A Thought About Small Engines and Winter


Old 12-02-01, 04:17 PM
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Good Evening, Tom:

I've got a Huskey 22 HP lawn tractor, a Murray 22" lawn mower, and Weed eater leaf blower in the tractor garage under my house at Dunsalin Hills, Tennessee.
Dunsalin Hills? I'm retired Navy so I am "done sailing" and I
have 7/10 acre of lawn on a hill. Looks like a golf course out there.

What a lot of folks don't think about is laying up this equipment for the Winter season. Gas goes stale in the tank and the units won't start in the Spring. So you add a little "gas stabilizer" from the local hardware store (or in my case, the Tractor Supply Co.).
I changed the oil in the 4 cycle units and will change it again in the Spring.
The Huskey tractor has a battery so I am keeping a trickle charge on the battery. I will start it every week or so to keep the oil circulated.

Come spring, I'm going to back that machine out of the garage, drop the 46" mower bed, and do some damage to the grass! LOL!

Incidentally, I answered your question in Small Appliances.

Have a great day and a dynamite holiday season.

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Old 12-02-01, 05:41 PM
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Good advice from a good guy as usual. Old Smokey does it again. I suspect your Husky tractor is an MTD in disguise. Is it a Home Depot brand? I found out the Husky mechanic's rollaway toolbox I bought is actually a Stanley (I found out when I called for parts and they answered the phone )

Joe adds (always have to put my 2 cents in, lol):

1) Give the old machine a thorough cleaning, fixing any rust or chips from summer use. Simple Green or Castrol's engine cleaner works fine. Give the old horse a coat of auto wax, any old brand. This keeps the paint hard and prevents rust from forming. Not to mention it keeps it looking like new. Ya know, if you throw out good equipment, Joe will find it and restore it only to use it for himself. Lol (I have done this twice so far and gotten two nice machines).

2) If rust has formed, use POR15 to neutralize it. Then prime and paint. The POR15 will turn the rust to a hard epoxy so rust cannot get in. You can also use Naval Jelly, but I prefer POR15. A little goes a long way.

3) Don't forget to clean the underside of the machine of any clippings or debris. Safety warning: Make sure to disconnect the spark plug as well.

4) If you don't do what Smokey did, make sure you run the unit dry of fuel. Fuel forms varnish when it goes stale.

5) Follow your manual's recommended storing procedures and maintenance. I like to give the old horse a servicing before putting it away for the winter. Be sure and oil or grease all pivot points to keep 'em corrosion free for next year.

6) If possible, store the equipment indoors (in a garage or shed to avoid exposure to the winter elements. If you must store it outside, make sure it's covered. Give an extra coat or two of wax for good measure.

7) Finally, get your parts together for next year's spring service. In this way, the unit will be ready to go right away and put into service in the spring.

Hope that helps in addition to what Smokey said.

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