Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

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Peter, Memphis TN
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Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by Peter, Memphis TN » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:24 am

I'm curious - which do you prefer? Both claim to stabilize gasoline in the tank, although neither says how long. And, is there a third choice I don't know about?


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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by Kenny Edmondson » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:33 am

I never use anything. My T has sat in the trailer since last October. Pulled it up to a tour this weekend and it started right up and ran fine. I did top off the tires with air before leaving.
I’ve had boats, antique tractors and engines which never had any issues either.

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Steve Jelf
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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:04 am

Isn't Heet in that same category? I don't use any of them.
The inevitable often happens.
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Nunsio1
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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by Nunsio1 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:05 am

I have used both products for years, Sea Foam is very good but is used as a fuel cleaner, also can be used in oil to clean crankcase. Sta Bil is used as a fuel treatment for off season storage, but it will only last 1 season & needs to be redone for the next season.


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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by Adam » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:20 am

There is no substitute for clean, fresh fuel.

The Model T fuel system is a poor place to store fuel, no matter what additives you put in it.

Draining your fuel system thru the sediment bulb on the bottom of the tank AND the carburetor bowl at the end of the driving season and promptly using up that gasoline in something else is the best course of action.

Many people do get away with “storing” gas in their T for several months, but some people also wind up with fuel system problems. Why risk it? It only takes a couple minutes to drain the gas.

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Pep C Strebeck
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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by Pep C Strebeck » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:36 am

Peter, Memphis TN wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:24 am
Both claim to stabilize gasoline in the tank, although neither says how long.
The label on the bottle says "UP TO 24 MONTHS". If I am going to store something for 2 years, I would definitely drain out the gas.
IMG_6490_2_2.JPG
Depending on how long something is going to sit and how much fuel is in it, those are the deciding factors for me if I am going to drain the gas or let it sit. If I drain the gas I still add the Sta-Bil when there is just a small bit left and then run the engine/carburetor dry. I do not use Sta-Bil on anything 2 cycle, the 2 cycle oil that I use (Stihl) has fuel stabilizer already in it.

I had an old lawn edger that had not been run in quite some time and when I started it it looked like I was trying to lay down a smoke screen. No matter what it would not stop smoking. I ran a tank of gas through it with Seafoam and it never happened again.
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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by DHort » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:29 pm

Star Tron is your other option. This is what was recommended to me by the local small engine repair facility. They like it better than Sta-Bil. I have no idea which is better or if they are as useful as Marvel Mystery Oil.

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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by bill goodheart » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:40 pm

Last Summer I bought a new pressure washer which came with a rebate for a bottle of ETHANOL SHIELD, which I had never heard of. I bought some, got the rebate and am using that. Also I bought a new snowblower from a local small engine shop and Husqvarna dealer. he sells the ETHANOL SHIELD and recommends it. I have no idea if it is any better than anything else. Probably they are all the same thing, just a different color.


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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by Scottio » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:24 pm

Here in California the gas will plug up carburetor jets in small engines and motorcycles in a month or so. I tell my customers to use sta bill or drain the system if they are not going to use their bike for a while, draining is better. I had a bad and very expensive experience with seafoam so I won’t use it or recommend it. However in my T I may splash a little stabill in the tank now and then but it has set for a winter with straight gas in it with no problem. Note; either store your car with a completely full tank or an empty tank. Any metal tank will rust due to condensation above the fuel level.


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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by HaroldRJr » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:32 pm

This is just personal opinion, based mostly bad experience I've had with "modern" gasoline, and most of all, from what I have learned from long time regular reading of this forum. However, I am convinced that one reason that there are so many differing accounts of "bad experience", or, "no bad experience" with "modern gasoline" has to do with how humid the climate is where such experience takes place. I believe that over long-time (read, several months or more) storage of Model T with modern gasoline in it, the fuel absorbs water, just from humidity, and eventually, the water separates from the fuel and settles at the bottom of the gasoline tank, or, if carburetor wasn't drained (or run dry), a bit of water can even settle in the bottom of the carburetor float chamber. And, any amount of water, settling in the bottom of any quantity of gasoline cannot be a good thing, right? Again,....just my "opinion", FWIW,.....harold

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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by twrenn » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:38 pm

They can say what they want about "not needing stabilizer to store fuel for several months"...I can tell you this...
in several years of not using any stabilizer in my 1994 T-bird which NEVER leaves the garage from Nov. thru April, each spring the "check engine light" would come on upon first run of the season (even after running it "in place" several times thru the winter), and the engine would run like CRAP. So I started putting StaBil in the tank every November, topped it off to make sure it mixed in, by the time I drove car home figured it's in the fuel rail and shut the car down. End of problems the next spring. Virtually EVERY spring since! I'll keep using it! And of course I lay up the T's with it, fill the tank to the literal rim, tape the vent hole, shut off the potato, run the carb dry, then drain the potato and the carb. Never have any problems. Just my two cents! :)

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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:12 pm

A number of posters here have hit it on the head. Want it to run after an extended lay over ? Drain it. Guaranteed start. Additives cannot and do not extend the useable life of gasoline. It's not possible. Believe what you will but this stuff is what they used to hawk at state fairs 100+ years ago out the back of wagons.
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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by TRDxB2 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:31 pm

Harold is right on. There are numerous blogs on the Internet noting how gasohol, E10, with 10% ethanol absorb can cause some issues in a fuel system. Having said that, there is a significant difference in the Model T system and Modern systems. The T system is vented through the gas cap hole so air (contains moisture) can enter the tank and not create a vacuum. Modern fuel systems are enclosed systems so gas fumes don't escape into the atmosphere. The alcohol absorbs moisture until it reaches its saturation point, and the unabsorbed water settles to the bottom of the tank. . This link has an excellent explanation on E10 from Popular Mechanics
https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/h ... ge-engine/
Bottom line - Its just a good idea to, at least, o drain your sediment bulb at the end of the season. If your curious about fuel issues, put that fluid in a clear, fuel safe, container to see if anything settles out after a few days.


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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by HaroldRJr » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:58 pm

Thank you for the support and kind words Frank. And that Popular Mechanics article is the best I've ever read on the subject! What I was awkwardly trying to describe in my post above is what the Popular Mechanics article calls "phase separation". One of several points made in that article that I found particularly interesting was the fact that the article stated that if nothing else, "at least drain the sediment bowl"! (.....because water will separate out of even a very small quantity of "modern" fuel) That convinces me even more that when I could not get my Model T engine to even "pop" (let alone start) when first trying to start the engine for the first time that Spring a couple years ago, was because there was water in the bottom of my carburetor float chamber!

Thanks again for that Popular Mechanics article Frank! When read very carefully, it fully explains why some of us have had trouble with our Model T's due to this terrible modern gasoline!


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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by HaroldRJr » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:34 pm

.......Oops! My mistake! It was in this forum where a couple of guys mentioned draining and the sediment bowl or "potato"! Good advice at any rate,.....harold

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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by TRDxB2 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:33 pm

"Water in the Gas" has always been an issue. Sometimes a fault at the gas station and fuel system designs prior to the 1980's that required a vented system. As you recall a popular additive back then and even mow is HEAT, an additive advertised as an antifreeze and in the fine print a water absorbent. Another article states "Ethanol is heavier than gasoline, which means it will settle in the bottom of your gas tank. Ethanol is also hygroscopic; this means the lower layer in your gas tank contains a great deal of water. Because most cars draw fuel from the bottom of the gas tank, your fuel problem just got really serious. An E10 gasoline blend has a 90-day shelf life in a closed tank, but only lasts 30 to 45 days in the vented gas tanks we have in classic cars. With a 10 percent ethanol blend you should replace the fuel in a vented tank about once a month." Now this somewhat misleading. I am not defending modern gas - just trying to point out that there has always been an issue with water forming in a gas tank.


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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by HaroldRJr » Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:50 pm

.....and just to add a bit of "food for thought",.....there must be a reason those ol' timers took the trouble to fill those old Evinrude outboard motors by pouring the gasoline through a chamois skin, right? Even back then, they found out pretty quick that even a very tiny amount of water in the gasoline caused "big trouble"!


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Re: Sta-Bil or Seafoam?

Post by Gonenorth » Wed May 01, 2019 7:01 am

I have tried Seafoam and Stabil. Seafoam never seemed to do a great deal except maybe clean the carb some. I always thought the red Stabil was fine with the old gasoline formulations prior to oxygenated fuels, but is useless with them now. We've had better luck with the Marine Stabil keeping moisture from condensing in the fuel tanks in a number of vehicles and "toys". That being said, I would never leave fuel in any tank over three months regardless of what I had in it. During the off season, EVERYTHING I have that has fuel in the tank (outboards, snowmobiles, lawn equipment, generators, Model T's, etc.) gets drained. Most of the stuff will be fine going in the truck where it will get used up. Some of it will light up the brush pile in winter, but I never let it just sit in there.

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