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JD 4010/IH 684
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Discussion Starter #1
I am doing my end of season fuel swaps and oil changes. Something a local old timer told me this summer about adding ATF to the fuel has been a winner for him. I am not prone to falling for every "trick" someone has unless I can figure out the merit to it. So as I am swapping out the summer fuel for fresh premium plus Stabil the past repairs are creeping into my head and "dry" diaphrams seem to be a consistent theme.

I am wondering if a quart in five gallons would make a difference or is a waste of time or potential hazard to some rubber seals I am not thinking of.

We have atleast 13 small engines I can think of (3 are two stroke) as well as 4 ATV's, 2 motorcycles, a snowmobile, and 2 diesel tractors and a diesel gen.

One ATV, one bike, and the sled are EFI.

Anyone with thoughts, experience, opinions??
 

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Certified Technician
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8,420 Posts
Rule of thumb...if it called transmission fluid, only put it in transmissions.

Put some Diesel medic in the diesels, some HEET/ISO HEET in the small 4 strokes, and run the 2 strokers with a good fresh mix of fuel/oil as recommended.
 

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JD 4010/IH 684
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Discussion Starter #3
Rule of thumb...if it called transmission fluid, only put it in transmissions.

Put some Diesel medic in the diesels, some HEET/ISO HEET in the small 4 strokes, and run the 2 strokers with a good fresh mix of fuel/oil as recommended.
The winter storage time here is the killer more than condensation. The poor quality of our fuel is an issue few recognize until trying to store stuff. The stuff is good out of the pump but the shelf life is crap IMHO. Heet may make things worse in storage although I do use it in my sled inseason.
 

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Just Have a Little Faith!
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You could drain the tank and run the carb dry. Maybe fog the cylinder for long storage. I don't understand putting Heet in fuel that already has alchohol in it.
 

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You could drain the tank and run the carb dry. Maybe fog the cylinder for long storage. I don't understand putting Heet in fuel that already has alchohol in it.
There are different types of Alcohol.

Iso-Heet has Isopropanol, remains in suspension in the gas..absorbs water, keeps it from freezing, cleaned carbs and fuel systems, and allows the water to be consumed by the engine.

HEET uses Methanol, it sinks to the bottom of the tank, absorbs large amounts of water in the bottom of the tank that accumulate, and allow them ot be consumed by the engine.

Blended fuels use Ethanol...it absorbs water...and deposits it in the tank.
 

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I work on school buses and we use atf in the fuel filter all the time when we change the fuel filters. No issues with Ih, freightliners, bluebirds... The old timers said its good for the injectors.
 

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I work on school buses and we use atf in the fuel filter all the time when we change the fuel filters. No issues with Ih, freightliners, bluebirds... The old timers said its good for the injectors.
I had an old timer tell me that blowing graphite dust into a running/smoking engine was a great way to "refresh" the engine....so I take things I hear with a grain of salt until I investigate them.

Diesels dont mind stuff in the gas (old diesels)...in fact a diesel will run on oil.
 

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15,000 +posts!
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While ATF may work,its not designed for that purpose--it has friction modifiers and other things that may cause harm over a long term use..I would use Marvel Mystery Oil or 2 stroke oil in small quantity to keep rings free and prevent wear in gasoline or diesel fuel...its been around forever and works very well..

I know an older guy who used to add some 2 stroke oil to all of his small engines,4 cycle ones,and though they smoked a bit,they did run very well and will probably outlive him!...2 cycle oil is ashless and is less likely to foul plugs,and wont do any harm...ATF could...when I change a diesel fuel filter I fill the new one with diesel fuel treatment like "KLEEN",it gives the injectors a quick cleaning ,along with the combustion chamber..
 

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OMG I got another LawnBoy
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I used to do it, got no benefit and a lot of soot. I wouldn't even consider it in a small engine. Some ATF's actually have plastics in them.
 

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I use MMO for this purpose.. The burning of ATF in the combustion chamber helps to clean burned valves. It works for that purpose, but adding it to gas for storage, I don't see what good it does. it's a lighter base oil with friction modifiers..

OTOH, a gas engine will run on a lot of things including straight Stabil ( used to prime a lawnmower with it all the time ).. I would guess Star tron or others also would.. just run them on pure stabalizer to fill the carb.. no gas to go bad
 

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I had a friend in Pittsburgh that had an uncle that had an oil well.

Weekly the uncle would pump the well so he could sell the crude oil.

The power for the well was a John Deere 2 cylinder tractor.

So as to not waste money, the uncle mixed the crude that he had pumped with gasoline 50/50 to fuel the tractor.

It smoked, but it would pump the oil cheap!!

He ran that tractor for decades.

So mixing additives can be done,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 

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I always assumed marvel mystery oil was ATF in a red bottle and a jacked up price. I really wouldn't be surprised at all if thats what it was, maybe modified without the friction modifiers or something. Still essentially ATF tho,

There are alot of products on the market like that. Seafoam looks and smells like Lacquer thinner. STP Gas Treatment even put on their bottle that the active ingredient was Jet fuel - and jet fuel is just #1 diesel fuel.

I suspect most fuel treatments are the same way. I dont waste my money on them anymore.

I just find un-ethanol tainted fuel to keep in my machines. I dont even usually use stabil or fill the tanks up. In fact they are usually empty or close to empty all winter long. The only time I've had problems was with a 2 cycle Weedeater after 5 years. It had been acting up most of the last season. When it wouldn't start next year I took the carb apart and found what looked like grass in the screen beneath the fuel pump that goes over to the needle/seat. No idea how it got there but it did. Also I start the engines every month or so and burn some fuel through them, keep the batteries charged, air up tires, etc.

The problem with leaving gas in anything is that today's gas sucks. It goes to crap quickly. I've burned 15 year old fuel before, when i was younger and dumb. Had a hard time starting on it but it ran fine. And I've had gas much more recently that was maybe 6 months old that wouldn't burn. I know for a fact today's gas will discolor and smell bad in only a few months. I'm not gonna fill my tanks full with fuel that wont be worth burning in 4 months. My way is probably a little more work - but so many times the easy way is NOT the best way anyways.
 

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JD 4010/IH 684
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Discussion Starter #14
I always assumed marvel mystery oil was ATF in a red bottle and a jacked up price. I really wouldn't be surprised at all if thats what it was, maybe modified without the friction modifiers or something. Still essentially ATF tho,

There are alot of products on the market like that. Seafoam looks and smells like Lacquer thinner. STP Gas Treatment even put on their bottle that the active ingredient was Jet fuel - and jet fuel is just #1 diesel fuel.

I suspect most fuel treatments are the same way. I dont waste my money on them anymore.

I just find un-ethanol tainted fuel to keep in my machines. I dont even usually use stabil or fill the tanks up. In fact they are usually empty or close to empty all winter long. The only time I've had problems was with a 2 cycle Weedeater after 5 years. It had been acting up most of the last season. When it wouldn't start next year I took the carb apart and found what looked like grass in the screen beneath the fuel pump that goes over to the needle/seat. No idea how it got there but it did. Also I start the engines every month or so and burn some fuel through them, keep the batteries charged, air up tires, etc.

The problem with leaving gas in anything is that today's gas sucks. It goes to crap quickly. I've burned 15 year old fuel before, when i was younger and dumb. Had a hard time starting on it but it ran fine. And I've had gas much more recently that was maybe 6 months old that wouldn't burn. I know for a fact today's gas will discolor and smell bad in only a few months. I'm not gonna fill my tanks full with fuel that wont be worth burning in 4 months. My way is probably a little more work - but so many times the easy way is NOT the best way anyways.
My feelings exactly. I had a Bolen's tractor with a weak ignition that would run fine unless it sat for a month. Drain the fuel and replace and away it would go. Also had a Yamaha trike years ago that was not as sensitive but a few months would keep it from starting.
The mystery oil may work good. My original reason for the post was thinking of the diaphram. I keep several pails of fuel here. Premium for the garden stuff and atv's etc at season end, regular for the bigger mowers until close to season end, and a gallon of premium with Stihl 2 st mix for mini tiller, weed whip etc. As well as some diesel. My problem is if the season changes quick or momma decides to put the wrong stuff in. That is why at the end of the season I siphon out all the fuel, run dry, and run with Stabil and premium unless I am sure that is what it had in it. I also do oil changes and blade sharpening on everything no matter how little it may have run if at all once in a while. The small amount of oil is easier to "waste" than trying to keep track of what and when with no hour meter or odometer.

I like it to be job ready in spring and not I will do it later and the way the years go by some may end up with antique oil if I did it any other way if you know what I mean.
 
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