long-term engine storage
#7
  Re: (...)
I have a $600 Ridgid pressure washer. I use it every two years or so. I simply don't have call to use it more than that. I also am thinking of getting a tiller / cultivator which would probably get used every two years or so, maybe once a year.

My issue is that with such long term storage the engine gets all gummed up / messed up and won't start. My normal routine is to run the engine dry, remove the spark plug, spray in fogging oil, and store. When I come back, though, it often won't start.

Is there something else I should be doing. I always use Stabil. I was told by a fellow I needed to remove the carb bowl and drain it, even after running the engine dry. I was told by another fellow that all these machines need to be started and run for 5 or 10 minutes every 6 months. I was told by another fellow that using the ethanol-free gas sold in steel cans will solve all my problems. I was told by another fellow that if I'm going to use the machines so infrequently, just rent them.

Any other advice or words of wisdom? I'd like to keep the machines and not rent them, but I'm getting tired of the repair fees.
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#8
  Re: long-term engine storage by mlincoln (I have a $600 Ridgid...)
My Tiller is used about as much as yours is. I've had it 7 years now. I sometimes remember to pour a little stabil in it before winter. I've never had a problem getting it running in the spring.

I think one thing that helps is right after I bought it the pull starter spring broke. I've since been starting it with my 1/2" cordless drill by using a socket to spin the big exposed nut on the end of the crank. Aside from being easy as hell, in the spring this lets me spin the engine for 30 second or so (whatever it takes) to get the fuel really flowing well before it fires up.

My other equipment does not get gummed up either. Must be luck.
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#9
  Re: long-term engine storage by mlincoln (I have a $600 Ridgid...)
I've never had an issue using Stabil. However, I don't store stuff for 2 years.

If you only need a washer or tiller every couple years, I think you'd be better off borrowing or renting.

That's actually why my dad gave me his rototiller, he couldn't get it started when he wanted to work up his beach every 2-3 years. Now he just borrows it.
Mark

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#10
  Re: long-term engine storage by mlincoln (I have a $600 Ridgid...)
Classic and antique cars are put in storage frequently. They use special oils. See: http://www.mossmotors.com/SiteGraphics/Pages/oil.html

Change the oil just before putting the engine in storeage but run the engine for at least 30 minutes to drive out any residual moisture in the engine and in the oil itself.

Before re-starting the engine remove the spark plugs and spray oil into the cylinders and allow the oil to drain over the rings over night. Then try starting it.

This is stuff I got from watching the antique cars being restored on Velocity. No personal experience. But I believe that the experts on those shows know what they are doing.
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#11
  Re: long-term engine storage by mlincoln (I have a $600 Ridgid...)
I always find and expect an engine that has been run dry and stored will be difficult to start. There is no fuel in the lines from the tank to the carb, there is extra oil in the cylinder, the plug has extra stuff on it (usually wet), and there some water may have settled in the tank and/or carb bowl.

If I run and store and engine dry, I usually pull and clean the plug and after several plugs to load the carb with fuel I will spray some WD-40 into the cylinder and the carb. I've been told it is better than starting fluid because it contains oils.
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#12
  Re: long-term engine storage by mlincoln (I have a $600 Ridgid...)
mlincoln said:


I was told by another fellow that using the ethanol-free gas sold in steel cans will solve all my problems.

Any other advice or words of wisdom? I'd like to keep the machines and not rent them, but I'm getting tired of the repair fees.



I do what this person said. TruFuel has a five year life on the closed container and a two year life once opened. I run my small engines dry that had ethanol blended fuel and then add a half a quart of the TruFuel to the tank, start up then shut down and store for the season. This treatment has protected my fuel systems better than just running the engine out of fuel. Many small engine sales and service managers recommend this practice.
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