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Thread: prep for winter storage

  1. #1
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    prep for winter storage

    I wonder if products like Seafoam or Marvel Mystery Oil really work on cleaning the
    engine ( by adding to engine oil) or the carburator (by adding to fuel). I have used both and can't tell if sludge, etc. is removed. I usually add to the oil, run the engine for a while then drain the oil. A friend tells me I'm just wasting money.

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    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    Storage

    How long are you going to store the bike? What conditions will it be stored in?
    Jerry Dockery
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    Kure Beach, NC 28449
    1996 R1100RT main bike & 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

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    Registered User kwb210's Avatar
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    tank dry or filled w fuel?

    What are the thoughts on the fuel tank? Do you leave it empty? I have in the past drained the fuel from the carbs and think there is less harm doing that than leaving fuel in them, I think that is probably a universal feeling. I am wondering about the tank. No fuel at all sounds good, but, I am wondering if the tank lining will dry out and flake off, yikes, that would be terrible. I store my most ridden bikes for about 4-5 months every year. I have a couple of tanks that have been dry for a couple of years, they are waiting for placement on bikes I am in the process of restoring/bringing back to life. At the rate I am going they will be dry for quite sometime!
    How long will you be storing?
    kurt
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    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    I don't think the lining will dry out. I would be more concerned about the petcocks. Tribal lore used to say the they should not be turned if they were dry; the seal was prone to abrasion and would then leak.
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  6. #6
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    I'd recommend tank nearly full with a dose of Stabil and drain the carburetor bowls.
    Kevin Huddy
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    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
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    If you plan on storing the tank with fuel in it, ensure the tank is full. As temperature changes the tank will "breathe", and in so doing admit moisture/water vapor into the tank. Minimizing the air volume will minimize the amount of water vapor that will condense in the tank, which will minimize corrosion on the tank bottom.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBeemer View Post
    I'd recommend tank nearly full with a dose of Stabil and drain the carburetor bowls.

    Yep, what he said. Fill tank to brim, add Stabil, ride 10 miles to get stabil through carbs, drain carb bowls, park, add battery tender and cover.

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    Why?

    Dumb question: with tanks full, blue Stabil added and run through the system, why drain the float bowls? I've done it both ways, and I've never seen a difference.

    Eric

  10. #10
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by windancer View Post
    Dumb question: ......why drain the float bowls?
    One reason is to allow the floats to get out of today's alcohol laden fuel. The alcohol will damage the coating on some floats. I drain my bowls whenever the bike is going to sit more than a day or so. It also prevents the fuel from evaporating and leaving gunk in the bowl (not too much of a problem for short-term storage), and if the floats have lost their protective coating due to alcohol and started to absorb fuel, then this will allow them to dryout.
    Kevin Huddy
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  11. #11
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    Usually, I fill the tank with (none alcohol) fuel add stabilizer and drain the float bowls. I also change the engine oil and sometimes all the remaining fluids as well.
    Then I add a charger to the battery and leave the bike in the (cold) garage for about 4 months.

  12. #12
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    what about changing the transmission oil, final drive oil, etc. I last replaced these oils in June with Amsoil synthetic gear lube oil. Clymer indicates that oils should be changed every 12 months ( prefer. prior to winter storage). So now do I change these fluids again ( I only put on 2500 miles)? This can get expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DakotaMike View Post
    Yep, what he said. Fill tank to brim, add Stabil, ride 10 miles to get stabil through carbs, drain carb bowls, park, add battery tender and cover.
    Same thing here. Except I haven't drained the carb bowls for the last 25 or 30 years.
    Howard Edwards

    2014 Road King; 1975 R75/6

  14. #14
    Grammarian no, Rider yes ISAMEMON's Avatar
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    why put the tires on plywood ?

  15. #15
    Bluenoser
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    Quote Originally Posted by badgertom View Post
    I wonder if products like Seafoam or Marvel Mystery Oil really work on cleaning the
    engine ( by adding to engine oil) or the carburator (by adding to fuel). I have used both and can't tell if sludge, etc. is removed. I usually add to the oil, run the engine for a while then drain the oil. A friend tells me I'm just wasting money.
    Seafoam does work in both the fuel & the oil. Read the info on the can when dealing with putting in either the fuel or the oil.

    If you have used it once in the oil ( Seafoam is really just a solvent ) and then used good oil and changed it as required, there is little reason to add it again to the oil just before an oil change.

    Seafoam works really well in carbs or fuel injectors with small openings. It has been a mainstay of mine for years and I not only add it to the fuel for winter storage but periodically put some in the tank to clean carbs/injectors.

    For storage I would either have the fuel tank full or empty, carbs - I'd take the float bowls off and dump the fuel. Water/condensation is your enemy when storing a bike for the winter. If the tank is going to be left full, put the recommended amount of Seafoam in it and run/ take for a ride, then top the tank off so that it is completely full.
    1971 R50/5 SWB with R75/6 drivetrain
    2013 DL650

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