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Author Topic:   Yamalube
jimb342 posted 05-24-2002 02:19 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimb342   Send Email to jimb342  
Anyone have an opinion on using an outboard oil other than yamalube for a 225hp 1995 yamaha. I don't see any of the "additives" listed on the label that is supposed to make this stuff so much better (or just expensive) than other brands. Even the yamaha manual tells you that you can use another brand.
John from Madison CT posted 05-25-2002 06:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     

Ahh yes, the great 2 stroke oil debate. You are sure to get both sides of the argument.

Here's mine....I use Yamalube..why because at least I have one last thing to worry about when it comes to this topic of whether or not cheap oil will damage my engine.

I used to sell automotive products for a living and I can tell you that the argument of "all oils are the same" is not true. (I know alot about Antifreeze too and the same things hold)

There are differences and personally I believe that an outboard manufacturer does have a vested interest in selling an oil that works well with their engines so that they don't have issues of carbon build up based on the dynamics of their design. (They also have a vested interest in making money!)

I can assure you of one thing, you will not walk away from this thread with a clear easy answer to your question.



Dick posted 05-25-2002 11:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
Tere are more opinions on this subject than there are brands of oil.
Several years ago I was given a tour of the Gold Eagle factory in Chicago. It was amazing to see the different brands of 2 stroke oil coming down the production lines. It was explained to me that all of the oils were TCW3 certified but each engine manufacturer had their own formula and their oil had to be mixed to that formula.
Is Merc/Yamaha/etc oil better than Walmart? They both meet the TCW3 specs and shouldn't kill your engine but different formulas burn differently and can make a difference in performance.
At the price of new engines I think using OE oil is cheap insurance. If you fry an engine due to a mechanical oil delivery problem the engine manufacturer will cover it regardless of the brand of oil being used. If the oil caused the problem you have to go after the oil company, good luck.
jimb342 posted 05-25-2002 08:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimb342  Send Email to jimb342     
I am using yamalube because everyone I talked to with a yamaha told me to. Although all are either yamaha mechanics that sell the stuff , or guys like you and I that may not know much better, but have good intentions. I also had a feeling that this issue has been brought up before, but wanted to see if anyone would tell me of a similiar brand that works just as good, but without the yamaha overhead. I have heard you can add "additives to make other brands work as well, but I still can't see anything on the yamalube label that is any different than some of the "off brand" oils. Thnaks for answering.


jimh posted 05-26-2002 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If an engine maker has especially blended his oil to work better in his engine (better than any competitor's TCW-III blend), how to you explain that this oil works better in ALL of the engines made by that maker?

Let's use YamaLube oil as an example. I would have to believe that it was blended in such a way that it would work better simultaneously in a 1980's conventional Yamaha pre-mix 2-stroke, a late 1980-1990's Precision-Blend oil injection Yamaha 2-stroke, and a brand new low emission HDPI injection Yamaha 2-stroke.

What would be so consistent about these three different types of engines that there could be something about the oil that could be adjusted to special advantage for all three types of engines, while at the same time exclude any of the other oils from achieving this same performance?

I would be more inclined to think there was something special about the oil if they offered specific blends for specific types of their own engines.

From what I have heard, one of the reasons the oils are all now made to this TCW-III standard is that previously there were some major differences among the OEM oils. These differences caused problems if the oils were mixed, and it resulted in some engine damage.

where2 posted 05-28-2002 01:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Speaking of engine damage, If the oil you use is the same color as the OEM oil, how could the engine manufacturer tell if you were using L-Cheapo, or OEM oil? Once you pass the point of the end of the engine warranty, does the engine manufacturer have any liability to fix your engine if it breaks using his oil? How about the gas mfg, or the gas station you bought the gas from?

If Bombardier hadn't bought OMC, would the failure rate of OMC products have increased simply because there was no longer a supply of 2-stroke oil with OMC labels? Will a 15 year old OMC engine that gets fed Yamalube be more likely to fail than if it uses Walmart oil?

I think I'll keep using the same stuff that I run in my weed-eater. I got the weed-eater for free after the previous owner tossed it out. It had collected rain water in the exhaust system, which filled the cylinder with water, hydro-locking it. Pulled the plug, drained the water, lubed with WD-40, mixed some gas & oil, runs like a champ now! It's a 2-stroke, not a ferrari engine!

jimithing posted 05-28-2002 02:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimithing  Send Email to jimithing     
I use yamalube cause I always do I am told......especially if its coming from my Yamaha dealer or my wife.
Swellmonster posted 05-29-2002 01:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
I feel very comfortable with jimh's feedback!
jimb342 posted 05-30-2002 10:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimb342  Send Email to jimb342     
Swellmonster, I feel jimh hit it on the head too. Where2,you also have a good point. John, I understand where you are coming from, and I too agree that you should run a name brand oil, because you can go too cheap.
Dick, I'll try a few brands to see which works best. I'll report my findings in another post. Thanks for all your input.By the way, I wouldn't own another brand of boat but a Whaler. That should show I'm not just trying to cut corners.


bkollmeier posted 09-25-2002 12:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for bkollmeier  Send Email to bkollmeier     
Try this site. This guy is a chemist for a major oil company NOT and "experienced" oil saleman. (
His article refers to motorcycles but it pertains to all oils. By the way, Yamalube is produced by a Texas firm that also produces under other names, like Prolube.
lhg posted 09-25-2002 03:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The OMC bankruptcy creditor list revealed that their oil was being produced by Ashland Oil company up in Wisconsin. I would imagine Bombardier has continued the relationship, and had to settle up on the debt, as they did with Suzuki.

Walmart's oil, my preferred brand, is made by Pennzoil, who I think is a reputable operation, and sells for $5.94 a gallon. As far as lubrication goes, I think a TCW-3 designation assures that you won't burn up the engine. TCW-3 also means that it contains a de-cabonization agent. So even if the Walmart oil doesn't contain what Mercury recommends, I add my own Mercury QuickClean so I KNOW I'm geting what I need as respects to carbon build-up. It's still saves a lot over the price of Mercury's own branded oils, and I think I'm getting the same thing or even better. I also think that Wlamart, with thousands of gallons of oil being sold a month, would not want outboards reported burning up with their oil. I've heard no negative comments or of problems with the stuff. Has anybody else?

PS - the Walmart oil looks exactly like the Mercury brand. Not long ago a Mercury mechanic looked at my oil injection tanks, and said "I see you're using Mercury oil - that's good".

PSS I also have a Yamaha friend who uses only Yamalube in his 150. He just shakes his head in disgust when he sees me feeding my engines Walmart oil. He refuses to even try it. Now that's what I call marketing brand loyalty.
And the Yamaha puts out a lot less smoke on start up than one of my 200's. But I just think it's the difference in oil injector system design.

As initially stated, there is no answer here, to one of the closest kept secrets, and profit centers, in the outboard business.

Dick E posted 09-25-2002 06:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick E  Send Email to Dick E     
Let's assume you burn 500 gal. of gas a year.
I doubt many of us burn that much.

At 50 to 1 ratio that is 10 gallons of oil/year.
I can buy Merc. brand oil for $11.00 gal when it goes on sale
Walmart at$6.00 a gal. That a $5 dollar difference, times 10 = $50 per year increase.

Now I am not confident that Walmart oil is as good Mercury's,but I am very confident that Mercury's is equal if not better then Walmart's.
This $50 increase in cost is Chicken feed compared to all the other boating expenses.

Why would some spend $10,000 on a new motor,but skimp on oil.

$50/year is not worth risking for the average boater.
Dick E

lhg posted 09-25-2002 08:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
In my case, though, it does make a difference. I just saw Mercury premium oil at Boat US for $20/gallon. Being not always able to find a sale, let's say that engine brand oil averages most about $15/gallon.

Just to fill the two oil tanks in my Outrage takes 7 gallons alone. I figure I use about 50 gallons per year. So that's a saving of about $500/year. For me, it's beginning to add up. Times 13 years, since the boat is an '89, that's $6500 SAVINGS on the cost of just oil. And the current engines are still running fine, at about 1500 hours each.

jimh posted 09-25-2002 08:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For advocates on either side of the name-brand oil question, the article cited below will make interesting reading:

(I came across this on the internet, but I'll be darned if I can find the link to the source.)

kglinz posted 09-25-2002 08:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
Mercury has 4 different 2 stroke oils. They range in price from $46.10 to $161.05 for racing oil.
kglinz posted 09-25-2002 08:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
Thats in 2.5 gal containers
David Ratusnik posted 09-25-2002 10:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Last time I stopped by my OMC/Bomb mechanic's place I noted that Bomb now sells two 2 stroke oils- the Johnson/Ev oil for conventional 2 strokes and a new 2 stroke oil for the Bomb Fichts. Told them that my Johnson 225 won't run right on anything but bulk Texaco at $7.99/gal. Hope to cut my oil costs as I switch over to Walmart oil at $5.99/gal. They wanted $18/gal for the new Bomb stuff. I wonder who really makes the new Bomb oil- Texaco or Penzoil?? David
Sal DiMercurio posted 09-26-2002 12:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
First of all, i forgot the name of the guy using the same oil as he does in his weed eater.
TCW means two cycle water cooled, theres a difference between water cooled & air cooled engines, one turns about 9,000 rpms & the other 6,000, don't want to run the wrong oil in your engine.
A very close friend of mine, is in charge of many state boats, they used OMC TCW3 oil in all their engines, very, very few problems. They switched to [ can't print the name ] a very very large oil companies oil, had nothing but problems, went back to OMC, problems didn't happen anymore.
You guys can say what you want, but spending $12 - $18,000 for an engine, then trying to save $5.00 on the oil, really leaves me scratching my head.
Most of you guys don't put 50 hours a year on your boats, i put 200+ every year, & use the very best fluids i can buy.
I believe if you spend 1/2 years salary for your engine, then go to Walmart to buy your oil, is know as penny wise & dollar foolish.
If you can't afford the best oil, you can't afford the engine.
I spent 30+ years commercial fishing on the Bering Sea, [ thats where the devil himself lives ], do you think i ran Walmart oil through my engines?.........not on your life my friend.
alan posted 09-26-2002 03:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for alan  Send Email to alan     
You guys can stay with your carbon products but I've used nothing but synthetics in my 2 cycle engines for years. From my John Deere to my Yamaha to my Opti to my Husky. No carbon and they run wet. If you notice all the engine manufacturers are slowly introducing synthetic blends and now full synthetics. It's the way of the future, no smoke, polution and cleaner running/no carbon buildup. Take a look at the ( )bass fishing home page and search under boats and motors, these guys run their motors hard and use either Amsoil, Klotz , Blue Marble or Pennzoil Synthetics. I pay about 17 bucks a gallon and it's worth it for the cost of these new engines. I also always use a carbon guard product)I think they are all the same) Just thought I'd add a little spice to the debate, but really I won't ever go back to petroleum based oil. Once you use it most people agree it's the best.
David Ratusnik posted 09-26-2002 03:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Hey- spend out the yingyang. I've run up approx 1k hours on a rebuilt J225 over 3 yrs. Less expensive Texaco 2 stroke oil. By the way I'm a devotee to less expensive 87 octane gas (I buy the cheapest stuff I can find). Go ahead and by into the marketing scams about premium oils and gas in conventional 2 stroke engines. Thins out the wallet, so to speak... (pun?) .03 David
David Ratusnik posted 09-26-2002 03:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
SuburbanBoy posted 09-26-2002 04:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
The TCW-3 standard is an improved version of the the original water cycle, water co

I clipped the following from the NMMA website.

"Due to the nature of the two cycle marine engines, fuel is mixed with oil which then lubricates the engine parts as it passes through the engine during the combustion cycle. This is in contrast to four cycle engines which have oil sumps and pumps for lubricating the engines, and the fuel is not pre mixed.
The long term objectives of the two cycle engine industry have been to reduce emissions which contain burnt and unburned oil that has passed through the engine, and to develop a quality of oil that reduces the mixture ratio to fuel while extending the life of the engine. That means significantly reduced emissions to satisfy EPA requirements, less warranty problems, and increased customer satisfaction due to engines lasting longer with less maintenance and overhauls.

TC-W3 lubricant, an NMMA owned trademark, has evolved over the years through much testing and research, and has proven to be the level of quality to satisfy the above objectives. And, going a step further, now that two cycle engines have moved towards higher cylinder temperatures and compressions to meet the EPA emissions reductions.

TC-W3 has demonstrated the necessary lubrication performance quality needed for these more demanding cylinder/engine conditions.

NMMA licenses those two cycle lubricants that meet the stringent performance tests conducted by any one of the three sanctioned laboratories approved by NMMA to conduct the tests.

The tests include varied bench tests for fluidity, lubricity, viscosity, etc., plus the oil must meet minimum ring sticking and carbon build up on pistons in engine tests. The engine tests include one OMC 40 hp, one OMC 70 hp, and two consecutive Mercury 15 hp tests. The tests are run for 100 hours each and the engines are stopped every ten hours for inspection. The chemical make up of the TC-W3 oils vary due to the various additive packages involved with each oil brand. Accordingly, it's a performance based qualifications program. The process is very involved and expensive, but worth the outcome for consumers and manufacturers.

TC-W3 oils are licensed around the world and are recommended for use by two cycle engine manufacturers."

There is a difference in oil performance. The TCW-3 is a minimum standard, not the ultimate in marine lube. Price is not the only determinate for oil quality. So, lhg's Walmart oil, could very well be repackaged premium lube, manufactured by a major supplier, and sold under private label. It may also be optimized for his older 115hp carbed Mercs.

Some people also believe that all tires are the same, ie. 215-60 HR 15 tires are all the same. If you believe this too, I have got some great land fill sites for your next home.


David Ratusnik posted 09-26-2002 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Sub- Nice contribution. So TCW3 is the "minimum." Walmart, Texaco blah, blah, blah all have the TCW3 stuff. I've read up abit on this oil debate and have come across no empirical data demonstrating that using less expensive 2 stroke oil yields fewer hours of engine life or detonates the engine. I'm no chemist, but it would seem that the marketing/ad folks are preying on the inexperienced as well as experienced boaters fear of engine failure. Not a minor fear. David
jimh posted 09-27-2002 12:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Just recently a magazine article carried an interview with a Yamaha representative. He was asked if Yamalube was better than competing oils, and his response was that they'd like to see their customers use Yamalube but their engines run properly with any TCW-3 oil.

This type of guarded response is absolutely necessary because if a manufacturer stipulates that his product must be used in conjunction with some other special product to maintain the warranty coverage, then they must supply the special product for free.

If Yamaha were to state that their engines "must" use Yamalube to operate properly, then they'd have to supply you with free Yamalube brand oil for the entire period of the warranty coverage. This is required by some Federal consumer protection legislation, I believe.

One should also consider the one-time-only use of these oils. In a 2-stroke the oil is virgin oil introduced for each stroke of the piston. In 4-stroke applications the oil is used over and over again. It seems much more reasonable to expect that a slightly different grade of oil might last longer in a oil sump and recirculating situation than in the case of a 2-stroke where the oil is asked to perform one lubrication then is blown out the exhaust.

On large ships the engine oil sump may contain over 5,000 gallons of lubricating oil, and great care is taken to filter and process this oil so that it can be reused. Premium grades of lubricating oil are used, and the oil is often not changed for very long periods. In applications like that it seems like brand variations might come into play more than in the one-time-only outboard case.

reelescape1 posted 09-27-2002 07:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for reelescape1  Send Email to reelescape1     
I ran the numbers from the article on Jims link. The YamLubed engine wore .001" and the non YamLubed engine wore .0002".....what were the clearances when the started??
lhg posted 09-27-2002 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
One should not define the term "less expensive" to mean inferior. Is Pennzoil known for inferior products? Price is more based on who is selling it, and how large is their purchasing clout, than quality alone. In this category, Walmart is a proven winner, hands down. Walmart evidently made a good deal with Pennzoil, permitting the low pricing. Pennzoil is really promoting their proucts, even under their own yellow bottle label, to move into the outboard lubrication market. So increasing market share by shipping their oil under the Walmart private label would make business sense.

I have found many marine items in Walmart for 1/2 of what West Marine or Boat/US sells them for. They don't have much, but if they have something you normally buy, it's usually quite inexpensive.

Regarding 100% synthetic oil, I did a side by side test, using my pre-mix 115's In one 13 gallon reserve tank I mixed up 100% synthetic Pennzoil TCW3, also bought at Walmart for $19.50 a gallon, and ran the other engine off my regular Walmart/Pennzoil mixed fuel in the main tank. I have reported this previously, but the synthetic oil was the smokiest stuff I have ever seen. Twice as much as the regular Walmart oil. This condition persisted through the whole 13 gallons. When I plugged the engine back into the main tank, the idle smoke subsided to be the same as the other engine. I had not expected this. So no thanks on that stuff @ $19/gallon!

I guess the real answer to this debate is use whatever makes you feel confident about your engine(s).

Clark Roberts posted 09-28-2002 07:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
My experience with 100% synthetic TCW-3 oil is same as Larry's! I ran a 2000 135 Opti on Ficht synthetic and when I traded I had a gallon left so used it in my 40hp 4 cyl oil injected Merc. The smoke was unbelievable and it lost some of that silky smooth idle! Also had put some in my 70hp 3 cyl Merc and same results, though not as smokey as the 40. Thankfully I have no more of the stuff and never liked the red color as it would stain everyting near it and very hard to clean up... Above is not a conclusive, scientfic test but good enough (at least for the OMC Ficht oil) for this old mullet smuggler. Happy Whalin'... clark... Spruce Creek Navy
jimh posted 09-28-2002 09:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
reelescape, You ought to check those numbers again. The Yamaha article (hyperlink above) claims that Yamalube use results in less wear, not more. They cite use of other oil as causing 4X the wear.

The article spells this out, without the need for any math on the reader's part, so I don't understand where you came up with the numbers you mention.

reelescape1 posted 09-28-2002 10:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for reelescape1  Send Email to reelescape1     
I converted the mm's to point was: We don't know what the dimensions were BEFORE they tested!! There are manufacturing tolerances (more or less clearances) that were not mentioned. Look at who performed the test. Yamaha. I'm not advocating one oil or the other. I have a 2002 Yam 225 EFI that has seen nothing but Havoline. 96 hours. I cleaned the o2 sensor yesterday and found some deposits, probably from the initial break-in oil and the pump being set heavy from the factory. The engine runs like a watch! More curiosity on my part, it's one of those maintenance jobs I wanted to be able to do! There's no doubt each oil brand has there own additives. Which one is tops, who knows!! A major INDEPENDENT test would have to be performed and someone would have to foot the $$$$$. A friend has the same engine and has 400+ hrs. on the Havoline oil without a single problem, thats why I've run it!! Good day!!
David Ratusnik posted 09-29-2002 07:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Guys- Just returned from Merritt Island and a glorious Fri, Sat, Sunday of boating. About 12 hrs run time on the old girl- J225. Knock on wood (my gunwales). Same old inexpensive 87 octane and Texaco 2 stroke oil (lhg can't switch over until I blow this Texaco stuff out of my garage) -- ran like a top. David
healthphysic posted 07-11-2005 12:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for healthphysic  Send Email to healthphysic     
Yamaha sells this oil for 39.99 (10-30 M4). You can get tha same item for 3.10 at I have used them for years now, never a problem. Ed
healthphysic posted 07-11-2005 12:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for healthphysic  Send Email to healthphysic     
Yamaha sells this oil for 39.99 (10-30 M4). You can get tha same item for 3.10 at I have used them for years now, never a problem. Ed

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