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Old 04-15-2019, 06:23 PM   #1
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Long term small engine storage

Looking for the BEST way to store small gas engines for months or even years.

I very rarely use my Honda Generator, I've been running it dry and putting it away. It's been at least a couple years.

Other items, like the snow blower in all likelihood could go anywhere from 8 months to years, depending on when one heads south for the winter. Mine has a gas shutoff, I add stabilizer, shut off the gas and run it dry.

In general, I run things dry for the off season when practical, the tractor I add stabilizer and fill to the top, no shutoff.

Sta-bil says it "keeps fuel fresh for - up to 24 months".

What do you folks do? I seem to be all over the place.

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Old 04-15-2019, 07:32 PM   #2
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Lawnmower and snow blower I run dry and change the oil. Honda Generator I run dry and then drain the gas line as I have read horror stories about carb issues due to it not fully running dry. I try to make a note to exercise the generator but its been sitting since last summer/fall so obviously I failed big time on that one. Hopefully this week I will get it up and running.

For small engines I always run ethanol free gas, which means premium since that is the option at KwikTrip if you don't want ethanol. I also keep stable in my small engine gas can even in the summer when I know I will refill in a month or two.

I bought a can of fogger once but shooting it into the carb requires the engine running and I don't stand there as it runs dry. I will sometimes shoot some into the cylinder but I don't think I will replace this can when it's gone.

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Old 04-15-2019, 08:05 PM   #3
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My Honda genset has had premium fuel with Stabil, but even that didn't prevent getting gas with water in it that messed up the carb.
It currently has a clean carb and a tank full of Aspen gas.
Friend of mine who used to own a Stihl dealership and small engine repair shop did the restoration and recommended Aspen. It is not cheap gas.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:13 PM   #4
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I fought with my 8 hp Yamaha outboard for 4 years over the storage issue. Nothing, not stabil, not running it "dry" avoided carb problems. On each of the initial years I owned the engine, it would start flawlessly after winter storage, and then at some point, it would lose power completely or almost so, and when I pulled the carb, one or more jets were fouled with solidified gasoline residue. I have a Honda snowblower that has never has a hint of problem, and all I have ever done with it is put it away with a full gas tank to limit exposure of the fuel to air.

For what it is worth, I finally cured the problem with the outboard by storing it with the fuel line and carb full of paint thinner rather than fuel. In the fall, I flush the system with thinner, in the spring I flush it again with fresh fuel. Not a hint of a problem since. In fact, I can easily convince myself that it now runs better than it did new. If anyone has persistent storage problems in spite of trying the standard cures, I recommend trying the thinner solution.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:33 AM   #5
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Another option perhaps, for the Honda gennie at least: convert it to run on propane.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:36 AM   #6
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For my chain saw i use the 50-1 canned gas. I no longer mix my own and store it for how long, who knows. I buy two cans, when one goes empty i buy another. I do not burn wood anymore so i only use the chain saw for cutting up falling tree limbs and trimmings. So a can of premix lasts for a long time. Carl
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:07 PM   #7
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The Honda 2000 has a problem with jets getting gunked up. I believe the owners manual suggests draining the tank and running it dry for long term storage. I do that but I use fuel stabilizer in the fuel first, then use the choke to keep it running to the end.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:38 PM   #8
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That's pretty much what I do, most of the gas I buy gets stabilizer as I never know how long the gas will be in the unit.
Happy Motoring
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:34 PM   #9
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I have two Honda 2000s. My solution has been to keep fresh hi octane non-ethanol fuel in both and running them at least once a month.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:25 AM   #10
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We had a tri fuel Yamaha 2000 generator that worked like a charm after 6 months of storage without any special treatment. Wouldn't run the AC though. I run my chain saw dry and add a few drops of oil into the cylinder, and dump the leftover gas into my truck after using the saw for the fall trail maintence season. Starts right up 9 months later with fresh gas.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:40 AM   #11
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For many many years I would run my lawnmower in the summer and then park it through the fall, winter, and into the spring, usually with a partial tank of gas. Not once did I ever have any issues with the mower running poorly or failing to start due to the old gas in the tank. Maybe was just luck. These days I use a lithium battery powered mower instead, and still have no issues with it starting in the spring, however, I do store the battery inside during the winter months!

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