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Discussion Starter #1
What I would do first, prior to spraying carb cleaner or starter fluid (which can dry out your gaskets and fuel line) is try a fuel treatment.
1-Empty/drain all the fuel from tank, fuel line and carb.
2-Go buy a new poly gas can and Sea Foam (following is from their site);

"Use in Gasoline, Ethanol, and Diesel Fuels – Sea Foam adds upper cylinder lubricity and restores lost engine power by dissolving petroleum residues from fuel injectors/carburetors, valves and chambers…
Learn More
Use in Engine Oil – In 4-stroke gas or diesel, adding Sea Foam Motor Treatment cleans engine crankcases by liquefying harmful deposits that form and accumulate between oil and filter changes…"

3- Put 2 oz of sea foam in can and go to a gas station that's constantly busy, this should raise the chances that your buying fresh fuel. Put in 1 gallon of the highest octane available.

4- Fill the the tank of your snowblower, prim it like 6-8 times, let it sit for 30min, prim again 6x, put choke on, slide to rabbit and try to start it.

If it starts, let that puppy run for 30min then shut off. Tomorrow do the same.
If it doesn't start, then try starter fluid spray, get it started and let it run for 30min, repeat next day.

In the future, what I do and has worked year after year after year for me is I never leave fuel in the tank longer then 30-45 days, even though I'm ALWAYS using fresh fuel with sea foam. If I have fuel still in my poly can I dump in my car and wait till I hear of snow coming and buy fresh fuel. At the end of season I always run my machine dry and change the oil then while machine is warm.
I never leave old gas or used oil in my machines off season.

Good luck
 

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What I would do first, prior to spraying carb cleaner or starter fluid (which can dry out your gaskets and fuel line) is try a fuel treatment.
1-Empty/drain all the fuel from tank, fuel line and carb.
2-Go buy a new poly gas can and Sea Foam (following is from their site);

"Use in Gasoline, Ethanol, and Diesel Fuels – Sea Foam adds upper cylinder lubricity and restores lost engine power by dissolving petroleum residues from fuel injectors/carburetors, valves and chambers…
Learn More
Use in Engine Oil – In 4-stroke gas or diesel, adding Sea Foam Motor Treatment cleans engine crankcases by liquefying harmful deposits that form and accumulate between oil and filter changes…"

3- Put 2 oz of sea foam in can and go to a gas station that's constantly busy, this should raise the chances that your buying fresh fuel. Put in 1 gallon of the highest octane available.
I'd just find something that runs and if need be empty any old fuel in the gas can you have into that so you can bring home some fresh for the blower.
Using high octane fuel is only an advantage IF, IF the high octane is non oxygenated (non E85). If all three grades are oxygenated then the lowest octane is the one that starts the easiest. That's what the octane rating is all about. How easy it ignites.
Before I use a generic product like Seafoam I'd use Stabil. From their own web site it says it can clean the upper engine valve train, crankcase when added to the oil and it works in gas, diesel and ethanol fuel. Stabil is specifically designed to stabilize fuel unlike Seafoam which is designed to do a number of things. Like a doctor, a general practioner is good at a lot of stuff but if there is something specifically wrong with you you'll be referred to a specialist. Stabil is that specialist for fuel stabilizer. I'd also recommend getting the Marine grade as it's better at combating high moisture.
Every once in awhile I add a measured amount of Lucas fuel injector cleaner (works on carbs) to keep everything clean in the tank and carburetor. It can even work to clean a carb that should be rebuilt to where you don't need to pull it apart. :grin:

I have Seafoam in the garage but it's not my go to for stabilization.

.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'd just find something that runs and if need be empty any old fuel in the gas can you have into that so you can bring home some fresh for the blower.
Using high octane fuel is only an advantage IF, IF the high octane is non oxygenated (non E85). If all three grades are oxygenated then the lowest octane is the one that starts the easiest. That's what the octane rating is all about. How easy it ignites.
Before I use a generic product like Seafoam I'd use Stabil. From their own web site it says it can clean the upper engine valve train, crankcase when added to the oil and it works in gas, diesel and ethanol fuel. Stabil is specifically designed to stabilize fuel unlike Seafoam which is designed to do a number of things. Like a doctor, a general practioner is good at a lot of stuff but if there is something specifically wrong with you you'll be referred to a specialist. Stabil is that specialist for fuel stabilizer. I'd also recommend getting the Marine grade as it's better at combating high moisture.
Every once in awhile I add a measured amount of Lucas fuel injector cleaner (works on carbs) to keep everything clean in the tank and carburetor. It can even work to clean a carb that should be rebuilt to where you don't need to pull it apart. :grin:

I have Seafoam in the garage but it's not my go to for stabilization.

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All I can do is explain what works for me. 10-12 years ago when I was using Stabil I would have problems, perhaps they've changed the chemistry since then and I have heard good things about the marine grade.

When I switched over to Seafoam I never once had to do a carb rebuild or swap. I also have 5 pieces of Stihl equipment and a Lawnboy that I use some 9 months of the year. As I'm sure your aware the Stihl equipment require ultra oil mixed in with the gas and I add seafoam. That gas I rotate or store 3 months at a time and I've never had a problem.

The Lucas fuel injector cleaner sounds interesting to me and will look into that.

Perhaps these winter engines are different, but Stihl does recommend a minium octane rating of 89. They say any less may cause increase engine temps, increasing risk of piston seizure.

I can't find the TRUEFUEL octane rating, but stihls non-ethanol fuel is high octane, and VP small enigne fuel is a 94 octane non-ethanol.
 

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High-RPM, probably-higher-compression 2-strokes are different than these big 4-strokes. I believe Stihl recommends higher-octane to avoid pre-ignition, but that doesn't seem to be an issue on these engines. I wouldn't bother with higher octane unless the manual recommends it. It's not gaining you anything. There's no knock sensor and adjustable timing that can advance the timing for more power, when running high-octane.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
High-RPM, probably-higher-compression 2-strokes are different than these big 4-strokes. I believe Stihl recommends higher-octane to avoid pre-ignition, but that doesn't seem to be an issue on these engines. I wouldn't bother with higher octane unless the manual recommends it. It's not gaining you anything. There's no knock sensor and adjustable timing that can advance the timing for more power, when running high-octane.
This debate has been going on for years (I'm not looking to debate, just increase my knowledge) on many sites in multiple treads. Some say they use high octane, others say 87 is what should be used. Some relate it to cost, while others say it's because of compression/ignition. Some say they've never had a problem with 87 octane , the same goes for the people using higher octane.

I wish one day to get a definitive answer.

It doesn't seem to be a debate when referring to 2 stroke engines, just about all people agree that you benefit from higher octane.

However some of my Stihl equipment are 4 stroke, my BR600 blower for example is what they call a 4 mix (4 stroke, mixed with gas/oil) and is a 64.8 cc engine. Stihl recommends a minimum of 89 octane.

Now maybe the higher octane aids in engine temps given that there being ran in the warmer months and maybe we don't need to worry about our snowblowers being ran in cold temps??

So why is it that all these manufactures of non-ethanol fuel are making fuel for 4 stroke motors @ 93 and above octane ratings?
 

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I'm going to guess (at least if you are speaking of non-gift wrapped overprices botique gas - IE 90+ no ethanol pump gas) that it's because the legacy hot rod and other markets want it, and because it makes no sense for the limited volume used to refine more than one grade. (I can get 91 no-lead, no-ethanol here at the local gas station for about $3 a gallon, and run it, since it makes sense, and things tend to get longer periods of down time since I'm only part time in the snow country . . . . my mower is a 1987 Honda, never seen anything but 87 crap gas, and has needed one tweak in the 31 years I have had it . . . the pilot jet (plastic) shrunk, and needed to be replaced to stop it surging (and no, small drills or a wire wouldn't do it . . . ). Probably 50/50 that I run it dry, and it had never failed to start after 3 or 4 months of sitting . . . . Oh, and the blower gets 91 and Stabil . . . I can live without the mower if I have to . . .



Oh, and I don't think there is any amount of money in the world that would make me think buying the less than a gallon for $12 designer gift wrapped botique crap . . . (at least not with what I have at the pump!)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm going to guess (at least if you are speaking of non-gift wrapped overprices botique gas - IE 90+ no ethanol pump gas) that it's because the legacy hot rod and other markets want it, and because it makes no sense for the limited volume used to refine more than one grade. (I can get 91 no-lead, no-ethanol here at the local gas station for about $3 a gallon, and run it, since it makes sense, and things tend to get longer periods of down time since I'm only part time in the snow country . . . . my mower is a 1987 Honda, never seen anything but 87 crap gas, and has needed one tweak in the 31 years I have had it . . . the pilot jet (plastic) shrunk, and needed to be replaced to stop it surging (and no, small drills or a wire wouldn't do it . . . ). Probably 50/50 that I run it dry, and it had never failed to start after 3 or 4 months of sitting . . . . Oh, and the blower gets 91 and Stabil . . . I can live without the mower if I have to . . .



Oh, and I don't think there is any amount of money in the world that would make me think buying the less than a gallon for $12 designer gift wrapped botique crap . . . (at least not with what I have at the pump!)
I'm referring to Trufuel, Stihl & VP racing. All name brands.

Understand that in the tri-state area of the north east (New York, New Jersey & Connecticut), we do not have available to us non-ethanol fuel at the pump in any octane, those days are long gone.

If I was going to decide to use a non-ethanol fuel my only options would be to yes buy these canned fuels off the shelf @ a rate of $20 per gallon (4- 32oz cans) or drive an hour to a gas station that carries 5 gallon cans of VP for $70 @94 octane.

"Depressing"!
 

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Sorry if I was being harsh, but that was what I was referring to as "overpriced botique crap . . . " If that was all I could get, I'd likely run pump 87 with ethanol during the season, and use just enough of that stuff at the end of the year to run out the 87 for storage. I just don't see enough value to pay 4x for fuel that won't get old during the season anyhow (well, at least not *here* . . . less frequent users that use less may have a different take . . . ).



And yes, I am thrilled and amazed to find non-ethanol 91 here at the pump. Most likely it's driven by the volume from snowmobiles that don't care for the lower octane stuff much either, but and not going to complain, since one of the stations that has it is about 400 yards line of sight from my home!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
No problem I have thick skin. However "400 yards line of sight" is just rubbing it in :)

Yes I find it hard to justify that "gross" increase in added cost as well!
 

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I'm referring to Trufuel, Stihl & VP racing. All name brands.

Understand that in the tri-state area of the north east (New York, New Jersey & Connecticut), we do not have available to us non-ethanol fuel at the pump in any octane, those days are long gone.

If I was going to decide to use a non-ethanol fuel my only options would be to yes buy these canned fuels off the shelf @ a rate of $20 per gallon (4- 32oz cans) or drive an hour to a gas station that carries 5 gallon cans of VP for $70 @94 octane.

"Depressing"!
please advise where your finding VP for 70 bucks??
 

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I'm too cheap to use VP/TruFuel-style gas for my blower, or tractor, for that matter :) The only places I could justify it would be for my small, occasional-use engines. Like the weedwhacker and chainsaw. And even with those, I've been using normal 89 octane, with synthetic oil, and stabilizer. Sadly, there are no affordable stations with unleaded, ethanol-free gas around here.
 

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:moved: to it's own thread.

Interested in how something recommended for a 2 cycle high RPM chainsaw relates to a 4 cycle snowblower engine like the one these comments were cut and pasted from.
I could understand it over on the Arborist web site if you wanted to make a recommendation for my Jonsered but not my 2 stage, 4 cycle Toro or Ariens.

Original thread - - > https://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/general-snowblower-discussion/146077-snowblower-wont-start-up.html

Maybe it's from seeing all the old oil company commercials pushing the virtues of premium fuel with more cleaners, more this, better that ??

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Stability, I'm sure there might be a member or two who has a different opinion but in general we are all confident that the lowest grade of non oxygenated fuel that meets the engine manufacturers recommendation is just fine. If you can't find non oxygenated fuel than whatever meets or exceeds the engine manufacturers recommendation is next best along with a stabilizer.
What stabilizer is up to you but the one you recommended can be used in the fuel, added to the crankcase or poured through the intake to do different things. I've found over the years that anything that can do that many different things might be good at all of them but likely isn't great at any one of them. Just watch TV in the early AM and you'll things for sale that will do almost anything. BUT if you like seafoam, great. A lot of folks do.
I prefer to recommend to someone who might not have any product on the shelf to get something specific to the purpose they need it for. That's just me.

TruFuel just isn't in my budget. Good stuff but I'm on 5 acres and I'd have to buy it by the case (often). Luckily there are two station within reasonable driving distance with straight gas, one premium (closest) and the other mid grade ( bit further). I had forgot about snowmobiles which is likely the reason there is premium but also I'm right next to the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers so the guys with the HP boats filling up before launching.
I still use StaBil even with the straight gas. Just insurance.
 

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when it comes to 2 stroke i think they probably started recommending premium since the all the premium was ethanol free and the ethanol was what cause most issue in both 2/4 stroke engines. just the 2 strokes are more sensitive in some ways. the ethanol usually dries out the metering diagram which acts like a float in a 4 stroke carb and when it gets stiff it either sticks open or close both really no good. i know i ran my weed whacker with a 1/2 bad metering diagram for years but since i ran ethanol free premium the issue never got worse but never got better. i have seen some really dried out ones in some machines. replace them and machine runs like new again.

when it comes to 4 stroke winter engines. i usually prime them till i see fuel leak onto the ground then try firing it up. sometimes it works to start an engine that has been sitting and sometimes you got to pull the float bowl to clean things out depending on how it was taken care of. i usually use ethanol free fuel so gas doesn't usually go bad too quick.
 

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I'm referring to Trufuel, Stihl & VP racing. All name brands.

Understand that in the tri-state area of the north east (New York, New Jersey & Connecticut), we do not have available to us non-ethanol fuel at the pump in any octane, those days are long gone.

If I was going to decide to use a non-ethanol fuel my only options would be to yes buy these canned fuels off the shelf @ a rate of $20 per gallon (4- 32oz cans) or drive an hour to a gas station that carries 5 gallon cans of VP for $70 @94 octane.

"Depressing"!
No airports or marinas by you?
 
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thank you all for passing on your knowledge.

The bottom line is given the area I live in I have no options other then 87 with 10% ethanol with additive, I'm not spending $20 per fill up, especially on a fuel (that you all are teaching me) that has an octane rating to high for 4 stroke snowblowers.

Airports won't allow you anywhere near maintenance garages or fuel pumps.

Believe it or not, the marinas around hear (which are many) don't sell non- ethanol fuel.
 

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That's all right. thousands of us run the regular E10 stuff with no issues, and many will throw in stuff like Stabil-360 to counter the E10 and again no problems. I think people loose too much sleep over this stuff.
 

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I think people loose too much sleep over this stuff.

Kinda agree with that cuz I ain't never used a fuel stabilizer in any of the petrol I fed the small power equipment I've employed over the past five decades. And... I've been using oxygenated (E10) fuel since the early 90s. So many horror stories related to the pitfalls of ethanol in fuel and yet, season after season, year after year, my small engines continue to start and perform as well as expected. What the heck?
 

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That's all right. thousands of us run the regular E10 stuff with no issues, and many will throw in stuff like Stabil-360 to counter the E10 and again no problems. I think people loose too much sleep over this stuff.
all so true ,to much internet,
 
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