opal fuels and old renaults
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  1. #1
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    Default opal fuels and old renaults

    Am preparing an R12 for an outback odyssey and will be in places where the only fuel is likely to be Opal. I'm thinking this might be an issue for some of the older rubber in the fuel system

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    I replaced the rubber bits in the fuel line with some modern hose leaving the diaphragms in the fuel pump and the accelerator the only bits that are vunerable.


    Does any know:

    1. of a cheap in line pump i can use to bypass the mechanical one
    2. a workaround for the accelerator pump diaphragms

    All the best

    P
    Daily Drivers: R10, R12, R17T(?) Decouvrable

    In the Shed(s):
    R8 (1.4 motor, 4 shock rear end), Dauphine, Pugeot 404

    In the Past:
    Dauphine X2, R10 X lots, R12 X2, R16TS, R17TS

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    "Fact: Opal fuel is compatible with hoses and other
    fuel system items.
    The use of Opal fuel will not have a direct impact
    on fuel system components such as hoses. Hoses
    do deteriorate naturally through use and should be
    checked regularly as they have a finite service life."

    From the BP Brochure on Opal. Give a copy of the brochure to your legal representative before you go, if you like.....
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

  3. #3
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    Yes, read that the impact it has is on older systems is minimal. But the report goes on to give a small number of case studies where fuel diaphragms had failed. They were in older cars. Might get a new fuel pump to take as a spare.

    From: http://www.aant.com.au/Portals/0/pdf/motoring/Opal_Fuel_report.pdf

    From our discussion with industry specialists we understand fuel pump diaphragm material shrinks and becomes hard with age and when exposed to fuel. The term “compression set’ is used to describe when the maximum hardening effect has occurred. This loss of flexibility causes cracks to occur in the material.

    Some later model mechanical fuel pumps in vehicles use a more expensive synthetic material (Vitron) which is more stable than nitrile rubber and is not as sensitive to changes in aromatics. 4 Discussion with BP chemists, fuel pump material experts and a senior academic at Adelaide University confirmed that no one had seen literature that quantified the rate of compression set because it is effected by the number and range of thermal cycles the material is exposed to and its general operating conditions. Typical nitrile rubber coating on the diaphragm cloth is about 1.6 mm and exposure to low aromatic fuel will cause a small to very small physical change, in the order of 7%. The combined effect on the thickness of the diaphragm material caused by compression set and change in aromatics is not able to quantified, however BP suggested that any significant effect from the removal of aromatics should be realised in the first 6 weeks of exposure and this assessment was supported by the Adelaide academic. Both thought that any shrinkage and its effect on the sealing capability would be very minimal, if measurable at all.
    Daily Drivers: R10, R12, R17T(?) Decouvrable

    In the Shed(s):
    R8 (1.4 motor, 4 shock rear end), Dauphine, Pugeot 404

    In the Past:
    Dauphine X2, R10 X lots, R12 X2, R16TS, R17TS

  4. #4
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    the summary from that report:
    Summary of investigations

    From our initial investigations conducted during the visit to Alice Springs in March, follow up telephone conversations and subsequent discussion with industry specialists and experts the following is a summary of our investigation;

    1. we were unable to find or inspect engines that claimed to have failed using Opal.
    2. we were unable to find evidence of generator set failures that have been reported as being caused by Opal fuel.
    3. we were unable to find evidence of Opal induced motorbike failures that had been cited by some parts of the industry.
    4. there were no instances cited by repairers of vehicles <10 years having any faults attributed to Opal.
    5. 4 out of the 15 repairers visited said that they had seen an increase in fuel pump replacement for seepage and with one repairer having had 13 incidents in the preceding two weeks. Part suppliers did not experience a significant increase in fuel pump sales during the same period.
    6. of the failed fuel pumps that were inspected all appear to have failed either because of age or manufacturing related faults.
    7. the one incident of a vehicle operability problem was after investigation attributed to a dirty fuel injection system.
    8. Black discolouration reported in Opal fuel is the product of a chemical reaction in the fuel that produces hydrogen peroxide which can attack rubber and leave the black deposits and discolouration. This condition is common to all fuel and not just Opal.
    9. The work conducted on petrol station fuel dispenser pumps was not because of faults induced in the pumps by Opal but as a result of preventative work consistent with standard practice when a fuel specification is changed.

    Advice to motorists

    On the basis of discussions with industry, our observations and tests we do not believe member’s vehicles will be damaged by the use of Opal and more specifically they should be advised;
    1. Opal does not appear to pose a risk to vehicles designed for 91 RON fuel nor have we seen any examples of damage caused by using Opal.
    2. that although low aromatic fuel is known to effect the rubber material that is often used in fuel pumps and cause them to shrink we saw no evidence that this effect has caused a fault in vehicles.
    3. Opal may have a negative effect on the idle quality of some older vehicles with carburettors. However anecdotally this condition appears to have remedied with normal servicing and tuning.
    4. the additional cost of using PULP in vehicles that can operate on Opal is not warranted.

    Summary
    There appears to be no technical reason why those vehicles that can use Opal should not use Opal. The community and the motor vehicle repair industry have been very cautious in their approach to the use of Opal but from our investigations there is no good reason why this reluctance should continue, especially when the RAA Technical Department Opal fuel investigation 2007
    additional cost of using PULP is considered. We will continue to monitor the situation in Alice Springs and will encourage those with further concerns to ring the AANT Technical Advice telephone line 1300 661466. Although this is a general summary the authors are happy to discuss the detail of their investigation with others if needed. They can be contacted on 08 82024682.
    so it doesnt sound like you need be concerned. not only did they find no problems, i see there were no suggestions of internal carburettor problems to even investigate. if you want to change the pump for an electric one, just go to repco and ask for a low pressure pump. i put a FuelFlo brand one in my jeep, when the more expensive bosch one failed. you dont need any particular one; they all do the same thing really. the FuelFlo brand is manufactured in NZ, believe it or not!
    Last edited by alexander; 10th May 2011 at 10:13 PM.

  5. #5
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    I read it the other way:


    1. the R12 is >10yo
    2. The ones that failed were old.
    3. The car wasn't designed to run on 91 RON.

    I would've assumed that mine was the class of car where some issues could be expected.

    All the best

    P
    Daily Drivers: R10, R12, R17T(?) Decouvrable

    In the Shed(s):
    R8 (1.4 motor, 4 shock rear end), Dauphine, Pugeot 404

    In the Past:
    Dauphine X2, R10 X lots, R12 X2, R16TS, R17TS

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Aged nitrile and other rubber parts not being changed for the life of the car would be the biggest problem you will face. Just put new bits in correctly and you'll be fine for a long journey, even if you won't get high sniffing the fuel! Also all older Euro cars ran very happily on 100-130 octane fuel (Avgas) when we could get it without too much fiddling with timing so I can't see why your worried with 91 RON fuel.

    The link below is about aircraft engines but might explain a few things for you. Note that it is extremely important for the engine to continue functioning in an aircraft, regardless, whilst some form of failure in a car is not catastrophic!

    http://www.pprune.org/private-flying...n-engines.html
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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