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  • #16

    In the early '90's, I spent a few weeks in Brazil. Most cars were running 85% alcohol and 15% gasoline. Hard starting was a common complaint. Many people adapted windshield washer systems to prime the engine with 100% gasoline to start. VW Beatles, made in Brazil, to run on Alcohol, were very popular. As I remember, Mercedes and GM also made cars there to run on alcohol. The fuel was made from sugar cane. Brazil was importing oil, partly to support its plastics industries. They exported gasoline. Since then, they discovered their own oil reserves.

    I have a Hot Rodding book written by Bill Fisher, in the early '50's. He says if your racing class allows the use of alcohol, and you don't use it, you aren't going to win! By rule of thumb, you should expect to use twice as much fuel, and develop half again as much power, (150%). BSA motorcycles, especially the very high performance Gold Stars, were available from the factory set up for alcohol. Necessary modifications were published. They included raising the compression ratio.

    I'm skeptical of studies that show alcohol fuel is more expensive to produce than gasoline. One I read, ( paid for by an oil company), included cost per BTU of sun light falling on corn fields. That's right folks, a charge for sunshine! When the author was questioned about some rather high charges for maintenance of farm equipment, he admitted that he just made up the figures.

    I've experienced the common problems with using whatever is being sold as fuel, in older cars, or cars not designed for it. I've seen hoses turn to gum, and parts corrode. Until about the '80's, I prided myself on being able to make almost anything run. Then I experienced stale modern fuel. My self confidence was shaken, for a while.
    Mike

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    • #17
      Originally posted by bensherb View Post
      And 30 years ago you could haul a car out of a garage that had been sitting there for 20+ years and fire it up on the gas that was in it. Yeah, Progress.
      This is very true. In1983 I bought an old Buick that had sat for 23 years and at that time I had never heard the term BAD GAS. Now I hear it all the time even when it is not the problem.The tire companies and gas companies have great thing going. Designed obsolescence ,Five year tires and one month gas. What a deal. By the way the car had its original one half tank of gas and after a short time of grinding it started and ran fine.

      don

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      • #18
        There is a fellow on the Studebaker truck talk forum that is planning on running propane in a Stude V8 powered truck. I think that it will be a great way to go. The fuel will never get old, and priming it after sitting for a while, would not be an issue. The oil will also stay cleaner. It would be a lot easier to add it to a truck than a car, but it could be done. It's definitely something to consider.

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        • #19
          Just back from Ft Lauderdale and went online to see what gas stations carry non ethanol, what a surprise, within a 4 mile distance, there were over 6 gas stations, Texaco, Marathon and Shell.
          Good to know for my 63 GT Hawk.
          Mark

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          • #20
            Originally posted by mch View Post
            Just back from Ft Lauderdale and went online to see what gas stations carry non ethanol, what a surprise, within a 4 mile distance, there were over 6 gas stations, Texaco, Marathon and Shell.
            Good to know for my 63 GT Hawk. Mark
            Great, but the BIG question is: HOW MUCH? $3.50-$4.00 a Gallon?
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #21
              StudeRich, I didn't pay attention at the time. I fly back Dec 17th for 3 weeks so I am sure I will fill up at least twice, or more. Ill post prices then.
              Mark

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              • #22
                In Minnesota the better gas without corn crap is 50 cents to a buck more than the ethanol junk.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
                  Thanks Skip, for the well written reply.
                  You're welcome -- best I could do from memory.

                  I know we all love to hate the EPA -- but they are largely blameless for the ethanol-gas debacle -- equivalent to a cop having to enforce a badly written law.
                  Skip Lackie

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by tsenecal View Post
                    There is a fellow on the Studebaker truck talk forum that is planning on running propane in a Stude V8 powered truck. I think that it will be a great way to go. The fuel will never get old, and priming it after sitting for a while, would not be an issue. The oil will also stay cleaner. It would be a lot easier to add it to a truck than a car, but it could be done. It's definitely something to consider.
                    That's been done many times over, and is a pretty popular conversion with the IHI folks over on binder planet. I have not lurked there for awhile, but recall several theads, with pros and cons. It's definitely more practical in something like a truck, due to the large tank involved, IIRC.

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                    • #25
                      So far, my Studebakers have had no ill effects of corn-gas, once I switched all the rubber lines over to FI only lines. As for availability, here in the Heartland of Kentucky, "real gas" is hard to come by, with the closest station about 75 miles away. The real gas locator is incorrect, the two stations it lists about 12-15 miles away do not exist. Even if they did, I would not waste the time driving there, threading my way through Elizabethtown just to buy it.

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                      • #26
                        Sinclair Oil Company had no-alky gas at their pumps, my older stuff loves it.

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                        • #27
                          The greenies are trying to get rid of natural gas for heating and cooking in homes, starting in California and spreading North.

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                          • #28
                            I agree with Joe Hall. Only ill effect I've experienced in my '62 Champ is fuel in carb evaporating when truck sits awhile.
                            However, I did have a problem with my 2005 Bayliner boat. After over 10 years the liner in the rubber fuel line disintegrated and clogged the fuel pump. Since ethanol was in wide use in 2005 Bayliner should have done better. The rubber fuel lines in the cheap auxiliary tanks I bought at WalMart showed no ill effects.

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                            • #29
                              Skip,
                              Thank you for your short dissertation which breaks down what I lumped together. There is no getting around the fact that there are "other" concerns / entities that have mandated the use of ethanol as an oxygenate whether or not if it has its desired effect on the environment. I say "environment" in it's most broad definition in saying that we could improve MPG and reduce CO2 emissions by switching to non-ethanol fuel but there are too many impediments that have been legislated in order to make that happen.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by TWChamp View Post
                                In Minnesota the better gas without corn crap is 50 cents to a buck more than the ethanol junk.
                                In Montana its about 75 cents a gallon higher but when you consider how little you use and the value you gain from non-damage to old car and small engine parts its well worth it in my opinion.

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