Scootering - - Kickstart -

Mark at Bed­lam Scoot­ers con­tacted us ear­lier in the year re­gard­ing the is­sue of ethanol in petrol. Be­ing in­volved with other prod­ucts that use two-stroke en­gines means he some­times comes across prod­ucts that scooter­ists may not, and this is one of them.

Many read­ers may be fa­mil­iar with the detri­men­tal and cor­ro­sive ef­fects of ethanol (ethyl al­co­hol), cur­rently be­ing added to petrol (at a ra­tio of up to 5% in the UK, but this is likely to be in­creased to 10% in the near fu­ture), can have on syn­thetic rub­ber and plas­tic parts such as pipes and oil seals.

Mark says how­ever that, “ethanol does not al­ways mix well with oil and there­fore a pro­por­tion of the fuel used in a two-stroke en­gine will not con­tain oil and this can cause over­heat­ing. In the United States petrol al­ready con­tains 10% ethanol and this is caus­ing prob­lems es­pe­cially in small 2T en­gines”.

A com­pany called B3C has cre­ated an ad­di­tive to com­bat this. He con­tin­ues, “There have been ad­di­tives avail­able for some time which en­hance the keep­ing qual­i­ties of un­leaded petrol, which de­te­ri­o­rates quickly, and can be­come non-com­bustible if stored for more than three months. How­ever this new ad­di­tive not only en­hances the life of the fuel but also al­lows oil to mix with the ethanol and com­bats its cor­ro­sive ef­fects on syn­thetic rub­ber and plas­tic parts.

“Tests in the US have shown that when this ad­di­tive is mixed with fuel con­tain­ing 10% ethanol on two-stroke en­gines the en­gine will run about 10% cooler. There is now a Euro­pean im­porter of B3C prod­ucts based in the UK and while their prin­ci­pal tar­gets will be gar­den ma­chin­ery re­tail­ers the prod­uct is also ap­proved for au­to­mo­tive use. Scooter­ists should not be con­cerned by the fact that this prod­uct is aimed at the gar­den ma­chin­ery mar­ket. The en­gines on most mod­ern two-stroke gar­den ma­chin­ery such as chain­saws, brush­cut­ters etc. have alu­minium cylin­ders with chrome plated bores and run at higher speeds (7000-12000rpm) than most scoot­ers.”

The im­porters are now ap­point­ing deal­ers across the coun­try who will sell a range of ad­di­tives and will also have prod­ucts to test the qual­ity (e.g. age) of the petrol in a ma­chine, test the amount of al­co­hol in the fuel, the amount of wa­ter in fuel (ethanol is hy­gro­scopic and at­tracts and re­tains wa­ter), and the amount of oil in fuel. One dealer is Mowa­ma­nia Gar­den Ma­chin­ery at Bed­lam Scoot­ers in Bed­ford.

The two prod­ucts here are B3C Ethanol Shield which is added to the fuel and ap­par­ently sta­bilises it, re­moves any wa­ter in the fuel, con­tains rub­ber and plas­tic con­di­tion­ers, and al­lows the 2T oil to mix with the ethanol. Sold in 118ml (£6.50 and treats up to 150 litres of fuel) or 236ml bot­tles (£9 and treats 300 litres of fuel) it should be mixed with petrol at a ra­tio of 4ml per five litres of fuel (note Ethanol Shield does not re­place 2T oil).

There is also B3C Ethanol Shield 2-Stroke Oil which is a high qual­ity, semi-syn­thetic two-stroke oil con­tain­ing the ad­di­tive suit­able for use in pre-mix scoot­ers (at your usual ra­tio up to 50:1) at £12.50 per litre.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion go to www. b3c­ or con­tact Bed­lam Scoot­ers on 01234 327555.

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