Coleman fuel, zippo lighter gas

Discussion in 'General Engine Discussion' started by Davewild, Sep 9, 2013.

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  1. Sep 9, 2013 #1

    Davewild

    Davewild

    Davewild

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    Hi all


    I am currently in Singapore and looking for coleman fuel which I cannot find, I have done some research and found many articles that say that Ronsonol or zippo lighter fluid is the same as coleman fuel,zippo lighter fuel is available here no problem, have any of you guys used lighter fluid to run your engines, or can anyone confirm that the two are the same thing?
    Thanks in advance.

    Dave
     
  2. Sep 9, 2013 #2

    dieselpilot

    dieselpilot

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    Coleman fuel is a type of naptha. Lighter fluids are also naptha. Naptha however describes a wide range of hydrocarbons. Look at the MSDS for the flash point. if the flash point is too high, it will make the engine difficult to start. The flash point of Coleman fuel is <-18°C. Ronsonol lighter fluid is listed at 5°C and the vapor pressure is much lower. It would be worth a try. Solvent naptha would be very similar to Coleman fuel.
     
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  3. Sep 9, 2013 #3

    hacklordsniper

    hacklordsniper

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    Im interested in same thing and was thinking about it. As soon i will finish my small IC i cant play with it because of gasoline smell but if it would run on zippo lighter fuel that would be great
     
  4. Sep 9, 2013 #4

    Davewild

    Davewild

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    Thanks Dieselpilot, I will give it a try, I'm currently on a ship and really don't want the fumes of normal gasoline.

    Dave
     
  5. Sep 9, 2013 #5

    dieselpilot

    dieselpilot

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    If you haven't run the engine on a normal fuel, it will be difficult to know if starting issues are due to some problem with the engine or an unsuitable fuel. I had a problem a while back with an engine and it turned out to be problems with the fuel I had. This caused a lot of wasted time and frustration. For a fuel with low vapor pressure preheating the engine may be the only answer.

    Greg
     
  6. Sep 9, 2013 #6

    Swifty

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    Coleman fuel over here in Australia is equal to what we call shellite, it's easily available in hardware stores in the paint section. It's also used in the lightweight camping stoves used by hikers. I've used it to run my engine designed by Brian Rupnow.

    Paul.
     
  7. Sep 10, 2013 #7

    Tin Falcon

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    Zippo flud MSDS


    Coleman fuel MSDS

    I have always thought of colman fuel as a more refined form of gasoline. As we know gasoline is a chemical mixture. Lighter fluid is closer to mineral spirits paint thinner stoddards solvent.
    as you can see both mixtures have many of the same chemicals mentioned . the big difference I see is the flash point the flash point of zippo fluid is < 73 F and the flash point of coleman fuel is <0 F
    zippo fluid is 70% light hydrotreated distilate and 30% naptha

    coleman fuel is 100 % light hydrotreated distilate.

    From the few minutes of research I have done it seems they are similar chemical mixtures and contain many of the same compoents but in different proportions difeernt physical properties and therefore not the same.
    Tin
     
  8. Sep 10, 2013 #8

    Swifty

    Swifty

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    Checked the spec sheets for shellite, it's the same as Coleman fuel, 100% light hydrotreated distillate.

    Paul.
     
  9. Sep 10, 2013 #9

    Davewild

    Davewild

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    Hi all

    Thank you all again, great comments and advice, I think I will use regular pump gasoline to start with, then if it runs!!!! I can experiment with other fuels.

    Dave
     
  10. Sep 10, 2013 #10

    dieselpilot

    dieselpilot

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    I was going to suggest just that. If you try to start this engine with an unknown fuel, especially something with low vapor pressure, you might not know if it's the fuel or the engine giving you trouble. I had an enigne years ago that gave me trouble and it turned out to be a problem with the oil in the fuel I mixed, the engine ran fine on good fuel, but I wasted several days trying to get it started with bad fuel. Several years ago a few of us were trying to find a source of easily obtainable fuel for model diesel engines. I did a lot of digging into oils and fuels. I ran engines on BBQ lighter fluid and a few solvents. The substitute for kerosene was easy and could be almost any hydrocarbon. We didn't find a suitable replacement for ether, however, it's unique. I run spark ignition engines on kerosene at times and these must be preheated before they will run.

    Light hydrotreated distillate doesn't mean much. There are many CAS #'s for it. If you really want to know what a compound is tracking down the CAS# will give you more detail. For instance the light hydrotreated distillate in the Zippo fluid might be called VM&P naptha or solvent refined light naptha on another sheet. Regardless it's the same CAS as Coleman fuel. Sometimes the MSDS show odd things like this one, where even though 70% of Zippo fluid is the same as Coleman fuel the flash point is wildly different. That doesn't really make much sense.
     
  11. Sep 10, 2013 #11

    rapmoz

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    The coleman fuel (+ lubricant) was burnt by the OS 61FS that powered the first model aircraft to cross the Atlantic ocean.
    (duration: 38 hours, read more about this unique feat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spirit_of_Butts_Farm)

    However, Wikipedia makes reservations about the use of Coleman fuel in modern engines :

    ""Though Coleman fuel has an octane rating of 50 to 55 and a flammability similar to gasoline, it has none of the additives found in modern gasoline and cannot be used as a substitute for gasoline, kerosene or diesel fuel in modern engines.
    Its high combustion temperature and lack of octane boosting additives like tetraethyllead will destroy engine valve, and its low octane rating would produce knocking. However, it is quite popular as a fuel for model engines, where the low octane rating is not a problem, additives are unwanted, and the clean burning, low odor and longer shelf life are considered advantages. ""
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coleman_fuel
     
  12. Sep 10, 2013 #12

    misfitsailor

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    Octane isn't everything. I have used Coleman fuel on both 2 stroke and 4 stroke gasoline engines for large model airplanes. The RPM and temp numbers were always nearly identical to those seen with pump gasoline. The only downside is the cost. A gallon of camping fuel here in California has reached the obscene price of $10.00 US, which is nearly 3 times the price of pump gas. I now only use Coleman fuel for model engines that will be run indoors, such as at a show. For hit and miss models I add 7% WD-40.
     
  13. Sep 11, 2013 #13

    KLG

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    Coleman fuel is also expensive in Australia. I have just finished a "farmboy" hitt and miss. I started out with Shellite (it stunk and the engine got dirty inside quickly) Subsequently I have tried Menanol and Acetone.
    Acetone is the best of the lot. Almost no noticeable smell and easy starting. If you have a look on the Jerry Howell site(the engine designer)You will find some comments about fuel there. I don't believe you have mentioned the type of engine that you are trying to fuel. It can make a lot of difference. If it is a high performance motor menthanol is pretty good
     
  14. Sep 11, 2013 #14

    John Rus

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    $10, that's cheap glow fuel (as I like to call it) around here starts at $40 a gallon and goes up from there.:eek:

    Gas is around $3.60/3.70 gallon, FAR more resonable!

    John.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  15. Sep 12, 2013 #15

    Donrecardo

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    Think yourself really lucky . over here in the UK regular pump gas is about $11 a gallon
     
  16. Sep 12, 2013 #16

    gus

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    Hi Dave,

    Like you I went thru many sport shops to look for Coleman Liquid Fuel. Coleman Gas can be bought.ABC Store used to stock them but I cannot find ABC Store Location.They were at Novena Shopping Complex years back.

    No Worries. Ran my Webster Engine with regular petrol equally good.
    The current build Hit & Miss Engine will also run on regular petrol.
     
  17. Sep 12, 2013 #17

    dieselpilot

    dieselpilot

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    Too understand Coleman fuel's limitations regarding octane rating you must understand the octane requirements of engines. It would not be a good thing to put Coleman fuel into your modern vehicle, but your weedeater wouldn't notice one bit. A large bore chainsaw might be OK, but I wouldn't try. At high load you probably find detonation.

    The smaller the bore, compression ratio, and load, the less octane rating is required. I run kerosene, which is even lower than coleman fuel in octane rating, in model size spark ignition engines. It's not a problem even at full power. With high enough compression ratio I run kerosene (no ether) as a diesel, no spark or glow plug.

    Greg
     
  18. Sep 12, 2013 #18

    lohring

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    A very large number of model boat racers run Coleman fuel with oil in their modified weedeater engines. Some swear it gives more power, but our dyno tests don't show it. These engines produce around 6 hp at around 16,000 rpm. Because of their low compression cylinder design, octane rating isn't an issue.

    Lohring Miller

    Fuel Tests.jpg
     

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