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Old April 3rd, 2011, 06:55 PM
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Default Ethanol and small engines

Hopefully many of you know this, I didn't.

Ethanol (gasoline mixed with alcohol) I read yesterday will destroy small engines such as those in lawn mowers and lawn tractors, even worse if the ethanol is increased to 85/15. It seems alcohol is not only corrosive but attracts moisture. Among other things, it destroys gas lines, filters and fixtures.

It is best to us only gasoline in such engines but that is becoming increasingly haerd to find (I no longer no of no one in the immediate areas that sells just gasoline). The article said additives will help and when I go to refill my gas can tomorrow, I'm going by the hardware store to get whatever additive they recommend.

I attempted to correct the title but the system won't let me.

Todd
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Old April 4th, 2011, 09:17 AM
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You're absolutely correct on this one Todd! I've had to disassemble, and rebuild the carbs on two of my small engines, (both not used very often) when in the past I never worried too much about leaving fuel in them for extended periods of time. In both cases, I found all kinds of crud, and rust in the carburetor, and especially in the bottom of the float bowl, and in the main jets! This has to be caused by the GREAT fuel we're getting now, and for only $3.60 a gallon too! What a bargain!

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Old April 4th, 2011, 09:40 AM
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This explains a lot. I battled it all last year. In our Husqvarna I finally had a fuel line shut off valve put in before the gas gets to the motor. When I am done mowing I turn off the gas using the shut off and pull it into the shed and let it run out of gas before I turn it off. That way it doesn't leave much gas sitting in the engine and lines when it isn't running. Not sure if this will help all that much but its worth a try. I will report back when I fire it back up in the next week or two.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie weenie View Post
This explains a lot. I battled it all last year. In our Husqvarna I finally had a fuel line shut off valve put in before the gas gets to the motor. When I am done mowing I turn off the gas using the shut off and pull it into the shed and let it run out of gas before I turn it off. That way it doesn't leave much gas sitting in the engine and lines when it isn't running. Not sure if this will help all that much but its worth a try. I will report back when I fire it back up in the next week or two.
ABSOLUTELY will help Beenie! That's the best way to protect that carb from the crap that the Ethanol leaves, or leads to inside the float bowl, and in the jets. Fuel additives will help as well, but I'm a firm believer that if there is no fuel there, then it can't hurt the carb. Of course the fuel tank itself will still get garbage in it if left too long!

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Old April 5th, 2011, 07:33 AM
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Went to Auto Zone yesterday and they recommend a product called Stabile (I think he pronounced it "Stabeel"). They also have another product that does basically the same thing which I purchased because they were out of Stabile.

Also understand that you won't get the same gas mileage with Ethanol as you do with pure gasoline. This is because the ethanol does not generate the BTU's (think "energy") that gasoline does.

Remember, the ethanol production is one factor (that is growing daily) that is driving up food prices. It's more profitable for the farmer to sell his/her grain and corn for Ethanol purposes than food purposes. I also believe it is more expensive to refine. Hence, farmers that used to grow food are now growing fodder for ethanol.

I'll leave it to you to determine if the price of ethanol and the loss of mileage (maybe as much as 1 or 2 mpg highway) not to mention the increase in the price of food justifies all of this hoopla over ethanol. BTW, E-85 means the product is 85 percent denatured alcohol and 15 percent gasoline. This can be used in Flex Fuel vehicles only.

Todd
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