Gasohol is shyte! With pictures!

Discussion in 'Technical' started by TonyBKK, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Just returned to Thailand and could not start the KLX. Took it apart and this is the state of my carb after letting the bike sit for 3 months with gasohol in the float bowl:


    Main jet is completely clogged with this nasty gasohol residue:


    This residue is not only on the parts that were submerged in the gasohol. It's also inside the jets and on the needles. Obviously a complete rebuild is necessary.

    Completely my fault of course- I should have avoided using gasohol in the first place and should have drained the carb before leaving the bike, but it is what it is, and perhaps this post might save others from having to deal with a similar mess.

    Happy Trails!

    Tony :happy1:
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  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Fuel from unreliable sources... Well, this is Thailand innit? ;)

    I mostly use the V-Power 95 from the Shell station around the corner from my house, which, I understand contains 5% ethanol. Now most PTT's carry 95 benzene. As for what was in my tank last spring before I left, I honestly can't recall, but the fuel in my tank is a gold color which is the color most brands here in Thailand use for 95 benzene these days. If I remember correctly, Green is 91 gasohol and red was 91 benzene (which doesn't exist anymore).

    The problem with gasohol, as I understand it, is that the ethanol that is blended with the gasoline absorbs water and phase separates, leaving you with something like this in your tank-
    It's a chemical process and once phase separation occurs it can not be reversed. When phase separation occurs you will have an upper layer of gasoline with a milky layer of Ethanol and Water below it, and sometimes a third layer of just water at the bottom.

    The Mikuni TM33 carb is supposed to be able to tolerate ethanol blended fuels, and as far as I can see none of the plastic parts or rubber seals are damaged. Fuel lines and fuel filter look fine too but I'm going to replace them all the same. Clearly there is oxidation in the float bowl from the water in the fuel. I'll soak the carb in cleaner overnight and run narrow gauge wires through the jets and blast everything out with compressed air. Annoying but not the end of the world.
  4. mudboots

    mudboots Ol'Timer

    A friend has given me a tip that I will try myself for long turn storage for those that have older carbs and it is. To remove your carb drain all the fuel out get yourself a plastic or glass jar of the right size and fill with WD40 or CRC make sure carb is full of it and submerge your carb and seal. On return drain blow it out clean put it back in but be sure to drain and clean your fuel tank as well on return. Sure it might take a hour to do but its better than stripping your carb and cleaning crap out and finding new rubber O rings and seals. And don't forget to cover over the intake on the motor after removing the carb to keep dust and whatever out while your away.:p
  5. KenYam

    KenYam Ol'Timer

    G'day Tony

    Thanks for your pictures and words on your disappointing gasohol storage problems. Like you I am 100% sure the gasohol caused your fuel contamination, gasohol seems to seperate quickly when stored as so many other GT-riders have been writing. I never use the shit as I go away often.
    So my simple method of bike and car storage is;
    a) Fill the tank all the way with 100% benzene to keep the air space to a minium.
    b) Turn the fuel tap (petcock) closed and continue to run engine until stalled.
    I used to drain carbies but to much trouble and also caused problems on my bike. Desiel car is not drained of course.

    heers Ken F
    c) Dicconnect battery terminals
    d) Fuel injected bikes does not have the same issues but I still fill the tank 100% with benzene.
  6. Billy Baht

    Billy Baht Ol'Timer

    Bummer! I wonder if the alcohol was the more toxic methanol type?

    I used to run gasohol91 and even E20 in my 2008 Honda Wave CZi. She started on the first kick after two months of storage while I was in the Philippines. Of course my FI Wave didn't have a carb for the bad stuff to chew on. Just sayin.

    Looks like some very corrosive stuff in your fuel. Maybe switch stations?
  7. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    "polymeriseation of the fuel molecules"... Hmmm, I'm honestly really not sure what that means, but I left my Versys and GSXR sitting alongside the KLX for the last few months and they both started up at the first push of the starter buttons and are running fine. Only had a problem with the carb'd KLX. Weird huh?

    Mixed up a batch of "carb cleaner" using 1 part gasoline, 1 part diesel, 1 part kerosene and 1 part acetone and even though I did it all outside in a well ventilated spot it got me high as a flippin kite! ;) But this solution is cutting through all the crap on the carb nicely and hopefully tomorrow I'll get it all put back together in time for the weekend.

  8. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Forgive a stupid question, but have you ever seen StaBil for sale here in Thailand?
  9. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    Never seen Stabil here

    For homemade run it through the system cleaner, brew up your own SeaFoam like swill using:
    4 parts diesel
    2 parts naptha
    1 part of isopropanol alcohol

    For dunk the carb in cleaner, the active ingredient is the same as in Thai paint stripper - methylene chloride just like the Gunk brand you used to be able to buy 20 years ago that would eat your skin and send you running to the bathroom like a 12 year old girl. Cut it with 30 - 50% kerosene depending on the initial strength of the methylene chloride. Not only will it eat your skin, but also and rubber part so disassemble with care. Do not buy the jelled paint remover as it will turn into a big blob when mixed with diesel or kerosene.
    I used this mix this summer in Canada on my Bonnie carbs as the Greenies have killed any carb cleaner that works

    You could use or MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) but it is nastier stuff than the methylene chloride and not as easy to find
  10. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    ^ Thanks for the advice Robert!

    I already cleaned the carb. Ended up mixing up a batch of carb cleaner because for the life of me I can't find a shop in Bangkok that sells the stuff in anything larger than spray cans... So, consulting the interwebs I found a few different recipes and ended up making the following:

    1 part gasoline, 1 part diesel, 1 part kerosene and 1 part Dichloromethane (I really wanted acetone but couldn't find it).

    Even though I mixed it up outside in a well ventilated spot the fumes got me higher than a kite! Left the carb to soak overnight and scrubbed it clean this morning.





    Moral of the story, avoid gasohol and drain your carb if you're not going to ride for a while to save yourself this hassle!

    Happy Trails!
    Tony :happy1:
  11. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Hey Robert!

    Mind if I pick your brain a bit on some of these chemicals? I went looking for MEK and failing that tried to find acetone, but none of the hardware stores in my neighborhood sell either nor could they tell me where to find these chemicals.

    I ended up using Dichloromethane which, if I'm not mistaken is very similar to the methylene chloride you recommend?

    Is regular old paint thinner usually methylene chloride? All the tins were in Thai except the one I found that had "Dichloromethane" written on it.

    Nasty but effective stuff; I wore gloves and goggles so didn't get any on me.


  12. mudboots

    mudboots Ol'Timer

    You will find Acetone is used as a fiberglass resin thinner. Highly Flammable !! And will dry out and crack rubber over time. I have to leave my bike up to a year sitting and waiting for me with a old carb and parts becoming harder and harder to find, I will spend a hour cleaning out the WD40 from my sleeping carb after a year, Happy in knowing it will make my bike sing again. mind you if it was a 4 pot it dos become a big job.
  13. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    it is the same stuff - CH2Cl2. Also known as methylene dichloride
    Nasty and wear gloves, try and keep it off your skin, and do not sniff it. Banned as a paint stripper in nanny state countries. As you can see it works great

    The paint stripper can I have at home is methylene chloride based and I had Mrs Hoghead get the chemist on the line to confirm the concentration. After a lot of waffling he admitted the formula and at a 50% concentration
  14. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    Perhaps my crappy internet but I cannot connect to that site
    Do you have any more info on how to brew your own Stabil?
  15. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

  16. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    I believe the Thais call it white benzene
  17. johnnysneds

    johnnysneds Ol'Timer

    Hi Tony,

    I have just had to clean the carbs on my WR and KTM after leaving them sitting for six months. Both needle valves were stuck solid with a reddish thick sticky gunk, and the bottom of the bowl and jets were also affected - this is normal gasohol separation. I wish i had taken some photos to show you the difference. What your seeing in your photos is Green Verdigris which is a type of corrosion that affects copper, brass and bronze normally caused by exposure to water for lengthy periods.
    I would say you have had a significant amount of water in the float chamber to cause that. I understand phase separation but i can't see it causing this amount of damage over three months.
    Were you swimming with your KLX before you stored it?:oops:
  18. Greatdane

    Greatdane Active Member

    I'm getting nervous. I guess this could be a problem with a scooter too?

    I have a Honda Click parked at Suvarnabhumi for more than 6 months, until I come back early October. If there is a problem when I get there, do you have any advice what to do - including a number to reach a mechanic near the airport. I cannot make any repairs myself.
  19. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Hey Johnny!

    Good to hear from you? Are you back in the saddle yet?

    Interesting- so what gummed up my carb is most likely corrosion and not necessarily phase separation of gasohol?

    Guess I will avoid my local Shell station from now on!! It's a pretty old station and perhaps their tanks have been compromised and contaminated.

    There's a new Caltex station just opened nearby and I've always been happy with the quality of Caltex fuel. Plus their underground tanks should be brand new.

    Interesting that even with all that water in the fuel the bike was still running fine before I left last June...
  20. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    I run my Ducati S4 on gasohol sometimes ,, but always fill the tank with Benzine 95 from caltex when i go away for a while ,,best practice if you ago abroad fill the bike up with non gasohol 95

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