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Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 171
Likes: 5
N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Hi All,

Wasn't sure whether to put this in the engine forum or not - is pretty general so chucked in here, mods feel free to move if I've done incorrectly.

I'm just wondering what the Small Engine Sages here think is the 'best practice' when storing small petrol engined gear that you rarely use? I've tended to follow whats in the manuals - that being to drain as the fuel from the unit completely, including from the base bowl of the carb, then remove the sparkplug and place a small amount of engine oil in the cylinder, pulling the start rope a few times, leaving the piston in it's CLOSED position.

I use this for gear i rarely need or might have for emergencies e.g fire pump, petrol generator.

However, I've also read Youtube 'experts' advocating placing some ATF fluid in the carb, so that the residue of fuel in it does not 'lacquer' all the parts & also to protect the seals etc of the carb.

So welcome what folks feel is best practice........also once the gear is in this 'storage mode' is it fine to leave as is - or should you be popping fuel in and running say annually etc and then putting back into 'storage mode'?

Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts.

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Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 126
Likes: 9
Apprentice level 2
For storage get motor hot, empty fuel tank, operate primer pump and drain any fuel produced, start motor and run at say 3/4 revs until it stops. Plug up exhaust pipe to prevent wasp nests. Same procedure for 2 or 4 strokes. Store in dry area under cloth dust cover, not plastic sheet (condensation).

1 member likes this: N1KK0
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 171
Likes: 5
N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Originally Posted by MowingManiac
For storage get motor hot, empty fuel tank, operate primer pump and drain any fuel produced, start motor and run at say 3/4 revs until it stops. Plug up exhaust pipe to prevent wasp nests. Same procedure for 2 or 4 strokes. Store in dry area under cloth dust cover, not plastic sheet (condensation).
MM, thanks for reply.

So you don't advocate placing any oil etc in the cylinder etc?

Any reason for this.

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 126
Likes: 9
Apprentice level 2
A. Not necessary, there will be enough oil on the rings even if the motor is left for years, oil doesn't evaporate.
B. I don't like the smoke next time the motor is started.

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,045
Likes: 145
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi N1KK0 and MM,

There are so many variables here ,different types of motors and storage temperatures ,also advantages and disadvantages
of running dry or leaving fuel in the carby and tank.

Any motor I store for a long time without running I put some oil down the plug hole and turn the motor over ,if it's
a single cylinder 4 stroke then leave the motor on the compression stroke so the valves are closed, if I don't the engine
components will rust and seize.Another thing is to drain the tank and I use a little oil in the bottom of the tank.

If you do run a motor dry by turning the fuel tap off or by opening the bowl and letting the fuel out, you run the risk of drying out the gaskets, the rubber needle valve seat on some carbs, and diaphragms on other carbs,O rings ,fuel pump, then when you put fuel in you get leaking fuel.

Some outdoor equipment manufactures say not to run a 2 stroke dry as it promotes wear internally and any moisture will
start rusting internal components.

Honda recommends using a fuel stabilizer in the fuel and that will keep the fuel good for 12 months.

I've known people with old cars in damp paddocks and they run the car on 2 stroke fuel before turning the engine off
this lubricates the cylinders , valves and carby to stop parts rusting.


My old rotary valve pope starts easier when I run the carby dry if I don't start the engine for months at a time ,because
the fresh fuel doesn't have to mix with old left over fuel or oil residue, but every time I put new fuel in the dry fuel tank
the cork on the fuel tap has dried out and fuel leaks out of the fuel tap until the cork swells and stops the leak.

When I have a 4 stroke or 2 stroke and leave a little 2 stroke in the carby and tank ,then after months of storage ( even 12 months)
I top up with fresh fuel and if the engine doesn't start instantly I just spray a little fuel into the carby after removing the air filter
and the motor runs without a problem.

I've also heard of people that put 8 cc of outboard marine 2 stroke oil in 60 litres of fuel to use in a side valve 4 stroke
as they say without the 2 stroke they had valve sticking problems and never had a problem again using the 2 stroke mix.

It's up to the owner how they look after their engines depending on the type of motor and conditions in storage.

With a line trimmer you're not meant to leave it on concrete overnight otherwise moisture can get into the fuel tank.



Cheers
Max.

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1 member likes this: N1KK0
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,045
Likes: 145
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
I can't see a problem with ATF fluid in the carby but personally I just use WD40 in a carby if I think it's going to rust/ corrode when
in storage .

Sometimes 2 strokes with a slide carby stored outside I spray WD 40 into the slide to stop any corrosion sticking the
throttle closed.

1 member likes this: N1KK0
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,045
Likes: 145
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Originally Posted by N1KK0
once the gear is in this 'storage mode' is it fine to leave as is - or should you be popping fuel in and running say annually etc and then putting back into 'storage mode'?

It would depend on the type of equipment in storage as some Generators they recommend running every 60 days to prevent the loss of residual magnetism that produces the electricity.

Normally if I have an engine in storage with oil in the cylinder ,I would turn the motor over every 3 to 6 months and add more oil
on top of the piston as after time the oil leaks past the rings and the cylinder can dry out .

I've had car engines rust the valve seats in a few years when I haven't put oil in the motor and the motor wont start without
replacing the head.

Some car engines here I put oil in the plug holes and turned them over and then left for 20 years and they have started without
a problem.

So if I have an engine in storage I mostly just make sure I turn the motor over and after a few months add a little oil on top
of the piston, I only start the motor when it's needed .

Some people recommend running a small engine once a year but I haven't had a problem as long as you take precautions so the motor doesn't rust internally and the tank and carby don't rust.

https://petroleumservicecompany.com/blog/what-is-the-best-way-to-store-an-engine/

https://petroleumservicecompany.com/blog/how-to-store-gasoline-and-equipment-that-runs-on-gasoline/

Cheers
Max.


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