I know there are some who swear stuff like Marvel Mystery Oil and the like are a waste of money. I'm interested in seeing who's using what, who's found one that's better than all the others, and if anybody's tried any kind of scientific experiments. This is just a friendly theoretical conversation, so please keep it polite. Let's see what kind of "snake oils" people have tried or are still using.
You should find plenty of opinions in past discussions here. Look for those using a search. No need to re-hash all of that.
Here is the current thread on the subject.
I'm just curious what others have used. MMO seems to be the one that comes up the most often. I don't necessarily want opinions so much as I'm wondering who's using what. I've decided to come up with some kind of scientific experiment to see if any of them do anything to improve performance. Just curious what everybody has been using. I guess you could call it a market survey.
As a happy MMO user, even I won't re-hash that one. We beat that subject to death. There's simply nothing left to be said no matter what side you're on. The only other "snake oil" product I like is Lucas Fuel Injector Cleaner. I only tried it in modern cars. Pour it in the gas, car runs really smooth and a good jump in power. Don't put any in the next tank and the benefits go away and so on. Every car, every time.
I've been looking at the Lucas stuff too. I have some free time sometimes during work, so I get a chance to read labels. Lucas is cheaper than than, say, Sea Foam, and according to the label will treat more gallons per ounce. I'm curious to see which additive, if any, will provide the most "bang for the buck."
So far, my list includes Sea Foam, Lucas Fuel Treatment, and, everybody's favorite, Marvel Mystery Oil. Just wondering if anybody else had a suggested additive.
Someone mentioned Rislone or whatever it's called. I did try Seafoam once but didn't notice any improvement. Thanks Jared for doing a comparison experiment. Should be interesting. I'm sure we will all survive it as long as it doesn't become a stand alone MMO thread.
This is such a great hobby/disease. I think that owners now are so much more careful with their T's than the owners 80 some years ago were and that usually leads to lots of TLC. If someone is pleased to use MMO in the gas of their car along with some alcohol treatment, so be it. Whether it does something good or is just a waste of money I guess opinion reigns. If it makes you feel like you are helping your T to survive a bit longer that is surely OK.
At last count I had 5 tractors, 7 pickups and trucks, a hay swather, two cars and several motorcycles. Every one of them gets Lucas oil additive at every oil change. I buy it a couple gallons at a time when it is on sale at Autozone. They seem to be the only local source that ever puts it on sale. It is still about $50 for two gallons and IMHO, worth every dime.
Two older additives are Rislone and Bardahl. Then there is Andy Granatelli's favorite, STP.
Hey Jerad, I use Bel Ray MC1 2 cycle oil. I discovered its beneficial qualities by accident a few years back, I ran out of gas on a honda 4 wheeler and the only gas I had was about a gallon in a 5 gallon tank that I had mixed for my flying machine, it was over 4 years old, and I figured it might cause the honda to run like crap, but I was 6 miles from the farm and had about 30 minutes work left to do. The gas was mixed 50 to 1 with Bel Ray 2 cycle oil and had no signs of haveing gone bad. The odd thing is that the honda had been running poorly and would not idle, it needed the en-richer valve opened to start even on a warm day, after driving 1/4 mile, it was idling smoothly and from then on it started easy as well. I thought it was a fluke, so when I got home, I mixed up another batch and filled my wife's honda 3 wheeler as it was running about the same. With in a 1/4 mile it was running great too. Bear in mind that this is a gas additive and not an oil additive. I have since used it in every older gas vehicle on the far with good results in most. There are some cases where it did not make any difference, but in those cases the problem was not a gas contamination issue. The one thing that the Bel Ray has done that could be listed as a bad thing is that it has dissolved all the varnish in my gas tank on the model T, and after two years of no problems with the tank, it has started to leak from numerous places.
I saw a photo on the webernet where someone had been told about using seafoam in their engine, and they could not find any at the store so they used expanding foam. I am sure it was fake, but the photo showed the head off the engine and the cylinders were filled with foam insulation. I am sure that the user of this product would be in the "It does not work" camp.
I'd bet that the engine had improved insulation properties.
He must have been told "you get what you pay for, buy the expensive stuff", so he went to the store and asked for the expansive stuff.
I work in the tools and hardware department of a local farm store, and I spend a lot of time stocking and facing the auto chemical aisle. I don't remember seeing any Rislone fuel additive, or Bardahl. I will look around and see if I can find them. So far, my list is:
Marvel Mystery Oil
I haven't figured out how to scientifically test each product. I will work on it when I have free time, so I hope to have something figured out in time for the good driving weather.
Thanks for your help, everybody! We'll see what happens. I'll keep you all posted when I finally get something done.
Rislone wasn's so much a fuel additive as it was used by most to free up stuck lifters. And it may have been an East coast item.
My dad used Rislone to free stuck lifters in his service station in Fort Worth, Texas. It worked well. Rislone is available today but it may not be the same stuff. I have not heard a stuck lifter in years.
I believe with today's gasoline, oils and engines additives to the gas or crankcase are a waste of money.
Back in the '60's, I was a draftsman, working at the International Harvester Advance Engineering & Research Center in Hinsdale, Illinois. At that facility, there was one department that had chemists, I suppose you could say, "chemical engineers" that performed tests on motor oils and various other lubricants, as well as various "additives". The purpose of this was to enable IH to either encourage, or discourage the use of the various lubricants and/or additives in the various equipment that IH built and sold in their three divisions, which were farm equipment, construction equipment and motor trucks.
I will try to avoid a too long and "wordy" post here (as I often do) except to say that my Dad was a long-time and faithful user of Bardahl motor oil additive in the crankcase and Bardahl Topoil in the fuel tank. Of course, by Dad's example, I used Bardahl faithfully as well. However, as I had access to the findings of professional chemical engineers at work, I found out from them, all about Bardahl. Suffice to say, I never tried to discourage Dad from using the stuff, but I certainly quit wasting my money on it from then on. It's been too long ago to remember exactly what I learned from those chemical engineers at work, but I remember that they had found Bardahl to consist of something over 90% kerosene, or fuel oil, or some common element like that,....in other words, it was a product that they determined to have no value for use in IH equipment.
All this to say, International Harvester is long gone (now part of Case IH) but I would think that there are other companies that also test and approve/disapprove lubricating products and additives for the vehicles/equipment they build and sell. If there is any forum member that would have access to such information, it would certainly be more reliable that this forum's usual collection of members conjecture, prejudices, personal opinions, and brand loyalty based on nothing more than,....."well, I always use it because Dad always did". If someone does have access to such "reliable" information, or an idea of where such information could be obtained, it would be great if they could share such info with us here on the forum. For what it's worth,.......harold
Harold -- What's wrong with "conjecture, prejudices, personal opinions, and brand loyalty"? It's what we old farts are made of.
I'm a Dapper Dan Man and don't want to use your Palmade!
Mike Walker - I don't suppose it sounds like there's anything wrong with "conjecture, prejudices, personal opinions, and brand loyalty", so to more effectively make my point, I should have just said,.....Bull***t, right?
.......and you're right! It "IS" what us old farts are made of!
Of course, Steve Jelf would have called it,...."bovine defication"!
Or Taurus feces!
Mike - Yeah,....better yet! At least "Taurus" is Ford shi,...ahh,...I mean at least it's a Ford!
You got that right. I remember the year the company leased about half a dozen Taurus'. We called them a turd that somebody stepped on. You couldn't kill em until they reached 250000 miles. Then it was a mixed bag of problems.
I use MMO every other tank. 3oz not 4 works for me. But not in the modern car.
MMO seems to be everybody's go-to. I guess it's period correct, since the company started in 1923. But who is that much of a purist? haha
The gas 'additives' I use are added by the oil companies. I don't add anything myself. Back in the early 80's I would buy the cheapest brand name gas, usually ARCO, for my 1960/70's daily drivers. It was a fairly routine occurrence then to develop a rough running hard to start car, requiring a change or cleaning of spark plugs, or a rebuild/jet cleaning on the carb. These engines also typically would have a consistent layer of carbon crud on the head of the pistons that I could see thru the spark plug holes.
After several years I changed to what I consider to be higher quality (ie; more expensive) gas, usually Chevron or 76. The conventional wisdom/scuttlebutt was that these have higher levels of detergents and other additives than the cheaper gas brands.
After changing brands, the carbon/varnish issues seemed to go away. On my present driver '66 Beetle instead of changing spark plugs every 10,000 miles due to carbon fouling, I typically go over 25,000 miles and they are fairly clean when I change them because they are already out. I have over 40,000 miles on a carb with no signs of varnish and it runs like new.
I haven't put enough miles on the '24 yet to be a long-term test, and I don't know what kind of gas the previous owner used. When I changed the spark plugs about 200 miles after I got the car the old ones were nice and clean, and the piston heads were so clean they looked new. There is no sign the head has been off recently, so I believe it is not accumulating carbon, at least that I can see yet.
I drive all my cars on a regular basis, so I have not had issues with gas going bad. A common theme with gas/carb issues seems to be gas reaching its Cinderella Hour and turning into pumpkin juice.
None of the above are scientific tests, but for me, spending a bit more for gas is offset by not fussing around with a poorly running car every 6 months or so.
This is all with the 'gas' we get here in SoCal, so, quite literally, your mileage may vary.
I just thought I'd do some scientific measurements, as opposed to the "it seemed to run better after dumping Product XYZ in the gas tank" we get whenever the MMO/Sea Foam/(insert your poison of choice) discussion comes up every so often.
I will be using an engine that hasn't been rebuilt recently. I bought the car over two years ago and haven't done anything but replace the exhaust manifold, lapped the valves, and replaced the manifold and head gaskets. I may repeat this experiment when I have to do a rebuild one day, but for now it would be nice to know the effects on a "used" engine.
My fuel of choice is the E10 option available at Casey's. That's what I have in my area, so that's what we use. I will do a few "control" measurements with an amount of unmodified fuel. I may repeat the experiment with the more expensive "full-strength" gas to see if the 10% ethanol makes a difference, but we'll see. Time and money will depend on what I actually accomplish. Anybody want to give this budding scientist a research grant?
Will look forward to your findings in future posts. Thanks for taking the time and your expense.