Poulan saw 18 years old with 7 year old gas in tank


I wouldn't have believed it but I hadn't started this saw in 7 years since I bought a Stihl. I was cleaning up my power tools and decided to give this Poulan a tug on the rope to see if it hadn't seized from sitting so long. Much to my amazement it not only wasn't seized but after primed and choked it popped on the second pull and started on # 5. I guess this debunks the stale gas theory although I've always used STA-BIL. And not only did the saw run but it revved up to full throttle. I haven't used the saw since I bought the Stihl in 01. It was Poulan's top of the line model so maybe they made a better saw back then than they do now. I used the saw moderately since 1990 to 2001 and it always did the job and started and ran with ease but I bought the Stihl lightly used off a friend who needed some cash and it had a 20" bar instead of the 16" on the Poulan and had a bigger motor.
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I had a Pulan edger and it always started well although it was very cheap and I didn't take particularly good care of it. It had a blade at one end and the engine at the other. Looked like a $400 pro edger but cost around $100.

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wrote:

Doesn't the stale gas theory depend on NOT using Sta-bil? And you used it in the saw, right? A real endorsement for Sta-bil.
And not

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On Thu, 07 Aug 2008 01:35:16 -0400, mm wrote:

Yeh but STA-BIL measures its coverage in months not several years.
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It doesnt debunk the theory, you got lucky. You may rev up, but you wont get near full power
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On Thu, 7 Aug 2008 06:07:21 -0700 (PDT), ransley

I bought a 1937 Chevy pickup truck back in the late '60s. It had sit for a number of years (?) Florida rains). Would not start (dead battery). As we pulled it home: key on, third gear, popped the clutch. It spit and sputtered a bit, but finally fired up and ran.
I did fill the fuel tank later. The old gas never caused me any problems.
Not a STA-BIL user...myself, but posters here swear by it.
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On Thu, 07 Aug 2008 06:07:21 -0700, ransley wrote:

I used it to cut up a tree fallen by a storm. I ran the old gas and didn't notice a difference in performance. Only difference is that I had switched to synthetic oil a few years ago and there wasn't any smoke now.
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Small engine repair shops say that the #1 problem is stale gas. Gas with ethanol is a huge problem because it goes stale in as little as 30 days in summer heat. The alcohol and gas separate--called phase separation. Alcohol absorbs water. So as you use gas, the vented gas cap sucks in outside air to prevent a vacuum condition in the tank. The alcohol and water falls to the bottom of the tank (water heavier than gas) and the next time you start the engine, you're sucking water.
Gas stabilizer DOES work--BUT, you have to add it to fresh gas. It will not bring back gas "from the dead." That means adding it to your gas can when you buy fresh gas, not at the end of the season when you're going to put it in storage.
Best advice is to use a stabilzer year 'round.
See lawn tractor article in The Family Handyman July '08 issue and a clarification about adding stabilzer to "fresh gas" in the September issue.
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I guess it depends on the 2 cycle engines. I had new gas and the correct oil mix in my new Husqvarna weed wacker and it ran about a few hours before the engine refuse to start at all. The factory service guy said the engine is fried because gas in the tank is old - to them, anything over 30 days is old even with stabilizer and would void the warranty. My other big 84cc Husqvarna is very difficult to impossible to start and absolutely requires new gas - expensive piece of unreliable equipment.. In contrast, my Echo starts up every time, always within 3 pulls even with old gas. Honda engines are easy to start too. No idea why my Polan Pro (low end of Husqvarna) starts much better than my Husqvarnas.
As for the stale gas myth, I had two cars in storage over 15 years with original gas in the tanks (about 1/4 to 1/2 full) without stabilizer and both fired up within a few cranks. Vary stale gas, runs rough but it ran even after 15 years!
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