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Pedal Smasher
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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I just learned about this product and that apparently it has been around for ages. Supposedly it helps keep engines lubricated and running properly. So, I figured you guys are definitely old enough to know people who swore by it. Anyone on here still use it? They even created the Marvel Mystery Inverse Oiler which would allow MMO to be syphoned from a tank into the engine based on decreasing manifold vacuum.
 

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UngerDog
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Yes, I have some Mystery oil and use it occasionally, usually on small electrical motors. I guess I'm not old enough to remember the Inverse Oiler. But, I searched it, and now I know.
 

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Premium Member
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I think it was based on hype. oil is oil. My dad worked at a refinery and he is the one that taught me oil was oil. Also gasoline, most of the gas has alcohol in it so you have to be careful when you stop for gasoline. Seems everyone has the best oil for your car. I use Mobil 1 oil, seems to do the job. I can't speak for Mystery oil, I would say it is a mystery how they can jack up the price because you are getting Mystery oil.

Bob
 

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Back in the sixties and seventies, gas stations sold small cans on upper valve lubricant and MMO was used by many as a gas additive especially after lead was removed. It was also used as an old time oil treatment prior to all the "new" oil additives and treatments. Like most things there were those who loved it, loved it and used it religiously. Also back in the day, I believe Amoco was the only lead free gas and one of it's usages other than automobiles was for Coleman lanterns and such. I still have a few cans downstairs on the shelf that were purchased in the early 80's and never used.
A reminder of the past.

Speaking of decreasing manifold vacuum, I had a water injection unit that I used on my 70 GT's that operated off vacuum, the lower the vacuum the more water into the carb to negate pinging on acceleration after advancing the timing and it kept the pistons clean as a whistle, no carbon. But in the Northeast, alcohol had to be added in the Winter to keep the water from freezing or disconnect the unit and retard the timing.
 

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Back in the 1960s, there were any number of additives on the market, all promising wonderful things for your car including fixing worn piston rings. One of the most popular additives was STP, especially after Mario Andretti declared to the radio audience that his Indy-500 winner "...had more STP in its Ford engine" than anyone else. At the Texaco station where I worked summers, we had any number of engines and automatic transmissions that had a hardened, almost plastic substance in the bottom of the pans that we attributed to the regular use of STP, knowing the customers and their regular requests during oil changes. We even had one guy that poured the crap through the carburetor of his 289-Mustang, thinking it lubricated his valves. They were all captured by the TV commercial that showed how it was impossible to hold the business-end of a flat screwdriver after it had been dipped in STP.
 

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I've been around a day or two and been an automobile, motorcycle or aircraft mechanic from the time I could pick up a wrench and I have never seen an engine failure in anything do to the oil. Failures could always be traced back to something else. Even back when non detergent oils were in use and engines would get so full of crud that the oil screens would clog, they failed due to lack of oil not reaching the bearings, not the oil it's self. People tend to swear by things like oil additives because they have used it and never had a problem. But that in no way means that they would of had a problem if they had not used it. Oils today are very high quality lubricant's and need nothing else. But with that said, there is one exception. Due to Zinc being removed from modern oils for emission reasons and the fact that your CHI engines don't have roller lifters. Zinc is the only additional additive your new engine needs for break in or anytime you do a cam change.

A true story about an additive;

Back in the mid 60's I had a friend who was convinced that God's gift to engines was STP. He was so sold on the stuff, and with the mentality of "if a little is good, a lot is better" that no matter how many of us tried to talk him out of it, he decided to run straight STP in his new race engine. For anyone not familiar with the STP oil additive, it pretty much has the constancy of cold molasses. Needless to say this turned out to be a very expensive lesson when a couple of rods took a shortcut thru the side of the block about the time he shifted to 4th gear on his first pass. Upon tear down there was virtually no lubrication on any of the rotating assembly. The best we could determine was that because of the thickness of the STP, when the RPM came up it just couldn't flow and cavitated the pump causing a total loss of oil, or in this case STP flow.
 
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I still have my can of Marvel Mystery Oil. I use it to lubricate my air tools. I had a 74 D100 pickup with an aged 225 six. If I didn't give it an occasional dose of MMO, oil would back out the dip tube. My father-in-law swore by MMO. Other than my air tools, it hasn't been used on anything since the 80's but it still looks fine. Didn't Roger Barr use it on Chasing Classic Cars to soak the rings of cars that have sat a while?
 

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A true story about an additive;

Back in the mid 60's I had a friend who was convinced that God's gift to engines was STP. He was so sold on the stuff, and with the mentality of "if a little is good, a lot is better" that no matter how many of us tried to talk him out of it, he decided to run straight STP in his new race engine. For anyone not familiar with the STP oil additive, it pretty much has the constancy of cold molasses. Needless to say this turned out to be a very expensive lesson when a couple of rods took a shortcut thru the side of the block about the time he shifted to 4th gear on his first pass. Upon tear down there was virtually no lubrication on any of the rotating assembly. The best we could determine was that because of the thickness of the STP, when the RPM came up it just couldn't flow and cavitated the pump causing a total loss of oil, or in this case STP flow.
Interesting that he would use something so thick and gloppy as STP in a race engine that is expected to run freely at high RPMs. When I raced karts, the engine builder (we used the Briggs & Stratton 5-HP engines) insisted we use 2-cycle oil in the crankcase -- it was thinner and let the engines run at higher RPM. Nobody has recommended this for our daily drivers, nor will I, but I never saw any of our kart engines fail.
 

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Detroit,where my home was
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I used to put about 250 cc of 2 stroke oil in with every oil change in my older cars, helped to clean the inside of the engine as well
 

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Opel Rallier since 1977
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2,148 Posts
MMO is good for loosening stuck rings in an engine that has been sitting for a while, and for cleaning gum deposits out of valves and guides. The latter is the source of improved manifold vacuum. (But Rislone poured slowly down the carn throat is a product that will also help with deposits on valve stems and guides).

MMO is very light oil, with some penetrating properties, though I would in no way equate it with PB Blaster or the like

Use for a lube for air tools is a good use too.
 

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Opel Rallier since 1977
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Interesting that he would use something so thick and gloppy as STP in a race engine that is expected to run freely at high RPMs. When I raced karts, the engine builder (we used the Briggs & Stratton 5-HP engines) insisted we use 2-cycle oil in the crankcase -- it was thinner and let the engines run at higher RPM. Nobody has recommended this for our daily drivers, nor will I, but I never saw any of our kart engines fail.
People come up with all sorts of imagined good ideas, but many are not! Your cart engines probably used only splash oiling, so probably the thinner it was, the more liberally it would get splashed around.

FWIW....Too thin of an engine oil in a typical car engine would eventually result in the oil film getting penetrated in the main and/or rid bearings under the pressure of being pushed hard. You can find modern thinking on that in info from Mahle/Clevite and King. The Mahle/Clevite info is in their big online catalog, and also in a series of tech bulletins, TB-2070 through TB-2073. And here is some info from King:
 

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Detroit,where my home was
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I think the reason why modern oils are thinner now a days is because the outer finish of the used materials is smother and therefor there is less lash between the parts so a thinner oil is needed to get between the parts. jmtc
 

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Opel Rallier since 1977
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I think the reason why modern oils are thinner now a days is because the outer finish of the used materials is smother and therefor there is less lash between the parts so a thinner oil is needed to get between the parts. jmtc
It related but more in the opposite manner....

The use of thinner oils is being driven by the search for more and more fuel economy. It is presenting issues with needing lighter and lighter valve springs, tighter internal clearances in things like hydraulic lifters, and requiring smaller main and rod bearing clearances to maintain an adequate film of oil. So it is the other way around... the requirements of using a light oil for fuel economy are driving the finish and clearances.
 

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Living in the past
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MMO is good for loosening stuck rings in an engine that has been sitting for a while, and for cleaning gum deposits out of valves and guides. The latter is the source of improved manifold vacuum. (But Rislone poured slowly down the carn throat is a product that will also help with deposits on valve stems and guides).

MMO is very light oil, with some penetrating properties, though I would in no way equate it with PB Blaster or the like

Use for a lube for air tools is a good use too.
MMO has a LOT of good uses, when I was a young kid I loved to roller-skate and was a real "rink rat" and was big into speed roller skating. I started working in the skate room when I was about 12 and found a great teacher in the skate mechanic that had a real job there at the rink. In the skate room we had a bench lathe, drill press, small milling machine and a few special tools that the skate mechanic made (he was a retired airplane machinest). First thing he taught me was making wheels (wood back then) and how to read mics. The skates back in those days were all high tops with a 1 inch heel and heavy. SO......... first thing I did was cut down the boot tops to just above the ankle and took 3/4 inch off the heels, took them to the shoe shop and had the tops stitched up so I could bend my ankles when "cross steping in the corners of the oval track extending my stroke in the turns. Next I took the plates off the boots and drilled them full of holes to lighten them up and I made my own wheels with the proper "stagger" for holding the corners and different woods for traction. NOW......... the MMO came into play, I cleaned all the grease out of the bearings with brake cleaner and mixed MMO and three and one machine oil to lube the bearing. In 1955 I went to Neb. for the roller speed Nationals (I was a junior man 16-17 year olds). We had 3 distances races 5 lap sprint, 10 lap and 25 laps. I lapped everyone in the 10 and 25 and if I had one more lap I would have lapped everyone in the 5 and I set three national records much to the surprise of a lot of parents, coachs and equipment makers. Needless to say I got a lot of free equipment and travel expenses for my remaining time in speed skating before I went into s
 

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Opeler
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576 Posts
We've used Marvel Mystery Oil as an after-run oil for 2-stroke model airplane motors for decades and it is pretty much mandatory unless you want your bearings to rust prematurely. But this is a special case because these small engines are alcohol and nitro-methane based fuels which apparently are really hydroscopic. Meaning they absorb moisture and then that moisture sits in your engine when the alcohol and nitro evaporates. I"ve never heard of any MMO application to a car though.
 

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Opeler
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Marvel Mystery Oil was developed back in the 1920’s when the low-quality lube oils of the day facilitated the formation of copious amounts of sludge and acid-forming sulfur and nitrogen compounds inside of engines.

Engines of that time could become filled with sludge in relatively short order and engine tear-down at 50k miles or less was not uncommon. MMO was probably effective in helping clean these engines by dissolving sludge and keeping it in solution until the next oil change. Most of cars of the era didn’t have oil filtration systems either.

In the late 1920’s, The Gulf Oil Corporation developed the Alchlor Refining Process, which removed most of these harmful compounds from lube oils and gasolines. Today, use of Marvel Mystery Oil is probably redundant in an engine that is using a synthetic lube oil and a lead-free fuel containing a quality engine cleaner such as Techron. A lot of the MMO sold today, probably, is being used by those whose father or grandfather swore by it. IMHO.
 

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Use of MMO extends beyond the automotive world. A friend of mine refinishes hardwood floors. One day I asked him why today's wood filler sucks. It's dry and crumbly. He said it's because the EPA had them take all the good stuff out of it. On a finished floor (sealed already) he stuffs the dry, crumbly filler into a hole, mounding it up a bit. Then he puts a couple very tiny drops of MMO next to it with, a small pinpoint oiler, and wipes it across the filler with his thumb. Smooths it right out and then it dries and can be sanded. Supposedly it takes stains just fine, even water borne coatings.
 

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I've been around a day or two and been an automobile, motorcycle or aircraft mechanic from the time I could pick up a wrench and I have never seen an engine failure in anything do to the oil. Failures could always be traced back to something else. Even back when non detergent oils were in use and engines would get so full of crud that the oil screens would clog, they failed due to lack of oil not reaching the bearings, not the oil it's self. People tend to swear by things like oil additives because they have used it and never had a problem. But that in no way means that they would of had a problem if they had not used it. Oils today are very high quality lubricant's and need nothing else. But with that said, there is one exception. Due to Zinc being removed from modern oils for emission reasons and the fact that your CHI engines don't have roller lifters. Zinc is the only additional additive your new engine needs for break in or anytime you do a cam change.

A true story about an additive;

Back in the mid 60's I had a friend who was convinced that God's gift to engines was STP. He was so sold on the stuff, and with the mentality of "if a little is good, a lot is better" that no matter how many of us tried to talk him out of it, he decided to run straight STP in his new race engine. For anyone not familiar with the STP oil additive, it pretty much has the constancy of cold molasses. Needless to say this turned out to be a very expensive lesson when a couple of rods took a shortcut thru the side of the block about the time he shifted to 4th gear on his first pass. Upon tear down there was virtually no lubrication on any of the rotating assembly. The best we could determine was that because of the thickness of the STP, when the RPM came up it just couldn't flow and cavitated the pump causing a total loss of oil, or in this case STP flow.
Consumer reports tested and analyzed STP many years ago and determined that all it did was increase the viscosity of the oil. They said it would be cheaper just to buy 40W instead of 30W if higher viscosity was what you wanted.
 
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I was once using a borrowed 1950's John Deere 2 lung tractor that started making a terrible clanging noise when the engine was running. I thought it might be a stuck valve so I changed the oil and added MMO in the new oil. When I started it back up, it clanged for about 3-5 seconds and then started chugging like normal.

It was not unusual in the aviation industry for some aircraft owners to add some MMO to the fuel. Aircraft engines require some "lead" in the gas to help lubricate the valves, and sometimes deposits form that can cause sticky valves. Sticky valves get your attention in an airplane. I don't use it, but I do use a product called Camguard that is developed specifically for aircraft engines. My main reason is that Camguard is supposed to help the oil stay coated on the metal and help prevent corrosion. I don't always fly as much as I want and any extra protection is appreciated.

I owned three Ford Escorts in a row, 1982, 1984 and 1986, all with 4 speeds. The engines started "losing power" at around 60K miles, as judged by my ear and shift points. I traded the first two at about this point, but with the third one I decided to try Slick 50, a teflon based treatment. I changed the oil and added the Slick 50, without doing any other adjustments and started driving the car to work (100 mile roundtrip). Within 2 weeks, the car would accelerate better and I could shift at higher rpms. I shifted based on engine sound and confirmed rpms with the tach. I had 225K miles on that engine when I traded it.

Based on this experience, I use another teflon based additive called Tufoil in most of my engines. I usually reach >200K miles on my engines when I get rid of the vehicle. I bought a 2000 F250 with 175k miles for a plow truck and started using Tufoil in it right away. I think the engine runs smoother than when I bought it.

Finally my STP story. I worked in a mining operation where we had 64 200 ton grinding mills that rotated on 2 bronze bearings with low pressure lubrication systems. Whenever one of the mills started having hot bearing temps, the maintenance crew would add some STP to the lube oil system. The temps would drop in 30 minutes or so. It must have done something.

Is this scientific proof? Not really, just my experience.

I plan to add the Tufoil to the Manta on it's next oil change and watch the idle speed. This will be my next experiment.
 
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