Fuel Stabilizer and Long Term Storage

H. Paul Shuch is a Light Sport Repairman with Maintenance ratings for airplanes, gliders, weight shift control, and powered parachutes, as well as an independent Rotax Maintenance Technician at the Heavy Maintenance level. He holds a PhD in Air Transportation Engineering from the University of California, and serves as Director of Maintenance for AvSport of Lock Haven.

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Ed Rawlings
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:49 am
Location: Butler, Pa/Daytona Beach, Fl

Fuel Stabilizer and Long Term Storage

Postby Ed Rawlings » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:01 pm

I'm thinking about the upcoming winter and the fact that my Bristell may sit for periods of up to eight weeks. It would seem to me that draining the tanks and running the engine dry would expose the fuel system interior to air and moisture thus making parts like fuel gauge senders and everything else susceptible to corrosion. The other option is keeping the tanks full but since I am using auto gas (with ethanol) that is not good either. So.. does Sta-Bil or a similar product work? Are they safe to use? Also, should any "pickling" be done to the Rotax? Any advice would be appreciated.

3Dreaming
Posts: 1971
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:13 pm
Location: noble, IL USA

Re: Fuel Stabilizer and Long Term Storage

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:41 pm

I know that 100LL is bad for the Rotax, but it is very stable for storage. I would drain the auto fuel and add a little 100LL and run the engine until it is circulated through the system. This will keep the carbs and plumbing in good shape. Next spring it should start right up.
if you are worried about running the 100LL you can drain it next spring and put auto fuel back in.

I know you said for 8 weeks, but if you wanted to go overboard this is what Rotax says.

1. Operate the engine until the temperatures have stabilized for a period of 5 min (engine oil temperature between 50 to 70 °C (122 to 160 °F).
2. Switch the engine OFF.
3. Allow the engine to cool down.
4. Change oil.
5. Remove the top spark plugs and spray all openings with corrosion inhibiting oil.
6. Turn the propeller several times by hand in direction of the engine rotation, so that the corrosion inhibiting oil all necessary points reaches.
7. Install the spark plug in according the Maintenance Manual.
8. Close all openings on the cold engine, such as exhaust end pipe, venting tube, air filter etc. against entry of dirt and humidity.
9. Spray all steel external engine parts with corrosion inhibiting oil.

chicagorandy
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:39 pm

Re: Fuel Stabilizer and Long Term Storage

Postby chicagorandy » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:12 am

Can't say if it translates to the Rotax, but I use Seafoam in my four stroke engines' 89 octane 10% ethanol gas tanks, especially the Kawaski 1200cc 4 cylinder, water-cooled motorcycle which winters-over in my garage in Chicago every year with no ill effects. No negative issues to report during Spring start-ups. After mixing in the Seafoam I run the engines for 5-10 minutes to get the stuff into the carb bowls.

Merlinspop
Posts: 968
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:48 pm
Location: WV Eastern Panhandle

Re: Fuel Stabilizer and Long Term Storage

Postby Merlinspop » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:37 am

Ed Rawlings wrote:I'm thinking about the upcoming winter and the fact that my Bristell may sit for periods of up to eight weeks. It would seem to me that draining the tanks and running the engine dry would expose the fuel system interior to air and moisture thus making parts like fuel gauge senders and everything else susceptible to corrosion. The other option is keeping the tanks full but since I am using auto gas (with ethanol) that is not good either. So.. does Sta-Bil or a similar product work? Are they safe to use? Also, should any "pickling" be done to the Rotax? Any advice would be appreciated.

Ed, I note your data shows you being in Butler, PA. My work just recently (as in last week) deemed it imperative that I travel to Boyers a couple days every week for the foreseeable future, so I'll be driving right through Butler. I'd be happy to "exercise" your Bristell for you weekly! (yeah, after you're done laughing, you don't need to actually say "NO!").

I'll wave as I drive by. :-)
- Bruce


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