A reader asks: I’ve got a fleet of restored snowmobiles from the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Regarding 2-stroke oil, I see that there is now a Polaris Vintage 2-Stroke Oil available. Would this product be my best choice?
Our answer: First off, we have no data or test information on Polaris Vintage 2-Stroke Oil. We are sure that it is a perfectly competent product. However, it is a conventional (or mineral) two-cycle oil. We are huge advocates of synthetic oil in two-stroke engines. Do note that older two-stroke engines are 100% compatible with synthetic oil. In fact, the advantages of synthetic oil in classic 2-stroke motors are too numerous to overlook.
There are no specifications listed for the Polaris Vintage Oil. However, we can extrapolate a few things from their product description. The Polaris product page does note that the Vintage 2-Stroke Oil has a heavier viscosity than regular two-cycle oil. Therefore, we can assume that the oil is formulated this way for older engines with some wear and looser tolerances. Be aware that a heavy mineral oil may not flow very quickly in oil-injected engines on very cold days.
Polaris also mentions that this Vintage Oil should not be used in snowmobile engines equipped with variable exhaust power valves. This suggests that carbon deposit build-up is a concern.
Polaris does add a fuel stabilizer component to this Vintage 2-Stroke Oil formula. This is a nice touch. If a two-cycle oil does not offer gasoline preservation, we strongly advocate adding a splash of stabilizer additive to every batch of fuel.
Is Synthetic Oil Better For Vintage 2-Stroke Engines?
We contend that a full-synthetic oil is the most cost-effective upgrade for any older 2-stroke motor. A well-formulated synthetic oil will provide robust wear-control and improved friction reduction. In our opinion, this is a superior approach over simply ratcheting up viscosity for older engines.
AMSOIL’s Synthetic Option For Vintage 2-Stroke Engines
AMSOIL Synthetic 2-Stroke Injector Oil is a superb choice for any classic two-stroke engine. Here are the features and benefits of this product.
- Excellent wear-control from synthetic base oils and robust additives
- Outstanding cold-flow properties over mineral oil. Flows down to -63F
- Burns clean for low exhaust smoke
- Can be used in older engines with variable exhaust power valves
- Delivers cleaner operation with less combustion chamber and exhaust port deposits
- Contains ingredients that fight internal rust and corrosion
- Premix or oil-injection compatible
- Priced competitively with OEM mineral 2-stroke oils
In conclusion, older 2-stroke engines do not require a specialized 2-cycle oil. A good synthetic 2-stroke oil will provide maximum wear protection, cleaner operation and offer a performance upgrade.