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Upper cylinder lubricant

Posted by javert Z8 TX (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 25, 11 at 11:18

Wondering if upper cylinder lubricant really does any good - or harm. I've used it (Marvel Mystery Oil, Lucas) for years, primarily because it seems logical to me that a touch of lubricant in the combustion chamber is a good thing. I've not had any obvious problems from its use, and feel like it does some good - but I don't really have anything to base that good feeling on. I'd like to hear from some of you knowledgable guys on the forum.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Jav: Have used Lucas Top End Lubricant / Fuel Injector Cleaner for around five yrs , it does an very good job of reducing carbon deposits around the valves and rings along with effective cleaning of the fuel circuits . I use it for snowmobiles , lawnmower , auto , motorcycles , chainsaws and gas trimmers . A little goes a long way , especially within ethanol fuel gumming reduction .


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

I believe MMM or similar upper cylinder lube will prevent intake valves from sticking to the valve guides which can result in the pushrod falling out upon cold start up. Seems to be plenty of evidence of pushrods getting bent or broken when they fall out of place and run afoul of the rocker arms and piston movement.
The slight oil film deposited on the intake valve stem will guard against the valve getting glued to the guide by varnish.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Thank you, fellas. I'll stick with the upper cyl lube.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

IMO it doesn't have to be the high priced stuff, any motor oil or transmission fluid will work. Let's take the mystery out of it!


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

As long as the Product has a form of lubricity and solvency it will do what is required . Several options available , a little goes a long way as preventative maintenance . I only use it every 4-5 tank of fuel normally or on the 1st seasonal usage . My primary reason of use is with carb circuit fouling prevention .


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

The few times I've felt the need for an upper cylinder lube, I just used some 2 stroke oil at "about" a 2-300:1 ratio.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

2 stroke oil at an ultra lean ratio is the ticket for top end oiling and a quart goes a lonnnnnng way.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

I use 2 stroke oil 1% per gal. in diesel engines and diesel fuel 5% per gal of gas in lawn tractor.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Yes 2-stroke oil of proper selection/ratio has been used for top end diesel application especially with the introduction of low sulphur fuels . I never have used it on gas application , rather automatic trans fluid . Good bit of info Thanx !


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Slowrench, are you saying 6.4 oz of 2-stroke oil per gallon of gasoline? That's a lot more than Bill's suggestion of about 1 oz in 2 gallons of gasoline. I use Lucas at their recommendation of 3 oz per 10 gallons, which works out to 3/4 to 2.5 gal of gas.

Do you folks who use 2-stroke oil use synthetic or dino?


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

In the rare cases I do use top end lube... the most cost effective dino 2 stroke oil I can find. It only needs to lube and burn.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Twelvegauge,i use dino 2 stroke 1% per gal.of diesel fuel in diesel vehicles. Lawn tractor gets 5% diesel fuel and 95% gasoline.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

  • Posted by exmar 6 SE Ohio (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 31, 11 at 17:07

I'm a firm believer in SeaFoam, primarily for it's cleaning of carburetor nozzles in the "new" (THANKS EPA-NOT!!!) units that have no adjustments. I was tipped off to use it by a Sears Tech who was involved in replacing the twin cylinder Briggs on my tractor. Yes, it was one of the bad air cleaner units. If I'm reading this right, I don't have to use seafoam, but can use 2cycle dino oil?

Side bar to the Briggs air cleaner fiasco, Sears replaced the engine under warranty, however the unit they replaced it with was of a later design but dust, etc. still got into the engine. Having had enough of Sears, went directly to Briggs and they replaced it again, however with the proper air filter this time. Been running strong for over two years now. I still check the throat below the air cleaner for dust....:-)

Moral of the Briggs Air Cleaner story, don't go to Sears or any "big box" vendor for engine issues, go directly to the engine manufacturer. I had to take it to the local authorized Shop, but they not only changed the engine, they replaced a 22HP with a 26! All it cost me was for two quarts of Briggs oil, which Briggs insisted I pay for.

Ev

Ev


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Using 2 stroke oil as a top end lube will do exactly that... lube the valve stems, valve guides, and valve seats. It will do nothing to clean the carb.

If you believe that Sea Foam will provide top end lubrication along with some aspect of carb cleaning then it's your choice whether to use it or not.

Bear in mind that there are hundreds of millions of OPE machines doing their lobs perfectly reliably using no additives whatsoever... just a thought.

Regarding the B&S smokers... I understood that there were three revs of the airbox-intake and that the final engine version cured the disease. And yes, the ultimate remedy came from dealing direct with B&S as the replacement engines that Sears provided were not the final version. B&S stepped up (AFAIK is still doing so, at least 6 months ago) and replaced lots of Sears engines at no charge even though the engines Sears sourced had no B&S warranty.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Well, when I first read this post I thought the poster was talking about removing the spark plug and preserving for long term storage?

along with justaluker comments I think there is misunderstanding between upper cylinder lubricant (or long term storage) and fuel system treatment? IMO upper cylinder lubricant is something you do when you put your equipment in storage for long period of time say two months or more.

While fuel system treatment is also done during long term storage, but also on a recurring basis to prevent carb. gumming. IMO for upper cylinder lubricant 9when long term storage is required) any type motor oil or transmission fluid will do. But for treating the fuel system is different seperate from piston rings, valve seats and guide. Some claim to do both but the instruction must be followed from the manufacture or company that makes the product. I up to use to believe which is better based on how much we think we must spend.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

I understood the OP was referring to routine, ongoing additive addition to the fuel and not a long term (storage) situation.

As far back as I can remember, and it is quite a ways back, the term upper cylinder lubrication and top end oil always referred to something added to the fuel and that seemed to me the obvious question posed by the OP.

Back in the day... way back in the day, the old timers always added Marvel or some other favorite to the fuel cause that's what Dad taught them. Along came OHVs and that practice stayed around but eventually mostly disappeared.

In all the engines I've owned and serviced and rebuilt I've never seen the need for any fuel additive unless specific symptoms indicated such. I put fuel in the tank and oil in the sump and that works just fine.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Sorry my meaning wasn't clear. I was talking about gasoline additive, no long-term storage. My equipment hardly ever goes as long as a month without use, so I never prep it for long-term.

Specifically, I normally use StaBil Marine stabilizer AND a small amount of Lucas or MMO. I've done it for years, and the cost is not significant. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing any harm.

Thanks to all. This has been an interesting thread.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Ok that clears that up. For lurking I could see why you wouldn't be confused being so smart an all. I guess you never preserved and engine for long term storage so you wouldn't be confused.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

RC,

Not confused because I read the OP's post and it was obvious.

I don't see why you embraced the more obscure and obtuse subject of storage not conveyed by the OP, but you did and that's OK too.

I do resent you ragging me for reading and comprehending a simple statement and responding on point and it was kinda petty for you to do so.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Ok, you are correct, sorry for wasting your time. I am the DS. I figured fuel now days comes with additve to prevent what the OP was talking about and the only time problem would arise would be from setting idle or storage? If I was going to buy high price over inflated stuff it would be VMAX. IMO they got the best sells gimmic going?!?


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Why the self deprecating drivel RC? Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed New Years Day? Nobody is looking to bust your balls and you're not wasting anyone's time. You've answered many a complicated question on this forum and whatever you post is interesting whether on point or not. We're all just trying to help when someone asks a question and we have an answer.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Ok Girls lets break it up lol . Jav no apology necessary I understood your rational , but also see where rc could have misinterpreted your usage. RC / JL I use my lucas product sparingly . $5 for 6 ounces which will treat auto for two tanks , every 4 or 5th tank just for prevention . It as you both know is a lube and solvent based product . I needed it for temp relief of a sticking #2 cyl fuel injector on my Geo Tracker which had sit for 6 mths . I started with fuel cleaner and it helped but due to no lubricity the sticking (open)problem returned . Once I started with the Top end / cleaner treatment I was able to continue to use the vehicle until spring when I ordered and replaced the (4) Multi port batch fired injectors. I have also trial Seafoam just this yr which is comparable in my eyes within effect and pricing . I also fog my outboard and use stabil when snowmobiles are seasonally stored . I do not belief in engine rebuild in a bottle miracles but some fuel treatments are very worth while . Especially within Small Engine Fuel circuits and questionable fuel quality these days. Anyhow jav you and I are apparently of the same opinion , so all the Best Guys !


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Thanks, ewalk. If you can stand shopping at Wally's (you know where I mean) you can get 32 oz of Lucas for $10. BTW, my main concern with gasoline is the ethanol. If I could find un-ethanoled gas for my lawn equipment, I'd pay more for it.

I gather from the responses in this thread that using upper cylinder lubricant in fuel isn't hurting anything, that it probably does some good, but that some responders suspect it's a waste of money. Anyway, I'm gonna keep on keeping on.

Again, thanks to all.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

As I stated earlier, and in a multitude of other threads, I believe the primary benefit from a lubricant added to the fuel supply is in helping prevent a "stuck to the guide" intake valve that happened to end up in the open position the last time the engine rolled to a stop.
I've seen and heard enough about bent or broken pushrod events that happened on start up after the engine sat for a brief storage cycle (like a week or two between mowings) to understand how a little added oil in the fuel can help prevent this.
My opinion on the subject is that engine OEMs walk a tightrope between using a heavy duty valve spring strong enough to assure that the valve can't become stuck to the guide (but then they risk having the powerful spring beat the heck out of the valve seats and valve face and increase wear to the camshaft).
Or, on the other side of the coin, they can use a very very light duty spring that is kind and gentle on the valve seats, valve face and camshaft, but then the risk is that valves may float/flutter at high RPM or stick to the guides in storage as I mentioned earlier.

My philosophy here is to use the little bit of additional lube oil in the fuel as a safeguard (or insurance policy) against having one of those stuck valve/bent pushrod events.
I also say it might help the components of the fuel system keep from developing surface rust and corrosion (barrier film perhaps) that seems to be encouraged by the ethanol content of most pump gas today.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Mownie,

Good advice, and I am using MMM in my fuel. I understand how it will help with the intake valve. Do you have any advice with how to get a little of the same 'insurance' with the exhaust valve. I have a Briggs V-twin 26hp Intek that 'occasionally' bends an exhaust pushrod.

Mike


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant-Correction

I meant: 'MMO'...Marvel Mystery Oil....


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Heh heh, are you 100% certain that it is in fact the exhaust valve pushrod and not the intake that "occasionally bends"?
To ID the valve, rocker, and pushrod positively, do a visual examination of the location of intake manifold (port) and exhaust manifold (port) on the cylinder head.
The intake valve is physically "nearest" the intake port and the exhaust valve is likewise nearest the exhaust port.
Another means of identifying the intake pushrod (if it is in its correct location) is that only the pushrod for the intake valve is constructed of aluminum. The exhaust pushrod is made of steel......easily determined by using a magnet without removing the pushrod.

To the point of lube on the exhaust valve stem portion that is exposed to the exhaust gas stream. Not needed!
The hot exhaust gases actually scour and blister away at the surface of the exhaust valve stem to the effect that nothing is likely to accumulate there that could cause sticking in the manner of what happens with the intake valves.

If you are in fact having problems with EXHAUST pushrods bending, it could be attributed to a valve seat loosening in the head and holding the valve off its seat enough to let the pushrod escape, or the rocker arm mounting/pivot bolt loosening and allowing the same to happen.

I suggest you use the visual inspection to identify for certain exactly which valve is which........and then check the material of the pushrods using a magnet to make sure the correct aluminum rod is mated with the intake valve and the steel rod to the exhaust valve.


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Mownie,

Yes, I am 110% sure it is the exhaust valve pushrod. It is steel. It activates the smaller valve. It is the valve that ports to the muffler.

I know that this is not the subject of this thread...but my steel exhaust valve pushrods are not 'ejected'. Thus far they are only bent and still 'operating' the valve, when it happens. I know something is wrong because the exhaust 'note' changes significantly. When I have replaced the pushrod, the valve guide was not displaced and the rocker looked fine. I just inserted another rod and checked/adjusted the valve.

From your inputs it sounds like I need to pull the head to inspect the valve seat....

Mike


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

  • Posted by exmar 6 SE Ohio (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 3, 11 at 16:07

Wow! You can learn a lot in these forums. If I understand all the info presented, upper cylinder lubrication is adding oil (2 cycle or regular) to gas in a minimal ratio. Seafoam (which I continue to swear by) is for cleaning the fuel system. Then there's Lucas which has a very strong support group out there. Oh, forgot, MMO which is also good stuff.

Not to throw another log on the fire, but something else I've been doing for years is add STP oil treatment when the oil level goes down slightly between oil changes. None of the engines I have use appreciable amounts of oil, probably because I keep up on oil changes. Any harm or foul in doing that? When I say "slightly" I'm talking about slightly below full, but no where near "add oil" on the dipstick.

additionally, I've switched from using Briggs oil filters to automotive ones as they hold more oil and seem do a better job. I did this after reading a lot of posts in the craftsman club and others, it just seemed to make sense.

Very interesting post.

Ev


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RE: Upper cylinder lubricant

Jav: Thanx and yes I know what you mean , I Buy the 32 oz myself lol .

Ex: The reason I like the Lucas Top end / Injector cleaner it does both , Cleans and Lubricates . But there are numerous other products that will do extremely well also as you have stated , even conventional oil if used in moderation .

Mownie: As per usual excellent points of consideration Bro . Exactly why we always bought aftermarket High Performance Valve Springs for our Open Wheeled Mods . A floating Valve at High Rpm can sure mess up some Manley Pistons and other Valve Train Components lol :)


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