Ethanol In Garden Tractors, Lawn Mowers

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Years ago I was told not to use automotive oil in garden tractors and lawn mowers but rather oil especially formulated for those devices, such as brands bearing the names "Briggs and Stratton," "Cub Cadet," etc. Now I see that the gasoline at the staion where I deal has 10% ethanol. Is this acceptable for lawn mowers and garden tractors?
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Murriel wrote:

For four cycle engines use a good synthetic motor oil, I use Mobil 1 5W-30 in all my power equipment. For two cycle engines use a brand name two cycle oil for the fuel-oil mix.

Not really, but you don't really have any other option unless you can travel to one of the few states where you can get alcohol free gasoline. To compensate you should put Sta-Bil in all your power equipment fuel, even if you don't expect to store it that long as the alcoholic fuel doesn't store well for even short periods.
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Pete C. wrote:

Could that be why my gas golf cart stopped starting after I filled the tank (it is ab old cart)?
Lou
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LouB wrote:

Highly unlikely.
I don't think there's anything to back up the previous poster's assertions.
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dpb wrote:

Actually, if it is _really_ old, the possibility I raised earlier of alcohol "working" on carb o-rings, gaskets, etc., could be an issue. Just how old is "old"?
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dpb wrote:

Lou
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LouB wrote:

I'd think that's on the cusp of probabilities. Possibly could find info from either cart or engine manufacturer if it's a standard-issue B&S or other common engine.
Did you check to make sure you've got spark, first, yet?
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dpb wrote:

later:-))
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LouB wrote:

:)
Actually, for small engines 20 years is probably a little early for specific ethanol compatibility; it was pretty standard by then for autos but small engines tended to come along later. I remember the flap roughly that time w/ the first ethanol and most specifically, it seemed, w/ the Chrysler minivans that were all the newest rage at the time had several incompatibilities.
So, I'd say it isn't out of the question it might have had a deleterious effect on the carb being that age. Still, in those it didn't actually keep them from running very often, mostly they had poor mileage from internal leaks/bypasses and perhaps some external leaks as well. The simpler small engine single cylinder might be more prone to just not start, though.
Anyway, start w/ spark and go from there when you do get one of them round tuits to use on this particular project.
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along after ethanol was in large use and those most of those could (should) be okay?
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called _Girl to Grab_. Imagine my surprise when I found
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

I'm having difficulty parsing this... :)
Those "that did not require oil and gas mixture" to me means 4-cycle engines. There have been 4-cycle small engines around "since forever" so they definitely were around well before ethanol became widespread. I was thinking specifically of the first relatively short-lived ethanol boom during the Carter-era shortages that affected passenger vehicles but not, to the best of my recollection, small engines so much...
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mowers required the 4-cycle oil. My last few have run on regular gas without the need for including the oil in the gas. Would THOSE (the ones running on regular only) be more likely than the 4-cycle engines to be more ethanol tolerant as they (seemed to me anyway) to come on to the scene after ethanol was in wider use.
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wrote:

was that Ethanol,or Methanol? Methanol is really bad news. ethanol(E10) really didn't come into use (as fuel additive) until lately.

Some small 2 cycle motors use oil injection,not a gas/oil mix. current emissions regs forced a switch to non oil-burning motors.
I don't see why ethanol is affecting small motors,unless they used really cheap seals.AFAIK,ethanol would not affect neoprene.I couldn't find anything on the Dupont website about it's alcohol resistance,without registering/logging on.
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Jim Yanik wrote: ...

Hmmmm...good question and I don't recall otomh now. I'll have to check but I'd forgotten that may have been methanol then. That would indeed make a difference.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

2-cycle engines use gas-oil mix. 4-cycle engines use straight gas and have a separate oil sump.
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dpb wrote:

These other ideas always come not too long after the initial response... :(
The following is purely hypothesis; I've no factual basis other than the recollection of an issue from ages gone by...
The other effect I can think of as an outside, remote possibility would be whether an E10 blend could possibly dissolve previous varnish, etc., in an old engine and redeposit it throughout.
I had an incident years ago (like 35 or so, now) where I loaned a mower to a neighbor who refilled it w/ white gas and used it for an hour or so. The white gas did as described above and I ended up scrapping the mower as the resulting film once the engine cooled seemed impervious to any solvent including the white gas.
I'd not think that would happen w/ E10 or there would be thousands of automobiles with serious problems but outside the aforementioned problem w/ the rubber/plastic incompatibilities in the fuel system it's the only thing regarding the ethanol itself I can come up with that would have to do w/ the fuel itself.
Just a thought; as noted I think it highly unlikely...
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dpb wrote:

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dpb wrote:

You could probably gin up a simple still to separate the gasoline from the alcohol. Alcohol boils at about 180F and Octane at 260F.
You'd have better fuel for your machine plus a little something to ease the pain.
Wear safety goggles.
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On Tue, 16 Jun 2009 09:11:20 -0500, dpb wrote:

He is right, but for the wrong reason. It takes special materials to handle the corrosive alcohol in fuel. Many older cars and truck could be ruined by using gasohol. Small engines are not designed to handle alcohol in the fuel and will eventually destroy the carb.
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Michael Dobony wrote: ...

Whether the small engine(s) were or were not designed for ethanol fuels depends mostly on the age of the engine--see the link from B&S posted earlier which confirms that E10 is fine for their current engines (as, of course, will be true for essentially any now given the widespread mandates for ethanol blends it's almost a given).
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