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Discussion Starter #1
Gentleman,

I hope you don’t mind, these pictures are from a Briggs 5hp rototiller engine.

My dad has not taken very good care of it and found it impossible to get running. I took the carb off this weekend and was shocked at what I found. The bowl and carb was filled with a white sandy type material. Kind of like crushed sea shells. Is this what ethanol does over time? The gas came out dark brown and had some water in it. Changed the oil and it was dirty but otherwise free of water.

I’ve seen some gunked up carbs but this was a new one for me!


 

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Ethanol is not your friend. Probably best to get a whole new carb. Might want to check your area for an E free gas station.
 

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That is aluminum oxide resulting from corrosion. Water in the carburetor float bowl promotes corrosion. The water comes from humidity in air inside the float bowl which condenses into liquid water. Ethanol is miscible with water but eventually the water separates from the gasoline (phase separation).

Believe it or not, I've cleaned out a 4 HP B&S carburetor body that looked like that. I was really careful when removing the float pivot pin to prevent breaking the carb body. Removal of the float valve needle was necessary. I likely replaced the needle (about ten years ago) and put it all back together and it ran.

The fuel lines are probably also age-degraded on the inside. Little bits of rubber will break off and clog the fuel jet (orifice). You should replace the fuel lines, If you have the time, take a shot at cleaning out the aluminum oxide.
 

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That is what happens when metal "Oxidizes". Rust on steel is "Oxidation", that picture is what happens to aluminum.
Briggs & Stratton has a fuel treatment that is supposed to help slow or prevent metal "Oxidation" like shown in the picture.
It contains "Anit-Oxidents" to help slow or prevent that type of damage, but it can still happen. It has to be treated from brand new because once it starts, it is too late.
I have cleaned many carbs that were in that condition with good results, but not all of them, some are too far gone and need replacement.
It is usually the new carbs made with poor quality materials that get it the worst, the old ones that were made with better quality materials don't get it that bad some times but not always.
That is another reason they have been making carbs from plastic recently, but the plastic ones are not built that well either and have been known for many problems due to plastic failures.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you fellas!

The old man will be under strict instructions to only use treated, non-ethanol gas from here on out. This thing only sees use about 2-3 times a year in the large garden, early on before the growth prevents it. Last year it was so wet we never got the garden planted so this gas was at least 2 years old and I’m sure the carb wasn’t in the best shape even before that.

I cleaned out the gas tank and will replace the fuel line while replacing the carb with an aftermarket. Also got him a new air filter. It looked like it had been stuck in a **** riverbank for a few years. For around $30 he should be up and running.

John
 

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When I take my four 5 gal. cans to fill up at the gas station, I fil them up with just regular gas. Upon returning home, I immediately add Stabil and 1/2 the recommended rate of SeaFoam into each can.

I have never had an issue with any of equipment … 7 snowblowers, riding mower, push mower, chain saw, weed whacker, generator and alll the other equipment that people bring me when I have to repair them or replace their carburetors due to not using proper fuel.

Rototillers are probably the least operated machine for the average homeowner. I would recommend you use a 5W30 Full synthetic motor oil, and start and run that machine periodically throughout the year. The aftermarket carb was surely the way to go, along with new lines and a good tank cleaning.
 

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cleaning that tank will be paramount before installing new carb. I use aquarium rock with vinegar and shake it around pretty good over several hours. maybe let it set overnight and do ot some more. This is on Honda tanks , then I change the filter.

there are of course other ways but I am a cheap bugger.
 

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When I take my four 5 gal. cans to fill up at the gas station, I fil them up with just regular gas. Upon returning home, I immediately add Stabil and 1/2 the recommended rate of SeaFoam into each can.

I have never had an issue with any of equipment … 7 snowblowers, riding mower, push mower, chain saw, weed whacker, generator and alll the other equipment that people bring me when I have to repair them or replace their carburetors due to not using proper fuel.

Rototillers are probably the least operated machine for the average homeowner. I would recommend you use a 5W30 Full synthetic motor oil, and start and run that machine periodically throughout the year. The aftermarket carb was surely the way to go, along with new lines and a good tank cleaning.
That was the beauty of the Trac-team system Ariens had, if you ask me.
One powerhead, all your lawn equipment. The motor ran rear 'round.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My four year old son was asking why the tiller was all torn apart in the garage. To which I replied “Well, Grandpa didn’t take very good care of it”.

And then during our nightly FaceTime call to Grandpa, the first thing the little turkey told him was, “Grandpa, you didn’t take good care of your rototiller! You need to do a better job.” Haha. If he won’t listen to me maybe he will his grandson!
 

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The things kids say these days....
 

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I've never bothered with seafoam in any of my gas cans and occasionally toss some in a gas tank to clean the system but that hasn't been done for a few years. Main thing is to use Sta-bil in the gas as it will keep the gas fresh for up to two years. Been doing that for a decade or more and never had a carb issue on my things, neighbors are another story..


What I do is use permanent marker and mark the date on the can by the handle and what grade of gas if you like. Rotate out the cans (I have something like 5 or 6 cans and usually 2 or more full of gas as I like to be somewhat prepared for shtf) and what not. I also use the marker to note what 2 cycle mix ratio a can is as well.


Then when you go to refill a can, dump in the recommended Sta-bil amount before going to the gas station. The gas station will thoroughly mix the Sta-bil in and it beats shaking a 5 gallon can around to mix it when you get home. When you get home, take the can of carb cleaner you shouldn't need for a long long time and spray on the permanent marker and wipe off with a rag or paper towel and let dry and write the new date on the can.



Of all the stuff in the garage, carb cleaner works the best for removing the marker. I've removed marker that is years old from plastic cans and the worst is you can see a slight bit of marker behind that shows the old date but it's really faint.
 
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