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From: (John Ross)
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Thwarting thieves WAS Good design ain't easy
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 14:31:37 GMT

On Mon, 15 Jun 1998 22:14:37 +0100, Chuck Harris <>

>I would imagine it would screw up the carburettor, and possibly
>stick up the intake valves on any engine that tried to burn it.
>Me personally, I would just add some good old table sugar to
>my sacrificial gas can.... Much cheaper, readily available, and
>will total the valve train on any engine that tries to burn it.

Most filters (in-line or integral) will trap much of the sugar, as it
doesn't dissolve well in gasoline.  The filter gets clogged and the
engine fuel-starves, usually.  Was a part-owner of a motorcycle shop
and saw this firsthand several times.  Never saw any valve train
"totaled" by sugar.  You do get some funky baked-on deposits in your
combustion chambers...


From: (John Ross)
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Thwarting thieves WAS Good design ain't easy
Date: Mon, 08 Jun 1998 15:28:58 GMT

On 5 Jun 1998 06:01:43 GMT, "Don Foreman"
<> wrote:

>Maybe have an incindiary core  that would light up the neighborhood if cut
>into?  Naaahhh -- then they'd sue you for making theft an unsafe
>occupation, and the courts would uphold our civic responsibility to make
>sure that our stuff can be stolen safely.
>Defeating thieves and lawyers at the same time might  be an excellent
>challenge  for the considerable knowledge and ingenuity that exists on this

This isn't really "defeating" thieves, more like "harassing" them, but
in 1980 after someone broke the window of my pickup to steal a tape
measure that was lying on the seat, I decided to spend a few bucks on
mental satisfaction.

In Trade-A-Plane at that time, one outfit was selling 55 gallon drums
full of various surplus aircraft paints for about $60 a drum.  I
bought a drum of "clear."  Then I went to the local discount house and
bought a few dozen  cheap plastic gasoline cans they had on sale for
$1.49 each.

I poured a gallon or two of the clear lacquer into each plastic
container, then hauled all to a gas station and floated a gallon of
unleaded on top of each one.  Then I took them home and put them in my
garage.  Every time I drove the truck somewhere, I'd leave one of the
cans in the back of the bed.  Every time the can was stolen I'd
replace it with another.

Took about three months to run out of cans.  I called the place
selling the paint to order another drum, but they had sold out of
clear stuff.

I like to think it was because a lot of other people were doing the
same thing I was...


From: (Bruce Hamilton)
Newsgroups: sci.chem
Subject: Re: Sugar in Gasoline
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 13:15:11 +12

In article <>
Ole W Saastad <> writes:

>What is the solubility og sugar (nomal cane sugar) in gasoline ?

Sugar isn't soluble in gasoline to any significant extent, even
when oxygenates are present. The sugar will grab any free
water from gasoline - as the fuel cools at night, water condenses
out and runs down to the bottom of the tank, the water will
redissolve on heating, but if sugar is present, a sticky mass
will form that will block filters or fuel lines. If there is no
water ( as with oxygenated fuels - which tend to have sufficient
water tolerance to hold water in solution ), the grains of
sugar will eventually block filters, cause pumps to fail, and
block lines or accumulate in carburettor bowls. Almost every
incidence of sugar in tanks that I have encountered has resulted
in fuel starvation, not in combustion or carbureetor deposits
or gums.

>How little sugar in the gasoline will cause engine trouble ?

It depends on the design of the fuel system and the current
amount of water in the fuel system, but even a cupful can
cause expensive problems if it gets out of the tank into the
rest of the system.

        Bruce Hamilton

From: (Bruce Hamilton)
Newsgroups: sci.chem
Subject: Re: Sugar in Gasoline
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 09:22:23 GMT

"" <> wrote:
>The solubility will depend heavily on the gasoline source.  Some
>refineries produce a gasoline which is almost completely aliphatic in
>nature.  Shouldn't be much of any solubility there.

I've never yet encountered a gasoline that can dissolve sufficient
sugar to cause problems through any other reason than fuel
starvation from fuel system blockage or failure of fuel pump valves
due to insoluble sugar or sugar/water phases.

> Others produce
>gasoline with large quantities of aromatics, there you could see a
>problem.  And of course there is gasohol.  If the vandal is smart, he
>would add the sugar as a water/methanol/sugar cocktail.  Solubility will
>be maximized.

I don't believe so, sucrose solubility should be very low at normal
temperatures. The moment there is significant free water present,
the sugar/methanol/water phase should separate on the bottom. Low water
tolerance has always been a problem for low methanol/petrol blends
( eg 15% MeOH, aka M15 ), even without the presence of sugar. I expect
the sugar to separate by partition from gasoline the moment it grabs
or encounters sufficient water, and the methanol will not be able
to significantly change that. I intend to try and quantify some
aspects of sucrose solubility in modern gasolines ( with and without
oxygenates ) one weekend when I've some spare time available on a GC.

        Bruce Hamilton

From: (Bruce Hamilton)
Newsgroups: sci.chem
Subject: Re: Sugar in Gasoline
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 15:13:00 +12

In article <>
Thilo B Stern <101464.1504@CompuServe.COM> writes:

>Sorry that I did not get the original question of this, but I
>read some of the answers and the one that came to my mind
>first about sugar in petrol did not appear yet.

Use Dejanews ( ) or AltaVista to find  the
responses that you may have missed.

>The main problem with it for me seems not to be that sugar
>possibly sticks in the system so no gas can reach the engine.

Well, in my experience that is the main problem.

>The real problem is that sugar gets dissolved in the gas and then
>transported to the engine where the gas is burned and the
> dissolved sugar will be converted to caramel, just like sugar
>in a hot pan, and this will stick to and partly destroy the
>engine,especially the valves.

As I've already noted previously - sugar is virtually insoluble in
gasoline  - may be a few mg/litre if fully dissolved - which is also
unlikely to occur if ordinary table sugar is used ( small surface
area ). Solubility may be fractionally increased if oxygenated
fuels are used - I've yet to check that out.

The sugar *will* also partition into any free water that is in the tank
( as occurs during day/night temperature changes ), and the goo
will block lines. My experience has been that I have never found
evidence that sugar in vehicle fuel tanks has resulted in engine

                       Bruce Hamilton

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