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Dangers of Ethanol Gas

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  • simplyconnected
    Originally posted by Jimz Bird
    ...It is neat to have the internet now. It sure adds to our knowledge base and we don't have to do quite as much trial and error to get things to work well...
    Yeah, we can learn by mistakes OTHER guys like us tried. LOL.
    Originally posted by Jimz Bird
    ...So what are you thinking about the rear end?..
    I'm torn. The 8.8 has a 4.30 in it (3,000 RPM = 60 MPH); great for spinning slicks through gear shifts, but this is a heavy car. I don't think I will be racing much. I have a 3.73 set, which would make her more 'interstate' friendly. If that is too high, I will go with a 3.55 but I hate giving up low-end torque.

    Yes, the Y-Block has the best sound for cruising. Surprisingly, there are a lot of Y-Blocks around Detroit. My favorite auto parts store owner has an old one on his rack in the back (above his "T" bucket). Then there are the old timers who talk about their old Y-Blocks... One guy was telling me about how he worked in a gas station and took a valve cover off to do a valve lash adjustment. He said the entire valve cover was filled to capacity with crud.

    I always kept these stories in the back of my head as I overhauled mine. To make sure I always have enough oil, I used a LONG 1/4" drill bit and went down the block deck to the center cam bearing. I drilled through the oil slots on both sides and cleaned up the burrs. Before installing the cam, I opened up the center groove on #3 bearing with a carborundum wheel while spinning the cam, making the groove deeper and slightly wider. Oil flows from every rocker arm with authority, now. Too bad Ford didn't implement these simple improvements back in the '50's. - Dave

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  • Jimz Bird
    Well, I guess I "have" to agree with you about your 351, but I'll bet the 312 sounds better.

    You mentioned before about heads and I agree. Especially with the "Y" heads which are either unique or a bit odd in their style. Sounds like you tweaked them well.

    Some different takes on upping a 292 vs a "real" 312. I tend to think it is better to do as you have done as far as the bottom end is concerned.

    It was a good time and I think that we were quite fortunate to be able to fool around with cars then and now. Not really living in the past but being able to still have some of the same kind of fun. It is neat to have the internet now. It sure adds to our knowledge base and we don't have to do quite as much trial and error to get things to work well.

    So what are you thinking about the rear end? With the AOD I would guess your cursing mileage ought to be real good. A little steeper gear with the AOD ought to make the Customline really scoot. As it is I'll bet you shock some of the kids in their rice burners. Nutin' quite like old Detroit Iron! (with a 351 EFI)

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  • simplyconnected
    Originally posted by Jimz Bird
    ...I was a Junior in HS and a buddy of mine who was a Senior had a 57. This was Summer of '64...
    That puts you right between my sisters. Margaret graduated in '64 and Marian in '66. I was the class of '69.

    Those were good times. I had a '66 Pontiac LeMans but my buddy had a Dart Swinger 340. The 318 was fast, but he had a cam and blew doors off Roadrunners, GTX's and Super Bees. My little 326 was in the 'family car' class by comparison.

    Dad bought land in Middletown, OH, but his job was transferred to Detroit (from Chicago) before we got the chance to move. I love Ohio, and spent a long time on assignment to the Walton Hills Stamping Plant from Body & ***'y (staff).

    I gave my "Y" a total overhaul. I rebuilt the 113 heads and CC'd them,

    plugged my rocker shaft drain tubes and Dremeled the bottom oil holes, drilled the hole in #1 cam bearing port to oil the true roller timing chain, degreed the cam, completely balanced all the parts, and bored the 292 .060" (which makes it a 312, now). It is one of the smoothest engines I've ever had.

    But to put things in perspective, a 312 is light on HP compared to the monsters we grew up with. Ford had Cobra Jet's, Chrysler had Hemi's, and Chevy had 427's. I dropped a GTO 389 in my LeMans because it was the same block as the 326.

    By today's standards, the 351W EFI could easily run rings around the carbureted 389, on unleaded gasohol. Just say'n. - Dave

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  • Jimz Bird
    Thanks Dave! And I guess you are OK also. You do still have one Y Block

    Yea, got a "Poncho" story too. I was a Junior in HS and a buddy of mine who was a Senior had a 57. This was Summer of '64.

    Same color as the top one but a 4DR HT.

    Not quick off the line but once rolling it was a hi-speed road machine. Unfortunately it did not stop well.
    We were hauling butt between Lisbon and Salem OH and an old Ford farm truck pulled out in front of us and the guy had a small I-Beam welded to the back for a bumper. Needles to say even with that BIG Pontiac bumper it did not do well against the I-Beam. Actually left an imprint of the I-Beam in the front. Of course us Ford guys razed him about picking on a Ford. Turned out well for him. He got a 65 Dodge Dart with the 273 4bbl, 4 speed. Now that was quick!!

    I wondered about the "Alky" also.
    There are some good Wikipedia on Top Alcohol and Top Fuel Dragsters.

    I don't think we have any shops around like that anymore. Neat that you still have a few.

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  • simplyconnected
    Jim, I love your posts. In fact, I am excited to see your responses because it's refreshing to find a fellow restorer with experience from the past and knowledge of modern methods, and you articulate well.

    When I saw that '59 Pontiac in the video of Ed's shop, it brought me back to that year. I was 8-1/2 yrs-old and we were in Detroit, Dad had a new '59 Star Chief and an older '54 Ford Country Sedan (6-cyl, 3-sp w/OD). We used the wagon to visit our uncle in LA via Route 66. There were seven of us, and what a sight, pulling a trailer full of camping gear and topped with a luggage carrier (that flew off once while traveling, but that's another story).

    Our Coleman 3-burner stove and lantern burned naphtha, better known as 'white gas'. I don't remember seeing 'Coleman Fuel' back then, because white gas was available in 55-gal drums behind many gas stations ('we have white gas').

    Fast forward to 1971... I'm in Dayton, Ohio headed for Florida, when my new Pinto (2liter/auto and A/C) ran out of gas on I-75. No problem, along side the tent in the back was a gallon of Coleman Fuel (naphtha). I dumped that in and it started, but ran like CRAP. At least it got me to a gas station, pinging, knocking and complaining the whole way. (Now, our modern Coleman camping stove and lantern burn regular unleaded gas. Robin & I still enjoy tent camping.)

    All the OEMs embrace E-10, but E-15 (or above) engines are specifically built. In most parts of the US, it's hard to find gas with no alcohol. I still don't know why some dragsters ran pure alcohol (and for many decades).

    It's still fun to play with Y-Blocks and COM's. I run them in the '59 Galaxie. But the devil in me pull the 272 Y-Block (FOM) out of the '55 Customline for a serious improvement, using my 351W (EFI w/AOD, and built for gasohol). I'm still considering swapping to the 8.8 RE.

    You're right about 'ETC'. Our OEM systems were built for a 35-amp generator/alt. That means except for the starter motor circuit, no wire needs to exceed #10AWG. My, how things have changed. I use relays to lighten the load on the headlight switch and the key switch. My electric fan circuit never leaves the engine compartment. And like modern cars, I use an easily accessible fuse block mounted under the hood, and another under the dash for smaller branch circuits.

    I'll pay Ed a visit (probably on Monday) and see how his shop is doing. We used to have many, in more prominent parts of town. Like Ed's, the smaller shops have moved to obscure locations for lower rent rates. They depend on their name to draw customers. - Dave
    Last edited by simplyconnected; January 6, 2012, 02:05 PM.

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  • Jimz Bird
    He really is in your neck of the woods!

    Just curious as to how his business is going? It would seem to me that are enough "old skool" guys around to still keep at least some of the better shops like that going.

    Yep, Ethyl and "high-test" - Sunoco 260 and Amoco Lead Free "White Gas" (different lead free blend than today). Expensive back then even. As I recall about 30 cents a gallon. We only got that on weekend "Race Nights".

    I, like you, am not a "Purist". Probably more like an modern old skool guy. I want reliable and SAFE transportation. Your "etc" would include electrical systems, relays and headlights. And even more.

    Your are the Devil at times so here ya go. Alcohol IS beneficial - in limited quantities like in a 12-16 oz bottle to a full tank of gas. NOT when it is 10% or now 15% of your gas tank. Just to make it easy on my math, if you have a 20 gallon tank then that would be putting in 2 or 3 gallons of "dry gas" every time you fill up. (If there was an angel icon I would insert it here. )

    I too am amazed at the "crate" engines that you can get today.

    Holy cow, you can even get a "crate" Y-Block that has 400HP and is ready for modern fluids. Aluminium heads & intake, modern carb and ignition does a lot for the old Y.
    For less than even a crate 351 or even a 345HP 302. Now who is the Devi's Advocate?

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  • simplyconnected
    Thanks for this valuable info, Jim. Yes, Syrocki's shop is about five miles down the road from my place. Being in the Detroit area, so many automotive businesses are or were very close. (Ethyl Corp. (formed by GM and Standard Oil) was even closer.) "Fill'er up 'Ethyl'." As a kid I heard it alot, when folks used premium gas. Now, nobody heard of Ethyl or Standard, and we nearly lost GM.

    You suggest many great points, one being that our classic cars were manufactured for totally different fluid specifications. 1950 gas AND oil was so much different than today's. Modern brake fluid and coolants are changing too. If you have a pure stock classic and want to keep it that way, it is doomed to be a 'garage or trailer queen'.

    All the 'purists' are going to hate me (if they didn't already) because I use my classic rides among modern traffic. That means I am forced to keep up with the times. My engines are now compatable with gasohol (like modern engines). I also have better brakes, steering, tires, seat belts, etc.

    Let me play 'devil's advocate' for a moment... We hear about the evils of gasohol, but what about the good: Gasohol absorbs water in your fuel tank and gets rid of it, like an anti-rust agent. What's in carb and injector cleaners, and 'dry gas'? The same stuff we get in our gasohol. It actually breaks down and suspends varnish left by evaporated gas in your classic tank. So, get a big gas filter (or two, and plumb them in parallel).

    Modern cars successfully use rubber hoses and pot metal throttle bodies. They are made for gasohol. NewOldStock isn't. So, use floats that are brass, and carb needle & seat that don't have neoprene tips. Solid brass works best. Buy modern carb and brake component rebuild kits which include compatible rubber parts. Call Holley Carb and ask them about compatibility because they produce the same carbs for use with gasohol.

    Look, I have no love for gasohol; it even puts out less BTU's than conventional gasoline. The problem with our classics is that technology has left us in the dust. I am awe-stricken that Ford Racing can flog a 351W into producing 600-HP on unleaded gasohol. - Dave

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  • Jimz Bird
    started a topic Dangers of Ethanol Gas

    Dangers of Ethanol Gas

    This is really WAY ON topic for all so I stuck it here where all might see it.

    This is a guy Ed Syrocki from Dave Dare's neck of the woods.

    Ethanol Gas is BAD News!!

    Under the hood with ethanol and your classic car - Go under the hood with HVA member and veteran classic car mechanic, Ed Syrocki, in a new video that shows ...

    Simple test procedure from Peterson Aviation.

    Testing fuel for ethanol

    The following test can be performed to determine the presence of ethanol in gasoline.

    On a test tube or olive bottle, make a permanent line about two inches from the bottom.

    Fill with water to this line, then fill the tube to the top with gasoline.

    Cover the tube, agitate it then let it stand.

    Ethanol mixes with water and the two will separate out together. Therefore, after mixing the water and the gasoline, if the water level appears to have increased, then the fuel contains ethanol and should not be used.

    Ethanol fuels can damage the rubber and aluminum components of your aircraft fuel system. Ethanol increases the volatility of fuel, and hence the possibility of vapor lock also increases. Ethanol may vent off at altitude, reducing both range and octane. For these reasons fuel containing ethanol must never be used in airplanes.
    Last edited by Jimz Bird; January 5, 2012, 12:37 PM.