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  • OT: two stroke oil...

    My girl friend was just at the gas station getting oil for her snowmachine. They had no generic two stroke oil, only some that was labeled for marine use which she went ahead and bought, but was a bit concerned. I figure the "marine" label is just a ploy to drive up the price, that oil is oil. Am I wrong, and if so can anyone tell me what the difference then is? Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    As far as I know it's all basically the same. There's nothing specific about marine use that makes it any different from land-based 2 cycle engines. The engine doesn't know whether it's turning a prop or a wheel or a sprocket with a chain attached.
    However there may be, and probably are some slight differences in quality*. I know Mercury outboards, and probably Johnson and Evinrude too, insisted for their higher performance engines that their own formulations be used.
    * - by quality differences, I mean brands, not because one says "marine."

    What I use is an oil called "Opti-2", which permits the same mix (ratio) to be used in any 2 cycle engine. But to be on the safe side I do use Mercury's oil in my outboard.

    I'm not sure if 2 cycle oil has a "service rating" like engine oil does, e.g. SG, etc., which the API or some such institute uses to designate different classes of oil, as technological advances take place. But regardless, just like engine oil, any that you buy is almost certain to meet the latest specs. ...unless you just happen to find some of the older oil during the period of transition.
    Last edited by lynnl; 11-24-2011, 03:32 PM.
    Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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    • #3
      2 stroke oil

      I was told years ago that THERE IS a difference in 2 stroke oils between those intended for marine use (water cooled, ie; cooler running) vs air cooled, (hotter running).
      I really can't say with any certainty though, 'cause out the other side of my face I'll say that I think there's an awful lot of marketing hype in the "oil business".

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      • #4
        Do not use 'Water cooled' marine oil in an air cooled 2 stroke. Its not rated for the MUCH higher head tempatures encountered.

        Some marine oils may say its "Ok for air cooled use" but if it does not say that, don't risk it. And honestly id likey get the better oil anyway. Try going to a place that sells lawnmowers/etc, they usally have a good selection of 2 stroke oils.
        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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        • #5
          All the outboard two stroke oil ends up in the water ..so perhaps thats got something to do with it ...perhaps it has something added that makes it breakdown quickly to something less harmful to the marine environment.

          all the best.markj

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          • #6
            Was looking at similar and noticed 2 stroke for snowmobiles to throw in another wrinkle........mixes properly at low temps........probably for injection not premix......
            Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....

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            • #7
              Many oils are "multi-rated". TC3 is for air cooled, TCW3 is for water cooled; some packaging says it will meet all, and more. Believe what you want... but you get what you pay for.

              I've pulled countless 2 strokes down and the differences in oils is night and day. Air cooled motors that are run on generic TCW are always coked up with a gooey gritty carbon mess.

              It's 2012... just use a decent mainstream synthetic and be done with it. Mix it at the EQUIPMENT manfs ratios.. don't "add a litle more" - more is not better.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lakeside53
                Many oils are "multi-rated". TC3 is for air cooled, TCW3 is for water cooled; some packaging says it will meet all, and more. Believe what you want... but you get what you pay for.

                I've pulled countless 2 strokes down and the differences in oils is night and day. Air cooled motors that are run on generic TCW are always coked up with a gooey gritty carbon mess.

                It's 2012... just use a decent mainstream synthetic and be done with it. Mix it at the EQUIPMENT manfs ratios.. don't "add a litle more" - more is not better.

                More is sometimes much better. In my radio control race boats I run as high as 8 to 10 ounces of oil to a gallon of gasoline. That is 16:1 - 12.8:1. While the oil is mainly used to protect and cool it can also serve to seal the bore better and with increased compression comes increased power. Mind you that these motors see 18K RPM from 26cc's of displacement and is putting out about 6.5 horse power. If you do happen to go lean in that situation the extra oil really saves that motor.

                For the majority of power equipment with mufflers and spark arrest screens then yes more oil is going to count against you in the long run. The screens plug up with carbon build up can be an issue.

                What is the best oil? I personally will only use Honda HP2 synthetic.

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                • #9
                  Thanks guys, I'll check whether it's TC3 or TCW3. Great answers all. Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving.

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                  • #10
                    Just don't forget that in a premix situation, the more oil you dump on the gasoline, the leaner the engine will run (if you don't change the jetting).

                    Carburetors provide a given amount of fuel for a given amount of air. If you add oil, then there is actually less gasoline in that same amount of fuel -- the engine runs leaner.

                    I come from a gokart racing background -- castor is king.

                    PM

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                    • #11
                      The problem with oil, unlike a part that is actually designed to fit a certain designed dimensional requirement is that it always fits.
                      Irregardless if it actually meets the operational design requirements.

                      For instance, would you use the same oil in your lawn mower as you would in a turbocharged diesel engine, or hydraulic oil in you rear differential?
                      After all, oil is oil right?
                      Oil of any kind is better than no oil, but the wrong oil can give a false sense of security if the application specific requirements are not met.

                      You did not state if the power plant in your girl friend's snow machine was water or air cooled. If water cooled, the marine oil would be closer to meeting the design requirements of the engine as it would be closer to the operational parameters encountered in a water cooled marine engine. If it is an air cooled motor I would be reluctant to use it at all unless it was an emergency.

                      Likewise do not be coerced into believing that the motor is going to explode if the manufacturer's' name brand oil is not being religiously used.
                      As long as the oil you are using meets the specifications of the engine manufacturer, you have little to worry about.

                      I have never seen a case where an OEM has taken an oil supplier to court for under performance of it's product for not meeting the SAE or API specs that it was labeled to meet. This not to say that all oils meet these specs to the the same degree, but you at least have some assurance if the oil is labeled appropriately.
                      Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                      Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                      Location: British Columbia

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                      • #12
                        Castor oil is still hard to beat for film strength. It has all sorts of disadvantages too, like going rancid, congealing when cold and restricting oil lines, etc. It's a great smell at a vintage car or bike race!

                        My Gilera CX is pushing out the thick end of 30bhp from 125cc and the fact that the engine still feels crisp with over 26,000Km on the clock (with no sign that its been re-built) is considered quite impressive. Water cooled 2-strokes can be very prone to cold seizure and I'm always very careful to get the water temperature well up before venturing over 8,000rpm and into power valve territory. Consumption of the full synthetic 'race' oil is impressively low.
                        Paul Compton
                        www.morini-mania.co.uk
                        http://www.youtube.com/user/EVguru

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                        • #13
                          All you have to check ist the Specification. On 2-strokes the most common spec is the JASO (Japanese Automotive Standard Organization).

                          There are some classes, starting with "FA" up to "FD". Higher Letter, less "dirt" generation during combustion.

                          Everything from "JASO FC" should be ok for modern Engines.

                          Thomas

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                          • #14
                            My 2 cents -

                            Castor is great, but not in a snowmobile. It does not stay mixed with gasoline at cold temperatures.

                            Don't use marine oil in an air cooled motor. A long time ago I seized a piston in a chainsaw using marine oil.

                            More oil is indeed better - limited only by 1) Cost 2) Fouling the spark plug. However you do need to adjust the jetting accordingly - more oil equals less fuel through the same jet size.

                            A name brand synthetic, mixed at the manufacturer's ratio (or a bit more oil than recommended, e.g. 20:1 instead of 25:1) is a safe approach.

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                            • #15
                              I'm glad you guys have enlightened us about this topic. I have a 110 HP bass boat, a 900 CC jet ski, three string trimmers, two chainsaws, and two leaf blowers. All of them drink the same oil, all but one leaf blower and the jet ski are many years old. Thank goodness I haven't roasted ANY of them by using off brand MegaMart 2 cycle oil. I do have two different mixes that I must use (40:1 and 50:1).

                              But now that I know all my stuff is going to die for lack of the correct oil.... I probably won't change a thing. Maybe I've just been lucky, and maybe I inadvertently buy the right stuff, but truth is the same thing goes into all my toys and tools, and it's usually whatever is on sale.

                              Mark

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