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  • Fuel/Gas Ethanol content - impact?

    Hi
    I am in the UK and I own an 2005 X7 with the MCX 350 engine.

    To save the planet the Gov't have just changed the ethanol content in our standard fuel (95 RON) from 5 to 10%

    In terms of cars we are getting loads of Government warnings that the move from 5% ethanol content to 10% ethanol content can:
    1. Damage your engine
    2. Cause fuel /gas lines and seal to disintegrate and block filter etc
    3. Fuel breaks down and separates if stored for more than 30 days separating into water and gas creating new problems when restarting.
    There is a Government web site advising on whether the new fuel E10 can be used on your car by Model and Age.

    Needless to say nothing on Boat engine, Garden engines, Motorbike engines etc.

    I went to Mastercraft UK for advice on my engine and fuel system.

    They stated that they went to Mastercraft USA for advice and the USA response was "we don't have a relationship with Indmar any more so cannot offer any advice" -

    Apparently the Historical customers with Indmar engines are of no consequence.

    Also no advice on Mastercarft fuel/gas lines either.

    I have sent an email to Indmar Customer Service and am waiting a response. - Decided not to "hold my breath!"

    Can any of you guys offer any advice on the implications of 10% ethanol fuel in relation to my specific boat/engine/

    Do you have any mitigation measures if you face the same problem? For example I have read that the fuel/gas storage problem can be mitigated by putting fuel/gas stabilizer in to tank. I have ordered some Sta-Bil.

    Once again as it appears the OEMs are being less than helpful on a critical issue I turn again to "The Forum"
    Regards to all
    Ian
    Last edited by eurosysytem0; 09-14-2021, 05:12 AM.

  • #2
    It's up to 10% here and I've never had an issue. However, I do try to put ethanol free gas in it before winter and I do use stabil for the winter.

    Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

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    • #3
      The items listed by your government are true. I'm not sure if the ethanol free additive actually works. The marine type sta-bil is recommended no matter what type of gas you use. I wouldn't risk it. Ethanol free is readily available where I am and typically only .20 cents more expensive than regular gas.

      Comment


      • #4
        You will start to see others vapor lock. This is when the motor gets warm the boat won’t start because everything is so hot. Mastercraft’s didn’t have the issue because the fuel pump is in the gas tank which keeps it cool but a Supra has an external pump and my buddy had a major issues and finally figured out it was due to 10% ethanol blended fuels

        All of our Marinas still provide ethanol free gas which I’d recommend over 10% blend.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by eurosysytem0 View Post
          Hi
          I am in the UK and I own an 2005 X7 with the MCX 350 engine.

          To save the planet the Gov't have just changed the ethanol content in our standard fuel (95 RON) from 5 to 10%

          In terms of cars we are getting loads of Government warnings that the move from 5% ethanol content to 10% ethanol content can:
          1. Damage your engine
          2. Cause fuel /gas lines and seal to disintegrate and block filter etc
          3. Fuel breaks down and separates if stored for more than 30 days separating into water and gas creating new problems when restarting.
          There is a Government web site advising on whether the new fuel E10 can be used on your car by Model and Age.

          Needless to say nothing on Boat engine, Garden engines, Motorbike engines etc.

          I went to Mastercraft UK for advice on my engine and fuel system.

          They stated that they went to Mastercraft USA for advice and the USA response was "we don't have a relationship with Indmar any more so cannot offer any advice" -

          Apparently the Historical customers with Indmar engines are of no consequence.

          Also no advice on Mastercarft fuel/gas lines either.

          I have sent an email to Indmar Customer Service and am waiting a response. - Decided not to "hold my breath!"

          Can any of you guys offer any advice on the implications of 10% ethanol fuel in relation to my specific boat/engine/

          Do you have any mitigation measures if you face the same problem? For example I have read that the fuel/gas storage problem can be mitigated by putting fuel/gas stabilizer in to tank. I have ordered some Sta-Bil.

          Once again as it appears the OEMs are being less than helpful on a critical issue I turn again to "The Forum"
          Regards to all
          Ian
          Your fuel system will be fine with E10- that's what we have here unless someone has a car or truck that can use 'Flex Fuel', which is E85. That would be a real problem for a vehicle that's not made to use it because the soft materials in the fuel system will degrade quickly.

          Fuel storage is a problem but additives exist that work with Ethanol- StaBil has a blue additive specifically for this and the Volvo-Penta stabilizer works well (from having worked for a marina that uses it- can't really afford to get that wrong, as a service business). DO NOT use the red Stabil if the fuel has Ethanol in it. I have used that for my lawn mower & snow blower but generally use a small gas can to prevent long storage times and at the end of the season, I run the tank dry after adding Sea Foam. If it has too much gas to waste (time and gas), I use a small vacuum pump and remove the excess before starting it for the last time. Most boat manufacturers recommend filling the take at the end of the season, to reduce the air content. I like to recommend not running the engine hard during the first 1/4 tank.

          The problem with boats is that the tank is vented and during temperature changes, the fuel expands & contracts, which causes the tank to 'breathe'. When the fuel warms, the tank expels some of the air that's inside, then it pulls air in as the fuel's volume decreases. That also brings moisture in and that will mix with the Ethanol. When the concentration reaches a point of saturation, the water/Ethanol mix settles to the bottom in a process called 'phase separation' and that can't be reversed easily- certainly not while that mixture is in the tank. This is a great case for using a fuel/water separator- as large as can fit, or the boater/servicer needs to stay up on it and replace the cartridge frequently- some can be dumped out, some can't. However, those are more easily installed on lower pressure systems.

          The US has used several fuel additives with varying degrees of damage- the first was MTBE, which really caused problems with the in-tank pumps and fuel senders. The Ethanol and MTBE initially caused the impellers in the fuel p umps to expand, which made them seize or reduce the RPM, which led to the engine not running. The pumps were replaced and after sitting during the return process, the impellers would return to their normal size and when they were tested by the manufacturer, they worked fine, leading to denial of warranty claims. They have since changed the impellers to handle the Ethanol.

          FWIW, I recently needed to replace the fuel pump in my Chevy van and when I looked into the tank, I saw no water- the pump itself is fine but the connector that sends power to the motor didn't have a functional clip to hold it in place, so it backed out and the connection was lost.

          I don't think I would worry too much unless the relative humidity where you keep the boat is extremely high and you have wild temperature swings but if you do end up with phase separation, it would be a problem mostly if you're on the water. If it won't start on a lift or on the trailer, your fuel line has a Shrader valve which makes it possible to take a fuel sample by connecting a fuel pressure gauge and using the bleeder valve to collect some fuel in a clear, clean container. If you see milky liquid or water in the fuel, you'll know how that it needs to be removed and repeatedly pressing the bleeder will allow you to watch as the bad fuel comes out.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jgraham37128 View Post
            You will start to see others vapor lock. This is when the motor gets warm the boat won’t start because everything is so hot. Mastercraft’s didn’t have the issue because the fuel pump is in the gas tank which keeps it cool but a Supra has an external pump and my buddy had a major issues and finally figured out it was due to 10% ethanol blended fuels

            All of our Marinas still provide ethanol free gas which I’d recommend over 10% blend.
            The easy way to prevent that is to run the blower while the engine sits after running.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ONTHECOAST View Post
              The items listed by your government are true. I'm not sure if the ethanol free additive actually works. The marine type sta-bil is recommended no matter what type of gas you use. I wouldn't risk it. Ethanol free is readily available where I am and typically only .20 cents more expensive than regular gas.
              Wow, only 0.20 more per gallon? That is a deal. At certain fuel stations in Canton 'Rec' fuel (ethanol free) is .80 to $1.20 more per gallon. Which is a scam because all they do is add ethanol into the tanker truck before they put the straight gas in at the bulk stations. It takes more time to do this plus the ethanol tanks at the bulk stations are a maintenance issue at the bulk stations as well. It is way cheaper to have straight gas trucked to gas stations yet they hammer you for it when you buy it.
              2003 ProStar 197, MCX and Powerslot.

              "When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty" - Thomas Jefferson
              "Freedom is beneficial to everyone equally" - Ron Paul
              Taxation = Theft

              Comment


              • #8
                Guys
                A big thank you for all the responses.
                Ian

                Comment


                • #9
                  My 1995 5.7L Indmar powered ProStar's manual and Indmar's engine manual both state that E10 is fine to use, and I believe all newer Indmar powered MC's are the same.

                  My two cents
                  Tim
                  2021 Lone Star MasterBash
                  Ohio State Engineering - Go Bucks
                  1998 MC MariStar 225VRS
                  1995 MC ProStar 205
                  ISO MC 205V/XStar/X2/X1

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    AVOID ethanol at all costs. But if you must use it, i would add marine stabil or Mercury fuel treatment for Ethanol. Ethanol attracts water, and the gas is usually only good for about 30 days. i would NEVER store my boat with that in the tank. Its okay to run in your motor since its rated for 10% ethanol i am sure, but i would never store it with that.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hunter991 View Post
                      Ethanol attracts water.
                      Don't turn your pitchfork at me, I avoid ethanol in my carb'd boat for several reasons. For the sake of the discussion, depending how this is stated, this is a myth. Ethanol can absorb water, which is an issue if you have phase transformation as Jim stated above and the fuel is in contact with water in the tank... But if you do some research I've read several times that ethanol attracting water right out of the air is not really the main problem here.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        here in CT (USA) the blend is 10% ethanol, but it's been that way for some time. this was the first year that i had an issue with fuel, so i wanted to give my input. i hadn't used the boat for 2 months prior to last weekend because of the combination of my wedding and crappy weather seemingly every weekend, and it ran really rough until i put some fuel treatment in. we had basically 2 months of 95 degree, high-humidity weather and record-breaking rainfall during that time, and my 45 gallon tank was about 12 gallons short of being full which allowed for the expansion and contraction of the air in the tank described above.

                        my suggestions are to put stabil in AND top the tank off if you know you aren't using it for more than a few weeks, and/or if you are getting wild temperature spikes.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ethanol does not like to sit and that is where problems arise. As long as you are running your boat and not letting it sit for over a year you should never have any issues. You can use products like stabil if it makes you sleep better at night but I personally think it is kind of a joke. The bottom line is if you run your boat the fuel will not be an issue.
                          Previous Boat- 1983 Stars and Stripes

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by peytonvp View Post
                            Ethanol does not like to sit and that is where problems arise.
                            Huh? Sitting doesn't cause problems because Ethanol mixes readily with gasoline. The problem is that it also mixes readily with water and if THAT happens, it will settle to the bottom and in sufficient concentration, it's a big problem.

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