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Sta-Bil and ethanol crystalizing

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 56shoebox, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. 56shoebox
    Joined: Sep 14, 2011
    Posts: 1,106


    I am having a problem with regular unleaded 87 octane gas (10% ethanol) when I mix it with Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer. The problem isn't in my hot rod, but my lawn mower.

    The fuel bowl keeps filling up with what looks like yellow colored flakes and grit.

    I filled my 5 gallon gas container last week from the gas station that I always fuel my cars up at. Mixed in Sta-Bil, since 5 gallons lasts me an entire Summer and/or winter (lawn mower through early December then the snow blower in mid December).

    Last night my mower was running like shit. I dropped the fuel bowl and it's filled with small yellow flakes and grit. The flakes reminded me of scaling. The same thing happened to me earlier this Summer and I assumed it was because I had older gas (with Sta-bil mind you) in the 5 gallon container.

    I don't know if I got to the station right after the tanker had filled their tanks and stirred up sediment or what. I would assume the pump filters would have caught any of that though. The station does a very high volume so I doubt the age of the gas was a factor.

    Does Sta-bil itself go bad? I've had the same container for about 5 years.
  2. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,376

    Dan Timberlake

    I'd call Stabil to talk about it and offer to send pix and crystals.

    How sophisticated is the sealing on that gas can , and what shape are the gaskets (if any) ?

    Not that this is directly related to the crystals, but I'd pour some gas from the can into a clean pyrex measuring cup ( I bought one new just for garage use) and check to see if it is clear or the slightest bit cloudy.
    Any cloudiness is a bad sign. Sometimes a splash of isopropyl drygas will make it clearer, which means it wasn't really clear in the first place. I process cloudy gas by adding a little Berrymans plus some drygas to make it clear. Sometimes the water will "drop out" and form a second phase of liquid at the bottom. I pour off the "good" stuff for use right away in the mower, or add as about 10% to the gas in my DD. I have not figured out if the "good" stuff is likely more than 10% alcohol (ethanol plus isopropyl) or if a bunch of the alcohol got bound up with the water that fell out.
  3. Sperduton
    Joined: Oct 9, 2005
    Posts: 69

    from NJ

    Curious which stability you are using? What color is it? I always use the green marine stuff.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  4. 56shoebox
    Joined: Sep 14, 2011
    Posts: 1,106


    It's the red stuff. No clouding. It's your basic red plastic gas can and kept in a shed.

  5. Chopped 66 Bug
    Joined: Apr 5, 2012
    Posts: 214

    Chopped 66 Bug

    [volume so I doubt the age of the gas was a factor.

    Does Sta-bil itself go bad? I've had the same container for about 5 years.[/QUOTE]

    Living here on the Gulf Coast I have a portable Generator for emergency use during and after a Hurricane. It set for several years after Ike hit us. I had put stabil in it and it had maybe a gallon of gas in it too. The carb got all gunked up from the time it had set. Yeah I should have run it periodically but I didn't. I had to take it to a small engine repair shop to get it working recently. The guy told me they get more small engines in needing this repair due to the use of Stabil. He said it isn't really that good and does go bad within 6 months. He recommended something they had instead. It is a gallon can of high octane gasoline. He told me to run the motor to maybe half a tank then add some of this fuel to the tank (1/2 gallon) and run it a bit to get some of it into the float bowl. It is supposed to last a lot longer but still should not be left in the tank for years like I had done.
    HTH, Mike
  6. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    I work in the marine business and a mobile marine technician I know was telling me one day that half his business comes from people who use stabilizers in their fuel. He said the hot weather causes it to clog up carbs and injectors. Don't know how factual that is, but he is a pretty knowledgeable technician.

    I don't use anything, but my one Son uses Startron by Starbrite in his T bucket and Vette because they sit for months without using them. He has never had any problems so far.

  7. burnout2614
    Joined: Sep 21, 2009
    Posts: 612


    Red Stabil will not work with ethanol. Use the Marine formula, Ethanol Treatment. peace
  8. burnout2614
    Joined: Sep 21, 2009
    Posts: 612


    Around my area "real" gas is questionable..............peace
  9. 56shoebox
    Joined: Sep 14, 2011
    Posts: 1,106


    I contacted Sta-bil and they responded almost immediatly. This is what they had to say. Basically what Chopped 66 Bug said.

    "Thank you for contacting Gold Eagle Company. STA-BIL® does have a shelf life of 2 years once the bottle has been opened or 5 years from the date of manufacture. "

    Burnout 2614. Thanks. It's good to know that the red stuff is not user freindly with ethanol. Since it is added at the refineries in NJ I won't be using it in the future.
  10. X-Farmboy
    Joined: Aug 17, 2009
    Posts: 128


    Sta-bil now make a product just for ethanol fuel. Lucas also. The old Sta-bil messed me up too!
  11. Dan10
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 386

    from Joplin

    I buy 100 octane leaded aviation gas for my lawn and garden equipment that gets stored. It is expensive, but lasts at least 5 years in a sealed can. Do a search for non-oxygenated fuel in your area. It does not contain ethanol and lasts about a year if stored properly.
  12. Rick Sis
    Joined: Nov 2, 2007
    Posts: 710

    Rick Sis
    from Tulsa OK

    I'm not sure I understand your particular case, but I'll tell you how this kind of problem usually transpires, and you can decide if it applies to your problem.

    Usually, when an ethanol blend is stored in a container that is not totally sealed from outside air, the ethanol will cause moisture to condensate within the container. This could be inside a gas can, tank, float bowl, anything vented or has access to outside air in any way.

    As the water droplets begin to drop into the ethanol blend fuel, the ethanol starts to absorb the water, thicken and separate from the gasoline. At this point, gravity pulls it to the bottom where in time it will begin to gel on the bottom surface of the container. In time, if left undisturbed (depending on a number of variables) a varnish will start to form over the gel. Also, if water is present in the fuel when purchased, the same problems can occur, even in a air tight container.

    So, I'm thinking that maybe what may have happened is some varnish had formed in the bottom of your gas can that you were not aware of, and when you pumped new gas in, it stirred up the flakes of varnish.

    It seems to me that this may have been a pretty good test of this particular stabilizer in your particular case.
  13. 56shoebox
    Joined: Sep 14, 2011
    Posts: 1,106


    100 octane in a lawn mower? Tim Taylor would love that. Argh Argh Argh!!!!!
  14. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    also storing fuel in a shed will degrade fuel quick as it will get hot in there can cause it to vapor off and seperate the blend , this is why they tell you to store gas in a cool dry place , I have a drum of race fuel thats several years old thats stored in the garage where its cool . and no problems , and my fuel for my snow blower gets the ethanol stabil and no problems with it when I fire it up of the season in october . the crustys is from the gasoline not the stabil , before the epa started messing with gas it had a large ammount of sulfur in it , and it builds up in the tank as it evaporated , now gas has to be sulfur free , and like the diesels when we switched to LSD it stripped the crap off the sides of the tanks and started plugging filters as it has a cleaning effect to it ( and biodiesel has more of a cleaning effect as it strips the parafin that accumulates on the metals) . we had to pull my wholes fleets fuel tanks and have them cleaned after the first year of LSD ( not the drug). oh and stabil is a antioxident I know what it is exactly as I used to deliver to gold eagle in Chicago where they package it, but I will not publicly say what it is as it propritary to them .
  15. X-Farmboy
    Joined: Aug 17, 2009
    Posts: 128


    Here's a link to stations selling non-ethanol fuel in all States & Provinces!

    Ethanol sucks!!
  16. Midget25
    Joined: May 2, 2012
    Posts: 168


    What I do is when I am putting the mower and any gas powered equipment away for the winter is put VP race gas in and let them run till I smell the race gas. Haven't had trouble since. VP is a bit expensive but it doesn't take much, a gallon or two goes a long way. Not having to take carbs apart in the spring is worth it to me..............
  17. I don't use anything in any of my gas engines to stabilize the gas. Lawn mower sits over winter, snow blower sits over summer, etc. and I don't have any problems, never have water/separated layer in my gas, guess I lead a charmed life.
    Where I live all gas comes from the same pipeline terminal, so it doesn't matter where I buy my gas, it is all the same blend.
    I surmise that it has become "in vogue" to blame all the worlds problems on ethanol, and it just ain't true. Ethanol is BS in my opinion as it is not as "green" as it is hyped, but is not the root of all evil.
    That mixture of water and ethanol that sinks to the bottom of your gas tank, would still be there without the ethanol, it would be just water which would still not burn, it is your storage technique that is fucked up!
  18. Ranunculous
    Joined: Nov 30, 2007
    Posts: 2,465


    I'm having a similar issue to what the OP wrote of.My Moon tank looks fine on inspection with a remote mirror.However my clear fuel filter is showing red-hued gas with minute silver/black flakes-both the same size.
    Drained/blew out the tank and fuel lines
    Replaced the fuel filter and checked the carb filter
    Used StaBil and Lucas treatment

    Had issues with the fuel over the weekend and am wondering if the silt's coming from the gas station's tanks?
  19. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    and that site is not correct , you have to go to a fuel terminal to see the maps the EPA issues we use to haul the oxygenated products , the EPA has air quaility districts , and if the population is more than 100,000 people your getting oxygenated gas within 150 mile radius of the city . or a special air quailty district like sheboygan wisc due to the casting plants ( but its within 150 miles of Milwaukee ) in the summer increases the chance for smog production

    I can tell you for a fact as FS in Bloomington is a 10% city , I used to deliver it , it came from either Peoria , Lemont, Kankakee or Robinson Il . even farm tax exempt fuel was 10% and FS pushes 10% fuels as its Farm Service , only a very small portion of Illinois is non oxygenated and that is the southern tip.

    I contract hauled fuels and chemicals for Marathon , Standard Oil of Ind (BP) , Union oil ( Unical ) Citgo , Mobil , Avfuel , Phillips66 auto and aviation fuels , Farm Services and several off name companies who are fuel brokers and sell to Independants , for 25 years

    the only true way to tell is to check it yourself with a kit that uses water .

    by law the pumps are supposed to be labeled , but the state enviormental depts are the ones that issue tickets for non compliance , not he guys who calibrate them ( dept of revenue) and there are very little IL EPa fuel station enforcement people ( you only see them if there is a incident) , the feds they have them but they ussually check at the terminals and its for mixture calibrations .

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