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Old 10-17-2007, 09:27 AM   post #1 of 12
Artpb
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Default Two-Stroke engine fuel warning

This may be old news to amny of you. The key seems to be homewowners use where the engine is not used to often. Would a little dry gas help?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 4:15 AM EDT

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Ethanol not so friendly to power tools


BY PAUL SINGLEY REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Anyone who uses a chainsaw, weed whacker or snowmobile may notice the engines in their equipment breaking down quicker than they used to.

Many times the reason is ethanol, a fuel additive made of corn, sugar and other grains that Connecticut gasoline distributors have been using since 2003.

Ethanol is supposed to burn cleaner, reduce air pollutants and serve as a healthy alternative to MTBE, the additive it has replaced. But high amounts of ethanol can wreak havoc on small power tools that use two-stroke engines -- as opposed to four-stroke engines used in many automobiles -- according to local experts on power equipment.

"The biggest problem is that ethanol absorbs water, especially when people leave the gas cap off on a hot, sunny day," said Lee Schmidt, owner and manager of Schmidt's & Serafine's, an outdoor power equipment company in Waterbury. "We'll have customers bringing in new lawnmowers, and the carburetors will be corroded like they are 10 years old."

Schmidt, who has almost 30 years of experience working on outdoor power equipment, recommends that all of his customers use a high-octane fuel with low ethanol levels. He recommends using at least an 89 octane fuel, with 11 percent ethanol. His company sells brand-name STIHL equipment, and Schmidt said a STIHL chainsaw will run on E-10, meaning 10 percent ethanol. "Anything over 12 or 13 percent and it won't even start," he said.

"This is not as much of a problem in automobiles because they are running all the time," he said. "The biggest problem is with the small stuff, like chainsaws. People need to keep the gas caps on properly."

Dave Blersch, owner of Chainsaws Unlimited Inc. in Southbury, agrees with most of Schmidt's suggestions. He urges customers to use at least a 93 octane gas.

"Every time the gas hits the air it loses a point of octane, so I suggest a higher octane gas," he said.

High-octane gas costs a little more, but it's worth it, he said.

He also urges people to keep gas no longer than 30 days, because the longer it sits, the more water it absorbs.

"People will argue with you that they never used to do it this way," said Blersch, who has been in business since 1978. "I have that conversation at least three times a week. But the average person doesn't know of all the changes that the government has made to the gasoline, and it's our job to educate them."
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:04 AM   post #2 of 12
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Default Re: Two-Stroke engine fuel warning

Can i use the two cycle gas up in another 4 stroke engine so it does not get old. Will it burn up with out gumming up things in the two stroke?
I always have chainsaw gas left over.
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:19 AM   post #3 of 12
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Default Re: Two-Stroke engine fuel warning

I've been told to put your leftover 2 cycle gas in your car/truck tank. It gets diluted nicely and the little extra lube it gives your valves and cylinder walls doesn't hurt either.
A friend of mine has a son in the military who works on small 4 stroke engines and ALL of them look brand new inside, the secret? They mix 2 oz of 2 stroke oil per 5 gallons of gas. Makes them run real good.
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:41 AM   post #4 of 12
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Default Re: Two-Stroke engine fuel warning

A little pre-mix wont hurt any 4 stroke.
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Old 10-17-2007, 11:47 AM   post #5 of 12
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Default Re: Two-Stroke engine fuel warning

Quote:
Originally Posted by munderhill View Post
A little pre-mix wont hurt any 4 stroke.
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Old 10-17-2007, 12:57 PM   post #6 of 12
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Default Re: Two-Stroke engine fuel warning

Would a little dry gas help?
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Not according to Wikipedia.
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Dry gas is an ethanol-based additive used in automobiles to prevent any water in the fuel from freezing, or to restore combustive power to gasoline spoiled by water. It is a liquid that is added in to the fuel tank, that absorbs the water and keeps it in solution. (Some brands contain methanol and some contain isopropyl alcohol.[1])

Some states require a 10-15% ethanol solution be sold at refueling stations. Most current gasoline-powered automobiles can safely run up to a 15% ethanol solution without any modification. However, at 20% or above older vehicles may require replacing the fuel lines to prevent degradation and rupture, and the electric fuel pump may need modification to prevent ethanol "dry rot". There is no point in adding dry gas to fuel that already contains a significant percentage of ethanol. Maybar
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Old 10-17-2007, 02:05 PM   post #7 of 12
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Default Re: Two-Stroke engine fuel warning

Ah Maybar, now I understand. Ethanol dosn't displace water it attracts it.
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:33 PM   post #8 of 12
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Default Re: Two-Stroke engine fuel warning

Isopropyl absorbs H2o. This should should be the only type used in small engines especially 2 strokes. I've always used MMO and SeaFoam usually together in all my batches of fuel both 2 cycle mix and straight. Some of my older engines would get a dose of Sta-Bil on top of that, and I have never had a corroded fuel system in over 20 years now(off season storage). Not 20 years sitting idle. I'm a BIG fan of fuel conditioners/additives. I live in the Midwest where 10% ethanol blended fuels have been the norm for about 25 plus years now.
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Old 10-17-2007, 08:06 PM   post #9 of 12
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Default Re: Two-Stroke engine fuel warning

Hmm. Now I am confused again. Isopropyl absorbs H2o. Isn't that what is known as rubbing acohol? Not that is a bad thing.

Thanks for the input guys.
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:15 AM   post #10 of 12
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Default Re: Two-Stroke engine fuel warning

You are correct Artpb, but I don't know if the concentration levels are the same from actual fuel drier to the wife's bottle under the bathroom sink. I'd stick to the real stuff to be safe. Most manu's will lable their product ISO, or ISO-HEAT, ISO-DRIER, like that. It will say which type of alcohol is used so simply read the lables, front and back to find out for sure.
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:03 PM   post #11 of 12
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Default Re: Two-Stroke engine fuel warning

Won't using old two stroke mixtures in your cars reek havoc with the emissions systems in cars, especially the catalytic converters?

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Old 10-18-2007, 01:36 PM   post #12 of 12
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Default Re: Two-Stroke engine fuel warning

A few gallons of 32-50:1 with 15 plus gallons straight gas would give you a 200:1 or so mix ratio(without calculating). I usually give my older unused mix away for others to burn in older vehicles. It won't "kill" the emission system, but I wouldn't practice doing this much more than once a year.
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