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Chainsaws and Subies - brothers under the skin?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Zack

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 11:16 AM

I keep a chainsaw at a vacation cabin which I visit every few months. I've been told by knowledgeable chainsaw service folks not to use gasoline which has been sitting around for more than 30 days (60, in a pinch). This means that I frequently end up with a half gallon of gasoline/2-stroke oil mix which has been sitting around for 3-6 months, and which I need to dispose of in a responsable manner (and, no, I don't have any other small gas-powered appliances I could burn the stuff up in). The suggestion which everyone seems to give is to dump the old fuel/2-stroke oil mix into my car's gas tank, then top off the tank so the old fuel is fully diluted.

I'm nervous about putting anything suspect into the tank of my '90 Legacy, but to my surprise the local Subaru dealer said this should be no problem, if it was only half a gallon of old fuel/oil mix and I took care to dilute it into a full tank of fresh gas. In a worst case scenario I might get a 'check engine' light and the codes would have to be reset, but no harm would be done.

Does this sound like good advice? Is there any chance I could create problems down the road by doing this? I've never had any engine problems with this car and I've always been meticulous about maintenance...

Zack
'90 Legacy wagon, AWD, auto, 164,000 miles

#2 jib

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 12:44 PM

A half gallon every few months should not be a problem, but why not use a gas stablizer product. I refresh my chain saw gas once a year after using a stabilizer and then just burn the leftover in my lawn mower without dilluting it.

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#3 beezer

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 03:01 PM

I agree, a small engine mechanic I know would occassionally do that. A fuel stabalizer is pretty cheap, and would solve your problem also.

#4 Zack

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 03:09 PM

FWIW, I was told that adding a stabilizer was a 'second-best' solution when using fuel for high rev 2-stroke engines. And when I checked with the company that makes 'Opti 2' 2-stroke oil, which is widely recommended these days and advertises that it contains a fuel stabilizer, the tech guy said that even with their included stabilizer he would be reluctant to use the mixed fuel after 60 days...

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#5 Flyfish9

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 09:14 PM

FWIW, I was told that adding a stabilizer was a 'second-best' solution when using fuel for high rev 2-stroke engines. And when I checked with the company that makes 'Opti 2' 2-stroke oil, which is widely recommended these days and advertises that it contains a fuel stabilizer, the tech guy said that even with their included stabilizer he would be reluctant to use the mixed fuel after 60 days...

Zack


Sounds pretty anal to me. I routinely keep mixed fuel over the winter with stabilizer added. I use this in my leaf blower, chainsaw, brush cutter, and weed whacker. Been doing it for many years and never had a problem. I'd much rather take a chance of hurting a $300 yard tool, than gumming up the fuel system on a $20,000 car. Priorities, don'cha know.

#6 Zefy

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 04:30 AM

we just mix enough fuel to last the job that we are doing... the lawn mower is a tough cookie and can handle a little old gas... my dad was going to invent something to solve such a problem... but he stopped after failing to make a prototype... maybe i should bug him to get working on it... or maybe i should do it???

i too leave fuel for long periods of time... over winter without stabalizer... been using the same mower for probably 8 years... no problems... heck i don't even think the oil has been changed...:rolleyes:

#7 blitz

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 08:18 AM

The expiration date of gas is a different issue from the amount of time it should be left sitting in an engine's fuel system, especially a carburetor.

IME, most engines will run fine on year-old gas, although starting might be a little more difficult (especially 2-strokes). In a pinch, adding 20-30% fresh stock to any troublesome year-old stuff will generally render it operable. This is for gas that's been stored in a closed can, in a cool area. If the can's been left open, or it's been left sitting out in the sun ...well...?

Don't be tempted to seasonally store power equipment (e.g. snowblower) without first draining the fuel. Stabilizer helps prevent gumming and varnishing for intermediate strorage intervals, but shouldn't be thought of as substitute for seasonal draining. Especially if you've got a nice Robin Subaru generator. :)

#8 nipper

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 09:44 AM

Year old gas sitting in a sotrage containes is not an issue. Yes the inside of the tank will get a little scummy, but a low precision engine will run well on it, and a high precision engine will run on it too, as long as it is strained.
I have tried both methods, running the tank dry, or keeping the gas in (this was with a kawi ninja). Running it dry seemed better then letting the gas sit in the tank for 2-3 months. Gas has a shelf life of about 90 days when stored in a vehical, due to some of the additives seperating and evaporating off. In a tank up to a year or longer is not unheard of. I have a generator in the back yard that I replace fuel on a 4 month cycle. The car doesnt seem to mind it, as i dont dump the entire tank in the car, the last bit i get rid of as it has gunk floating in it.
When old gas sits in the carb jets, its an issue. That gunk will clog jets and orafices.
SInce gas is a solvent, i would imagine that it would start to attack the 2 stroke oil and render both useless. Why not just mix as you need, and use STABIL in the gas.

nipper




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