August 02, 2009

Ethanols Effects On Classic Cars Fuel Systems

Almost a year ago, I reported that the Hagerty Insurance Agency had enlisted Kettering University to study the effects of ethanol blended gasoline on the fuel systems of classic cars and boats. The study attempted to simulate 3000 hours of use in a manner that would duplicate a typical classic vehicle's use cycle.

The preliminary results were released in the Spring 2009 issue of Hagerty’s Magazine.

After several months and a full 3,000 hours of testing, the Hagerty study found that there was no difference between the performance of the SU carburetors (from a 1962 MGA) running E10 and the ones flowing E0 (gasoline without ethanol). The carburetor jets were unobstructed, the needle valves and floats were functioning properly and the throttle shafts were moving freely. Both fuel pumps continued to put out more than 3psi and were flowing fuel at an acceptable rate — regardless of the fuel.

The preliminary results seem promising but it should be noted that only the results from studying one vehicle's fuel system have been released to date. The results from the other five vehicles being studied will be released in a future addition of Hagerty’s Magazine.

Spring 2009 Issue of Hagerty’s Magazine (PDF)

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