- Apr 29, 2012
- East Tennessee
I've torn into 20 carburetors in my lifetime from where all the gasoline in the tank evaporates and leaves a nasty funk behind. Usually it's not my stuff because if I plan on storing something, I'll top off the fuel tank. Carburetor issues usually occurs if all the fuel has evaporated out of the tank. Sometimes it's as simple as removing the fuel bowel and fuel hose and shooting carburetor cleaner through the inlet port to clean out the float valve. Other times the whole carburetor needs to be taken apart and the jets and passages cleaned. It's either hit or miss. The last carburetor I tore into was on a small ATV a co-worker gave me. It had some issues like broken suspension components but had been sitting for about 7 years in a storage building. I took the carburetor apart and the brass components looked like they had green mold growing on it! Then there was some green funk on the bottom of the fuel bowel. I've never seen a carburetor in this condition. I had to bead blast this green corrosion off. The jets were so stopped up, soaking them in fuel injection cleaner wouldn't even phase them. Nor would compressed air or running a small piece of wire through them. I've never had to resort to this but I ended up taking a propane torch to them. Finally this black stuff starting oozing out. I put it back on and the ATV seemed to run OK but was loud and smoked. This wouldn't have been a problem except for the fact that the next day it wouldn't start because the plug was carbon fouled. So whenever I wanted to ride it, I'd have to pull the plug and bead blast it. As long as the engine was warm it would restart. Apparently I didn't get a passage cleaned out or the float level is not correct. Or perhaps heating the jets with a torch somehow enlarged the holes? So I ordered a new carburetor off Ebay for $14, installed it , adjusted the idle speed and it runs great. For $14 it's not worth my time trying to figure out what was wrong with it. This problem seems to effect mostly engines with gravity feed fuel systems. But here is my question. I have a couple of generators I use for power outages. Luckily we haven't had a major power outage in several years. Other than converting them over to propane, what is the best way to store an engine so that when I need it, I don't have to tear the carburetor apart to clean it? When I mean long term storage, I mean for more than 2 years. Some people swear by Sta-Bil but I've ran untreated gas that was over a year old in my lawnmowers and cars and they ran just as good as if I had treated them so I'm not wasting my money on this stuff. Is it better to top the tank off and place a piece of cellophane between the tank and cap to slow down the evaporation process? I realize some fuel is going to evaporate through the vent hole in the float bowel. Or is it better to drain the fuel tank and fuel bowel? I've heard the later is not a good idea because the fuel tank can rust and the insides of the carburetor can corrode. But is that any worse than the fuel evaporating and leaving funk behind? What's the difference between this and buying an engine that has never been started from a store. One thought might be to fill the tank with about a gallon of diesel fuel since it doesn't evaporate like gasoline. But then I'd still have to drain the fuel bowel before starting the engine, other wise a gasoline engine won't run on diesel fuel. What about draining the fuel tank and fuel bowel and shooting some fogging oil into the tank and into the carburetor, placing some cellophane between the fuel cap and tank and some cellophane over the inlet of the carburetor with a zip tie to prevent any moisture from entering the carburetor. What about wrapping the whole generator or engine in a 55 gallon drum liner and through a pack of desiccate in to absorb any moisture? Any other good ideas?