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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: MTBE Damage?
Date: Wed, 08 Nov 2000 16:54:08 -0500

Guess Who? wrote:
>    My weedeater (actually a Homelite) started giving me such a case of
> the fits, that I finally sought out a "Professional" to either fix it,
> or give me the bad news that I needed to buy another.....
>    Mowerman Doug tells me that the problem is that this new "California
> Gas" dissolves rubber so bad that it ate the hose to my fuel filter
> inside the gas tank, and gooped up the carb jets with a sort of plastic
> emulsion from the hose.  He says this problem is so bad, that there's
> now a new fuel line out (the "yeller stuff" he calls it) to help, but
> even it will only last two or three years.
>    Does anyone out there know if this is true, or am I just getting
> "skun" behind some mowerman's pipe dream?  I'm inclined to believe him,
> but thought I'd ask the big kids just to make sure............
>                                                           Don

I would expect that to be highly possible.  MTBE is a pretty
aggressive solvent plus it is corrosive to light metals (magnesium,
zinc, other common engine constituents).  The silicone fuel line
he's proposing to install will address the problem of the fuel line
but it will not address the problem of the neoprene diaphragms in
the carburetor.  If silicone or teflon lined replacement diaphragms
are not available, you may be stuck with buying a new whacker.  Or
find a source of non-oxygenated gasoline.  If you can't drive out of
state to get some good gas, you might be able to use racing fuel.
If there are any gas stations around your area that sell 100
lead-free racing gasoline, that should be an alternative.  It'll
cost you $4-5 a gallon but with a little Sta-bil, it should last a
year or more.  If the gas stations don't have it, the racing shops

Of course, by next spring, the MTBE-laced gas should be gone.  Not
sure what they're going to substitute for it or even if they're
going to force this oxygenated fuel lunacy.  If they use ethanol,
then you're in good shape.  If they use methanol, then you're still
in trouble because methanol is corrosive to light metal also.

Hopefully they'll just dump the whole program, recognizing it for
the lunacy that it is.  EPA forced the same fuel on Atlanta.  It was
suppose to make older cars marginally cleaner by leaning the
mixture.  On my 68 Fury and my 82 Itasca, it has just the opposite
effect.  My Fury has lean surge and misfire and idles very roughly.
The chebby engine in my Itasca idles noticeably rougher and has a
nice off-idle bog.  Such operating conditions grossly pollute, of
course.  Another inspired program from our benevolent, all-knowing
and all-merciful Big Brother.

> PS
> Dear Loco2506
>    Before you get into a snit over how OT this post is, I might add that
> Doug tells me this is also a problem that's starting to turn up in older
> vehicles - and, that he thinks it could cause a fire!  So, consider that
> angle, before howling about how campfire palaver is ruining this NG for
> serious RVers - if you know what I mean - and I think you do!

Just ignore Loco.  They'll get him sedated correctly again and he'll


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