Winterising your small engine : Grooming Mowers Finish Mowers  -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum and Review Winterising your small engine : Grooming Mowers Finish Mowers -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum

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 10-17-2003, 03:47 Post: 66400
2003-10-17 03:47:05
Post: 66400
 Winterising your small engine

I am including this info for everyone who has been following the thread, it may be lenghty, but should help lots of the seasonal users of power equipment out there.

1/ Fuels evaporate with time, leaving a residue which eventially coats the surfaces around it with a varnish type of material. This coating decreases the openings or sizes of the jets, bowls, tanks and other surfaces which contain it.

2/ The less fuel there is in the container, the quicker the fuel evaporates leaving the coating, it doesn't really matter what make (Dodge or Honda) the container is.. but it does seem to be a bit more of a problem if the container is made of metal.

3/ With items stored in areas where temperatures change quickly, (our shed or garage) another problem develops in these containers in the form of condensation (thus the help from your "Drygas".)

4/ Now that we have a combination of these situations in the item that we have stored away in the shed for some months, it comes time to put it to use again... in this case your mower. However, our fuel has lost it volatility, it contains moisture and the fuel flow openings have decreased.
To make matters worse, we are using the item in a temperature either colder or warmer than the jetting was set up for.
(the first time we mow each season, it is usually colder than it would normally be during the mowing season).

5/ Lower temperatures require more fuel to ignite, but the chokes in our power equipment
are designed not to choke down too much in an effort to avoid causing the # 2 biggest problem with small equipment known as "Fouled Spark Plug" (
Our mower jets are smaller, we have some moisture, the fuel is not as explosive as it was when purchased and... the darn mower won't start... when it does start, it won't stay running... for the reasons described above.

6/ ---- What to do ----
a/ Always add "Sta-bil" to the fuel container itself before going off to buy fuel.
b/ Buy the best grade of fuel that you can.
c/ Move the fuel can around a bit before refilling the gas tank.
d/ Do not run the carburetor dry (it is not likely to remove all of the fuel out of the carb., (only down to below the level required to keep the mower running). Try to leave the fuel tank above 1/2 full as well.
c/ An ounce or so of high percentage "Isopropyl" alcohol, (the active ingredient in dry gas & available for less at any good pharmacy), is helpful in both the tank and fuel can at the start of each season.
d/ Always keep a spare spark plug handy for problem # 2 which usually follows problem #1 ;o)

7/ Finally...
a/ It is best if you can run your equipment for a few minutes each month between seasons.
I don't do that myself, but I do take the precautions mentioned above. I have a trimmer that I used this year after having it the shed for over 2 years, I did top off the tank with my latest batch of fuel, and off it went after a couple of starts & stops.
b/ I have "never" seen a combustion engine without a fuel filter somewhere in the fuel system, either between (or inside of) the fuel source and the carb., or injector being used used to control the amount of fuel entering the engine. That filter requires replacment, especially when the the conditions mentioned above occur.
c/ The engines by the eastern countries are very good for the most part.
However, most all power equipment dealers, (even several discount type of stores) carry the parts (and quite often even the tools and manuals) for us "do it yourself" people. Service for the good old B & S engines is also easy to find if needed. There are several items for those other engines that you could be hard pressed to locate.. and... I expect the cost will be interesting as well.

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 10-17-2003, 06:22 Post: 66402
Art White

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 Winterising your small engine

Nice work Chris!

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 10-17-2003, 07:22 Post: 66410

TP Contributor

Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Upper Ottawa Valley
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Posts: 5406
 Winterising your small engine

Yes, nice job! Sometimes you hear people say to put an engine on a compression stroke so the valves are closed to reduce air circulation into the engine and even to stuff oily rags into the intake and exhaust manifold and oil fill. I don't do those things but I might if I had new small engine toys rather than the beaters I collected.

I do change engine oil before winter though. I figure that the frost that forms on the outside of the crankcase also forms on the inside. It's going to end up in the oil when it melts on warm days. Detergent oils collect water and the engine isn't going to be run to evapourate the water. If the oil is marginal, acid would be formed and it's going to sit on engine surfaces an entire winter. I do run my generator a few minutes every months though. It's the only small engine I bought new. the others I'm mostly waiting till they give up so I can buy better ones.

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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Grooming Mowers Finish Mowers Forum

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