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Old 09-25-2017, 12:27 PM   #1
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Small Engine Advice Needed

Got my power back a week ago. I guess it's time to put my portable generator back in storage.

The generator has a Honda engine and will run on either propane or gasoline.
It's about twenty years old and I've never run it on gasoline until this storm.

I was running low on propane so I ran a couple of tanks of gasoline through it.
Now I'm worried that the carburetor will clog before the next time I need it.
I ran it until it stopped on its own. I then ran it a few minutes on propane.

I'm thinking I should put in some gasoline mixed with Sea Foam, Sta Bil or something like that and run it dry again. Should I just go ahead and have the carburetor cleaned?

I will change the oil. The gasoline turned it dark.

I probably won't run it again until June, the start of the hurricane season.
Before this storm, I hadn't started it in five years.

Suggestions for long term storage?
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:42 PM   #2
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On small engines I mix the stabil and then run it dry until it stops - most of the ones I have also have a carb bowl drain (or a high pressure vape tank drain for DI) which I also drain. Then an oil change and the fogging oil before storage. Air filters and exhaust servicing is done on an hourly accumulation basis.
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Old 09-25-2017, 02:28 PM   #3
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Fuel stabilizer doesn't last forever. Really only a year or less. If the engine isn't going to run on gasoline for years, It would be better to remove all fuel from the tank, lines and carb.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:23 PM   #4
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With dual fuel engines the carb gaskets dry out and eventually leak when you want to run on gas. I had an old Buick that had a propane tank in the trunk. Basically I always ran on propane but every several weeks I'd switch over to gas for 5 miles or so to "wet" the gaskets. Always started on propane.

I knew to do this as I worked for a company that had 3 or 4 trucks that ran on propane or gas. I exercised the carb on them too. Would be very handy when running out of propane. Don't remember doing that though.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:36 PM   #5
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My Honda eu2000i has two methods to shut down, both controlled by the same rotary switch.

1. Electrical, which kills the spark and turns off the engine immediately when activated, leaving the carb full of fuel

2. Fuel shutoff to the carb.

I learned that by removing the wire terminal end (slide on) then turning the switch to OFF allows the unit to run for another 30-60 secs which empties the carb bowl.
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:27 PM   #6
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Many small carbs have a drain lever or screw in them.

Once drained, doubt you will have issues, as I never have if run dry or drained.
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:54 PM   #7
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Remove all liquid fuel, try to stick to propane in future.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:08 PM   #8
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On small 4 stroke engines like my portable inverter genset I add a double dose of stabil to the last part of the tank and run it dry, not much to add actually. Then I drain the bowl with the drain nut - this is on a Yamaha YL2800 that is going on 13 years and has served us well through many poor weather times. Then I change the oil and fog the engine thru the spark plug hole - if it is time I clean the air filter and the exhaust screen. Plugs and oil changes are done by the hourly rate except for storage.


If it is a two stroke such as an outboard or a garden tool I add the same double dose of stabil to the two stroke mix and follow the same process. If it is not carbed and has fuel injection often you can drain the evap tank or the fuel line at the pump- follow the manufacturers spec.
The extra stabil at shutdown will coat the gaskets and metal parts of the bowl and add to corrosion resistance and float sticking.
It always works well for us and not so hard to do.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:36 PM   #9
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You ran the tank empty and you wouldn't need it until June.
Unless you ran it days on end, you are done.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
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You ran the tank empty and you wouldn't need it until June.
Unless you ran it days on end, you are done.
No oil change? No fuel adds or drain? No fogging oil?
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:30 PM   #11
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Can anyone recommend the "engineered fuel" they sell at the big-box home supply stores?

I was thinking of running a little of that through the small engines (they sell a 2 and 4 stroke version) before laying them up for the season. At $20 per gallon it's not cheap, but it would be cheap insurance if it means everything will start up next spring (or winter, in the case of the snow blower.)
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
Can anyone recommend the "engineered fuel" they sell at the big-box home supply stores?

I was thinking of running a little of that through the small engines (they sell a 2 and 4 stroke version) before laying them up for the season. At $20 per gallon it's not cheap, but it would be cheap insurance if it means everything will start up next spring (or winter, in the case of the snow blower.)
I use the stuff (50/1 mix) for an Echo blower and couldn't be happier so far. It would be a little expensive for a gas genny. The local Raceway gas station sells non ethanol fuel. It too is expensive but far less than $20/gal for the pre-mixed 92 octane stuff at under $4/gal. I use it in our lawn mower and so far, it has worked well. I would use that in a gas genny. The issue I have with non ethanol they sell is it is only 87 octane where most outboards recommend 89 octane or higher.
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:58 PM   #13
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Ive seen less if any ethanol problems once I changed to premium gas on the lake. First few years I ran premium never a problem. Last year I went a lil cheap ran reguler 87 octane and every time my pickup tube got clogged. This season all premium and not one gas clog from ethanol.

Has to say something between premium and reguler for my experience.
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:23 AM   #14
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Propane is the finest fuel to operate on or store with.

Run the engine warm on propane , shut it down , change the hot oil and when done crank it over and spray fogging oil in the intake.

A day , week, month or year of non use wont be a problem.
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:01 AM   #15
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I run gas driven [see the following]... without any problem... even after a couple years shut down and not run dry. I do liberally add Berrymans ChemTool-B12 into gas just before shut down and a bit more upon start up in the smaller engines.

50 hp Johnson 2 stroke
Land based portable generator
Plaster mixer
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Twin screw 350 Mercruisers / one Kohler 7.5 gen set - Put only Soltron in these tanks... not B12
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:39 AM   #16
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Run just about any engine out of fuel or drain the fuel system and if in good shape at that point...your engine should start fine.

NJ has had ethanol for years now....run dry or drain, start with fresh fuel and you should be fine.
Tens of housands or millions here prove it every year.
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:41 PM   #17
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My Yamaha 1000, now 30 yrs, gets a dose of. Seafoam or similar as the tank empties.
I keep a 700W load on it so it working. When it starts to stumble I tip it so fuel runs to carb. I then play with the choke for the final bit untill there is not enough fuel for it to run.
Then open the carb drain screw for the final bit of fuel.

Change the oil while still warm.
Pull plug and fog cylinder while pulling start cord.
Done and ready for next season.

Much the same for O/B but f.w. flush with Salt away.. I also change the gear case oil looking for any sign of water which has happened.
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