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Author Topic:   Fuel Additives To Extend Storage Life
Hines Pointer posted 04-23-2008 09:45 PM ET (US)   Profile for Hines Pointer  
Watching current gas prices soaring, with the expectation that gas will be above $4.00/gallon on if not before Memorial Day, I'm thinking I should fill the tanks on my Montauk sooner rather then later. But I'm in CT and probably won't be in the water for several weeks. I always use OMC's 2+4 gas conditioner, as my Johnson 90 is a '95, and I understand 2+4 extends gas life 30 days. But I'm wondering and if there are other additives that further extend gas life alone or in conjunction with 2+4.

Thanks for any advice.

EIKNIB posted 04-23-2008 10:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for EIKNIB  Send Email to EIKNIB     
As long as you don`t buy gas with alcohol in it, I wouldn`t worry. I`m burning gas in my boat now that I stored from last Nov. when gas was a give away, $2.55 and have no problems. No conditioner either. I have been storing, 30-40 gallons of gas for a couple of years now, to keep ahead of the price increases. A couple of times I have had too much gas stored, and the price came down, and I felt foolish.


BlueMax posted 04-23-2008 10:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for BlueMax  Send Email to BlueMax     
STA-BIL should be fine.

I use STA-BIL gas additive in my tanks for my 2007 170 Montauk (as well as for my 20 hp garden tractor and weed whackers). It is desisigned for storing fuel for items that get put away for the season and is reported to allow storage of fuel for 12-15 months.

Also, I read about something called K-100 which is touted as being a good solution by Jim at Bay Area Water Sports in an article on another websitefrom 2004 (Master Craft team talk) .

Hope this helps,

Whale1 posted 04-24-2008 09:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whale1    
Since I don't use the boat much I was concerned about the same problem of storing gas containing ethanol and Googled Sta Bil and found this:


Hines Pointer posted 04-24-2008 12:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hines Pointer    
Thanks for your suggestions. Do any of you know whether OMC's 2+4 and STA-BIL can/should be used together or if it's better to just use one of the additives? They seem to make similar gas stabilizing claims.

Again, thanks for responses.

rbruce posted 04-27-2008 09:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for rbruce  Send Email to rbruce     
2+4 maintains the "shelf life" of the gasoline treated accordingly 12 months, not 30 days even the gas is premixed. I've used it in fuel premixed and stored away from direct sunlight after 12 months without a hiccup!

BlueMax posted 04-27-2008 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for BlueMax  Send Email to BlueMax     
Whale1 - Thanks for the info - I was not aware that STA-BIL made a marine formula, good find (in my opinion) - I will have to look into that.

Hines - Thanks for starting the thread.

EIKNIB posted 04-27-2008 10:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for EIKNIB  Send Email to EIKNIB     
I`m not a chemist, but I wondered when I checked that Stabil Website, and saw the different types offered, what must be the chemical difference, if any. Of course, unlike food, the contents are not revealed. Back in the day when gas stations had gas attendents, and checked your oil and washed your windows, they also sold pint cans of "dry gas", which was a pint of alcohol for a buck or so. I knew of a station who refilled these cans with gas, and sold them over and over.


BlueMax posted 04-28-2008 08:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for BlueMax  Send Email to BlueMax     
I remember using "dry gas" in the winter to help prevent freezing fuel lines back in NY - I had a friend whose mom was a nurse so always had a good amount of isopropyl (rubbing) alchohol on hand that he would pour in his tank - we were teens at the time and I have no idea if this had any negative effect on his engine in the long run - but the little bottles of "dry gas" were supposed to be essentially the same thing, either isopropyl or ethyl alchohol (ethanol).

In another aside - when I was a radar tech we routinely used spray bottles of alchohol and a tooth brush to clean our electronic components (we would either get brushes from the armory when we cleaned weapons or requisition the ones for our M-16 cleaning kits in quantity - about a dozen at a time - from supply). This helped remove any water/condensation and keep corrosion off the components and connections (especially from the salt air). Also to clean new solder connections after making repairs.

May be a good routine preventive maintenance (PM) measure for the connections of boat electronics as well.

jimh posted 04-28-2008 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The so-called dry gas of the past was just alcohol. When you add alcohol to gasoline you increase the amount of water which can be in solution. You do nothing to affect the shelf life.

The major problem with fuel these days is the water content. Simply stated, gasoline diluted with alcohol can tolerate more water in solution than pure gasoline. However, when water saturation is reached, the mixture will separate in a very undesirable manner. The alcohol and water will separate from the gasoline, pulling out any ethanol in the gasoline. This leaves your tank filled with two undesirable fuels: gasoline without any ethanol octane boosters, and a very strong solvent of alcohol and water. Your engine won't run well on the low octane gasoline, and the alcohol-water solution will cause problems for your rubber hoses and other components.

I do not recommend intentionally adding alcohol to your gasoline.

There are many other products which claim to increase the shelf life of gasoline. I stored my boat last fall with gasoline with Evinrude 2 + 4 fuel conditioner. This spring it started on the first crank.

jimh posted 04-28-2008 09:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Please move discussion of products suitable for protecting electrical connections to SMALL BOAT ELECTRICAL. I do not recommend alcohol for that purpose, especially since most of the alcohol you can easily purchase is already diluted with water. A bottle labeled "Isopropyl Alcohol" that I purchased recently discloses on the fine print of its label that it is really a 60-40 mixture of alcohol and water.
BlueMax posted 04-29-2008 08:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for BlueMax  Send Email to BlueMax     
[Continued to discuss the cleaning and restoration of electrical contacts. Please use SMALL BOAT ELECTRICAL for that topic. Thank you.--jimh]
lavieve posted 04-29-2008 09:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for lavieve  Send Email to lavieve     
I looked at the Sta-bil ad. It says "best treatment" for ethanol. That wording doesn't bring me great comfort. If there is no treatment for ethanol separating from gasoline and combining with water, then a chemical that does a little bit is the "best treatment." In this case, preventing the break down of gasoline itself is what Sta-bil was designed to do and does well. I would be more comfortable if Sta-bil said that it prevents the absorption of water by alcohol, but it does not state that. It simply says "best treatment." It reminds me of the saying "In a world of blind people, the one eyed man is king."
Mumbo Jumbo posted 04-29-2008 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mumbo Jumbo  Send Email to Mumbo Jumbo     
Would using Stabil in a Pate fiberglass tank be inadvisable?

sosmerc posted 04-29-2008 11:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
I have had very good luck using a product called Startron.
Also, fuel additives such as Stabil and Startron need to be added to your fuel at the time you add the fuel to your tank....these products do not "restore" old gas. To be effective they needed to be added to fresh gas.
Nauti Tauk posted 04-29-2008 08:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Nauti Tauk  Send Email to Nauti Tauk     
I would like to echo SOS's post about Startron. According to the manufacturer, Startron stabilizes gasoline containing Ethonol and also prevents gumming and carbon deposits.Their website is very informative. I add it to all the gasoline I put in my Montauk. I have a 2003 Mercury 90 4s (horror stories about gas caused carb problems...)and haven't had any carb/gas related problems whatsoever. I do use the boat on a regular basis so it seldom "sits" for extended periods of time, a few weeks at the most and that is unusual. I also use this additive in lawn equipment fuel that does go six months without use and have had absolutely no troubles from bad or stale gasoline using Startron to store the fuel. Hope this helps.
macfam posted 04-29-2008 09:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for macfam  Send Email to macfam     
Wouldn't you love to know if any of these products REALLY work?
I use stabil in all my stored gasoline, and ALWAYS treat my diesel fuel.
But, is there any real proof that it does anthing?
Probably not.
I wish Powerboat Reports was still around. Perhaps they could have tested gasoline over time, treated and untreated to determine if we're all just being taken for a ride.
sosmerc posted 04-30-2008 01:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
It wouldn't be that difficult to set up your own "test".
Here's my sugguestion:
buy 2 6 gallon plastic tanks. Fill each with only 3 gallons of the highest ethanol content gas you can find in your area. Put the proper amount of Startron in only one of the cans. Then set the cans outside somewhere under cover so that rain water or yard water doesn't get into the tanks. Be sure to leave the vent open on both tanks.
Let the cans sit for one year. A year from now, you can start testing the gas. Pour a little of each into a clean glass jar. See which one looks cloudy. See which one has a bad smell. Pour a little into a metal cup cake pan. One at one end and one at the opposite end. light each with a match. Use a temp gun to see which one burns hotter. After the fuel burns off, see which leaves the most unburned residue at the bottom of the tin. Then decide which one you would rather put into your engine to run.
Be sure to come back and post your results. Inquiring minds want to know :)
I have actually done some testing like this, but I was adding different brands of oil to the gas to see how it affected the burning temp and what kind of residue was left over. I wasn't waiting a year for results....but I think a simple test like this MIGHT be pretty interesting for anyone that has the patience.
BlueMax posted 04-30-2008 08:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for BlueMax  Send Email to BlueMax     
Okay Professor - now can you fix the hole in the boat so we can get the hell of this island? I'll bring the radio you built out of coconuts.


Mumbo Jumbo posted 05-01-2008 04:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mumbo Jumbo  Send Email to Mumbo Jumbo     

Pate tank + Stabil = ?

Anyone care to comment on whether Stabil can cause problems if used in fiberglass tanks?


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