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Thread: IO 346 A and Autogas STC

  1. #1

    IO 346 A and Autogas STC

    A group of us are considering a Musketeer with the IO 346 A engine.
    Two questions:
    I've read nearly all the discussions, both here and BAC about the IO
    346 A and issues concerning a bird with this engine. Are there any
    new thoughts or experiences that anyone would share?

    With the cost differences of fuel, several in our group are strongly
    leaning toward a plane with the Autogas STC. I understand the issues
    with the Musketeer, but wonder if any of the testing was done with the
    fuel injected Musketeers and what difference fuel injection has versus
    carbureted in making it all work?

    I'm relatively new to this group and BAC, but find both very
    informative and helpful. Keep up the good work,

    Hoping to be a partner in a Musketeer soon,
    Roger

  2. #2

    IO 346 A and Autogas STC

    The basic plumbing to the firewall is the same on all the early production
    (pre-Sport) Musketeers. I don't think it matters FI vs Carb for the
    problems that were (allegedly) encountered during testing by EAA and
    Petersen Aviation. The Musketeer series was supposedly unable to pass the
    hot fuel climb test without having vapor lock problems.

    With the current EPA initiatives that are being pushed out, one should not
    PLAN on using auto fuel in any aircraft long term. Many of us are already
    unable to buy non-oxygenated fuel, and the rest of the nation is slated to
    go that route.

    If the single deciding factor in the purchase is auto fuel or no auto fuel,
    then in just a couple years, that will be a non-issue anyway. The mandate
    as already come out that Ethanol is to be added in at least 10% mixture
    with ALL auto fuels.

    You might be surprised to find that you are already buying "Gasohol" right
    now. Take this simple test. Find a Mason canning jar under your wife's
    sink. Mark a line at about one third full with a magic marker, and then
    fill with tap water to that line. Put the lid on it and drive to the gas
    station of choice. Remove lid and fill to a level about two thirds full
    with gas. Seal lid, and shake vigorously until the water and gas are well
    mixed into a froth. Let it stand for a couple minutes until it is
    separated into water and gas again, and on a level surface, sight across
    the water-gas separation line, and compare with your previous mark.

    If you have more "water" than before, your gas contains alcohol, which was
    just pulled into the water. You can also try this with a graduated
    cylinder, and by using the marks on the side, you can approximate the % of
    alcohol.

    In any case, testing the stations your prospective partners are planning on
    hauling from will quickly show if you can use the gas today, and perhaps
    swing the balance back into Musketeer ownership, when they see that you
    already have fuel that is illegal to use in their choice of Cessna, Piper,
    or Grumman!

    I've got hundreds of hours powered by auto fuel since 1986, but those days
    are coming to an end. All the local stations I have tested have alcohol in
    the fuel, even those that don't SAY they do. I live in a major
    metropolitan area, and we have had to have "reformulated" gas for several
    years. Until 2 years ago, some of the outlying stations, especially those
    just over the county line, had alcohol free auto gas.

    Your situation may vary, but we are ALL headed toward "contaminated" fuel,
    in an effort to clean up the emissions from the clunkers that haven't been
    tuned.

    Bob Steward, A&P IA
    Birmingham, AL

  3. #3

    IO 346 A and Autogas STC

    Be careful when using Autogas in aircraft. I've talked to several that had
    the Autogas go bad in the tank when the plane sits for a while. When that
    happens, you're talking some $ to clean the entire fuel system. A Grumman
    and a Chief had real issues. Luckily they found it during pre-flight. When
    checking the tank level the odor was very noticible. On a windy day, you
    may not notice it ! It appears the additives in AV GAS make it last many
    times longer.
    Dr Bill

  4. #4
    I'm a little leary of the autogas as well given the amount of alchohol and the rapidly changing auto gas additive packages.

    In some states businesses can sell "pure" mogas for "non-automotive" or "agricultural" uses, there's a place here in the Cities (Rockford Road), but these are far and few between.

    (If you use one of these tell them the gas is for your tractor, in many states the exemption is specific to agricultural uses).

    Even in the states with exemptions availability may be an issue, below a certain threshold and there's not enough demand to justify the refineries

    I also think the savings are questionable. The "Ag" MoGas here is going for $0.25-$0.50 a gallon more than cheapo regular unleaded, which drops the per-gallon delta even more.

    I really wouldn't make this a primary decision point...

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