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Old 11-29-2014, 10:26 PM   #1
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Winterizing Lawn Equipment


It's that time again.......
Besides maybe one last cut I think I'm done for the season with the lawn. I started running treated fuel in everything about a month ago. The tractor needs a bath, an oil change, and the deck needs to be pulled and cleaned to prevent rust.
After it's away it'll get a trickle charger to keep the battery at 100%.
Once a month everything will get started and run up to temp to prevent fuel from gelling in the carb bowl.
What do you guys do to make sure your equipment fires right up come spring?
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:50 AM   #2
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Was just talking about this to a guy who is great with small engines and he fogs the things out just like you would do an outboard. Swears by it. Ron
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:29 AM   #3
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I use treated fuel all the time. Most equipment I drain the gas tank, run until the crab is dry, drain the carb on those that have a drain, change the oil, and put a couple squirts on engine in in the plug hole, turn the engine over manual once or twice, put in a new plug. I am not an expert but shutting it down properly seems better to me that starting every month and then have to repeat the off season process. My generator however, needs to be available at all times. I run it 20 minutes under load once per month,, shut off the fuel and let it run dry. So far no ethanol issues in any of equipment.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:11 AM   #4
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I try to use treated fuel, but sometimes get in a hurry and it doesn't happen. I always keep at least one extra set of blades for my mower, and they all get sharpened over the winter. Cleaning and inspecting at the end of the season is good, in case something needs attention. Condensation is going to occur over the winter, whether the oil is old or new, so I always park mine with the old oil in it, unless I happen to do other more serious maintenance or repairs over the winter. Otherwise, when it's time for the first mowing in the spring, I warm it up and change the oil at that time. This is also when I lubricate pivot points, bearings, etc. so that I can then operate it, and work the oil or grease into where it needs to be. Except for the snowblower, which I typically try to start about September or so, just to be sure, I do not start any of my equipment during the off season, unless specific repairs or maintenance require it. I have never kept a trickle charger on any equipment of this nature, and have never had a problem because of it. Some cars are different, but I am not aware of any mowers that have active systems running when they are shut off, so there should be nothing to drain the battery. It's either good, or it's bad. If it's good, it will start in the spring. If it doesn't start in the spring, it's bad, so you replace it, and avoid a future problem.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:45 AM   #5
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I run premium high test gas and I add Stabil all year. When I'm getting ready to put my tractor/mower away for the winter I shut the gas line and let the carb run dry. I grease all the zerks, and spray everything else down with WD40, just a light mist. Last, I put an onion bag full of mothballs under the hood, and another one under the seat. The I scatter a few Decon pellets around the shed to help kill off whatever mice the mothballs failed to offend.
In the spring I change the oil, add fresh gas with Stabil, and off I go. That's been working for me since I bought my current hone in 1998.
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Old 11-30-2014, 03:25 PM   #6
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Everybody has their own fall/spring end of season ritual. I have 6 machines to deal with. I change the oil (and filter if one), lube fittings, clean decks, drain fuel when I can or use stabilizer where I can't. Carbs are run dry and little engine fog pull in thru plug hole. I usually sharpen mower blades at end of season a put a light smear of grease on new edge. Low use items like chain saw are left empty. I also lightly coat the bright work on my motorcycle with WD40 and hang some moth balls in a couple of strategic places. The bike stay on a battery tender. The lawn tractor battery comes in the house with an annual promise to trickle charge it regularly them usually forget. I seems I get about 3 seasons out of a battery no matter what I do. I know every small engine manufacturer calls for premium fuel but I can't bring myself to spend that kind of $$ to run lawn equipment. My Lawnboy push mower is 1980 and my JD tractor is 1985 with no discernible problems on regular fuel.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:06 PM   #7
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All great suggestions guys!
I've always used battery tenders/trickle chargers just to help maintain the battery when it's 10* outside. A few years ago I grew tired of buying small batteries (the one in my ATV is around $100), so I started doing this. Haven't bought a battery since.
I also make sure the tanks are topped off with fresh fuel, to prevent condensation.
Never though about condensation forming in the crankcase and getting in the fresh oil, that's a very good point.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:19 AM   #8
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gasoline itself will wick water. run the tank dry (with a touch of stabilizer in gas) and then come next use add dry-gas to gasoline.

or if you keep gas in the tank also add some dry-gas.

i have a question, do you keep choke closed or open when storing?
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:48 PM   #9
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What no Sea Foam fans here?
It works as well as Stabil and has the added benefit of keeping your fuel system clean.
It has saved me more than once of tearing apart a carb.
Battery tenders ( not to be confused with trickle chargers) on all equ.
Ha ..been there....ATV (AGM) batteries are pricy .
I did a relocate to rear rack storage box and went with a much larger flood cell. $29.00 and any Wal-Mart/Farm and Fleet ect will have it.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Gear View Post
What no Sea Foam fans here?
It works as well as Stabil and has the added benefit of keeping your fuel system clean.
It has saved me more than once of tearing apart a carb.
Battery tenders ( not to be confused with trickle chargers) on all equ.
Ha ..been there....ATV (AGM) batteries are pricy .
I did a relocate to rear rack storage box and went with a much larger flood cell. $29.00 and any Wal-Mart/Farm and Fleet ect will have it.
Funny you say that.......I was thinking of going with a remote mounted larger battery to get more power for my winch. It draws a ton of power and is pretty hard on those little tiny batteries.
I've never actually used Sea Foam. Maybe I'll give it a shot.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roughneck View Post
Funny you say that.......I was thinking of going with a remote mounted larger battery to get more power for my winch. It draws a ton of power and is pretty hard on those little tiny batteries.
I've never actually used Sea Foam. Maybe I'll give it a shot.
Yup I had lots of trouble electrical wise ( magnetic front dif/circuit breakers shutting off) all attributed to a overworked battery from using a plow.
Charging system can't keep up either.
Yes do it ..year 3 on the flood cell and no problems.
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:44 PM   #12
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I think the difference between a 'battery tender' and 'trickle charger' is the tenders have circuitry to monitor the battery's charge level and turn on/off their charging circuit to maintain the optimum level. Trickle chargers simply apply a constant low charge, and can allegedly sometimes overcharge a battery. Interesting point about storing with the choke open or closed - I've never thought about it. Closed would keep out little critters, although some choke plates have a hole in them. I don't know if the choke positions would make any difference with trapping moisture. On my bike I plug the intake and exhausts with steel wool. It allows them to breath yet keeps out critters. You just have to remember to take it out in the spring!
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:13 PM   #13
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i was thinking with choke closed moisture can build and condense, but with it closed no airflow thus the water will continue to build. dunno, i never actually studied it to know...... i am applying principles used for attic ventilation, allow airflow to keep humidity under control, etc.
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:29 PM   #14
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I'm still not getting the necessity of a battery charger or tender. The battery in my 'vette will go dead in 4-5 weeks, regardless of the temperature, humidity, or anything else, but the security and suspension system on it are "live", so I understand. But my lawn mower is going on 21 years old, and I believe that I am on the 4th battery. 5 years doesn't seem unreasonable to me. Now granted, Michigan is a rather warm climate, and I doubt that it has ever seen much below -20 to -30 F, but still...
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
I think the difference between a 'battery tender' and 'trickle charger' is the tenders have circuitry to monitor the battery's charge level and turn on/off their charging circuit to maintain the optimum level. Trickle chargers simply apply a constant low charge, and can allegedly sometimes overcharge a battery. Interesting point about storing with the choke open or closed - I've never thought about it. Closed would keep out little critters, although some choke plates have a hole in them. I don't know if the choke positions would make any difference with trapping moisture. On my bike I plug the intake and exhausts with steel wool. It allows them to breath yet keeps out critters. You just have to remember to take it out in the spring!
Cooked a couple of batteries with trickles ...easy to forget there hooked up and what harm could 1.5 amp do anyways..Ooops !.......................
Tenders the only way to go ....been using them for several years now.
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