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Whiplash Systems

...the VentStop(patent pending)

“The VentStop puts an end to the problems caused by the fuel tank vent hose that every machine suffers from; Fuel oxidation, water in fuel, hydrocarbon vapor pollution, hard starts, fuel varnish and gum, engine knock, and contamination.” – Whiplash Systems.

In all fairness when we first heard of this product and how it supposedly works we were skeptical.  The vent hose on your ATV gas cap is designed to allow air into the fuel tank as the fuel level decreases while the engine is running.  Without this hose or airflow, your engine would starve from the lack of fuel.  Ever try pouring gas out of a gas can without opening the vent cap?  The same problem would occur with your gas tank if it didn’t have the vent hose or air flow.

Close up of VentStopUpon actually receiving several evaluation units, we thought, “How could something so simple say it can help so much?” The second question was, “How in the world are we going to test the units and get solid evidence that the VentStops work?”  Scratching our heads and pondering several testing scenarios, we decided to put our VentStop units through the riggers of a thorough test.  This is one of those products that cannot be evaluated in a short-term test.  So we sat out to do a long-term evaluation.  We tested our units on three quads:  A 96 Yamaha Warrior, a 93 Warrior, and the final quad being a 97 Kawasaki 4X4 Prairie.  All three quads have been religiously maintained.  Multiple oil changes per year, airbox lid problems corrected with a Proflow adaptor (Warriors only), carburetors have been annually cleaned, high quality gas has been used in each tank fill up, etc.  You get the picture.

Of these quads, the Warriors are the hardest to start in all conditions.  Not overly surprising due to their engine’s age and years of heavy to hard use. No internal modifications have been made to these engines.  They are bone stock.

The VentStop is made of a high quality metal and its polished metal look will blend nicely with any chrome handlebars.  At the time of writing this article, the product is holding up well and shows noVentstop used in its application signs of wear.  Installation of the VentStop was a snap.  You can install the VentStop on your right handle bar brake reservoir or brake lever perch (bottom bolt) or anywhere you have a similar sized bolt.  We choose the recommended location on the Warriors, but we had to place the VentStop on the upper bolt for the Prairie, as the throttle cable would interfere with an installation on the bottom.  Wherever you install the VentStop, be sure you save the bolt that you take out.  We recommend you put the bolt in a ziplock bag or sandwich bag labeled appropriately for safekeeping.

Use of the product is pretty simple.  When you are done riding and you turn off your quad, take the end of your vent hose and plug it into the VentStop.  When it’s time to start your quad, simply unplug your vent hose, and place it back in its normal location.  That’s it!  An initial problem we encountered was that the Prairie’s vent hose appeared to be too large (diameter wise) for the VentStop.  With a little pushing and squeezing the end of the hose, we were able to finally put the vent hose into the VentStop.  After several more installations and removals, the vent hose became easier to push into the VentStop.

Over a 4 month plus evaluation period the Warriors were ridden the way they were designed: Sport/Recreational Riding.  We raced around heavily wooded trails, moderate to steep hill climbs, creek crossings (Lots of water), sand bars, mud running, occasional MX track riding, run WOT down gravel roads and old abandon railroad beds for miles, and crawled up and down steep rocky tree rutted hills at a snails pace.

The Prairie was used as it was designed:  Utility work.  Our Prairie is used to mow over 8 acres of grass per week.  Average mowing time is around 6 to 7 hrs per mow.  The mowing was completed with an average weather temperature of 85+ degrees.  Some occasions the temps were well in the upper 90’s.  On several occasions we used the Prairie to pull a wagon full of firewood from the woods.  The Prairie was also utilized to transport its owner and his fishing equipment to his favorite fishing hole.  This required crossing a creek several times to reach the “Honey Hole.”  The final test was a mud run with the Prairie.  The Prairie with its 4X4 traction and powerful engine was needed several times to extract other quads from the muskeg (Mud).  The different types of riding, uses, and conditions were just the type of riding needed to fully test the units.

Our first test was to see if Whiplash’s claim of condensation really does occur within the tank.

“Water in Fuel
When humid air is drawn into your fuel tank, the water vapor condenses on the inner walls of the fuel tank, like the bathroom mirror after you shower. This condensed water, now in droplet form, runs down into the fuel due to gravity. The result is hard starting, miss firing, engine damage, and poor performance.”

As the Prairie was used to mow grass, it would routinely see slow paced work with higher than normal engine temps.  The external radiator fan would consistently run after an hour or two of mowing.  We never had the hot water temp light come on, but from the heat being generated from the engine you could definitely tell the engine was producing high temps.  While mowing we would take necessary breaks to refuel and allow the engines (quad and mower) to cool down.  This is where Whiplash claims the condensation occurs.  Here is how we decided to test this claim:  We did not use the VentStop during the first weeks of testing on the Prairie.  We allowed the vent hose to sit where it normally would and continued to perform its designed function.

We took the vent hose off of the quad after several lengthy cool downs and blew a shot of air through the hose while it was directed toward a piece of thin paper.  If there was water in it, the air would surely blow it out and onto the paper.  No dice.  No moisture or any type of liquid was found.  We thought for sure if Whiplash’s claims were true, we would find condensation.  Hmmm…

Ok, time to use some of that 8th grade science knowledge we stored away for just this purpose.  Lets make our own test.  We took a glass jar, put a make shift stopper with a hole in it at the top, heated the jar with a blaze jelled methanol chafing dish fuel (Camping fire fuel for outdoor cooking).  We let the jar heat up till it was hot to touch and then allowed it to cool.  As it cooled we found that condensation formed on the inside of the jar.  Ta-Da, Whiplash’s claim is true.  Logic tell us that a quad’s fuel tank is essentially the same type of setup as our jar test, so yes, condensation can occur within the gas tank during cooling down periods.  Ever wonder why your Dad always told you to put the gas cap back on the gas can after you poured gas from it?  Now you know why.

Our second test was to see if Whiplash’s claim of Solid Particle Fuel Contamination occurs.

“Solid Particle Fuel Contamination
As the temperature of your fuel decreases, air from the surrounding environment is drawn into the fuel tank through the vent hose. This air contains thousands of unique, destructive particles. This includes; Dust, water (humidity), and debris from highway transport. The result is damaged cylinder walls.”

We decided that the best way to test this was to ride our quads without using the VentStop during cool downs.  We would then take the vent hose off after our cool down periods, use a regular Q-Tip to insert into the ends of the hose and see if we could get some dirt or dust particles on the Q-Tip.  Success!!  Wait, that’s bad.  This means our gas is being contaminated on a regular basis.  Boy, are we glad we have installed fuel filters to catch those particles.  Again we ask, “Ever wonder why your Dad always told you to put the gas cap back on the gas can after you poured gas from it? ”  To keep dirt, dust, and moister out of the gas can.  Hmm…Whiplash is really onto something with this VentStop.

One problem we encountered was after dusty or muddy riding, our VentStops would collect dirt and mud.  If we were to plug are vent hose into the VentStops it was obvious we could eliminate the benefits of the VentStop as contaminates could get into the end of the hose and pulled into the gas tank during normal operation.  We found a solution to this problem with a rubber cap devise we found at our local hardware store.  This rubber piece easily fit over the VentStop and kept it clean.  Our other problem was where would we keep the rubber cap when the vent hose was plug in?  We quickly found that the throttle stop screw, if your quad has one, works great.

After our first two weeks of use, our Warriors still started hard. The Prairie, never having any difficulty starting, had little notice of improvement. We started to doubt the claims that this would be the cure for the hard starting problems. But, we contributed these hard starts to the all ready contaminated gas and contaminates still residing inside the tank.

We found that once you consistently used the VentStop, our hard starts started to subside.  A few more tanks full of clean gas and our test quads ran better and started much easier than before.  Was it the VentStop doing its job or was it just better gas from each fill up?  We made sure that the same gas can was used to fill each quad and that the same type of gas was used during each tank full.

Over the next several months, our VentStops were producing results.  We rode during numerous hot humid days. Coupled with several very cool overnights. Our temperatures would fluctuate from 90 degrees plus and then the cool overnights would plump-it down to the middle to upper fifties.  This huge difference in air temperatures gave our VentStops the ultimate test to see whether they would keep out those harmful enemies that attack your gas and turn it into power robbing droplets.  We noticed a big difference in the ease of starting our quads.  We even noticed a slight increase in throttle response.  Again, was it the VentStop doing its job or just better gas?

Our Conclusion:

Water and Gasoline Doesn't Mix.

Water in gasoline is a serious problem. It causes carburetor corrosion along with a host of other ill effects.  Moreover, the engine won't even run if there is too much water in the fuel system.  Can you ruin a perfectly good motor by using poor fuel? You bet, and it happens all the time. It can be an extremely painful lesson with the current cost of engine rebuilds.  Worst of all, the process may not take very long -- sometimes less than one riding season.

While there are some additives on the market that use alcohol to absorb a small amount of water, the only sure way to get water out of a tank is to empty your tank and fill it with good gas or you can extract the water out. Water, being heavier than oil or gasoline, will always go to the bottom of the tank. Empty out an amount of liquid (water & gas) through the fuel hose and then allow clean gas through the fuel lines until they are completely flushed.  We also recommend that you empty and flush the float bowl as well.  Unfortunately, you cannot always keep all of the water out of your gas. Once there's enough water in the gas, your best bet is to completely empty the gas tank and refill with fresh gas.

The best way to avoid water problems is to keep it out of the fuel in the first place. Always keeping the tank full to eliminate moisture condensation is a good start. But, who can always keep their quad’s fuel tank completely full?  Not us.

Dirt/Dust Particles and Gasoline Doesn’t Mix.

Dirty gas and your quad’s engine is a quick recipe for a grenading engine or at the very least a shorter engine life.  Dirty gas can cause a loss of power and compression due to piston expansion and/or metal fragments contaminating the interior of the cylinder. Seizures can be total (piston will not move) or partial (piston moves but has scored the cylinder wall).  Keeping dirt and grime out of your gas is important.  We highly recommend you install an inline fuel filter to help stop these destructive particles from reaching your engine.

We were unable to test the claim of fuel oxidation/varnish and gum formation as describe by Whiplash.

“Fuel Oxidation/Varnish and Gum Formation
As your fuel is mixed with oxygen from the surrounding air, oxidation occurs. The by-product of fuel oxidation is the production of large molecules, also known as Varnish and Gum. The result is a dirty carburetor and a stiff fuel shut-off lever.”

We never let the gas sit long enough to test this.  We do recommend that you use a fuel additive or stabilizer if your quad or your gas in a gas can does sit for a long period of time.  These additives or stabilizers will stabilize your fuel keeping it from forming the varnish and gum contaminants.  Some additives also reduces cylinder-head combustion temperatures as well as inhibits both carbon buildup and corrosion. They can also help to keep the fuel system clean, while reducing harmful emissions.

During our 4 month plus evaluation period we found the VentStop won’t be the miracle cure the first time you use it.  If you use it as advertised and use it on a regular basis, you will notice results and you will keep the gas within your quad's tank clean from contaminants.  Cleaner gas will give you higher performance and longer engine life. The VentStop is only $19.95.   You can easily spend ten times that on engine repairs.  Combine the VentStop with an inline fuel filter and treat your gas from the gas can the same, by keeping it free from dirt and water, your quad will run better and cleaner.

Contact Info:
Whiplash Systems
Donald Stegall
7287 Penny Hill RD
Eden Prairie, MN 55346
Phone: (763) -691-1673

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