Author Topic: Mandated ethanol? Not on your nellie!  (Read 4401 times)

OzBenzHead

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Mandated ethanol? Not on your nellie!
« on: 22 September 2006, 07:09 AM »
The NSW Dilemma Government is considering mandating ethanol in the petrol supplies.

This will be fatal to our pre-1986 engines.

Through my local car club (non-brand specific) I have been promoting a mass mailing of a letter to the Premier, urging him to consider the ramifications for collectors (and even just daily users) of older vehicles - and the parallel ramifications for the state's economy.

I include the letter below, in the hope that anyone concerned will copy it and use it. Please do!
_________________________________________

The Hon. Morris Iemma
Premier of NSW
Level 40 Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place
Sydney NSW 2000

Re: Mandating ethanol in petrol

Dear Mr Iemma:

It has recently been reported that your government is considering the mandating of ethanol in NSW petrol supplies.

As a collector of classic, vintage, and veteran motor vehicles, I am most concerned at the possibility of my not being able to purchase non-ethanol-blended petrol for those vehicles.

It is well known amongst the car-club fraternity -- and by mechanics and vehicle manufacturers -- that any kind of alcohol (and ethanol is an alcohol) in any quantity has deleterious effects on all engines built prior to 1986 (and some far more modern ones as well).

Alcohol in the fuel system of engines not designed for it is known to cause the following problems:

•   alcohols, being hygroscopic, absorb water, leading to rusting of steel components -- fuel tanks, fuel pumps, fuel lines, carburettors, and injection systems; in older vehicles, these items are made -- at least in part, and often entirely -- from steel or other iron-based alloys

•   alcohols cause variously brittleness, softening, and even dissolution of rubber and plastic components common in the fuel systems of pre-1986 engines.

Many (but not all) modern engines' fuel systems are made from alcohol-resistant or -tolerant materials, and are not so affected.

If owners of pre-1986 vehicles are forced to use ethanol-blended petrol in our old vehicles, those vehicles will die rapidly. It will be impossible to run them on ethanol-blended fuel without sustaining serious, expensive and, in many cases, irreparable damage. That would lead to the certain demise of the large vehicle-collecting industry and, consequently, a significant negative impact on the state economy.

The only way we could run our vehicles on ethanol-blended fuel would be to make major (and expensive) modifications to them. This would be financially prohibitive for many of us, costing possibly more than our vehicles' market values, and would be technically impossible for many machines. For those where it might be possible (regardless of cost), it would mean that the vehicles no longer conform to manufacturers' specifications, thus making them ineligible to enter concours d'elegance competitions, where factory-original specifications are absolutely essential.

Again, this would have a significant negative economic effect.

It is imperative that alcohol-free petrol remain available -- and affordable -- to collectors of classic, vintage, and veteran motor vehicles.

I urge you to consider the significant negative effect on the state economy should ethanol-blended petrol be made mandatory in New South Wales.

Respectfully yours,
(Signed ... )

oscar

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Re: Mandated ethanol? Not on your nellie!
« Reply #1 on: 22 September 2006, 07:24 AM »
Well said OBH!!

As far as I'm concerned, I'm all for the intro of 100% ethanol for those that can use it, there's heaps of benefits that we've discussed before. 

But to make ethanol a part of every petrol grade is ridiculous!!

One thing you could mention is to drum home the scenario of unsuspecting pre '86 car owners (not necessarily collectors) being incenerated as their corroded fuel lines spew ethanol blended petrol onto hot exhaust manifolds.

BTW, would it ignite? Let's say so regardless.
1973 350SE, my first & fave

OzBenzHead

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Re: Mandated ethanol? Not on your nellie!
« Reply #2 on: 23 September 2006, 04:47 AM »
Hi Ozbenzhead, excellent letter, but I have my doubts if it will have any beneficial response from the Premier. IN ADDITION, I HAVE HEARD A PERSISTENT RUMOUR THAT THE IEMMA GOVERNMENT, IN LINE WITH RECENT PROPOSALS BY WESTPAC TO RELOCATE SOME STAFF TO INDIA, IS ALSO CONSIDERING TO MOVE OFF-SHORE TO THE SAME LOCATION, TOGETHER WITH THE CORRECTIVE SERVICES DEPARTMENT. Oh Dear !

Hey, Styria!   :D
The Dilemma government can move offshore to Hades as far as I'm concerned!  They'd hardly be missed.

robgee

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Re: Mandated ethanol? Not on your nellie!
« Reply #3 on: 23 September 2006, 05:38 AM »
Great letter Gordon but iI think that unless we have a voice in government that also has an interest in older cars (collector cars) I think that unfortunatly it will fall on deaf ears.After all these people want to get the green vote and this sort of initiative plays right into their hands.Perhaps we should all lobby our respective car clubs and forums such as this one so that these parasitic parlimentarians may sit up and take notice if there were enough of a hue and cry.After all their motivating factor is votes not people its just numbers and demographics to them isn't it.
Regards,
Rob.
2005 Holden Monaro
looking for another 450

Papalangi

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Re: Mandated ethanol? Not on your nellie!
« Reply #4 on: 23 September 2006, 07:04 AM »
Two interesting bits of reading.

http://autorepair.about.com/cs/generalinfo/a/aa102100a_2.htm
http://www.moscowfood.coop/archive/ethanol.html

We've been using a 10% ethanol blend in Washington State for more than 20 years without too much trouble.

Michael
'83 300SD, I'm back!  It's the son's new car (12/2020)
1976 450SEL, 116.033  Sold it to buy a '97 Crown Vic.  Made sense at the time.
1971 250C, 114.023
1976 280C
1970 250/8

OzBenzHead

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Re: Mandated ethanol? Not on your nellie!
« Reply #5 on: 23 September 2006, 06:34 PM »
Michael: Do you use ethanol in your old Benzes? If so, have you never had blocked injectors or had plastic/rubber fuel-system components perish before their time? I'd be interested to know.

According to our CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation: Australia's #1 government research body, highly respected worldwide), the supposed environmental benefits of ethanol-blended petrol are at least balanced - if not outweighed - by the environmental and financial costs of producing the stuff.

Lacing petrol with ethanol appears to be nothing more than a thinly disguised farming subsidy propping up unsustainable agricultural practices; according to the literature US farmers must still be hugely subsidised to produce ethanol-sourcing crops - else the stuff would be unaffordable at the pump. I'm sceptic enough to believe it's nothing more than politricks.

I'm all for "green" - but it has to be true green - not merely right-sounding vote-catching huff.

Denis

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Re: Mandated ethanol? Not on your nellie!
« Reply #6 on: 24 September 2006, 01:44 AM »
Hi fellows

realistically, ethanol is good. It is an octane booster, it absorbs water, which is a GOOD thing as it carries it away to be burned and prevents it from sitting in fuel tanks thereby corroding it.

Several years ago, I ran an old carburetted Audi to experiment with ethanol. At first the fuel filters  collected a lot of debris as the alcohol cleaned out the tank. It then became normal, the paper seals in the Solex carb died, the flexible fuel lines were replaced with new (modern) ones and had no problems and the car ran generally better than on 87 octane.

I have two concerns about ethanol :

1 - The PH, what is the PH of blended petrol/ethanol ? if too acidic, it WILL destroy steel fuel lines. If not, it is a myth.

2 - On our cars, ethanol used in increasing quantity is bad for our fuel pumps. The fuel pumps relies on the fuel for lubrication. With 90% ethanol, I would budget on a new fuel pump pretty often. >:(

Any thoughts on this ? Question 1 is easy enough to answer with PH paper, as for question 2, well there we could have a renewed interest in the old SU electric fuel pumps  ::)


Denis


Paris, France

Papalangi

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Re: Mandated ethanol? Not on your nellie!
« Reply #7 on: 24 September 2006, 01:53 AM »
Michael: Do you use ethanol in your old Benzes? If so, have you never had blocked injectors or had plastic/rubber fuel-system components perish before their time? I'd be interested to know.

According to our CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation: Australia's #1 government research body, highly respected worldwide), the supposed environmental benefits of ethanol-blended petrol are at least balanced - if not outweighed - by the environmental and financial costs of producing the stuff.

Lacing petrol with ethanol appears to be nothing more than a thinly disguised farming subsidy propping up unsustainable agricultural practices; according to the literature US farmers must still be hugely subsidised to produce ethanol-sourcing crops - else the stuff would be unaffordable at the pump. I'm sceptic enough to believe it's nothing more than politricks.

I'm all for "green" - but it has to be true green - not merely right-sounding vote-catching huff.

We did have a rash of clogged fuel filters but I've not had any trouble other than filters and what I would consider to be normal stuff for a high mileage car.  I don't think I know anyone that as had much more than clogged filter either.

I just brought my '76 450SEL up from Texas where I don't think they use ethanol.  Washington State will be switching to the winter blend which is 10%.  If I have trouble, I'll post it.

From what I understand, it is now less energy intensive to produce ethanol.  At one time is was a minus.

I stay away from politics but don't doubt that there are some behind closed doors shenanigans out there.
'83 300SD, I'm back!  It's the son's new car (12/2020)
1976 450SEL, 116.033  Sold it to buy a '97 Crown Vic.  Made sense at the time.
1971 250C, 114.023
1976 280C
1970 250/8

michaeld

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Re: Mandated ethanol? Not on your nellie!
« Reply #8 on: 24 September 2006, 09:19 PM »
Ozbenzhead,
Good to hear your "voice" again.  I hadn't seen a post from you in a while.

My brother used to be president of an antique Thunderbird car club (I think it was called "Funbirds," but I'd have to ask him again for the name).

In any event, the commisars of the People's Republic of California made a serious attempt to kill off older cars by attempting to change the emissions laws in such a way that old cars simply couldn't stay on the road.  My brother told me that classic car clubs killed it.

If you're interested in the "how" of what they did, I could have a conversation w/ my brother about it.  But I would certainly suggest making sure that all the car clubs are familiar with the issue and its ramifications for their cars.  Education is often more than enough to win battles when you have people that actually give a crap.
Mike

OzBenzHead

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Re: Mandated ethanol? Not on your nellie!
« Reply #9 on: 24 September 2006, 09:46 PM »
Ozbenzhead,
Good to hear your "voice" again.  I hadn't seen a post from you in a while.
Thanks, Michael. Been rather exceptionally busy (19 book projects on the go!).

Quote
My brother used to be president of an antique Thunderbird car club ... If you're interested in the "how" of what they did, I could have a conversation w/ my brother about it.

Please!   :)

Quote
But I would certainly suggest making sure that all the car clubs are familiar with the issue and its ramifications for their cars.  Education is often more than enough to win battles when you have people that actually give a crap.
Indeed.

My letter has been published in my local car-club newsletter. Although we have a mere 80-odd members, all Oz car clubs send their newsletters to each other, and these are (at least at our club meetings) circulated amongst the membership for reading - assuming they're interested.

I'm also sending it - with a pile of supporting material - to my M-B club (Queensland), in the hope that it will likewise publish and distribute it to its rather larg membership. I am also going to try to post it on the new Oz-wide MBCCCI-hosted forum (one advantage of the new worldwide MBCCCI membership card). If it gets up on there, it has the potential for huge distribution.

My club is also (a) using my letter as its own to send under the club Secretary's signature (so an organisation letter), and (b) our Secretary is sending a copy of that letter to all the other clubs' secretaries Oz-wide. One way or another, every club - and, one hopes, every member of every club - in Oz should have the opportunity to send that letter under their own signatures. That must account for quite a few thousand letters - for what they're worth in a hardly-any-longer-representative 'democracy'.

Thanks for your encouragement!   ;D

michaeld

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Re: Mandated ethanol? Not on your nellie!
« Reply #10 on: 28 September 2006, 08:55 PM »
Ozbenzhead,
I had that talk w/ my brother...

He basically said that the classic car clubs encouraged their members to undertake an individual letter writing campaign - that successfully demonstrated that classic car owners were interested enough to VOTE OUT the rat bastards who tried to steal their "car mojo."

BTW, he also said that in his opinion, ethanol shouldn't be harmful to older engines; and that he had in fact recently been reading up on that very topic in some of his muscle car mags (i.e. running ethanol for increased horsepower).

IMHO, a man - or at least the market - ought to be able to decide what fuel to buy and sell.  But liberals - who love to say that conservatives are out to deprive them of all their rights/freedoms - are more likely to go out and force everyone to live by THEIR rules than anyone out there (with the possible exception of the Taliban).