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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Brandenburg, Kentucky
    Posts
    698

    Default Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    Recently bought a rebuilt carburetor off ebay for my GS400. The seller seemed knowledgeable and the carb looked really nice in the pictures. The price was fair and I've been waiting the last 10 days for the carb to arrive.

    When I unpacked it today, I discovered that the seller had packed it in a very unfortunate way. The bottom of the box had strips of foam rubber with the carb placed on top (so far, so good) but in an attempt to stabilize the top of the carb, a large flat piece of styrofoam was placed directly over the bare, open top of the carb. The box was then taped up and shipped.

    The first thing I noticed when I opened the box were all the hundreds of small pieces of styrofoam that had been rubbed off the larger piece during shipping. Inevitably, many of these found their way into the carb itself. Ended up disassembling the entire top half of the carb and found styrofoam bits in the main fuel bowl, secondary wells, and within one of the jets. To make matters worse, one of the metering rods is bent.

    The carb supposedly has a warranty and I've contacted the seller. If the styrofoam hadn't fallen into the carb though I may never have known the metering rod was bent. I bet that thing would've run like a real POS and I probably would've been looking everywhere but the carb, seeing as how it had just been rebuilt. We'll see if the seller will give me a partial refund but I guess in the end it amounts to caveat emptor. Probably not worth getting worked up over in the grand scheme of things.
    Mike W

    1969 Stage 1 Antique Gold
    1973 Stage 1 Sun Coupe 4 Speed
    1968 GS 350
    1970 Monte Carlo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Marion, Indiana
    Posts
    620

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    Yes Styrofoam does dissolve in gasoline. That's how homemade napalm is made, by dissolving a large amount of Styrofoam in gas, and it leads to an extremely flammable substance. Hope all goes well and you get a working carb!
    Matt

    Youtube Channel- http://www.youtube.com/user/matthewt2010

    1972 Skylark Hardtop- 350 4bbl Completely Stock

    Rebuild begins soon!

    1994 Jeep Cherokee (Daily Driver)

    "I'd rather handle like a boat than take off like a Honda!"


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lawrenceburg, Tn.
    Posts
    7,041

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    Mike ,,, Yes, gasoline is definitly a solvent for styrofoam,,,, one of my favorite tricks was to tell a helper at the shop to go out back and pour a little gas into a styrofoam cup and not spill any of it.....
    Doc "Widely unknown"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    449

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    Carb cleaners like Gumout will also dissolve styrofoam. Made that mistake once. I sprayed Gumout on a carburetor then sat it down on a sheet of styrofoam and went in the house. Came back later and found the styrofoam gone and the carb setting in white goo.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    NW Florida, originally from Southern Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,695

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    Quote Originally Posted by doc View Post
    Mike ,,, Yes, gasoline is definitly a solvent for styrofoam,,,, one of my favorite tricks was to tell a helper at the shop to go out back and pour a little gas into a styrofoam cup and not spill any of it.....

    Bill

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Brandenburg, Kentucky
    Posts
    698

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    It's good to know that the styrofoam probably won't hurt anything ... unless it obstructs an air passage I suppose. I still have the bent metering rod to contend with but I have several spares. Should be no problem to get a working carb, just the inconvenience and annoyance of having to fix something that should've been ready to install.
    Mike W

    1969 Stage 1 Antique Gold
    1973 Stage 1 Sun Coupe 4 Speed
    1968 GS 350
    1970 Monte Carlo

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    bennettsville, sc
    Posts
    1,011

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    Actually, it WILL hurt stuff. It dissolves and STICKS to where-ever it stops... (Sick joke, but the line from movie "An Officer and A Gentleman" was based on a cadence call; the response is 'Cuse napalm sticks to kids')
    71 skylark convertible
    71 gs 455 convertible; auto with a/c; 05d build
    72 skylark coupe: GS455 vert's baby brother:soon to grow up
    84 t-type with 86 gn powertrain
    86 t-type WH1 AQ9 seats
    86 t-type black paint, grey BENCH seat (A65), Tilt.. BARE OPTIONS
    87 turbo limited (original owner/ GMODC car)
    89 firebird SR71 blackbird: 4.1 turbo/200-4r
    00 S10 parts getter/ junkyard dog

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    13,375

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    old trick in making hollow molded parts - sculpt it with styro, glass over it, then use gas to dissolve the styro leaving the fiberglass shell
    Alan W

    BPG # 1048 - Charter Member
    NE GS/GN Club - 17 Year Member
    68/69 Buick StepChild Nation - 29 Year Member

    What is a Buick StepChild ?
    Quote Originally Posted by 442w30 View Post
    ... They have awkward proportions from certain angles, and they look dumpy compared to their GM brethren
    ....'68 SportWagon400 "Sportn'Wood"..............'69 GS400 Convert "BigRed"..........

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SF California
    Posts
    1,138

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    if you disolve enough styrofoam into gas, it becomes like extremely flamable silly puddy! we used to do that at the boat yard, and light little bouncy balls on fire and toss them at each other. dumb? yes. Fun? extremely.
    -Brendan

    1965 Electra 225

    1969 Chevrolet Malibu 4dr sedan 350-350, Gone!

    1983 Regal Limited 455, gone (sold an trashed by new owner)

    1968 LeSabre 4dr Sedan (the Late Cristy) she's gon :(

    1995 Riviera, Black, non SC. SOLD

    ....others have passed, and more to come....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    atleast you got some free napalm
    ~Kyle~
    1970 gsx
    My Girlfriend Get's Mad Cause I spend More Time With My baby then her :)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Da 'Nawlins Bayous.....
    Posts
    5,064

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    I've learned a lot reading this thread......
    [/SIGPIC]
    Jason -friends call me (J)-POP

    B.P.G. #1500
    R.O.A. # 8427


    MY (nearly) DAILY DRIVER --'71 Rivvy Black and Gold.

    '85 Regal triple gold 40k mi.
    Love your country, fear your government, drink more beer
    I pledge allegiance, not blind obedience!!!!
    You can't trust a man who never curses

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Raymond Washington
    Posts
    5,239

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    Quote Originally Posted by doc View Post
    Mike ,,, Yes, gasoline is definitly a solvent for styrofoam,,,, one of my favorite tricks was to tell a helper at the shop to go out back and pour a little gas into a styrofoam cup and not spill any of it.....
    That's just cruel, and funny.
    David
    Raymond Washington

    Empty garage, for now.
    Still room in the garage for the next 65

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Brandenburg, Kentucky
    Posts
    698

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    Still no reply from the seller. We'll see if he owns up to the problem(s).
    Mike W

    1969 Stage 1 Antique Gold
    1973 Stage 1 Sun Coupe 4 Speed
    1968 GS 350
    1970 Monte Carlo

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,179

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    Oh Man - I hate it when that happens! Those styrofoam crumbs get into everything when they are shipped that way. I tell the sellers to please put the item in a plastic grocery bag and seal it. At least then there is a fighting chance that the part will come out clean!

    - Bill
    Bill Bell

    GSCA 4487
    BPG 1044
    BCA 35980

    67 Special Wagon
    68 LeSabre 400 vert
    70 GS 455
    71 GS 350 vert -sold

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Brandenburg, Kentucky
    Posts
    698

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    Did hear from seller (oceangrl51 in Texas) and hopefully everything is on the way to getting straightened out. He's sending a replacement metering rod and refunding me $25 for the hassle of having to take the carb apart. I'm happy with the deal. It's nice to see someone try to do the right thing rather than just try to sweep it under the rug or deliberately screw someone over.
    Mike W

    1969 Stage 1 Antique Gold
    1973 Stage 1 Sun Coupe 4 Speed
    1968 GS 350
    1970 Monte Carlo

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Da 'Nawlins Bayous.....
    Posts
    5,064

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    Mike , that is great news! Does Ocean girl deal with mostly Buicks? I hope you tell her how stand-up that is. She'll get much love from this board!!!!!! Glad to hear of a good one!!!!1
    [/SIGPIC]
    Jason -friends call me (J)-POP

    B.P.G. #1500
    R.O.A. # 8427


    MY (nearly) DAILY DRIVER --'71 Rivvy Black and Gold.

    '85 Regal triple gold 40k mi.
    Love your country, fear your government, drink more beer
    I pledge allegiance, not blind obedience!!!!
    You can't trust a man who never curses

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    minnesota
    Posts
    1,197

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    Glad it's working out-a 'carb guy' should know better and in a plastic bag to keep any contaminants out. That doc was/is quite the character-if I had been working with him over the years-one or both of us would probably be dead by now!!
    Dan
    mostly Buicks-Pontiacs

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Brandenburg, Kentucky
    Posts
    698

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    Quote Originally Posted by POPPALUV66 View Post
    Mike , that is great news! Does Ocean girl deal with mostly Buicks? I hope you tell her how stand-up that is. She'll get much love from this board!!!!!! Glad to hear of a good one!!!!1
    The seller's name is John and he's from Bulverde, TX (I also figured it was a woman with the user name of oceangrl) I don't know what his inventory primarily consists of but he's sold quite a few GM carbs (Buicks and Pontiacs mostly from the looks of it). Does seem like a good guy to do business with and has 100% positive feedback.
    Last edited by atticus427; 01-14-2010 at 12:26 PM. Reason: added info
    Mike W

    1969 Stage 1 Antique Gold
    1973 Stage 1 Sun Coupe 4 Speed
    1968 GS 350
    1970 Monte Carlo

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Brandenburg, Kentucky
    Posts
    698

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    Update:

    Got the $25 refund and the seller mailed me a set of primary metering rods free of charge. Got everything put back together but did find out that the power piston retainer was loose and may explain why the metering rod got bent in the first place (piston popped up during reassembly and the rod got bent when the air horn was screwed down). Did have some trouble getting the choke linkages straightened out but it went much better when I stopped trying to put the rod in backwards.

    Anyway, glad there are still people out there who care about their reputation enough to fix an honest mistake.
    Mike W

    1969 Stage 1 Antique Gold
    1973 Stage 1 Sun Coupe 4 Speed
    1968 GS 350
    1970 Monte Carlo

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Clarion, PA
    Posts
    2,202

    Default Re: Does styrofoam dissolve in gasoline?

    I've also heard that styrofoam disolves in brake fluid.

    Someone told me a great way to destroy someone's paint job is to fill a styrofoam cup up with brake fluid, place the cup on the roof of a car and walk away.
    BPG #1252
    GSCA #3523
    '70 GS 350
    '71 Skylark 455 (future parts car)
    '86 T-Type (sold)
    '01 Regal GS (blew the tranny and traded it for an SUV)
    '99 Regal GS (its back again)

    I'll be where I am.

 

 

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