Jeff Scott wrote:
> After years of running Mogas in both the O-200 in my KR, and the O-320
> in my SuperCub, I have run into a particularly nasty bunch of Mogas
> after moving to Arkansas.
Welcome to the boondocks Jeff! I used to buy my ethanol-free mogas (for
the Swift and the KR2S) at an el cheapo independent station named
something like "Fuel City". A few years ago I dropped by and filled up
six 6-gallon cans, and I noticed a very funky smell while filling them.
Later, as I was filling the Swift which has a STC for mogas, (thanks
EAA!), I noticed the same funky smell, and realized it was the fuel, not
just the side of town where I got the fuel. This was cause for a
serious crossing of the fingers, and hoping for the best, although the
smart thing to do would have been to stop pouring it in the Swift, and
take it back where I bought it for a refund!
Since I was just fueling it up for the next flight, I left it until the
following weekend when I was ready to take it for a spin. When I opened
the hangar door, the same funky smell was overpowering, and I noticed
the two fuel hoses that connected the main tanks (aluminum, thankfully)
to the center pickup "header" were dripping the foul stuff, and the
tanks were completely empty!
I don't know what was in that fuel either, but I know it wasn't "pure"
ethanol-free auto fuel! I remembered back to a local EAA chapter
presentation by Ken McCutcheon, founder of the "Aircraft Engine
Historical Society" here in Huntsville, who talked about auto fuel
rather disparagingly, and brought up the concept of "plug gas", which
describes how fuel and other chemicals are moved in pipelines, with a
"plug" separating the auto fuel from "God knows what" chemical is behind
or in front of it in the pipeline, and it's bound to get mixed together
in the process.
Since then, I've felt a lot better about pouring pure 100LL in the
Swift. I still run mogas in the KRs, but I get it from the same Raceway
that I've bought almost all of the fuel that I've run through my GTI and
my wife's A4, which has ethanol, but at least no other rubber-eating
chemicals in it!
See enclosed photo of what it did to my fuel hoses. Fortunately it was
never run with this fuel in it, so the rest of the fuel system is fine,
and has been inspected to prove it. See enclosed photo of what some
chemicals can to do high quality aircraft hose, not to mention carbs,
I will say that I have no hesitation buying the 89 octane ethanol free
fuel that Raceway sells nearby, and that's what I run in the KR2 now,
and will likely run in the Swift when it's running again in a few
months. After 30 years of buying Raceway fuel, and after seeing a guy
clean out the tanks and change the filters at the local station quite
often, I'm convinced that they take fuel delivery contamination very
Check out the enclosed photo....
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