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Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?


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  #41  
Old 01-04-2012, 03:58:58 PM
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OTTO-Sawyer OTTO-Sawyer is offline
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Bill:
Concidering the amount of trouble you run into with it up there in Canada, which I have acknowledged several times in different threads, I hope for your sake that they never do get E-85 up there.

Power: As I said, I will take you at your word there.

I will also be thanking a few more posts here when I can again, but again I have to repeat.... While I agree that Ethanol can and does cause problems in some cases, there are still hundreds of millions of engines out there that have Not been affected by it. If it affected everything it touched, there would only be a handfull of engines running in the entire country.

I got a flyer in the mail the other day trying to get me to sign up for a "Locksmith Class" that says there are over 123,467,000 automobiles, and 35,382,000 trucks and busses In Service in the U.S. today along with 70,000,000 households and 14,000,000 offices, (all potentially needing a locksmith) which even if you only figure Half of the homes & busenesses have lawn mowers, weed eaters, snow blowers, etc. and only figure 1 of those 3 for each of that half of the population would be a Minimum of another 42,000,000 small engines. That adds up to over 200,849,000 engines IN USE in the United States alone.

Even if you figure the majority of those trucks and busses are diesel powered along with a small percentage of the cars, that still leaves well over 150,000,000 engines out there running on what ever fuel is available to them for pump gas, the vast majority of which is the "Up To 10%" Ethanol. That's the Minimum number I could reasonably come up with there. When you figure the home owners that have at least one car, AND one lawnmower, PLUS a weedeater, a snowblower, a leaf blower, and Maybe a garden tractor, snowmobile, jet ski, motorcycle, etc., then the numbers would likely jump back up above and beyond the 200 Million number again. That also doesn't take into concideration ANY of the antique tractors and engines we like to play with, which may have a higher percetage of people that avoid Ethanol at all costs, but still has a fair amount that do use it and never had any problems with it.

There was also another thread a while back where I acknowledged The Possibilty that Maybe I too have experienced an Ethanol related problem in One engine out of nearly 100 I've owned over the years. The flimsy little plastic fuel pickup in my chainsaw rotted away a couple years ago, but until I get the ambition to tear it apart and see what the carb looks like inside, I can't say for sure if it was the E-10 that ate it away, or if it was a couple shots of carb cleaner I sprayed up through it to clean out a slug of oil that had dried in the line. If I find out that it was Ethanol that did it assuming that I find the carb full of the dreaded white dust and gummy bears, I will have no problem admitting that, but at the same time, it's one engine out a hundred or 1% of my own personal experience with Ethanol. And that's still assuming that it was the Ethanol and Not the carb cleaner & old age that disolved the plastic.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:01:26 PM
sprkplug sprkplug is offline
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Speaking for myself, as an equipment owner, not a technician, I haven't had any issues with the ethanol in gas. Zero problems.
I see issues that can be laid at the feet of ethanol, indirectly, all the time. When you see the white, chalky deposits inside the carb, that is caused by water, not the ethanol itself. However, as we all know ethanol is hydroscopic, so that makes it guilty by association, in my book at least.

To me, the gummy, globby residue left behind is not a function of ethanol as much as it is the quality of the fuel itself. When I see that, I immediately feel that the equipment has sat for a long period, or has had stale fuel poured into it.

So why don't I experience those same problems with my own equipment? I run it. Every month, sometimes twice a month. I've started telling my customers the same thing. Adding fuel stabilizers is fine, but running it is better.

If there's six inches of snow on the ground in January, I run my equipment for 10-15 minutes every couple of weeks. Yes, I might get some condensation in the crankcases, but it hasn't caused me any visible issues, and I change the oil frequently.

I think it keeps the fuel moving, and mixed up. The absolute worst combination is a modern small engine, with it's miniscule carb passages, and letting it sit idle with fuel in it.

Do I consider ethanol bad from a personal standpoint? No.
Do I consider it good for business? Absolutely.

Nearly everyone is convinced of the evils of ethanol. I think if I were to tell some of them that it was drawn from the veins of the Devil himself, and not refined from corn, that they would readily believe it. However it is not the belief that ethanol is bad that is good for business, so much as it's the unchanging habits of the poor folks who are using the equipment.

Today's fuel is not yesteryear's fuel, no doubt about it. But if people would educate themselves, and be willing to make some changes to their storage routines, I truly feel that a good deal of the problems encountered with today's gas would cease to exist.
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  #43  
Old 01-04-2012, 05:18:23 PM
oldschoolwisconsin oldschoolwisconsin is offline
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Yes I may be wandering AWAY from small engines just for a sec, but i do know that ethanol gas is less efficient than non-ethanol gas. My truck and my bro's Jeep both get better mileage when we put E0 gas in them. They also run better as a whole. Mine also dosnt ping like it does with ethanol gas. My bro gets more torque. I get more performance as well.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:52:37 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

I have had the same experience as Otto. I also know alot of guys with old and new equipment and none have complaints against ethanol. One Friend owns a small gravel pit and he has some equipment that sits for yrs with old gas and has no problem starting them when needed and he buys the cheapest gas he can find. He also has a 49 ford dump truck that he uses once or twice a yr. and hasn't had any issues with fuel related problems. All our regular gas has had 10%ethanol for 20-30yrs. Since most of the guys complaining seem to be in the east I would look at the blend for your area not ethanol. There are 20 different blends for different areas for pollution control + summer and winter blends. Also STIHL does not warranty ANY fuel related problems.Bob
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:43:02 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Since most of the guys complaining seem to be in the east I would look at the blend for your area not ethanol. There are 20 different blends for different areas for pollution control + summer and winter blends
I think you are onto something here, Bob.
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  #46  
Old 01-04-2012, 09:16:26 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolwisconsin View Post
Yes I may be wandering AWAY from small engines just for a sec, but i do know that ethanol gas is less efficient than non-ethanol gas. My truck and my bro's Jeep both get better mileage when we put E0 gas in them. They also run better as a whole. Mine also dosnt ping like it does with ethanol gas. My bro gets more torque. I get more performance as well.
Are they carbureted or fuel injected? If your car is pinging on E10, then there is something wrong with it, or you must have it tuned PERFECTLY for gasoline. Ethanol has higher octane, so the higher compression your engine, the better. Because methanol or ethanol contains oxygen, they need to be mixed richer. That also means you can pack more fuel into your engine without adding a turbo or supercharger. Some of the race car guys are designing E85 only engines for their cars. They can get more power out of them than with race gas and E85 is a lot cheaper than race gas. http://www.raceone85.com/

Read this report: http://www.rhapsodyingreen.com/rhaps...evel_study.pdf

It all depends on how the car is tuned. I know in my experimentation, my 2003 S10 got the most mileage at around 25% ethanol. However, it drops pretty fast after E50 and the check engine light comes on at about 60%. My 1976 Blazer I had in high school got better mileage on E10 than it did on regular leaded.

It was a lot more fun doing the ethanol experimentation when E85 was about 80 cents cheaper than E10 and about 90 cents cheaper than straight gas. Last week there was only 10 cents difference and not really worth the hassle of mixing.
Price of E10 went up has gone up 15 cents today, so there is now 25 cents difference.
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Last edited by oldtractors; 01-04-2012 at 09:28:29 PM.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:07:35 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

"If your car is pinging on E10, then there is something wrong with it" I had forgotten about the pinging problem I had with our '85 Chevy 1/2 ton with a 305 V8 every time I filled up on ethanol gas at the local gas station before they closed several years ago. I wasn't the only one complaining about pinging with gas from that source. When I filled up with regular non ethanol gas at another station 15 miles down the road, the pinging problem went away.

Anyway, I think I'm done on this subject. You guys can have your ethanol, I've got better things to do than fiddle around draining tanks and starting numerous engines every couple of weeks or whatever to try to avoid carb problems from the ethanol s**t. I'll fill my tanks with non ethanol premium or Av gas if I have to and leave them sit over winter or the next year or two and not have to worry about having to do a carb job next time I want to start the engine.

Bill
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:12:36 AM
sprkplug sprkplug is offline
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Bill, if you leave them sit for a year or two, don't forget to disassemble them and remove the giant mouse nests from around the heads and cylinders, or else the carb problems you've been experiencing will seem trivial, and cheap, by comparison.

It's been my experience that a mouse could care less if a person runs ethanol fuel or not, but they are very fond of long term storage.........

Which brings me right back to education, proper storage techniques, and the responsibilities of the equipment's owner/user............
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:44:36 AM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Never had a problem with mouse nests in my air cooled engines, but imagine out of the millions of engines out there, a small percentage may have.

Bill
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:25:50 AM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Mouse don't like mothballs.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:06:56 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

In all Fairness.... I wouldn't go attacking Bill on his education, or storage techniques, or responsibities. Reading through a lot of his other posts, he has done a lot of experiments with the fuel supply he has to work with, and has repaired/rebuilt quite a few engines.

Whether anyone wants to believe or not, I do try to stay open minded about things, while looking at them from Both Sides of the issues. And as I have said before, while at first I found some of Bills claims of fuel going bad over night, and the amounts of water/alcohol settling to the bottom of his 'test jars', after reading the Popular Mechanics article about Phase Seperation and that if the water content is just high enough it can happen on its own through a 20 degree drop in temperature with No More Water added, it made a lot of sence. With what he has gone through up there, I think he needs to be focusing on reporting the local stations for water contamination instead of complaining about the alcohol itself, but that may just be My Opinion... I mean No Disrepect to Bill, or to Power or anyone else that has actually experienced problems of one sort or another.

I don't keep bringing up the 'other side of the issue' to try to discredit him based on his own personal experiences with it, but more so to try to show him that while it may be a major problem 'In His Area' and maybe in a few other localized areas, it isn't as bad as many people have been lead to believe.

Even though I already burned up all of my "THANKS" again this morning in another thread, I will be coming back and thanking several more in this thread when I can.

It's nice to see others jump in with their own personal experiences, On BOTH sides, so it doesn't appear to be just me and Bill bickering back & forth. (which is Not what I am trying to do here).

Just another side note: (to show once again that I do look at things from both sides), Yes Ethanol does give a little less power and milage if used without mkaing any adjustments for it. It has a lower BTU content which makes less power, but it also raises the octane rating so if it used in a higher compression engine that had the timing backed off, it can be advanced again and recover some of that power that was lost because of the lower BTU's. Even if you don't make any adjustments for it, while it may give a slightly lower MPG, because it is cheaper to buy it gives a higher MP$ that offsets the lower MPG. I check my gas milage AND my Miles Per Dollar on every tank of gas, and find it makes a lot more difference where and how I drive than which fuel I burn.

---------- Post added at 01:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:55 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Sherlock View Post
Never had a problem with mouse nests in my air cooled engines, but imagine out of the millions of engines out there, a small percentage may have.

Bill
Touche !

Fair enough, and Well Said.


(and No hard Feelings.... at least not on my part)
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  #52  
Old 01-05-2012, 04:06:06 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

If my advice to Bill concerning the damage a mouse nest can cause was construed as a personal attack, then I failed in my attempt to properly convey my meaning. I learned a long time ago that arguing is akin to chopping down a utility pole with a butter knife...... You're gonna' get all worked up by doing it, but not much constructive work will get accomplished. To that end I will not waste my time arguing over, or debating unverifiable statements. It is more efficient, and informative, to state the facts.

In this particular case, the facts come straight from a current Briggs and Stratton owners manual. Where, in the section under maintenance, it says that the air-cooling system should be cleaned annually, or more often in dusty conditions, or when airborne debris is present. Hence, removing the sheet metal shrouds and cleaning the fins, removing any obstructions (mouse nests).

Proper storage techniques. Again, referring to the owner's manual. I'll quote.
"There is no need to drain gasoline from the engine if a fuel stabilizer is added according to instructions. Run the engine for two minutes to circulate stabilizer throughout fuel system. The engine and fuel can then be stored for up to 24 months."

As I posted earlier, adding a stabilizer is fine. I still advocate exercising, (running) the engines periodically. However, that is my recommendation, not yet Briggs and Stratton's.

Responsibilities. Still in the owners manual. " As the engine/equipment owner, you are responsible for the performance of the required maintenance listed in your owners manual." That means it's up to you to ensure that a mouse hasn't taken up housekeeping under your engine's sheetmetal.

As far as education, I merely meant that by educating my customers I can hopefully alleviate some of their problems down the road. That's all I was trying to convey to Bill. The need, verified in a reputable engine manufacturer's manual, to perform certain measures to ensure proper engine operation, particularly after an extended storage period.

If Bill doesn't suffer from mouse problems, he should count himself fortunate. Down here, it is most definitely a problem. When spring arrives, I will remove a mouse nest from many of the engines that come in for service. When July/August rolls around, I will start replacing cylinder heads because of pulled out valve guides and loose valve seats, due to overheating caused most often by.....failure of the equipment's owner to ensure proper maintenance was performed on his/her equipment. Namely, removing a mouse nest put there during winter storage.

By the way... I learned at a service school that leaving the hood open on your tractor may inhibit mice from moving in. I also learned that removing said mouse nests with a blow nozzle may contribute to you contracting the Hanta Virus... now I blow them off outside, and wear a mask.

The only reason for this lengthy post was to try and set the record straight. If OTTO thought I was attacking Bill, then others surely did also. That was not the case. Just sharing some information.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:34:09 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Sprkplug,

I didn't take your remarks about the damage a mouse nest can do as a personal attack. I personally have never had a problem with mouse nests in my air cooled engines, wish I could say the same for ethanol gas. From my experience adding stabilizer to to ethanol gas out here was a complete waste of time and money and I've tried several. I should add, draining the fuel tank and running the carburetor dry hasn't prevented the white corrosion either. For me it's much easier to just avoid using ethanol gas altogether.

Just remembered, an equipment rental business in a nearby city drains the gas tanks on all air cooled engines on equipment as soon as it's returned to the shop, and refill the tanks with non ethanol Premium gas to which a stabilizer has been added. That's just in case the customer used ethanol gas while the equipment was rented. The City of North Battleford Parks Dept. also only use non ethanol Premium gas in all their yard equipment engines.


Bill

Last edited by Bill Sherlock; 01-05-2012 at 04:41:25 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:13:16 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Bill Sherlock posted this in another thread: http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/fueltest.asp
It bears repeating - shows scientifically, with lab tests what Ethanol in gasoline does to fiberglass plastic boat tanks and Marine engines.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:22:51 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Within the 53+ years I have been working on small engines, I have seen plenty of mouse nests in engines. The bigger the engine, the more inclined a mouse is going to build in it. On smaller engines, it is harder for them to build in, as they like to bring the family with them when they move in.

Every spring I have to remove the shrouding on my mother-in -laws' Sears Riding Mower, with it's 8 HP Techumseh, as mice love to fill up the space between the head, cooling fins, and the shroud. They don't touch her hand mower though, with it's 31/2 HP engine on it. It is good practice to remove the shroud, at least once a year, especially in dusty conditions. Anything that obscures direct contact between the air and the bare metal fins on an engine, especially in the area around the exhaust valve, will bring on premature wear and early failure of an engine. Even a coating of dust will inhibit cooling. Air is not an effecient cooling agent to begin with, so the engine needs all the help it can get to cool properly. sprkplug is quite correct in his assessment of engine damage from blocked cooling on an air cooled engine. Along with the damage mentioned, I have also seen galled cylinders, damaged pistons, and in a couple cases, actual engine fires, where the mouse debris actually caught fire under the engine shroud. NOT PRETTY! As for cleaning out, WEAR A MASK! Hanta Virus and severe lung ailments can be a result of breathing in debris from an engine. Remove all large debris by GLOVED hand. Use a garden hose nozzle to remove dust and small debris, THEN use the compressed air, before the debris dries out. You do not want to breath in any particulate matter, even if there is no mouse evidence - dusts can harbor molds and asthma causing agents.

Andrew
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:39:18 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

My experience with E10 is that the Stihl carbs ( made in China btw) have a coating on the inside and the ethanol gets under it and corrodes the carb, much like salt does to the coating on aluminum wheels on cars. It also warps the diaphragms. On the Viton tips of inlet needles it blows them up and distorts them. Stihl, Briggs, and Kohler seem to suffer the worst from issues. Besides absorbing water like a sponge from the air and causing all kinds of problems from that. The gas has some of its chemicals evaporate over several weeks and although it still smells good its lost much of its volatility to burn in a cold air cooled engine. A shot of carb spray into the carb to get the engine to fire will bring up cylinder temps to burn the fuel in a few seconds. Once the engine cools again overnite it wont run again unless you hit it with carb spray or put in fresh gas. Most engine companys state do not use E85 in their lawn and garden equipment and theres a reason. Years ago old gas just varnished all to hell and was much easier to clean up and save a carb than what happens today. Some of the Chineese Honda knock off carbs and new tecumseh carbs corrode so fast inside it isnt even funny. Plus the jelly like crap which is stuff leaching from the pot metal. Its costing the consumer needless expense and hassle to protect their investment these days. They can take their ethanol and shove it six ways to Sunday as far as Im concerned. Small engine manufacturers are telling the people not to keep gas in small volumes more than 30 days. In vehicles it doesnt affect them as much because the tank of fuel is burned much sooner plus with fuel injection you have the timing adjustable for optimum efficiency by the ECU and sensors plus the higher compression of these engines over lawn and garden engines. Just more garbage stuffed down our throats by the govt and the oil industry and make billions.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:36:20 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

I will say this, and then I have no more to offer on this subject. Several of my customers are involved in the timber/logging industry. As such, they place great emphasis on their Huskies and Stihls being able to do the work required of them every day, year round. I do not see any carb issues with these saws, despite the many gallons of ethanol laced fuel run through them. I attribute this lack of failure to the same reason my service truck doesn't have a problem with today's gas: They are used regularly.

I have many more customers involved in the commercial cutting service industry. They don't all have the same success with their equipment as the timber guys do. I do see carb issues with them, and I attribute that to the off season storage period, where the equipment sits idle.

I do think that BobRR might be on to something with his mentioning of the different formulations of ethanol laced fuel, geographically speaking. I would be very interested in learning more about that.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:54:38 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

At least Stihl is coating their carbs with a protectant that is RESISTANT to alcohol penetration. Note I said resistant, not proof. As you said, alky still gets thru, and once it does, forget the carb, it is not worth rebuilding. it is cheaper to replace. if you use a carb cleaner on those carbs, the protectant is removed, and carb life is greatly reduced. Here in Nj, thre seems to be no government watch on the amount of alky in regular. As I have stated many times, up to 27% has been found in regular pump gas, here in Nj. it has become such a problem that Stihl has a specific test for alky content, AND a seperate test for volatility, that tells age of the fuel. More than 30 days, by test, so sorry: too bad, so sad, no warrenty! Hi test seems to better self regulated, as people using it aren't having so many problems due to content. Longevity is another matter. You are quite correct on the 30 day rule of thumb. As for engines in use - all of the carbs my son's shop are replacing, about 80% are daily users. Most are commercially used, about 20% are homeowners units, that probably have set a while. Those you can tell right away, when you dump out the stale fuel, it stinks up the whole shop!
Andrew
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:21:50 AM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

You do not want to breath in any particulate matter, even if there is no mouse evidence - dusts can harbor molds and asthma causing agents.
I soak the stuff with a bleach solution and let it set a bit before picking (disposable gloves) and hosing it off. I think - could be wrong- that the bleach kills virus, molds, etc.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:00:51 AM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

I've been running av gas in my tractor and engines for a while now for no other reason than it does no attack the paint like pump gas does. I only use 5 or 6 gallons a year so cost is not a problem
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