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263 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  iko
cyl head melted a bit the other day while mowing and blew out the head gasket, should i be using premium fuel in this engine?
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Several things could have caused your problem.
The head gasket could have been leaking a bit which caused the head to melt in that area.
The head could have been warped which lead to the gasket failure and melting.
Loose head bolt.
Cooling fins full of crud which started the overheating and lead to the above.

If fuel or timing related these engines tend to rattle, (preignition) quite noticeably.

Back to your fuel question. In stock form these engines are pretty low compression. That means they don't require high octane fuel. 87 should be fine.

I prefer to run ethanol free fuel in my small engines. 93 premium was the only thing available for awhile. Then the local gas stations changed to 91 premium. Next a new station opened up with 89 ethanol free to cater to the boat community. Recently a new Quick Trip opened with 87 ethanol free "recreational" fuel. That's what I'm currently using. I have had no fuel related issues with any of these options.

I know others on the site don't have access to ethanol free fuel. They each have their own methods for dealing with the ethanol.

Good luck.
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This is like you had a heart attack and you're wondering if you should switch to organic produce. Unfortunately there's no easy fix, I think you have to accept this. Like it's been said, the cause for what happened can be one of many. But for sure there was overheating.

What you need is a full assessment of that engine. The engine overheats, for instance, if it runs lean. So, did it get too little gas because your gas line was clogged, or was it crud in the tank, or some crud in the carb? Was there too much air getting in through the carb (by the gasket, or various orifices), or by the head gasket, or by the sparkplug? Was timing off?
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