View Full Version : Ethanol gas

04-18-2013, 12:12 PM
Byron's comment about his boat motor this morning spurred me to ask is anyone else having similar issues? Here in VA we still have several stores that are able to sell non-ethanol fuel. We have been very particular to only use it in our outboards as well as chain saws, lawnmowers, etc. I made the mistake of putting regular 10% ethanol in my weed eater last summer a few times. I'm carrying it to the shop today because the carb is not supplying fuel correctly and it's shutting off every few seconds, I think
it's losing vacuum, probably due to ethanol ruining some of the rubber seals.
The dealers that do sell the non-ethanol fuel figured out pretty quick that people were searching for it for marine engines so they put a premium on it last summer. It runs about 3.89/ gal vs. 3.35/ gal for pump gas with 10% ethanol. I just wondered if the rest of you have had issues, and do you know of stations near you that sell non-ethanol?
I even heard that Stihl is now making an ethanol kit to upgrade their engines to burn it.

04-18-2013, 12:57 PM
Yep. Screwed up a 4 stroke lawnmower with it. It seems to be ok if you use the device regularly, but trouble comes if it sits like over winter. In that case you need to drain the tank and carb before you store it. Stabil makes some stuff to treat ethanol fuel. Can't say if it works. I've gone to non-ethanol and add regular stabil anyway.

04-18-2013, 01:12 PM
My dad uses 100% gas religiously in anything with a carburetor. On his outboard, he unplugs the fuel line from the motor, while its on the trailer, on the ramp, but still in the water, to let the remaining gas in the motor burn up. His outboard is a '76 E-rude and still starts with no more than 3 pulls. I don't believe he has ever even had the cowling off that motor.

I used to not care about ethanol, but got sick of cleaning carbs every spring in my lawnmower. I recently purchased a new mower and will only be using 100% gas and will be emptying the tank every winter.

04-18-2013, 01:31 PM
I try to buy 100% gas for my jon boat and mowers. There is a small conv. store not too far away that sells only 100%. My boat gas tank is a 3 gal tank running on a 10hp merc 4 stroke. I run 1/2oz of marine sta-bil to a tank and haven't had any problems. I usually pour whats left in the tank into my riding mower after each outing and it gets used up quickly. Over the winter, I run the boat engine dry before storage and pour the remaining gas into my truck. I never keep gas very long.
I do take my motor in every year to the dealer for a check over and fluid changes and they make sure everything is running perfect.

04-18-2013, 05:41 PM
Gary, that may be the whole trick. Just not letting any gas sit too long. We do use the stabil in winter in mowers, boat, saws, weedeater, all of it. We also try to unhook the fuel line and run the boat motor out if its going to sit more than a couple weeks.

04-18-2013, 07:31 PM
Pure Gas.com is a list of 100 percent gas stations in the country . Station that have not changed their storage tanks most likely are still selling 100 present gas . After 2 carbs rebuilt last year total over $700. Nothing but 100 present in all my motors. Stabill does not help. I was using marine stabill when I had the problem. Had to replace all fuel lines from tank to carbs plus 2 carb jobs. Learned my lesson. Most Tennessee Farmers Co Op who have gas pumps sell nothing but 100 present gas.

04-18-2013, 08:05 PM
had to replace the fuel line in my boat because of ethanol,10ft of line going to a built in tank in an unsinkable boston whaler copy, not an easy job. the fuel line path is foam filled and had to make a drill bit out of a plumbing snake to clear a new path.my problem started 15 miles from the boat ramp in a very remote back country area and could only idle back, 5hrs idling every time I tried to increase speed the motor would "starve" and stall. I cut open several sections of the fuel line to find the inner lining to be melted off the outer walls only allowing gas to trickle through Also have seen a decrees in my mpg in pickup due to ethanol

Jack Hise
04-18-2013, 08:25 PM
Ethanol is a good example of our elected official at work! Stretch our crude oil supplies by adding 10% of something that costs more to produce and also reduces MPG by over 10%. Brilliant!!
Of course absolutely no consideration was given to other users of Gasoline.

04-18-2013, 08:35 PM
Here is a site for ethanol free gas. http://www.pure-gas.com

Byron Begley
07-30-2013, 07:03 AM
As Bran recounted, my 4 year old 20 hp Merc 4 stroke needed a carb rebuild this Spring. The cost was $200. Last Fall, I disconnected the fuel line and ran the fuel out of the system before Winter storage. That did not work.

My dealer, Jimmy Hensley at Tri County Marine suggested I start the engine on a regular basis during Winter storage. He said, “They don’t have these problems in Florida”. I consider Jimmy an expert.

My plan this Winter is to buy a gallon of fuel and run the motor for a few minutes every week or so using a garden hose for the cooling system. After the run, I’ll pour the gas into my truck. Hopefully this will work. By the way, I use all three Mercury additives and 10% ethanol fuel. One of the additives is the Mercury version of Stabil.


07-30-2013, 07:49 AM
First off, i agree with Jack about the Ethanol. I read stories all the time on a tractor forum that i'm a member on about the problems folks have.

Having said that, my 95 JD mower, 86 TroyBilt tiller, 2 Stihl chainsaws & one big whopping weed whacker have been running on this stuff for years without a problem. I don't add any additives to it except during the winter when the mower & tiller are stored, i'll start them once a month for the heck of it.
I started the chainsaws over the weekend & ran them for a few minutes, they haven't been used since February, the weedeater works year round being i clear fence rows with it during the winter.
The saws & weed whacker are over 10 years old to boot, i can't fiure out why i'm not having the problems everyone else is having, tried 100% once in the saws & they ran like crap, would have had to carried them to the dealer if i continued, went back to the "E" stuff, no problems.
As i stated earlier, i don't like the politics of the stuff, i'm just not having the problems everyone else seems to be having.


07-30-2013, 09:04 AM
Maybe, based off of the advice given to Byron, and the fact that you're starting your saws and equipment once a month in Winter and not having any issues, that is the answer. It's worth a try anyway. We're running the E gas in our mowers and weed eaters and I'm sure I've never bothered to run them in the Winter time. I'll try it this year!

07-30-2013, 09:29 AM

I do add SeaFoam to the fuel tanks during the winter, even the 2 strokes & diesel farm tractor, never a problem.
The tiller has set all year, to wet for my garden spot, started on the 2nd pull the other day so i walked it around the barn lot & put it back up. I do think the key is running the engines.
Having said all this, none of them will probably work next time out:redface:


07-30-2013, 03:27 PM
Well, I hope thats not the case but a lot of times "Murphy's Law" prevails. We put Stabil in everything but have still had problems. I'll set a calendar event every month this winter to walk around and run everything. Heck, it sure won't hurt anything to warm it up a few minutes, right?

07-31-2013, 09:42 AM
I use Sta-Bil but recently had a small engine guy tell me it's worthless. 'Course you know what they say about opinions...


08-02-2013, 12:07 AM
I had a guy tell me at a small engine repair shop that he only ran 100% gas in his stuff. I haven't since then either. Ethanol is fine for drinking:biggrin: