Author Topic: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol  (Read 1779 times)

Offline lilwoody

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Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« on: June 07, 2010, 08:58:49 PM »
Ethanol has eaten the needle tips and possibly the seats in my carbs. It has also done in the fuel petcock. Not to mention 2 of the 3 low pressure fuel pumps and filters on my boat but thats a different rant for a different forum. I have installed a fuel shut off valve between the petcock and the carbs to keep the gas in the tank and out of the motor, airbox and off the floor. It's a pain though and I really like the idea of the vacuum or lack there of shutting off the fuel every time the motor is shut off. I purchased a petcock from Bike Bandit but they had to back order it and claim Suzuki doesn't have them either. Seems maybe others are having the same problem. I've searched all the sites I know of for a rebuild kit for these buggers and came up with nuthin. Anyone on here know where to get a rebuild kit for the petcock.
I'm just going to send a set of carbs off to Budda to fix that issue but have some other issues to tend to right now. I'm buying my son a bike to take to college and depending how the search goes he may end up with my GS.
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Offline jeremy_nash

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Offline gregvhen

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2010, 10:11:11 PM »
Ethanol has eaten the needle tips and possibly the seats in my carbs.

seats are brass, needle tips are rubber though

Offline lilwoody

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2010, 10:20:43 PM »
Ate the needle tips for sure. My bikes a 06 so that is the type petcock that is on it. That shops in Tampa so more than likely that bike is from Fl and has lived on ethanol fuel. Which means it will suffer the same fate mine did if it hasn't already. It just seems that there would be a place to buy the diaphragm and the tip for the plunger. That's all there seems to be to these valves and what has failed it the tip to the plunger has deteriorated.
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Offline Pigeonroost

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2010, 10:49:05 PM »
Yep, and thr Feds are recommending that the % of mandated ethel be upped to 20 instead of 10.

prs

Offline bill14224

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 01:04:56 AM »
Ate the needle tips for sure. My bikes a 06 so that is the type petcock that is on it. That shops in Tampa so more than likely that bike is from Fl and has lived on ethanol fuel. Which means it will suffer the same fate mine did if it hasn't already. It just seems that there would be a place to buy the diaphragm and the tip for the plunger. That's all there seems to be to these valves and what has failed it the tip to the plunger has deteriorated.

What the hell is it with the gas in some places?  My bike is a 1994 and we've had 10% ethanol in our gas in NY since 1995.  I put 10,000 miles on it in the past two years and no fuel related problems.  By the way, alcohol doesn't eat metal.  It can't.  Plain rubber, sure, but not neoprene or metal.  It sounds to me like your favorite gas station is getting rid of waste industrial solvents by dumping them in the fuel supply.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 01:06:23 AM by bill14224 »
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Offline lilwoody

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 01:12:28 PM »
I put about 10k per year on my bike and a hundred or so hours on the both boats. This crap is destroying anything remotely rubber it comes in contact with that isn't specifically designed to withstand it. Nearly every gas station in town has had their tanks replaced over the last year and I doubt it's because they just wanted to. Corn ethanol is a travesty on the American public. It is a plane bad idea all the way around. It cuts into a very important food source for both people and livestock. There are no pipe lines that can transport it, It reduces fuel economy, it takes more energy to produce than it yields, and it's does bad thing to parts and tanks that are not designed to withstand its effects.
This was another simple question that turned into something else.

Does anyone know where to get a rebuild kit for the fuel petcock?
It is far better to attempt mighty things than take rank with those poor souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Teddy Roosvelt

Offline Homer

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2010, 06:49:48 PM »
 By the way, alcohol doesn't eat metal.  It can't.  

Wrong.

Ethanol reacts with rust as a catalyst, to form an aldehyde.  The rust loosens and breaks away, clogging your carbs.  The iron oxide falls back out of the reaction, later, and forms nanocrystals on everything in your fuel system. 
The ethanol absorbs water-vapor from the air, which causes new rust.  Etc, etc.
Top of page 2:
http://www.commerce.state.wi.us/er/pdf/bst/ProgramLetters_PL/ER-BST-PL-EthanolMotorFuelStorageOverview.pdf

Here's how:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6TGM-40962B9-R&_user=10&_coverDate=03%2F01%2F2000&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1363516554&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=4c7a29f176f0b2b8b3aba43be640f22b

Offline kman

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2010, 12:38:52 PM »
you should be able to buy gas without ethanol.  I believe here in Iowa the 87 octane does not have ethanol, while all other grades do (go corn!).  you are supposed to run 87 anyway.  correct me if I am wrong but only the other grades have the "cleaner air for iowa ethanol" sticker on them so i believe 87 is not watered down.  it is also more expensive because the Iowa government subsidizes ethanol to make farmers happy since ethanol takes more money (and fossil fuel) to produce than it is worth to sell outright.

Offline bill14224

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2010, 12:49:18 PM »
By the way, alcohol doesn't eat metal.  It can't.  

Wrong.

Ethanol reacts with rust as a catalyst, to form an aldehyde.  The rust loosens and breaks away, clogging your carbs.  The iron oxide falls back out of the reaction, later, and forms nanocrystals on everything in your fuel system.  
The ethanol absorbs water-vapor from the air, which causes new rust.  Etc, etc.
Top of page 2:
http://www.commerce.state.wi.us/er/pdf/bst/ProgramLetters_PL/ER-BST-PL-EthanolMotorFuelStorageOverview.pdf

Here's how:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6TGM-40962B9-R&_user=10&_coverDate=03%2F01%2F2000&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1363516554&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=4c7a29f176f0b2b8b3aba43be640f22b

You are describing how ethanol exacerbates a rusty situation, but the metal is already rusted.  It won't destroy good metal.

As for ethanol being a bad idea all the way around as a motor fuel and competing with the food supply, I totally agree.  I am someone who has been saying for a long time that ethanol is good in low concentrations but bad in high concentrations.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 02:40:06 PM by bill14224 »
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Offline ojstinson

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2010, 01:21:41 PM »
They have been adding ethanol to gas for decades, there is no excuse for any of these boats or bikes having alcohol sensitive components. At the very least the companies that make these machines should have recalls and or replacement parts readily available.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 01:22:47 PM by ojstinson »
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Offline lilwoody

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2010, 01:56:28 PM »
In Florida E10 is MANDATORY. The places to get non ethanol fuel are scarce as hens teeth. As for adding ethanol to fuel for racing, yup it probably has worked well. For every day use and what is much worse is if it sits. Like in a boat or a bike that may rest for a while it sucks, especially if it humid and the engine isn't designed for the crap. Ethanol is not in the fuel to make it more air friendly it's there to replace the MTBE octane booster. If this ever comes to a head and someone has to answer to it it will be the biggest automotive/boating screw up ever by our idiots in government.
My boat had 1 low pressure fuel pump go bad in 8 years and a fuel filter per year as general PM. Since this crap gas came out it has went through 4 pumps in 2 years and 4 fuel filters. Pumps going out are so common that when I picked up my last pump he had them sitting just behind the counter and didn't even have to look where they were at to pick it up. He says they would sell one or 2 a week before E10, now a dozen or so. When this stuff came out it was suggested to carry a extra fuel filter all the time and for some folks that wasn't enough. At 60 bucks a pop for pumps and 25 for filters, plus 80 bucks for my petcock (thats back ordered, probably because they can't keep them because E10 is eating them) and about 150 to redo the carbs I'm not a happy camper about this.   
Wait till E10 or 15 or 20 makes it way across the country. It won't take long to see the results in your neck of the woods and you won't like it.
It is far better to attempt mighty things than take rank with those poor souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Teddy Roosvelt

Offline bill14224

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2010, 02:18:00 PM »
Yes, this issue will become a huge mess before it's dealt with effectively.  It's complicated and the gov't can't run a one car funeral, that's for sure.

Our fathers deliberately put ethanol in their cars for decades, dry gas.  Since most gas has 10% ethanol we no longer need it to keep our fuel systems clean and dry.  That's its purpose, not to add octane.  Clean engines run better and pollute less.  It absorbs water and that's good for daily operation but bad for storage.

As for it eating your boat pumps faster than your parts dealer can order them (exaggeration, but not much!) they must not have neoprene seals.  Neoprene is unaffected by ethanol.

As for ethanol loosening rust and making it clog carbs, that would be true if there was no fuel filter.  The rust should clog the filter, then the filter comes out, cleaned, put back in, and you're running again.  That is, unless it's breaking the rust into such tiny pieces it gets through the filter.  I have some reading to do!
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Offline lilwoody

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2010, 02:31:09 PM »
You can't clean spin on boat fuel filters. And our fathers might have put a quart or a pint of ethanol in here and there. This crap their forcing on us has 2 gallons per 20 gallon tank each and every time. In my boat when full there will be 10 gallons of ethanol in the tank. If it stays there and phase separates (it doesn't take long either) there could be 10 gallons of water and 90 gallons of useless 83 octane fuel. BTW it is used as a octane booster from what I have read, it replaced MTBE.
It is far better to attempt mighty things than take rank with those poor souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Teddy Roosvelt

Offline bill14224

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2010, 02:49:22 PM »
You can't clean spin on boat fuel filters. And our fathers might have put a quart or a pint of ethanol in here and there. This crap their forcing on us has 2 gallons per 20 gallon tank each and every time. In my boat when full there will be 10 gallons of ethanol in the tank. If it stays there and phase separates (it doesn't take long either) there could be 10 gallons of water and 90 gallons of useless 83 octane fuel. BTW it is used as a octane booster from what I have read, it replaced MTBE.

Now I have even more reading to do!  Up here in NY we tried MTBE briefly a few years ago (forced on us by the feds but successfully challenged) but we've had 10% ethanol in the gas since 1995 like I said earlier.  Probably due to our climate it does more good than harm and no one complains about it up here.

I'm so sorry you're having such bad fuel problems with your boat.  If there was only a way to drain the separated ethanol/water mixture from the bottom of the tank.  Then you could top it off with premium and you'd be OK again without wasting all that gas.
V&H pipes, K&N drop-in, seat by KnoPlace.com, 17/39 sprockets, matching grips, fenderectomy, short signals, new mirrors - 10 scariest words: "I'm here from the government and I'm here to help!"

Offline marcusk

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2010, 11:12:17 PM »
I dont know if it was an old wives tale but when i lived in the islands we used to put a cup of mentholated spirit  with every 40 liters of fuel and this seemed to keep our tanks dry.  so you could try mixing in some metho and syphoning it out that may work

Offline marcusk

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2010, 07:03:53 AM »
ok i need to stop posting at work and read the whole board first . it will stop me sounding like an elbow licker

Offline lilwoody

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2010, 10:37:57 AM »
The MTBE gas worked great here. Every hurricane season in June I'd fill 2, 20 gallon drums, put a bottle of Sea Foam in each and if we didn't get hit run it in the boat in November. It was just fine. If I did that now I'd be putting a new power head on my 250 every November.
Google "phase separation, E10" or "phase separation, ethanol, gas". Once it phase separates you can't get the octane back in the fuel. Something about the chemistry involved. At least not enough octane to safely run a 2 stroke. Just a 1 or 2 point drop in octane will cause a 2 stk to detonate and detonation is a very expensive milady in a 15000 dollar outboard. It melts the tops off the pistons, very, very ugly.
The reason you are probably not having the problems up there like we are here  are probably the humidity, 90% in the summer here is common, 40% in the winter is very low. I would venture to guess we have quite a few more boats in Fl than in NY and boats being a toy for most folks if the fuel in them isn't being cycled every month bad things start to happen PDQ.
The fella at the Yamaha boat counter said he hit a web site that claimed to have found stations here that had up top 47% ethanol in the fuel. I haven't found it yet but haven't looked that hard either.
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Offline Ugluk

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Re: Fuel petcock rebuild? %^&$# ethanol
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2010, 04:04:00 PM »
Here in Sweden we've had 5% för decades and I've run my turbocharged GPz900 for 3 years on E85. All stock rubber stuff like needle valves and carb diapragms. Ancient stuff at that. No problems at all.

That brasilian sugarpipe juice is da shaZam!.. Somethings wrong with your gas, and I'll bet it isn't the ethanol itself.
Btw, the Otto engine was initially built for running on ethanol..