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E10 fuel in a 550

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by Bluebottle, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    The UK is introducing E10 petrol shortly and very soon it will become the standard Regular Unleaded petrol sold in most garages.

    I presently use Regular Unleaded (95 octane, E5 spec.) in my 550, as per the instruction manual. Will I still be able to run on this once in becomes E10 spec., or will I have to use Super Unleaded, in order to avoid the higher ethanol content of E10 fuel causing damage, even though a 550 engine does not need the higher octane rating (97-100) of this fuel?
     
  2. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    US cars have been running E10 for many years and the deterioration of the submerged rubber parts in the fuel tank we believe is directly related to it. For what it is worth it seems the issue is primarily in cars that spend long periods sitting and the alcohol settles out concentrating itself in the bottom where the rubber is. As far as running since your car is in a little different state of tune our experience may not mirror yours but it runs fine in ours.
     
  3. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
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    Here is some actual information about phase separation in E10.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    Thankyou for your contributions, Gentlemen - very interesting.
     
  5. Themaven

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    John, why wouldn't you use super unleaded in your 550?
     
  6. Bluebottle

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    Because it isn't necessary to use high octane petrol. The handbook specifies 95 octane fuel, i.e. regular unleaded.
     
  7. Bluebottle

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    Darius, do you use Super Unleaded in your 575?

    I use it in my Dino and my E-type, but they were brought up on 5* fuel, so they need it.
     
  8. timeckart

    timeckart Formula Junior

    Apr 9, 2015
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    I allways use for my 550 and 512tr Shell V-Power Racing 100 and I'm very stingy. Fix everything yourself. V-Power keeps my engine and injectors clean. At the start of the season I also use a fuel system cleaner. If not all of the injectors are clean, you will quickly have an engine failure. Especially with cars that are not used every day, the problem is much bigger. E10 I would not even expect my Rolls Royce Silver Spur II. It is poison to any older engine. Tim from Germany
     
  9. hwyman

    hwyman Karting

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    I use only premium fuel with 0 ethanol in ALL my cars, here in Canada that's Shell and Imperial. To save a couple $'s on a tank why kill all your rubber components and have moisture in your fuel system? Its like dropping a 20 to pick up a dollar
     
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  10. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Many places in the world do not have that option.
     
  11. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    Indeed. As far as I can tell, all grades of unleaded on sale in the UK are E5, i.e. up to 5% ethanol. It makes no sense, therefore, to buy super unleaded - all I would be doing is paying extra for a higher octane fuel than my car is designed to use. Same goes for my 964 and my Bentley.

    If regular unleaded becomes E10, but super unleaded remains E5, then I would have no hesitation in using super unleaded, but it is not clear that it will not also become E10.

    I do use super unleaded in my Dino and my E-type, but that is because they were designed to run on 5* fuel as it was called then - 98/100 0ctane fuel - and they both object if I don't (especially the E-type).
     
  12. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Once you have a farm lobby as powerful as ours you will be turning more food into fuel so the big corn producers no longer need to worry about market prices for their product.

    It sure isn't doing anything positive for the environment.
     
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  13. GTS Bruce

    GTS Bruce Pisses in your Cheerios

    Oct 10, 2012
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    In ETOH discussions with a greenie point out that it takes more energy to produce a gallon of ETOH than a gallon contains. Also the corn could be put to better use feeding starving children.
     
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  14. johnk...

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  15. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Which is only being grown in that quantity because of government mandates driven by lobbying to be used in fuel. Agricultural land that could just as easily be used for more useful crops.

    And the studies of the efficiency of net energy from corn are far from being in agreement.
     
  16. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
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    I'll bite:

     
  17. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Bite all you like. I have no need to prove anything to anyone but it is never a bad idea to study more sources than those that support your perspective. But then, I am open minded. I understand many are not.
     
  18. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
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    No disagreement there.
     
  19. Themaven

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    Yes I only use Shell V Power which I understand is the equivalent of 98 Octane. I haven't tried alternatives in any of my Ferraris. Working on the presumption that only the best will do. Certainly noticed the difference between this and 95 in my lesser performance cars so I have assumed this is the way to go.

    I would be interested to know, though, if this is just a myth and we can all use 95. Does anyone know? I know European measures are different to US ones.

    I am worried about the introduction of more bio ethanol to our fuel. I don't imagine it's good for our engines.

    Here's a suitably confusing article on the subject.

    https://www.economist.com/babbage/2012/09/17/difference-engine-who-needs-premium
     
  20. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Since not familiar with the European models I'd suggest reading the manual and going with Ferraris suggestion. A few pages in it will tell you.
     
  21. Bluebottle

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  22. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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  23. Themaven

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    I have one of those books. Thank you. The question to answer, which others have also mooted, said whether there is any benefit in using an octane rating higher than the one stated in the book (95 in Europe). Nobody here seems to know.

    It would either require a side by side rolling road test, or an engineer who knows about the detonation process with regard to this specific engine..or a fuel engineer, as maybe there are detergent benefits. As the OP pointed out,fuels are changing and have changed since the book was put together nearly 20 years ago.

    It may be like tyre technology: Informed owners are not using the tyres specified in the book anymore.
     
  24. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    #24 Rifledriver, Mar 13, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
    To the best of my knowledge the method for measuring octane has not changed in those years, so that question on its own should be no.
    What does enter into the picture is alcohol. None would be best. A little is better than a lot. I have no idea how well regulated fuel is in the UK but over here, despite all the inspection stickers on the pumps and all the money paid various government regulating agencies and their various inspectors the alcohol content and fuel quality is very poorly maintained within claimed and posted specifications. I have heard of actual alcohol content as high as 20% by actual measurement when it is posted and regulated at 10%. Who knows the actual variance in octane? The advice I give is to buy name brand gas from a major company at a large high traffic station of the recommended grade and hope for the best. Most of the time that works.

    Our very best pump gas is just good enough for those cars on a day we are getting gas that is factually represented. The possibility of buying gas at the pump that is better than a high performance car needs is something I would have to go back to the 60's or possibly the early 70s for so it hasn't been a consideration in the USA for a very long time.
     
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  25. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    I recall a conversation about this on a Porsche forum some years ago and I believe that the received wisdom was that using fuel of a higher octane than that for which your car is designed will give no increase in performance or other benefit, unless the car has been reprogrammed to take advantage of the higher octane.

    There may be other benefits from using a higher grade of fuel - e.g. ethanol content - but the higher octane rating on its own is of no benefit in a standard spec. engine, so just a waste of money.

    Having read various articles since starting this thread, I am none the wiser, but two quotes from an article published by the RAC stand out for me:
    1. "Since 2011, all new cars sold in the UK have been E10 compatible but despite this the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) estimate around 8% of the UK’s petrol cars remain incompatible with the fuel." This seems to imply that our cars (and any others made before 2011) should not be run on E10 fuel, if we can possibly avoid it (unless, of course, the SMMT is just trying to scare people into buying new cars - perish the thought!).
    2. "Because of the higher octane number of ethanol it is useful as a blend component to achieve the higher research octane number of 97/98 without using high cost mineral blend components.This is why we initially saw E5 in the `super’ products and not the 95 RON premium gasolines." This seems to imply that, since E10 means "up to" 10%, Superunleaded (97/98 RON) may actually more likely to contain a higher proportion of ethanol than Premium (95 RON), i.e. maybe Superunleaded will actually be worse than Premium (as far as ethanol content is concerned).
    I had not noticed (but shall look closely next time I fill up) that the "E number" is apparently marked on the pump, so we should at least be able to see what we are putting in our tanks, even if we don't have any choice!
     
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