More Modern Fuel Woes

General Chat with an emphasis on BMC Minis & Other iconic cars of the 1960's. Includes information on MK1 Action days.
Posts: 1249
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:22 pm

Re: More Modern Fuel Woes

Post by Polarsilver »

In The Shed.
Yes Please we need to have some more of your enlightenment & experiences regards fuel chemistry :roll:
Q.. do you have "Danger Keep Away " Warning Signs on your Shed ? .. it might be a good idea to have them installed :lol:

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 14580
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:30 am
Location: Up a tree in the Herb Garden.

Re: More Modern Fuel Woes

Post by mk1 »

This does remind me of a mate of mine. His Dad was a chemist & my mate reckoned he had inherited his fathers talents. While trying to manufacture his own Nitroglycerine at the age of about 14 he blew his Dads shed up when the mixture overheated. Thankfully he was well away from the danger zone, having his lunch & probably watching the Banana Splits at the time.

Even more fortunately, it was back in the days when kids were expected to do stupid, dangerous things so I don't remember him suffering any real punishment for his crime.

Sadly he was killed many years ago trying (successfully) to rescue two young girls who were drowning. So I don't imagine Special branch or MI5 will be that bothered about his explosives manufacturing exploits.
Mark F
I'm a rather fat feathery Owl called sage.

User avatar
Peter Laidler
Posts: 2680
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:35 pm
Location: Abingdon Oxfordshire

Re: More Modern Fuel Woes

Post by Peter Laidler »

I seem to recall that a haulier doctored/coloured his firms fuel pink, just so '......that his diesel car owning staff wouldn't syphon it off for their own use'. The suspicious fuel duty bandits thought that he did so so he could hide non tax-paid fuel in with his dyed fuel. Case dismissed for lack of evidence but another loophole was quickly closed

User avatar
Posts: 976
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:26 am
Location: Location Location

Re: More Modern Fuel Woes

Post by Costafortune »

A mate of mine* ran an old BMW 525tds on red. That and used vegetable oil - the local Chinese takeaway gave him gallons of the stuff. That was filtered though a plastic filler funnel into a very fine strainer after which it was used with a dash of paraffin and red. The red was poured into a 25 litre drum full of old stale bread which apparently washed most of the red dye out. It would drip out of a small hole in the bottom into another drum, ready to use.

The combined mixture cost about 30p a litre resulting in very cheap motoring. A '525i' badge on the boot kept plod/VOSA at bay as they were looking for ropey old Transits. :lol: It did smell like a chip shop when following it though. :shock:

User avatar
Posts: 4281
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:08 pm

Re: More Modern Fuel Woes

Post by mab01uk »

E10 fuel by next year?
"MPs have urged for the introduction of controversial E10 fuel by 2020 at the latest, believing that adding more ethanol to the petrol sold in the UK would cut carbon by the equivalent of taking 700,000 cars off the road and help the struggling British biofuel industry. That’s despite E10 being potentially harmful to older vehicles and leaving owners out of pocket as they must fork out for costlier alternatives.
E10 is a biofuel made up of 90 per cent regular unleaded and 10 per cent ethanol – hence its name. Unlike regular unleaded petrol, ethanol absorbs carbon dioxide, partially offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. However, while E10 has become widely available in several other counties and now accounts for 47 per cent of the petrol market in France, it’s yet to be made available in the UK despite the debate over its sale rumbling on for several years." ... -mps-urge/

Posts: 1047
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:55 pm
Location: Tasmania, Australia

Re: More Modern Fuel Woes

Post by Tim »

Just as a single data point, I've used E10 in everything (my modern car, the Moke, a classic motorbike, even the lawnmower). For probably 8-10 years. In the moke the fuel line got soft and the cheap plastic fuel filter developed a split - but then modern non-ethanol fuel might have done that anyway. Everything else has been fine.

The Moke runs better on 95 octane E10 than on either 91 or 98 octane unleaded. I had a lot of trouble with running-on previously. I have none of that with E10. Its also significantly cheaper (per litre) than the premium 95 or 98 fuels available here. It apparently has less energy so there may be a loss in performance, however I can't notice a difference and it may be offset by the improved octane giving better running, in comparison to 91 octane.

1951 Morris Commercial J Type Van
1955 BSA C11G
1961 Morris Mini Traveller
1969 Triumph TR6R
1977 Leyland Moke Californian

1071 S
Posts: 675
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:44 am

Re: More Modern Fuel Woes

Post by 1071 S »

Unhappily my exposure to organic chemistry is now many years old. However, a few years ago we did get the local BP guy to give the local car club a bit of a rundown on fuel chemistry - mainly in relation to expectations and issue relating to unleaded.

I haven’t been able to find any reference that describes the actual contents of “petrol/gasoline” beyond one description of “Texas Gasoline” as being 5%benzene, 35% toluene and the rest being a mixture or organic carbons.

Toluene is also a major constituent of paint thinners (and nail polish remover) and is often labelled as the constituent that gives petrol its smell. Just to confuse things, (or maybe not) Toluene is also referred to as Methyl Benzene. Benzene is highly carcinogenic whereas methyl benzene is not. The Canadian government describes one of the main consequences of “abusing” toluene to be atrophied testicles (no, I don’t know who they asked..... )

The BP guy recounted one story concerning a number of vehicle fires in NZ a few years ago. It seems that the actual percentage of toluene in motor fuel is very important in that rubber fuel lines are very susceptible to the proportions. Too much and fuel lines go soggy (and fail) ...too little and fuel lines go hard (and fail). The NZers get (or at least used to) pretty much all their motor fuel from Singapore. They were sold a bad batch which caused a number of cars to suffer softened fuel lines that ruptured and caused fires.....

Basically there are a lot more things that can go wrong with your fuel than the inclusion of a bit of alcohol... (which I avoid like a plague - unless it’s mixed with the correct proportion of tonic water...

Cheers, Ian

User avatar
Peter Laidler
Posts: 2680
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:35 pm
Location: Abingdon Oxfordshire

Re: More Modern Fuel Woes

Post by Peter Laidler »

As for fuel variations, here's a low baller that happened to me in Dusseldorf in my year 2000, RCS500. So a a question for the German mini contingent.
When I filled up in Neuss, there were THREE variants of lead free!! 1) the standard stuff which I used, 2) a red hose marked SUPER and 3) another red hose marked SUPER* (super with a star). I suddenly thought that I'd filled up with the wrong stuff and asked inside but an Audi driver placated me that it was OK for English made rubbish!!!!! And so it was. Took me back OK, engine running normally, no heating probs in spite of the blistering heat - and waterless coolant

So what is the difference?

Posts: 1154
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:46 am
Location: Cambridge, MA, USA

Re: More Modern Fuel Woes

Post by iain1967s »

Here in the USA the commonly available fuel grades are 87 (regular), 89 (super), and 93 (premium). But those are measured in AKI units, not the RON scale used in most other countries. The equivalent RON units are 92 (regular), 95 (super), 97 (premium).

All are E10 blends of 90% unleaded gasoline with 10% Ethanol, and have been since the early 2000’s. E15 with 15% Ethanol is being introduced in the next few years, but is not recommended for vehicles pre-2001. E85 is also available in some states, for flex-fuel vehicles.

I run my ‘67 1275 S on premium E10 and it seems to be just fine. Note that the distributor advance was re-curved by Martin at Distributor Doctor to match modern fuel, but the engine is otherwise completely standard.

In terms of long term stability, I run the tanks low before winter and top off with new fuel in spring. The car is stored in an un-heated lock-up with varying humidity. First startup in spring is a bit rough on the 5+ month old fuel, but it runs well enough to drive locally for a fill-up.

Time Bandit
Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:34 am
Location: Cumbria

Re: More Modern Fuel Woes

Post by Time Bandit »

At the weekend I had to shift my Land Rover, the fuel in the tanks is supermarket unleaded which is a mixture of stuff that went into it in 2017 and was topped up in June 2018. It was parked up in June 2018 after its MoT and other than starting it a couple of times in June/July 2018 it was abandoned, unstarted and untouched until about a week before it's MoT in June 2019, I went out to it, stuck the powerpack wotsit on it and turned the key and it fired up near enough first time, it fired out a load of shite and reek out of the exhaust until it was warmed up and then ran fine after that. Did a 30 odd mile run, no probs at all, it ran great. The only problem I had was coming back from the MoT when the rotor arm failed (crappy rivited type since turfed out). It was then parked up again and has been untouched once more until the weekend when once again it fired up fine and ran ok...all on basic supermarket unleaded which is a mixture of 14 months to 26 months old...quite impressed considering it's by now nowt but some sort of glorified varnish which is in the tanks!!

Post Reply