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Small Engine Ethanol Fuel Association
















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BASIC SMALL ENGINE CONVERSION TO ETHANOL : by Manon
 
1 ) Using a lawnmower motor ( $ 89.00 at your friendly Wallmart)
      or your used one, but the problem with a use one is that if
      something goes wrong, you will blame the ethanol right 
      away.
2 ) Use a 4 Stroke engine , not a 2 Stroke ( two stroke need oil
     mixing with the fuel )
3 ) Resize your run jet by roughly 20% larger and adjust your idle
    Jet to run smooth at idle,
4 ) Advance the timing a few degrees
   
5 ) Than pits around with the settings so you get a feel for the
      thing.
6 ) I would run the motor on 160 to 180 Proof EtOH and NO-MIX of
     gasoline.
7 ) Only draw back is the Hp will be a wee bit lower but you
     should not realy see much of a difference.
     And all that crap about Ethanol blowing things up, like gaskets
    and seals is way more a large Corp scare than is realy there,
    and if your lawnmower motor springs a leak... get a different
    material for the seal... It will be lots of fun and a true
    contribution to cleaning up the plannet sinc Millions of people
    mow the grass, and think of the sweet smell of Ethanol instead
    of the stench of saturday mornings mower spree in suburbia.
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Email recieved March 29, 2006 Unsigned but real

  • As an experiment I ran straight ethanol from Home Depot in my old lawn mower last year and
  • it started and ran fine all summer,
  • I didn't modify it in any way.
  • I took a chance, just to see.
  • It sure burns cleaner and I didn't notice any power problems.

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Robert Dvoracek Wrote:

  • I am fairly experienced with small engines and there is one in particular that is super easy to convert to ethanol.
  • It's the Briggs & Stratton with the Vacu-jet carburetor.
  • The best one to try it on would be one of the small push
    mowers.
  • The way you recognize a Vacu-jet carburetor is that it is above the gas tank.
  • These engines are usually marked 3.5 or 4hp in the newer
    models.
  • The gas tank will be all metal which is easy to identify by
    knocking on it.
  • These engines won't have the fancy looking plastic guards over them either (maybe some brand new ones will). Just about everything you see on the engine will be metal.
  • Now once you get your ethanol in the tank, what you're looking for is the mixture screw.
  • There is only one mixture screw and it's also the main jet so you don't have to drill anything out, just turn this screw!
    • That's what makes it so easy.
  • To access the screw, look straight on at the head-side of the
    engine.
    • This is the side with the cooling fins and the spark plug.
  • Now, on the bottom left you will see the bottom of the gas tank.
  • Up above that, you will see a horizontal metal bar that goes all the way across the front of the engine.
    • Again, on the left side of this bar, you will see a rounded notch like a 1/2 moon out of it.
  • Now look in there and you should see the flat of the mixture screw.
  • It's about 1.5-2" in there.
    • There may be grass balled up in there that you have to
      clean out in order to get at it.
    • Remember where it is now, but don'ttouch it yet.
  • Once you have run it out of gas (it does run well on gas,
    doesn't it?!) and filled it at least 1/2 full with ethanol, get your
    friend to start pulling on the starter.
  • If it won't start, begin turning the mixture screw in 1/4 turn increments.
  • If you have problems, take out the spark plug and see if it's wet.
  • If it's pretty wet that means your mixture is too rich and you need to turn the screw clockwise some more.
  • You have to keep the spark plug fairly dry or else the
    engine will be flooded.
  • If you're having lots of trouble, you can start over by turning the screw all the way in and then back out a turn and a
    quarter or try using higher % ethanol.
  • Once it does start, fiddle with the mixture screw some more
    until it runs smooth when it's at grass cutting speed.
  • Sometimes they recommend turning the screw out until the engine slows down and then back in 1/4 turn.
  • What I do is put on some ear plugs because the engine
    is easier to listen to that way.
  • Now if you change the proof of your alcohol, you will have to
    adjust your mixture again.
  • ALWAYS try starting it before messing around with the mixture!
  • Oh, and don't worry about the spark timing!
  • These are made to fire at top dead center which isn't even optimized for gasoline so don't worry about it.
  • Changing timing would be a real job since the magneto is  bolted to 2 posts is such a way that it isn't adjustable.

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