Makeshift 2-stroke oil

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jkilov, May 13, 2008.

  1. jkilov

    jkilov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MS
    Posts: 1,415

    Well, it happened to me last week.

    To earn a little extra money I was out on Saturday to tidy up a creek near some homes. Just me and a pair of trimmers in the back.

    When I got there I noticed the mix fuel cans were empty and the employees left two empty 2-stroke oil bottles in the truck without telling me anything !!

    There was a guy out in his yard that happened to be a customer of mine so I begged him for some oil. All he had was automotive oil and some SAE 30. I went to try other houses only to find people with angry faces for disturbing their Saturday morning nap. Next I drove 5 miles to a small gas station which was closed for renovation :angry:. The next station was 20+ miles away and just not worth it.

    So I went back and mixed 1 gall. of gas with the 4-stroke SAE 30 I got in a 1:25 ratio. I poured the ugly fluid in my FS85 which is on it's last leg and only used as backup. The machine smoked and smelled a bit but ran fine. After working about 1 1/2 hours I turned round to mow the other slope of the creek when the customer came up to me as he managed to find some 2-stroke oil. I thanked him and gave him a price cut next time I do edging. Finished the day and made $175 solo.

    I'll be checking the stihl today to see how she does. Anyone ever ran out of 2-stroke oil or any oil for that matter ?
  2. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,712

    you should not let employies mix 2 cyc oil. you should do it your self. not to do so is to invte disaster.
  3. jkilov

    jkilov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MS
    Posts: 1,415

    I know. Some people can't even do basic math. I mix fuel my self, just like everyone else.

    The two bottles in the truck were only for backup, just for such an occasion. The employees must have used them both up sometime. Even put the caps back on. But they never told me !!!
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Yes see they figured you would get upset if or when
    you found out, which as you can see is true.

    So the reason they did this is so you wouldn't notice :D
    And they probably knew you'd find out anyway, but later,
    and so the chance was worth taking.

  5. JRS Landscaping

    JRS Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 817

    dont worry about it the trimmer will be fine. i did it a few times just drain the tank on the trimmer and put regular 2 cycle gas in it. you dont wanna constantly run engine oil for 2 cycle
  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Been there done that...even used vegetable and gear oil for chainsaw bar oil once. In my old snapper differential I would use anything that was oil that I had laying around as it leaked so bad. Your Stihl will be happier if you use 2 cycle oil, but it will still work with motor oil as well.
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Back in the days of "white gas" they used to use SAE 30 in 2 strokes because that's all there was. 2 stroke oil wasn't readily available.
  8. jkilov

    jkilov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MS
    Posts: 1,415

    Yeah, that's why I used it. You have to double the mixture ratio. It mus'nt be multigrade for some reason. Wonder how they managed to keep engines clean back then.

    Pulled the spark plug out of it today and looked fine. Not that I was worried, It's only a backup and not worth anything. Just did'nt feel like putting the stuff in the t3410 which needs quality oil.

    In a funny way would make sense, 4-stroke oil in a 4-stroke.
  9. tallimeca

    tallimeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,229

    years ago, 30 weight was common. The newer engine designs are not for that though. Dont' forget, gas does have some lubricating properties. On older trimmers that have alot of oil build up and deposits, you can even accidently run a lean mix with no damage. Not that you would do it on purpose.

    I would change the plug and you should be alright.

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