Fuel Mixture Mixing 2 cycle oil 50:1, not a big deal

Discussion in '2-Stroke Engines' started by bamabikeguy, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    There are plenty of other threads debating 2 versus 4 cycle engines, but the one about "mixing oil" is really a molehill/mountain comparison.

    Everything is a tradeoff, 2 cycle engines can go wide open, beat a 4 cycle to the gas station, be mixed and gone before the 4 cycle pulls to the pump.

    One of you metric math folks can probably provide a conversion chart, I made one and can't find it.

    Simplest thing is to mix a gallon, carry a spare canister or two, according to your needs and destination.

    Don't let the oil/gas mix sit toooo long, after a month put whatever is left in your lawnmower and mix another batch.

    I have a half gallon hidden on the side of a road about 25 miles away, it's a convenient shortcut from the county seat. That way, when I take new builds without baskets (can't carry extra canisters), I can get a good long workout on a new engine. On the Greygeezer bike, I carry one extra canister, but I'm having so much fun I keep on riding, and know that half gallon is sitting there to get me home....

    Then there are my long trips, where I have to mix oil on the road. When I got back from Denver, Dennis asked me to send up the engine to he could look at the cylinder, knowing I had mixed "unscientifically" tankful by tankful.

    He said it looked perfect. The engine (25 cc Zenoah) had been broken in properly before I left, probably had 500 miles on it when I departed westward.

    The tank on the Zenoah and Tanaka is 22 oz. A bottle of 2 cycle oil is 77ml/2.6 fluid ounces.

    The cap of the oil bottle holds 'around' 4 ml ( I measured it with a syringe).

    It takes 4 capfulls for a 22 oz tank, 2 capfulls for a halftank.

    Sort of like a chef measures a pinch of salt.

    So, you could stop at a veternarian, buy a syringe for about a quarter and be exact, or remember "4 caps per tank".

    That measurement will carry you for weeks on the road, or occassionally when you have to stop at a NON-ethanol gas pump, fill up to get home.

    Carry a bottle with your spare tube/belt, and those moistened individual handiwipes are adviseable in your backpack, oil mixing or not.

    It really works out pretty good, that Zenoah could carry me 45 miles on a tank, an hour and a half.

    Stopping to fill/mix was also a "rest stop". One or two gas station stops per day is time to shoot the breeze with locals, get the lay of the land, find the "best diner in town" or swimming hole or camping area, whatever the time of the day.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2007

  2. OldPete

    OldPete Guest

    Fill the tank half way, add the necessary oil, shake the bike back 'n forth to mix the oil w/gas, finish filling the tank. That's how we did it when riding dirt bikes into town back in the '70s.
    I hope you are not pre-mixing the stashed gas as it will have longer shelf life unmixed in a sealed container.

    It is all a trade-off bama. The cost of mixing-oil and the noise were what drove me to a 4stroke. Don't forget that 4strokes have to have the valves adjusted once in awhile and with the small amount of oil used in the crankcase, it should be changed very often.
  3. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    That half gallon is fresh enough, no vent red container, refilled when I put a new engine on Rocinante for break-in, the basket will carry a fresh gallon, half goes in the "stash", half comes home.

    The 10 miles riding in the basket stirs it up big time. My bike customers know "nearly" where I have it stashed, a group ride will get them zeroed in.

    Just in case they have an emergency fillup, honor system will keep it working.

    You are right about shaking it half full, but also the vibration of the road gets it supersloshed pretty quick.

    The trade off buying 6 packs of Stihl 2 cycle oil from a small engine repair place, paying full price rather than WallyWorld discounts, is the store owner takes an interest in your engine, can answer simple questions, and might send you prospective customers.

    Selling a bike or two from referrals, by the 5 Mom & Pop hardware stores I frequent for small things, makes up for the extra cost of the oil.

    And we'll beat that 2 cycle noise in exhaust/muffler modifications. (I hardly notice it anymore, it's music to me, and foam ear plugs cost about a dime.)
  4. OldPete

    OldPete Guest

    My next one just might be a Tanaka 33 GEBE or a 47 to a Staton system on a long wheel base tadpole trike. :D (dreamin')

    Auxilliary gas tanks can be mounted lower on a 2 stroke because their system will pull higher head pressure. 4 stroke aux. tanks work best at the same level as the main tank. (as per Denis, if the tanks are hooked into the carb plumbing)

    There is no honor system in SoCal. Mom 'n Pop stores are near extinct here. :(
    You are blessed to live as you do farmer. ;)
  5. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Rats. I guess I should pour the rest of the 5 gallons I mixed about 2 months ago into the forklift. It'll burn anything flamable. I hate to waste like that. Perhaps old mix is in some way responsible for the lean burn look I found last time I pulled the plug?
  6. dbigkahunna

    dbigkahunna Guest

    I buy premium gas for my mix. Also in many areas ethanol is not an option. It is mixed regardless if it is marked on the pump. If you live in an abatement area where oxygenated fuels are mandated, the only information you will have is the sticker on the pump that says "From September 1 to April 1 all fuels will have an oxygenate added for cleaner air". MTBE is pretty well banned and that leaves Ethanol. Most of the premium grade gasoline, such as Chevron, Hess, BP, Texaco does not have ethanol added. It will be the Regular Grade and Mid-Grade where they add the ethanol. Also most of the store brand, QuickTrip, Sama/WalMart Murphy gas adds ethanol to their mid grade all year but it should be posted. Except in Minn and Iowa as they put Ethanol in all Regular and mid grades year round.
    From the Giant Side of Texas
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2007
  7. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    I was warned, but winter 2006 I found a full gallon I had mixed 3 months previous on a lower cabinet shelf, that I had forgot I had. So I found out "within 2 tankfulls" that tossing mixed gas after a month is a good idea. Into the car, into the lawnmower....

    SO, I buy 5 gallons at a time (Standard 89 octane (midgrade) lately), and have 2 small 1 gallon containers, with magicmarker lines showing "1 gal" (I like to get the 50:1 ratio exact), pour gas from the 2.5 gal jug into the 1 gal unit, mix 1 gal at a time.

    OR I put the 1 gal in a basket, ride to 1 of 3 possible locations/towns and buy it for a weeks supply of normal use.

    And now that I'll have more bikes in the area, I'm trying to establish "stash points" throughout the county for us to share. I have a friend on the far end of the county, 30 miles west, and he has a stash on the far side of Cullman, similar to mine, located 5 miles east of town.

    That way we can "cruise" like cars did in the old days, through the streets during County Fair Parade day, exit and fillup for the rides home.
  8. beast775

    beast775 Guest

    excellent idea bama

    im gonna start using the capful technique,its always a pain for me cuz,im in a metric country but grew up near detroit,so im still pounds inches oz.and getting a measuring device at a garage is very difficult.i think my gas tank is 22oz?i have a container marked at a gallon and mix at home.i use 2 stroke oil with fuel conditioner in it,and its always a mess carrying fuel,eating pbj with gas smell is not yummy:eek:so caps it is thanx bama!im gonna measure the cap first see its content measurement.i think im gonna try an exhaust mod tommorrow.i been watching and like the idea of exhaust exiting near the bottom of the frame.jeez more work its so much fun these things.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2007
  9. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Thanks for the info Paul. I'll start mixing a gal at a time.
  10. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Up here there is a lot of 2-cycle equipment that is used seasonally. A lot of people use a product called Sta-Bil which is designed to maintain the fuel during periods of storage. I might try that on my boat sometime, but that's not what I'm writing about. The empty container that the product comes in is handy for mixing oil. The bottle has 2 capped compartments connected by a tube molded into the bottle. Fill the empty container with 2-cycle oil, then you can take the lid off the small compartment and squeeze the large part of the bottle to move the desired amount of oil into the small compartment. Then pour it into the gas. One side is marked in fractions of an ounce for us Americans. The other side is marked in mililiters for the rest of the civilized world. Before your trip, fill the container with your favorite flavor of 2-cycle oil, and you've got container and measurer in one. (I used a marker to highlite the marks. These old eyes ain't what they used to be.)


  11. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Good deal Van, now it's time for our Metric-Math person (yoo-hoo, Jemma, they taught that stuff in YOUR schools, not ours) to put the exact measurements in the thread.

    Best of recollection, the 22 oz tank on the engine needed a little over 12cc/ml. The 25 oz/1 liter spare containers I carry need a little over 15cc/ml.

    I have two of those little black zippered bags on the basket, the one on the right "barely" fits the 2 1/2 gallon sized oil mix bottle. I've seen that bottle of yours ONCE in a smaller size, think its a goat wormer bottle.

    Do NOT buy $79 dollars worth of goat wormer just to find a similar/smaller bottle, but lets peel our eyes while shopping, see if some other product uses a similar bottle (weed killers ??) .

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  12. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    I use the same tip that Alaska uses. Re-using the " Sta-bil" measuring bottle works great!
  13. twinkiex

    twinkiex Guest

    thanks for all this info. i just dont have any more room in my backpack for a fuel can and i was considering pouring in the oil and shaking the bike. i will put the correct amt of oil for a full tank in a small jar.
    having run out of gas twice has finally taught me that i better be prepared.
    i ride a spookytooth cycle and they recommend 20:1 for breakin and after. there sure seems to be alot of debate about the mix but i think i will still fallow rolands orders.
  14. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Just for clarification, the Japanese and most Eurobrand small engines (Stihl chainsaw for instance) are 50:1. "Unofficially", once the engine has achieved thousands of miles, they can be "leaned up" to 60:1, by putting an extra 1/10 gallon in your gas can.

    I have been told by small engine repair shops that the 25cc engine that I ran to Denver, which may have 5-6,000 miles on it now, would be an excellent candidate for Amsoil synthetic 100:1, but keeping a seperate mix for that engine versus the ones I'm breaking in to sell would confuse me quick.

    Even IF I were going to switch to highest grade synthetic, I would "ease my way into it". Run a gallon at 75:1, see if I detect any performance changes (and it really does reduce smoke and fumes, because I've used Amsoil on road trips, mixing by the tank.)

    If you avoid cheap gas, if you seriously do the break-in steps (varying throttle speeds for 3 tankfulls of gas), and ALWAYS use "quality" mix like Stihl/RedMax/Tanaka 50:1, then Amsoil 100:1 might be THE answer for long distance cruising, 2-3 capfulls per tank.

    This next part regards long distance travel, not local:

    I'm not too up on the Chinese engines, but I think the tanks hold a half gallon. You would not take a bike out for 2-300 mile overnight cruises until you've finished the 20:1 break-in anyway.

    Your advantage is "more capacity per fillup", while we can "eyesight guesstimate" with the transparent plastic tank.

    This comes into play when you have to topoff the tank. For instance, going due east out of Grand Junction,CO a sign says "74 miles till next gas". So it doesn't matter how much the tank needs, you are going to top off the tank before heading into the wilderness.

    Major towns that might have "quality gas" available, are 30 miles apart (the distance a horse can easily travel in a day). You can't bank on finding a major brand gas in every town, often there is one option, and it usually is cut with ethanol, and vapor locking in Kansas taught me a lesson I never want to repeat.

    What I'm getting at is carrying a jar, for a full tank mix, won't work if you FINALLY find a gas station to "top off the tank", can't hold a full half gallon.

    My "four capfulls" per tank ratio gives you 50:1. 2-3 capfulls of Amsoil 100:1 would protect my cylinder, but only on my engine, not one I am selling.

    But the Chinese tanks need to get some sort of "capfulls per 1/10 gallon" ratio established, or using the bottle Van & Estaban described "cc/ml per 1/10 gallon", for traveling thru the countryside.

    Once you folks have that established, make it MB.law, it will be easier to remember touring out of town, away from the gallon pre-mixed at your house.

    Hopefully it will work out to something like "1 cap or 2 capfulls per 1/10 gal", but I'll let you guys do that math.

    Just remember, there really is no debate on mixing oil, some folks are running with Japanese apples and the others are running on Mandarin oranges.

    Proper mixing in both cases avoids creating lemons.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2007
  15. Man,if I plan to go 2 or 300 miles thru the desert,I'll carry a gallon container full of pre mix along for the ride. I would mount it like this:
    It's proven not to get in the way.
    It would be nice too to just carry pre mix with you,but to get the right mix you would have to essentially run out of gas or get to vapor low then time it right between pumps.
    I would feel safer just taking that gallon tank along,then not go to a pump till that gallon container is finished and your tank is still pretty full.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2007
  16. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    When I go to the local Standard station for fuel, I buy about 8 gallons, then mix the fuel for the bikes a gallon at a time. And because of the folks coming out to demo ride, a gallon barely lasts a week, never a "old mix" sitting around.

    But I mentioned how I hid a half-gallon on the outskirts of the county seat, about 25 miles from the house, so when I take a customers bike for a long ride, and it has no basket or bottle carriers for spares, I can stop by the poplar log, 15 paces from the "35 Speed Limit" sign, fill up and go.

    Well, scientifically proven this weekend that the fuel/oil mix deteriorates somewhere between a month to six weeks. Temps have been in the eighties, if that has anything to do with it, but my stash point is a shady spot.

    I brought along a fresh gallon last Saturday (the little red plastic cans are on sale at General Dollar for $2 this week, I bought 4 as "customer gifts"). I had a bit left in the original can bought six weeks ago, filled my tank halffull, and the spare all the way.

    Performance deteriorated, especially on hills, until yesterday when we took two bikes on a ride to find a high school classmate.

    So, I think a month is the longest a gallon can of mixed will last, and if you do my "hidden in the bushes" fillup sites in your area, rotate them at least by week 6, you will get home, but not at full speed/power.

    The other half of the gallon I took out Saturday I hid 10 miles north, in some privet hedge at a "Y" in the road, another stash site.

    Good thing it was my brother on Rocinante burning the old gas thru on a T-33cc, I was on an Avalon with a 25cc, beating the pants off him uphills, until we ran 30 miles or so, then he steadilly increased to about 2-3 miles per hour faster than me.

    Thats when I told him about the old gas, you can't let the laboratory rat know he is testing something to get scientific info.
  17. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Gas Storage/Engine Question

    Okay, I toss the gas over a month old, including what is in engine fuel cell into mower tank (30:1), say 5 to 10oz;

    or, should I add a bit of Sta-Bil, run it and store until next spring?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2007