol.

    According to the net, heet comes in 2 flavors - isopropyl and methyl.
    Last edited by 64studeavanti; 02-19-2018 at 07:38 PM.
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    It works good for melting the frost off the windshield in the morning too, but it doesn't absorb it.

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    Very educational,thanks

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