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summer snow blower storage


sgull's Avatar
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04-12-12, 08:44 AM   #1  
summer snow blower storage

Getting ready to put the snow blower into summer storage. Its a Honda snowblower and the owners manual basically states to either drain the tank and carb or leave the tank full of gas with stabilizer. I do have a full tank right now, with Sea Foam (liquid) added for stabilizer, but am not sure what would be the best method. I have a can of Sea Foam Deep Creep spray that I could use also but am unsure the proper method of spraying into the air intake so as to allow it to penetrate into the carb. Before the last season summer storage, I recall I had a helper who sprayed the Sea Foam into the intake, I believe while the engine was running, until big puffs of black smoke appeared briefly and then shut it down. I tried myself yesterday, I removed the air cleaner and shot a few sprays of the Sea Foam while the engine was running but got seemed to get no different response from the engine and no black smoke, so I think I wasn't doing it quite right or something.

What I'm trying to inquire about here is what's a good method to store the snowblower, using the Sea Foam, so that I can be pretty sure there won't be a gummed up carb or other such fuel problem caused by old fuel sitting in it all year until I need the blower next winter? Just draining the gas out of the tank and carb seems like thats not going to be thorough enough. Any comments/advice appreciated.

 
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Pilot Dane's Avatar
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04-12-12, 09:15 AM   #2  
My favorite is to go to a local airport a buy a small amount of 100LL avgas. It should be blue in color and right now around Anchorage is about $6 a gallon. I run the engine until it runs out of fuel then put the avgas in the tank and then run the engine for a while to make sure the avgas gets into the carb good. Then put the machine away. If you want to do belt and suspenders you can drain or run out the avgas until the motor dies and drain any remaining fuel from the bowl but draining is really not necessary unless you're storing it for years without use.

100LL avgas is almost totally different than gasoline. It is designed right from the beginning for long term storage and use in harsh conditions so no fuel stabilizer is needed. If you want to you add fuel stabilizer like Sta-Bil to gasoline and go through the run it in and drain process.

Toward the end of the season for a tool I just switch over to running it on 100LL and don't do any special winterizing. That way if I forget to winterize it's OK and if something comes up and I need it, it's ready to go without having to do anything.

 
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04-12-12, 09:39 AM   #3  
Well, you could do as I did this year.
1. Move blower from storage to garage.
2. Move blower from garage to storage.

No gas needed because - no snow. What a goofy winter.

Actually, I normally run out or drain most of the gas, then add a dose of stabilizer and run the tank dry. Open the drain valve on the bottom of the carb and drain it. Remove spark plug, put about a teaspoons worth of oil in cylinder, replace plug and pull starter until I hit compression ( two cycle) and then store.

 
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04-12-12, 11:41 AM   #4  
Yeah I like that idea of using the avgas. As mentioned, tThat seems simplest and would save having to to all the special winterizing stuff. I called the local aviation gas supply outfit in this town but they said they can't sell it to me unless I have a certification or whatever it is that you have to have to typically purchase aviation gas. Guess you have to have an airplane or whatever. Anyway the average joe just cant go buy a little, they said its against their policy.

 
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04-12-12, 11:47 AM   #5  
goldstar,
So after I run it almost out of gas, I add a "dose" of stabilizer, and then run the tank dry? How much is a dose? How much stabilizer per amount of gas left in the tank while I run it dry? And, after I drain the carb, does the stabilizer I added to the gas and ran it till it went dry prevent the carb from gumming up during the off season storage?

 
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04-12-12, 12:13 PM   #6  
I add stabilzer to the gas can I use to put gas in my lawnmower and snowblower and just run the thing out of gas before storing it for the off season.

 
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04-12-12, 12:26 PM   #7  
Don't call a fuel supplier. That's sorta like calling Exxon and wanting to buy a gallon. Just go to any airport with your gas can and ask for a gallon of 100 low lead (the truck or pump will be labeld 100LL).

If you go to the big terminal at Ted Stevens TSA will probably try to lock you up. Go where the smaller, piston powered airplanes are. Grabbing a can of fuel is commonly done here and in AK they'll probably think your plane ran out of fuel just over the hill and you're a cheap SOB just wanting enough to get home.

 
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04-12-12, 06:19 PM   #8  
I'll take a gas can out to the the airport where the smaller piston powered planes are and tell somebody working there I need to buy a little avgas. I've never bought avgas before so I wouldnt even know where the gas pump is, or where I'm supposed to pay for it or anything. They'll probably ask for my certification or tail number or whatever, I'll bet. I'll bet they won't sell it to me. But I'll try.

 
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04-13-12, 04:35 AM   #9  
I buy 100LL for a classic car that I have all the time. I have never been asked for any certification or other info.

 
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04-13-12, 04:55 AM   #10  
Some airports have a automatic credit card pump system but it often does not look anything like a pump at your car's gas station so just ask somebody, they're usually glad to help. Many places dispense fuel from a truck so just find somebody and ask about buying some fuel. And don't sweat it. There is no certification or regulation. It's much like buying gas for your car. The commercial gas station has to have permits and certificates (pumps are accurate, tanks not leaking, storage of flammable liquid...) but you the customer can just drive up and buy gas.

I don't know where you are located but if you're in Anchorage you don't have to be afraid of the big airports. Ted Stevens has four companies that sell Avgas. Several are on the south side of the airport off Raspberry Rd. and ACE Fuels has several location at Lake Hood. If Merrill Field is closer Ace is also there. Oh, and don't bother trying Elmendorf.

 
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04-17-12, 09:55 AM   #11  
Ok I was able to acquire some 100LL av gas. But now I'm noticing in the snowblower owners manual that "these engines a re certified to operate on unleaded gas with pump octane rating of 86 or higher."

So with the low lead content of the av gas is that going to be a problem? any comment appreciated

 
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04-17-12, 05:18 PM   #12  
I would not run the engine forever on leaded gas since it's expensive and contains lead. I think most of the wording in your manual is because leaded fuel is no longer commonly available. "Unleaded" is simply the name of the current fuel in use. First their was just gasoline, then their was leaded and unleaded and now we are left with unleaded.

I don't know if you are old enough to remember back to the 70's when many swore that engines would be harmed if run without the lead. Lead has been included in gasoline since the 1920's and only was removed due to environmental concerns and it's bad affect on catalytic converters. Even though it's a good working fuel you absolutely do NOT want to put that fuel into your car. It is illegal and will wreak havoc on the emissions system.

One nice thing about 100LL is that it evaporates cleanly (if you overlook the white lead residue) without leaving a smell. If working on your equipment or washing parts off in 100LL you can walk in the house 2 minutes later with no gasoline smell oozing from your skin. Just don't lick your fingers.

 
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04-17-12, 06:26 PM   #13  
Okay. Thanks Pilot Dane for the info about the av gas, and the tip for using it for offseason storage in the blower. Seems like a good way to go.

 
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04-19-12, 10:48 AM   #14  
I put the avgas in the tank and then ran the engine for a while to make sure the avgas got into the carb good. Before putting the machine away until next year, the manual says its best to have a full tank of gas to prevent condensation build up in the tank. Should I just use regular gas for that (with stabilizer added), or would it be best to fill it with the avgas?

 
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04-19-12, 12:16 PM   #15  
I usually leave the tank empty but you can fill it with Avgas if you like. The nice thing with Avgas in there is you can use the snowblower if you get a freak storm and don't have to worry about prepping it for storage again.

One good or bad thing about Avgas is that it does not mix with water. Any water/condensation or contaminates that get into the tank nicely sit in the bottom of the tank where they are easy to remove. I either run it into the carb and dump the bowl or just pull the fuel line to get rid of it.

 
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