coleman "white gas" and my 2 stroke generator...

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stickle
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coleman "white gas" and my 2 stroke generator...

Post by stickle » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:49 am

Met a prep goal today by buying a small 2 stroke generator. But I have a real dilemma regarding fuel storage. My question is can I run my gen on white gas, (which is just unleaded gas...right?) if I add the 2 stroke oil? Besides the cost, what are the downsides?

Here is another one...can you leave gas in it if a stabilizer has been added? I ran it for about 30 min to check function, shut the fuel valve and let it die. The fuel I used is stabilized but....?

Third question, is there any difference in 2 stroke oils? (keep it clean guys!!)

Thanks for making your wisdom and experience available to us fools.

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Re: coleman "white gas" and my 2 stroke generator...

Post by Dawgboy » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:04 am

First off, NEVER EVER run a 2 stroke dry like that as you will score your cylinder... The oil in the fuel is to lube the rings... There needs to be oil in there.

Stabilizer works very well, but I don't know about what running Coleman fuel, which is Naptha will do to it...
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Re: coleman "white gas" and my 2 stroke generator...

Post by Dooms » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:39 am

There are actually two types of white gas. One is naptha (i.e. lighter fluid). This is typically what you buy in stores for camping fuel. While this is used in the gasoline manufacturing process (it is the low octane component), it is not gasoline and should not be used as such. Because it has such a low octane it will typically cause an engine to knock heavily (detonation), which can be very bad for an engine.

The other type of White gas is simply unleaded gasoline without the federally required additives (or tax). These additives are necessary to keep an engine clean, lubricated, and within the proper octane level. In other words, it's doesn't typically meet the recommended federal standards to be burned in an engine.

When gasoline goes bad, it's typically not the gasoline itself that goes bad, but the additives. So trying to run your engine on the latter type of white gas would be like trying to run it on stale gasoline. It might work, it might not....either way it's not likely to be as good as running your engine on good fresh gasoline.

When it comes to small engines, I prefer to run them on high octane gasoline. High octane fuel typically lasts longer before going stale and, because it has a greater octane rating, it is more resistant to detonation. Since small air cooled engines are typically poorly cooled (and potentially run at full throttle for hours on end) detonation can be a real issue. VP racing fuels actually sells high octane pre-mixed no-ethanol fuel for use in small engines. I haven't bought any yet, but it seems to be promising. Without ethanol it will store for longer than typical gasoline and being pre-mixed makes storage and use easier.

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Re: coleman "white gas" and my 2 stroke generator...

Post by stickle » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:04 pm

I started it and ran it on a pre-mixed fuel for 2 stroke engines bought from Kragen. I ran it for 30 min with a light electrical load and then used the fuel cut off to stop it.

If I decide to store it dry, do you dump out the unused fuel from the top? (tip it over and pour it out like the little tea pot?)

Do I need to flush out the tank/lines with anything? I was thinking of putting a tablespoon or so of 2 stroke oil in the tank, swishing it around and pulling the start cord slowly to get it in the line and cylinder. What do you think?

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Re: coleman "white gas" and my 2 stroke generator...

Post by Neville » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:18 pm

I would agree with the foregoing. Coleman "white gas" doesn't contain the additives that modern engines need in order to function properly. Adding the 2-stroke oil undoubtedly helps some, but doesn't eliminate the problem.

If it is a do-or-die situation where you HAVE TO HAVE transport/electric and don't care about what damage might be done (because you won't be alive to worry about that if you don't) then I do believe it would work, at least temporarily. There is a high liklihood of permanent damage to the engine though, so don't count on using this as a long-term solution. For instance, if we're out cutting wood, run out of fuel (except for a can of "white gas" we happen to have in the truck) and one of the big logs shifts and rolls over on my buddy's leg, I would use the white gas in the chainsaw to get him free of the log. I would not use it intentionally, going out on a woodcutting expedition, if I ever expected to need that chainsaw again in the future.

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coleman "white gas" and my 2 stroke generator...

Post by ScottAW » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:26 pm

Slightly off topic, but to keep fuel fresh, buy multiple cans, and weekly dump one in your car, put it in your trunk, and refill both at the same
Time. 4 cans, never have gas more than a month old.

And noone around me sells anything without added ethanol. Small engines hate ethanol.

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Re: coleman "white gas" and my 2 stroke generator...

Post by Flying Lead » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:33 pm

Make sure you don't leave your gas storage can/jug with a loose or missing lid. The alcohol in gas soaks up water from the atmosphere and 2 stroke and water-alcohol mix don't get along. Buy pure gas with no alcohol if possible. If you must use 10 percent alcohol gas, rotate at least monthly. I'm in AL and we are still alcohol optional. Ask anyone in the small engine or boat motor business about alcohol fuels.
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Re: coleman "white gas" and my 2 stroke generator...

Post by Neville » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:48 pm

I've been storing common retail gasoline for several years now. I haven't had any issues.

Here's what I do.

I use common, ordinary 5 gallon plastic gas containers. I put the recommended amount of Sta-Bil in the can, then fill it up at the pump. (always put the cans on the ground to be filled, but you knew that, right?) Seal the lid tightly to keep fuel vapor in and moisture out. Depending on time of year gasoline may contain butane gas disolved in the gasoline. Over time, this gas may expand the walls of your fuel container. As long as this does not cause a rupture or leak, it shouldn't be a problem. I store the containers AWAY FROM THE HOUSE in perpetual shade, up off the ground, under a tarp. There is "breathing room" around the botom of the tarp so any vapors are adequately ventillated. Every few months (usually once a quarter) I take two of the gas cans and put them in our vehicle fuel tanks and refill them as above. I built up gradually and currently have 80-100 gallons stored this way. When I put it in our vehicles, I then top up the tank with fresh fuel from the pump. To date, we have used fuel that was 18-24 months old and had no issues of any kind with it. I believe it would still be viable at 36 and possibly 48 months but have not tested this. If the storage gasoline is properly sealed, treated at the time of storage, and properly stored, it should remain usable for many months.

I believe coleman fuel ("white gas" in sealed metal containers) should be good indefinitely. But it's not something I would run "straight" in an engine. Mixed as a booster/extender with actual motor gasoline, I think it would be not ideal but probably OK for most uses, at least short term. There could be a day when being able to drive 60 miles instead of just 40 could make all the difference in the world to you. In that case you would mix the one gallon of coleman fuel with your two gallons of motor gasoline before starting, rather than trying to get the last 20 miles on straight coleman fuel. Just an opinion, not something I've actually tested. YMMV, try at your own risk.

Just to add... be careful opeing stored fuel containers. There may be pressure inside, especially if you see the container bulging a little. You don't want to spew gas on your clothing and then have a static spark, the word "imolate" comes to mind.

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Re: coleman "white gas" and my 2 stroke generator...

Post by PsycoBob » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:18 pm

DO NOT RUN OUT OF FUEL! Remember that gas/oil mix thing? This isn't a duralube/slick-50 commercial. Stop that.

I just got an old 2-stroke snowblower from a friend. Since it's in excellent shape, I dug up the Tecumseh manual for it's engine series. It states rather clearly how to prep it for storage.

Note: this is only storage instructions. If you can manage to run it long enough to empty the tank every 3 weeks or so, you aren't 'storing' it- don't worry about special gas or additives other than normal 2-stroke oil. Some oils include stabilizer- look near the chainsaws.

Either get marine-style ethanol-formulated Sta-bil, or use ethanol-free gas & regular Sta-bil. Sometimes high-octane racing type fuel can be had w/o ethanol. Unleaded aviation fuel is another option. Always mix the gas/oil/stabilizer in a gas can, NOT your engine's tank.

Fill your fuel can with gas/oil mix and add stabilizer.

If you can, empty the engine's fuel tank and drain the carb. Refill with storage mix. Start and run for a few minutes, to let it run fully thru the carb's passages and the inside of the engine. If you couldn't drain the tank/carb, run the engine longer (to paraphrase manual, overkill is good at this step).

Fill the tank as much as possible with storage mix- it'll reduce condensation buildup.

If you want long-term fuel storage, ethanol-free fuel is the way to go. As mentioned above, some racing fuels are ethanol/methanol free. Unleaded AvGas will work too, if you can find a small airport locally.

I burned a nasty mix of old gasoline, white gas & fresh gas in my Onan 2.5kw genset, with no issues. 5.5:1 compression ratio probably prevented any knock.

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Re: coleman "white gas" and my 2 stroke generator...

Post by Neville » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:26 pm

Neville wrote:
Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:48 pm
I believe coleman fuel ("white gas" in sealed metal containers) should be good indefinitely. But it's not something I would run "straight" in an engine. Mixed as a booster/extender with actual motor gasoline, I think it would be not ideal but probably OK for most uses, at least short term. There could be a day when being able to drive 60 miles instead of just 40 could make all the difference in the world to you. In that case you would mix the one gallon of coleman fuel with your two gallons of motor gasoline before starting, rather than trying to get the last 20 miles on straight coleman fuel. Just an opinion, not something I've actually tested. YMMV, try at your own risk.
So, it appears someone actually tried this as an experiment in a lawn mower, a generator and a see-through engine.

[YouTube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2ii481Iez8[/YouTube]

Very interesting!

All of the engines ran well. The lawn mower did lose some compression after an hour of run-time under load. Coleman fuel doesn't contain the additives that the engine is spec'd for.

I wouldn't run it just for the hell of it, but in an emergency, it's been proven that Coleman "white gas" does combust in an internal combustion gasoline engine. Definitely workable if a tree branch is down on your buddy and you need to cut him free. But not something I'd want to run in a vehicle if it was anything other than a dire emergency due to engine wear prospects.

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Re: coleman "white gas" and my 2 stroke generator...

Post by Confucius » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:58 am

Very much going to depend on the compression ratio of the engine too. I actually work at an oil refinery. For shits and giggles I just looked up the octane of our straight run Naptha, last sample was 56.


Might successfully run in a small, low compression engine, but anything remotely resembling a modern compression ratio will have big problems, and quickly...

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