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Question 5% Ethanol fuels OK?

Curious, we have 100 Octane fuel down here, which has 5% Ethanol in it.

Here's the write up (Shell Optimax EXTREME)

Do you guys reckon this fuel is safe to use in a daily driven EFI turbo?

I've heard it's not recommended for cars that only occassionally get driven, as this fuel collects water and will corrode fuel lines, but for a daily driven car, do you think it'll be OK?

I'm considering it just for the coming summer months.
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'89 911 Turbo Cab
Protomotive MAP ECU, Twin Plugged Heads, GT2-EVO CAMs, 3.3L fully finned P&C's, ARP fasteners, C2T head gaskets, Titanium Retainers, Turbo spec valves, springs & guides, 964 splash valves, GT35R BB turbo, GSF Stainless Headers, Magnaflow Exhaust, Full bay Intercooler, TiAL 46mm w/gate, TiAL 50mm BOV, Apexi AVC-R EBC, SPEC Stage3+ Clutch kit, Crane CDI Ignition
Old 11-23-2006, 06:32 PM
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Anyone got some input?
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Merv
'89 911 Turbo Cab
Protomotive MAP ECU, Twin Plugged Heads, GT2-EVO CAMs, 3.3L fully finned P&C's, ARP fasteners, C2T head gaskets, Titanium Retainers, Turbo spec valves, springs & guides, 964 splash valves, GT35R BB turbo, GSF Stainless Headers, Magnaflow Exhaust, Full bay Intercooler, TiAL 46mm w/gate, TiAL 50mm BOV, Apexi AVC-R EBC, SPEC Stage3+ Clutch kit, Crane CDI Ignition
Old 11-29-2006, 02:17 PM
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My 930 has been using a 10% ethanol blend for 8 years(13k miles) now - no problems that I know of. It sits in storage for 8 months a year and when it's go time she fires right up and runs just like it did the last year - and it's been like this for almost a decade now. I love this car.
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Old 11-29-2006, 02:41 PM
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Thanks for the reply, Tony.

I'm not sure why some people say Ethanol will corrode fuel line components... I think that was in the old days, when there was something like 20% Ethanol content, but today's 5-10% Ethanol fuels "shouldn't" be an issue

What Octane rating is your Ethanol based fuels? 94 MON? Ours is 100 RON, which I think is equivalent to your 94. Not 100% sure.
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'89 911 Turbo Cab
Protomotive MAP ECU, Twin Plugged Heads, GT2-EVO CAMs, 3.3L fully finned P&C's, ARP fasteners, C2T head gaskets, Titanium Retainers, Turbo spec valves, springs & guides, 964 splash valves, GT35R BB turbo, GSF Stainless Headers, Magnaflow Exhaust, Full bay Intercooler, TiAL 46mm w/gate, TiAL 50mm BOV, Apexi AVC-R EBC, SPEC Stage3+ Clutch kit, Crane CDI Ignition
Old 11-29-2006, 02:50 PM
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We use (RON + MON)/2 and premium is 94 octane. I don't think 10% has any appreciable effect but I've heard that E85 definitely will.

I use it because it resists detonation and burns cleaner. I just did a valve adjustment before winter storage and I was kind of shocked to see how clean the backs of the valves looked - like brand new. Even the piston tops were pretty clean - a darkbrownish oily colour instead of the blackened carbon look I was expecting to see on 120k mile pistons. Mileage takes a little hit.
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Last edited by turbocarrera; 11-29-2006 at 03:15 PM..
Old 11-29-2006, 03:11 PM
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Ah yes, that's right! America uses a PON rating (Pump Octane Number)!

Our 100 RON fuel is the equivalent of your ~95.8 PON.

I got some info and comparisons on Octane Ratings here:

http://www.btinternet.com/~madmole/Reference/RONMONPON.html
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'89 911 Turbo Cab
Protomotive MAP ECU, Twin Plugged Heads, GT2-EVO CAMs, 3.3L fully finned P&C's, ARP fasteners, C2T head gaskets, Titanium Retainers, Turbo spec valves, springs & guides, 964 splash valves, GT35R BB turbo, GSF Stainless Headers, Magnaflow Exhaust, Full bay Intercooler, TiAL 46mm w/gate, TiAL 50mm BOV, Apexi AVC-R EBC, SPEC Stage3+ Clutch kit, Crane CDI Ignition
Old 11-29-2006, 03:14 PM
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I sometimes use 10% ethanol in my 1988 930 cabrio. I drive almost on a daily basis and service the car religiously. However, my flexible fuel return line from the engine burst a short distance from my house a few months ago. Fortunately, there was no fire. I found this rupture to be very odd but I unscientifically suspect it could have something to do with the 10%? Generally, the flexible fuel lines look pretty robust. Maybe the rubber was weakened by the ethanol? Is this possible? Anyway, if your car is more than 15 years old, I would highly suggest that you replace the flexible fuel lines to avoid explosions, fires, charred 930s etc. Seriously, it could save your life.
Old 11-30-2006, 05:20 AM
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Interesting, but scarey, experiences there, Martin. It is kinda strange though. Over on the main 911 Tech Forum, guys have been running Ethanol based fuels in their cars for many years without any dramas. Perhaps your experience was just a freak event? How did the fuel line look? Was it a split, or did it look like a gradually worn groove?

Anyway, I filled her up with 100 Octane (5% Ethanol) fuel last night. No real noticable difference in power or response. Last night was quite warm, so it's typical for these cars to be a bit sluggish in warmer climates. This morning however, throttle response felt a bit crisper and boost onset felt slightly quicker. Might just be because of the lower temps outside though.

I'm sure the 100 fuel adds an extra safety margin when running higher boost levels, but for everyday driving, it's an expensive solution and I'd probably stick to the normal 98 stuff.
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'89 911 Turbo Cab
Protomotive MAP ECU, Twin Plugged Heads, GT2-EVO CAMs, 3.3L fully finned P&C's, ARP fasteners, C2T head gaskets, Titanium Retainers, Turbo spec valves, springs & guides, 964 splash valves, GT35R BB turbo, GSF Stainless Headers, Magnaflow Exhaust, Full bay Intercooler, TiAL 46mm w/gate, TiAL 50mm BOV, Apexi AVC-R EBC, SPEC Stage3+ Clutch kit, Crane CDI Ignition
Old 11-30-2006, 01:31 PM
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Hi,
The return line split, but it split near the point where it intersects with the high pressure fuel line. Thus, maybe the two lines rubbing together for almost 20 years had something to do with it splitting too. Anyway, I found it to be odd, but I rember hearing somewhere that ethanol may affect certain rubber components (i.e. flexible fuel lines?) Just an unscientific guess. Regardless of the cause, please do consider replacing your old flexible fuel lines near the engine in your 930. It can't hurt. If people routinely replace their brake lines after a few years , this one is a no brainer.
Old 12-01-2006, 11:32 AM
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I was running optimax extreme for a while and I thought the car ran better. Then I read on another forum that the V8 supercars had to stop using this fuel because it was eating too many fuel supply components. I've gone back to 98RON now and it's interesting that Shell have now rebadged optimax extreme as optimax racing.
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Old 12-05-2006, 02:43 PM
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Interesting. Is 5% going to be an issue though? The USA has had 10-15% for many years and people have used it without any issues. I guess time will only tell
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'89 911 Turbo Cab
Protomotive MAP ECU, Twin Plugged Heads, GT2-EVO CAMs, 3.3L fully finned P&C's, ARP fasteners, C2T head gaskets, Titanium Retainers, Turbo spec valves, springs & guides, 964 splash valves, GT35R BB turbo, GSF Stainless Headers, Magnaflow Exhaust, Full bay Intercooler, TiAL 46mm w/gate, TiAL 50mm BOV, Apexi AVC-R EBC, SPEC Stage3+ Clutch kit, Crane CDI Ignition
Old 12-05-2006, 03:17 PM
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Does Ethanol based fuels accelerate plug fouling?
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'89 911 Turbo Cab
Protomotive MAP ECU, Twin Plugged Heads, GT2-EVO CAMs, 3.3L fully finned P&C's, ARP fasteners, C2T head gaskets, Titanium Retainers, Turbo spec valves, springs & guides, 964 splash valves, GT35R BB turbo, GSF Stainless Headers, Magnaflow Exhaust, Full bay Intercooler, TiAL 46mm w/gate, TiAL 50mm BOV, Apexi AVC-R EBC, SPEC Stage3+ Clutch kit, Crane CDI Ignition
Old 12-14-2006, 07:27 PM
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