gas.....again

Post-War Aeronca Champ airplanes
jc pacquin
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gas.....again

Post by jc pacquin »

Posted on bulletin board at airport, (W42) its been there about 3-4 years. Engineer explains why car gas is a no no in aircraft. At end of article he states...."Read your insurance policy CAREFULLY. Chances are it will not cover an in air engine failure IF car gas is being used, regardless of stc." unquote.JP

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skyking3286
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Post by skyking3286 »

... and your FBO sells 100LLL for five dollars a gallon?

Hmmmm, wonder who put that up there!
Mark Peterson
Harvey Field, WA
A copy of my old Chief website is preserved here:

http://www.reocities.com/mrpeters.geo/index.html

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joea
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Post by joea »

Here in Arizona we have high heats that make running car fuel interesting but no one that I know have had problems with it. Cars on the other hand that have high underhood temps do have vapor locking issues but its usually on restarting and not during normal running.

We had a self refueling operation start up here last fall and its been a real hit with the local pilots. It started selling 100LL for $3.28 a gallon, while the two FBO's here were well over $4 a gallon.

Surprise, surprise several weeks later when both FBO's matched the self serve price! Most of us are still using the self serve facility as all the FBO's are doing is trying to run the newbie out of business so that they can again raise their prices back to making at least .75c a gallon when they do not have any competition again.

Wish we had a self serve automotive fuel tank here! I have sent an email to my insurance agent asking about using automotive fuel and being covered in the event of an accident. Lets see what they say. Scuttlebutt posted on an airport bulletin board does not hold water with me very much.

Joe A

MikeB
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Post by MikeB »

I'm quite sure my policy doesn't have a disclaimer regarding auto fuel. I haven't recieved my new policy yet/why does it take so long?? Personally, I don't think they'd have a leg to stand on as long as I have the STC (which makes it 'legal') and don't use fuel with ethanol. I ran my Cherokee 140 for hundreds of hours using auto fuel. Same for my Champ with zero problems. The only problem I ever had was when using 100LL as it leaded up my plugs. I'm quite sure any fuel can vapor lock given the right conditions but the only time I've seen it is on our mower at the airport where the mechanical diaphram type fuel pump is directly on top of the engine which is a stupid place to put it as far as I'm concerned. I solved the problem by installing an electric fuel pump as a suppliment pump when vapor lock occurs.

For whatever it's worth, I drove my 1965 Ford Econoline pickup to the top of Pike's peak (14,000') and it didn't vapor lock. I've crossed the rockies many times with various vehicles with no problem. Granted a gravity flow system is probably a bit more prone to vapor lock problems as opposed to a feed system.

Several years ago the local FBO got a load of fuel contaminated with water. So much for quality control from the refiner to the user.

Mike Berg

jc pacquin
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gas.....again

Post by jc pacquin »

Hummmmmm! wonder if YOUR covered!? The article was put up by the airport owner. It was taken out of an aviation magazine, which was on the top but I didn't bother to write down which one. I mention it only because so many so called low cost insurance agencys won't pay when push comes to shove. ALWAYS an excuse. It gives lawyers something to do. I fly with 100 octane as the engine only burns 5 gallons an hour. If I can't afford that, then I shouldn't have the airplane. JP

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Post by Dennis »

I have always argued that flying should be cheap enough that everyone could afford it. The more the merrier and total cost will go down. Auto fuel is just another way for some of us less fortunate folks to spend a few hours in the air.

Dennis

gusc
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Post by gusc »

It has been at least 20 years since EAA proved that all the henny penny stuff about mogas in airplanes was a bunch of bull.

Lycoming was one of the worst alarmists and finally had to admit after many years that there was not a single instance of an accident being caused by mogas.

Nothing has changed since except that mogas is now pretty unstable. This means one can no longer leave it in a tank for two years and expect it to work, at least here in the south.

I don't believe that stuff about insurance exceptions either, show me!! Approved is approved.

My guess is that the bulletin board article came from Southern Flyer a few years ago. The editor wrote an idiotic article with a bunch of unsubstantiated crap in it and I wrote him a letter and told him so. I also sent him a copy of an EAA letter written by a petroleum engineer debunking all the technical bull about using mogas.

This seems to pop up every year or so - it is all BULL!!
Gus Causbie
Ash Flat, AR
N83564, 7AC-2235, A65-8

Roger Anderson
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Re: gas.....again

Post by Roger Anderson »

jc pacquin wrote:. I fly with 100 octane as the engine only burns 5 gallons an hour. If I can't afford that, then I shouldn't have the airplane. JP
I'm an auto gas user in my A65 Chief, have been for the last 600 or so hours. For me it's not all about the fuel cost (well...ok, so I am cheap too), but about the lead issue in the 100LL. My engine just likes auto fuel (of course with a little MMO added) much better. It runs clean, plugs clean at each annual, and not a stuck valve yet. I just ran 10hrs of 100LL following my cylinders being overhauled. The engine seemed to pop and snap with the 100LL some, and at 10 hrs, pulled plugs and already signs of lead deposits. I've switched back to the mogas and smooth again. I will say this, with the 100LL I do have a smoother transition in the Stromberg from the idle to run circuit jets as the throttle is advanced.

MikeB
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Post by MikeB »

I would agree with JC on one thing: lawyers would probably look for a way to get out of the insurance if it were possible. One the other hand, if an accident occured because of a ground loop, one could hardly blame the auto fuel as the cause. Especially if the plane held a legal STC. I will disagree with the statement "if I can't afford 5 gallons for 100LL per hour I shouldn't own a plane". Last year when flying to Oshkosh I paid as high as $5.75 per gallon which equates something like $25 per hour in my Champ. If I paid $4 per gallon that would be around $16 per hour which is a sizable savings over the long run. Gas at $5-6 per hour will most likely cause me to leave the plane in the hangar rather than going out to enjoy flying and keep my skills up. I'm still working part time (bus driving) to pay for my 'hobby'. Of course, fuel is a lot less expensive this year so I hope to fly more :D :D :D .

Mike Berg

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Auto Fuel STC...

Post by CptKelly »

I just got an auto fuel STC for the low compression 0-470 in our Birddog. Its just amazing how many IA's still believe that auto fuel is damaging in aircraft engines.
I flew my old Cessna 170B more than a thousand hours, and strickly on auto fuel. When the engine hit 2400 hours, I pulled it apart for an overhaul. Its just amazing how only a few parts needed to be replaced. The crank was still on the high end of its service limits, so it only needed a polish, and counterweight pins/bushings. The cylinders were mostly in good shape, but I changed the exhaust valves and guides in most of them. One cylinder had a crack, so I replaced that one. New pistons, camshaft, and lifter bodies. I'm sure its still running to this day, and I hope on auto fuel.

Mike

jc pacquin
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gas.....again

Post by jc pacquin »

please don't misunderstand....I don't fly more than 30 hours in the summer. If I really flew alot or was flying a 470 cont. I WOULD figure something out for a mo gas solution. I mentioned it only because of the legal aspect. IF there was a tank at the field I use with mo gas that was filtered properly and fresh I would use it (high test). Filling the aircraft with plastic jugs is asking for trouble (static elec.) This will eventually get rid of any savings plus your life in all probability. Lots of interesting stuff on this subject, one being canadian specs. on car gas. I used strictly mogas in the Stearman, Amoco high test and had no STC. Just flew hell out of it. No problems.JP

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joea
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Post by joea »

JC,

It just perturbs some of us to see airports with crap like this posted. They are trying to make money while trying to scare us.

Yes the FBO's need to make a profit as well but some of the people flying simply cannot afford 100LL and using mogas makes flying possible for them.

Joe

Don Eide
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Post by Don Eide »

Here is another story.
10-31-83 My Cessna 182 with an 0-470 was authorized by EAA STC
to use auto fuel.
April 1985. I filled the tanks with auto fuel and a few days later started to do the Annual inspection. I went for parts and it turned into a 80 degree day. The cool fuel expanded, came out of the fuel cap, ran down to the flap (staining the wing) over to the end of the flap and dripped down on the fuselage removing the paint down to the aluminum. When I got home I had a real mess.
Then on 7-6-85 we took off for home and got about 10 miles from the airport, still climbing out and the engine quit. SCARED the livings out of my wife. After a long time, probably 30 seconds, the engine came back to life and we went back to the airport and topped it off with fresh auto fuel. Of course we heard bad sounds all the way home, so I removed all of the auto fuel and put in 100LL.
The winter of 90-91 we did a major overhaul on the engine and the overhaul shop stated "No Warranty if you use Auto Fuel".
Needless to say I don't use auto fuel any more.
Plus, I don't know any airports around here that carry auto fuel anymore. Here in Minnesota very few gas stations carry fuel without Ethanol, at least not around where I live.
I use 100LL exclusively in my 182 and also in my 0-235 powered Aeronca Champ.
Don
7DC Champ
N84032

jc pacquin
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gas.....again

Post by jc pacquin »

When I had the Stearman, the fellow who worked on it said "NO 100 octane gas, got it? NONE! The compression is only 5.5 and you will ruin the engine!" Hence the use of Amoco high test. It ran fine. I imagine the compression in these old 65 and 85's is also low isn't it? I can't think how modern car gas could hurt them EXCEPT FOR all the additives added since the "good old days". Then of course theres where it comes from, how old, the grade, etc. On the panel of the Stearman it read "do not exceed 87 0ctane except in emergencys." Most articles I've read mention the additives in car gas PLUS alcohol which they claim is not good for our engines. As far as altitude, I almost never go over 3000 feet and like 100 to 1500agl much better so thats not a problem. I like this discussion as there has ALWAYS been a lot of chatter about this, never fully resolved in my mind. Back 4-5 years ago, I discussed an engine upgrade with Don of Dons dream, machine fame. He said "Car gas? I love it, its hard on the engines and gives me more business!"unquote JP

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Post by MikeB »

Agree with Don Eide too. Finding auto fuel without ethanol is getting difficult. The gas station where my 'coffee loafers' meet every day has ethanol in everything. The local Cenex station has premium without ethanol (I've checked it several times). The other pumps have ethanol about 5%. If I had a escapade like Don with the engine quitting I'd probably rethink my use of auto fuel and I know that Bolduc for one will not warrenty the engine if auto fuel is used. On the other hand :roll: :roll: (for whatever it's worth) we had a 65 Champ that went well over 1800 hours using auto fuel with only a leaking valve that needed repair. It used to be that after 1000 hours or so most engines needed a top job. My old Cherokee has around 1500 hours and still putting along and I expect the new owner will probably make it to TBO the way it's going. I'm of the opinion that the use of unleaded fuel and multigrade oil extends the life of engines. Since the advent of unleaded fuels many cars and trucks (gasoline) routinely see 200+ miles and usually the engine is still running well but the body falls apart. At least up here in the salt country.

Looking ahead in the future, we may all be using unleaded fuel whether we want to or not if the EPA has it's way. By the way, I still use some 100LL every now and then to keep a little cushion on the valve seats and I'd probably use 80 octane if I could get it.

Mike Berg

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