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Welcome to the new Superior Power Equipment Sales and Service blog. I intend to update this frequently. Email me with any questions you would like for me to consider for future blog posts.

Fighting Ethanol: Part 2 – Alternatives to Stabilizers

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Briggs & Stratton, Chainsaw, Engines, Honda, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, Kohler, Leaf Blower, Push Mower, Riding Mower, Stihl, String Trimmer, Tecumseh, Uncategorized, Zero Turn Radius Mower (ZTR) | Comments Off on Fighting Ethanol: Part 2 – Alternatives to Stabilizers

Last time we discussed Ethanol-free gas and fuel stabilizers. Something to note is, fuel stabilizers just “stabilize” fuel. If your fuel is bad already, you can not make it fresh again. Essentially, treated fuel will just deteriorate slower than untreated fuel. It prolongs deterioration.

Superior Power Equipment suggests that even if you use ethanol-free gas, treat it with a stabilizer and use it before the end of the season.

If you only use small quantities of fuel, or if a person’s health or life depends on your equipment (example would be a Fire Department), Superior Power Equipment suggests the use of canned fuel. For example, if you only use your chainsaw once, or several times per year, consider using canned fuel. Or if you only use your 2-cycle string trimmer 10-15 minutes every week or two.  The alternative is to use regular gasoline (even ethanol free) but risk damage to your equipment’s carburetor or other fuel components.

Some users find themselves using large quantities of canned fuel each year. Everyone, including commercial users, landscapers, or anyone using several gallons of a single type of fuel (i.e. 4-cycle, 40:1 mix, or 50:1 mix) per year can benefit from canned fuel. Even if you use a large quantity of fuel each season, you can still use canned fuel to protect your equipment during the off-season.  At the end of the season, empty the fuel tank of its current gasoline, whether a mixed gasoline or 4-cycle gasoline. This fuel can be used in vehicles or larger equipment, even if it is mixed fuel. Next you pour several ounces canned fuel into the tank, close the fuel tank cap, and start the engine, running it for several minutes to allow the regular gasoline to be burned out of the system and the canned fuel to completely fill the fuel system. As long as you run the engine long enough to allow the other fuel to burn out completely, your equipment should now be protected by the canned fuel.

Superior Power Equipment is a dealer for Tru-Fuel branded canned fuel and VP SEF (Small Engine Fuel). In large containers SEF is generally less expensive.  It is still more expensive than fuel from the pumps, but it is also a lot more stable.  I’m told the canned fuel has about a 3 year shelf life, until the can is opened. Once the can is opened you can still expect about a 2 year shelf life. A quart of Tru-Fuel (4 cycle, 50-Fuel or 40-Fuel) retails for $6.50. One to two quarts will suffice for most users. Contact Superior Power Equipment for prices, recommendations, quantity prices, or other options.

Fighting Ethanol: Part 1

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in Briggs & Stratton, Cub Cadet, Honda, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, Kohler, Push Mower, Riding Mower, Stihl, Tecumseh, Troy-Bilt, Uncategorized, Zero Turn Radius Mower (ZTR) | Comments Off on Fighting Ethanol: Part 1

On the Superior Power Equipment Facebook Page, I have been discussing Ethanol blended fuel, the life expectancy of Ethanol blended fuels (or lack thereof) and the damage Ethanol causes to your engines and equipment.

Since we know Ethanol blended fuel has a relatively short life expectancy, the obvious question is, “What can I do about the fuel in MY equipment”? There are several options. The first option we need to consider is buying Ethanol-Free fuel.  But how do you know if the fuel contains ethanol? Visit pure-gas.org, click on your state and scroll to your city, a city near you.

Keep in mind, this isn’t just for power equipment, but for your vehicles too! Ethanol greatly reduces the fuel economy of your vehicles too. Most motorists who use E85 state the reduced price of this blend is a trade off to the reduced fuel economy. So, its a wash, cost wise. If you consider the damage it causes to your machine or vehicle, its a no-brainer: Ethanol free gas!

Additionally, you can mix your fuel with a fuel stabilizer such as Opti-Mizer or Stabil. Superior Power Equipment is a stocking dealer for the Opti-Mizer fuel stabilizer.  From the Opti-Mizer page:

Opti-Mizer Fuel Stabilizer with Valve Guard, when added to the fuel of any 4-cycle engine, protects before, during and after operation.  Not only does Opti-Mizer protect the entire fuel system for up to 24 months by preventing resin and gum from forming, its exclusive Valve Guard additive also lubricates valves and cylinder top ends.  For extra fuel system and engine top end protection along with easier engine starting, add Opti-Mizer to fuel cans, storage tanks, and your engine’s fuel tank.

From the Stabil page (note the 12 months versus the 24 month protection provided by Opti-Mizer):optimizer16oz-internet

  • Keeps fuel fresh for up to 12 months
  • Eliminates need to drain fuel prior to storage
  • Ensures quick, easy starts after storage
  • Effective in all gasoline, including Ethanol blends
  • For ALL gasoline engines, including 2-cycle

Opti-Mizer also works in 2-cycle fuel. However, your best 2-cycle option is to use Opti-2, which already contains ” “Opti-Mizer” 24 month fuel stabilizer”.  Another benefit of Opti-2 is you can use one can of mixed 2-cycle fuel for ALL 2-cycle equipment, no matter the oil/fuel mix ratio. So, whether your machine requires a mix ratio of 16:1, 32:1, 40:1, or 50:1, Opti-2 works perfectly for your machine!

Next time we will discuss several other options.

Mower features you don’t need: Part II

Posted by on May 28, 2011 in Briggs & Stratton, Engines, Honda, Kawasaki, Kohler, Power Equipment, Push Mower, Riding Mower, Tecumseh, Zero Turn Radius Mower (ZTR) | 0 comments

We are back to addressing why I disagree with some of the points made in a Consumer Report’s article regarding unnecessary features on mowers.  We continue with push mowers.

Washout ports. Manufacturers of walk-behind mowers with washout ports recommend you lower your deck before attaching a hose to the port. If you have to adjust the height of each wheel separately, you’ll likely ignore that part of the instructions—or merely tip the mower on its side (air filter up) to hose it down from beneath. Why pay extra for a mower with that feature?

Perhaps the ports are not a must have, however, if you want your deck to last as long as possible, they are a great idea.  There are several things they did not mention.  Lets look at those things.

  1. The need to wash the under side of the deck (perhaps they think its a given).
  2. The fact lowering the deck is “recommended” but not required (however, it works better if the deck is lowered).
  3. They build off another of their points later in their article where they state that single-lever wheel-height adjustment is an unnecessary feature.  Yet, almost by their own admission, if the mower had both, both would be used and arguably would be necessary features.
  4. The fact that tipping up the mower on its side does not work as well as using a washout port.
  5. The fact that tipping the mower on its side, even if tipped the recommended way, can cause oil to drain into different parts of the engine and eventually cause engine damage.  This obviously varies by engine make and model.

Now, these features are unnecessary, but handy.  If you are looking for a base model, don’t necessarily expect these features on your mower.  If you are looking to buy a good quality mower that is designed to last a long time, these should be some of the features you should expect.

Something I mentioned earlier but did not expound upon is the life saving feature (life saving for the deck) of the deck washout port.  While it is not necessary to have a washout port to enjoy the life saving benefits of cleaning your deck.   If you don’t wash the mower deck, whether push mower or riding mower, the grass will accumulate on the top and on the under side of deck.  If you mow while the grass is damp or wet, the grass will stick to the deck.  This grass needs to be removed from the deck.  It is most easily removed while the grass is still wet.  What better time to do it than when the grass is still wet?

The grass contains moisture and when it is so close to the mower deck, it causes the paint to peel and then eventually, it causes the steel deck to rust.

Kohler Courage Engines recalled

Posted by on May 6, 2011 in Brands, Cub Cadet, Engines, Husqvarna, Kohler, Power Equipment, Riding Mower, Troy-Bilt, Zero Turn Radius Mower (ZTR) | 0 comments

We interrupt the regular programming to bring you this Engine recall announcement.

 

Kohler Recalls Engines Sold with Husqvarna, Cub Cadet, and Troy-Bilt Riding Lawn Tractors; Laceration Hazard Posed

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Kohler Courage Engines

Units: About 10,000

Manufacturer: Kohler Co., of Kohler, Wis.

Hazard: A wire connector on the engine can become disconnected causing the operator’s seat switch to fail. When this happens, the blades will not shut down, posing a laceration hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves Kohler Courage twin-cylinder engines sold with three brands of lawn tractors: Husqvarna, Cub Cadet, and Troy-Bilt. The vertical-shaft gasoline engines range in horsepower from 20 to 25. Engines included in this recall have serial numbers with the first five digits beginning with 41028 through 41056. Serial numbers can be found on the black engine cover.

Sold at: Lowe’s, Tractor Supply Company stores, and by authorized Cub Cadet dealers nationwide from February 2011 through April 2011 for between $1,500 and $5,700.

Manufactured in: USA

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the lawn tractors and contact an authorized Kohler dealer or the retail location where the tractor was purchased for a free inspection and repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Kohler Co. at (800) 451-2294 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.kohlerengines.com

 

CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about it by visiting www.saferproducts.gov

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054. To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov.

There are more photos available on the Product’s recall page.

Mower features you don’t need?

Posted by on Apr 11, 2011 in Power Equipment, Push Mower | 0 comments

I recently read an article posted on the Consumer Reports website regarding unnecessary features on mowers.  While I agree some mowers have far too many features or at least far more features than are “needed”, some of these features are really nice.  Some of the features Consumer Reports deemed as “unnecessary”, I believe really do make a difference.

They cited their studies indicated larger rear wheels on push mowers as unnecessary. Regarding manufacturers statements about the advantages of high wheels they stated “They’re touted as easier to push over uneven ground. What we’ve found in tests, though, is counterintuitive to such thinking. Manufacturers of high-wheeled mowers situate the engine (or motor, for electric models) more forward to accommodate the greater diameter of the rear wheels. This makes the mower noticeably heavier to tip back for turning, which you do frequently. They require more effort to mow, not less.

While in a round about way, they may have a point (the larger rear wheels require different brackets which place the wheels further back), that is NOT the point of the larger rear wheels.  The point is that they are easier to push because the wheel diameter is larger and thus the ground has “more leverage” to turn the wheel.

Another advantage of larger rear wheels is if there is any need for you to pick the front end of the mower up to push it over an item (stump, uneven terrain, driveway gravel, etc).  I have even seen people be able to load a mower onto a trailer by themselves that they could not have loaded otherwise. They simply pushed the mower up to the trailer, pushed down on the handle and pushed the front wheels onto the edge of the trailer deck.  Then the picked up on the handle and pushed the mower onto the trailer.  If you are a commercial cutter and use the mower to trim lawns this could also be seen as a time saving tip.  With that in mind, a consumer grade push mower will not endure commercial use very long!

The point Consumer Reports made falls more into the “disadvantages” category.  Another disadvantage of larger wheels is that they are slightly less stable as far as durability (not as far as mower rollover stability).  The brackets also tend to have more pressure on them making the brackets and the deck more likely to break.  With this in mind, consider whether or not larger rear wheels are worthy of your investment dollars.

Next time we will look at another facet of their report with which I disagree.

Until next time, keep your engines running!

Hello world!

Posted by on Mar 25, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Welcome to Superior Power Equipment!

Our website is a work in progress.  Please be patient as we continue to update our website.  If you have suggestions for the website or questions for us, you can email us at eli at superiorpowerequip dot com.

Thank you for your patience and your patronage!

SPE