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Old 05-16-2012, 10:44 AM   #41
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This thread of running a 4-stroke dry is just silly. I have a 4-stroke Nissan 25. I keep the fuel treated at all times with a light dose of Yamaha treatment (the same stuff I used on my old 90HP 2-stroke and have never had an issue. I fill the tank maybe once every couple of months and dose the tank with a couple of ounces. When I bought the dinghy it had 2 year old fuel that took some running to clean out, but since then no issues. Let's not over think the problem here!

Dave
I'm afraid that it is a real problem and these guy's are not over thinking anything. It boils down to if you run the engine every couple of weeks or not. Plain and simple. For those of us that do not run the engine regularly it doesn't make any difference whether you put joy juice, cricket pee, Sta-bil or whatever in it you will have a problem sooner or later. It seems that running the engine at least once a month will for the most part keep it running. But as in a lot of cases where the dink isn't used for months at a time it will foul the carb.

Two cycle engines do not have the problem for at least several reasons. One being the oil mixed with the fuel seems to not allow the Corn oil to form up in the carbs and fuel pumps for longer periods of time. Second is that the jets in a two cycle carb are two or three times as large as the jets and restrictions in the 4 cycle carb that have EPA standards they have to meet. So when the fuel does dry out even though it may leave a bit of a coating on the jet it does not clog the jet as it does in the EPA carbs. Thus the engine starts and runs and after a few seconds somewhat cleans the jets by the amount of fuel that goes through them. On EPA carbs the jet are completely clogged so there is no fuel flow to act as a cleaning agent. Even if you get it to start it will not idle because the idle jets, that are really small, are clogged.

The problem is bad enough that a friend of mine that has a great reputation as a marine sales and repair shop has told me that the last four or five years has caused him so much trouble that after 25 years he is about to give it up.

His example was that he had a boat in his shop that had a pair of high HP 4 cycle Yamaha's on the back of it. The folks had just bought the boat three months before during the winter months and had him do a service on the boat right after they bought it. They used the boat right after the service and he said that they called him and told him the boat ran better than when they had bought it and were happy as a pig in slop. They did not use the boat for the next 2.5 months, just let it sit on the trailer. When they went to the river to use it after 2.5 months it would barely run. Of course to them it was his fault and they brought the boat back to his shop. He showed me the carbs and the inside of they were covered in a brown-yellow coating. He was in the process of rebuilding the carbs, for free. He said that he just can't continue to do the work two or three time for every engine he touches but he has to to keep his customers happy.

The coating inside those carbs was exactly what I had inside my carb on my 2003 6 hp 4 cycle Yamaha, which I bought new, after it sat up for a couple of months. That engine has found a new home and the 2 cycle Johnson that I now have had not run from October until the middle of March and it started and ran on the first pull.

So the problem is real I'm sorry to say.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:14 AM   #42
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Time ago... we had a 1998 10' Quicksilver inflatable with same year Nissan 8 hp ob. Sweetest little-bitty ob engine I've ever had. One to two pull start nearly every time... even if let sit for couple months and then well primed with gas line pressure ball. Sold them together when we decided to change to a cherry condition 1975 towable 4 seat Crestliner with its original 50 hp Johnson Ė another simply great boat and electric start ob motor that fires up in seconds... just had her serviced for summer!

Now... with our recently purchased 1991, closed bow, 21', 350 cid/270 hp/700 hr Malibu Skier we'll see what happens, i.e. if we keep the Crestliner ob??? Probably will because it's so light weight and easy for ďMy Dear AdmiralĒ to assist-handle as a towable! Plan to have picts of the Malibu soon as my two grand kids and I get her shined up and ready to cruise. You could say she's a very reasonably priced, fairly low hour "barn find" LOL! Hell, the little Malibu Skierís 270 hp IB has more power than either one of our 21K wet lb Tollyís 255 hp twin 350ís... but then again we usually cruise at hull speed or below in Tolly to get 2 + nmpg, and, as I understand it, the Malibu will jump out at approx 55 Knots WOT with a comfortable 37 knot cruise! Iíll be checking that out soon as possible and seek to learn the gph fuel burn at various cruise-speeds to determine nmpg. Bet she won't touch the economy of 20 nmpg our Crestliner does at 25 knot cruise. Iíll stick my neck out and make a pre use bet - - > Malibu will do 10 to 12 nmpg at a relaxed cruise speed of about 25 knots. We shall see!
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:48 AM   #43
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... the 2 cycle Johnson that I now have had not run from October until the middle of March and it started and ran on the first pull.

So the problem is real I'm sorry to say.
JD Ė I agree with you!

Guess I'm a lucky (smart maybe??) fellow to have always made sure to own only 2 cycle ob's.

Never been "attacked" by the fuel problems of 4 cycle ob's. I hear about 4 cycle ob fuel headaches occurring all over the place!

I Know that the 2 cycle ob are banned in some locations... Lake Tahoe as example! But Ė Moral of the story (for me anyway) - - > "Stay 2 Cycle or Stay Home!" LOL

PS: Since early 50ís when I was a barely walking young tyke around ob boats I always loved the rich odor of mixed oil and gas exhaust coming off good olí 2 cycle ob when they first fire up. Call me crazy, or call me nuts... but I gots the pleasurable smell of 2 cycles exhaust odors deep in my guts! And, I Like It!
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:57 AM   #44
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JD, you put it perfectly. Thanks.

Plenty of torque, quiet and does not smoke, but I sure miss the 2 stroke.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:46 PM   #45
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On th advice of the Grady-White/Yamaha dealer in town where we bought our 6hp Yamaha trolling motor the other year we have been running our outboards--- both 2 and 4 stroke-- dry every time we think they might sit a month or more between uses. What a major difference! We wish we'd been given this advice years ago. The 90 2-stroke fires up with no fuss when we restart it and the 4 strokes start on the second pull even after sitting for months (in the case of the 17' boat) without being run.

We've adapted this practice for our lawn mower, power washer, and chain saws and they now start right up after a whole winter of non-use. Before it was a long struggle to get all of them going again after sitting for a season.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:53 PM   #46
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just sayin No difference between 2 stroke and 4 stroke. My last dinghy had a 20 Yammy. Always a tough start after the winter layup. Service guy advised dosing hte fuel at all times with stabiliser, so that's what I did. still a bear to start after winter layup. Last time I took it in for a service he pulled the carbs apart to clean out the varnish, said that was the problem.
Present dinghy has a 4 cycle Honda, so far, no problem getting it going after winter layup. I still dose the fuel with stabiliser. I expect one day to have to rebuild the carbs due to varnish.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:07 AM   #47
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We've adapted this practice for our lawn mower, power washer, and chain saws and they now start right up after a whole winter of non-use. Before it was a long struggle to get all of them going again after sitting for a season.
I also do this and have not had a problem since. I live where ethanol "dehanced" gas has been around for several years now, and this is what it takes to be trouble free. Those who don't do this have trouble. End of story.
I don't even keep gas (with stabiliser) around more than 4 weeks in a can...it gets dumped into my truck, and I get fresh gas for the mower, outboard, etc.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:45 AM   #48
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I think that's the real issue here. What 'contaminants,' often going under the guise of enhancing additives to improve performance or to be 'greener,' are in the fuel, which can foul carbs or plugs if left in the lines for long. I've been using small petrol engines both 2 & 4 stroke ever since my lawn-mowing days as a 14 yr old. In 2 stroke engines the stale oil gunges up the plugs. In 4 strokes the additives (in the US case probably ethanol) cause jet blockage from separation and sludging as others have mentioned, or the fuel loses octane over time leading to harder starting. These issues are minimised by running them dry, as Marin mentioned, when going to be stored for any time. Here in Oz, we can still (for now at least) get petrol (gas as you call it in the US) free of ethanol, and I find if I use highest available octane rated fuel I can leave my Honda 2hp for months without running it dry, and it still starts readily. So for mine, pure fueled 4 strokes still reign over 2 strokes because of no oil in the fuel. Sorry Art, I don't share the love of the smell.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:59 AM   #49
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I also do this and have not had a problem since. I live where ethanol "dehanced" gas has been around for several years now, and this is what it takes to be trouble free. Those who don't do this have trouble. End of story.
I don't even keep gas (with stabiliser) around more than 4 weeks in a can...it gets dumped into my truck, and I get fresh gas for the mower, outboard, etc.
Well I'm not trying to burst any body's bubble but here are some facts that might be considered. 50 years ago there was no such thing as Ethanol in gas and if you left gas in a can over the winter in your garage it smelled like varnish and if left in the lawn mower to evaporate the carb had to be cleaned because there was varnish in it. The difference was that we had carb cleaners that worked and if not in too bad of shape you could put a can in, let it set a day or two and off it would go. Draining the carb on the lawn mower was common. By running it out of gas or buy removing the plug in the bottom of the bowl. BTW when you run it out of gas there still is some gas in the bottom of the float bowl because they have a low spot for sediment to collect and that gas doesn't get sucked up by the main jet. Only removing the plug gets it all. The point being that today's gas still leaves a yellow deposit that over time will clog the small orifices in the new EPA compliant carbs.

Secondly the gas in different parts of the country is different by blend due to weather conditions and Temps. So I don't know what one gets in WA state or AK but here in NC I have tried draining the gas, Sta-Bil, running till out of gas and at one point AV gas. None of it worked on a consistent basis. I had a 2003 6 HP Yamaha four stroke that I bought new in 2004 and when it ran it was great, started on the first pull, idled at 500 rpm, smooth as silk, quite as a church mouse, no exhaust smell but it was not capable of hanging on the rail of my sail boat for four or five months and then required to start. Just didn't happen. I thought of buying a different brand like a Honda but my friend told me that they have the same problems with them as with the Yamaha's.
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Old 05-18-2012, 05:43 AM   #50
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"Secondly the gas in different parts of the country is different by blend due to weather conditions and Temps."

Actually the gas is formulated different by Zip code , thanks to the Air Police.

You can get a different blend across the street in some locations.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:57 AM   #51
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"Secondly the gas in different parts of the country is different by blend due to weather conditions and Temps."

Actually the gas is formulated different by Zip code , thanks to the Air Police.

You can get a different blend across the street in some locations.
Fred - I'm always interested to learn, please explain. "... gas is formulated different by Zip code , thanks to the Air Police."

I live an hour away from Chevron's CA HQ and refinary. One of my companies some time ago performed construction at Chevron refinery. Although I didn't pay close attention regarding which holding tank fuel may have actually been drained from... as far as I can see the fuels pumped into container trucks that go to San Jose are same as fuels going to Sacramento or to San Francisco.
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:54 AM   #52
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"Secondly the gas in different parts of the country is different by blend due to weather conditions and Temps."

Actually the gas is formulated different by Zip code , thanks to the Air Police.

You can get a different blend across the street in some locations.
Here in Jefferson county we pay about 5 cents more per gallon for "reformulated" gas during the summer months only. Because we are in the river valley the air exceeds EPA limits in the summer due to stagnation. Go one county over and you can get the regular stuff. Yet those folks commute into the city for work. Go figure. And so it goes.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:37 PM   #53
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A few years ago we were at a large Chevron station in Burlington, WA on the way back from Bellingham. While we were there a tanker truck pulled in to fill their storage tanks. The tanker trucks, like all the ones we see here, are operated by independent distributors, not the oil companies themselves. I was standing there pumping our gas when the night manager came out to meet the truck driver and do paperwork. The first thing he said was, "So where's it from tonight?"

The trucker looked down at his paperwork and said, "Well, this load's from BP."

"Oh really? Last time what was it, Shell?

"Yeah."

Which pretty much blows this whole notion that what you buy at the station was refined by the company whose name is on the station. I think the industry treats fuel like we treat money. As long as you have what you need it doesn't really matter to you where it was printed.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:18 PM   #54
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A few years ago we were at a large Chevron station in Burlington, WA on the way back from Bellingham. While we were there a tanker truck pulled in to fill their storage tanks. The tanker trucks, like all the ones we see here, are operated by independent distributors, not the oil companies themselves. I was standing there pumping our gas when the night manager came out to meet the truck driver and do paperwork. The first thing he said was, "So where's it from tonight?"

The trucker looked down at his paperwork and said, "Well, this load's from BP."

"Oh really? Last time what was it, Shell?

"Yeah."

Which pretty much blows this whole notion that what you buy at the station was refined by the company whose name is on the station. I think the industry treats fuel like we treat money. As long as you have what you need it doesn't really matter to you where it was printed.
Marin - That is pretty much same as the "only" full service station owner in a small town nearby told me... I asked him at noon today, just for S&G

For decades their affordable and smart mechanics do all the work we may need on all our vehicles. I know the owner and mechanics pretty well. Itís Fairfax, Marin County - You may remember the town, eight miles west of San Rafael on HWY 101. Our home is 5.6 miles west of his station, in a town with 250 +/- population, on side of mountain, overlooking a fine golf course, out in the sticks! But... we're only 45 minutes to SF or Oakland. And, 99.8 miles door to door with our Tolly boat in SF Delta's Stockton. I'm thinking about moving the boat back into San Rafael. 99.8 mile travel into Delta mellllllow fresh waters for loooong weekends or multi week trips is fine and fun... just too far for half-day work parties, simply too much time wasted on the road! Damn it - I want the best O' Both Worlds. LOL
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Old 05-18-2012, 05:15 PM   #55
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Well, I left Marin County when I was just a wee lad and moved to Hawaii. I certainly remember the name Fairfax and I have undoubtedly been through it way back when but I can't visualize it or exactly where it is.

My main memories of Marin County are my hometown of Sausalito, which of course was nothing like it is today, and Tiburon where my mom would often take me to watch the trains, also long gone.

My strongest memory from Tiburon was when the engineer of a switch engine let me ride with him while he moved cars around the yard that used to be behind the waterfront. I couldn't have been more than four or five at the time. The railroad, Northwestern Pacific I believe, used to load cars onto rail barges at Tiburon and they were taken across the bay to San Francisico and perhaps to Oakland, too.

Our boat is about 90 miles north of us, but we go up almost every weekend of the year. We can drive to the boat in two hours or less, but it would take the best part of two days to get the boat up there if we kept it in the Seattle area. So even on a weekend we can get out into the islands for a couple of days since some of the destinations we like are only three hours or so out of Bellingham at eight knots. And it's a very nice three hours being as how we're going through the islands the whole time. So lots to see and every trip holds something new for us.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:19 PM   #56
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Ahhh memories. Your boat days sound like fun.

Besides our Tolly and Crestliner runabout 100 miles inland we also have a 4 bed 2 bath beach house 130 miles north overlooking the jagged coast line, which we rent or spend family time at playing... also we do some maintenance on it. Then there are our family trips south by 500 miles on CA coast to see my son/wife and granddaughter. Then east by 3000 miles to NY and Maine to visit my brothers and friends. Then there are to two families from our kids near here with 3 grand kids together (one family lives two houses away the other 40 minutes). Then, of course, there is work (my last name ain’t Zuckerberg, or anything like it! – lol). Then there is taking care of our spread here... Yikes... I scaring myself now with all we do! No kidding, we live very busy lives and in a way I do wish we could put more days on the boat. Big weekend is coming... 5 maybe 6 days playing and swimming! Hope you enjoy yours – know we will!

BTW - I plan to test my theory of Thermo gun reading gas tank levels for check on the tank gauges. Will report!
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:57 PM   #57
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True True true

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
A few years ago we were at a large Chevron station in Burlington, WA on the way back from Bellingham. While we were there a tanker truck pulled in to fill their storage tanks. The tanker trucks, like all the ones we see here, are operated by independent distributors, not the oil companies themselves. I was standing there pumping our gas when the night manager came out to meet the truck driver and do paperwork. The first thing he said was, "So where's it from tonight?"

The trucker looked down at his paperwork and said, "Well, this load's from BP."

"Oh really? Last time what was it, Shell?

"Yeah."

Which pretty much blows this whole notion that what you buy at the station was refined by the company whose name is on the station. I think the industry treats fuel like we treat money. As long as you have what you need it doesn't really matter to you where it was printed.
Seen it myself.
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:02 PM   #58
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For our geographical area, pipelines carry the fuel from SF Bay Area refineries inland to the Port of Stockton. Same pipes feed 2 or 3 distributors one of them Chevron. Every truck loads at whichever tank farm and it goes to the stations from there for the entire region served.

I assume this is common practice nationwide. Buy any brand you wish, it's the same product.
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:06 PM   #59
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..... we also have a 4 bed 2 bath beach house 130 miles north overlooking the jagged coast line,
Other than the very northern part of the California coast, the only two places I'm at all familiar with north of SFO are Stinson Beach where my folks used to take me all the time from when I was a baby until we left for Hawaii, and Bodega Bay, which I visited several times while working for a couple of summers during my early teens at a horse ranch owned by family friends in the hills between Santa Rosa and Calistoga.

There are four refineries in western Washington which supply the fuel for everything on this side of the mountains and perhaps on the other side, too. Two in Anacortes and two just north of Bellingham. All the crude comes in via tanker. And a lot of the refined product goes out via tanker to...... you guessed it.... China among other places.

There are pipelines that run from the refineries south to Seatac Airport and other distribution centers. One of the refineries is currently shut down for a major overhaul which has been just swell for the price of gas here. Ironically, even when all of them are running at capacity, the closer you get to the refineries the more expensive gas and diesel are. But if you go over the mountains to eastern Washington fuel tends to be cheaper. Go figure. The price is obviously simply a matter of what the local market can bear.

We use Costco gas in all our vehicles and in our 17' boat. I have no idea who supplies it--- most likely it comes from whichever refinery gives Costco the best wholsale price each week or month or whatever. But I don't believe---- and I could be wrong--- that Costco gas has any ethanol in it. I don't recall seeing "contains up to x-percent ethanol" stickers on their pumps like I do at the 76 station next to my office where I sometimes buy a few gallons to get me to Costco the next day. So my guess is that the refineries, regardless of who owns them, mixes in whatever additive package Chevron or 76 or Shell or Arco or Costco or Safeway wants and sends it out to the appropriate stations.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:22 PM   #60
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In addition to the closer to a refinery the higher the retail price of fuels, as you mention (it is the same here with Chevron)... currently per barrel cost was last this low in Oct 2011 and it has been decreasing for weeks, yet gas and diesel retail prices keep going up, up, up. At least in this area - they are!
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