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Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Mpeared, Oct 16, 2019.
Anyone used seafoam to keep fuel stable and keeps carbs clean? Does it work?
Seafoam is a maint additive for "helping" keep fuel systems clean. It IS NOT a "repair" additive for cleaning dirty fuel system. I run it or Techron once or twice a year in all my bikes, cars and trucks whether carbed or fuel injected. Been using it for 10 years or so and so far no fuel system issues. Also I don't run E10 government gas in anything unless I have to on a trip away from home. For stabilizing E10 I use Marine STA-BIL. No idea how Seafoam works as a fuel stabilizer. Prolly not well.
Sea foam does not work well as a fuel stabilizer.
Yes I use it as a stabilizer. I've also used Sta-bil, and I've used both on several different bikes and pieces of equipment From my experience, they both work well for this purpose and there is virtually no difference -- ie I don't have starting problems after several months of sitting when I use either one AS LONG AS I DRAIN THE CARBS. Stabilizer doesn't stop fuel from evaporating and leaving deposits in a jet.
These days I prefer to use Sea Foam as a stabilizer because it does a light fuel system maintenance cleaning as well, and you can add a bit more per gallon for a better cleaning. Just follow the dosage directions on the can.
Too many riders look at SeaFoam as a means of repairing their carbs. When your carb is gummed up, it usually takes a simple cleaning, not SeaFoam.
StaBil is likely the best stuff to use for storage and fuel maintenance, when a bike sits a while.
Having said that, I have seen SeaFoam burn up old fuel or fuel with water in it.
But just pull and clean that carb!
Just a side note as we're talking about fuel storage. Metal tanks or cans make sure they're completely full to avoid rust.
I did have a coworker leave a snow blower sit without adding stabilizer of any kind. He's an older guy that couldn't bring it in for me to fix and lives far away. I Told him drain the float bowl and tank, put a whole can of Sea foam in it and crank the engine several times and let it sit a few weeks.
It started then I had him add 2 cups of gas and let it idle until empty. It's been fine.
Sea foam states up to a 50/50 mixture is safe for a good cleaning.
I've had great luck with Seafoam both as a stabilizer and a system cleaner. I've told this story here before, but years ago I bought a Honda Nighthawk that had been sitting for a couple of years. It would start but would barely run because of all the gunk in the carbs. Not wanting to wrestle with the bank of four carburetors, I doctored the gas up with Seafoam and just ran the thing as best I could. It took a couple of tanks to completely clear up, but after that it was fine.
Now, along the lines of "These pants repel bears because I've never seen a bear while I was wearing them", it's of course possible that I would have gotten the same result just running a couple tanks of fresh gas through the bike without the Seafoam. But the result was good enough to make me a believer.
I use it as a stabiliser as well as a carb cleaner.
It works really well and I wouldn't go without it, especially if I'm in an area that has high ethanol content in the fuel.
I have a couple of Honda RC30 v4's and they are a nightmare to lay up. Carbs are hard to drain, and if you are unlucky enough to have to pull the carbs off, you'd better be strong as well as fit. Seafoam makes a massive difference on these bikes, and if you do get fluffy running after a period of storage, it will definitely help clear the carbs.
I have moved away from Stabil.
My main stabilization challenge is an Onan 4KW generator fed by the 35 gallon tank in my RV. The Onan carb is impractical to drain, generally not cleanable, expensive to buy new, and fantastically difficult to install.
So I stabilize 35 gallons of gas at the end of every RV trip and run the generator to get stabilizer into the carb bowl.
StarTron costs 5 cents per gallon of gas, about half the cost of Stabil.
When considering this change I found various testimonials on Amazon that were encouraging:
“I first discovered Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment on the shelf at a marine parts store many years ago. Unsatisfied with the performance of Sta-bil, I asked a store clerk what he recommended and he showed me Star Tron. He said it has an active enzyme that "eats away" at gunk and deposits in the fuel. I admit, I was skeptical, but I gave it a try. All I can say is wow! A decade later and this stuff has never let me down.
"Whereas Sta-bil works great for fuel that may sit up to 8 months or so, I found that any fuel stored for a year or more would cause problems."
“I have been using this stuff in every vehicle and small engine I own for over 12 years and I have not had a fueling related issue in anything since. I have not had to clean or disassemble a single carburetor. Everything I own just starts and runs."
A year later, StarTron is working well for me. When my final bottle of Stabil is gone I will switch over to StarTron for gas cans, motos, chainsaws, etc.
YMMV. Just tossing this out for consideration.
I like SeaFoam as a periodic cleaner but have not tried it as a stabilizer.
Always have some Seafoam on hand - run it through a tank AFTER mechanical clean of fuel system (carb or injectors).
Sta-bil which sits on top of fuel for fuel preservation. Seafoam for system cleaning. I do add Seafoam to generators which are infrequently used as a kind of stabilizer - no problem yet but not enough time to really gunk up.
Been wanting to try that. Think I will
As an in fuel cleaner, I've had noticeable success with BG 44-K. Not cheap.
I'll have to look into that Star-Tron mentioned above.
Why not just turn off the gas and run it until it stops? Sure, there might be a small residual amount of gas, but it isn't enough to be a problem. I've done this in every dirt bike I've ever owned (and older carb'd street bikes) for decades and I've never had any post-winter/storage problems one time.
There is a direct feed off the gas tank so no way to turn off the gas to the Onan. But I agree there is nothing like running a carb dry. So your question is getting me thinking again about putting a high-quality brass valve in the supply line. Thanks.
OK, I found a valve and obviously it can go inline right before the carb:
But is this the best place to put it? The flow is from the tank through a flexible line to a cartridge fuel filter that screws into the electric fuel pump. From the fuel pump, a second line goes up to the carb as shown above.
Would there be any reason to put the valve before the cartridge fuel filter? I don't think so. Don't really want to run the very expensive fuel pump dry. But thought I would ask. On my dirt bikes, the setup is tank valve, gravity flow to a fuel filter that I always install, and then to the carb.
Stabil 360 for Ethanol... has worked great on keeping the tank rust free after the last cleaning (no I didn't coat it).
I pour some in every couple of tanks, and a bit more if I know the bike will be sitting for a week or longer and I drain all the fuel from the lines and bowls.
Correct in that very little fuel remains in the passageways/jets. I've always added the fuel preservative (I choose Sea Foam) and, if possible, turn off the fuel and run the system dry. That way, any fuel left contains the preservative. However, not all bikes have a fuel tap.
Oh ya I mistakenly assumed that a shut-off would be included.
I think I would put the valve after the filter so that the filter media doesn't dry out (if it's paper). Also re: the fuel pump...heat is the issue w a dry pump, and if you are there to kill it as soon as the motor stops I think you're ok there.
And no, don't send me the bill if I'm wrong :)
I agree. What is the storage state of every Onan built? The fuel filter and the fuel pump are both wet and maybe under some pressure. By putting the valve right before the carb, nothing has really changed
So I did just that. Thanks to dietDrThunder for asking a question that led to a good tangent.
Will I still stabilize? Definitely.
As racer1735 says, "any fuel left contains the preservative." Draining is just the final step.
And the Onan carb doesn't have the main jet hanging down into the fuel like in a dirt bike carb. So letting the fuel bowl run dry may not be as good. But I am still very happy to have this additional capability.