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Canola In The Old Chainsaw-ola  RSS feed

 
Micah Levy
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OK Permies,

This is my first attempt at a post. Wish me well! (I would be very sad and embarrassed if this were deleted!)

First off, just in case you're not familiar with this fact (as I wasn't until recently), there are some that say that canola oil can be used in place of bar oil on a chainsaw. I bought a bottle of it at Safeway and have been using it. So far it seems to be working quite well.

So, this last Sunday I accidentally poured some canola oil into my gas tank. My experimental nature wanted me to keep it in the gas and run the saw to see what would happen. However, my more sane side prevailed (a rare occurrence and I opted against that. So I poured out the gas/oil/canola oil mixture into my discard tank and poured in some new gas/oil mixture into my saw. Now here's the really crazy thing: the engine on my saw ran better than it has ever run before. It was much faster and much more powerful. It behaved this way for the entire tank of gas.

So, the obvious question is: why? Here are some possible theories.

1. I was hallucinating.
2. Some of the canola oil remained in the tank after I poured out the bulk of the mixture.
a. This canola oil, when mixed with the traditional gas/oil mixture simply burned better
b. The canola oil that remained went through the system and cleaned out an otherwise somewhat gummed-up system

I have to do some more playing around with the saw and the oil to see how it behaves, but that being said, what do you all think? What are your reactions? Have you ever had an experience like this before? I can tell you this for certain: If I can determine that a mixture of gas/canola oil would lubricate the engine I would absolutely do that instead of using traditional petrol-oil.

Thanks for your thoughts.


 
Miles Flansburg
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Howdy Micah, welcome to permies!
I copied your post to another forum.. Gear.. so it might get a better response.
 
Tim Malacarne
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Location: South central Illinois, USA
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I use Canola for the saw when I cut hickory for smoking sausage... Lately, and I mean the last week or so, been using Canola in the crankcase of my tiller, which is over 40 years old and still the original motor, a Tecumseh 6 horse. The tiller engine uses a LOT of oil, and I figured I didn't have a whole lot to lose if it locked up. I've heard different people swear by various brands of engines, you know, the old Ford/Chevy stuff, but by golly, that Tecumseh is probably right at 42 years old, and will start on the first pull. The plug gets fouled, and has to be cleaned about every 2 hours of runtime. Been doing that for awhile....
 
Tim Malacarne
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Location: South central Illinois, USA
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Wanted to mention, since the motor uses a lot of oil and blows blue smoke sometimes, since I've been adding the Canola, it smells really sweet, if you can imagine!
 
Brian Hamalainen
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Location: Chimacum, WA Sunset Zone 5, USDA Zone 8B
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I have a 1955 model Onan generator that still starts first pull most times. Unfortunately, the fuel pump is broken so it only runs for about 30 seconds before "running out of gas" in the carb bulb.
 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Brian Ham wrote:I have a 1955 model Onan generator that still starts first pull most times

Oh gosh, totally irrelevant, but... someone called their company Onan? And their gear only needs one pull and...
sorry, I'll go away now
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Two cycle engines can be extremely tempermental bastards at times.
The reason we add oil to the fuel is because the engines have no oil sump.
The only lubrication that they get is when the fuel (with added oil) passes through the crankcase on its way to the carb.

I have no idea how Canola acts as a lubricating oil, or its burn qualities, so I cannot endorse it, nor criticize it.
After decades of maintaining 2 cycle engines, I will say that the 2 most important factors for their operation are:
clean fuel and clean spark plug.

I would be extremely reluctant to substitute the proper oil with something not designed for that particular use.
There is a Hukqy dealer who will double the warranty for customers who use the synthetic oil.

So, you replace petroleum oil with GMO oil.
What have you gained?

 
Tim Malacarne
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Location: South central Illinois, USA
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I see what you're saying John..... I my case, the thing blows oil pretty bad sometimes, others not. I'd rather the blue smoke come from canola oil than petroleum based. Less harmful to the plants, I'd think... Dang smoke smells good, I tell ya! Really. The engine has had it, at over 40 years old, which is why I'm willing to risk it. Ran it yesterday, still OK....
 
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