Is it time to put up your Billy Goat equipment for the winter? Taking a few steps now will prevent problems with rust, stale fuel, dead batteries and more. Here’s everything you need to do to make sure your equipment is ready to use next spring, whether you have a small pavement crack cleaner or the biggest stand on blower.
Start by cutting away any grass wrapped around axles and output shafts. These can cause binding and will wear down rotating surfaces.
Never use a pressure washer on your equipment, and never use water on the engine. This can force water inside the engine where it will contaminate the oil. When cleaning the engine, use a rag, a stiff brush or compressed air to remove any dirt buildup. Now might be a good time to remove the shroud from the engine and to a thorough wipe down of the cooling fins. The rest of your equipment can be cleaned with soap and water.
Does your engine have a spark arrestor? Remove carbon buildup by scrubbing it down with a wire brush. On Honda engines, you will need to remove the muffler cover to reach the spark arrestor. On Subaru and Briggs and Stratton engines, you only need to remove the screws holding the arrestor inside the tailpipe.
If you leave fuel in your Billy Goat’s engine, it’s going to break down, even if it was treated with a stabilizer. Draining the fuel system now will save you the headache of cleaning it out next spring.
Honda GX series engines have a removable float bowl on the base of the carburetor. To drain the fuel system, shut off the fuel valve and unscrew the bowl. Place a container beneath the carburetor and open the fuel valve. Be sure to clean the bowl and refit the O-ring before installing it on the carburetor.
For all other engines, disconnect the fuel line to the carburetor and let the gas flow into a suitable container. Reconnect the line.
Once the fuel tank and lines are empty, start the engine. Let it run until it stalls to remove any remaining gas inside the carburetor or injectors.
Combustion can leave acids in motor oil. Changing the oil now before storage will prevent these acids from damaging your engine. Oil weight recommendations for winter temperatures can be ignored as long as you don’t start the engine while in storage.
Lubrication and Rust Prevention
Lubrication doesn’t just reduce wear and friction, it creates a physical barrier between your equipment and water. This keeps parts from rusting during storage.
Apply new grease to bearings after washing your equipment. Otherwise, you may end up washing away some of this lubricant. Billy Goat recommends NLGI #2 lithium grease. You can use general-purpose, marine and automotive greases that meet this specification.
Apply spray oil or silicone lubricant to the inside of cable liners. Spray the lubricant in one end of the liner until you see the lube drip out of the other end. Use a fogging oil or silicone lubricant to coat exposed metal parts of your equipment.
To keep the piston rings from seizing, engine manufacturers recommend applying motor oil to the cylinder walls. Remove the spark plug, then put a few drops of oil in the plug hole. Place a rag in front of the hole. Turn the engine over a couple times to circulate the oil. Any excess will be pushed out of the plug hole and onto the rag. Reinstall the plug.
If you have a pressure washer, fill it with antifreeze designed for your machine’s pump. This prevents freezing and keeps the seals lubricated.
Air up each tire to the maximum pressure indicated on the sidewall. This will help keep the tires from going flat and rolling off the wheel rims.
If you have an electric start debris loader or blower, disconnect the battery and clean the terminals. Connect the battery to a trickle charger to keep the cells from discharging and crystallizing.
From sod cutters to augers, your equipment needs to be stored in a covered area for protection. Never cover your equipment in a tarp. This will trap moisture, encouraging rust formation.
Even with an empty fuel system, there may be enough gas fumes coming off your equipment to start a fire. Keep your Billy Goat away from sources of sparks and open flame, including heaters and power tools.
Get Your Equipment Ready to Work Before You Need It
Now is the perfect time to do maintenance and repairs done on your Billy Goat equipment. No matter what you need, you can get it from www.billygoatparts.com. We’re not just a Billy Goat dealer, we’re also an authorized dealer for Honda Engines, Briggs & Stratton, Subaru Power, Tuff Torq, and Billy Goat’s other manufacturing partners. That means we carry the parts and accessories you need. We can ship your order to any address in the U.S. or Canada.