MZ 202 & Two-stroke Oil Info


May 31, 2012
NOTE: This is a C&P from another source and one persons experience and observations. Some of the info may have changed since this article was written. Please don't shoot the messenger.

The MZ201 engine has a long history. It is an Italian design dating back ~ 12 years. The really big difference between the Hirth and the MZ is how they are made. The Hirth is a cast molding process that uses vibration to remove any air trapped in the pouring process. This type of casting leaves the aluminum more brittle and less dense than other methods. Case in point, it is very common to strip the spark plug threads in the Hirth heads. Talk to owners and you will find many have had to put some form of thread reconstruction to fix the problem.

The MZ201, MZ202, MZ301 are manufactured using a high pressure injection molding process. This makes the crankcase, cylinders and heads more like billet aluminum. Injection molding assures no air introduced during the molding process because only liquefied aluminum is passed into the mold, no vibration is needed. The result is a stronger engine able to transfer heat more efficiently to the cooling fins.

The MZ201 was designed as a free-air engine and worked fine in a tractor configuration, however, cooling proved to be a problem in a pusher setup. (No, this is incorrect. The 201 only has one carb,it runs at less rpm and produces less hp than the 202,therefore it produces less heat as it is not working as hard, max power is achieved at 4700-5000 rpm.It can be used in tractor or pusher config) Thus the introduction of the MZ202. I am unclear who introduced the MZ202 fan cooled engine. However, Leon Massa purchased the manufacturing rights for the engines. His company, Compact Radial Engines, Inc. is located in Surrey, BC Canada. Leon still has the engine's major components molded in Italy. When he receives the components they are then CNC machined to within 2 mil (0.0005" depending on the part and the fit needed) tolerances for final fit. I know of no other company that uses this good of a specification.

The MZ cylinders are Nikasil, which is a ceramic coating (and nickle) on the cylinder bore. This type of cylinder is much stronger and heat resistant than pressed in steel cylinders. The Nikasil bonded to the aluminum allows the more efficient transfer of heat from the cylinder wall to the cooling fins. Should you have the misfortune of a piston seizure a Nikasil cylinder can better stand up to the overheated piston. With a steel cylinder a piston seizure will, more often than not, require it to be bored to clean up the melted aluminum that fills in the voids in the steel.

When Leon first started marketing the MZ202 in the USA there were some problems. Some were created by Leon (not likely) (OK Leon, your pride is showing) and some (all) ( ) were caused by the end user.

Leon's biggest problem was the final assembly setup that left the factory. That problem caused most engines to run rough and often times "4 stroking" which is a term used to described a condition similar to running with the choke in the full on setting. It was not an easy problem to overcome for most owners.

The problem itself was simple to correct after discovering that Leon was shipping the MZ202 with the carburetors jetted two full steps below sea level. (This carb setup was done on purpose and was "setup" by a "Bing" rep right from the Bing factory.The setup was that the carbs were set rich at sea level so that customers could run the engine right out of the box without worrying about "running it to lean", all customers need to "tune" the engine for their own conditions so the factory carb settings were in most cases too rich.We could not possibly setup every engine to suit everybody) A fact that Leon forgot to tell his customers about. (No, It should be obvious that you would have to "tune" the engine to your own conditions and enviorment) (if that is the case, the customer still needs to know the engine is tuned way rich!) His reasoning for the very rich carburetor setting was to assure a problem free engine break in procedure and he never knew at what altitude the engine would be put into service. (more on the break in procedure later)

Several owners and dealers ended up sending their engines back to Compact Radial Engines because the engines would not run good. I was one of those owners. However, rather than sending my engine to him, I loaded it in my car and drove to the factory.

Leon was very accommodating and spent his entire day disassembling, inspecting with a micrometer and caliper and then reassembling the engine. I spent the full day at his side and learned a great deal about the full manufacturing process. I was very impressed indeed.

Each cylinder after final CNC machining and Nikasil coated is inspected for tolerance and is given one of three classifications (A, B, C). The pistons are also made to match each of these A, B, C, classifications. The result is a cylinder and a piston that match the MZ clearance specification. I will tell you these variances from cylinder to cylinder are very small but one that Leon was concerned about. After all this was to be an engine for aircraft, not land locked vehicles. He knows first hand that a pilot can't just pull over to the side, get out and fix a problem (yes, I'm a pilot too (GA and PPG)

My problem was nothing more that an engine with way to rich jet settings throughout the rpm range. Once that was corrected by jetting, re jetting and re jetting again, I got it right. My MZ202 in a pusher configuration does not vary more than 30 degrees F from idle to full power or anything in between. The transfer from each jet's range to the next jet's range is near perfect. And, the MZ202 runs great!

The other problem Leon has seen is poor lubrication. There are a great deal of different 2-cycle oils on the market. According to Leon most are marginal at best. Therefore, Leon has elected to use oversize ball bearings on the crankshaft. These large roller bearings on both ends of the connecting rods help protect the engine from poor performing 2-cycle oils.

During my visit Leon addressed the oil issue in great detail. He showed me two MZ202 engines that experienced engine failure due to lack of lubrication.

The first engine was disassembled with the crankcase halves exposed. I could easily see that the connecting rod bearing had been overheated to the point the rod itself turned blue from heat. Interesting thing is the air and oil/fuel mixture enter the engine at the position of the connecting rod bearing on the crankshaft. At this juncture the rod bearing would be the first thing the air oil/fuel mixture would come into contact with. It looked to me as though the owner forgot to mix oil with his fuel. Don't take bets that the customer ever admitted to doing that, because you would lose.

The second engine failure I saw was due to a rod bearing failure on the piston. This is a crucial area where good lubrication is a must. Leon let me feel the underside of the piston and it felt like it was rubber coated. He then showed me the wrist pin. It was blue from high heat. Leon stated this area of any 2-cycle engine gets the least amount of lubrication, therefore the oil used must be of the highest quality or failures will occur. Leon then went on to teach me about 2-cycle oils.

I have been a believer of high quality synthetic 2-cycle oils for years. I used them in my racing snowmobiles. Anyhow, Leon told me about an environmental requirement in the USA for new oil sold in the USA. All new oil must contain 10% recycled product Thank you Ralph Nadir. Leon said he highly recommends Castrol TTS synthetic oil because it is made in Italy from 100% virgin stock. He then went on to state lubrication is never an issue with the TTS oil. He has not had an engine failure to date with owners using this oil. That doesn't mean that other high quality oils won't work, he just has a lot of faith in TTS oil.

Leon used my engine to show me another advantage of TTS oil. I had been using Red Line Racing Synthetic 2-cycle oil. Leon took a scraper from his pocket and pushed it across the top of one of my pistons. The crud just pealed off in a soft gob of black. Leon said this was unburned oil and would be the reason de-coking would be needed often. He then showed me a piston and head using TTS oil. There was a complete absence of carbon build up and you could see the jetting of this piston and head had been right on. Would you care to guess what brand of oil I use now? Problem is Castrol TTS oil is hard to find. For more information where to get TTS oil, send me a private email. I am not telling you this just to sell oil.

Final thing - the engine break in procedure is well detailed in the owners manual and full break in takes less than 10 minutes. With this step completed, re-jet the engine using Bing carburetor's jetting charts and go fly.

As far as being a test pilot for the MZ202, that phase has been done. In fact a single place light weight helicopter called the Mosquito uses the MZ202 as it's only engine option. In this setup the engine is running at full sustained power all of the time it is in flight. Now that is reliability! (yes, and I think I have shipped about 60 MZ202's so far to the Mosquito guys, maybe more I lost count)
(one last comment..... you must run premium or high octane gas to prevent pre-ignition)

My current engine settings are as follows:

Here is my present setup:

Spark Plug CR8HS
Main jet 185
Jet Needle is the stock needle and the clip is set in the center notch.
Needle Jet 2.74
Idle Jet 45
Air Screw 1/3 turn out (turn in air screw to seat then 1/3 turn out). With this setting I have no burp when the throttle is thumped. This is important when you have to make a quick application of rpm increase like in a go-around because of a bad final approach.

I am at 910 elv. and use the same setup when at Idaho's 3,550 elv.
At the elevation of 910 and temps over 90 f. the engine does get a little rich. To compensate I raised the clip on the Jet Needle to the top position which in turn lowers the needle in the Needle Jet. This leans out the engine through out the rpm range until you get to wide open throttle.

My temps indicated on my EIS system run from 1130 F. at high rpm to 1190 near 3,300 rpm range. I cruise at about 4800~5000 rpm with temps about 1160 F. The fan end cylinder runs about 15 F cooler than the prop end cylinder. I was able to improve the overall cooling by placing black gorilla tape on the seam from the fan shroud to the cylinder shroud.

I use only Castrol TTS 2 cycle oil at 13 ozs per 5 gallons of gas. That is a 50:1 ratio.

The spark plugs are one step from the stock plugs the engine ships with. I was told the CR8HS is leaner running than the stock CR7HS. It is about equivalent to a 1/2 step change in main jet size.


Just Plane Bob
Oct 30, 2003
Newnan, GA
2-place Gyro, custom design
Total Flight Time
I use Amsoil 2 cycle synthetic smokeless. Have had no issues.

What do the tops of your pistons look like after a few hundred hours of operation with that oil?

Fly Army

Sep 7, 2007
Utah/summer Florida/winter
From un-powered Paragliders off the side of a mountain to the Boeing 777.
Total Flight Time
18,000 ish , I guess
Every 2 stroke engine seems to have an oil that it likes best. What one engine likes others may not. For some reason it just seems to be that specific. On the MZ 202 Dwight from Mosquito found that oils that worked well in Florida did not work in Oregon.

A couple years ago Lockwood Aviation did a study running four Rotax 503s on a test stand for about forty hours IIRC. The verdict for that engine was a non synthetic flavor of Pennzoil.


Gold Member
Oct 30, 2003
Plant City, Fl
Total Flight Time
I use Amsoil Interceptor in my 670. This was recommended by Rotax Rick. It has detergent into to keep the rave valves from sticking. I know of a guy who lost his fan on a 503 and seized the engine and because of this oil the engine was not damaged.

Neil Hintz

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2004
Whats the story on injection molded ( pressure die cast ) being stronger than cast aluminium? Die cast aluminium is done for one reason only, cost. Cheaper to produce quantity, it does have problems with micro porosity, with the speed of filling the die small amounts of air does get 'dissolved' in the alloy. This speed is needed to fill the die fully with all the thin wall webs etc, if filling is too slow you get 'shorts' where the alloy solidifies before the die is completely full. Also the quick cooling of a die casting helps the alloying components not come out of solution, this helps add strength. It's a cheap way to miss out the heat treating process.
Another problem with die casting is micro cracks, the alloy shrinks as it cools, but if there is a large piece of die in the way, the casting can not shrink so it will pull onto the die and weaken the component. Cleaver die design can minimise this but the problem does not go away.

Stronger is machining from solid but way more expensive.

Sand casting (shell molding process) is the next best thing to die casting as far as cost effectiveness goes, with castings being fully heat treated to T6, then machined.

Sand casting done properly will produce a very strong (T6) product, shrinkage being taken care of by having the casting 'feed' by risers placed in suitable positions around the mold.

As for cylinders being die cast, I think you will find the outside might be a steel die but all the insides (ports etc) still require sand cores to be set in this die each cycle. I think you will find this is done by gravity die casting. Look on youtube, you will see it being done.

Die casting is done for cost reasons, doesn't make the product any better.


Jun 1, 2006
Satellite Beach, (Sea Park),(Original 'Lums Bums'
The 'MISSFIT' gyro, GRAND CHAMPION, Bensen Days 2010
Total Flight Time
700 F/W, 227 Gyro
No, no, you all have it wrong.
Pennzoil Outdoors at 40:1, followed by chemical de-carbonizing three times a year,
with Mercury Power Tune. My internals, are shiny and clean, with crosshatch showing.
Used to be able to get Pennzoil at Wally-World, now we mail order it. OH, we do run AV gas.
I'm at 227 hours, the other ain't far behind. Where's that other dead horse....:lol: