View Full Version : Which oil to use?
I'm currently flying an older Bosch ignition 503, which I purchased from a friend. He is unsure of the hours he flew it before storing it, but thought it was around 150 hours. I have put an additional 145 hours on it. Through my ownership of the engine, until last year, I had trouble with plug fouling about every 10 hours.
I had been seeing around 1025 to 1050 degrees at cruise speed while I was fouling the plugs frequently. Last year, after doing a minor rebuild the previous winter, I re-jetted the carbs to achieve a cruising temp of around 1125 degrees. My plugs now last about 20-25 hours, and have good color when checked.
This spring I noticed my #1 head leaking. Ended up putting a new gasket in, and it still leaks. But during the removal of the head, noticed a lot of carbon buildup on the piston head, enough that it will have to be de-carboned again. I also noticed some very light cylinder wall scoring, which was not there previously. This is with about 45-50 hours of flying since the minor rebuild. I have always burned Pennzoil, thinking it was a good oil.
I'm now in the process of talking with several shops, and intend to do a full rebuild, since I think I've pushed the envelope with this not-totally-sure how many hours engine. Each place I have talked to recommends something other than Pennzoil. They seem to agree that it is a "trashy" burning oil, and contributes to excess carbon buildup.
Just as a minor poll, what does everyone else use, and why? I'm particularly looking for those who fly air-cooled engines, since the literature says they run hotter, and the thin head area contributes to carbon buildup if the right oil is not used.
Let's hear from those of you who have used more than one type of oil, if possible. I intend to switch oils when my rebuild is complete.
04-29-2004, 08:45 PM
Mark I used to use Pennzoil - and currently use it now - but for years I used Havoline TCW-3 general purpose oil without problems.
I know everyone has their favorite but one oil I did use for a little while and had the best results with was Yamalube 2R. This stuff you get at your local Yamaha motorcycle dealer. Flightworld Inc, a big ultralight training and service and airpark in Greer S.C. put me onto the Yamalube years ago. they said that the 2R oil just about totally stopped carbon build up. they also said they noted much much less wear on the cylinder walls and pistons after going to the 2R. I stopped using it only after seeing a few other pilots hangars that had several HUNDRED old empty bottles of the havoline oil and hearing them tell me they too had little carbon build up and good service with that oil. I switched cause the havoline was less than half the price of the Yamalube.
all of the people I am referring to used these oils mainly in Rotax 503's and 447's, and some 582's.
I also used the havoline in my lawn equipment. I own a full time lawn service business. Before using the Havoline I used Echo oil and with the echo oil I had to take the mufflers off the blowers and weedwackers several times a year to scrape the carbon out of the exhaust port to gain lost power. Since the change to Havoline I honestly haven't had to scrape a port since. some of the power tools I use now have 3-5 seasons of use with out ever having to take the engine apart or scrape a port or anything.
04-30-2004, 08:12 AM
Like Ron, I'm also using Texaco Havoline 2-stroke oil in my 503... have been for two flying seasons now.
I switched to it from the semi-synthetic AV-2 available from California Power System (CPS) because I read good reports about it on the Usenet newsgroup "rec.aviation.ultralights", the Havoline is available locally in 6 gallon cases, and is almost *half* the price of the expensive AV-2! I buy the Havoline at Fred Meyer stores here in the Pacific NW, and it's also available at many WalMarts.
I haven't seen any difference in performance or carbon buildup, plus I like the blue color of the Havoline over the red color of the AV-2. Since fuel containers are already red, and some aviation fuel around here is already red, I sometimes had trouble telling when the AV-2 was mixed in or not.
04-30-2004, 08:40 AM
I bought a couple gallons of blue marble oil. I'm not seeing any significant changes and will probably switch to the Havoline when this runs out. The Blue Marble might be good stuff but I paid $70 for two gallons shipped..Yikes. I know Ken J.... There's no magic oil :)
Well, you guys have given me two choices. Two of the places I talked to recommend the Yamalube, and now you guys like the Havoline. If I can find the Havoline, I'll try it. If not, it'll be the Yamalube.
Thanks for the feedback.
04-30-2004, 08:09 PM
You can find Havoline about anywhere. I normally grab it at Walmart or K mart, or sometimes I see it at Autozone or Pepboys or Advance auto...
When I do find it somewhere, I buy all they have in stock, usually 10-20 quarts at a time. I normally pay about 2 bucks a quart and can mix up 12 gallons of gas with it. I use it for all my two cycle engines.
Right now I have two cases of Pennzoil - had three cases but used it already - but only because someone was selling at our airport was them for half price to get rid of them since he sold his plane. After I use it up I will be looking for more Havoline.
05-01-2004, 05:49 AM
I only use AV-2 from CPS. I think the cost is fine, it's the S&H that kills me! One of our BFI's Just lost his 503 to holes in the rear piston. He uses Amsoil. Not blaming the oil though. Is it possible the rear carb blocked up creating a very lean condition leading to piston failure? Gotta watch those gauges!
I love the AV-2 & probably won't change. John, I'd call it more of a purple than red. It is a 50/50 blend of mineral & synthetic. Giving the benefits of both & recommended by ROTAX.
05-02-2004, 06:24 AM
If you are using an air cool engine you need your oil to be TCW11. Now Mineral oil is good in preventing crankshaft rust, beside tahat it sucks. Syntheticc is good in lowering temp,less ash and carbon deposit but is sucks in crankshatf rust protection. I use in my MC and my Lycoming Para-synthetic. A blend I have both of the 2 world.
Blu max,AV2 Pensoil is good. I am bias with Spectro oil. The late Bill Parson use to use this in his ARROW engine and he beat this thing to death. I did some personal research with 5 brands and the lowest temp and better plug reading was SPectro.
If you run a harley and use harley oil(they are spectro private lable)
05-02-2004, 06:53 AM
When I was running 2 strokes I always ran synthetic. Of course training I was doing around the 250 hours per year.
The crank rust problem only occurs when the engine is used infrequently, or stored. If you are not goping to fly for a while and you are using a synthetic, pull the aircreaner off and squirt mineral oil into the carbies until it stops. That will take care of it I believe.
05-02-2004, 11:48 AM
John, I'd call it more of a purple than red. It is a 50/50 blend of mineral & synthetic.You won't think AV-2 is very purple if you see it beside Texaco 2-Stroke Havoline oil. The Havoline is a deep bluish/purple, whereas the AV-2 looks pink beside it.
But then my ex-wife always told me I was color blind. :)
UPDATE: I was at the hanger this afternoon mixing up some fuel, and that Havoline is more of a blue-green than purple. Texaco calls it "teal."
The AV-2 is bright red (I still have some).
05-02-2004, 12:34 PM
"I know Ken J.... There's no magic oil."
Todd, haven't you ever gotten together with some very close friends, a big plastic sheet, a gallon of Mazola oil and a tub of grain-alcohol punch? :D
05-02-2004, 04:40 PM
ANd I thought on in PR we fly with corn oil. There is ggod oild and there is bad oil. But no matter what you tell every one there are some folks that inside down under theire pants dont feel right. If your engine was breaking with a blend thenkeep using this oil.
everything has been invented so dont wait for the bets oil in the market.
AH carefule with snake oil additive. In the car you can stop and call a towing guy in the air you are coming down
05-02-2004, 09:33 PM
If you are using an air cool engine you need your oil to be TCW11.
ChuckPFrom the Texaco Havoline product spec sheet:
Havoline Two-Cycle Engine Oil TC-W3 is recommended as a premium lubricant for use in two-stroke engines where the latest TC-W3 or earlier general purpose lubricants are recommended.
It is well suited for engines using oil injection systems with fuel/oil mixture ratios of up to 150:1. It meets the latest requirements of the NMMA TC-W3 performance standard, is formulated to meet ISO-L-EGB (JASO FB) passing criteria and meets API TC requirements for use in aircooled two-stroke applications.
On the back of the bottle, it claims to meet: TC-W, TC-WII, TC-W3, and ISO-L-EGB (JASO FB).
05-04-2004, 05:15 PM
I use Super-Tech in my Rotax 618 oil injected.
It works better than anything I've used. i.e. does not clog my RAVE valves.
Costs about $5.oo a gallon.
I won't tell you who recommended it to me, but he designed my gyro.
05-08-2004, 06:31 AM
I also have been using Super-Tech in my 503 since I bought it last fall.(approx 25 hrs)
After reading this thread I'm thinking of switching to Havoline. I looked for it yesterday at the local wal-mart and AutoZone but they did not have it.
I will go by the bulk plant and get it there.
I saw a pint of Castrol synthetic at wal-mart for $1.74. The price sounds great for a synthetic. Has anyone heard about Castrol good or bad???
They also sell Bombardier-Rotax oil designed for the Sea-Doo watercraft but it is higher than the Castrol at over $2 a pint.
05-11-2004, 08:33 AM
I like using mobil 1 synthetic, Amsoil is really good also. I believe that any HIGH quality 2 stroke oil for air cooled engines is fine.
I would stay away from most "Outboard" oils as they are designed for water cooled engines that run at a lower temp, But if you are running a liquid cooled 2 stroke-----The Yamalube or any synthetic should be more than adequate.
Just my $0.02.
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