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A friend swears by Duralube. He would replace one quart of oil with it at each change. I tried it in my F-150. By coincidence the motor blew soon after. The head gasket was suspect before the change. His wife's Elantra seized at 101,000 miles, just out of warranty. With the regular oil changes, it should have lasted much longer. When they needed to sell their Grand National, all I could think was the turbo saw Duralube.
 

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I used STP on all bearing surfaces when rebuilding an engine and never had a problem and is purely antidotal like the other experiences. However MMO and some other additives may have an avid following in some quarters so be open to the notion that they have their place based on the application. Pick and choose wisely.
 

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When I bought my first GT new in 1973 I sure did not want to spend money paying someone to change my oil. My issue was having a little over half a quart of oil left over after the change. Solved that with a can of STP. Had that GT until 1980, no problems engine wise. As to MMO, as others have said a number of service stations back then ( almost all neighborhood gas stations had a service bay) used it to loosen sticky valves and such. The mechanic at our service station would instead drain the crankcase fill it with a half and half mixture of oil and kerosene and run the engine for something like 15-20 minutes. Drain and refill oil and off you go.
A little off subject but the local service station was also something of a place to hang out, buy tote board tickets and hear local news and gossip. I remember in my teens the owner telling me that the father of a local girl had heard his daughter may have been having sex with one of the local boys and if he found out who, he was going to take his twelve gauge to him. I advised the owner to tell him to buy a box of shells.
 

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Detritus Maximus
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Most of the treatments seem to be one variation or another of using the auto trans fluid due to it's higher detergent levels. They seem to clean out some of the gunk that builds up and frees up the moving parts. Sometimes they help, sometimes not. My old VW manual (The Compleat Idiots Guide to VW's...the original by Muir, great book!) explained why you use only straight weight oil in air cooled bugs. The straight weight had no detergents and the flat four had no real oil filter. So if you had gunk and used something to clean it out (or suddenly changed to a multi weight detergent oil) all the crap would float around until it clogged something...like an oil passage.
The treatments also had the effect of 'ruining' engines. Some unlucky person would use one of the products to clean out the muck, not realizing that the muck had sealed up some cracks and gaps in the engine gaskets...instant oil leaks. Same for valve seals. Clean out the muck surrounding the seals and suddenly your car smokes in the morning. Slik50 was apparently good for reducing friction, including at the gaskets...more oil leaks.

The best story I had heard about Slik50 was a test they ran to show how well it protects motors. They had a bunch of Briggs and Stratton engines and put Slik 50 in half of them. Ran all of them for a while then drained the oil and ran them till they failed. I forget how long the motors with Slik 50 ran without oil, but it was impressive. Unfortunately, the engines without Slik 50 ran so long that it was more a testament to the Briggs and Stratton motor than it was to Slik50, even though they lasted longer.
 
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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.
In the same time frame as you had your Ford Escorts, Bill, I was driving first, my 1980 Mustang 2.3 Turbo and later, in 85 and beyond, an 84 Bronco II with the 2.8 V6.

I treated the Mustang with Slick 50 and as I was traveling some 150 miles to my old duty station, was able to get that mixture of Slick 50 and new engine oil mixed pretty good. Mobil 1 synthetic.

It was apparent by the feel of the throttle that the engine immediately smoothed out and the fuel mileage increased significantly by several miles more per gallon. A big deal in those days of high gas prices. So I became sold on those types of oil additives moreso then the viscosity thickeners like STP or the viscosity thinners like MMO. Slick 50 in their original formulation had DuPont Teflon. It worked for me. But I can say that the roller bearing like smoothness of that Ford 2.3 gradually wore off after several thousand miles.

In 2000, I bought a new New Beetle with the 1.9 TDI diesel. I used Mobil 1 Delvac diesel oil in that car, along with treating that oil with another friction modifier called MotorKote. This too, I found to have smoothed the idle and deliver great fuel mileage. With that car, I would knock down consistent mpg numbers of 53 mpg. I miss that car. Today, I use MotorKote in my '13 Fiat 500 Abarth with observed increased mpg numbers.

I've read and heard car experts say these additives do nothing to improve the performance of an engine. My real-life observations said otherwise.

MMO reminds me alot of ATF (the red stuff) thinned out with WD-40. Used to use that as a fuel additive to help clean the injectors and fuel pump.....
 

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Opeler
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Most of the treatments seem to be one variation or another of using the auto trans fluid due to it's higher detergent levels. They seem to clean out some of the gunk that builds up and frees up the moving parts. Sometimes they help, sometimes not. My old VW manual (The Compleat Idiots Guide to VW's...the original by Muir, great book!) explained why you use only straight weight oil in air cooled bugs. The straight weight had no detergents and the flat four had no real oil filter. So if you had gunk and used something to clean it out (or suddenly changed to a multi weight detergent oil) all the crap would float around until it clogged something...like an oil passage.
The treatments also had the effect of 'ruining' engines. Some unlucky person would use one of the products to clean out the muck, not realizing that the muck had sealed up some cracks and gaps in the engine gaskets...instant oil leaks. Same for valve seals. Clean out the muck surrounding the seals and suddenly your car smokes in the morning. Slik50 was apparently good for reducing friction, including at the gaskets...more oil leaks.

The best story I had heard about Slik50 was a test they ran to show how well it protects motors. They had a bunch of Briggs and Stratton engines and put Slik 50 in half of them. Ran all of them for a while then drained the oil and ran them till they failed. I forget how long the motors with Slik 50 ran without oil, but it was impressive. Unfortunately, the engines without Slik 50 ran so long that it was more a testament to the Briggs and Stratton motor than it was to Slik50, even though they lasted longer.
I saw a Slick 50 demonstration at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston back in the mid 80's and it was impressive indeed. They had a six cylinder Ford industrial motor mounted on a stand on an open trailer. It had an instrument panel where you could see oil pressure, temp and engine speed. It was running at about 1500 rpm and then they opened a spigot on the oil pan and drained all of the oil into a five gallon bucket. I stood there and watched that engine run with no oil pressure for 20-25 minutes expecting it to seize up and it never did! My Porsche was nearly new then and I used Slick 50 in it for about 150,000 miles.
 

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The magic Word is load, as long as there was very little load on the engine it would run. It makes me remember the TV commercials about a miracle "wax" that allowed burning a flame on the paint surface without damaging it. What they didn't say was that the flame burned with a lower temperature than the temperature required to damage the paint.
 

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Back in about 1966-68, we had a customer at the Texaco station that was highly dissatisfied with his relatively new Chevrolet, and was not getting any help from the dealer or the GM zone office. He decided to cook the engine. He was working at the time at Philadelphia's old JFK Stadium (formerly Philadelphia Municipal Stadium, where, until 1979, the Army-Navy football game was played). One day he drained the oil from the car, then drove around the quarter-mile running track that surrounded the football field. He drove and drove before finally giving up -- the engine never seized. He credited his religious use of Texaco's Havoline Gold oil in the crankcase.
 

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About half a decade before discovering Slick 50, I tried a new motor oil on the market......Arco Graphite Motor Oil.

This stuff was loaded with graphite powder, to the point where it was pitch black out of the can. I don't think it was on the market for too long. And I didn't stick with it too long either, going from Arco Graphite to a new motor oil in town, Cam 2. 10w30, which I want to believe was one of the first new motor oils with the 10w30 designated weight. Time flies and memory fades, but I want to believe that was the selling point of the 10-30 Cam2. It helped bring in the new race for lighter and lighter oil weights, all for a search in better fuel economy as we were in the age of the Arab Oil Embargoes....
 

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Sun Oil and Roger Penske (both good sons of the Philadelphia, Pa. area) collaborated in 1969 to form the Cam 2 oil company. Multi-viscosity oils were around well before that, developed in the late 1950s. When I was working in the Texaco station from 1965, we offered 10w-30 and 20w-30 under Texaco's Havoline brand, both in the blue can and the gold. The Texaco-branded oil, in a red and white can, was single-viscosity. Back in 1965, Texaco oil sold for 25-cents per quarte; Havoline Blue was 30-cents and Havoline Gold was 35-cents.
 

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Detritus Maximus
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You know, today, if you were caught by the police carrying one of those old oil can opener spouts you'd probably end up with a weapons charge...cops today wouldn't even know what the hell it was.
 

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Pedal Smasher
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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
I advised the owner to tell him to buy a box of shells.
That's funny. Did you know the guy's daughter well or just in the know?

I never expected this thread to have so many interesting stories regarding oil. I agree that the oils back then aren't like modern oils with all the additives and detergents. So, products like MMO were probably needed to help keep the valves from sticking. I can't imagine needing to add anything to a synthetic oil like Royal Purple HPS which has a high zddp content. Fuel however is a different story. I could see adding a stabilizer to today's fuel to deal with the alcohol content, which will attract water.

I just watched this and wow... for winter storage I'd make sure you used straight gasoline. So our oils are great but our fuel sucks.
 

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That's funny. Did you know the guy's daughter well or just in the know?

I never expected this thread to have so many interesting stories regarding oil. I agree that the oils back then aren't like modern oils with all the additives and detergents. So, products like MMO were probably needed to help keep the valves from sticking. I can't imagine needing to add anything to a synthetic oil like Royal Purple HPS which has a high zddp content. Fuel however is a different story. I could see adding a stabilizer to today's fuel to deal with the alcohol content, which will attract water.

I just watched this and wow... for winter storage I'd make sure you used straight gasoline. So our oils are great but our fuel sucks.
Gas had a decent shelf life when treated with a gas stabilizer such as Sta-BIl.....gas that is, with MTBE as it's anti-knock additive. The troubles began with taking out MTBE for ethanol. And a whole mess of small engines got destroyed in the process. I treat the Simplicity lawn tractor fuel with Stabil......however, the Stihl Weed Wacker, the Sears 2 Stroke snow blower gets Tru Fuel, a 93 octane, over-the-shelf synthetic gas that does not contain ethanol.

Cam2......yep, I vaguely recall Roger Penske involved in that enterprise. He got alot of advertising for the brand when he and Mark Donohue and that Penske team took their dominant Porsche 917-30 Can Am racer and went to Talladega to set the all time closed race course top speed record: a tick under 222 mph.

 

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Opeler
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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.
I had a couple of buds who used to drag race a little B/Altered Austin-Bantam roadster with a SBC engine. They started using STP in it, thinking it would reduce friction in the engine and give them a little performance edge (and it may have). However, it was so viscous that they couldn't just pour it into their engine, they had to open the can with a can opener and spoon it out in order to get it all out.

They added the STP through a number of oil changes and then did an engine tear down and were appalled at what they found. There was a 1/2" thick STP gel coating on the entire interior of the engine that they like to have never gotten cleaned off. They never used it again, figuring that any advantage it may have given them wasn't worth the trouble of cleaning it up.
 

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That's funny. Did you know the guy's daughter well or just in the know?

I never expected this thread to have so many interesting stories regarding oil. I agree that the oils back then aren't like modern oils with all the additives and detergents. So, products like MMO were probably needed to help keep the valves from sticking. I can't imagine needing to add anything to a synthetic oil like Royal Purple HPS which has a high zddp content. Fuel however is a different story. I could see adding a stabilizer to today's fuel to deal with the alcohol content, which will attract water.

I just watched this and wow... for winter storage I'd make sure you used straight gasoline. So our oils are great but our fuel sucks.
Let's just say she was a very affectionate young lady. A large number of guys in my neighborhood had their first experience with her. Beyond that I plead the 5th.
 

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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.
I've been using it since the late '60's. It's just a high capillary action high detergent concentrate oil. I found that it works well with cleaning engines with lots of sludge build up. It can also be added to fuel but I don't know how well it will work with fuel injectors. In high school we would fill the windshield washer container with it and run the hose to the air cleaner so it would shoot directly into the carb. It makes TONS of white smoke. We'd do this at a light and create so much smoke the car behind couldn't go until the smoke cleared. (Auto tranny fluid also works like this.) I'm older and more mature now and would NEVER do this now......
 

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I never expected this thread to have so many interesting stories regarding oil. I agree that the oils back then aren't like modern oils with all the additives and detergents. So, products like MMO were probably needed to help keep the valves from sticking. I can't imagine needing to add anything to a synthetic oil like Royal Purple HPS which has a high zddp content. Fuel however is a different story. I could see adding a stabilizer to today's fuel to deal with the alcohol content, which will attract water.

I just watched this and wow... for winter storage I'd make sure you used straight gasoline. So our oils are great but our fuel sucks.
You're getting a good idea of what happens to fuels! Realize that there are 3 problems, not just 1. That video covers 2 of the 3.
  • Alcohol in the fuel absorbs water and holds it against metal parts.
  • Alcohol will combine with that water to form a thick gum which will gum up small carb passages; that matter is not covered in that video. Fuel stablizer may have additives that will help these issue to a limited degree, but that is not the main purpose of stablizer.
  • Fuel oxidizes over time; you can tell this as a color change in the fuel. It wil go to yellow, then to piss-yellow, and then onto to orange-ochre. It has gotten worse with newer fuels with the more volitile components for lower emissions; those lighter components evaporate off and concentrate the heavier components. Slowing this process down is the real purpose of fuel stablizer. But the mfr's of fuel stablizer put a time limit on how long the product will be effective.
All my low use gasoline engines, large and small, get a regular diet of alcohol free fuel, plus fuel stabilizer if they are going to sit for along time.

So this is why you always should watch your fuel type used, and keep track of the age, use fuel stablizer for longer term sitting, and then drain fuels, and clean stuff out if it gets really old. 1-1.5 years is my limit with stablizer, and I change things like my small generator fuel every 4-5 months. Sure, there are cases where folks get longer storage times, but there are so many cases of problems that these issues cannot be denied. And if you live out in the dry west, you will not see as many moisture related issues with your fuel as if you are back in the humid east, so YMMV......

And.... some premium fuels carry less ethanol in them; though the pumps will say 'up to 10% ethanol" the mfr does not have to use that much. I have read a couple of reports that Shell Premium has less than 5% of ethanol. So I try to get that brand/grade if I use any ethanol-added fuel.

FWIW, fuel injection systems tend to do better with these problems. The fuel in an FI system flows due to high pressure, not due to low levels of vacuum and suction inside carb passages, so the flows are not compromised as badly by the gum formation.. at least until the corrosion crud builds up. The newer ignition systems that typically come with FI will also do a better job of firing oxidized fuels. But the corrosion in the gas tanks and inside metal fuel lines and pumps and injectors will occur at the same rate as carbed systems. So you eventually either get enough crud to plug injectors, or fuel that will not fire well.
 

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Nice write up MR, the problems seem to continue with the ethanol. Out here in the warmer desert climate it seems the best advice I got from a mechanic is to just drive my GT.
As far as the MMO goes my experience is limited, if I had some heavy lifting to do such as the gummed up oil passages or seizing on an engine that’s been sitting I know there are people that swear by it so I’d give it a try.

As far as dumping it down the carburetor to clean up the intake valves I’m hesitant to do that. After reading the thread it looks like there’s a good chance it would damage the Bosch sensor for the wideband. Otherwise, not to sure this application would do much good. Adding it to the gas tank, a more recently developed additive such as Techron would be a wiser “sensor safe” choice.
Great stories and this one is a fun and interesting thread. I hear more positive things about MMO than negative, I guess that’s why it’s been around so long.
 

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Pedal Smasher
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Discussion Starter #39
The idea of a water injection system based on vacuum is interesting. I could see two ways of doing this on a CIH. You could buy a Marvel Mystery Oil Inverse Oiler and fill it with water that is connected to manifold vacuum or you could just have a water tank somewhere that is connected to port vacuum. Sounds like it would help keep things clean and you wouldn't have to use MMO.

As for the problems with fuel, this resource might help...
 

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Water vapor injection has been around as far back as I can remember.
Heck My Dad said he used it back in the early 50's!
In the late 70's early 80's Alcohol vapor injection was used at times.
Been there done both.
In the early 80's there were attempts to use a vaporized Gas system as the holy grail.
That pretty much ripped off all the investors. My Dad included.
Now days I'd control things with Custom build computers and injectors.
 
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