when i was in high school, in the early 80s, i learned that i could legally distill alcohol for automotive use. i researched it thoroughly, but decided not to pursue it. it required licensing, and the still of course, which had to pass strict guidelines which were no problem, the problem was lack of funds.....it was pretty expensive.
I knew that racers used alcohol, i knew the military used it to cool aircraft engines and add power on take off and at altitude.....what i didn't know was the effect it has on carbs and fuel lines. with the advent of gas station ethanol, i learned just what it does. we are lucky here in washington state, you can buy ethanol free fuel, but its pretty expensive. if you've read my posts before, you know i dont drive my car too much in the winter, so it sits for a while when its snowy.so, this spring, with fresh fuel in the tanks, and a fully charged battery, car ran like sh*t.
tracking down a carb kit was a nightmare because the tag with the carb number on it is long gone. so i had to guess and hope i got the right kit. no returns if opened.... i knew id use some of the stuff, and at 25 bucks, i took the chance. i didnt take any pictures of the disassembly, i didnt think of it at the time...i just wanted it running the way it should.
taking the top cover off, (its a rochester quadrajet), i was shocked at the amount of damage caused by the alcohol in the fuel. ive been hearing horror stories for a while now, but since my heap ran as well it did, i gave it no thought. but, after sitting all winter and some of the spring, (rotten tires) it was pretty bad inside the carb. after i was done cleaning poking and scraping, i had a spray paint cap half full of detritus
from inside the float bowl and chambers. it looked like the aluminium was being eaten away. and it has been. while this particular carb doesnt leak, its not the best either. at first it wouldnt idle at all after the carb heated up.. so i just kept running it letting it do what ever it wanted, and now 2 months later, its almost as smooth as ever, but still not quite right. ive noticed gas from my early car days was a bit oily, todays gas is not. so i started putting some 2 cycle oil in the gas, not enough to be smoky or foul the plugs, just enough to make it oily.3 ounces or so to ten gallons of fuel i guess...i do it by eye.
but ive learned now that ethanol is hard on rubber fuel lines.... jags have some long fuel hoses....o how i want fuel injection.......