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Author Topic: Small engine storage  (Read 2991 times)

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Offline Max Wedge

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Small engine storage
« on: December 22, 2013, 07:04:57 PM »
Okay, so what is the best way to prep an engine for (hopefully) long term storage? My generators pilot jet was plugged after it has sat for over a year. I usually shut the fuel off and let it run until dry. Apparently there was some residual fuel left in there, or possibly debris, and it had to be cleaned before it would run. I thought running it dry would be okay, guess not. How would you prevent this?
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Offline marc11

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Re: Small engine storage
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2013, 07:14:20 PM »
I drain the float bowl and then spray some seafoam or fogging oil down the fuel line. I stored two bikes, two snow blowers and my generator for over two years this way and they all fired right up.

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Offline Jim

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Re: Small engine storage
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 09:03:37 PM »
A couple questions:

Assumption: This is a gravity fed carb (not a fuel pump fuel delivery system)

1) Is it a plastic fuel tank (or metal)? [I'm guessing metal as you said generator]
2) Does it have a fuel shut-off valve between the tank and carb? [guessing yes as you mentioned it]

If it's a metal tank - they like to be stored FULL to reduce rust on the interior metal. This might not be a significant issue though. If it's plastic - drain the complete system when not used.

As for the carb, they like to be drained dry so that they don't have fuel in them to slowly evaporate, leaving a varnish layer to plug passageways.

It's possible that your fuel-shut-off valve has a slow leak such that the carb re-filled and varnished on you.

So, you could put fuel stabilizer in the fuel and let it distribute through the main tank and run enough fuel through the carb so that the carb contains stabilized fuel. Shut fuel valve and drain carb - possibly leaving the carb open while you watch for drips from the carb from a faulty shut-off valve.

OR

Drain the whole thing, ensuring the carb is DRY and call it done. Fuel tank rust is a concern but perhaps less so than a plugged carb.

An option would be to remove and plug the fuel line from tank to carb (eliminate shut-off leak concern), drain carb, fill tank to the brim.

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Online Black Hills

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Re: Small engine storage
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 09:05:17 PM »
I drain the float bowl and then spray some seafoam or fogging oil down the fuel line. I stored two bikes, two snow blowers and my generator for over two years this way and they all fired right up.

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Online M.Brane

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Re: Small engine storage
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2013, 10:13:27 PM »
 Many small engines have a drain plug in the float bowl. If you can't drain the float bowl completely then the stabilizer route is the way to go. I'd also recommend coating the inside of an empty metal fuel tank with some kind of light oil. When re-filling with gas drain off a pint or so before startup to clean out any residual crud.

Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Small engine storage
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2013, 10:18:40 PM »
Plastic tank and it has a shut off valve. It is gravity feed. I believe the bowl has a drain plug (can't check it, my son is using it right now). I thought running it dry would work, guess not. So if I drain the bowl every time, would you still run the seafaom?
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Online M.Brane

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Re: Small engine storage
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2013, 10:58:21 PM »
Seafoam won't hurt anything, and it's cheap insurance.

Offline mxvet57

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Re: Small engine storage
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2013, 11:49:39 PM »
All i do is drain enough gas out of the tank then put in Stable and run it out of gas. Been doing this for the last 20 years and have never had a problem starting them up.
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Offline Veefer800canuck

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Re: Small engine storage
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2013, 06:34:55 AM »
Running an engine dry will never completely empty the carb float bowl. There is always residual gas in there.

Put in Sta-Bil first, make sure it's well mixed with the gas. Run it until it's thoroughly gotten through the carb into all the carb circuits.

Shut off the fuel and drain the float bowl totally empty. You can choke the engine and try to fire it afterwards to get the last dregs of fuel out.

Change the engine oil, and shoot some fogging oil into the spark plug hole. 2-stroke motor oil will work quite well for this also, doesn't leave so many deposits when you fire it up again after storage.
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