Fuel Additives? Do You?

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RobCar

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Just wondering if any of you guys are using any of these additives to combat the ethanol problem. If so, Which one and do you add it to your max at every fill up. I want to start using it this year but not sure which one would be the best for the vmax. Thanks
 

maleko89

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Seafoam works okay for Ethanol...BG Supercharge is good too.
 

richwrench

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I just started using Star Tron Enzyme this week. I don't notice any difference, but it's only been a couple of days. I just bought an alcohol tester & I plan on testing several additives this summer. The advertisements sound great, but I want to test them myself.
 

naughtyG

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Quite a few are using SeaFoam, but it's more a cleaner / fuel stabilizer than everyday additive.

I don't believe Max needs any additives at all, unless it's spending a lot of time sitting.
 

mr.maxx

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my bike sits a lot early in the season. i have been usin blue marine formula stabil since last summer with great results. every other fill up i put an ounce or 2 in it. runs GREAT!!
 

nd4topspd

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my bike is stored inside all year round but I put seafoam in couple tank fulls at the first of the season then again at the end. Always starts right up where I left off :)
 

4gasem

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I've been a seafoam user for years. It ALWAYS clears up what ever is causing my ethanol issue. I believe after the research I and others here have done that it's water in the fuel but I'm not 100% sure of that. Do a search on ethanol and take a look at the thread on it.

I ordered some startron on Amazon. I think it was 27 bucks and it treats 512 gallons or something I think.

I plan to start using it when I can't find regular gas. We still have BP's here that have reg. 87 but when traveling it's getting harder and harder...

Chris
 

RaWarrior

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My Max has never run on anything but the 10% that's mandated in NY. Nearly every gas engine, including the Max plant is designed to run on up to 10% alcohol, so there's no need to get paranoid and start dumping snake oil into every tank. I ran a tank of 100% gas once and didn't notice any appreciable difference, other than the fill up cost me an extra $2.

Ethanol causes problems in two cases:
-Moist environments
-Long term storage.

The main difference with alcohol blended gas is that it is hydrophillic, it absorbs water and keeps it in suspension. Which is actually good, for a while(same idea as "dry-gas" additives). Once the alcohols become saturated with water, it precipitates out....aka "phase separation". Then you end up with a layer of water at the bottom of the tank. Pure gas will hold no water at all. Same reason why hard liquors will often burn.....the alcohols bond to and surround the water, effectively making water flammable.

Any additive that claims to prevent phase separation is just more alcohol, likely in higher concentration, so the fuel will "hold" more water before it separates out. That's just high school chemistry, nothing complicated.

Boats are the big victims of ethanol gas, since they often sit for extended times between uses and are obviously in a moist environment. If your Vmax sits around long enough to become saturated with water, you need to ride it more often. Mine sat all winter with E10 in the tank and fired right up in the spring. No seafoam, no additives, it ran fine. Once summer gets going, a tank of gas rarely lasts more than a day in my Max, so there's really no reason for concern.

I've used seafoam in old motors that may not have run for a while (years) and have had some good results, but I'm certainly not going to carry a can around and add it every time I fill up. If you're really concerned about phase separation, do the old snowmobiler's trick: carry around a bottle of isopropyl alcohol (aka rubbing alcohol) and add an ounce or so to the tank. It will absorb any water. You typically can get a pint at drugstores for less than a dollar, so it's about 8x less expensive than sea-foam.
 

KJShover

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I only use seafoam at the beginning of the season, for storage its a toss up between stabil or seafoam. It depends on whats on the shelf in my garage.

I've had issues with both seafoam and stabil in my two strokes (leaf blower and grass trimmer) so I just drain them completely now when I store them.

Winter time I use the red bottle of heat every other fill-up (fill ups are done about half tank, you don't want to be out and run out of gas in the cold) in the trucks that go from a toasty garage to out in the -55 deg temps. Had no issue there.

Thats the extent of add-on chems in my vehicles.
 

4gasem

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Common sense is great but I'm running on fact with my engine... Iowa believe it or not is VERY humid in the summer. EVERY TIME (not once in a blue moon) I run E10 my bike, it runs like poop. Not revving, back firing, popping, banging... Just runs like crap! Put some seafoam (dries the fuel) and within several miles it's back to normal. Will Isopropyl work? I'm sure... It's basically what Heet is.

I'm going to start using the StarTron because my life doesn't revolve around riding my M/C's. I have a lot of other things going on so my bikes can sit for 2-4 weeks or more. Now that my wife is prego I don't know how this summer will play out.

I know I have always had issues putting alcohol in my bikes as it's caustic to parts so I bought the "snake oil" as you call it and will use it when storing.

27 dollars treats 512 gallons so it's not like it's going to cost me an arm and a leg to do this and if it keeps the issues I've had at bay then I'll be a happy camper.

Oh and I got my StarTron last night. 1oz treats 16 gallons...
 

mike7488

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it's strange how different bikes in different parts of the country react to E10. I have run this in everything I have owned on and off, including all my bikes since the late 80's, (known then as gasahol) and never noticed any difference. I too live where we see very high temps and humidity in the summer (kansas) and have never noticed a difference between E10 and regular unleaded. I wonder what it is that causes different scenarios between different bikes? I can store my bike for an few months, hit the key and never miss a beat....no snake oil, no addatives....nothing?? Seems weird to me. I do run B-10 every few tanks to keep things clean, but other than that??

-Mike
 

4gasem

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I don't know... I know it's not in my head though... My buddy and I steer clear of E10 and we're fine... I know... Odd... I wish it wasn't true.

Oh and the startron will cost me 5 cents per gallon to use.

Chris
 

jfeagins

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EVERY TIME (not once in a blue moon) I run E10 my bike, it runs like poop. Not revving, back firing, popping, banging... Just runs like crap! ..

DITTO!

Xactly the same thing here in MO., and back when I lived in KS. Back then, when "gasohol" first got mixed in at the pumps - it had ZERO warning it was happening.

Back then, in the early 80's, I had issues with idle and off-idle on not only my XS1100, but also my Datsun B210, 350 Chevy truck, AND my V6 Chevy boat carbs. ALL had serious "off-idle" complications. ALL WERE FINALLY TRACKED BACK TO MY LOCAL QUICKTRIP having added the gasohol to their pumps without labeling it as such. By 1985 and the arrival of my Vmax, I had learned which stations to avoid.

The fuel injection systems on the Runes and Caddy in my garage don't seem to care one bit one way or another, but I suspect there's at least a small mileage difference when using alcoholic gas.

My Vmax hates the shiite. To compensate, I think I'm about (5)five, count them, five full turns out on the air/fuel mix screws in order to get the thing to come away from idle with some degree of respect. I still experience some warm up issues. This is the only way I can enjoy riding it on the short trip to/from work, as it doesn't have enough time to completely warm up and get over the alcohol blues.

I highly suspect some of the stations here have an alcohol content exceeding 10%.

If Mother Yamaha had intended Vmaxes to run on corn squeezins, they would have incorporated a means for them to stop in the pasture and graze directly.

Again, to sum it up: I HATE THE SHIITE!
 

Thevmaxrider

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Run a bit of Seafoam every few tanks just to keep her clean. Have found that Toxic just doesn't care what fuel I put in it, it just wants more constantly :rofl_200:
 

RaWarrior

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The only stations I actively avoid are Stewart's c-stores around here, it's a NY based chain and they're absolutely everywhere around here. Probably 75% of the time I fill up there, the bike runs like ass.

I've heard(haven't found any proof), that Stewart's buys "leftover" and bottom-of-the-tank gas from suppliers to try and save money, and that the quality there is generally pretty bad. I've got no proof, but I know I'm not the only one who shares this opinion, and it's happened way too many times to be a coincidence.

When possible, I try to fill up a larger, name brand stations since they likely turn over gas faster, and the fuel you get is more likely to be fresh. Some of the big 10+ pump stations often get fuel shipments every day, often selling over 10k gallons a day.

Unfortunately, I don't thing E10 is going away anytime soon. The cacks in Washington who all jumped on the big ethanol craze a couple years ago signed in all these bills to heavily subsidize corn for fuel production, and now if they backed out all the farmers would be pissed. And of course politicians never admit they made a poor decision based on junk science and short-term views. E85 is still hardly widespread, and around me only a 10-20 cents cheaper than gas from all the gov't subsidies, since it's actually more expensive to refine and produce.

Next time you go to a E10 station, take a small sample into a clear jar or bottle. Let it sit for a bit. Does a layer of water materialize at the bottom? If so, the fuel in the station's tanks is already "phase separated". If not, adding more alcohols(heet) isn't going to "dry" the fuel at all.

Looking at the MSDS for seafoam, it's made of three ingredients. About half pale oil as a base, 30% naphtha (aka mineral spirits/paint thinner), and a splash of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. You could make this stuff yourself.

Another rumor is that big-name chain gas stations only put ethanol in the "regular" gas, while midgrade and "premium" gas are pure gas. I know this one's crap, since the laws that require E10 say it has to be in all grades sold, so spending extra for premium won't help either.

I've never noticed an appreciable difference between pure gas and E10 in anything I have. Snowmobile, boat, jetski, quad, motorcycle. They're all rated for up to 10%. Maybe I'm lucky.
 

BrianK

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I also tried seafoam in my 85' Vmax and it appeared to help a bit, but at the cost of needing to add it every tank-full and it doesn't have any cleaning or maintenance value to it.

After reading an article about "fuel additives" in one of last years Vboost magazines, in which the author highly recommended BG's Supercharge II (BG #202), so I called BG Products to check it out.

After consulting with the local tech rep at BG Products Houston, they recommended these two fuel additives for the Vmax:

BG 202 (must add every tank-full)

or

BG #203 (add every 3500 miles) (same series, at a higher concentration)


I've been using the BG #203 for over 1 1/2 years now, in both 85' and my 2000' Vmax and I've got to tell you it has been very beneficial to both me and the Max. For well over a year now, i've not had to tear into the carbs at all, nor had any clogging issues that required the infamous "pea shooter" carb cleaning.

BG Products CF5 #203 gets my "wallet vote" :clapping:

PS; I was able to buy direct from our local BG Products office here in Houston. The 203 was only $7.00 for an 11oz. can. You can also get a graduated bottle too.

Good luck,

BrianK-5125
Houston
 

richwrench

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I've been testing alcohol levels at different gas stations in the area & I'm pleasantly surprised to find they are all running between 6% and 8%. I figured some of the cheaper stations must be adding more alcohol, but that's not what I've found. I suppose if one area is around 5% or less and another area is about 10% or more, that could explain why some of us are having issues & others are not. I don't know how closely the mixture is monitored by the govt, but it's pretty consistent around here anyway. I agree with RaWarrior that modern engines should run fine on E10, but I don't consider my '96 to be all that modern. In 14 years, technology & fuel blends have changed quite a bit, & a '96 is really little more advanced that an '85. A lot of small engines in my shop have suffered recently - I take the carbs apart & the plastic pieces are disintegrating. Could be either E10 or cheap plastic I guess. And I'm not bashing Seafoam - lots of guys love it - but I just can't see combating alcohol with more alcohol. I'm going to stick with StarTron for now & maybe play around with Marine Stabil later this summer.
 
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