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Ethanol. What it does and how to fight it

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--- Quote from: DEAN SOUTHALL on 05 November, 2017, 13:24:28 ---You readily find fuel stabilisers at garden shops as its used when laying up garden equipment for the winter. I've been uding Briggs ans Stratton stabiliser  in the bikes for a few years now once they start spraeding raod salt. Brim your tank to prevent rust or drain it completely.

--- End quote ---
Thanks for the tip Dean.

At the moment I have 2 BSA,s a 1963 A65 and a 1956 A7 and I do not use any additives in either bike. Both bikes are now laid up for the winter but if there is a decent day sometime during the winter I may take them out for a run. I remember all the horror stories about unleaded fuel they were overstated to a large extent, I had a Gold Flash at the time and remember buying a spare cylinder head with the intention of having new hardened valve seats fitted,but on speaking to a friend who made his living from working on classic bikes he persuaded me not to go ahead his reasoning was why spend money on something that may not be needed, wait till you have a problem before spending money. I did however use Castrol valvoline for a number of years but not anymore and have not experienced any problems.  The bikes will normally stay laid up until maybe late March or early April the A7 will get started up maybe once a week  or if it lies longer than a week I have to drain the sump because it wet sumps, the A65 I only check the battery every now and then. Each spring I change the oil then off I go never yet have I had any problems starting up either bike and both bikes at the moment have about a gallon of fuel in the tanks which will stay there until next spring.
 Now I do know from expeience that there are some problems with modern fuels, in the past 5 years I have had 3  fuel related problems. The first was with the Gold Flash when I restored it I used what I think was Petseal  for the tank lining way back in the mid ninties, when Ethanol came out it affected that lining and I had to remove it and replace with an ethanol resistant lining. The second time was when I had to replace the cork seals in the petrol taps and decided to make my own seals using o rings now these worked for about 3 months then it became difficult to operate the taps they became very stiff it seems the o rings had swelled up, now this may have been due to the fuel or I may have used the wrong type of o ring I went back to cork seals which by the way are supposed to be affected by ethanol but not uptil now on my bikes. The third time was about 3 years ago, it was a very hot summers day and I took the A65 out for a run to a local autojumble, I was only there for about 15 minutes when I decided to leave but no matter how I tried the bike just would not start so I called the breakdown service which came with my insurance the AA came out and I related the problem,the guy then said flood your carb I said the engine is still hot you do not flood a hot engine. He said I know but please do it just this once so I did the bike started first kick I was really embarrased but he just smiled and then started to explain the problem. According to him he said that all vehicles about the age of my bike were never designed to run on modern fuels they bear no resemblance to the old petrol of years ago. He maintained that what had happened in my case was that when I stopped the engine the remaining fuel in the carb had evaporated and being a modern fuel it left behind residue in the bottom of the carb,when I switched on the fuel the amount of petrol in the carb was not enough to overcome the residue that is why he said flood the carb. The problem was made worse in my case because the carb on the A65 is behind the side panels and in the very hot weather made things worse. He advised that in future in such hot weather when I decide to stop and park instead of stopping the engine with the igniotion key I allow the engine to stop by switching off the petrol thus eliminating any left over residue.


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