Ethanol free premium fuel - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Default Ethanol free premium fuel

Getting common in coastal towns to find 93 octane ethanol free at fuel pumps. My question is why not 87 octane ethanol free. A gallon of regular fuel has the same BTU as a gallon of premium, the difference is the octane addition. My guess is there is less and less premium purchased so dealers are using that pump and grade for auto and boat sales.

I remember when 2-stoke manuals stated the minimum octane required was 80! Never read my 4-stroke Yamaha manual. Always put ethanol free in it and the only local option was premium fuel.

What octane do newer 4-stroke engines require? Owners I know who do not insist on ethanol free fuel just use regular.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 06:51 PM
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I use premium in all my small engines - lawn tractor, snowblower, boat motor, weed whacker, chainsaw. I'm pretty sure they don't require the octane of premium to run good, but premium is the only grade without ethanol in it.

The biggest problem with fuels with ethanol is they go "bad" after about a month and really gum motors up. Even fuel stabilizers don't stop the problem, though they may slow the process down some.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 08:50 PM
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The use of ethanol is required by the federal renewable fuel standard law.

Real trucks dont have spark plugs.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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I don't store anything except ethanol free fuel and the only sources I know sell only premium. I have to keep about 15 gallons for my generator. Also use it in lawnmower and trimmers.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 07:47 PM
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I was told by a Stihl dealer that they recomend only premium in their products. So that is what I use.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 03:20 PM
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Depends upon the State - In Minnesota you can't get 87 octane no lead without ethanol - feel good State Law. You can purchase premium 91 octane without ethanol for off-road use only.

In North Dakota you can purchase both ethanol and non-ethanol 87 octane lead free gasoline.

I use non-ethanol 87 octane in all small engines including my 20 HP Honda Outboard. I use aviation gasoline starting in August for the lawnmowers and late February for the snow blower, as av-gas stays "fresh" for several years and won't gum up your jets, carbs etc - always starts up first or second pull beginning of the season with av-gas.

Have a brother with a 20 HP Yamaha and his dealer told him to use an additive when using lead free ethanol gasoline. One thing some people forgot or never knew - when you get through with your outboard at the end of the season - depress the pressure tit at the end of your hose and release all the gas in your rubber gas line from the tank to your engine. Not doing this makes for some hard starting in the spring of the year due to old/stale gasoline in the line that runs through your engine prior to "fresh" gasoline making its way to your spark plugs. Didn't know this as a kid and I would pull a 20 HP Merc for 10 minutes every spring.

For a chainsaw, nothing better than the 5 year gas in a quart can - that stuff stays fresh for at least 3 or 4 years, as my Husqvarna loves it but it's about as expensive as some brands of bottled water.

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Last edited by ole 5 hole group; 02-11-2017 at 03:24 PM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 03:57 PM
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AV-GAS 100 oct....Yea Baby...
Lil' bro used to fuel planes. You have to Sample every morning, Av-Gas.....so I got him 5 ea. 5 gal cans and he would bring home the unusable gas...
Used it in my ole Ford 2-N tractor....WOW....She Loved that stuff....the black soot in her tail pipe was Gone.....it was now white...GOOD STUFF.....need to get some for my Goldwing.....
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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I've read that the purpose of octane is to allow fuel to be compressed more without pre-igniting. I don't think there is any more energy in a gallon of 100 octane than in a gallon of regular fuel. If your old tractor had a 8:1 compression ratio, the higher octane did nothing for it.


Current turbo charged engines run on regular fuel just fine with computer controlled ignition and fuel mixtures.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2017, 12:44 AM
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I will probably be driving thru ND and Minnesota this year. Is the regular non ethanol stuff expensive?

aka BBF
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2017, 12:40 PM
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In North Dakota the non-ethanol lead free gas is normally $0.20 higher than 10% ethanol gas - the premium non-ethanol (91 to 93 octane) is much higher. Gas right now at some stations is $2.079 with non-ethanol being $2.279 The high octane gas isn't needed except for very high compression engines - I used to use Sunco 260 back in the day when my Hemi had 12:1 compression (engine modified/updated a bit).

It is my belief that AV Gas, whether 87 or 100 octane, has an additive that prevents gumming/varnish and if sealed tight, will last 50 years. I also heard that it contains just a tish of lead, as well. Might be an aviator's spin on things relative to longevity but I do know it stays fresh in vehicle tanks and small engines for several years and those engines start right up, every time. I'm a believer and my SIL owns a couple aircraft, so my AV GAS is very reasonable.
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