Gasoline additives for unleaded/ethonol mix - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-21-2005, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Gasoline additives for unleaded/ethonol mix

Just bought my first MB, a 1975 220 in Bangkok; 4 cylinder, manual transmission. Took a chance, against the recommendation of the dealer, who suggested a trailer, and drove home to Koh Samui, some 1000KM away in 14 hours. She purred all the way home, without any complaints, and has just had the remaining chicken feathers and crap pulled out from her cracks...Condition seems great; engine and body clean, and all original, except for the addition of electric front windows, and paint work.

My concern is that Thailand banned leaded gas' in '95, and is banning unleaded this year. Currently unleaded gas and ethanol/unleaded cocktails are available. I understand that there are additives available to mix with gasoline that mimic the effect of lead, but don't know of specific products. The only thing I've found on the local market is a US made STP product that you dump in a full tank; some kind of synthetic mix "based on jet fuel". Does anyone have any tips on the subject??? The dealer said that she was running on ethanol mix, which I have continued with, and hope that the nice, clean, and effective engine isn't getting ruined...

Any other tips on this model, and especially manual sources, would be greatly appreciated.

For now, happy driving on our idyllic tropical island, while trying to avoid dogs, coconuts, mopeds, pot-holes, and scrap metal...[img]http://[/img]
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-21-2005, 05:49 PM
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RE: Gasoline additives for unleaded/ethonol mix

If they're banning unleaded, what are they going to replace it with? I suspect it will be something like "E85", an ethanol/gasoline blend that's mostly ethanol.

Be aware that if you're going to feed your car a steady diet of E85, you're going to have to replace/upgrade a LOT of components. Car's designed to run on E85 have to have specially-lined gas tanks and special hoses, as well as gaskets and seals that are designed for ethanol.

Plus, since the energy content of E85 is lower than gasoline, you have to richen the fuel mixture significantly, install larger injectors on fuel-injected cars, etcetera.

Look at www.E85Fuel.com for more details. They have an FAQ under the "E85 101" tab. They basically admit that there's no good way to convert a car to E85 if it was originally designed for gasoline. (Plus it's illegal as well).

And keep in mind that E85fuel.com is a group that's PROMOTING E85, so it's not like they're trying to bad-mouth E85 or play up the difficulties of a conversion for political/financial reasons.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-21-2005, 05:51 PM
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RE: Gasoline additives for unleaded/ethonol mix

One thing I forgot to add. Don't worry about finding an additive to mimic the effects of lead. Your car is a 1975, so it was designed for unleaded from the beginning (hardened valve seats, lower compression ratio, etcetera).

Scott
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-22-2005, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Gasoline additives for unleaded/ethonol mix

Thanks for your advice Scott! I discovered the irrelevance of unleaded petrol a few hours ago, during more thorough research on fuels. Just read a story in the local paper about cars being destroyed by the new ethanol mix fuels, which are still only 10%, and got into a panic. Hopefully the 90% unleaded mix will keep her going for some time to come.




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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-22-2005, 05:40 AM
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RE: Gasoline additives for unleaded/ethonol mix

10-15% ethanol in the blend will probably shorten the life of your fuel lines and seals a little bit, but it shouldn't be drastic - certainly nothing like E85 would do to them. You shouldn't have to re-jet your carburetor(s) either, but if you're going to be using 10% or 15% ethanol all the time, it wouldn't hurt and might improve the power/fuel economy a little bit.

I'd still replace the rubber fuel lines and seals when you can, though, since many of them are probably thirty years old. Plus, any modern fuel lines or seals you buy as replacements will probably be designed for a 10-15% ethanol blend, since for the last few years, all new cars have been required to work with 10-15% ethanol blends.

But stay away from anything that says "85% ethanol", "E85", or says that it's for "FFV" (Flexible Fuel Vehicle) cars.

BTW, your 220 is a beauty, since I didn't mention that before.

Scott
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-22-2005, 08:53 PM
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RE: Gasoline additives for unleaded/ethonol mix

beautiful car. congratulations!

but even though you had that great drive, do change all the fluids - including ATF, brake, and a radiator flush. then you'll really be set.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2005, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Gasoline additives for unleaded/ethonol mix

Thanks for the tips guys; the fuel situation is a relief! I'm glad I opted for the 1975 over the 1968 model, although the latter had a Nissan engine, which was a turn-off! The 30 year old rubber components are indeed flaking, and falling apart, resulting in a number of problems, although it seems difficult to find replacements here, despite the 1000s of acres of rubber plantations... Still in love, and enjoying the ride, although the latest development, the loss of vacuum in the power brakes is a major annoyance. The engine shakes like a dinosaur in orgasm when the brakes are on, with a huge hiss as all the air is sucked out of the engine. I'm looking for a replacement diaphragm, but so far only have offers of second hand units. Any tips for a source would be appreciated. Someone in the G-van forum suggested disconnecting the intake from the manifold to avoid the judder and strain in the interim, which seemed like a good idea... any thoughts? I haven't yet disassembled the power brake unit, and am hoping that if I do so, I may find that the valve has just stuck, but that's probably wishfull thinking...
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-04-2005, 12:01 AM
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Ethanol or Methanol

I'm not too sure if you mean Ethanol or Methanol.
Methanol is the common ingredient found in Fuel in a lot of Countries including Brazil where it's common to see 100% Methanol fuel for sale.
It has another name we are familiar with "Methylated spirits"...CH3OH.
NO Methanol Does not and WILL NOT harm your car in any way.
Why are they putting it your Fuel?
It is being used instead of MBTE,a ether product made from the waste byproducts of petroleum distillation.
It is banned in California because it attaches itself to water molecules and thus destroys any ground water source.Which it has indeed done in 1200 under water aquifers in the USA.

What is it for?
It is an oxygenator to ensure the fuel burns 100% and thus reduces carbon monoxide emissions.Not as an anti knock ingredient although it does a brilliant job of doing just that.Nor is a way of extending fuel or crude oil reserves ,that is a political statement put out in recent times by politicians to appease the "green " lobby.

Why do I keep hearing stories of damage?
Why indeed?,it is a giant urban myth started by the above oil companies (Mainly Royal Dutch Shell ) in attempt to force politicians to ignore the use of Methanol and thus use MBTE.
Have you ,in real truth,EVER met any one who can show you pictures of their damaged fuel systems ,with the certified bills of the work done to repair the damage?
I have worked on cars for over 45 years and HAVE NEVER SEEN IT .
i have seen old rubber components fail but that has nothing to do with the use of either ethanol or methanol.I have seen fuel pump diaphrams fail through old age ( my 280 ,1974 model has still got all it's original hoses and pump and NO LEAKS and I use alco fuel all the time)
Is this a new idea???
Definately not!,Up until the second world war ,Methanol and Ethanol was use BY LAW in ALL fuel sold in Queensland Australia.And given the type of natural rubber used in the old days ,there was never any problem with hose deterioation.It was the advent of the war and the interference by the the large oil companies which saw the laws overturned.
What is a good thing to use in the tank to prevent valve recession?
You need not worry about it unless you are doing long distance high speed driving like me,(12000 kms in 3 1/2 months ) ,then you should get the tappets adjusted to specs every 12 months minimum.
I use auto trans fluid in the tank.100mls for every 70 litres of fuel.That protects the tank ,lines,and carb,(Solex 4A1) and keeps the valves and piston crowns clean.the car runs super smooth also with NO preigniton.
My best Advice??
Drive your car and enjoy it and forget all this nonsense about leaking fuel lines etc .
Now a more serious problem...the brakes.
It sounds as though the diaphram has a hole in it.
You shoiuld just replace the entire booster with a merc one,there are plenty about,it's not a hard to get thing.BUT there is a SEAL between the booster and master cylinder which must be replace or else you will get a vacuum leak.
eplace the booster,the master cylinder to booster seal,the vacuum pipe (with a genuine part ,NOT a rubber hose!!)and check the little valve to ensure it's still working.
But that judder sounds like the brakes are not comming off,a sure sign the calipers are frozen or the hoses are too old and should be changed.(every 6 years is a good time to do it)
Your wheels are very desirable wide off set rims ,probably off a W109 (V8 ) or W126 .


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-07-2006, 04:03 PM
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I have been using Marveles Mystery Oil in my 81 BMW, 82 380sec and am going to put it in my 68 280se. This stuff works well in fuel and as an oil additive to clean and ungum injectors and pumps. Helps to keep things stable for storage too. I buy MMO by the gallon, use to use tranny fluid but it can sweel some seals and if you have an O2 scensor it will ruin it for sure after cleaning everything out.
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