Echo Red Armor Oil and Fuel Storage

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22,268
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CA
Thread starter
I just purchased my first 2-cycle tool: an Echo PB-2620 blower. My property is fairly small (6k sq-ft lot) and while I do plan to blow the premises weekly, I am not sure how much fuel I will go be using. For now, I purchased a one-gal gas can and mixed Echo Red Armor at ~40:1 with 1-gal of Shell 93, which is E10. Do I still need to add Sta-Bil to the gas can, or does Echo Red Armor contain enough stabilizer? Someone suggested that I should purchase the E0 cans of fuel from HD, but $24.95 for 110 oz seems outrageous if I can make a mix myself for much less money....even if I have to dump the "stale" gas into my own car every 3 months. Thoughts?
 
Messages
165
Location
MA
The premix ethanol free fuel is a wonderful product and really is not all too cost ineffective if you don't use more than a couple cans a year owning a small amount of 2-cycle equipment. E0 canned gas is good for two years after it's been opened, in the can or in the unit. Ethanol is the main cause of practically all of the fuel/carb issues you'll ever have in your OPE. Pump gas also has a lot of olefins. They cause a lot of gum/varnish and over time, make the little cube carbs unclean-able. Unfortunately even with using only fresh E10 gas, it still is very hard on the fuel system, The E and other chemicals in pump gas are caustic over time to the fuel lines and stiffen the metering diaphragm in the carb. Pretty much replacing the metering and fuel pump diaphragms are practically maintenance items for 2-stroke OPE using E10. But with the 2620, you can easily replace the entire "fuel system" (lines are a one piece part with the little grommet and lines on the tank) and the carb is very easily accessible. The 2-cycle oils "with fuel stabilizer" don't really do much of any stabilizing. Shake the can of mixed pump gas and oil vigorously before each use. Alcohol gas and oil have a tendency to separate. I've seen a few guys come into my dealership with scored pistons from having effectively straight gas running in their equip from this separation phenomenon. At the very least, keep fresh E10 in the unit, and for storage, run it dry of E10 and fill it up to the top with E0 premix and run it for a few. If you only burn a few gallons a year in your occasional use tools it will save you money. If you burn a lot more it may be helpful to just use it as a storage fuel instead of stabilizer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wvps2gF0Sdo <---- This is an interesting video and channel on the topic.
 
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Messages
12,504
Location
Middlesex County CT
I have an echo chainsaw and use red armor. I just mix a batch when I need it and if it sits around 5 months, dump it into my car. (Sears sells it by the gallon on line) The guy @ the OPE store indicated to use E0 for storage, but I haven't bothered (E10 is the de facto fuel for CT) for the 6 or 7 years I've had it and I just refresh the fuel in the spring and it fires right up 3rd pull. E10 is approved for use BTW, but you knew that.
 
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7,659
Location
MI
Fuel quality must vary tremendously around the country based on some of the comments above. I've been operating and maintaining (dozens of) workplace 2 cycle OPE on e-10 89 octane gas for about two decades with none of the problems described by PantherFan88. Sure, some of the very old equipment had problems with rubber degradation in the initial years, but everything today should be fine with E10. Maybe the difference is that nearly all of my equipment is Stihl and I use Stihl 2 cycle oil (has stabilizer)? Some of it sits for 3 to 6 months without problems. All I can guess is that fuel quality and/or poor fuel management is the reason why we get such a large difference of results. I DO think that hot climates have more storage problems than we do up north. Based on reading the Red Armor tech sheet, it should have enough stabilizer on it's own. I have never used it. The Critic - to fulfill the home ownership stereotype, I expect you to be out on Sunday morning at 7a.m. blowing your property and annoying your neighbors. It's a rite of passage.
 
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6,639
Location
South Florida
Dude your math is incredibly off. These cans are NOT too expensive. The cans are FANTUBULOUS!! Your small lot, you are going to use one or two cans a year. Thats ten dollars a year. Tell me how ten dollars a year, for a premium fuel, that is good for 5 years in the can, that is good for two years once poured, that has no ethanol, that has fuel stabilizer already in it, is too expensive??? You need to look at the big picture, which you are missing by a mile. $3.40 - gallon of non ethanol fuel, if you can buy it $4.50 - Echo red armor oil 2.6 ounces $1.10 for a splash of fuel stabilizer $8.00 for one gallon of gas that you make yourself. And it goes bad in 60 days, and really bad in 120 days, and terribly bad by 365 days. Ideally, you should refresh at least every 90 days... $8 times 4 times a year, is $32 per year to have fresh fuel. OR, you could just do the smart thing, and buy a $5 can every 6 to 9 months when you run out. Lets not even count the cost of a $50 to $100 carburetor repair that you are drastically more likely to have with mix it yourself fuel, than the canned fuel. Yes, its that good. Seriously, I shouldn't have to math this out for folks. If you are an average home owner, with a 1/4 acre lot or so, and you are NOT using these cans already, then you are making a mistake. A drastic mistake. These cans actually save you money long term, give you better running equipment, and save you engine repairs. Its such a no brainer. Just buy these $5 cans from Home Depot. They are made by VP racing fuels, they have the latest high tech JASO FD synthetic oil made by VP Racing. Fantastic stuff. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Power-Care-32-oz-50-1-Pre-Mixed-Small-Engine-Fuel-6985/206455565 And your Echo runs on 50:1. You mixing your batch at 40:1 is counter productive and will actually shorten the life of your equipment. I had a small engine shop. When a customer would bring in a 2 cycle, the first thing I would do, while the customer was there, would be to drain the fuel tank, and refill it with premix can fuel. And it would fix their problem, right then and there, without any repairs, 50% of the time. Id sell them the rest of the can right then and there, and send them on their way, happy at the $6 "repair".
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
44,506
Location
New Jersey
Originally Posted by bubbatime
Dude your math is incredibly off. These cans are NOT too expensive. The cans are FANTUBULOUS!! Your small lot, you are going to use one or two cans a year. Thats ten dollars a year. Tell me how ten dollars a year, for a premium fuel, that is good for 5 years in the can, that is good for two years once poured, that has no ethanol, that has fuel stabilizer already in it, is too expensive??? You need to look at the big picture, which you are missing by a mile. $3.40 - gallon of non ethanol fuel, if you can buy it $4.50 - Echo red armor oil 2.6 ounces $1.10 for a splash of fuel stabilizer $8.00 for one gallon of gas that you make yourself. And it goes bad in 60 days, and really bad in 120 days, and terribly bad by 365 days. Ideally, you should refresh at least every 90 days... $8 times 4 times a year, is $32 per year to have fresh fuel. OR, you could just do the smart thing, and buy a $5 can every 6 to 9 months when you run out. Lets not even count the cost of a $50 to $100 carburetor repair that you are drastically more likely to have with mix it yourself fuel, than the canned fuel. Yes, its that good. Seriously, I shouldn't have to math this out for folks. If you are an average home owner, with a 1/4 acre lot or so, and you are NOT using these cans already, then you are making a mistake. A drastic mistake. These cans actually save you money long term, give you better running equipment, and save you engine repairs. Its such a no brainer. Just buy these $5 cans from Home Depot. They are made by VP racing fuels, they have the latest high tech JASO FD synthetic oil made by VP Racing. Fantastic stuff. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Power-Care-32-oz-50-1-Pre-Mixed-Small-Engine-Fuel-6985/206455565 And your Echo runs on 50:1. You mixing your batch at 40:1 is counter productive and will actually shorten the life of your equipment. I had a small engine shop. When a customer would bring in a 2 cycle, the first thing I would do, while the customer was there, would be to drain the fuel tank, and refill it with premix can fuel. And it would fix their problem, right then and there, without any repairs, 50% of the time. Id sell them the rest of the can right then and there, and send them on their way, happy at the $6 "repair".
You're painting a picture I just don't see. I have a smaller lot in suburbia, and own a lot of two-cycle stuff - a backpack blower, a handheld blower, a weedwacker and a stick edger. Not all get a ton of use (eg the stink stick edger gets used 2-3x/yr). No issues. Ever. (Fuel lines getting leaky don't count - some do some don't). I only inventory 1gal of pump 93 at a time. And it can happen, based upon use, that it sits for the better part of the summer if it's a dry one; many months in the winter when things aren't growing, etc. Like discussed in the engine fogging thread, I don't always run my stuff dry, nor fog it. No issues. I do shut my chainsaw off on stihl premix, because that can sit for years with no use. There's a place for the premixed stuff, but it's not as dire as painted in your post. OP: I have a similar if not the same handheld echo blower since 2006. Since buying a high power husquvarna backpack blower, and a Makita electric for blowing off the car (lighter), I haven't gotten a ton of use. I actually just ran it today, the fuel in it is over a year old. It is 93 with a decade old Mobil 1 racing 2T two stroke oil in it, plus a splash of stabil and a splash of Schaefer's soy ultra gas additive. Your climate is more benign than mine. Our pump fuel is E10. I think you'll be fine. My echo ran like a champ when blowing off the driveway today. Fired right up after priming.
 
Messages
1,785
Location
Pennsylvania
I run Stabil year-round in my small engines and have never had any carb issues, even with 87 octane E10 gasoline. Wawa started selling ethanol free 89 around here so I've switched over. Still add the Stabil.
 
Messages
9,373
Location
Canuck living in California
I would not lose sleep over it. My gas mower, Echo trimmer and blower also see little use. I actually use the blower more to dry my cars off after a wash than to clean up the property. And I try to run the trimmer and gas mower at least every two months, even if there is no need. I also shake the gas cans every once in a while to make sure nothing settles inside the cans. The last batch was about a year old before I decided to pour it in my car and get a fresh one. Last year I used the last of my fuel stabilizer, but I didn't bother this year. No problems so far. All e10 too...
 
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Messages
636
Location
PA
Originally Posted by Slick17601
I run Stabil year-round in my small engines and have never had any carb issues, even with 87 octane E10 gasoline. Wawa started selling ethanol free 89 around here so I've switched over. Still add the Stabil.
Can you post the PA Wawa location where they sell ethanol free gas?
 
Messages
913
Location
Pennsylvania
Originally Posted by Slick17601
Wawa started selling ethanol free 89 around here so I've switched over. Still add the Stabil.
It sure would be nice if every Wawa did that, but I've not seen it in my corner of PA. US Route 209 near East Stroudsburg? Yes. Southeast PA? No.
 
Messages
636
Location
PA
Originally Posted by Slick17601
East Petersburg, near Lancaster. Royal Farms also has locations with ethanol free 90
There is ethanol free Sunoco 98 unleaded but he charges $9 /gal in Horsham,Pa.
 
Messages
22,268
Location
CA
Thread starter
Originally Posted by PantherFan88
The premix ethanol free fuel is a wonderful product and really is not all too cost ineffective if you don't use more than a couple cans a year owning a small amount of 2-cycle equipment. E0 canned gas is good for two years after it's been opened, in the can or in the unit. Ethanol is the main cause of practically all of the fuel/carb issues you'll ever have in your OPE. Pump gas also has a lot of olefins. They cause a lot of gum/varnish and over time, make the little cube carbs unclean-able. Unfortunately even with using only fresh E10 gas, it still is very hard on the fuel system, The E and other chemicals in pump gas are caustic over time to the fuel lines and stiffen the metering diaphragm in the carb. Pretty much replacing the metering and fuel pump diaphragms are practically maintenance items for 2-stroke OPE using E10. But with the 2620, you can easily replace the entire "fuel system" (lines are a one piece part with the little grommet and lines on the tank) and the carb is very easily accessible. The 2-cycle oils "with fuel stabilizer" don't really do much of any stabilizing. Shake the can of mixed pump gas and oil vigorously before each use. Alcohol gas and oil have a tendency to separate. I've seen a few guys come into my dealership with scored pistons from having effectively straight gas running in their equip from this separation phenomenon. At the very least, keep fresh E10 in the unit, and for storage, run it dry of E10 and fill it up to the top with E0 premix and run it for a few. If you only burn a few gallons a year in your occasional use tools it will save you money. If you burn a lot more it may be helpful to just use it as a storage fuel instead of stabilizer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wvps2gF0Sdo <---- This is an interesting video and channel on the topic.
Thank you.
Originally Posted by bubbatime
Dude your math is incredibly off. These cans are NOT too expensive. The cans are FANTUBULOUS!! Your small lot, you are going to use one or two cans a year. Thats ten dollars a year. Tell me how ten dollars a year, for a premium fuel, that is good for 5 years in the can, that is good for two years once poured, that has no ethanol, that has fuel stabilizer already in it, is too expensive??? You need to look at the big picture, which you are missing by a mile. $3.40 - gallon of non ethanol fuel, if you can buy it $4.50 - Echo red armor oil 2.6 ounces $1.10 for a splash of fuel stabilizer $8.00 for one gallon of gas that you make yourself. And it goes bad in 60 days, and really bad in 120 days, and terribly bad by 365 days. Ideally, you should refresh at least every 90 days... $8 times 4 times a year, is $32 per year to have fresh fuel. OR, you could just do the smart thing, and buy a $5 can every 6 to 9 months when you run out. Lets not even count the cost of a $50 to $100 carburetor repair that you are drastically more likely to have with mix it yourself fuel, than the canned fuel. Yes, its that good. Seriously, I shouldn't have to math this out for folks. If you are an average home owner, with a 1/4 acre lot or so, and you are NOT using these cans already, then you are making a mistake. A drastic mistake. These cans actually save you money long term, give you better running equipment, and save you engine repairs. Its such a no brainer. Just buy these $5 cans from Home Depot. They are made by VP racing fuels, they have the latest high tech JASO FD synthetic oil made by VP Racing. Fantastic stuff. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Power-Care-32-oz-50-1-Pre-Mixed-Small-Engine-Fuel-6985/206455565 And your Echo runs on 50:1. You mixing your batch at 40:1 is counter productive and will actually shorten the life of your equipment. I had a small engine shop. When a customer would bring in a 2 cycle, the first thing I would do, while the customer was there, would be to drain the fuel tank, and refill it with premix can fuel. And it would fix their problem, right then and there, without any repairs, 50% of the time. Id sell them the rest of the can right then and there, and send them on their way, happy at the $6 "repair".
You raise a valid point and I had forgotten about the cost of the additives. I'll consider this route depending on how long it takes me to use up a supply of fuel. Perhaps I can buy 1/4 or 1/2 gal of gas at a time, and that would alleviate the fuel freshness issue?
Originally Posted by JHZR2
OP: I have a similar if not the same handheld echo blower since 2006. Since buying a high power husquvarna backpack blower, and a Makita electric for blowing off the car (lighter), I haven't gotten a ton of use. I actually just ran it today, the fuel in it is over a year old. It is 93 with a decade old Mobil 1 racing 2T two stroke oil in it, plus a splash of stabil and a splash of Schaefer's soy ultra gas additive. Your climate is more benign than mine. Our pump fuel is E10. I think you'll be fine. My echo ran like a champ when blowing off the driveway today. Fired right up after priming.
Thanks - I think after the current batch, I will purchase fuel in 1/4 or 1/2 gal quantities to keep the supply fresher.
 
Messages
6,639
Location
South Florida
Originally Posted by The Critic
Perhaps I can buy 1/4 or 1/2 gal of gas at a time, and that would alleviate the fuel freshness issue? Thanks - I think after the current batch, I will purchase fuel in 1/4 or 1/2 gal quantities to keep the supply fresher.
Dude. Dude. Quit wasting your time, and money, buying inferior fuel. Go buy PreMix can fuel from Home Depot $5 for store brand, $6 for TruFuel. They both are basically identical, and probably made by the same folks. Even if you have to buy 3 or 4 cans a year, you are still money ahead. If you have to buy more than 4 cans (1 gallon) a year, then yeah, look at mixing your own fuel.
 
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2,943
Location
wi
Originally Posted by bubbatime
Originally Posted by The Critic
Perhaps I can buy 1/4 or 1/2 gal of gas at a time, and that would alleviate the fuel freshness issue? Thanks - I think after the current batch, I will purchase fuel in 1/4 or 1/2 gal quantities to keep the supply fresher.
Dude. Dude. Quit wasting your time, and money, buying inferior fuel. Go buy PreMix can fuel from Home Depot $5 for store brand, $6 for TruFuel. They both are basically identical, and probably made by the same folks. Even if you have to buy 3 or 4 cans a year, you are still money ahead. If you have to buy more than 4 cans (1 gallon) a year, then yeah, look at mixing your own fuel.
I totally agree for the really small user and still cheap person the benefits of the premix fuels are huge. People have no problem plunking down a Monster energy or whatever 12 oz drink with their gas fill up walk out complaining about gas price while drinking their equivalent $20.00 dollar a gallon Monster always gives me a smile.
 
Messages
22,268
Location
CA
Thread starter
Originally Posted by bubbatime
Originally Posted by The Critic
Perhaps I can buy 1/4 or 1/2 gal of gas at a time, and that would alleviate the fuel freshness issue? Thanks - I think after the current batch, I will purchase fuel in 1/4 or 1/2 gal quantities to keep the supply fresher.
Dude. Dude. Quit wasting your time, and money, buying inferior fuel. Go buy PreMix can fuel from Home Depot $5 for store brand, $6 for TruFuel. They both are basically identical, and probably made by the same folks. Even if you have to buy 3 or 4 cans a year, you are still money ahead. If you have to buy more than 4 cans (1 gallon) a year, then yeah, look at mixing your own fuel.
Ok - you have convinced me. Echo was the only brand of canned fuel in-stock at my HD, but that's fine.

1473F4A5-8BD4-472B-A757-E67C0F44DFB1.jpeg
 
Messages
6,639
Location
South Florida
That can will probably last you 2 years! Put the date on it when you open it and when its empty, you'll realize that yeah, it lasted you a pretty long time. And was pretty cost effective and hassle free. They put the manufacture date on the bottom of most of these cans, which is easy to decipher. That way I can always buy the freshest can at the store. It will be 21519 or similar on the bottom of the can, manufactured on the 215th day of 2019.
 
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