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Old 09-28-2015, 01:01 PM   #21
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Non-ethanol fuel solves all sorts of problems. I think and from what we've been told by fuel people, not using fuel that's a month old or more is an unnecessary precaution. Ethanol is the source of many problems, not the least of which is the separation John speaks of.

According to our local fuel "experts" ethanol defeats the value of adding Stabil, at least the normal Stabil. There may be a version that is formulated for ethanol fuel now, I don't know.

But non-ethanol fuel is said to be good for a year or more. We have non-ethanol fuel in our Honda generator at home that sits for the better part of a year yet the motor starts instantly on the first pull every time. We do shut off the fuel and run the carburetor dry after we use it to avoid potential gumming up problems in the jet(s) although I don't know if we'd have any with non-ethanol fuel. We do not use a stabilizing additive.

If we had to use ethanol fuel then we would do as Doug describes and not use fuel more than a month or two old in our outboards, mower, etc.

The people I know with outboards and other similar type motors all run them dry after use. They say it's why they no longer have starting problems after a period of non-use. So far as I know, most or all of them are using E10 fuel in their motors.

I suspect the reality is that if an outboard is used relatively frequently running them dry accomplishes little or nothing no matter what type of fuel is used. But if the motor is going to sit for awile-- a month or more maybe and certainly for an entire season, then getting all the fuel out of the system becomes a lot more important, even more so wirh ethanol fuel. Which is why we drain the bowls, not just run the motor with the fuel shut off or disconnected until it stops
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:10 PM   #22
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Ever since I started using this additive all my small engine issues have just disappeared....

Mechanic In a Bottle | B3C Fuel Solutions

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Old 09-28-2015, 01:30 PM   #23
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This is the stuff my Yamaha dealer recommended....
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:35 PM   #24
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And I do have to say another thing....My Yamaha dealer said, ideally, he would drain it halfway(15-20 seconds maybe). I do not remember his reasoning on it. I have a call into him right now and waiting on his call so I can get his reasoning on that. But he did say if he had to choose from running it "dry" or just leaving the fuel in it, he would leave the fuel in it.
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:44 PM   #25
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I hate small gas outboard engines. I went to using an electric outboard on my RIB. I don't go fast, but I never have to keep gasoline on board anymore and it recharges with a solar panel, 12v, or 110. Also super lightweight.
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:56 PM   #26
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I can speak from experience what happens to ethanol fuel when you don't use stabilizer and don't run the carbs empty. In about six months, the gas turns to a gel that resembles Vasoline mixed with flour that takes many cleanings to finally get the tiny clumps of particulate out of the system. It hides out everywhere! So now any gas engine that is not used or refueled at least weekly, gets stabilized immediately.
My 2 stroke dinghy engine gets the fuel bowl run empty at the end of every cruise.
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Old 09-28-2015, 02:49 PM   #27
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I have a 2hp Honda 4-stroke and a Merc 15hp 2-stroke. I run the bowls dry at the end of a trip before storing the motors onboard. The precise reason for doing this is that I was advised to do it and I've always followed that advice. I have no experience letting them sit with fuel in the bowls.

But one thing I do is buy the high octane gasoline (yes, it has a 10% ethanol blend) so as the fuel ages and the octane drops, it is still high enough octane at the end of the season. Now that I read this thread, I'm realizing that I failed to put the Stabil in the tanks when I refueled them a couple of months ago. I guess it's not too late...

At the end of the cruising season in Oct or Nov, I typically pour much of the remaining fuel into my car tank and resupply in the spring.
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Old 09-28-2015, 03:02 PM   #28
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One thing that has really helped me, is that I no longer use fuel that is more than a month or so old in the dinghy. If I know it is going to sit for a while I just pour the dinghy fuel from the tank into my truck.

I only use non ethanol fuel and I don't drain run the carb dry at my dealers instructions. 20 hp Suzuki 4 stroke.
Ditto, sorta. But first, assuming your Suzuki is one of the newer ones, it's a) fuel-injected, and b) two cylinder. Both might be important distinctions.

Back to the regime. We can only get ethanol, so we've had to adjust our plan to that. Our one-cylinder two-stroke 5-hp Johnson (Suzuki) was susceptible to ethanol issues. Using the motor often, no problem at all.

But for longer period of disuse... No brand of stabilizer (including both types of Stabil) ever did squat. I usually let it run dry after use, but seemed to find no big difference between doing that and doing nothing. (I have more recently heard the theory about not running the carb dry, though, and would think there could be some factoid behind that. Certainly when gas dries, it can leave a kind of varnish... In any case, II noticed no particular difference.)


Anyway, we eventually started siphoning out any remaining gas after 3 weeks of non-use. Period. That pretty much ended the problems.

Starting over with fresh (ethanol) gas seems to work pretty well. Even if a little of the old remains in the onboard tank or in the external tank, that seems to become diluted enough with new gas so the carb and the one-cylinder motor can deal with it.

With our newer 15-hp Suzuki fuel-injected two-cylinder 4-stroke... so far no problems. But I've still been sticking to the recycle routine out of habit, so not sure I can say the fuel injection or the two cylinder might be part of the solution or not.

I do remember back 60 years ago or so, we never worried about the gas in our outboards. Didn't matter if it was a year old or more, didn't matter if the motor hadn't been used in 6 months or whatever, it'd start and it'd run.

Now? Not so much. At least with the smaller carbureted motors.

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Old 09-28-2015, 03:09 PM   #29
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At the end of the cruising season in Oct or Nov, I typically pour much of the remaining fuel into my car tank and resupply in the spring.
You would probably do better to pour that into your boat diesel tank. I wouldn't want that crap going through my car's fuel system. In your boat, it is better filtered and you have bigger tanks for dilution.
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Old 09-28-2015, 03:13 PM   #30
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Marin is right, since I use non ethanol fuel it is probably overkill to drain my tanks before any sort of extended storage. But it is easy and cheap, so I do it rather than worry about bad fuel.
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Old 09-28-2015, 03:16 PM   #31
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Ditto, sorta. But first, assuming your Suzuki is one of the newer ones, it's a) fuel-injected, and b) two cylinder. Both might be important distinctions.

Back to the regime. We can only get ethanol, so we've had to adjust our plan to that. Our one-cylinder two-stroke 5-hp Johnson (Suzuki) was susceptible to ethanol issues. Using the motor often, no problem at all.

But for longer period of disuse... No brand of stabilizer (including both types of Stabil) ever did squat. I usually let it run dry after use, but seemed to find no big difference between doing that and doing nothing. (I have more recently heard the theory about not running the carb dry, though, and would think there could be some factoid behind that. Certainly when gas dries, it can leave a kind of varnish... In any case, II noticed no particular difference.)


Anyway, we eventually started siphoning out any remaining gas after 3 weeks of non-use. Period. That pretty much ended the problems.

Starting over with fresh (ethanol) gas seems to work pretty well. Even if a little of the old remains in the onboard tank or in the external tank, that seems to become diluted enough with new gas so the carb and the one-cylinder motor can deal with it.

With our newer 15-hp Suzuki fuel-injected two-cylinder 4-stroke... so far no problems. But I've still been sticking to the recycle routine out of habit, so not sure I can say the fuel injection or the two cylinder might be part of the solution or not.

I do remember back 60 years ago or so, we never worried about the gas in our outboards. Didn't matter if it was a year old or more, didn't matter if the motor hadn't been used in 6 months or whatever, it'd start and it'd run.

Now? Not so much. At least with the smaller carbureted motors.

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You're right, my Suzuki is fuel injected. I forgot about that.
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Old 09-28-2015, 03:16 PM   #32
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You would probably do better to pour that into your boat diesel tank. I wouldn't want that crap going through my car's fuel system. In your boat, it is better filtered and you have bigger tanks for dilution.
I don't want to ever pour gasoline into my diesel fuel tanks. I don't know its effect on the engines and it just doesn't sound or feel right. I'd rather throw it out than risk any issues in the boat.
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Old 09-28-2015, 03:17 PM   #33
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But one thing I do is buy the high octane gasoline (yes, it has a 10% ethanol blend) so as the fuel ages and the octane drops, it is still high enough octane at the end of the season. .
I doubt octane has anything to do with this...In fact, higher octane fuels burn slower. I'd expect that most of these engines would run fine on 80 octane second world fuel. Compression ratios are low as are RPM's, and I've never seen a requirement for high octane fuels. You may get a slight benefit from additives that are in higher octane fuels..
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Old 09-28-2015, 03:53 PM   #34
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Greetings,
All this talk of draining fuel bowls and portable tanks and no-one has mentioned the gasoline that remains in the connecting hose. I was having problems starting an older 15HP Yamaha last year and one of the members mentioned that in spite of the fact I had run the carb dry and refilled the previously emptied remote tank I was STILL trying to start on that old fuel that had remained in the hose. Just a thought...
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Old 09-28-2015, 04:04 PM   #35
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Baker:

I disagree with your friend's advice to not run the carb dry. Here is why:

Gasoline will turn to varnish as it slowly evaporates in the fuel system. It does this due to a chemical reaction that causes the gasoline components to polymerize. It will do this with or without ethanol. I had it happen 30 years ago, long before we had any ethanol in our gas.

As it evaporates it leaves a varnish in any low lying spot- the bottom of the fuel tank, horizontal fuel lines, in the bottom of the float chamber and in horizontal needle valves. I have actually seen it in many of these places.

Before ethanol, it would take quite a while for the fuel to evaporate, let the varnish concentrate and then form a deposit in the low spots. Now with ethanol, this happens much quicker and the fuel doesn't need to evaporate- the varnish will form at any low spot where water will accumulate- usually the bottom of the float chamber.

So when you run the carb dry, you are removing fuel from most of the places where it can cause harm- the fuel line downstream of the shut off valve, the horizontal needle valve, but not the bottom of the float chamber. A tablespoon full of fuel will remain in the bottom. But that tablespoon of gasoline, ethanol and water can only form a tiny bit of varnish.

That tiny bit of varnish in the bottom of the float chamber will not affect operation of the carb. All of the small passage parts- the float valve and the needle metering valves are an inch or two above that point. If you run the carb dry then they are dry and will work fine once the carb is filled with gas. Often the fresh gasoline will dissolve the minute amount of varnish.

So, sorry for the long explanation. And FWIW this is what you do when you think that your carb is gunked up whether you run it dry or not:

Get a quart can of carburetor cleaner from your auto parts store. This stuff WILL dissolve the varnish. Then remove the carb, disassemble it, including the float valve and the screw jets. Dump all of the parts in the basket and soak for several hours. Remove the body and turn it upside down and soak for several more. This assures that any air bubbles are out and all passages get immersed in the cleaner. Reassemble the carb and 90% of the time it will run fine.

I am batting 5 for 5 with this procedure.

David
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Old 09-28-2015, 05:55 PM   #36
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Marin is right, since I use non ethanol fuel it is probably overkill to drain my tanks before any sort of extended storage. But it is easy and cheap, so I do it rather than worry about bad fuel.
I've never had a mechanic--- automotive, aviation, or marine--- tell me that fresh lube oil is bad for an engine. I suspect these same people would never tell me that fresh gasoline is bad for an engine, either. So if you're happy with the routine of cycling the old fuel out every month or so then I can't think of any downside to continuing to do that as far as the engine's ease of use and reliability is concerned.
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:59 PM   #37
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I don't want to ever pour gasoline into my diesel fuel tanks. I don't know its effect on the engines and it just doesn't sound or feel right. I'd rather throw it out than risk any issues in the boat.
Could not agree more.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:52 PM   #38
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My fuel injected OB (60hp) never has an old stale fuel problem. Starts instantly and runs perfect no matter how long it's sat not running.

My little engines w carbs don't have a problem sitting except the 6hp Johnson. I run the engines (not motors) dry when they are going to sit for a while and most all the time run E10.
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:54 PM   #39
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Baker:

I disagree with your friend's advice to not run the carb dry. Here is why:

Gasoline will turn to varnish as it slowly evaporates in the fuel system. It does this due to a chemical reaction that causes the gasoline components to polymerize. It will do this with or without ethanol. I had it happen 30 years ago, long before we had any ethanol in our gas.

As it evaporates it leaves a varnish in any low lying spot- the bottom of the fuel tank, horizontal fuel lines, in the bottom of the float chamber and in horizontal needle valves. I have actually seen it in many of these places.

Before ethanol, it would take quite a while for the fuel to evaporate, let the varnish concentrate and then form a deposit in the low spots. Now with ethanol, this happens much quicker and the fuel doesn't need to evaporate- the varnish will form at any low spot where water will accumulate- usually the bottom of the float chamber.

So when you run the carb dry, you are removing fuel from most of the places where it can cause harm- the fuel line downstream of the shut off valve, the horizontal needle valve, but not the bottom of the float chamber. A tablespoon full of fuel will remain in the bottom. But that tablespoon of gasoline, ethanol and water can only form a tiny bit of varnish.

That tiny bit of varnish in the bottom of the float chamber will not affect operation of the carb. All of the small passage parts- the float valve and the needle metering valves are an inch or two above that point. If you run the carb dry then they are dry and will work fine once the carb is filled with gas. Often the fresh gasoline will dissolve the minute amount of varnish.

So, sorry for the long explanation. And FWIW this is what you do when you think that your carb is gunked up whether you run it dry or not:

Get a quart can of carburetor cleaner from your auto parts store. This stuff WILL dissolve the varnish. Then remove the carb, disassemble it, including the float valve and the screw jets. Dump all of the parts in the basket and soak for several hours. Remove the body and turn it upside down and soak for several more. This assures that any air bubbles are out and all passages get immersed in the cleaner. Reassemble the carb and 90% of the time it will run fine.

I am batting 5 for 5 with this procedure.

David
Thanks for the advice. I am only going on my experience. I have been battling this in a Merc 2 stroke 15hp and a Yamaha 2 stroke 15hp ever since they introduced ethanol into our gas. The symptoms are EXACTLY the same. Since I have stopped running gas out of the engine I have had no problems. I don't have a lot of history, I will admit. But this last period of 4th of July to Labor Day of non use and then perfect reliability gave me some hope.
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Old 09-29-2015, 06:36 AM   #40
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"hate small gas outboard engines. I went to using an electric outboard on my RIB. I don't go fast, but I never have to keep gasoline on board anymore and it recharges with a solar panel, 12v, or 110. Also super lightweight."

Bigger advantage is the bride wont feel she is trapped aboard as the electric trolling motor always starts.
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