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Storing gas engines during off-season?

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Old 10-28-2018, 02:28 PM
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GregG7
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Default Storing gas engines during off-season?

I have several gas engines (Zenoah, RCGF, and others) and I've always drained the fuel from the tank at the end of the flying season and also ran the fuel out of the pickup line and carb. Is this really necessary? Do others do that?
I don't drain the fuel from my other 2-stroke engines, like chainsaw, weed wacker, leaf blower, etc. and I've not had a problem with them.

Thanks,
Greg
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Old 10-28-2018, 04:14 PM
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You've answered your own question. There is absolutely no reason to treat you RC engines any differently than you would a lawn tool.
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Old 10-29-2018, 02:12 AM
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+1
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Old 10-29-2018, 03:37 AM
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It does not hurt to do so, if really want to play it safe, take apart the carb, diagram etc and place them on a plastic bag.
That way nothing will go bad. I don't know about you but I have had a few weed eaters where the carb goes bad after long periods of storage.
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Old 10-29-2018, 03:52 AM
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If you are using non ethanol fuel you have no worries about leaving the gas in your planes and yard equipment for a few months . I do recommend flushing and replacing the old fuel with fresh fuel before flying , once you get them out of storage .The worries begin with using ethanol blended fuel .Ethanol degrades the plastic and rubber components and oxidizes the aluminum and leaves behind the mess that we all dread.
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Old 10-30-2018, 04:33 PM
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For quite some time now most if not all Walbro or similar carbs are fitted with ethanol compatible plastic and rubber components so one needs not worry about whatever type gas you use damaging your carb's internals.
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Old 10-31-2018, 08:15 AM
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Jim Branaum
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Originally Posted by karolh View Post
For quite some time now most if not all Walbro or similar carbs are fitted with ethanol compatible plastic and rubber components so one needs not worry about whatever type gas you use damaging your carb's internals.
I wonder if that is particular to Walbro. I have a Stihl weed whacker that keeps eating carbs. The shop insists the only way to prevent that is to run the tool every other week.
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Old 10-31-2018, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim Branaum View Post
I wonder if that is particular to Walbro. I have a Stihl weed whacker that keeps eating carbs. The shop insists the only way to prevent that is to run the tool every other week.
Here in Jamaica we only have access to ethanol blended (E10) 87 and 91 octane pump gasoline which is what we all use in our hobby and garden equipment with no present day issues. As an added precaution I sometimes add an ethanol stabilizer to my hobby fuel when mixing.
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Old 10-31-2018, 03:23 PM
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Agree with Karol. It's not like ethanol is a big surprise any more. Manf's switched to materials that handle that easily many years ago.

What a lot of people don't know is that most of today's even just half decent 2 stroke oils (the kind you're mixing with your gas) have a built in fuel conditioner. That's why most of us get away with just putting the weed trimmer or leaf blower away with little fear of them starting again when we need them.

What I am NOT suggesting is that your carb will never need attention, a rebuild every few years is a good plan, but it's NOT necessary to do that annually or even every other year.
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Old 10-31-2018, 03:35 PM
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Regardless of how great the gaskets and membranes are now I sure do work on a lot of carbs with deteriorated and stiff membranes . There are also plenty of walbro knock off carbs out there that evidently are NOT all ethanol resistant . So to say one needs not worry isn't a completly true statement
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Old 11-01-2018, 04:59 AM
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Not saying I never see any like that. Only that they're several years old when they get that way, and it's not something I concern myself with when putting an RC engine or lawn tool away. When they're put back in service and they don't run right (which happens once in a while), THEN I address the issue, though that's not something that happens with any regularity - and I don't blame ethanol. Chain saws for instance, aren't needed frequently, and may sit for several years between uses, and fire right up as though they were run the day before. I give the gas tank the smell test, and if it doesn't smell like varnish we're good to go. Homeless RC engines that have been installed in a new project often respond the same way, despite the fact they've have been sitting on a shelf for years. That's my experience anyway, which seems to be pretty much the same as my friends. Your luck may vary. -Al
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:40 AM
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+1.
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Old 11-03-2018, 03:59 PM
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I've always used Marvel Mystery Oil. pull the plug a good shot in the cylinder and put an old plug back in. a good squirt down the carb throat with the throttle wide open. a few flips, pull the prop and it's good for the winter. never had any problems what so ever in the soring. to get ready for flight, a shot of methanol in the plug hole and carb throat then spin the engine upside down so it drains with a starter and the plug out. wipe the engine off with a rag put a little fuel in the cylinder and carb throat, spin it again with the starter, wipe it all down and put a new plug in the head,....away you go. the key is to get the engine prepped for storage soon after it's last run,....like right away after the last flight. the Marvel will mix with the castor oil and keep the it from hardening and the engine will be ready quickly in the spring. I have used this method since I owned 2stroke motors and never had a single incident when flying weather came in the spring. a quart of Marvel Mystery oil will last many, many winters and it is a good general lube/cleaner to have around for anything all the time.
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by r ward View Post
I've always used Marvel Mystery Oil. pull the plug a good shot in the cylinder and put an old plug back in. a good squirt down the carb throat with the throttle wide open. a few flips, pull the prop and it's good for the winter. never had any problems what so ever in the soring. to get ready for flight, a shot of methanol in the plug hole and carb throat then spin the engine upside down so it drains with a starter and the plug out. wipe the engine off with a rag put a little fuel in the cylinder and carb throat, spin it again with the starter, wipe it all down and put a new plug in the head,....away you go. the key is to get the engine prepped for storage soon after it's last run,....like right away after the last flight. the Marvel will mix with the castor oil and keep the it from hardening and the engine will be ready quickly in the spring. I have used this method since I owned 2stroke motors and never had a single incident when flying weather came in the spring. a quart of Marvel Mystery oil will last many, many winters and it is a good general lube/cleaner to have around for anything all the time.
This routine sounds very similar to what I used to do for my glow engines.
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:29 AM
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it is basically the same as I use for my glow engines.
my son and I raced go karts for several years, these engines are run on methanol and the typical procedure after race day was to drain the tank and then run the engine gas on gas for a few seconds. because the engines need 3 times the volume of gas to run on methanol, the jetting quickly flooded the engine, so the run was really wet and sloppy. the idea was to contaminate all the alcohol and flush it out of the fuel system and carb. after that, a fog of Marvel Mystery Oil was sprayed into the plug hole and the engine pulled over a few times for storage during the week. alcohol evaporates quickly and leaves a white residue that plugs jetting and passages in the carb. the gas prevented this from happening and the MMO protected the cast iron sleeve and rings from rusting because alcohol has a lot of water in it.
it is a good idea to treat any engine that runs on regular gas the same way for any storage duration. today's gas with 10% alcohol is garbage . it has no upper cylinder lubricant in it at all, anymore, as well,... so adding a little MMO to a full tank is not a bad idea for all your small 4cycle engines.
this might sound extreme to some people, but the kart engines we ran cost $1000 each so a new plug and a little time at the end of the race day, was well worth it.
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:43 AM
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The only issues I have experienced with storage has to do with the carbs. I have not seen any type of rust or corrosion on cranks or rings. I think that the oil content in our fuel does a good job of protecting the engines internals. I have on occasion had carb issues. If I get an engine that has unknown history I will throw a carb rebuild kit in it before any attempt to run the engine. I feel this is very cheap insurance. Not only does it verify the carb is in good shape but it is verification that the metering needle lever is correctly adjusted. Mind you even this does not always work. Recently I picked up an airplane with an old 3W 70cc twin. The previous owner included some engine spare parts which included a carb rebuild kit. When I fired up the engine it would drip fuel while at idle and after about 10 seconds load up and die. I tried another round of cleaning and same results. I adjusted the metering lever a little, same results. I increased the pop off pressure, same thing. I finally came to the conclusion that either the metering needle seat was damaged or maybe the rebuild kit was not correct for that carb. It could have even had some corrosion on the seat that was keeping the needle from sealing. Remember that the Tillotson carb that the engine came with in 1995 was most likely not set up for blended fuels. My resolve was to order a Walbro carb from DA. It took a few mods to the carb isolater block to get it mounted but now the engine runs very well and I have a carb that shouldn't have issues with blended fuel. I however can't stress enough that one of the best preventative measures you can do with your gas engines is simply filter your fuel well. I run lawn equipment type filters on my gassers, felt clunks in the tank and in my gas can. I even put a filter on my vent line.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:04 AM
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My outboards big and small were always oil fogged at the end of the season. I have a few 20,30 year old small outboards that are well used and have never had the engines apart for any problems. The only precautions were the oil fogging at the end of the season.



When I got into gas powered models some of my first were Quadra engines. I oil fogged these same as the outboards and they still run today with no problems. A couple of carb rebuilds again no problems with the old carb castings.



I just bring the rpm up to a fast idle no more than 1/4 throttle and spray the fogging oil down the carb until the engine stops. Done. Drain the tank. If your paranoid about the fuel in the carb take the top and bottom plate off the carb and drain and let the gas evaporate from the carb. Replace the top and bottom and its ready for storage.

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