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  1. #1

    Default Winterizing Motors

    Just curious where people stand on winterizing motors. Some people say to leave the tanks full with fuel, others say let them run till they are empty. Any thoughts? Basically I dont need to use the motors till spring and not sure the best way to store them.


  2. #2
    Platinum Member big bubba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Winterizing Motors

    i'd replace existing fuel w/fresh premium treated w/something like stabil. i used to be of the "run till dry" school until gaskets, seals, & even a fuel shut off solenoid wend bad. then start them every month or 2. never had a problem using this method.

  3. #3
    Super Member grsthegreat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    north idaho
    dk45se hst cab

    Default Re: Winterizing Motors

    Now that i have located a source of ethanol free fuel in my area, im topping off the tanks and leaving them sit full over the winter. A full tank will prevent (supposedly) water accumulation in the fuel tank. It also helps to insure all the gaskets, rings etc stay damp.,

    I hopefully have replaced my last small engine carburetor. time will tell.
    currently own
    2011 Kioti DK45SE HST CAB tractor/loader, Jimna 6" - 3 point wood chipper, 60" JD Brush Hog, JD 60" Rototiller, 3 point post hole digger with hydraulic assist, 3 point spring tooth rake, Fimco 55 gallon weed sprayer with 12 foot boom, 3 point hydraulic wood splitter (home built)
    Quick Attach 79" loader mount snowblower & rear powerpack
    Quick Attach 84" Snow Blade
    Quick Attach 42" pallet forks

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Winterizing Motors

    I put fuel stabilizer in the tanks of four stroke lawnmowers and trucks and try to leave them full to prevent condensation. The two stroke outboard and weed whacker I run dry-after running a bit of fuel stabilized mixed gas through the engines.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: Winterizing Motors

    Condensation in fuel tanks is one of the most exaggerated machinery phenomenons there is, and the introduction of ethanol into fuels has only fueled the fire even more. I belong to a boating forum as well, and the number of products that have been posted there to deal with fuel tank condensation, and ethanol "sucking moisture out of the air" is almost unbelievable.

    Often, the links to the products being marketed towards the owners that are the most fearful of dreaded fuel tank condensation show "proof" like laboratory beakers with water in them that allegedly "condensed" in the fuel tank. What they don't show however, is any real math that supports their allegations.

    A fuel tank has a definite volume of available space. The surrounding atmosphere can only hold a given amount of moisture. So given the amount of moisture they say has "condensed" in the tanks over a given amount of time, they need to explain how it occurred. They seem to be contending that, (especially in the ethanol examples which they know folks already see as scary), the fuel tank condensed all or most of the available moisture out of the "air space" in the tank. Then, the tank expelled that "spent" volume of air, and sucked in a fresh moisture-laden volume of air, condensed all or most of the available moisture out of it, expelled it....and the aforementioned process repeated itself until the shocking volume we see in the laboratory beaker has collected.

    The numbers simply don't add up. I don't know why, but showing the water in a laboratory beaker being held by a paid spokesperson that a rented lab coat happened to fit is enough to convince lots of folks that there's some science going on....

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Collins, NY
    John Deere 855

    Default Re: Winterizing Motors

    I have to respectfully disagree with brokenot. I have personally seen problems from condensation both in my Craftsman generator and my old steel 6 gallon fuel tanks for my boat. I work on these engines, and have seen the water drain out of the tanks and or carbs with my own eyes. Maybe it depends where you store your equipment or what part of the country you live in, but condensation in a fuel tank can most certainly lead to enough water build-up to cause problems.
    I do exactly what suzy does. I run my 2 cycle equipment dry and top off the tanks of my 4 cycle equipment.
    Whatever you do, do something to prevent your carb from gumming up. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Port Angeles WA
    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: Winterizing Motors

    I also must respectfully disagree with Brokenot. A prime example is condensed dew on a vehicle or the front lawn. That volume of moisture appears over the space of a few hours... And unless it is below freezing, it happens just about every night... Granted, the vehicle skin has more surface area and access to more moist air, and yes it takes more time inside a fuel tank, but the moisture is available...

    This "breathing" process also occurs in engine crankcases. It can be combatted by capping the engine crankcase vent with a dessicant plug, but a lot of case vents are not all that easy to access or plug. Another method of dealing with it is to run the engine regularly to drive off the moisture. Probably the biggest killer of box store generators, they get bought for that big storm, used once and put in the garage for years with no activity. Then the owner complains when he spools it up for the next big storm and it throws a rod or seizes about an hour into powering his home due to corroded main bearings... That is why lawnmowers with basically the same engines on them last longer, they at least get used 1/2 the year

    Keep the tank full, use stabil and run it once every month or so to help drive off the moisture and re-splash the engine internals with oil...

  8. #8
    Platinum Member cdaigle430's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    MF GC2410

    Default Re: Winterizing Motors

    Quote Originally Posted by One Acre Farm View Post
    Just curious where people stand on winterizing motors. Some people say to leave the tanks full with fuel, others say let them run till they are empty. Any thoughts? Basically I dont need to use the motors till spring and not sure the best way to store them.

    I think it all depends on the quality of the engines. My Honda ATV and Honda Motorcycle I can add stabil and keep fuel in the tanks all winter. Before I park them I shut the fule valve off and let it run till it dies. My Honda ATV is 8 years old and never had a problem.

    The Briggs and Stratton carbs are a different story.
    2010 MF GC2410 TLB, 2006 Husqvarna YTH 2448, 2004 Honda Rincon 650, 2007 Honda Shadow Aero 750, 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited-Hemi.

  9. #9
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Daleville, IN
    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default Re: Winterizing Motors

    I do stabilized fuel then run it for a few minutes. I have fuel shut off valves on my stuff that can so I then shut the valve off and let the carb run dry.

    I am 100% for filling the tanks. I have had condensation issues too much.


  10. #10

    Default Re: Winterizing Motors

    Once you have the gas part figured out, here's a few more steps.
    Change oil.
    Pour 1 tsp of motor oil in each cylinder and rotate the crank a couple of revs by hand with spark plugs still out. Replace spark plugs.
    Rotate crank to have the maximim cylinders somewhere on the compression stroke. That way the valves are closed for the winter.
    Close the choke and leave it closed for winter.
    Remove battery and set it in plain sight on work bench. Trickle charge periodicly.
    Block tires up if possible.
    Wash and wax??

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