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


Active Member
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10:11 AM
Sep 30, 2006
Alabama Holly Pond
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.
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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.
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.)
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. ;)
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?
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
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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?

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.
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.
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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.)