WR450F Gasohol Issues

Discussion in 'Technical' started by johnnysneds, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. johnnysneds

    johnnysneds Ol'Timer

    Near the end of a ride yesterday I began experiencing problems with the bike stuttering. Luckily I had just made it out of the Jungle and onto some tarmac where the bike completely died. It then began to rain heavily (sods law) but I managed to push it a few hundred meters where I found some cover. Let the bike cool for a minute or two and then tried firing her up again. She barked into life instantly and off I went again. Another kilometer down the road and it died again. Now I was in the middle of nowhere and had to push it for a further 2 k/m. (luckily some downhill). I initially thought there might be water in the Carb/Fuel Tank from the jet wash the previous day. I removed the Float Bowl drain plug from under the carb, refitted it and let it fill up. I didn't notice any water from the drained fuel. The biked fired up first time and didn't have any further issues til i stopped. I then noticed the Carb overflow hose venting fuel. This indicated that the Float Needle must be sticking open and closed randomly.
    This morning I proceeded to remove the Carb. The Aluminum framed WR's are not as straight forward as the old Steel frame models as you have to move the sub-frame and shock to get at the carb.




    Now I didn't have to inspect too far to find what I had suspected, Gasahol Gunk!

    This is the inlet side of the Carb. You can clearly see the red gunk at the bottom of the slide. The particles you see is from the dirt on removal.

    And the engine side. You can see the gunk build up on the mating face.

    Inside the slider chamber. Again gunk, noticeably around where the seal is.

    Forgot to take a photo but the float chamber was the same. The needle valve wasn't as bad as I thought but it wasn't what it should have been either.

    So thoroughly cleaned the Carb with appropriate cleanser. Here's some photos after its cleaned.



    Im off working for 4-5 weeks so ill not bother fitting it until I get back. Im pretty confident this issues is a result of Gasohol residue. It does seem to be reacting with all rubber/plastic components which produces the residue resulting in moving parts sticking or jets blocking up. Yamaha indicates that Gasohol can be used with my bike so why is the Thai Gasohol reacting with components!!!???!!!


    I was able to completely strip the Carb down using just this Leatherman.
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  3. furyrider

    furyrider Ol'Timer

    I really didn't want to see that. Didn't you just get that bike a last month. How do think this gasohol will react with fuel injectors??
  4. johnnysneds

    johnnysneds Ol'Timer

    Hey Furyrider

    Have a read below of a reply I made elsewhere. I'm sure you will be ok with Fi, it just seems to affect Carb'd bikes.

    I'm 99.9% sure it will work fine now. Most of the areas where the gunk had gathered was where either plastic or rubber components were located. Now with that in mind what is the float needle tip made of, yup it has a viton rubber sleeve/boot on the end. The viscous consistency of this stuff is horrible when you wipe it off with your finger, it would easily stick a needle valve onto it's seat. When I removed the float bowl drain plug this morning there was hardly any fuel that came out indicating it was stuck.
    What I find strange, Yamaha indicates in the manual that a max of E10 95 Gasohol can be used and anything more than this will damage components, so I should be ok in Thailand, right . So what exactly is coming out of the pumps?!? another case of tit.....
    I mostly use Shell 95 V Power if I can. I'm going to change this routine for another vendor and see if there is any difference.
    I know this subject has been discussed many times before elsewhere, but it's only really hearsay of possible performance issues. The proof is above in the pictures. I've had major issues with older carb'd sports bikes years ago in Thailand with the result of Gasohol and now with a new model. Strangely enough never had to clean an Fi bikes fuel system.
    I'm trying to find out if there are alternative needle valves available, not sure a brass only needle would do the job.
    It's held up well for 3,000 K/m since new, just need to clean the Carb more often I suppose.
  5. Not on a Yamaha

    Not on a Yamaha Ol'Timer

    I would not recommend using gasohol on any carb bike Ethanol is nasty to any rubber components.
    If you still fancy gasohol. Use it all on a run and refill with regular gasoline when the bike is not in use.
  6. johnnysneds

    johnnysneds Ol'Timer

    Yup its about the only thing you can do. Since I serviced the bike a few months ago, which included re-jetting and cleaning the carb, the bike has not really been sitting. So it seems its not just when you leave your bike sitting, it'll build up when constantly running it also.
    I wouldn't say Ethanol is nasty to any rubber components. Bike manufacturers are obviously taking steps to upgrade their components to be used with Ethanol. As stated earlier Yamaha mention in the manual that E10 or less (10%) 95 Gasohol can be used, higher Ethanol content than this will damage components. My opinion is some fat cat somewhere is trying to save money, why? well Ethanol/Gasohol is cheaper to produce and they produce it right here in Thailand, it also has the added benefits of being more environment friendly, but im not sure this is the important factor here. The government are promoting the use of E20 and its slowly but surely being introduced to wreak havoc on all out Carb'd bikes. Here's the link to the E20 Policy from the Energy Ministry if your interested http://www3.dede.go.th/dede/fileadmin/upload/pictures_eng/pdffile/Gasohol_E20__1_.pdf Seems to be from around 2008, PTT were the main sellers of this on the promotion, I wonder how wide spread it is now. What im rambling on about is are they advertising E10 and selling a higher percentage of Ethanol mixture?
    At the end of the day, what can you do, most likely the answer will be live with it.
  7. johnnysneds

    johnnysneds Ol'Timer

    Just emptied the remaining fuel from my tank before I leave the country.

    Here is a photo of the fuel **** (new) before it was fitted at the beginning of April.

    And here is the same fuel **** removed just half an hour ago. This is after I cleaned it. Notice how the reserve gauze filter has collapsed completely and the main isn't too far from the same condition. The material feels soft and malleable. No doubt a reaction caused by Gasohol. There was quite a collection of black particles collected around the bottom of the gauze. The Clarke tank was thoroughly cleaned when I fitted it new.
  8. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Shock & Horror, More Proof against Gasohol! Surely Not??? You are a Bad Man Johnny!!! What are all the Disbelievers to do now? There will be worldwide Panic, Riots, Mass Suicides and even Worse they may finally actually have to Admit they were wrong???
    You should delete this Post before they Accuse You of Faking it and start a Victims support Group and Sue for Compensation!
    On a More Intelligent level ( That would be Our level, The Believers ) Caltex is about the only Gasohol that may be a bit easier on things as it has Techron which is supposed to help Clean the Fuel System and Engine? Good Luck! See You when You are back from Work.
  9. johnnysneds

    johnnysneds Ol'Timer

    I wished I was wrong, the auld adage:- a picture is worth a thousand words. What a pain in the butt this has been for me.

    Ill start using Caltex on my return as much as possible and see if there is a change.
  10. brian66

    brian66 Ol'Timer

    I have always been strongly against alcohol fuels but my objection is mainly due to the misinformation supplied and accepted by the general public on the so called benefits.
    I believe that alcohol does corrode engine aluminium parts and destroys rubber components regardless of the claimed resistance to alcohol that the manufacturers claim for the metals and rubber products. The alcohol resistant rubbers just take longer to be affected.

    I am experienced in the refining process of crude oil because I work in the oil industry.

    In some developing countries, I have witnessed some very poor refinery procedures and mainly poor refining equipment maintainance.

    I wonder two things. What is the condition of the Thailand refineries and what crude oil they use in those refinery.
    Thailand has refineries that can process about 1 million barrels per day at full capacity. But most refineries run at about 60% as the shutdown to de coke is a regular part of the maintainance process.

    Thailands oil consumption per day was around half a million barrels.
    I do not know any figures on the Ethanol refineries.
    I believe Thailand would not have to import any refined fuel.

    If crude oil is not processed through the numerous refining levels, the many day to day end products that we use and the one we are all more concerned about called petrol can still contain many impurities. Mainly gum and salts.
    The best crude oil for making petrol is what is called light sweet crude. It has low sulphur content. Refining this oil produces the cleanest fuel. However, this is the most expensive crude oil to buy. Other crude oils are much cheaper but require an extended refining process with complicated refining equipment that significantly increases the cost. Also the refineries equipment has a much higher shut down time for maintainance due to the residue separated from the crude oil. However, cheap petrol can be produced using this crude oil if the “cracking” part of the refinery process is reduced.

    The refining process for Ethanol is basically the same as done to sweet crude oil with one advantage that there are fewer impurities in the base product. Ie sugar or corn. However I wonder once again, how efficiently is this base product refined? If they do not refine it properly, organic material will remain absorbed in the end product.

    Supposedly 10% by volume of ethanol is added, but i suspect a much higher percentage is added, to the petrol and delivered to the service stations in Thailand where we pump the fuel into our bikes. I wonder just how good a product is in the delivery truck and also the condition of the pumping stations and the internal condition of the fuel delivery truck.

    The crap in Johnnys carby could be gum from poorly refined crude oil or organic matter from the ethanol. The deformed plastic fuel valve parts are definitely due to the Ethanol.

    What bugs me most is that to refine 9 liters of petrol costs X amount of dollars.
    The same applies to refining 9 liters of Ethanol. Each liter has X amount of cost.
    For both the above products the refining figure must be the same or a combination of costs to equal the 37 Baht I use below for 95 Octane. Because that’s what they sell it at per liter.
    The Oil Company adds I liter of Ethanol to 9 liters of petrol and price it per liter at whatever the daily rate is. Say 37 Baht for 95 octane. So 10 liters of Gasohol costs 370 Baht.
    If they leave out the one liter of Ethanol and add one more liter of petrol, suddenly the price jumps to say, 48 Baht per liter for 95 pure petrol.

    So 10 liters of pure petrol cost 480 Baht. That is 110 Baht extra for one liter of Ethanol removed and 1 liter of petrol added. If the Ethanol is worth 37 Baht per liter that one liter of petrol cost us 73 Baht.

    Not only are we getting a product we don’t want, someone is fiddling with figures and the general public is being ripped off and hoodwinked
  11. johnnysneds

    johnnysneds Ol'Timer

    Good explanation Brian and confirms my fears of the quality of fuel coming from the refineries. It makes you wonder if it's down to negligence or ignorance.
    Nothing positive from the refining side will come of this but maybe we can single out poor products from certain companies through trial and error. So far Shell V power is at the bottom of my list.
  12. johnnysneds

    johnnysneds Ol'Timer

    I think it's a bit of hit and miss Captain. I've had cars and bikes run ok on it and bikes that haven't. Gasohol will sadly be a never ending frustrating subject for some.
    I'd love to take your Carb apart and have look.

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