• "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding metals, finance, politics, government and many other topics"

winterizing mowers, tillers, etc

coopersmith

for fuck sake..........
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
3,871
Reaction score
7,794
Location
ogallala flats
What steps do YOU take to winterize mowers, tillers, etc

I admit I use ethanol spiked fuel, w added ethanol neutralizer, its whats available in my area. My buddy uses av gas, but I havent been brave enough to try it.
 

the_shootist

Mother Lode Found
Sr Midas Sup +++
Mother Lode
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
71,535
Reaction score
150,830
What steps do YOU take to winterize mowers, tillers, etc

I admit I use ethanol spiked fuel, w added ethanol neutralizer, its whats available in my area. My buddy uses av gas, but I havent been brave enough to try it.
I fill my tanks and add stabil to the fuel. I then run the unit until I know the stabil is fully in the system (about 5 minutes). I'll then turn off the fuel flow and let the engine stall for lack of fuel. Then I store it.
 

coopersmith

for fuck sake..........
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
3,871
Reaction score
7,794
Location
ogallala flats
I have a cheap gas push mower I bought this yr, I use in the fenced back yard, and around the greenhouse. My buddy told me to run it til it runs out of fuel and put it in the greenhouse over the winter. He is a mechanic, but I wonder if there is any merit to his advice. He is mostly full of shit.

It has no fuel shutoff valve.
 

WQFTruckster

Jolliest asshole this side of the nuthouse
Silver Miner
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
464
Reaction score
1,263
Location
Gunshine State
I’ve heard of people doing that, but never understood the reasoning. I haven’t found gas to gum up the works in just a few months, even regular untreated ethanol gas. Maybe it’s more important in colder climates? I’ve let chainsaws sit for years without use and no special treatment. Still fired right up and ran fine when I needed them next. Maybe I’ve just been lucky. Laziness is certainly also a factor.
 

Casey Jones

Train left the station...
Gold Chaser
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
7,580
Reaction score
12,185
Location
Down the road from the Kaczynski ranch
I have a cheap gas push mower I bought this yr, I use in the fenced back yard, and around the greenhouse. My buddy told me to run it til it runs out of fuel and put it in the greenhouse over the winter. He is a mechanic, but I wonder if there is any merit to his advice. He is mostly full of shit.

It has no fuel shutoff valve.
The carb is above the gas tank (on old Briggs/Stratton style engines) so no fuel shutoff is necessary.

I haven't had a lawn mower in many years, but back when I did...a Gravely Model L and a B&S push mower - I did nothing.

They always started in spring. Even with the Gravely...that was something the old man bought when he was young (1953) and I had it until 2000. The old man taught me to shut it down by turning the tank shutoff off, and running the carb dry.

Of course, everything Gravely made was over-engineered. They bought the carb from a company called Zenith (not related to the TV people) and I never heard of corrosion in there. Starting one of those monsters was a job, with a strap you wrapped around a second flywheel on the back, so...to make it easy, you used ether starter spray liberally. And you took off the long rubber hose to the air cleaner. What that meant was, you got a good look at the inside of the carb...it was cast pot metal, very thick, and didn't corrode. Even in the ten years of inactivity before I moved back to the homestead to start railroading.

So, there. Ya have it. IMHO, Truckster's advice is the best...just get ethanol-free gas before putting it away. Racing gas, if you can get nothing else...you only need drain the tank and put it in, once. Less than a pint.
 
Last edited:

newmisty

Transcending the 5 Elements
Mother Lode
Site Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
38,241
Reaction score
61,669
Location
Qmerica
What steps do YOU take to winterize mowers, tillers, etc

I admit I use ethanol spiked fuel, w added ethanol neutralizer, its whats available in my area. My buddy uses av gas, but I havent been brave enough to try it.
Run the gas out if I remember. Not as much of a problem down here in ark as up in the NE cause the season's longer and gentler.
 

hoarder

Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Platinum Bling
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
14,062
Reaction score
18,076
Location
Montana
I run non ethanol is my chainsaws, pressure washer, welding machines, generators, ATV's and my old gas farm tractor and I don't have any problems, whether I bother to use fuel treatments or not.
Ethanol is the problem. Period.
 

stoli

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Sr Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 10, 2013
Messages
587
Reaction score
1,148
Location
State of Corruption
I fillup my 67 c10 , my carburated 96 RK , my 92 f525 lawnmower with ethanol gas mixed with marine stabilizer before the snow flys and the salt hits the pavment.
Then around late Febuary I open the garage doors and start them all up and let them run.
I think it's best to fill the tanks full to prevent rust...not sure if I'm right , but it seems to be working .
Haven't had to rebuild a carb yet doing this.
Also have a 4 wheeler I plow my drive with. That doesn't get used unless it snows, so I start that up from time to time during the summer just to run fresh gas through the carb.
There are no fuel stations around me to get non ethanol gas.
 

hammerhead

Morphing
Midas Member
Midas Supporter ++
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
14,908
Reaction score
22,340
Location
USSA
I have a cheap gas push mower I bought this yr, I use in the fenced back yard, and around the greenhouse. My buddy told me to run it til it runs out of fuel and put it in the greenhouse over the winter. He is a mechanic, but I wonder if there is any merit to his advice. He is mostly full of shit.

It has no fuel shutoff valve.
My push mower sits outside all year long. Never really burned gas out but by the time I'm done using it around the yard, it's almost empty any way. Still fires up in the Spring. One thing I've had happen is a varmit, probably squirrel chewed the plastic gas cap.


First year of using snow thrower I didn't think of doing anything and I'm pretty sure I left gas in the tank. Couldn't start it the following season.
Brought it to a repair shop and got it fixed. Forget what they did. I started adding stabilizer to the fuel the past few years and the last season I left it with a full tank. Plan on firing it up Friday.
 

Treasure Searcher

Platinum Bling
Platinum Bling
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
5,244
Reaction score
4,833
I do not use gasoline, with ethanol, in any of my small engines.

For my riding mower, I disconnect the battery. Add Stabil fuel stabilizer and run engine for awhile. Place slices of Irish Spring soap in engine compartment and on chassis, to repel mice.

For the first time ever, I purchased PRi-G fuel stabilizer. Looking forward to using it.
 

Casey Jones

Train left the station...
Gold Chaser
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
7,580
Reaction score
12,185
Location
Down the road from the Kaczynski ranch
For all the stackers here who swear by fuel stabilizer...Ryan at FortNine. It's a bit cornball; that's his style. He's young and Canadian and focusing on a motorcycle-oriented crowd.

The principles are the same; smaller cycle/lawnmower.

 

Uglytruth

Super Moderator
Mother Lode
Midas Supporter ++
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
Messages
17,932
Reaction score
41,669
Ethanol is hydroscopic & absorbs moisture from the air. Moisture rusts metal tanks and corrodes aluminum. When it evaporates it leaves a white residue.

Drain tank. Run to empty. Either buy a few gallons of the non ethanol gas, use racing gas or off brand coleman lantern fuel. Just enough to start it up & run it for a few minutes.
 

ErrosionOfAccord

#1 Global Warmer
Platinum Bling
Midas Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
5,232
Reaction score
7,580
Location
Coal Country
92 octane no ethanol. The only engine that gives me trouble is the Stihl weed eater.

I dinked around with the weed eater on different occasions in an effort to get it running better but always fail. Sometimes it seems like seafoam helps it and other times it doesn’t. They are a real pain in the ass to tear into.

If the engine has a fuel shut off I’ll run it dry, if not, oh well.

I have a $125 junk Homelite and that pos starts every time I use it. It’s ten years old and gets used about once a year. Never did a lick of maintenance or gave an inch of care to it.
 

itsamess

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Site Supporter ++
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
3,767
PRI-G is the best fuel stabilizer ( gas version). These folks make the commecrial stabilizers for fuel fired powered plants, marine vessels etc. Also the number on choice for RV folks versus Stabil. I have actually taken 3 year old old gas that gummed up a gen added this and used it in a lawn mower with no problems. A number of sites talk about reconditioning your gas with PRI-G like What To Do With Old Gas?
 

newmisty

Transcending the 5 Elements
Mother Lode
Site Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
38,241
Reaction score
61,669
Location
Qmerica
92 octane no ethanol. The only engine that gives me trouble is the Stihl weed eater.

I dinked around with the weed eater on different occasions in an effort to get it running better but always fail. Sometimes it seems like seafoam helps it and other times it doesn’t. They are a real pain in the ass to tear into.

If the engine has a fuel shut off I’ll run it dry, if not, oh well.

I have a $125 junk Homelite and that pos starts every time I use it. It’s ten years old and gets used about once a year. Never did a lick of maintenance or gave an inch of care to it.
Those Stihls are finicky. I've thought about trying to adjust the gas/oil ratio & see if that helps.
 

Casey Jones

Train left the station...
Gold Chaser
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
7,580
Reaction score
12,185
Location
Down the road from the Kaczynski ranch
Is the Stihl a two-stroke? Whole nuther kettle of fish.

Small two-strokes are extremely sensitive to gummed-up or maladjusted carbs.
 

Usury

Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Platinum Bling
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
4,978
Reaction score
4,707
Is the Stihl a two-stroke? Whole nuther kettle of fish.

Small two-strokes are extremely sensitive to gummed-up or maladjusted carbs.
Yep. I only buy the premixed cans now for mine. Easy peasy
 

ErrosionOfAccord

#1 Global Warmer
Platinum Bling
Midas Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
5,232
Reaction score
7,580
Location
Coal Country
Those Stihls are finicky. I've thought about trying to adjust the gas/oil ratio & see if that helps.
I had the whole carb off last year and cleaned it. Watched a video on tuning them and it ran great for that season. Got the thing running once this year. The second time the weeds won. I talked to a former lumberjack who is pretty sharp with those little engines. He ran Huskies and Stihls in the woods, swears by them but, says their weed eaters are junk. He figures you have about a 33% chance of buying a good one.
 

newmisty

Transcending the 5 Elements
Mother Lode
Site Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
38,241
Reaction score
61,669
Location
Qmerica
I had the whole carb off last year and cleaned it. Watched a video on tuning them and it ran great for that season. Got the thing running once this year. The second time the weeds won. I talked to a former lumberjack who is pretty sharp with those little engines. He ran Huskies and Stihls in the woods, swears by them but, says their weed eaters are junk. He figures you have about a 33% chance of buying a good one.
There's bound to be some fabricobblers out there who have a trick or two up their sleeve. I think the problem may be at the air intake, ie: the filter. On a non Stihl I ended up running it sans air filter.
 

Uglytruth

Super Moderator
Mother Lode
Midas Supporter ++
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
Messages
17,932
Reaction score
41,669
Ethanol and rubber diaphragms don't mix well. Hardens the rubber and they don't pump well.
 

Jarrod32

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Sr Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
468
Reaction score
1,090
Location
South Central Nebraska
Like others have said, run it until it is out of gas. I generally change the oil in my lawn mower in the fall before storing for winter.

1. Change oil.
2. Run it out of gas.
3. Disconnect battery.
4. Change air filter in spring.
 

dacrunch

Midas Member
Midas Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
9,870
Reaction score
15,239
I struggled with this for decades.
Headaches every year with small engine maintenance and reconditioning... and costs...
Now I have plug in electric (not battery)
Push lawnmower
Hedge trimmers
Chainsaw
Leaf blower
Leaf mulcher

I'm on a small lot...
Plug and go.
Try not to keep cutting the extension cord ;)
 

Irons

Outlaw Prospector
Midas Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
32,311
Reaction score
66,080
REC 90 fuel and this stuff. I run REC 90 in everything except the car and trucks.

REC-90 is an ethanol-free, 90 octane unleaded gasoline blend designed for use in recreational/marine engines which can be damaged by the ethanol found in other gasoline blends. It is also usable in some aviation engines [1] and automotive engines, though it has not been thoroughly tested for cars and trucks.

REC-90 - Wikipedia​



62602_W3.jpg
 
Last edited:

Casey Jones

Train left the station...
Gold Chaser
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
7,580
Reaction score
12,185
Location
Down the road from the Kaczynski ranch
REC 90 fuel and this stuff. I run REC 90 in everything except the car and trucks.

REC-90 is an ethanol-free, 90 octane unleaded gasoline blend designed for use in recreational/marine engines which can be damaged by the ethanol found in other gasoline blends. It is also usable in some aviation engines [1] and automotive engines, though it has not been thoroughly tested for cars and trucks.

REC-90 - Wikipedia


62602_W3.jpg
Interesting. Attached to the Wikipedia site, is a purported list of states that have ethanol-free gasoline.

It claims Montana has none. That's patently false - they're ALL OVER. Some counties restrict the sale or ban it; but most Town Pump brand stations have it, seasonally or year-round. Some Conoco stations also. Even have separate hoses for it.

The local motorcycle dealer sells this high-octane ethanol-free racing gasoline - a five-gallon drum, goes for about $100. That's not practical for regular use, even with a snowmobile or motorcycle. Ethanol-free here goes for, (Pantload Pricing) $4.28 a gallon.

After reading of failures in tests - and having no way to ascertain the value of the product, myself - I've decided to stay away from those "stabilizing" additives. Just get ethanol-free, pour it in the tank, and if you can, take it out and put it in your car in the spring. Fill up with fresh gas.

You could put kerosene in there, as an alternative, if you have a way to be sure to have most of it out come spring; but that's more of a hassle than the added protection to the tank that kerosene would offer (light oil versus petrol). If the tank is plastic, probably the best thing to to is take it off, or turn the assembly upside down, and dump it. Knowing that there WILL be some condensation in there during the winter.