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I will throw my two pennies on the pile. I am no chemist, this is all from experience.
Back in the early 90's I raced WKA stock kart. I built my own race engines (stock 5 HP Briggs). We ran these engines on almost PURE methanol without any gas. Anything other than methanol was illegal to run. The only changes to the engine were ignition and valve timing and the stock carb was bored to increase air and fuel flow. The only issues I ever had were the carb (which is made from the same pot metal as the cub carb) would get a little corrosion in the throat if left for long periods without flushing. BTW....we were turning those stocker class engines at 7000 rpms....
The older I get, the younger I was.
Isopropyl would be a better additive for gasoline, but the cost is prohibitive. Rubbing alcohol is mostly water, not at all suitable for a fuel additive.
I know of one station that claims to have 93 octane without ethanol. But I wonder how fresh, or not, the fuel may be. Never see anyone filling up there as the price is $.50 or more per gallon above normal.
Luck favors those who are prepared
I know a lot of mechanics blame ethanol gas for a lot of things but I really think that for a good many of those problems, the mechanic just doesn't have a good explanation, or doesn't want to accuse the customer of neglecting the engine. Ethanol is used as a scapegoat for many engine problems that are just dumb luck or caused by poor maintenance. They'd blame ethanol fuel for a flat tire if they thought they could get away with it.
Easter weekend I cranked up my old McCulloch 10-10 that had been sitting with a half tank of 10% ethanol fuel in it since I sprained my ankle the day after Thanksgiving in 2011. That's 491 days.
It popped in 3 pulls, and was running in 5. Ran like a top and I used it to prune several large branches.
People try to tell me that ethanol fuel is no good after 30 days or that it ruins rubber/plastic parts and is no good for 2-stroke engines and whatever... I have at least 20 gasoline engines ranging from old tractors to chainsaws to a fairly new lawn mower, and yet to have one single solitary engine problem that could be attributed to ethanol fuel.
A Cub doesn't have any plastic or rubber components in the fuel system. These old engines will run on anything flammable, even rotgut whiskey if the proof is high enough.
Adds a new twist to "Copperhead Road"
Around here you can still buy Premium grade ethanol free gas if you want to pay the price....I tried several tanks in my 89 Corvette and noticed no improvement in mileage, power etc etc etc...I store the Vette, an Old harley and 2 Cubs and a Harry Ferguson, a generator, and a Roto tiller each winter using ethanol gas and Stabil...Then I beat feet for Florida for 3/4 months..No problems yet...By the way you can remove the ethanol from gasoline as we all probably know but thats another can of worms....Chuckle Chuckle....
In Memory of 58,286
I have beenusing10ethanol mix in everything ever since it came out her in IA. That includes a 68 Chevy step van on up through todays vehicles. Never had any problems with the fuel or vehicles because of it. I was told it would clog filters because of the cleaning action in older tanks, but never had any problems. I use it in the Cub most of the time, but I do add some sea-foam from time to time, as it doesn't get used enough to keep the fuel fresh.
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