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2 CYCLE ENGINE OIL OPTIONS- SEADOO ROTAX USERS MUST READ!
Posted on Aug 5,2005 10:05:17 AM
(profile)Oil Quality Classification System
I have spent way too much time researching this, but hopefully it will shed some light on the whole Oil Debate for 2 cycle Rotax engines. Contrary to what most people may believe, Whether or not the oil is “Low Ash” or “Ashless” is not very much concern. Although Low Ash oils typically do provide added protection, it does not necessarily mean we should choose our oil based on whether or not it is Ashless or Low Ash. What is more important is the Oil Quality Classification. The oil quality classification is generally used to determine the oil’s ability to prevent failure under unusual loads. There are several oil classification standards, but the ones that pertain to us are NMMA, API, ISO, and JASO. I will limit the standards to ones that pertain to us.
Standards you may be familiar with:
In 1988 the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) defined oil designations for different two-cycle engine oil applications. These included:
API TA - Asian Use, High Ash Oil
API TB - European Use, Medium Ash Oil
API TC - North American Use, Low Ash Air-Cooled Engine Oil
API TD - North American Use, Ash-Free Outboard, Water-Cooled Engine Oil.
After viewing this list, you may find that these classifications are primarily based on the amount of Ash, not a very good way of determining the ability for oil to protect your engine. This method of classification is outdated and seldom used.
As you know, our SeaDoo’s call for API TC. Although our 2-cycle Rotax is not an Air-cooled engine, it requires this oil because air-cooled oils typically offer much better protection than water-cooled oils.
In 1988 the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), formerly the BIA, issued TC-WII lubricant requirements. In 1993 TC-W3 came out. As we all know, these standards mean nothing to us Rotax users because they will do not provide enough protection against engine failure in Rotax or Aircooled (Like the ones featured in Ultralites) engines. This standard does not even meet API TC’s engine protection, as it was not designed to withstand the typical challenges of an Air-Cooled Engine (or in our case, a high horsepower, high RPM, high temperature Rotax engine).
Newer Standards that make more sense:
ISO "Global" System
ISO is Europe’s solution to the American Crap system. They are classified as follows:
Global "EGD" is internationally recognized as the highest quality air-cooled 2-cycle oil available. It is a synthetic or semi-synthetic, extreme temperature/anti-scuff/lubricity, low smoke, low ash oil. Comparable to JASO FD. There is no comparable API product. API is significantly less quality than EGD.
Global "EGC" is equivalent to JASO "FC," Japan's highest quality 2-cycle oil. In Japan these oils may also be referred to as "Genuine" oils. These oils are high lubricity/detergent, low smoke, semi-synthetic, low ash oils.
Global "EGB" Europe's lowest quality 2-cycle oil, is equivalent to JASO "FB." It is generally accepted that North America's API TC rated oils are equivalent to these oils. These oils do not require any synthetic to meet specifications, but do have detergent and/or lubricity additives, and are typically low to medium ash oils.
JASO is Japan’s solution to the American Crap system. They are classified as follows:
JASO "FA" rated oils are used in Pacific Rim countries and are the lowest rated Japanese 2-cycle oils. They are medium to high ash mineral oils with limited lubricity or detergency. As of December 2004, this classification will not be used.
JASO "FB" is equivalent to Global "GB." It is generally accepted that North America's API TC rated oils are equivalent to these oils. These oils do not require any synthetic to meet specifications, but do have detergent and/or lubricity additives, and are typically low to medium ash oils.
JASO "FC" is equivalent to Global "GC," Europe's medium quality 2-cycle oil. In Japan these oils may also be referred to as "Genuine" oils. These oils are high lubricity/detergent, low smoke, semi-synthetic, low ash oils. Before December 2004, this was JASO’s highest quality oil.
JASO "FD" is equivalent to Global "GD," Europe's Highest quality 2-cycle oil. This classification was added December 2004.
So what does this mean to us????
Our Seadoo’s require protection that API TC delivers. However better protection is obviously better!
Instead of looking for oil that is API TC “Low Ash” we should be focusing our attention on oils that provide comparable or better protection. So here is a new criteria for oil.
For the best protection exceeding API TC: Use oil that meets or exceeds ISO EGD, ISO EGC, JASO FC, or JASO FD
For comparable protection to API TC: Use oil that meets or exceeds ISO EGB, JASO FB, or API TC
AVOID: JASO FA, and all TC-W* unless it meets or exceeds a higher standard listed in the product data sheet.
SeaDoo - 1998 - Challenger 1800 - Twin 100hp Rotax (800)