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Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof PowerDork
6/6/15 8:11 a.m.

If you use opti oil, it has a stabilizer in it and you'll never have a problem. I mix it at something like 60-1 with regular fuel and my cheap $100 chain saw starts on the second pull after sitting for six months. My bikes too, and both use the 10% ethanol fuel. Ethanol has NOTHING to do with it.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic PowerDork
6/6/15 8:17 p.m.

In reply to Zomby Woof:

Yeah 9/10 times it's not ethanol as much as it is modern fuel being lot more volatile, it oxidizes and turns to varish much faster. If the carb isn't full of white crusty E36 M3, and you don't have weird problems with rubber/plastic parts, you probably don't have an ethanol/water problem.

chaparral
chaparral HalfDork
6/6/15 10:35 p.m.

I wonder if the 40V/58V Li-Ion packs would be any good at powering a kid kart. Anyone have peak power / stored energy figures for them?

Two stroke reliability tips.

1) Change the pumper carburetor diaphragms every year. They cost less than $5. Having a carb that won't pump fuel is frustrating.

2) Run 100-octane aviation gasoline and Motul 800 oil. $5.xx/gal at your local airport, no ethanol, 2 year shelf life in a metal can. Having fuel that will not burn is frustrating. Having a carb that won't pump fuel is frustrating.

3) Know which way the mixture adjustment needles turn for rich and lean up top and down below and use them. Listen to the engine when it is running. Washing your shorts after you've cleaned off the fouled plug is frustrating. If you go leaner and the engine starts lagging when you open the throttle, you are too lean, probably on low-speed. If you go leaner at high power and the engine slows down under a steady load, you are too lean, probably on high-speed. Any 2-stroke designed after 1985 has a decent margin against detonation and overheating. If you seize one on avgas and synthetic oil east of the Pecos you should consider avoiding power tools.

4) Avgas contains fractions that evaporate down to -50 F, so if you are pumping fuel and have spark the engine will eventually start, so keep pulling. I have no rhyme or reason for when the choke will actually do something useful on most 2t power equipment, so fiddle with it and keep pulling. Swearing, giving up, then having your roommate walk out to the garage and nonchalantly start the thing on the first pull is frustrating.

5) If it eventually wears out or your no-good neighbor sticks the piston, two-stroke rebuilds are easy and the parts are cheap. There are four bearings and a piston. Gradually increase revs and load for a few minutes, let it cool down, and it'll be broken in. You should need written permission from Tommy Lydon to throw away a 2t Lawn-Boy mower.

Not a reliability tip but a money-saver) Pumping losses are minimal, so fuel consumption tracks power output more directly than a four-stroke. Use the throttle lever, don't tie a rubber band around it.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof PowerDork
6/7/15 9:02 a.m.

Did some yard work yesterday. Both my chainsaw and little 2 stroke generator fired up after a few pulls and ran perfectly. Neither had run since some time last year. The generator may have been siting (in an unheated, damp garage) for over a year.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
6/7/15 9:35 a.m.

I don't like mixing gas and oil for just 1 piece of equipment, battery operated ones don't last long enough on a charge, I hate dragging 200 feet of extension cords around and 2 stroke stuff doesn't last as long, that's why I bought a Ryobi 4 stroke lo these many years ago, IIRC it was 2004? It does everything I ask of it and more, other than changing the oil yearly, finally having to replace the shaft this year (~$55) and going through the carb every other year for ethanol issues (yes, ethanol does destroy hoses etc) it's been great. Yeah it does vibrate, but so what? The 2 strokes I bought before (including a Ryobi) were good for maybe 2-3 years before needing replacement.

Nick_Comstock
Nick_Comstock PowerDork
6/7/15 9:38 a.m.
chaparral wrote: I wonder if the 40V/58V Li-Ion packs would be any good at powering a kid kart. Anyone have peak power / stored energy figures for them? Two stroke reliability tips. 1) Change the pumper carburetor diaphragms every year. They cost less than $5. Having a carb that won't pump fuel is frustrating. 2) Run 100-octane aviation gasoline and Motul 800 oil. $5.xx/gal at your local airport, no ethanol, 2 year shelf life in a metal can. Having fuel that will not burn is frustrating. Having a carb that won't pump fuel is frustrating. 3) Know which way the mixture adjustment needles turn for rich and lean up top and down below and use them. Listen to the engine when it is running. Washing your shorts after you've cleaned off the fouled plug is frustrating. If you go leaner and the engine starts lagging when you open the throttle, you are too lean, probably on low-speed. If you go leaner at high power and the engine slows down under a steady load, you are too lean, probably on high-speed. Any 2-stroke designed after 1985 has a decent margin against detonation and overheating. If you seize one on avgas and synthetic oil east of the Pecos you should consider avoiding power tools. 4) Avgas contains fractions that evaporate down to -50 F, so if you are pumping fuel and have spark the engine will eventually start, so keep pulling. I have no rhyme or reason for when the choke will actually do something useful on most 2t power equipment, so fiddle with it and keep pulling. Swearing, giving up, then having your roommate walk out to the garage and nonchalantly start the thing on the first pull is frustrating. 5) If it eventually wears out or your no-good neighbor sticks the piston, two-stroke rebuilds are easy and the parts are cheap. There are four bearings and a piston. Gradually increase revs and load for a few minutes, let it cool down, and it'll be broken in. You should need written permission from Tommy Lydon to throw away a 2t Lawn-Boy mower. Not a reliability tip but a money-saver) Pumping losses are minimal, so fuel consumption tracks power output more directly than a four-stroke. Use the throttle lever, don't tie a rubber band around it.

You could do all that, or, put a battery in it, go trim and put the battery back on the charger when your done.

I have a really small yard. I bought a plug in electric after years of fighting a 2 stroke because I'm cheap. My next one will be battery powered.

Tactical Penguin
Tactical Penguin Dork
6/7/15 10:52 a.m.

In reply to Nick_Comstock:

Exactly. On bigger properties, I usually carry a spare 40v battery in the mag pocket of my old work khakis on the off chance I have to do a battery swap.

Another plus of electrics is that it's really nice not to have to occasionally throw a gas can in the daily.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UberDork
6/7/15 10:58 a.m.

FWIW I've had the black and decker 36v trimmer for a couple years. It works fantastic.

I have the battery leaf blower from the same system. Its great for blowing off the sidewalk/driveway after mowing, but not that great for dealing with huge piles of leaves in the fall.

My mower takes gas, but I'll go battery powered next time.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UberDork
6/7/15 10:59 a.m.
Another plus of electrics is that it's really nice not to have to occasionally throw a gas can in the daily.

Yup. Although I ride my bicycle over to the station and fill it up. Still, its annoying to have to do. And change the oil every few years. And air filter. And spark plug.

slefain
slefain UberDork
6/9/15 2:58 p.m.

Minor update.

Today I tried the Ryobi brush cutter attachment. Worked great, spun up great, cut just like a 2-stroke. I don't know about the battery life using the brush cutter because my yard isn't that big, but it chewed through the brush behind the garage with ease. No idea why Ryobi says you can't use a brush cutter with the 40v cordless power head.

slefain
slefain UberDork
6/18/15 3:15 p.m.

Another minor update on my inferior purchase:

Mowed the back yard today and intentionally didn't clear every obstacle so I had to mow around a few things, thus leaving places to use the trimmer. I edged my driveway, three raised garden boxes (4' x 8' each), the kids wood play set, the two trees, around the garage (three car) and around the pergola. I then slapped on the brush cutter and went medieval on the brush along my side and back fence, mainly briars.

When I was done I still had 3/4 of the battery left. It was awesome. Walk to the garage, grab the trimmer, slap the battery in it, and I was getting stuff done within seconds.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper UltimaDork
6/19/15 5:01 a.m.

Thanks for those updates.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper UltimaDork
6/23/15 9:03 a.m.

Was in home depot yesterday, so i played with the battery trimmets a littlr. I can see why you chose what you did. Light, nice balance, good head angle, interchangeable tool ends.

The Dewalt felt a little better (a very little), but no interchangeable parts and the motor was down in the grass.

Echo had an expensive~70 volt thing, but god was it heavy.

I can see that ryobi tool showing up im several houses i know. All because there is no muss or fuss or handle pulling to start.

MattGent
MattGent Reader
6/23/15 9:19 a.m.
Enyar wrote: I have a 18V trimmer that shares batteries with all my other power tools and I love it. It does 90% of what I could ask it for though next time I will spring for a more powerful 40v like you have. Mine is a little over a year old.

I've been waffling on picking up the 18V trimmer ($50 w/o battery) to use my existing Ryobi LiIon batteries & charger. In the store though, it feels like a toy. Plastic and awkward. The 40V unit looks more like a real tool.

I have a 2stroke Lowes (Troy?) trimmer, with edger and blower attachments. It worked well for 6-7 years when I used it regularly. Now it sits (have lawn service) and has fuel supply issues. The carb doesn't look like it comes apart, and is $70 to replace so that's a no-go.

$50 easy button seems the way to go, I just hate to give up on the one I have, with all its attachments, for one that I'll be disappointed with its performance.

slefain
slefain UberDork
6/23/15 12:39 p.m.

s

foxtrapper wrote:

Was in home depot yesterday, so i played with the battery trimmets a littlr. I can see why you chose what you did. Light, nice balance, good head angle, interchangeable tool ends.

The Dewalt felt a little better (a very little), but no interchangeable parts and the motor was down in the grass.

Echo had an expensive~70 volt thing, but god was it heavy.

I can see that ryobi tool showing up im several houses i know. All because there is no muss or fuss or handle pulling to start.

Ryobi has two 40v trimmer, you have to make sure the one you get is the attachment version.

The Echo unit does have a brushless motor at least, which is nice. I'm not sure if the higher voltage makes that much of a difference though. And the Echo unit is $100 more, which is more than I was willing to spend on my experiment.

slefain
slefain UberDork
7/20/15 8:24 a.m.

Captain's Log: Stardate 93152.05

Mowed the front and back yards Saturday. Trimmed the kids swing set, one side of the garage, the front fence, all the raised garden beds, the back of the pergola, two small flower beds, and some random stuff in the cracks of the driveway.

I haven't charged the battery since my June 18th update. I still have half a charge according to the on-board battery pack meter. We'll see how many sessions I get on a single charge.

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave MegaDork
7/20/15 8:48 a.m.

How well do these things deal with sitting? My wife's family has a cabin that gets visited from 0 to 3 times a year. The first day is spent weed eating. Since the things sit, they go bad rapidly. Is one of these the answer? Arrive, turn on the power, charge for an hour, and then weed eat without having to deal with gas motors? The concern would be if the batteries respond to sitting any better than gas motors do. Obviously electric motors don't care.

slefain
slefain UberDork
7/20/15 10:01 a.m.
DILYSI Dave wrote: How well do these things deal with sitting? My wife's family has a cabin that gets visited from 0 to 3 times a year. The first day is spent weed eating. Since the things sit, they go bad rapidly. Is one of these the answer? Arrive, turn on the power, charge for an hour, and then weed eat without having to deal with gas motors? The concern would be if the batteries respond to sitting any better than gas motors do. Obviously electric motors don't care.

As long as the battery never freezes, I'd think it would be fine. Supposedly a full charge takes 90 minutes. After a long drive to the sticks I'd much rather slap in a battery than fight a mothballed 2-stroke.

Also, with the attachment capable trimmer it is really compact once it is taken apart. If you ditch the safety shield it is even smaller.

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave MegaDork
7/20/15 10:54 a.m.

Hmm. I bet the place freezes pretty regularly. No HVAC (heat is via wood stove), and no internal plumbing (hand pump on the well). Maybe a no-go.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
7/20/15 11:29 a.m.

In reply to DILYSI Dave:

Well, one advantage of it being electric is you may be able to just bring it wth you from home. It seems often the lack of desire in transporting a gas trimmer is the risk of fuel leaking, odors and bringing additional fuel.

If freezing is a concern, it wouldn't be a problem for me to store them in the basement for the winter.

Good to hear the Ryobi last so long on a charge. That alone might be reason enough to replace my B&D version.

Mike
Mike GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/20/15 12:37 p.m.

I just bought the 40v Kobalt mower from Lowes. It runs on a single 40v pack, but has two bays, includes two packs, and switches from one pack to the next automatically. It's impressive enough that I want the line trimmer in the system, but my $99 two stroke outlived my Honda mower, and starts like day one, even with minimal care. I'd probably go rechargeable today just to skip having to keep gas and oil around.

I am sick of dealing with line. Fiddling with line is probably 40% of the job, by time.

Derick Freese
Derick Freese UltraDork
7/20/15 2:26 p.m.

Use good line and you won't have to fiddle with it as much. Use the biggest stuff that your head will accept.

slefain
slefain UberDork
9/1/15 10:23 a.m.

Update time!

Friday I trimmed the front of the house next to the street (3 feet wide by about 75 feet long), along one side of the garage, around the kids playhouse, behind the pergola (20 feet by a few inches wide), and a few square feet around the blueberry bushes.

After all that it finally says I have 1/4 battery life left. I haven't charged the battery since the first of June. I'd wager I can make it one more mow before I have to charge it. That would mean I only have to charge it maybe 2x a year.

Oh, and as a bonus I'm still recovering from having my guts stitched together, so I'm not allowed to lift more than 20 pounds. I was comfortable the whole time I was trimming. It weights almost 12 pounds, but it is balanced. I'm fairly sure I would not have been very comfortable yanking on a starter cord at this point in my recovery.

So after three months I'd say I'm still happy with it.

neon4891
neon4891 MegaDork
9/1/15 10:29 a.m.

Nice. Wait, today is September?!(just noticed on your post date)

procker
procker Reader
9/1/15 8:25 p.m.

Curious as to how the 40v compare with the 18v that the cordless power tools use... Glad to hear Ryobi seems like a brand that works as its on my short list for cordless tools.

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