Whisperlite and Gasoline

8:50 a.m. on January 25, 2013 (EST)
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Not too long ago I purchased a used whisperlite at a garage sale. I still haven't actually used it though, as I pack a Pocket Rocket for emergencies while wandering in the woods.  This summer I'm going to start doing some motorcycle touring. It would be great if if could use fuel from the bike to refill the bottle when it gets low, and even better if I could use the stove fuel as an emergency reserve for the bike (multi-tasking!). 

My Whisperlite is one of the pre-shaker jet models. I know the International/Universal models are rated for gasoline, and not the (current) standard, but I've been doing checking elsewhere and found accounts of people using gasoline without issue "for years". I'd like to avoid spending a hundred dollars on yet another stove if I can, as I'm going to have to buy the wife a sleeping bag & pad, as well as all the riding gear. Taking info I find on the internet with a grain of salt however, I figured I should ask experienced opinions before I try something I might regret.

So... Anyone have any experience using gasoline in a Whisperlite?

10:37 a.m. on January 25, 2013 (EST)
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aniyn said:

Not too long ago I purchased a used whisperlite at a garage sale. I still haven't actually used it though, as I pack a Pocket Rocket for emergencies while wandering in the woods.  This summer I'm going to start doing some motorcycle touring. It would be great if if could use fuel from the bike to refill the bottle when it gets low, and even better if I could use the stove fuel as an emergency reserve for the bike (multi-tasking!). 

My Whisperlite is one of the pre-shaker jet models. I know the International/Universal models are rated for gasoline, and not the (current) standard, but I've been doing checking elsewhere and found accounts of people using gasoline without issue "for years". I'd like to avoid spending a hundred dollars on yet another stove if I can, as I'm going to have to buy the wife a sleeping bag & pad, as well as all the riding gear. Taking info I find on the internet with a grain of salt however, I figured I should ask experienced opinions before I try something I might regret.

So... Anyone have any experience using gasoline in a Whisperlite?

 Aniyn, yes you can burn autogas in a basic Whisperlite. HOWEVER!!! there are a number of precautions. The chemicals in autogas that help keep the injectors/carbs/etc clean and reduce emissions in autogas will clog the jet of the Whisperlite fairly quickly. Back in the bad old days of leaded gas, there was also lead buildup, plus the vaporized lead compounds were rather bad to breathe, even from a few feet away (buildup of lead in the bloodstream). Another problem is that autogas is more volatile and flammable than "white gas" (actually naphtha is the main ingredient in Coleman and other fuels intended for backpacking stoves). So lots of caution and space from other things that might burn (synthetic clothing, tents, etc) because of potential flareups.

I have burned a lot of fuels in my Whisperlite International and XGK - white gas (the real white gas, which is the base part of autogas), Coleman and similar stove fuels, avgas (80, 100, and 100LL), kerosene, JP-4 (jet fuel siphoned from a Huey), auto/truck diesel, and even 3rd world marine diesel (you really really really do not want to burn 3rd world marine diesel unless you have the kerosene jet installed, plus a serious emergency, and a willingness to spend lots of time overhauling the stove completely, cleaning all the tar-y deposits.

It is really worth it to use the real stuff unless you have an emergency.

12:18 p.m. on January 25, 2013 (EST)
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My buddies who ride snowmachines all winter use whisperlite international stoves. They carry stove fuel, but have all used snowmachine gas in them. Its mixed for a two stroke so a little less octane from dilution, but slightly thicker. Really, not much thicker, just in principle it has to be thicker from the oil. This fuel works well and I havent seen them have a lot of gumming up problems. I would experiment with your stove at home, if straight gas is too combustible to manage safely, maybe a touch of oil mixed in would help.

1:12 p.m. on January 25, 2013 (EST)
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I also use the Pocket Rocket, but can't always find fuel and have resorted to buying two large ones when I do find it. I have also thought of reverting back to a MSR gasoline stove as fuel is everywhere! I used on for 20 years before getting my MSR Pocket Rocket in 2001.  Especially being I like bike touring and I got by gas stations all the time.

10:47 a.m. on January 27, 2013 (EST)
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From my days as a snowmobiler and listening to my friend, higher octane gas burns slower, not sure if that goes hand in hand with vaporization of auto gas versus Coleman/white gas, if it did, Coleman fuel would be more explosive.  I would not use either other than for their intended use.  Coleman fuel I've read has a very low octane, it would ruin a engine if used even a little if pre-ignition is like that in a snowmobile engine, where even a few minutes or less will burn a hole in a piston.  If you insist on using auto gas in a stove, get a stove that is designed to burn it.  Coleman has many models or even older models.

Duane

11:19 a.m. on January 27, 2013 (EST)
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I never had a problem from 1980 to 2001 when I used my MSR multifuel stove with unleaded auto gasoline. Unless fuel is different today? I don't drive or have ever had a motor vehicle so I know nothing about gasoline.

July 28, 2014
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