Mixing gasoline and oil during WW2

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2,688
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Elderly County, Florida
Greetings and good day to all in the happy computer place known as "Bitog." A statement: Recently I was reading about the Battle of Stalingrad during World War 2. As you might know, this became a winter war with temps dropping below minus 40 degrees. When Germany invaded, they firmly believed it would be a quick victory and therefore, did not prepare either men or machines to deal with bitter winter weather. Accordingly, when temps fell very low, the oil in the sumps of engines was so thick, vehicles wouldn't crank. Their quick solution was to mix oil and gasoline together to thin the oil so said vehicles and machinery would run and operate. My questions: 1. Wouldn't the gasoline evaporate once the engine reached operating temperature? 2. If so, wouldn't this gas/oil mix have to be repeated each time the engine was shut down and then restarted, (after a period of cooling of course). 3. What would this do to the lubricating qualities of the oil in the sump? In other words, wouldn't the gasoline in the oil act as a "wash" within the engine and thus "wash" the oil coating from pistons, cylinder walls, bearings, etc.? Opinions, theories, ideas?
 
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1,462
Location
East Mountains, NM
Originally Posted By: GreeCguy
Greetings and good day to all in the happy computer place known as "Bitog." A statement: Recently I was reading about the Battle of Stalingrad during World War 2. As you might know, this became a winter war with temps dropping below minus 40 degrees. When Germany invaded, they firmly believed it would be a quick victory and therefore, did not prepare either men or machines to deal with bitter winter weather. Accordingly, when temps fell very low, the oil in the sumps of engines was so thick, vehicles wouldn't crank. Their quick solution was to mix oil and gasoline together to thin the oil so said vehicles and machinery would run and operate. My questions: 1. Wouldn't the gasoline evaporate once the engine reached operating temperature? 2. If so, wouldn't this gas/oil mix have to be repeated each time the engine was shut down and then restarted, (after a period of cooling of course). 3. What would this do to the lubricating qualities of the oil in the sump? In other words, wouldn't the gasoline in the oil act as a "wash" within the engine and thus "wash" the oil coating from pistons, cylinder walls, bearings, etc.? Opinions, theories, ideas?
I used to be a partner in a Cessna 210E, 1965 aircraft. It had an option installed for cold weather starting. Using a supplied chart, you diluted the oil before shutting the engine down......Hold the valve open for a set period to mix in the required quarts of fuel. By design, the fuel would definitely evaporate into the crankcase ventilation system as the engine warmed to operating temperature. I never used the system. By the time I was part owner, we had multi viscosity oil, and starting below 0F is not an attractive option, anyway. And fuel diluted oil does not seem optimum for engine longevity. But.....Given war time operation, starting at all is a much more important consideration than engine longevity. The Russians were experts at low temperature operation of things mechanical. The U.S. delivered aircraft to them across the Bering strait. The Russkies never did share the secret of how they got them fired up again, once shut down in -50F.
 
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3,941
Location
Ohio
Originally Posted By: BigCahuna
Vodka in the gas.,,,
sounds like a [censored] bad idea in that kind of weather, the water would really do a number
 
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9,783
Location
Saskatoon canada
Originally Posted By: 4wheeldog
Originally Posted By: GreeCguy
Greetings and good day to all in the happy computer place known as "Bitog." A statement: Recently I was reading about the Battle of Stalingrad during World War 2. As you might know, this became a winter war with temps dropping below minus 40 degrees. When Germany invaded, they firmly believed it would be a quick victory and therefore, did not prepare either men or machines to deal with bitter winter weather. Accordingly, when temps fell very low, the oil in the sumps of engines was so thick, vehicles wouldn't crank. Their quick solution was to mix oil and gasoline together to thin the oil so said vehicles and machinery would run and operate. My questions: 1. Wouldn't the gasoline evaporate once the engine reached operating temperature? 2. If so, wouldn't this gas/oil mix have to be repeated each time the engine was shut down and then restarted, (after a period of cooling of course). 3. What would this do to the lubricating qualities of the oil in the sump? In other words, wouldn't the gasoline in the oil act as a "wash" within the engine and thus "wash" the oil coating from pistons, cylinder walls, bearings, etc.? Opinions, theories, ideas?
I used to be a partner in a Cessna 210E, 1965 aircraft. It had an option installed for cold weather starting. Using a supplied chart, you diluted the oil before shutting the engine down......Hold the valve open for a set period to mix in the required quarts of fuel. By design, the fuel would definitely evaporate into the crankcase ventilation system as the engine warmed to operating temperature. I never used the system. By the time I was part owner, we had multi viscosity oil, and starting below 0F is not an attractive option, anyway. And fuel diluted oil does not seem optimum for engine longevity. But.....Given war time operation, starting at all is a much more important consideration than engine longevity. The Russians were experts at low temperature operation of things mechanical. The U.S. delivered aircraft to them across the Bering strait. The Russkies never did share the secret of how they got them fired up again, once shut down in -50F.
Synthetic oil,that their half of the paper clip scientists formulated for them. Or vodka like BC suggests.
 
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2,584
Location
wv
oil+gas = Molotov cocktail I think the manual for the willys jeep states 30W for summer and 10W for winter.. so back then im not sure that the military had time to change over oils back and forth during warfare. Mixing gasoline with the oil was the quickest way to convert to the 10W and im sure they had no cares about life of the engine..just moving troops from point A to point B.
 
Messages
1,462
Location
East Mountains, NM
Originally Posted By: Clevy
Originally Posted By: 4wheeldog
Originally Posted By: GreeCguy
Greetings and good day to all in the happy computer place known as "Bitog." A statement: Recently I was reading about the Battle of Stalingrad during World War 2. As you might know, this became a winter war with temps dropping below minus 40 degrees. When Germany invaded, they firmly believed it would be a quick victory and therefore, did not prepare either men or machines to deal with bitter winter weather. Accordingly, when temps fell very low, the oil in the sumps of engines was so thick, vehicles wouldn't crank. Their quick solution was to mix oil and gasoline together to thin the oil so said vehicles and machinery would run and operate. My questions: 1. Wouldn't the gasoline evaporate once the engine reached operating temperature? 2. If so, wouldn't this gas/oil mix have to be repeated each time the engine was shut down and then restarted, (after a period of cooling of course). 3. What would this do to the lubricating qualities of the oil in the sump? In other words, wouldn't the gasoline in the oil act as a "wash" within the engine and thus "wash" the oil coating from pistons, cylinder walls, bearings, etc.? Opinions, theories, ideas?
I used to be a partner in a Cessna 210E, 1965 aircraft. It had an option installed for cold weather starting. Using a supplied chart, you diluted the oil before shutting the engine down......Hold the valve open for a set period to mix in the required quarts of fuel. By design, the fuel would definitely evaporate into the crankcase ventilation system as the engine warmed to operating temperature. I never used the system. By the time I was part owner, we had multi viscosity oil, and starting below 0F is not an attractive option, anyway. And fuel diluted oil does not seem optimum for engine longevity. But.....Given war time operation, starting at all is a much more important consideration than engine longevity. The Russians were experts at low temperature operation of things mechanical. The U.S. delivered aircraft to them across the Bering strait. The Russkies never did share the secret of how they got them fired up again, once shut down in -50F.
Synthetic oil,that their half of the paper clip scientists formulated for them. Or vodka like BC suggests.
In the '90s, Russkie aerobatic aircraft became a popular import. The radial engines were rated at 1000hr TBO. It quickly became apparent that the engines were capable of well beyond 2000hrs TBO when operated with 'Merican aviation oil in them. Russian aviation oil was never particularly good.
 
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43,676
Location
'Stralia
Clevy, these were in all likelihood monograde oils, and needed a helping hand as described to get them started...surely the majority would evaporate out. These days, the fuel and VIIs would potentially wreak havoc. But they weren't in the market for a 200,000 mile emissions friendly environment either, so it was a compromise that suited the purpose. Here's Cat's take on the practice. BTW, there's a member who has suggested that MMO might be useful for thinning TGMO on start-up...I LOLed.
 
Messages
411
Location
Ohio
My grandfather spent a year in Germany during the war. He recalled having to light a fire underneath the engines of various equipment to warm the crank case enough to start the engine. He watched a few of them burn to the ground, either from the fire getting out of control or leaky gas/oil lines and seals, but when the equipment wouldn't start it wasn't any good to them anyway.
 
Messages
1,462
Location
East Mountains, NM
Originally Posted By: jrmason
My grandfather spent a year in Germany during the war. He recalled having to light a fire underneath the engines of various equipment to warm the crank case enough to start the engine. He watched a few of them burn to the ground, either from the fire getting out of control or leaky gas/oil lines and seals, but when the equipment wouldn't start it wasn't any good to them anyway.
The proscribed bush pilot procedure was to drain the oil into a pot after engine shutdown, and heat it on the stove/campfire in the morning. That still only gave you a couple of minutes to get things fired up. Bridging spark plug gaps with ice is what happens if you do not get it to stay lit, on the first fire up. DAMHIK.
 
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3,730
Location
SE PA
Originally Posted By: GreeCguy
Greetings and good day to all in the happy computer place known as "Bitog." A statement: Recently I was reading about the Battle of Stalingrad during World War 2. As you might know, this became a winter war with temps dropping below minus 40 degrees. When Germany invaded, they firmly believed it would be a quick victory and therefore, did not prepare either men or machines to deal with bitter winter weather. Accordingly, when temps fell very low, the oil in the sumps of engines was so thick, vehicles wouldn't crank. Their quick solution was to mix oil and gasoline together to thin the oil so said vehicles and machinery would run and operate. My questions: 1. Wouldn't the gasoline evaporate once the engine reached operating temperature? 2. If so, wouldn't this gas/oil mix have to be repeated each time the engine was shut down and then restarted, (after a period of cooling of course). 3. What would this do to the lubricating qualities of the oil in the sump? In other words, wouldn't the gasoline in the oil act as a "wash" within the engine and thus "wash" the oil coating from pistons, cylinder walls, bearings, etc.? Opinions, theories, ideas?
A captured Russian pilot in winter 1941 showed that trick to German pilots. You added fuel in the oil, (the account doesn't say how much.), then mixed it by manually turning the propeller by hand. Start the engine, the fuel would flash off. By 1942, Axis forces were well able to deal with the cold and its effects on machinery.
 
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434
Location
Ga
Can't speak to WW2..but I do know when they were building the Alaska pipeline back in the 70s the big problem was all the trucks and other vehicles (don't know about aircraft) would not start in the winter cold. The solution was to NEVER turn the engine off when outdoors. They would let the engines idle when not driven..basically the engines ran 24/7. If an engine did stop/stall..it would not restart after a short period due to the cold..the lubricating oil went near solid. Those stalled vehicles were towed to a heated service area for repair and a restart. Once back in service in the field..they ran the engines continuously. Probably not a good solution on the eastern front for the Germans. I don't think they had enough fuel.
 
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3,577
Location
no. indiana
When in Canada I was told thay cut their oil with kerosene when temps got to the -30 and below mark, true or not???????????? I can imagine using fuel oil to cut motor oil tho.
 
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2,197
Location
British Columbia, Canada
One of my friends told me a story about German armour on the eastern front in WW II. In the morning it would be so cold the tanks wouldn't start. But if you built a fire under the VW staff car engine you could get it to start. Then you could get the half track to start by towing it with the the VW. Finally you could start the first tank by towing it with the VW and the half track. But by then it would be getting dark and time to shut things down for the night. The story may be apocryphal (I'm not so sure about towing a half track with a VW for example) but I expect it is representative of the difficulties. In any case the Germans were wholly unprepared for winter. I worked in Fort McMurray (northern Alberta) in the early 70's and we used to leave our company vehicles running constantly during really cold weather. They were only stopped (wait for it all you BITOG fans) to change the oil!
 
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36,515
Location
ME
Originally Posted By: jcwit
When in Canada I was told thay cut their oil with kerosene when temps got to the -30 and below mark, true or not????????????
I have a late 70's briggs manual instructing to run 5w20 (if you could even find it back then) at some arbitrarily cold temp and 5w20 cut with 10% kerosene below that.
 
Messages
10,122
Location
Nut farm
Originally Posted By: 4wheeldog
Originally Posted By: GreeCguy
Greetings and good day to all in the happy computer place known as "Bitog." A statement: Recently I was reading about the Battle of Stalingrad during World War 2. As you might know, this became a winter war with temps dropping below minus 40 degrees. When Germany invaded, they firmly believed it would be a quick victory and therefore, did not prepare either men or machines to deal with bitter winter weather. Accordingly, when temps fell very low, the oil in the sumps of engines was so thick, vehicles wouldn't crank. Their quick solution was to mix oil and gasoline together to thin the oil so said vehicles and machinery would run and operate. My questions: 1. Wouldn't the gasoline evaporate once the engine reached operating temperature? 2. If so, wouldn't this gas/oil mix have to be repeated each time the engine was shut down and then restarted, (after a period of cooling of course). 3. What would this do to the lubricating qualities of the oil in the sump? In other words, wouldn't the gasoline in the oil act as a "wash" within the engine and thus "wash" the oil coating from pistons, cylinder walls, bearings, etc.? Opinions, theories, ideas?
I used to be a partner in a Cessna 210E, 1965 aircraft. It had an option installed for cold weather starting. Using a supplied chart, you diluted the oil before shutting the engine down......Hold the valve open for a set period to mix in the required quarts of fuel. By design, the fuel would definitely evaporate into the crankcase ventilation system as the engine warmed to operating temperature. I never used the system. By the time I was part owner, we had multi viscosity oil, and starting below 0F is not an attractive option, anyway. And fuel diluted oil does not seem optimum for engine longevity. But.....Given war time operation, starting at all is a much more important consideration than engine longevity. The Russians were experts at low temperature operation of things mechanical. The U.S. delivered aircraft to them across the Bering strait. The Russkies never did share the secret of how they got them fired up again, once shut down in -50F.
My uncle managed to pop off a cold-soaked Cummins 855ci in -35 degrees (Michigan's UP). He put a propane heater under the oil pan for about an hour, and heated the intake manifold with a propane torch. About ten minutes of heating, he hit the starter, it fired. Sputtered and smoked a bit, but stayed running. I see no reason something similar wouldn't work for an aircraft. He didn't shut it down again until a few days later, when he was in warmer temperatures. cool
 
Messages
2,413
Location
SD
Originally Posted By: eljefino
Originally Posted By: jcwit
When in Canada I was told thay cut their oil with kerosene when temps got to the -30 and below mark, true or not????????????
I have a late 70's briggs manual instructing to run 5w20 (if you could even find it back then) at some arbitrarily cold temp and 5w20 cut with 10% kerosene below that.
I've seen old car manuals advising to mix kerosene with the oil at cold temps, also.
 
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2,413
Location
SD
On a related note, my grandpa talks about when he was a young man in the 1940s, living in Red Wing, MN. He had an early-30s Plymouth. He said that on real cold mornings, he'd put some coal on a shovel, light it, then slide it under the oil pan until the oil was heated enough for the engine to start.
 
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3,730
Location
SE PA
The weapon oils used by the Germans would freeze.The riflemen would remove the bolt of their K98s and leave them in their pockets until it was needed. (Evenyually instead of lubrication oils they used gasoline.) Ammunition had to have any oil/grease scrapped off. To dig a trench or such you needed explosives. Pneumatic systems, such as the gearbox and systems such as used by the Pz-35(t) would freeze. The rubber they used wasn't well suited for cold either. They had to build a fire under the tank right below the engine when ever they would park for any length of time. They also would place bricks in the fire and heat them up. Then place them in the breech of the gun to defrost the gun. They would start the engines every 2 hrs and let them run for 30 mins. Keep in mind though that this winter was harsher than most. And the German and their allies expected the campaign to end before winter hit.
 
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