Discussion in 'Technical & Maintenance' started by Wayne, Sep 29, 2017.
Has anyone here used Fitch fuel catalyst?
I heard it was ideal for generators, one pill and never dissolves, keeps carb clean. I was thinking probably good for bikes and quads than don't get much use.
If it worked and was that good wouldn't it be included on every engine or at least bought up by one of the big manufacturers an made as an exclusive selling point for their engines?
The other side of the coin is the claim that it it reformulates gasoline. So what it took a giant billion dollar refinery to produce, one little non dissolving pill will reformulate into a better fuel, increasing horsepower and torque while providing better fuel mileage? I wonder if it will regrow my hair while it is at it.
I disagree. I have no idea on this product, which is why I asked the question. BUT if it does indeed stabilizer fuel, I don't think any manufacturer would want it as I'm sure there is a lot of money being made in service departments.
This product was brought to my attention by a local dealer. He said every year they would be busy with small engine repairs which most of the time was from gummed up carburetors. And once they starting selling this product with their machines, they never see them returning with carb issues.
I don't think I need it for my truck or bikes. But I think it is probably worth a try for my generator AND quad which only gets used maybe once a year.
I have used Seafoam for the better part of a decade. Never had any trouble with fuel. The snowblower sits for half the year and the lawnmower for the other half. My generator gets started once or twice a year to make sure it works.
I would have to disagree with the money making service department idea. Take Yamaha outboards for example. They have a tremendous reputation for reliability. I would seriously doubt that Yamaha would hurt that reputation and selling point by hoping customers would keep returning to have their gummed up fuel systems serviced if it could be made more reliable with a simple addition to the fuel system.
Just think about it. The product has been on the go for 20 years and is not widely accepted by industry. If it truly reduced emissions and improved combustion governments and regulatory bodies would mandate it be used in the auto industry just like catalytic converters. To correlate a service centres sales of the product to reduced returning customers because of the effect of the the product is a bit of a stretch. Maybe the product stabilizes fuel. Maybe the customers are now more aware of the cause of the fouled carbs and change their fuel more often. Maybe they have the same carb problems and feel burned by the dealer selling them something that didn’t work and took their business elsewhere.
It is healthy to be a little skeptical when it comes to miracle products. But it is your money.
I don't think it would hurt anything other than your wallet. As a chemist with a little knowledge of catalysis, fuels and chemical reactions let's just say I am skeptical that this product could have any measureable affect on carburetor deposits, emissions, fuel economy, power output, torque increase, engine life etc. The fact that the claims say it does ALL of this (and much more) is just a bit beyond the realm of believability. Quite simply, there is no magic "stuff" out there.
The kind of catalytic reforming they are talking about cannot happen at room temperature in your fuel tank with stable hydrocarbon molecules. Chemical changes of the type claimed require energy input; not to mention the additional hydrogen etc. While a catalyst can lower the "activation energy" for a chemical reaction, it cannot drive a chemical reaction that isn't thermodynamically favoured. In terms of mileage/power improvements, gasoline has a certain amount of energy that may be released by chemical oxidation (burning in the cylinder). A catalyst cannot add potential energy to a fuel. While you can fabricate fuels with a bit more potential chemical energy per kilogram, this is impossible without using energy inputs at least as great as the additional energy this fuel will produce when it is burned. You CAN'T get something for nothing. Anything that could demonstrate anything close to the claims in scientifically verifiable experiments would literally be worth billions of dollars!! (I read some of the testimonials on this product family and the results are far more anecdotal than proven fact - in my opinion.)
I would love to be wrong about this but I'm pretty sure I'm not!
Thank you Hunterson and Ross for your input.
I don't like to rain on anyone's parade and I certainly don't have personal experience with this product. However, someone would have to provide me with awfully convincing evidence before I would even consider something like this. I can't tell you that the stuff won't do anything but I can guarantee that, based upon my knowledge of chemistry, it won't (CAN'T) have the range of benefits that are claimed (and certainly not to the extent claimed). "Magic" products hidden behind a bunch of pseudo-scientific babble...
If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
I know nothing about the chemistry and was only looking at the gas stabilization of this product. So does Sta-bil gas stabilizer work?
Again, it doesn't hurt anything and, at least in this case, it is cheap. I use it for motorcycle winter storage - more because it MIGHT prevent an issue than because I'm convinced that it will prevent problems. (I also make sure that the tank is 100% full as this WILL reduce the likelihood of moisture condensation in the fuel system.) The majority of the content of Stabil is "petroleum distillate" (i.e. something fuel-ish like kerosene) with "additives". Supposedly these (unidentified) additives inhibit oxidation and consequent gum/varnish formation. Bigger issue for carbureted engines then for FI. Again, it is difficult to find much other than anecdotal evidence. I put products like Seafoam in the same category. It is POSSIBLE that they could help clean stuff out because they have different solvent properties than gasoline. I sometimes use Seafoam when I am imagining a problem with fuel delivery and I sometimes imagine that it helps.
I've been storing a carbureted 1984 Toyota yearly since 1993. All I've ever used it Sta-bil and storage oil and never ever had any issues. So I can only assume the Sta-bil does help.
I use the sta-bil in my motorcycles and quad too.
So based on the info here, I will use it in my generator too.
Good idea. Also, keep your gas cans full with little or no headspace.
Note for products like gas-line antifreeze. This stuff used to be useful to dissolve small blobs of water or ice that would end out in the gas from condensation (or bad fuel). This would actually work well for a frozen-up system as long as there wasn't too much water/ice. Gas line antifreeze is nothing but alcohol which acts as a co-solvent to enable the water to actually dissolve in the gas and not block the lines when it froze. Our ethanol-laced fuels will not benefit from a gas-line antifreeze since they already contain lots of alcohol. Modern gas can absorb a fair amount of moisture without "phase separation" Unfortunately, once you hit that threshold, you can have an unholy gooey and potentially corrosive mess that may take some work to clean up!
If I think of it, I will generally try to fill the tank with premium gas (usually use regular in the FJR) and add a glug of Stabil before winter storage. Not because it is "better" but, at least in NB, premium gas doesn't contain ethanol and there is probably less chance for fuel degradation.
Since we are kinda on topic...
What is the percentage of Ethanol in our NL gasoline? Also, I have always heard there is a summer and winter blend of gasoline? Is our winter blend just gasoline with a higher ethanol content?
I always hear people on various forums (usually American members) complaining about gasoline mixtures containing ethanol and how it really messes up the fuel system in recreational products, older cars, small yard equipment etc. I have never experienced such problems with any of my gear so I have always blindly assumed that NL does not market ethanol fuels?
From what I gather, high content ethanol fuels will not work very well in sub zero environments (like Canadian winters). Something about the lower energy density and higher flash point causing poor starting conditions in cold weather conditions. Ross?
On the pumps it says it MAY contain 10%ethanol on the reg/mid grades but no such sticker is on the premium. I can only assume it has to do with which refinery the fuel is purchased from.
Yup, tanks always full for that reason during storage.
I think that in NB, regular gas generally contains right around the 10% level and "premium" has 0% but I have never measured it. We have a few stations that claim to sell non-alky regular but only in a couple of places.
Generally speaking, "winter" formulations are a bit different. I don't think there is a difference in alcohol content but there is a higher proportion of "volatiles" which are easier to ignite - more important with carbureted engines than with fuel injected ones. (Volatiles include butane and pentane.) Alcohol definitely has a higher flash point but I don't know whether it makes a big difference in the flashpoint of the mixture when present at 10%. I have never had any issues with cold starts with my car and it gets pretty cold here. More of an issue with degraded battery performance and thickened engine oil when it gets will below -20 °C. (My performance drops at that point too!!)
Ethyl alcohol has about three quarters of the energy density as gasoline - at 10%, it means that the energy content (BTU) of a litre is something like 2% lower compared to the non-alcohol version.
Does anyone use fogging oil in their machines for storage? I used it once some years ago. I have no idea if it did anything or was a waste of money.
I've used fogging oil in the carb of my truck when I store it for the winter, since 1993. No carb issues
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