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Antique Gas Engine Discussion

sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH


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  #1  
Old 04-23-2005, 11:20:12 PM
Ihorse Ihorse is offline
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Default sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH

a friend came over today to help start about 20 engines--none of these had been started for at least a year---some two or more--all fuel systems were fine--esp as we were priming all--not a one of the igniter engines would start--and I took everyone off and cleaned and adj as neccessary--after a few tries--all the spark plug units did start---even a few tractors, and a aurora 4 cyl- and a hart-parr 50 all were fine-any ideas on the igniter engines--all being so stubborn-- there was not even anyone else there--now I could see them not starting if there was a crowd--blood pressure up about 50 pts,
d,j,
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Old 04-23-2005, 11:24:50 PM
BobRR BobRR is online now
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Default Re: sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH

D.J. You werent holding your tongue right! BobRR
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Old 04-24-2005, 12:04:39 AM
Kevin Roth Kevin Roth is offline
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Default Re: sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH

Hey D J, Its your gas. You have to have new fresh gas or they will not start. I have run into this problem more than once at Crosby. The gas will go bad in a small plastic or clear container in a day. Next time you fill your vehicle get some gas for priming and it should help. Kevin
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Old 04-24-2005, 08:58:33 AM
Orrin Orrin is offline
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Default Re: sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH

I agree with Kevin. Let me tell about something that happened to us.

My wife decided to mow the lawn. I warned her that the mower was getting low on fuel and showed her which of our two cans of gasoline she should use for filling it back up. (At the time I was busy doing something for her.)

Sure enough, later on I heard the mower quit and I saw her refuel it. When she tried getting the engine running, again, she pulled and pulled on that starter rope until she was completely worn out. The thing refused to run. (Up until now it *always* started on the first pull.)

So, I went to lend her a hand. I asked, "What's the matter?" "The thing won't start." I pointed to the gas can and said, "Here's why it won't start."

Instead of using the fresh five-gallon container of fuel, she had paid no attention to my instructions and took the other one. (It was a half-full two gallon can. Easier to carry.)

The reason for my instructions was simple. Before trying to start it, I had drained the stale gasoline from one of our antique engines that had been sitting unused for over a year. It was that stale fuel that was in the small can and she had poured it into the mower's tank.

Luckily, she had only put in enough to get the job done, so there was room for more. I filled it up the rest of the way with fresh fuel, drained the carburetor bowl, and the thing started on the first pull.

Here's the kicker to the story. From then, on, the engine would only run for a few minutes before it quit, starved for fuel. In other words, it would burn what was in the carburetor bowl, then quit. After a while it would start, again, after the bowl had slowly refilled.

As it turned out, the carb's float valve had some sort of an elastomeric (soft) seat. The rotten gasoline had caused it to swell up, restricting the flow.

I fought with that mower until I could install a new carb kit. After that, it was back to starting on the first pull.

So, there's more than one reason to *never ever* use stale gasoline in an engine.

Orrin
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Old 04-24-2005, 11:18:36 AM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH

Orrin,

Your story of the lawn mower reminds me of one about a local resident who couldn't get his lawn mower engine to start one spring. He became so frustrated that he finally solved the problem with an 8 lb sledge hammer and drove the engine clear through the deck. I suspect that he had a case of stale gas but was too late to find out after he demolished the engine.

I've found some springs that gas is so stale it won't start a lawn mower or roto tiller engine on the day that you bought it. Bought gas from a different source and problem solved.

Bill
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Old 04-24-2005, 11:40:23 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH

The new gas is hardly gasoline at all anymore. It is all chemicals and gasses-literally. If you open a partially empty container of gas that has been around a week or so, you will probably smell propane before anything else! Gas loses 1/2 its burning capability within 30 days, in an open or partially full container. After 60 days, it will seperate into 2 liquids that will not burn, and in older carbs with brass floats, will set up a galvanic (battery)action that will destroy the float and the carb body!
There is a thread posted late last year on gas, in which I go into the composition of gas, and its shelf life.
Even if you manage to get your engine to run on stale fuel, there are other hazzards besides swelled rubber parts! One engine I have ran quite well, on almost anything. I decided to get rid of some panther ____ fuel that smelled just as I described it! As the engine was already hot, It started up and ran just fine thank you very much, until the fuel tank ran dry. The neighbors weren't very happy with me that day, the smell of that bad gas burning smelled just as bad coming out the exhaust as it smelled going into the carb! I was inside eating dinner when the engine quit - out of gas. After dinner, I went out, filled the gas tank with fresh gas, and tried to start the engine. After 1 compression stroke, the compression went away. I pulled the head, and found the exhaust and intake valves stuck open. A light tap freed Them, and the engine then started right up. I shut it off a few minutes later. The next day, the same thing happened!. After the third time I had to pull the head, I finally pulled the valves out. Both the stems were loaded with varnish from that stale gas! I had to clean out the fuel tank, the fuel line, the carb, the intake passage and the valve guides with 2+2 carb cleaner, in order to remove all the varnish! What a pain!!!
As for igniter fired engines - fresh fuel is a must. The new gas will carry current under compression, so if you flood your engine with gas, the igniter will short out under compression. If the igniter gets wet with gas, especially if there is carbon on it, the only remedy is to clean it off with carb cleaner, and dry thoroughly. You might also warm the igniter with a torch, as well. If the weather was damp, that probably did not help the situation either!
Andrew
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Old 04-25-2005, 12:12:08 AM
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Craig A Craig A is offline
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Default Re: sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH

I just gassed up my tractors today for our July show (before it gets even higher----$2.26)---which means they have gas in them from LAST July. I use Stabil and I gotta say---the "old" gas SMELLED hardly ANY different than the stuff they are calling gas NOW. In fact my BIG Rumely started on the first compression today--I took IT TO the gas station!!!
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Old 04-25-2005, 01:33:56 AM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH

Bought some fuel additive put out by Briggs & Stratton in a small plastic tube called "Fresh Start". One tube conditions 2.5 gallons and is supposed to preserve fuel quality for up to 24 months. I mixed up couple of gallons of gas in a plastic jerry can a couple of days ago for my lawn mower. Hopefully it will keep the gas fresh until I use it up in a month or so.

Bill
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Old 04-25-2005, 02:05:23 AM
Chuck Parcher (Ks.) Chuck Parcher (Ks.) is offline
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Default Re: sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH

I think for what they are charging for gas, the companies ought to put a stablizer in the gas they produce..................WELL MAYBE NOT..........That just might give them an excuse to increase the price higher than it is.

CHUCK
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Old 04-25-2005, 02:20:39 PM
Jim McCracken Jim McCracken is offline
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Default Re: sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH

I drained some old gas from one of my engines and knowing the normal
volatility of gasoline and using well deserved caution, poured it on a brush pile I wanted to burn.It would barely burn and was not as active as the used oil I also used.
A friend told me the current gasoline is designed for fuel injected engines
and lacks the lite ends needed for carburatored engines.I do know that mixing
a couple quarts of Coleman fuel with a tank of gas solved the winter starting
problem with my 8-N Ford tractor.I now add some to all my gas engines.
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Old 04-26-2005, 10:48:44 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH

With the cost of pump gasoline at its present level, I've started using Coleman fuel (Naptha) in my Hoyt-Clagwell. The cheap stuff, available at Wal Mart is only about a buck more a gallon. So far, so good.

There's a slight loss of power but that could be because I'm running the engine a little slower now.

Another thing I noticed is that my fuel sight gauge developed a slight leak, possibly due to the rubber gasket swelling. I tightened the end cap a little and will see if that fixes it.

One big benefit from running Naptha is that the exhaust smell is really nice. It reminds me of the aroma from a lawn mower in the '50's running white gas.

If this works out, I'm gonna see if I can find a source of Naptha in bulk. It should be cheaper that way.

Take care - Elden
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Old 04-27-2005, 12:16:14 AM
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Default Re: sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH

I think it may be the gas. Does not last long. Another old trick dad always did was to add a little saw gas oil (20-40 starting gas). Always did the trick.

John H
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Old 04-28-2005, 12:10:43 AM
JoeFisher JoeFisher is offline
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Default Re: sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH

Elden, in the oil patch ,they call what you are looking for "DRIP". It the condensate off a natural ges well. Talk to a pumper. warm in central Texas-Joe
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:51:35 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: sTARTING PROBLEMS--AAARRUGHH

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFisher
Elden, in the oil patch ,they call what you are looking for "DRIP". It the condensate off a natural ges well. Talk to a pumper. warm in central Texas-Joe
Joe:

I heard that drip gas was good for these engines but that it had a really strong smell - sorta like crude. The camp fuel or naptha smells like the old-fashioned lighter fluid for your Zippo.

That's not to say that Naptha isn't just drip with the stink taken out.

I've put in a few requests for drip gas but so far haven't had any luck. I'd really like to try it.

Take care - Elden
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