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Author Topic:   Who refines the OEM 2-stroke oils?
Dr T posted 05-27-2003 09:51 AM ET (US)   Profile for Dr T   Send Email to Dr T  
It is "common knowlege" that OEM oils for two-stroke engines generally perform better than oils not distributed by the manufacturers.

However, like all petroleum products, this oil is a fractional distillate of crude oil. This leads to the question: Who actually refines and formulates the oils distributed by Mercury, OMC, Yamaha, etc.?

Does anyone know how this manufacturing process is arranged? For instance, does Mercury buy a special light oil of a given specification from--say--Exxon and then have its own chemists go to work on it?


MMD posted 05-27-2003 10:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for MMD  Send Email to MMD     
Engineering at the various OEM manufacturing test facilities work with the chemist/researcher of a refiner to produce a "package" of additives for their brand of engine lubricant which theoretically will enhance their engine performance.

These additives are then added (mixed in) to the base lubricant product (oil) and shipped to a packaging firm usually in 55 gallon drums which by the way are (the drums that is) readily available from an authorized OEM dealer if your interested in a few years supply to keep on hand :). However most folks opt for the more conventional packaging of gallons and quarts!

Dr T posted 05-27-2003 04:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
55 gal drums, eh?

At the rate my 35 Johnson drinks gas, that might last me into the next century.

Seriously, is there a shelf life on the oil? I have some old OMC oil in cans (!!) that still needs to be used.

Sal DiMercurio posted 05-27-2003 05:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Doc, when you say old, old are you talking, tcw-3 or tcw-2.
Do yourself a favor & throw it away & get the newest virsion of tcw-3 oil.
Remember this, they changed the requirements from tcw-2 to tcw-3 because the 2 wasen't able to lubricate the engines properly because of the changes in the gasoline.
You wont be saving anything by using the "OLD" stuff, in fact, it might very well cost you the price of a new engine,...gapish ?
Dr T posted 05-27-2003 10:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Thanks, Sal. But then, that would give me an excuse to repower because it doesn't look like I will ever be able to wear the old 82 out...
Jerry Townsend posted 05-27-2003 11:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Dr T - I do not have specific information of the 2-cycle oil formulations today - but from past experience in the oil business, I suspect that the manufacturers are using crude oils of select areas. That is, years ago when I was involved in the oil production business in Wyoming and familiar with the refining operations - there was a big difference in the quality of lube oils from different areas. That is, east coast oils (Pennezoil and Quaker State) were a lot cleaner than the mid-continent oils (Texaco, Exxon, They were all good lubricating oils though. Now, bear in mind that this reference point is from many, many years ago. The refining technology may have changed to eliminate this difference - though I doubt it.

Now, if I were thinking of making a two-cycle oil today, I would be putting a non-paraffin based oil - such as that from the east coast at the top of the list. And then, as you suggest, use that oil from the stack and then have the chemists blend in other chemicals to get the desired product.

There should a chemist or two out there to give some professional insight here. ---- Jerry/Idaho

lhg posted 05-30-2003 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Who makes the OEM oils is one of the Outboard Industry's tightest secrets. How they maintain it all these years is beyond me, but they do.

From the OMC bankruptcy creditor list, we do know that OMC's oils were coming from Ashland Oil company in Wisconsin. And Walmart's TCW-3 is from Pennzoil.

As for Mercury and Yamaha, who knows? I don't.

Dick posted 05-30-2003 10:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
Mercury's oils come from the Gold Eagle plant in Chicago. The raw oil comes in by rail car and is pumped into underground tanks. Itis then mixed to Mercury's specs and bottled.

The day I toured the plant there was Mercury, Slick 50 and some other brand coming down the production lines.

The most interesting thing about the tour was watching plastic pellets being turned into bottles.


Dr T posted 05-30-2003 11:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Thanks Jerry and Dick. If the refined oil is coming in by rail car, it implies that a special production run may be being made somewhere and the East Coast makes sense.

There is a lot of sulpher in the West Texas oils (or at least my nose always told me there was), and it would probably take a bit of work to get it cleaned out.

On the other hand, I seem to recall that sulpher was used as a sort of lubricant in Diesel fuel.

I am interested in any additional information that one of our resident chemists or PEs may have.

My next question along these lines is: Is spearmint really the secret ingredient in Marvel Mystery Oil? It is some sort of natural degreaser but it is--well--a mystery.


SuburbanBoy posted 06-06-2003 05:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
Of course we could buy the synthetic type and eliminate most of the "where was your oil from" questions. I wonder what they do in Europe for high quality motor oil? Import Penzoil? I still say OEM is worth the extra $50/year.


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