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Old 11-11-2013, 11:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New to carbs…what's the plan for Winter Storage?

With my old EFI setup, I just ran some Stabilizer and premium gas in the tank…never had an issue with start up in the spring.

I read and hear some horror stories with carbs / mechanical fuel pumps sitting over the winter. Any good advice? Car will be garaged in CT…not heated, but somewhat insulated.

Saw an ad for Driven Car Defender. Snake Oil?!?!?

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Old 11-12-2013, 01:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Can't comment on the Car Defender, not being familiar with it. I use StaBil as a gas additive in every engine I have, from the Cobra down to two-cycle yard equipment. I pulled out a chain saw last week that had been stored about six years with gas in it (my bad) and it started on the second pull, just as if it had been used the day before. That said, here in NC we can drive our cars pretty much all year, so long-term winter storage isn't really an issue. Best advice I can offer is to fill the tank with ethanol-free gas if you can find some and add StaBil. Then there's the battery and tire flat spot issues, but those are easily solved.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have been using Stabil for years, just did that yesterday to the C@bra. I don't notice old gas and have had zero probs for seven winters here. I do try to start her throughout the winter once a week, but that doesn't always happen in the dead of winter. I did buy a premix 50 to 1 at home depot for the saws and weed eater. The lawn mower and snow blower always get the same Stabil mix though. Works for me.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Nothing fancy here either. My Mk3 went into winter storage on Saturday. This is the third year. Topped off the tank, put the recommended amount of STA-BIL (7 oz) in the tank while still at the station, and drove the 4 miles back home. Should be mixed through the whole system. Changed the oil and filter, added a few pounds of air to the tires, took out the battery, and it's down until spring. I store it in my SE trailer in an inside storage bay. Not heated, but reasonably insulated. Keep the battery on a tender in the basement. Did the same last year and it was fine last spring. Year before it had the same treatment, but stayed here in my garage.

I think the issue that many seem to talk about is the Ethanol now used in nearly all fuels. It seems to be the culprit for things like damaging seals, attracting moisture, etc. The lowest percent Ethanol I can buy around here is "less than 10%." That's what's marked on the pumps. I checked, and the only place I could find non-Ethanol fuels was at some marinas. Not going to try to mess with that. The standard STA-BIL says it's good for long term storage and up to E85. Hopefully they're right.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I use stabil in everything from tractors, boats, mowers, cars etc and have rarely ever had an issue in over twenty years. BUT, I also do not use ethanol fuel in anything but my modern daily drivers. Knowing the problems with ethanol fuel, I think I would rather leave a tank empty than store it a longtime with ethanol. No stabilizer will keep ethanol based fuel good for very long.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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put stabil in the gas tank and run for a bit, keep the tank as empty as possible.

If possible, shut of the fuel pump and then let the car run until the fuel bowls are empty.

Then disconnect the coil wire and spray some fogging oil down the intake to lube the upper cylinders.

In the spring put fresh gas in it, change the oil, and fire it up.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I heard stabil can gum up in a carb?

I've never had any issues by using non-ethanol gas and just letting it sit. Nothing special. In fact, that's what I do with my John Deere lawn tractor - I put a full tank of 91 (no ethanol) gas in it, park it from September to April and it starts up with no issues. Been doing that for a decade with no problems.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm a big fan of using race fuel for storage as it has no ethanol (all regular pump gas around here has that crap) and has a great shelf life without turning gummy. My wife's '67 Camaro now runs on it exclusively, as will my FFR, since it's available at a local station in 100 and 110 low-lead.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Lots of various opinions. Some really opposite. This FAQ from Gold Eagle, maker of STA-BIL, has their take on many of these points. FWIW. Couple of points of note. They recommend treating and storing with a full tank. They also claim their product was updated over a year ago to treat fuels with Ethanol. They also recommend fogging, which I haven't done before. Maybe I should check it out.

FAQ, STA-BIL

In the end, all of us probably do what has worked best in our experience.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks guys...appreciate the input. I'll be picking up a new bottle of Stabil...has always done me well (I guess) and see what the local fuel options may be.

I had gotten a 'winterizing' email from Allstate Carbs, they recommended draining you Holley carbs and FP. Doesn't sound like anyone is going to that extreme...
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I wouldnt trust any stabilizer that claims to keep Ethanol good for any significant length of time. Ethanol is a solvent, and it will clean any varnish deposits out of an old tank/lines and gunk it up. That is why they had to replace/clean fuel storage tanks at gas stations prior to converting to it. It will also rot fuel lines not designed for ethanol. More importantly, ethanol has a high affinity for water and will suck water out of the air causing a "phase separation" or water in the bottom of your tank.

Shelf life for ethanol fuel is 90 days in a closed tank, 30 days in a vented tank!
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The issue is that gasoline sold today has alcohol and about 50 other antipollutant additives in it that oxidize and attack a lot of the polymers that otherwise could handle petroleum products.

Case in point, the E85 fuel pump in my wife's 2003 Caravan is different than the normal one, and runs $100 more. Fuel pumps for ethanol don't do anything different - they just have to sit in it for years.

Stabil now has an ethanol treatment they market especially for alcohol contaminated fuel, it's gold colored. I notice my Stihl chainsaw mix now has the phrase "fuel stabilizers added" on the bottle, and Echo does, too. It's been a major problem for small engine users in the Corn Belt where we've been forced to use ethanol regardless of it's actual performance.

No surprise to hear some makers asking you to drain the system dry - even the SAE recognizes ethanol as being erosive to standard rubber fuel lines with it's new teflonized hose standard. Same for the 2 stroke guys - it's eating the carb gaskets, diaphragms, and fuel lines. Better to drain it than have ethanol break them down and spend more than the weedeater is worth to rebuild every spring.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Try this site or something similar. Perhaps it will help.

pure-gas.org : ethanol-free gas stations
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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As someone with a PhD in Chemistry... all the ethanol is corrosive and does XYZ talk is hilarious.

E85... yes it will dry out standard rubber over a period of 5-10 years... does nothing to metal at all and leaving it sit in your tank only runs the risk of possibly absorbing more water out of the air than gasoline... but humidity is so low in the winter and gas tanks being relatively sealed...very little to be concerned about

E10... functionally the same as straight gasoline.... probably stores better than regular gasoline as it is less likely to form varnish. Find something better to worry about.

This is all of course my opinion, but I have been storing cars over the winter with E10 for the past 2 decades and never had an issue.

running the carb dry is always a reasonable idea if it is easy for you to do
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Based on a $2400 repair to out Yamaha outboard three springs ago this is my plan for it which I will be doing this week. It gets run all summer w/ this in the gas
ValvTect - Marine Fuel Additives
The green bottle at the top. Once out of the water, I pump all I can out of the tank and drain both fuel filters on the boat and engine. I also drain the reservoir on the engine where the electric 'in reservoir' pump is.
I would do the same thing to my FFR if I didn't drive it through the winter. If there is no gas in it, you won't have bad gas problems.
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