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  1. #1

    Default Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    I've reached a point in my life where I try not to buy cheap products any longer. For exampe, rather than go to a big box hardware store to buy a weedeater, I went to a small shop, bought quality, paid more. Now I have a lot of equipment I want to maintain as long as possible, perhaps the rest of my life. This includes: generator, mower, chainsaw, weedeater, hedge trimmer. I want to learn more about preserving these items during periods of irregular usage.

    I think I've learned the following:
    a full gas tank prevents mositure problems
    fuel stabilizer might help to prevent gummy precipitates
    one manuel said to stabilize fuel run engine some, empty fuel tank, then run engine until out of fuel
    Some manuals say to oil the spark plug?

    I've stabilized a gallon of gas years ago, it started the spring with a gummy mess that seamed to ruin a piece of equipment. My SO is harping on using the stuff this year.

    So, if you would please, share your tips and techniques for keeping equipment long lasting. Please share what you do and how long you have had stuff last.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,333

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    I always run my small engine equipment out of gas before storing seasonally. I avoid using gas additives like Sta-Bil. I've done this for years and equipment always start right up 6 months later. Sometimes I've used Sta-Bil in my generator if I think I'll bee needing it various times over the summer, but still end up running it dry before winter storage. Equipment: generator, snow blower, mower, chainsaws, power washer, leaf blower.
    Regards, Barry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Crawfordville, FL
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    2,569

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    I'm curious with the drain and run til dry technique. With the introduction of ethanol fuel, when I use that technique, I end up with a white scale in the carburetor and fuel tank. This ends up clogging up my fuel filters and needles/seats.
    The bees know!
    AKA Wormtounge

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    TORONTO,ON. CANADA
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    174

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    Run till dry, and use the highest octane number gas you can find.
    ==Northumberland County Beekeeper, Trent Hills, Ontario==

  5. #5

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    Quote Originally Posted by MARBIS View Post
    Run till dry, and use the highest octane number gas you can find.
    I left fuel in my chainsaw last winter. This spring the fuel line in the tank was totally rotten....literally fell to pieces. The fellow at the engine shop said he'd seen a number of them. He believed it was a result of ethanol. He also claimed that the premium octane fuels often did not contain any ethanol.
    This all may just be urban legend...but the fellow knows small engines.
    I run mine until empty at season's end and pay extra for premium gas.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Concrete, WA, USA
    Posts
    761

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    run them empty and then drain the carb bowls -
    one thing that is more important then fuel is oil - what i do on my gas engines is change the old and then run them dry - this gets new oil in and old gas out

    reason that fuel is always bad is that the fuels they produce are no longer stable in order to make less pollution - so drain your stuff
    Doing the Right things Right
    http://thevalleysbuzz.webs.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Crawfordville, FL
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    2,569

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    This all may just be urban legend...but the fellow knows small engines.
    I run mine until empty at season's end and pay extra for premium gas.
    All (except special pumps, ie marine) pumps are mandated to have 10% ethanol. Doesn't matter what octane.
    The bees know!
    AKA Wormtounge

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Whitefish, MT
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    The very first thing is to get gas without alcohol!
    Ethanol is hygroscopic which means it adsorbs moisture. Gas and moisture do not mix.
    Contrary to popular belief do not use premium for a small engine unless the engine was designed to run on premium. Premium burns cooler and doesn't last any longer.
    If you really want to solve the problem entirely use aviation fuel. It doesn't have any alcohol, period. It doesn't go bad (can you imagine trying to start your airplane after sitting for a few months?).
    It does have a very small bit of lead in it so do not use it in a anything that has a catalytic converter.
    Aviation fuel can be bought at most small airports and does cost more, but when you look at what the cost of a repair or the cost of gas stabilizers it's cheaper in the long run.
    If you don't what to us aviation gas all the time then run the tank dry and put some av gas in and run it a bit.
    I work on small engines for a living and it's getting worse all the time. I've had to replace complete carburetors because of what the ethanol does to them.
    The sad part is the Government is talking about increasing the level of ethanol from 10 to 15 percent.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodo View Post
    I'm curious with the drain and run til dry technique. With the introduction of ethanol fuel, when I use that technique, I end up with a white scale in the carburetor and fuel tank. This ends up clogging up my fuel filters and needles/seats.
    I thought you aren't supposed to use ethanol gas (gasahol) with small engines. You should use only pure gas. Of course, pure gas is next to impossible to find in some areas, such as my home in central Alabama. I have only two or three sources in Kingsport, TN. I took a blower into a small engine shop the other day and the tech there said something about somebody likely ran it with ethanol gas.

    Many cars, such as my Saturn, are supposed to be run on pure gas only - NO alcohol. (I wonder how many people actually have read their owner's manuals?) Added benefit, other than increased engine life - I get about 10% better mileage with real gas than I do with ethanol-laced gas. Personally, I think the addition of ethanol to gasoline is a political crock to drum up votes from the election-critical midwest states.

    -james

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    941

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    One you have the gas part figured out, here's a few more steps.
    Change oil.
    Pour 1 tsp of motor oil in each cylinder and rotate the crank a couple of revs by hand with spark plugs still out. Replace spark plugs.
    Rotate crank to have the maximim cylinders somewhere on the compression stroke. That way the valves are closed for the winter.
    Close the choke and leave it closed for winter.
    Remove battery and set it in plain sight on work bench. Trickle charge periodicly.
    Block tires up if possible.
    Wash and wax??
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,333

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    Now it's sounding like work!!
    Regards, Barry

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    omaha nebr. USA
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    494

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    Just pulled our generator out of the corner of the garage that has not been run for at least 4 years if not 5.
    Fired right up after I remembered the on off switch & ran great. The key is it was put away with Sta Bil in the fuel!
    All our power equipment, pumps, mowers, anything that has a spark plug in it the fuel is treated before it is shut off & stored for the season. I can not remember any fuel related problems with any small engine or for that matter any auto or truck that has had mainly E-10 in it for most of it's life. Some of these units are close to 300K.
    Ethanol is an easy fall guy so to speak for fuel problems. Truth be known is that it has been found that other flamable products have been added to the fuel in the process after refining that just do not work in small engines or remain liquid in a storage a environment.
    Better quality carb kits have had the " Red Rubber " parts in them instead of the black rubber for quite some time and you must change the " card board " float to a brass or metal one. Here again you have a storage issue with the carb fuel bowl & the composition of the float. When ever I get someone that wants a carb rebuilt for a 60's or 70's muscle car I use the above mentioned items or I do not do the rebuild. Just that simple!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Whitefish, MT
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    Quote Originally Posted by soupcan View Post
    Just pulled our generator out of the corner of the garage that has not been run for at least 4 years if not 5.
    Ethanol didn't start showing up in gas at the 10% level until 2007/2008. You more than likely still have real gas in that tank if it hasn't been run for 4-5 years.
    One thing to remember.
    In my mind if ethanol is so good why has the FAA and EAA banned it from and warned the public never to use it in the aircraft industry?
    I just rebuilt a carb on a Honda generator for a customer. A quick check of the gas in the tank showed almost 15% ethanol in the gas (even though the law is a maximum of 10%). The brass parts in the carb were corroded so baldly they had to be replace to the tune of $187.00.
    In the long run it's a bit bizarre that almost every oil drilling rig in the US is in North Dakota drilling for oil (and finding it) yet we are growing food for fuel.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Port Richey Fl USA
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    238

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    Ethanol is bad for all gas engines, ethanol is deadly for older gas engines.

    I had oncoming problems with Kawasaki 205cc engine 25 years old but very low usage ( John Deere small riding mover which I love).

    Its been serviced/fixed by few lawnmower "specialist" including John Deere dealership, after a few weeks it refused to start.
    All those "experts" had no clue what makes this engine run or brake... (gas).

    Finally my trusted car mechanic got his hand on it and he suggested to get pure 100% gas at Marina Station, or keep bringing it to his shop to clean and fix the carburator or whatever.

    I surely followed his advice.

    It runs like a charm now and it is more fuel efficient that Honda 150cc (25% smaller engine) used in push type lawnmowers.

    My story happy ending. LOL

    There is a reason why they prohibit ethanol in aircraft engines (performance + safety).

    And there is a reason why boaters use only pure gasoline in boat engines (performance, and dependability-safety).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    omaha nebr. USA
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    494

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    We have had Ethanol in our fuel here in Nebraska for over 15 years.
    Our HFC pump is over 20 years old & has had many a gallon of E-10 run thru it. My son & I always laugh if it takes up to 3 pulls to start it after it sits all winter.
    Sorry to hear all the troubles you folks are having with E-10!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    I've found the best prescription for me is to use Amsoil synthetic oil and in my intermittent use engines I use fuel stabilizer year round. I'm still continually amazed how synthetic oils help air cooled engines start and run so much more reliably and efficiently.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,245

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    Just read a pretty alarming story about the damage E-15 will do to boat motors (the study was done by the EPA). Of course it isnt recommended in any level for boats. I have come to the conclusion that why should I risk ethanol in small engines if there is any doubt as the cost difference on a few gallons of fuel a year just don't justify it.
    Harry: I am impressed, those are all things I say I am going to do every year on every small engine I own but I have decided to go instead with the pull, and pull, and pull, and cuss, and cuss and cuss the next spring strategy. No wonder I am always replacing recoil cords. Sol may have nailed it with the year around stabilizer strategy, it sure is a lot easier to get the right concentration if you mix a full can. Synthetic oil huh? Maybe not such a bad idea either.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    I was a lawn and garden tech for Sears and I can tell you this from experience ethanol kills small engines! The moister content is way to high it rust the carb and gums it up. Use marine stabil or some form of treatment in the gas. I have always had better luck leaving the gas in my equiptment but I have a stabilizer in the fuel. When I drain it the diaphrams in the carb dry rot. Over winter remove the spark plug and spray a fogger or WD40 in the cylinder and rotate it several times and replace the plug ortherwise the moister can rust the cylinder wall and lock it up.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    omaha nebr. USA
    Posts
    494

    Default Re: Long term engine preservation winter and fuel stabilizer question

    Another intresting deal I learned probably 30 plus years ago from an ole timer is to keep a can of starting fluid in reach when trying to start any engine that has set for some time.
    A Stihl factory rep confirmed this thought a number of years back when asked if this was ok to do.
    He explained that all starting fluids also contain upper cylinder lubricants, and this keeps from having stale old fuel flood a engine and then wash a cylinder down. 2 stroke or 4 stroke it makes no diff. Seen many a neighbor about pull there brains out from trying to start an engine in the spring. Walk across the street & give the unit a little shot of spray & next pull or 2 it's running.

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