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The difficulties which ethanol and other additives have caused for the old car hobbyist cannot be overstated. Dealing with ethanol alone is a real challenge for us, never mind all of the additional additives which are mandated for different regions of the various states.

It is my understanding that some states have as many as five different "blends" which must be sold, depending upon the region. The government claims that no more than ten percent ethanol per gallon is permitted, but what percentage is then comprised of other additives? Your substantially diminished fuel economy alone should suggest to you that more than ten percent of your tankful is something less energy efficient than gasoline.

Typical ethanol/additive problems which can be expected to occur are:

Vapor lock
Fuel pump failure
Fuel hose failure
Failure of epoxy repairs made to carb
Fuel inexplicably gushing from the carburetor
Increased debris in the carb due to ethanol's cleaning/scrubbing characteristics


Some steps which I would recommend that my customers take with ALL of their carbureted vehicles are:

-- I strongly urge the use of only Gates Barricade brand fuel hose (which is "approved for 40 different U.S. blends" . . . which should tell you something about the variable nature of the problem):
Gates Barricade hose
No, I do not own stock in Gates Corporation; I just know that their hoses seem to work. These hoses can be used with crimp-type fittings for authenticity, and they are virtually indistinguishable form OE.

--Use Marine Formula Sta-Bil to treat ethanol in the fuel. It is an even more aggressive treatment than the automotive Sta-Bil Ethanol Treatment, and it is perfect for antique cars which remain parked a majority of the time.

See and buy all Sta-Bil products here

And no, I don't own stock in Sta-Bil (Gold Eagle Corp.) either.

--Replace/rebuild mechanical fuel pumps at least every ten years.
--Visit the pure-gas.org website below to see whether you have a source of ethanol-free gas in your area. Remember, just because it contains no ethanol doesn't mean that it doesn't contain other nasty additives. Play it safe and follow the above recommendations even if you can find ethanol-free gas in your area:
Pure Gas Website

FOR OWNERS OF BRONZE OR BRASS CARBURETORS:
Please be certain that your carb is grounded to the engine, chasis and battery ground of your vehicle. Thanks to ethanol, serious electrolytic corrision can occur to the carburetor if this is not done. I've seen it happen to these carbs myself, folks . . .

Jeff Dreibus
The Old Carb Doctor