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Old 12-25-2012, 02:12 AM   #1
Sureshot
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Default Best way to put carbs in long term storage

I have a 90cc Polaris atv that the current crop of grandkids have outgrown and will be two or three years before the next one is ready to ride it. I drained all the fuel and put some Premium ethanol free mixed with Stabil at 1.5 times the recomended rate. I then ran it on res and "on" to clear all the lines of any residual old fuel and flush the bowl. I then ran it out of fuel and drained the carb and tank. I gave it a shot of brake cleaner in the fuel inlet of the card and let that drip out as well.

Any thoughts on a better way to put it in long term storage?
A shot of two stroke oil in the fuel inlet?
ATF maybe?
Seafoam? Seems to me it would evaporate over time.
WD40?
Fogging Oil?
K&N filter oil?
Blow dry air through it for a few minutes?

What is the shelf life of AV gas?

Last edited by Sureshot; 12-25-2012 at 02:20 AM.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

Considering we used to just leave our snowmobiles where they sat when the snow melted for a year at a time, I would consider adding sta bil and leaving fuel in it to be enough.

I'd rather leave something in the carb to prevent the inside of the bowl from oxidizing. Maybe something inert like mineral oil?

That said, I fired my generator last Thursday for the first time in more than three years. It took some ether to get it to fire initially, it ran rough for about ten minutes then smoothed out. No additives, didn't drain it, stored outside for two years, in an uninsulated shed this past year. I put 4000 watts on it for half an hour and it never stumbled.

Maybe it was good gas. Maybe I got lucky, I don't know, but I'm not too concerned about prepping anything for storage.
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Old 12-25-2012, 05:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

I'd drain the gas tank and the carb.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

Look into using fogging oil. It'll require you to put some gas in the tank and re-start the motor again though. Don't put a lot of gas in because you want to start spraying the fogging oil when the motor is running and just starting to run out of fuel. The fogging oil will leave behind a barrier coat to prevent rust and corrosion. We use it on our racing motor at the end of the day because of the oxygen content of the fuel we use (VP's Q16) We use AMSOIL brand
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

I think just running it until it ran out of fuel is fine. The problem is leaving fuel in the carb, especially the new fuels that go bad so quick.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

Ethanol is bad news. You want to run gas with a tiny bit of Stabil through it last and let it starve out of fuel. If the carb is being taken off the vehicle, dump it completely dry of fuel. If not, letting it run out of fuel is as dry as you can get it.
This should work for most carbs. (2 stroke no because of the oil in the gas. Holley carbs no because they dry out and hurt their gaskets, but most others should do just fine.)
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

Personally, if it were mine I'd top it off with fresh gas and stabil and store it. Get it out at least once a year and start it and run it for a while. Then top with fresh gas and stabil again and store again. I do that with my emergency generator and it starts and runs as good as the day I bought it. Letting them sit and dry out is the worst thing for them. By starting and running at least once a year things stay lubricated and seals won't dry out completely.
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

The store them dry or store them wet is a never ending argument.
I am on the store them wet side of the argument.
I like what you have done so far.

I would spray any linkage real good with WD40 to keep any outside corrosion down.
I would put a sandwich bag under the gas cap to prevent evaporation.
And I would start it up every once in a while just to freshen things up inside.

A good place to get standby storage ideas is from the standby generator guys.
Their stuff rarely runs but has to go on a monuments notice.
They store wet.
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

Ever talk to anyone that restores old WWII planes?? The fuel systems look like you picked them up brand new off the shelf even after countless years sitting outside or in a humid hanger with no use. AV-GAS or also know as 100LL works great we can pick it up at our airport allot of guys run it in there very old tractors, Hot rod cars boats ect you just put it away and years later it will run like the day you put it away without any tinkering.

Just a thought.
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Old 12-25-2012, 05:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

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Originally Posted by Wadd2 View Post
Personally, if it were mine I'd top it off with fresh gas and stabil and store it. Then run it once a year
By starting and running at least once a year things stay lubricated and seals won't dry out completely.
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A good place to get standby storage ideas is from the standby generator guys.
Their stuff rarely runs but has to go on a monuments notice.
They store wet.
Not the way I was taught to do it, but it is the way I will be doing it now
This all makes the most sense with the current gas
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

The body usually converts them to fat for long term storage.
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

The gas we have today does not keep like it used too even with stabil drain it completly 3yrs its better off dry.....
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

I have had the wifes motorcycle and sled both have carb issues after swapping out the fuel for Premium and Stabil twice a year for five years. I sold her sled and got the bike totally cleaned and tuned.

This machine may sit 3 or 4 yrs so it is going dry unless I add some ATF or oil to the bowl. We had 5 ATV's, 4 sleds, 2 motorcycles, and umpteen tillers, mowers, garden tools, compressors, gensets, pumps, saws etc that it seem like a full time job doing carbs, seasonal storage, and fixing tires. Sold a bunch off as the kids weren't usng the toys much anymore.

Even the stanby gensets get run once a month or so don't they? And alot of them would be diesel, propane, or NG.

I think I need to get some Av gas. I nomally keep 5 gallons of premium with Stabil on hand for the small engines so I never have to worry about them if they get missed. I "normally" bring them all to the shop and change oil, sharpen blades, service every fall so they are ready to go in the spring but this summer/fall was crazy busy and things are out of order for me so I need to get it all back on track for spring.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

Drain the gas tank and carburetor completely.

If the gas tank is steel, put a quart of oil in the gas tank and slosh it around every six months. When ready to put into service, drain the oil and flush with gas, then drain. Fill with fresh gas.

I've stored one of my motorcycle gas tanks over ten years that way.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

Aviation fuel last at least 2 or 3 years
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:41 PM   #16
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

The tank is plastic. I took syringe of synthetic ATF and gave it a shot in the fuel inlet and drained the tank dry.

I will put a tag on it so I remember to flush the carb when put back in service. Will be easy to clean out. The drain screw is very accessible so I will put fuel in the tank and cycle the drain screw a few times to clean out the oil.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:41 PM   #17
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

Change the oil then use fogging oil on the engine to shut it down. Leaving fuel in the carb will slowly cause it to varnish. Taking it out causes the gaskets and seals to dry out and crack. That is why it is a never ending argument - do you want varnish plugging things or leaky gaskets? The other issue I would really look at is parts. If the unit is already several years old, how easy will it be to buy parts for that model in a few years? You might be better off selling it and buying something new. Values change between generations too, even over a few years. After my heart attack I offered a $600 waterski to my 20 year old nephew and his friends for free - they weren't interested because it wasn't a wakeboard. We offered $5000 worth a grandma's heirloom china to 4 nieces and they all snubbed their noses because it isn't the "in" pattern.

Wish you luck - at least put carb and fuel pump kits in storage with it. Speciality hoses too if they have unique fittings on them.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:49 PM   #18
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

Well, dont know how helpful this will be, but I put auto carbs in 5-gallon buck of cleaner for years. Never put atv carbs up before.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:47 AM   #19
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

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Well, dont know how helpful this will be, but I put auto carbs in 5-gallon buck of cleaner for years. Never put atv carbs up before.
usually a week in fresh cleaner will dissolve parts of them.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:57 AM   #20
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

Brakekleen drys it out, rubber etc, common penetrating spray is as good as anything.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:06 AM   #21
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

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Leaving fuel in the carb will slowly cause it to varnish. Taking it out causes the gaskets and seals to dry out and crack.
Yes, and no. Ethanol will swell and damage certain seals. You may not see the symptoms of the cracking since the seals are swelled when the ethanol containing gas is in there, but it has already happened if they crack when the gas dries up. The longer the seals stay wet with ethanol, the more damage they sustain (if they are not ethanol resistant).
Just get it dry, and you'll be fine.

Fogging oil is for the engine. You can accomplish the same thing by putting a teaspoon of oil in each spark plug hole. and spinning it a few times over with the plugs out (I just put a paper towel over each hole to contain the oil that splashes out.)
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:38 AM   #22
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

Two or three years is a long time. Old mining or forestry equipment was left in the bush for long periods of time and was a long way in to have to carry too much gear to get them restarted. Easier to carry the carb in with a wrench and resin tall.

I would drain the carb and blow it as dry as possible. Soak a couple or rags in oil. Wring the oil out so rag is wet but not dripping. Wrap carb up well grab a freezer bag and get as much air out as possible. Zip up the freezer bag and throw it in a plastic coffee can so the freezer bag doesn't get ripped. Throw it all in the freezer. Wen you go into the freezer and see the coffee can it will remind you to spin the ATV engine to resoak with the fog oil or what ever you used. When it comes time to reuse the ATV it is a matter of warming up the carb and blowing off what little moisture has been trapped by the oil.

Seals and diaphragms crack when they dry out and varnish is a result of the remaining fuel dissolving and leaving residue behind. Can't happen if the air surrounding the carb is oil soaked. When it comes time to restart a bit of oil will not hurt any thing.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:46 PM   #23
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Default Re: Best way to put carbs in long term storage

Take the whole carb off, put it in a paint can or jar that seals tight and fill it with Avgas.
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