Fuel System Maintenance/Do It Or Fix It - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-31-2017, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Fuel System Maintenance/Do It Or Fix It

Is gasoline really that bad?
I belong to several online forums that deal with carbureted gasoline motors, snowblowers, outboards, and older vehicle motors (truck forum).
I personally don’t have the issues with gasoline that seems to be the norm everywhere I go.
On this forum there are threads posted regularly concerning starting or running issues with snow blowers.
This is my 2 cents on the issue and the way I use gasoline.
First I keep my gas cans clean, inside and out to avoid contaminating the fuel system. I also keep my equipment clean for the same reason, especially near the fuel tank opening.

Some back ground on my carbureted equipment. Mid-grade fuel, here 87 octane.

Yard Equipment used at approximately 5200 ft., so it runs rich/fat.
Lawn mower, Honda 4 cycle engine 3 years old. (previous mower was a Troy Built with a Briggs and Stratton that I had for 15 years, never touched the carb, replaced due to self-propel mechanism needed replaced for the 2nd time.)
Toro 4 cycle weed wacker with edger attachment, 6 years old. (previous wacker was a Homelite 2 cycle, used it for years replaced due to shaft, clutch needed replaced, never touched carb.).
Hitachi 2 cycle leaf blower, 4 years old (previous was a Homelite used for years, replaced due to pull rope/recoil broke, never touched carb.)
My method for yard equipment, before winter storage I put an ounce of Sea Foam in a full fuel tank when I figure it will be my last few times of use. This cleans things up by running the Sea Foam through it before storage. I run it out of gas before storage. In the spring the first tank of gas gets an ounce of Sea Foam and another dose of Sea Foam half way through the season. Mitsubishi 6700 watt generator, remote start in service since 2000. Used to provide power for our water well and recharge solar batteries when needed for an off grid small mountain home. At 9200 ft. in elevation the carb has a high altitude jet in it, the only jet they sell for this model. No idea what size from stock.
Never touched the carb other than to re-jet.
The generator gets fresh fuel (premium) every time it’s used. Sea Foam treatment in the fall before winter storage and ran to disperse and clean fuel system. I do not run this out of fuel to help with condensation. Another Sea Foam treatment in summer.
This is housed in a wood structure made of plywood and 2x4’s that I built. The sides are hinged for opening to allow air for cooling when running and access for maintenance. This can sit for 6 months at temps to 30 below.
2002-125 H.P. Mercury 2+2 outboard. Oil injected, 4 cylinder, 4 carbs, jetted for 5 thousand feet. The 2+2 means that below 1800 R.P.M.’s it cuts out/drops 2 cylinders for idling and for trolling The 2 carbs that are used for the idle/trolling circuit have air/fuel mixture screws.
This is used most of the time above 8200 ft. in elevation but I jetted it for 5 thousand feet so I could use it at some local lakes near our main home at a lower elevation. So this runs rich/fat most of the time.
This was the hardest carbureted motor to get to run right I have ever worked on. Syncing the carbs, setting the air/fuel mixture, throttle cable adjustments, idle timing, high speed timing, what a challenge.
I have never touched these carbs either except to re-jet and adjust for proper running.
The outboard. I installed a quality fuel shut off valve and only use Mercury products. If this motor is going to sit more than a few days before using it again I always run it out of fuel before trailering it. The boat has a 46 gallon fuel tank (premium fuel). It gets a dose of Sea Foam before winter storage and is ran/used to disperse and clean before storage. Run it out of fuel the last time it’s used before winter storage, usually has a quarter tank left. In spring 10 gallons minimum of fresh fuel. Another Sea Foam treatment mid-season.
My new Toro 928 HD will get Sea Foam treatment and ran out of gas before summer storage. Re-jetted also, I bought the jet when I purchased it.

I use this method of fuel system maintenance to avoid having carb problems that I think are compounded due to the elevation my carbed equipment is used at. Sure re-jetting helps but they are not EFI motors and run rich/fat and this helps IMO.
I also believe that in areas of high moisture content (lived in Ohio and Michigan) regular fuel system treatment for cleaning and moisture removal using products of your choice are extremely beneficial.
Take my babbling for what it’s worth to you. Believe it or not, your decision. It’s worked for me. I haven’t removed a carburetor for cleaning in years.
I believe gasoline has come a long way just like motor oil.
I use only Top Tier gasoline.
As Frank Sinatra said, “I did it my way”

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post #2 of 5 Old 01-31-2017, 01:56 PM
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I'd rather choose fuel without the winter mix, I'd rather choose fuel without the 10% E-10, but I can't, it's here, and I buy in small quantities that I can use within a month. At a month it goes in my car. I don't but any more until I need it. Need it means during the winter the weather report says snow, if it doesn't, I don't buy any gasoline, I wait. If it's summer, I wait until my mower is low. In the fall, my leaf blower is void of gas until I need it, after I use it for the day, or on a neighbors, I drain the tank and carb after putting StaBil in the last tank so it gets used in the carburetor.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-31-2017, 06:41 PM
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good to hear th seafoam is coping with ethanol. when forced to use ethanol, i had used startron additive which worked well. a few stations near me started carrying 91 octane ethanol free so the past two years i havent had to run ethanol in anything but my autos. ill gladly pay a lil more to not have it.

97 husqvarna st521 w/ tecumseh hsk850 149cc 2 stroke

17 ariens path-pro ss21ec w/ lct 208cc 4 stroke
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-31-2017, 09:54 PM
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In season I have had no problems in my 4 strokes runnin E-10 with Stabil ethanol/OPE formula stabilizer. I have a listed E-0 retailing airport 8 miles away and I haven't bothered with the distraction or expense.

I do religiously drain and run dry at the end of the season. If I miss one I can count on it being unhappy. Prior to E-10 I could leave them as-is for the summer. What I drain just goes into the can for summer OPE.

I haven't been as lucky with my 2 strokes (blower, string trimmer, chain saw) and for those I am a TruFuel premix fan. Other than leaf clean-up time in the fall my usage is modest for the $$ is an OK trade off.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-31-2017, 10:09 PM
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From http://www.equipmentworld.com
Ethanol attracts water. When the two get together, they create the perfect environment to grow a type of bacteria called acetobacter. After getting drunk on their EPA-sponsored kegger in your gas tank, the acetobacter excrete acetic acid. And acetic acid is very corrosive.

If youíre refilling your gas tank every week or two, acetobacter donít have time to grow a sufficient size colony to damage metal parts in your fuel system. But if your fuel sits for longer periods of time these microorganisms continue to multiply until your gas tank contains damaging levels of acetic acid.
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