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Should I be using Non-Ethanol Fuel and SeaFoam

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  • Should I be using Non-Ethanol Fuel and SeaFoam

    Hey all,

    My brother restores and work on lots of OLD Lawn Boy's from the 50's, 60's, 70's etc...
    He has always told me to use non-ethanol premium fuel in my two strokes as the ethanol in the fuel tends to leave a "gummy" residue and has the tendency to build up gunk and clog the carb, etc...

    I have a new to me 76 Johnson 15HP which I'm sure likely never used premium fuel. The tank the motor came with was a 3gallon and had approximately 1gallon still in it.
    I topped it up today with a non-ethanol based fuel (premium octane) for an upcoming trip.

    Should I be worried about any gunk coming loose because of the switch in fuel? I know sometimes the additives/detergents in the premium fuels can loosen old deposits which can lead to blockages, etc...

    Moving forward, what do you all recommend for long-term "durability" I feel more comfortable with a non-ethanol based fuel based on my brother's recommendations and his experience with the older smaller carburated motors. Would adding SeaFoam to the tank be a benefit as well, or am I just throwing my money away?

    I'm in Ontario Canada and the non-ethanol fuel I typically use is Shell V-Power Nitro+.

    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers,
    JohnnyGuy

  • #2
    The problem with ethanol fuel only shows up when it sits. If you use all the fuel in your tank within a month or two, you'll never have a problem. I do prefer to use non-oxy in my small engines, just because they do tend to sit over the winter (or summer), with some Sta-Bil if I know they are going to be unused for any length of time. You won't have any problems, or performance change running a higher octane fuel with or without ethanol. The higher octane fuel additives are to prevent detonation and pinging in higher compression engines, and make no difference in engines that don't need it. Sea-Foam works pretty well to remove carbon deposits as needed, but there isn't any benefit to running it on a regular basis.

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    • #3
      My opinion
      Seafoam is snake oil but sure wish I bought stock in it years ago
      E10 gas will go bad but takes at least a year.
      Will use stabil in E10 if gas has a chance of going more then 8 months, otherwise use nothing
      94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
      95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
      07 SeaDoo GTX
      Raw Water Pump Maintenance
      Merc Adults Only

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      • #4
        Your motor doesn't require premium, it's a waste of money, but some people only believe in E-0, so it may be the only option if you fall into that category.

        You don't need to use anything in the fuel unless you plan to store it for a while. And a long time isn't a few weeks.

        Your motor is old enough that the original parts aren't very ethanol resistant, but at that age if these parts haven't been replaced they should be just from age, the new components will all be E-10 compatible.
        Last edited by ondarvr; September 21st, 2017, 08:55 PM.

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        • #5
          I usually always run the gas out of the carbs on my outboards also the gas line when done using them and depending on the gas how old I'd probably used it as a parts wash if it's pretty old instead of just topping off the tank, but that's just me. I use Seafoam and Star Tron for additives. I was having trouble with the float sticking in the carb on a 2001 Honda fourwheeler after I parked it from riding it, another words park the fourwheeler in the shop and about five minutes later I'd start smelling gas strong and it would be leaking on shop floor. Before I tore into the carburetor a fourwheeler mechanic friend I worked with said get yourself some Seafoam and try that first before you tear that carb down, I did and the Seafoam cured my problem, it never leaked again right up to the day I sold it three years later,so I guess the snake oil Seafoam worked out for me and I've run it ever since in my fuel tanks or the Star Tron. To each his own the way I see it.

          Tony
          2016 Alumacraft 1436LT/1994 Johnson 9.9 hp & 1990 Johnson 15 hp.
          1992 Tracker Pro Deep V 17/1992 60 hp Evinrude

          1998 Buster Boat 10' (Sold)
          1995 Suntracker Fishin Barge 21'/1985 75 hp Mariner (Sold)
          2001 Basshound 10.2 (Sold)
          1984 Skeeter Strada F-80/1985 75 hp Mariner (Sold)
          1985 Evinrude 6 hp (Sold)

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          • #6
            I have never found sea foam to do anything. I have tried it many times, for me at best it works as a fuel stabilizer.

            In general I prefer non-ethanol fuel for my small engines. I find that when ethanol sits it absorbs moisture and leaves a white crusty, chalky looking build up inside the carb. I have worked on several that were so bad that this started to eat away at the aluminum carb bodies leaving them pitted even once cleaned. Fortunately I have still found the carbs to be usable after cleaning but boy is it a pain to clean that crap off. I'm also in Canada and the Shell Premium is what I use in my boat and keep around in a jerry can for all my small engines.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 444 View Post
              I have never found sea foam to do anything. I have tried it many times, for me at best it works as a fuel stabilizer.

              In general I prefer non-ethanol fuel for my small engines. I find that when ethanol sits it absorbs moisture and leaves a white crusty, chalky looking build up inside the carb. I have worked on several that were so bad that this started to eat away at the aluminum carb bodies leaving them pitted even once cleaned. Fortunately I have still found the carbs to be usable after cleaning but boy is it a pain to clean that crap off. I'm also in Canada and the Shell Premium is what I use in my boat and keep around in a jerry can for all my small engines.
              I agree on the ethanol gas to what you said, I would love to run non-ethanol gas here in my area but it's a 60 mile round trip for me to get non-ethanol gas.

              Tony
              2016 Alumacraft 1436LT/1994 Johnson 9.9 hp & 1990 Johnson 15 hp.
              1992 Tracker Pro Deep V 17/1992 60 hp Evinrude

              1998 Buster Boat 10' (Sold)
              1995 Suntracker Fishin Barge 21'/1985 75 hp Mariner (Sold)
              2001 Basshound 10.2 (Sold)
              1984 Skeeter Strada F-80/1985 75 hp Mariner (Sold)
              1985 Evinrude 6 hp (Sold)

              Comment


              • #8
                It was said earlier that "ethanol problems only show up when it sits." That's not true but what is true is that IF your engine was built BEFORE the advent of E10 fuel, it was built with rubber parts and some gaskets that are not ethanol tolerant. Next, if the fuel system for that boat and engine has collected gunk and varnish over the years, ethanol is an excellent fuel system cleaner and it will loosen that crud and clog filters and if it does get past the filter(s) will clog carb passages. So blaming ethanol for cleaning up gunk in your fuel system is like blaming your banker because you overdrew your checking account. Once the system is clean and rubber parts are replaced with "modern" pieces, the engine will not know the difference in the fuel. If there are some really serious water absorption issues in your area you might install a fuel/water separating filter. Then go boating. And yes -- high octane does nothing for your older motor unless it actually "required" high octane. High octane retards detonation which means it is harder to ignite than lower octane fuel. Engines (like car engines today) have knock sensors and ECU's that can advance timing automatically until detonation is detected optimum performance is achieved. Your engine does not have that capability so high octane fuel is a waste of money and gains you nothing.

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                • #9
                  Non ethenol and seafoam has seemd to work well for mo so far.....

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                  • #10
                    My earliy 70,s 6 hp johnson runs happily with e10 as does every small engine i own.My 4 wheeler may sit 10 months and starts and rns great after that time with e10.4 wheeler does get gas stablizer though.

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                    • #11
                      Ethanol fuel and no SeaFoam works fine for me.
                      1998 Wellcraft Eclipse 24 Cuddy
                      Volvo Penta Duo-Prop 7.4L "LK"

                      2006 Sun Tracker Party Barge 21
                      Mercury 90 4-Stroke FI
                      "Common sense is not very common"
                      "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." -- John Wooden

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bruceb58 View Post
                        Ethanol fuel and no SeaFoam works fine for me.
                        +1.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sign up today
                          Being just a 3 gallon container, burn it all in last outing and store a empty tank if sitting for long time periods. For my 2 strokes horse non or E higher octane fuels, no fuel additives whatsoever, just apply an over dose of CRC carbon remover through carb with OB-running each 50 worked hours, will remove most of the carbon deposits around piston and cylinder head along idling much smoother.

                          The only possible way to check if fuel additives used on a constant basis are doing their work right inside combustion chamber on a new OB from day one will be to remove cylinder head and have a look, other than that, keep using it could result in a complete waste of cash...

                          Happy Boating
                          Last edited by Sea Rider; September 25th, 2017, 02:12 PM.
                          Sea Rider 320, 380 Sibs, 450 Rib, 2 Strokes Tohatsu 5,18 & 30 HP Proud Smokers

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