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  1. #1

    How long will it take for ethanol to gum up carbs?

    So after seeing a couple other winterization threads I am starting to think I did not run the ski long enough with stabilizer in the tank for it to get into the carbs. I added stabil to the tank and ran it maybe a total of 45 seconds to a minute while pumping antifreeze through cooling system.. fogged it and called it a day. I am now wondering if the stabilized fuel made it into the carbs.. If it didn't will I need to clean the carbs when I pull it out in a few months?

  2. #2
    steve45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    It only takes a few seconds for the fuel to get TO the carbs. However, the fuel is only used when the inlet valve opens. The rest bypasses the carb and goes back to the tank via the return hose.

    When running hard on the water, it may only take seconds for the fuel to get throughout the carb. When idling on the hose, it may take a minute or two.

    How long it takes to gum up the carbs probably depends on temperature and humidity. Ethanol absorbs water. I really don't know, but I suspect 6 months or less would be a maximum safe storage time.

    Hopefully somebody else has more experience in this area.

  3. #3
    Myself's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    North Central Arkansas
    The experts note that untreated ethanol fuel CAN go bad in as little as 30 days. But SURELY in 90 days.......
    There's a small engines guy that made a Youtube vid. He's got a bunch of pushmower engines bolted down on a workbench. He treated them with various brands of stabilizer, and a couple with nothing at all. After many months of sitting they all fired up and ran and the fuel didn't really look any different in the jars he had.
    Basically, it might sputter for a few minutes or be hard to start but chances are that everything will be fine. That being said....sitting long enough for the carbs to dry out with ethanol fuel (over a year) inside will basically wreak havoc and require a carb overhaul. I have personally seen a couple cases where the ethanol fuel (untreated)had 'phase seperation' and there was milky water stuff sitting in tank where fuel used to be.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the replies.. Won't be sitting for a year. I will probably pull it back out in April and run it, so that would be about 4 months. Not long enough for the carbs to dry up I don't think. I also sprayed a large amount of fogging oil down the intake.. When I bought the ski the screens in the carbs were super gummed up and green (old ethanol) and causing it to run lean. T?hat is my largest worry, don't want that to be the case when I pull it out of storage in a couple months.

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