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Thread: Ethanol in pump gas damages 2 cycle engines..???????

  1. #21
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    Sep 2009
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    Madison Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarge41 View Post
    Ethanol gas seems to cause plastic and rubber products in fuel lines and carbs to deteriorate. My weed eater seems to need a new line set every few years. One thing recommended by my local small engine shop is to use 89 octane. Still has ethanol, but is cleaner than 87 octane.

    Sarge41
    I have several pieces of equipment with small 2 cycle and larger 4 cycle engines. None of them like the ethanol blended gas, and the 2 cycle ones are the worst. For several years I was changing the fuel lines and cleaning the carbeurators on all of them due to problems with the ethanol. The fuel lines on the 2 cycles would either become brittle and break into chunks, or just melt to mush, and the carbs would gum up if left to set more than a month. The fuel line problem got so bad I was buying it by the 50 foot spools.

    I switched to non ethanol regular gas and the problems were solved. In the last 5 years I haven't had to replace a fuel line or clean a carburetor on a 2 cycle engine.

    As for the 4 cycle engines they seem to fair better, but I still had problems with those below 10 hp. The small ones also had the same carb and fuel line problems as the 2 cycle ones. The 4 cycle ones handles the ethanol a bit better in that they would go a couple years before needing the carbs cleaned and the fuel lines replaced. The fuel lines on these engines turned to mush internally. Then gobs of the mush would get into the carbs and get caught in the jets.

    All my small engine equipped tools (below 25 hp) now get only non ethanol unleaded gas. They run better and don't need constant replacement and cleaning of fuel related components.

  2. #22

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    $3.50 instead of $2.50 for gas and I never have carb problems. Well worth it.

  3. #23
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    May 2006
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    They do sell upgrade fuel line that is not effected - they also sell entire carbs and rebuild kit's for "most" applications that are rated ethanol proof... iv always had fuel lines going hard and cracking and never had any turn to mush...

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Dracut, Massachusetts
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    Here in the People's Republik of Massachusetts, you simply cannot buy non-ethanol gas at a pump. All motor fuel has to be at least 10% ethanol.

    For all of my less frequently used 2-stroke tools like chainsaws and such I use the "ethanol free" premix stuff that is sold at the hardware store, Tru-fuel and similar stuff, and have way fewer hassles with those machines. Yeah it's pricey but I hardly go through a gallon or two most years and the lack of problems is well worth the extra cost and they do seem to just run a bit better.

    For larger 4-stroke things like the snowblower and generators, I use gas station fuel when I'm running them, but when it comes time to put them away for storage I simply drain the gas, run fuel out of the carb, then dump in enough of the fancy stuff to run for a bit and store it with that. I have a snowblower, lawn mower, and two generators that all get this treatment and they all have started first or second pull at the beginning of each usage season for the past few years I've been doing this.

    All in all I could do without the ethanol.

  5. #25
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    Feb 2005
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    gettysburg pa.
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    not just 2cycle. fought that battle with one weed eater. then my Lincoln welder got it back together then the mowers the farm tractor got one Harley down got one more to do. I now keep 60 gal. of non ethanol gas on hand here. the only thing that gets pump gas are the trucks.

  6. #26
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    May 2006
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    Come to think of it - I would be greatly disappointed if they got rid of ethanol fuel, I just let people run it till it creates a simple problem with their equipment and they freak out thinking it's the end of the world and then i end up getting their stuff for free or dirt cheap... personally - I love ethanol and all that it has done for me

  7. #27
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    Oct 2005
    Location
    British Columbia
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    Yup, the lawnmowers, chainsaws, weedeaters, snowblower, everything, all get the good stuff. I've run non-ethanol Chevron 94 in the Harley for decades and always had it around so I switched everything over shortly after the ethanol laced gas was first noted as a problem with small carbureted engines decades ago. Pay a little more now for less headaches later.

    The small engine manufacturers all say that E10 is acceptable (what else can they say if they want to sell product) but none endorse it's use, hence all of the designer blends of specialized fuel power equipment dealers carry.

    If non-ethanol gasoline is not available you have two choices. One is to drain the fuel system after use if the product will not be used within a month or preferably less.
    The second choice is to use a product like Stabil in your gasoline intended for the small engine fleet in your garage. I'm not that big of a fan of "mechanic in a can" but this stuff just flat out works by preventing problems, not fixing them.

    Interesting article below from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute in response to the increased availability of E15.

    Protect Your Power: OPEI Updates Consumer Education Campaign, Advises Public to Use E10 or Less Gas in Lawn Mowers, Generators, Pressure Washers, Chainsaws & Boats
    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories

  8. #28

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    I run racing gas (120 octane) in my 2 strokes. They run better and start easier.

  9. #29
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    Jul 2017
    Location
    Buffalo NY USA
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    On a somewhat related note, I have been wondering how older Diesels (Detroit, etc.) survive with the low sulfer crap now days.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by alanganes View Post
    Here in the People's Republik of Massachusetts, you simply cannot buy non-ethanol gas at a pump. All motor fuel has to be at least 10% ethanol. ............

    All in all I could do without the ethanol.
    pure-gas lists 26 locations in the People's Republik of Massachusetts that have ethanol free gas. Admittedly some are old listings but at least a dozen have been confirmed within the last year. You may have to travel a bit but filling a 5 gallon can will last all year. Interestingly, the corn producing states seem to have a lot of ethanol free outlets.

    https://www.pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=MA

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