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Sep 29, 2008, 01:11 PM
Registered User
Discussion

Use of Colman fuel in liu of gasoline in our large engines.


How many of you have used Colman fuel as a substitute for gasoline in the larger gasoline engines? Now that it is becoming almost impossible to get gasoline without alcohol in it (which is hard on Walbro and Tiltson carbs), I am considering useing Colman. If you have or are using it, what are your results and recommendations? I have also considered Aviation gas but am told that that also now has a high alcohol content.
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Sep 29, 2008, 01:26 PM
Balsadustus Producerus
The only avgas you can get will be 100 low lead, colored a light blue and absolutely will NOT have any kind of alcohol at all. If you want to fly a light airplane with auto fuel, you can get what's called a Supplemental Type Certificate allowing this but there is currently no approval for using any fuel with alcohol. The FAA is concerned about alcohol compatibility with the fuel system components, and the fact that most alcohols are capable of absorbing moisture from the air, which may promote corrosion in that fuel system. At least, in the last thirty-seven years or so as an owner, pilot and A&P/A.I. that's how it's been.
My father says Coleman fuel is his favorite but I've used it only in old sparkers such as my Super Cyclone, Bantam and O&R stuff.
Sep 29, 2008, 03:58 PM
Registered User
Wayne V's Avatar
Walbro carbs can handle alcohol, i've been running a weedeater 21cc on a 1/3 glow fuel and 2/3 gasoline mixture and have seen no ill affects on my walbro carb with the alcohol, there's lots of guys running this same setup on RCU and i haven't heard a complaint about the walbro, now Zama's on the other hand do not like the alcohol.
Sep 29, 2008, 09:36 PM
Two left thumbs
I've spent the last thirteen years servicing chain saws, string trimmers, etc, so I have seen what's happened as alcohol has found its way into automobile fuel. The natural rubber hoses of days gone by literally melt in the presence of ethanol, the most common alcohol in fuel. The synthetic rubber fuel regulator and pump diaphragms become stiff prematurely, so I would strongly recommend replacing the diaphragms and fuel filter at the beginning of each flying season. They're dirt cheap, and can be found on-line if not at your local garden equipment store.

As was mentioned above, alcohol absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, and when it does, it can cause fuel separation. You can end up with all the gasoline at the top of the tank - along with the oil - and water/alcohol at the bottom. So, only use FRESH, known to be clean fuel, and either keep the tank full or empty, not halfway full after a flying session. 10% alcohol is OK to use if the above is followed. If not, well, it's your engine!

The above applies to all cube carburetors, whether Tillotson, Walbro, or Zama.

Geoff
Oct 01, 2008, 11:16 AM
Registered User
My reason for starting this thread is that, since alcohol has appeared in my fuel, I have had two Walbro carbs on different engines foul up. I have now purchased a gallon of Colman and will try it out. After a suitable trial period, I'll try to remember this thread and add any results from my attempts.
Oct 01, 2008, 02:06 PM
Registered User
pilotpete2's Avatar
Rodney,
How much is the Coleman fuel going for these days? Hopefully less than glow fuel
Pete
Oct 01, 2008, 03:41 PM
AMA 910957
EJWash1's Avatar
Coleman fuel is $11.47 a gallon at Wal Mart.

I just checked a can of Coleman fuel. No listing of ingredients (I thought all poison had to list contents). So, what's in Coleman fuel?

How difficult is it to get aviation fuel? Are there restrictions as far as vendors pumping say, five gallons into a gas can? Are there restrictions associated with the can/dispenser? I've heard of folks filling their cars with 100LL aviation gas.

Hate to get technical (anal) here, but we are talking about the FAA...

EJWash
Oct 01, 2008, 03:58 PM
ONEHANDRC
gallfer's Avatar
Aviation fuel vendors are not legal to sell fuel for other than aircraft use. There is a different motor fuel tax setup for aircraft. You may find one that will sell to you but they risk the ire of the tax man.
Oct 01, 2008, 04:08 PM
AMA 910957
EJWash1's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gallfer
Aviation fuel vendors are not legal to sell fuel for other than aircraft use. There is a different motor fuel tax setup for aircraft. You may find one that will sell to you but they risk the ire of the tax man.
So, do you taxi your model up to the fuel pit of the local airport? So what you're saying is when the vendor pumps aviation gasoline, the nozzle cannot go into anything other than an aircraft fuel tank receptor?

EJWash
Oct 01, 2008, 04:55 PM
ONEHANDRC
gallfer's Avatar
Legally, yes. The tax on aviation fuels does not fund 'roads'. It goes into the aviation trust fund largely for airport improvements and to show something on the plus side for the government ledger. Not even sure if the pump nozzle will fit a car. Aviation fuel has it's own distribution system as well. Av fuel still has lead in it which would 'foul' the auto fuel delivery system. Gino
Oct 01, 2008, 05:51 PM
OCD: Old, Cranky and Disgusted
challenger_i's Avatar
Ok, here's a bit of info: Coleman fuel is gasoline with no lead added, or "White Gas" , of days gone by (Red Gas was leaded gasoline). Its perfectly ok to use Coleman fuel in your gasser. The compression isn't high enough to need the lead.

Av Gas has only three ingredients: gasoline, lead (and a LOT of it, contrary to the "Low Lead" label), and blue dye. At between $5 to $6.50 a gallon, its still a cheaper alternative to glow fuel, and Coleman.

You can buy an alcohol test kit, for testing auto fuel, from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty, and from Wick's Aircraft. As has been stated, alcohol in auto fuel for aircraft use is a large concern, so, those of us that use auto fule in our birds have to check our gas.

Hope this helps.
Oct 01, 2008, 05:54 PM
OCD: Old, Cranky and Disgusted
challenger_i's Avatar
The only 2 things avgas will affect in a modern auto is the oxygen sensor, and the catalytic converter. The lead coats the O2 sensor, rendering it unusable. Also, it clogs the converter.
Oct 01, 2008, 08:10 PM
AMA 910957
EJWash1's Avatar
challenger_i,

Thanks for the info. Informative. So, is av gas off the table for R/C use based simply getting your hands on it? If I owned a full-sized airplane, I could just drain off what I needed for R/C use. Makes no sense. But then again, "Gov'ment"...

gallfer, the car was an older Jaguar X series, and I saw the guy at an airport fuel pit with me own peepers (10+ years ago).

So, has anyone walked up to an av gas fuel vendor with a container and said, "fill 'er up"?

EJWash
Oct 01, 2008, 08:58 PM
Registered User
ndb8fxe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EJWash1
challenger_i,

Thanks for the info. Informative. So, is av gas off the table for R/C use based simply getting your hands on it? If I owned a full-sized airplane, I could just drain off what I needed for R/C use. Makes no sense. But then again, "Gov'ment"...

gallfer, the car was an older Jaguar X series, and I saw the guy at an airport fuel pit with me own peepers (10+ years ago).

So, has anyone walked up to an av gas fuel vendor with a container and said, "fill 'er up"?

EJWash
Don't rule out being able to get 100LL. The rule is that it is not for highway use so using it in a model aircraft doesn't mean you are breaking any tax laws.

As a previous line service tech. I have never seen someone that walked up with a 5gal. container denied fuel.

Go to your local airport and try. What do you have to loose? What do you think the turbine guys do?
Oct 02, 2008, 09:25 AM
Registered User
pilotpete2's Avatar
That's exactly what I'm gonna do today. Our local airport is state owned, so the FBO should have the straight scoop
Pete


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