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Is this true about 2-cycle engine oil?

Posted on 2011-09-23
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
My Uncle has a gas powered weed eater, and a McCulloch 14 inch chain saw.
I have a Homelite leaf blower.
He has loaned me his chain saw. And he gave me a few ounces of pre-mixed gasoline and a bottle of 2 cycle engine oil.
I have a bottle of my own.
My Uncle says 50-1 mix will work for all three tools, the chain saw, the weed eater and my blower. I do not want to damage his chain saw.
So, I prefer to use the gas mixture he gave me for his chain saw.

As I read the label on the 2 cycle oil it says:
good for 50 to 1, 40 to 1, 32 to 1, and 16 to 1 ratios.
Mix contents with one gallon of gas.

Is my Uncle correct?
This oil, that is for those 4 different ratios, ok for all gas powered tools?

Doesn't 50 to 1 mean, 1 part 2 cycle oil and 50 parts gasoline?

How can the chain saw and weed eater and leaf blower all use the same mixture of oil and gas?
There must be a difference between the requirement for each tool, or the label would not say 50-1, 40-1, 32-1 and 16-1.

Explain why my Uncle is right or wrong?

Question by:nickg5
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Assisted Solution

by:Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2nd
Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2nd earned 800 total points
ID: 36590639
>Mix contents with one gallon of gas.
That sounds odd, like you are mixing the entire container with just one gallon. I would have expected this to give just a single ratio.
Many years ago when I had a two stroke moped, the oil dispenser at the garage had a dial that you set to your ratio before pressing the thing to pump the oil. What the setting did was to restrict the amount that the pump could be depressed so less oil was dispensed for lower ratios.

It is possible for three different engines to use the same ratio of oil and gas, but if they have a label saying what to use then I would stick with that.
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Author Comment

ID: 36590701
My Uncle has the chain saw and the weed eater.
It sounds like he has used the same gas-oil mix on both.
I only used the gas-oil mix that people told me to use for my Homelite leaf blower.

Looking at my bottle of 2 cycle oil, it is only a 2.6 ounce bottle.
2.6 ounces compared to a gallon of gas is:
128 ounces in a gallon.

128/2.6 = 49.23.
That is where the one bottle per gallon of gas comes from.

49.23 aka 50.0 = the 50 to 1 ratio, stated on the bottle.
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Author Comment

ID: 36590704
Also he says his chain saw will start about 50% of the time, so maybe he is using too much oil per gallon of gas, causing the 50-50 chance of a start up.
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Accepted Solution

_ earned 1200 total points
ID: 36591121
Try it this way --- 2-cycle oil mix is like the PR rating on the AMD cpus.
A little bit of mix is equal to 1 ounce of regular oil (30w if I remember correctly).

So your 2.6 ounce bottle will make 50:1 down through 16:1, depending on how you mix it (gas vs. mix).
So if it says the bottle will make 50:1 in a gallon of gas, it will make 25:1 in a 1/2 gallon of gas, OR 1/2 a bottle in a gallon of gas.

Most "power" tools run either 24:1 or 32:1.
50:1 is usually for something like outboards, but I have seen some tools that are set up for it.

You can run the mix a little heavy or light without too much trouble (I usually make my mix about 28:1, because some of my equipment wants 32:1 and others 24:1.

I can go on if you have more questions.  

oh yeah... my "day job" is chasing lawn equipment around other peoples yards, if that helps you any.

   ; )
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Expert Comment

ID: 36591131
>> OR 1/2 a bottle in a gallon of gas.

Scratch that. I think that is 100:1.
My brain needs a nap.   8 \
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Author Comment

ID: 36592391
I see the small bottles of oil in the stores all the time. The two bottles I have are small, as is the bottle my Uncle had.

It seems the standard is 2.6 ounces per bottle.
That makes the entire bottle in 1 gallon of gas, to be a 50-1 mix.

One of my bottles is about 1/2 full. It looks like I mixed 1/2 a bottle with a gallon of gas, so my mix was around 25-1 for my leaf blower.

Surely Homelite and McCulloch and others brands, and type of equipment, need a different mix. (?)
It looks like my Uncle always uses one bottle per gallon or 50-1.
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Author Comment

ID: 36592406
>Mix contents with one gallon of gas.
That sounds odd, like you are mixing the entire container with just one gallon. I would have expected this to give just a single ratio.

.........yes the bottles are all 2.6 ounces, so you can mix the entire bottle with one gallon of gas to give a 50-1 ratio.
Lower ratios can be obtained with 1/2 gallon of gas, 1/4 gallon of gas, etc. while still using the entire bottle.

The amount of fuel my Uncle gave me for his chain saw maybe not be enough. I want to make sure I do not damage his chain saw by using a ratio that is not proper. I can research McCulloch chain saws.

His chain saw has a switch to let some oil lubricate the blade as you go along, but this comes from an oil only chamber, and he filled it up when I was there, and he used 30 weight motor oil.
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Author Closing Comment

ID: 36592408
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Expert Comment

ID: 36593105
Thank you much.   : )

>> One of my bottles is about 1/2 full. It looks like I mixed 1/2 a bottle with a gallon of gas, so my mix was around 25-1 for my leaf blower.

That works out to 100:1
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Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 36596430
I know this question is finished with, but thought I would chime in anyway...

>> McCulloch 14 inch chain saw ... starts about 50% of the time.

Yeah, they are hyper-sensitive about starting compared with some other chain saws out there.

Oil mix is very important as far as I am concerned and learned the lessons from Go-Karts where the oil mix can have a profound affect (like blown engines).

Too much oil and you can foul the spark plug (rich), too little and you can overheat the engine (lean).

Generally a lot of those types of machines have a manual choke so you can compensate a little bit, but really, you should follow manufacturers recommendations for fuel mix.

If you dont know, then a reasonable rule of thumb is start with 25:1. Too much smoke = too much oil, runs better with a bit of choke then not enough oil. Or better still, check the spark plug : whitish color=Lean (not enough oil), black and oily= Rich (too much). Arguably best to have too much oil than not enough - a spark plug is easy to clean and replace.
I dont subscribe to the "one batch" fits all - well if only 4 parts different then probably no problems (as above with 28:1), but if looking at some at 25:1 and others 50:1 then that becomes a significant difference. You do need to get maximum efficiency, life and power so (always) use the correct mix.

When finished, and if not using all that often, then empty the fuel tank. Oil can gel (coagulate / clot) and block jets making it harder to start next time. By memory, McCullogh supply a sample of anti-gel for your fuel mix, otherwise just make up as much mix as you are going to use / need. And always make sure you use a quality 2 stroke oil.
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Expert Comment

ID: 36596504
>> ...but thought I would chime in anyway...

Good info.
Also, running too heavy (more oil) will clog the exhaust port, muffler, and the sound baffle, which will cause it to run badly, and drive you crazy if you don't know to check/clean them.

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