The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Ethanol problems

using the right fuel in a weed trimmer

I used some fuel in the weed eater that had ethanol for the first time this year.

The fuel I used was fresh, and I chose the higher octane, but I think I'll go back to hunting down the ethanol free fuel in the future.

It might not be connected, but it now takes a harder pull on the rope to get it started and it does not always start on the first try like it did last year and the year before.



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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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Mark,

Higher octane fuels are harder to ignite and require higher compression to do so (c.f. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane_rating). So, it makes sense that the higher octane fuel would make the weed eater harder to crank. Try putting some 87 back in it and see if that makes a difference.

That being said, ethanol free is better if you can find it. It has more BTUs that fuel with ethanol added.

Cheers,

Bobby

Comment by Bobby Nations Wed Jul 9 17:27:55 2014
i have used regular, gas pump gas on my old second hand weedeater with no problems. had it for 5 years now and it starts within 3 pulls every time. I had issues last year with my chainsaw which i attributed to the gas. This year's mixture was made with fresh oil at the correct ratio, and lo and behold, after almost 2 years without using it, it also now starts within 3 pulls. All i am saying is that maybe its the gas/oil mixture what needs adjusting.
Comment by pedro Wed Jul 9 20:20:55 2014
I've been told the ethanol can be a problem with drawing moisture. I also recall something about motocross guys avoiding it due to some oil/gas mixture issues. With that said I have ran it in saws, weed eaters, and a polaris 400 2stroke with no problems that I'm aware of. I just sarted avoiding it recently on the moisture issue I believe to be true. If it's not in an air tight container I can see where it would be a problem over time.
Comment by Heath Thu Jul 10 07:48:45 2014
Lowes Now sells ethanol Free, pre-mix. it comes in 40:1 and 50:1 ratios. I believe they also have straight ethanol free gas for 4 cycle engines as well. I found a weed eater in the trash last year that would not start. Poured a little of this stuff in it and it has been running like a champ all season.
Comment by TJ Thu Jul 10 09:00:59 2014





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