Winterizing Small Engines

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  #1  
Old 10-25-00, 08:40 PM
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Winterizing Small Engines:

There are various methods for seasonal storage of small engine operated power equipment. The method used depends on the length of storage time, your climate zone, location of equipment storage and if you can start up the engine monthly.

Below are some suggestions for small engine power equipment commonly used around the home, shop and garden. Should you have other ideas, suggestions or methods, helpout & post them.

Clean the equipment and always change the oil.
Add fuel stabilizer to the gas and top off the tank.
Maintain a full tank of fuel and do not close off the fuel **** or run the engine dry.
Maintaining fuel in both the tank and carburetor reduces the chances of moisture from forming, which promotes gums, vanish, sludge & rust.

Grease fittings, bearings or bushings and spray a belt lube on all belts to keep them from drying out.
Run the engine at least once monthly for about 15-20 minutes. Running the engine for this length of time will evaporate the moisture in the oil & crankcase.

To store an engine for an extended length of time <over 30 days> when unable to run it monthly, change the oil, add fuel stabilizer, remove the spark plug, pour in a teaspoon of oil into the spark plug hole, crank the engine a few times to spread the oil and reinstall the plug.

On two cycle engines, never run the engine totally out of fuel.
Add a fuel stabilzer to the fuel tank.
Then run the engine long enough to get the treated fuel from the tank into the carb.
Top off the fuel tank and leave the pet **** <if equipped with one> open.
Store the equipment with the engine in it's normal operating <level> position.

For extended storage, add some two cycle oil directly into the cylinder, spin the engine a few times to distribute the oil and replace the spark plug.
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 05-07-04 at 09:25 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-28-00, 04:14 PM
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Hi Tom, happy to see you promoting the method of leaving fuel in the system. Even in Las Vegas we see water damage from emptied tanks and it's pretty dry here, not to mention that running a carb dry doesn't really totally empty a float bowl carb.

I've found it also a good idea to drain and discard the fuel prior to placing equipment back in service and refilling with fresh fuel as the stabolizer doesn't really keep the fuel from losing potency over the long haul. That may only be a problem with fuel that is recieved from California and not elsewhere, I'm not sure. California's fuel isn't even worthy of being called gasoline anymore but designer motor fuel. It seems to be so unstable that basically we advise 30 days as an age limit regardeless of whether it's been stabolized or not.
 
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Old 11-01-00, 02:20 PM
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Hi:LMRM

Thanks for posting your views and the contribution to the topic.

I totally agree with you regarding the useage of fuel stabilizers. After about 30 days they loss there effectiveness and will do nothing to control moisture and condensation.

Leaving the fuel tank empty only allows moisture and condensation to form, do to daily temperature changes.

Your correct regarding California gas.
I also like the phrase you used to discribe it..."designer motor fuel." hahaha

So much of the needed power ingredients are removed from California's fuel that you actually loss horsepower and fuel mileage!

To make matters worse, MTBE was added and now this chemical is known to cause health and other polution problems.

However, the air is clearer than it was some 30/40 years ago. Most days we can really see the mountains...LOL!
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 05-07-04 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 11-02-00, 07:09 AM
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Tom I didn't want to get off topic but couldn't find an email for you.

I just read your profile and realized you are in Calif. I grew up in Rialto, moved here to Vegas in 81. I remember daze driving down Hwy 91 through Riverside with tears in my eyes, from the smog. I hate what emission laws do to engine performance but I also know it's for the better.

Didn't they outlaw the MTBE. Haven't smelled it in our fuel for a while, except for the stuff that the guys from Nellis Air Force Base get. They have their own pipeline going to the base.

My email is "[email protected]" if you want to write without getting off topic on the board.

Bob :<=
 
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Old 11-23-00, 06:55 AM
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I use Super 104 Octane booster, for winter storage. It has fuel stabilizers and the octane booster will keep the octane high enough to not detonate when you fire it up, next use.

Perry Wright
"Relentless" Racing
 
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Old 11-25-00, 07:32 AM
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While not for the engine itself, it's a good idea to put a coat of wax over the body of the unit. When I take my power equipment out for the season, I usually put a coat of wax on the body of it, and it keeps it in good shape for years. Any kind of auto wax would do. I even use auto wax to buff my mother's 32 year old GE refrigerator. You should see the shine .

Also might want to lube any linkages and pivot points before storing. Store the unit inside (garage or shed) if possible. Many manufacturers don't recommend using plastic to cover a unit (I guess it traps moisture), but it's probably better to cover it with something if the units must remain outside.

Just my .02
 
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Old 11-25-00, 08:00 AM
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Hi: Perry & Joe

Thanks to both of you for your contributions to this forum topic. Both methods and suggestions offer additional information useful to many of us.

Since writting the topic and reading the additional contributions, I realized I had missed something.But then that was expected. I couldn't really cover every situation.

One of many reasons why this web site is so great. Sharing methods, suggestions, ideas and experiences, we all learn.

Covering any machinery should be done with a breathable material to help prevent moisture buildup. Canvas seems to work best. Any other materials anyone can suggest would be a welcomed addition.
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 05-07-04 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 11-25-00, 12:20 PM
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A good breathable car cover will probably work the best, and if you get a large enough one, you can commandeer and cover all of your equipment in one spot and cover it from the elements.

I store my power equipment in an outside shed which has a concrete floor and is made of aluminum. Other posters may not have the room/availability of said storage.
 
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Old 12-01-00, 03:01 PM
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I race 2 stroke dirt bikes. Generally year round this is the first year I won't(getting to old). Would you change any of your recommendations for the storage of these bikes until March of next year?
 
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Old 12-01-00, 07:18 PM
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Hi:hanesjosh

I wouldn't change anything I suggested in my posting for storing a two cycle engine for that short of time you plan to store your motorcycles.

I would highly recommend you fire them up and run them for about 15/20 minutes each month if not every two weeks.

One major reason is the diaphrams in the carbs. The fuel is the lubricate. If they dry out, they will more then likely need to be replaced, to get a smooth running engine back.

Another reason is the crankcase. Moisture will drastically effect the bearings. The engine may have rotory valves, which also rely on the fuel oil mix for lubrication.

Besides, how could you resist firing up those engines and enjoying the sounds of well tuned exhausts? I never could...hahaha
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 05-07-04 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 12-02-00, 05:40 PM
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Thanks Tom and your right I probably will sneak a few rides between ice and snow storms.
 
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