HILLMAN CAR CLUB
OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA INC

Tech Tips:
Oil Additives
HILLMAN CAR CLUB
OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA INC


Background :   Opinions on the use of engine oil additives vary between the two extremes.  Some people swear by them; others swear at them.  We decided that the truth probably depends on which type of additive one considers.

Some products try (primarily) to coat the engine internals with "Teflon," having the ultimate aim of reducing friction and protecting the engine whenever oil pressure is low (e.g. during start-up).  Suffice it to say that there are some serious hazards associated with this type. While I can't instruct you to think one way or the other, I must say that it would be foolish to proceed without being aware of the facts and arguments that have kept this topic controversial for 2 decades.

Other products act only as viscosity index modifiers.  Nobody on the list had a bad word to say about STP.  Please don't confuse this with the Teflon-type products.



From: Vogt, Brian A [brian.vogt(at)eds.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2002 12:53 PM
To: Hillman List
Subject: Re: "Hillman " Oil filters

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

Keith wrote:
> I have a Nulon oil treatment in my engine so this isn't a great worry.

This raises a controversial and long-running subject.
According to http://www.nulon.com.au/content/engine.htm all of the Nulon treatments contain polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the chemical name for the DuPont product Teflon.
That brings to mind Slick 50 http://www.slick50.com/Product_Pages/Products.html
and MotorUP http://www.motorup.com/catalog/products/motorup.html?cartid= .
AMSOIL published FTC charges against MotorUP's advertising campaign, at http://www.1st-in-synthetics.com/motorup.htm but seems to have strategically refrained from publishing the outcome.

Does anybody have any long-running experience with PTFE-based oil treatments? I'm interested in the effects on Rootes engines and on modern engines (e.g. Toyota Camry 2.2).

Brian Vogt.



From: jared n [bugged_me(at)hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2002 2:40 PM
To: hillman@can-inc.com
Subject: Re: "Hillman " Oil filters

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

engine reconditioners don't like Slick 50, they find it difficult to machine the bores with the Teflon coating, the toolings edge dosn't last long trying to cut though the coating.

jared n



From: David Rosicke [d.rosicke(at)snet.net]
Sent: Monday, 2 December 2002 1:20 PM
To: 'Vogt, Brian A'; 'Hillman List'
Subject: Re: "Hillman " Oil filters

Most PTFE treatments that are less expensive had large micron particles large enough to be caught in the filter and NOT make it into the engine.

These are Friction Modifiers High temp/pressure only.  Most oils already have the balance of FM and other components, and from tests I was involved with, these additives upset that balance.  The end result is usually more sludge.

Use at your own risk.

Dave R.



From: Jan Eyerman [jan.eyerman(at)usa.net]
Sent: Tuesday, 26 November 2002 2:29 PM
To: Vogt, Brian A; Hillman List
Subject: "Hillman " Oil Additives

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

I have been a fan and user of "STP" for a long time.  Although they hyped the advertising all over the place, the two things STP had going for it was that it was a viscosity extender and a clinging oil.  If you use STP you notice that when you start the car in the morning, it is much quieter immediately, you don't have to wait for that painful period of time when everything (mainly the valves) rattle.

Jan Eyerman



From: David Rosicke [d.rosicke(at)snet.net]
Sent: Monday, 2 December 2002 1:21 PM
To: 'Jan Eyerman'; Vogt, Brian A; 'Hillman List'
Subject: Re: "Hillman " Oil Additives

STP Oil Treatment uses mostly VI improver and HAS resulted in lessened wear in tests that I was involved with.

Dave R.



From: Chuck Hillman [hillmanminx(at)hermon.net]
Sent: Thursday, 28 November 2002 11:13 PM
To: jan.eyerman(at)usa.net
Cc: ellis838(at)concentric.net; hillman@can-inc.com
Subject: Re: "Hillman " STP etc

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

Concerning STP,
      Around 1970 I helped a fellow rebuild his 1960 Falcon with lots of miles.
He took the crankshaft to the machine shop to be polished.  The shop didn't polish it because it measured out perfect, and had a hard yellow film on it.  That film was from years of STP use.  I like STP.
Chuck



From: Vogt, Brian A [brian.vogt(at)eds.com]
Sent: Tuesday, 26 November 2002 3:29 PM
To: Hillman List
Subject: Re: "Hillman " Oil filters

Interesting experience, Jan.  However, your description of the product isn't what I would expect for a PTFE-based additive.  I went to the STP website http://www.stp.com/catalog_oil.html to find out what the main ingredient is, but they aren't saying anything.  Jan, I guess you are using the one in the blue bottle.

After posting that initial query, I found an *excellent* article about oil additives
{Article by Fred Rau of Motorcycle Consumer News (previously named Road Rider) magazine}
Well thought out, and worth reading from beginning to end.
How did Briggs and Stratton get a standard engine to survive 20 hours running without oil?
Some very relevant comments about the irrelevance of racing experience.
The PTFE additive companies have a case to answer.

Brian Vogt.

Editor's note: The above reference to the Fred Rau article was originally on the website of Vintage Triumph Register, who have since taken all of their Maintenance web pages underground.  Not to worry several dozen community-minded websites also carry the story.



From: TIGEROOTES(at)aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, 27 November 2002 3:02 AM
To: Vogt, Brian A
Subject: Re: "Hillman " Oil filters

Brian,
        That was a very interesting article.  Thanks!
Jim



From: Jan Eyerman [jan.eyerman(at)usa.net]
Sent: Wednesday, 27 November 2002 2:05 AM
To: Vogt, Brian A; Hillman List
Subject: Additives

Brian,

Yes, I am talking about the "blue bottle" the old stuff.  I also use it when I rebuild an engine I have a paint brush in a can of it and paint it on all bearing surfaces (a trick taught me by an aircraft mechanic).  So even newly rebuilt engines start up quiet!

Jan Eyerman



From: Vic Hughes [v.hughes(at)austarmetro.com.au]
Sent: Tuesday, 26 November 2002 3:13 PM
To: Hillman List
Subject: Re: "Hillman " Oil filters

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

Brian,
No experience with these treatments, but I did run Mobil 1 synthetic oil in a 2 litre Camira for 160000 km before I sold it.  Even right at the end it used NO oil between changes, blew no smoke, had the same oil pressure as when I bought it and when I pulled the cam cover (to change the seals) the internals were remarkably clean (compared to other engines with similar kms I have seen).

Vic



From: David Rosicke [d.rosicke(at)snet.net]
Sent: Monday, 2 December 2002 1:24 PM
To: 'Vic Hughes'; 'Hillman List'
Subject: Re: "Hillman " Oil filters

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

Synthetic oil is a balanced treatment.  It usually passes extended SG/SH tests Twice the length of normal.  Its nature allows for higher temperature and the Friction Modifier levels are not any less than normal oil by percentage.  This causes it to run cleaner as well since it doesn't varnish as easily.

This is what I run.

Dave R.



From: Alkon [alkon(at)bigpond.com.au]
Sent: Tuesday, 26 November 2002 4:49 PM
To: Hillman List
Subject: "Hillman " Oil additives

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

The NULON oil treatment is definitely a PTFE additive.
Tests in Australia involved treating the motor in a Holden Torana and running it around for a while.
Then with the only change being the fitting of solid lifters in place of the stock hydraulic lifters they drained the oil and drove the car from Sydney to Melbourne without a difficulty.  That is other than the oil idiot light glowing in their faces the whole way.  The car used was a stock high miles unit with no special preparation other than fitting solid lifters.  The others wouldn't work with no oil.

I am not about to drive with no oil but most destructive engine wear occurs at start up and this treatment minimises it.  I have used STP in the past but never could get any details on what was in it.

Colloidal graphite (molyslip) is an alternative lubricant modifier that also can give good results.  British users tended to favour Molyslip over other additives in the 60's

I went back out and checked clearances on the Hunter for the Z9 filter.  It helps to have the battery in the correct place, then it will fit.  The use of the Z9 is OK in Australia.  Falcons use them so they are available everywhere and cheaply.  In other places an alternative may be more readily available.

My engine still manages to get oil on the floor.
One drip comes from the "road draft tube" so can't do much about that, the other seems to be from round the drain plug.  Can't do much about that either without dropping the oil.

Keith
55 Californian



From: ellis838(at)concentric.net
Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2002 3:17 AM
To: hillman@can-inc.com
Subject: Re: "Hillman " Additives

I do not want to step on any ones beliefs here but I always considered the additives as snake oil.  Do you fellows really think this stuff does some good?  I just have a hard time believing seems if there was some amazing component that could be added to oil making it super oil the oil companies would stick it in and charge you more for the improved oil.



From: Alkon [alkon(at)bigpond.com.au]
Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2002 10:40 AM
To: Hillman List
Subject: Re: "Hillman " Additives

All decent engine rebuilders use a prelube of some sort on assembly.
The only place they would just use light oil would be on fresh bores and rings as friction modifiers like Molyslip or Nulon prevent a proper bedding in of new rings.  The best and most effective run in for new rings is on a medium load, idling or very low load on the engine is counterproductive.
However all bearing surfaces need to be prelubed.  The reason I use the Nulon product is that it sticks to the surface.  Many engine rebuilders run the oil pump with a driver in an electric drill before installing the distributor, so as to fill the oil filter and oils galleries in the engine before start up.  Only works on engines that have the drive gear on the distributor shaft.

Some additives are just that (snake oil) but the ones I mentioned have the proven properties of sticking to bearing surfaces and not draining down like straight mineral oils.

Oil companies are profit driven organizations and sell a product to a price.  To most people (consumers) oil is just oil and chosen on price.  Others buy the more expensive packaging believing they are getting a better product.  I use a product if it fulfils a perceived need, in the case of the Nulon additive to prevent cold engine/start up wear.  If it stops that lifter clatter on start up it must be doing something useful.

The area of difficult to prove or refute claims is with these "lead replacer" additives to add to each tank fill of fuel.  I use one that appears to work well, but until I have run it for 40,000 miles how can I be sure????.  I do know that the cocktail of (engine) death that oil companies put in the lead replacement fuel makes me unlikely to use it.  Also different suppliers use additives that are not compatible.  They don't care, as if you are using an old car that needs leaded fuel you are too poor to count as a proper customer.
My low compression motor can run quite happily on the peanut oil they sell as ULP so I just add a lead replacer/upper cylinder lubricant from a reputable supplier.  Works for me.  If I had a higher compression engine say over 9:1, then I would do the same thing but use the premium unleaded fuel.

The snake oil salesmen are still fit and well.  Try the catalyser "brick" that goes in the fuel tank to make peanut oil into avgas, or the little electronic rust preventer.  The last one sounds a bit like the positive Vs negative earth arguments that raged on for many years.

In a similar vein: how many people do you know that flush out the brake fluid every year???  It absorbs moisture over time.  I have bled brakes on some cars where the fluid comes out black and sludgy.  Corrosion in braking systems is caused by the reaction of water with the machined surfaces.  Better a bottle of brake fluid than a brake rebuild :))

Keith
55 Californian



From: TIGEROOTES(at)aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2002 11:40 AM
To: hillman@can-inc.com
Subject: (a wee bit off topic...) Re: "Hillman " Oil Additives

Hillmaniacs,
      I shared the Triumph oil-additive web page with an ex-NASA engineer, friend and Tiger owner, Steve Laifman.  I couldn't resist sharing his response.
Jim

Actually, Jim, they are mis-applying the additives, and formulations. What else can you expect from TR owners?

The proper instructions are:
1) Pour additive, at room temperature, into thoroughly clean, graduated, glass container with air-tight lid.
2) Pour an equal quantity of isopropyl alcohol, (purchased from France or Poland at no less than $50 per 3/4 liter) into a similar container.
3) Obtain 1/100 part of genuine Vermouth from France, not Italy, and add it to another clean container of twice the size of the originals.
4) Into a Container of TWICE the volume of the original container add 50% H2O, free from contaminants, and re-chilled to 28 degrees F, in 1" cubes.
5) Add the French Vermouth to the container of solid H2O, then pour out the free liquid.
6) Add the isopropyl alcohol to this container and stir, do not shake these contents.
7) Rub the rim of a thin crystal glass container, with long stems and a "V" shaped containing volume, with a slice of a yellow citrus peel and place peel in glass.
8) Add the cooled mixture into the "V" shaped container and ingest slowly.
9) The use of crackers, chopped egg, and roe of caviar is a recommended option.

Oh yes, discard additive container into Hazardous Waste Disposal collection site.

Steve

Editor's note:   Ignoring the distraction of his humour, Steve's advice reduces to this
At step 1 the oil additive is put into a container and is never used.  His final instruction is to dispose of it as hazardous waste.



From: Adrian Higgs [adrian_p_higgs(at)yahoo.co.uk]
Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2002 6:33 PM
To: hillman@can-inc.com
Subject: Re: (a wee bit off topic...) Re: "Hillman " Oil Additives

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

I've just taken over my Dad's 1.3 litre Vauxhall Astra estate.  It's fourteen years old, has 127,000 miles on the clock and has never seen a drop of anything other than good quality engine oil (in the sump at any rate!) and still runs very sweetly indeed.  Even hardly any cam noise a known weak point on this engine.

I believe its longevity is down to three key factors (in no particular order):

1. Dad is a careful, mechanically sympathetic driver.  He doesn't thrash a car to within an inch of its life.

2. The majority of those miles were done at operating temperature, cruising at 60-70 mph.  (That's probably largely what's preserved the cam a good solid supply of oil to the top end...)

3. Regular servicing.  Regular servicing.  Regular servicing.  Critically, oil changes carried out at the appropriate intervals with a good quality oil (I think his mechanics used Castrol GTX or something of that ilk)

My point is that engine longevity probably has a lot more to do with how the car is driven and maintained than it does with additives.

Having said that, Jan's engine rebuild prelube technique makes excellent sense but I would see that as a separate issue from the general discussion about whether or not to pour additives in through the oil filler...

As an 'aside' having worked in sales and marketing for several years it's very clear to me that this wonderful system we call western capitalism is driven by the propagation of carefully dressed lies and the equally careful hiding away of inconveinient truths the oil additives story illustrates this.  (Why? Because everything but everything is subordinate to the profit motive. (I think they used to call that "greed"))

Adrian



From: David Rosicke [d.rosicke(at)snet.net]
Sent: Monday, 2 December 2002 1:30 PM
To: 'Vogt, Brian A'; 'Hillman List'
Subject: Re: "Hillman " Oil filters

> How did Briggs and Stratton get a standard engine to survive 20 hours running without oil?

20 hours without oil Idling, break-in procedures (with oil) followed, and larger than normal clearances in an air-cooled engine.

Easily duplicated.

Same type of test was done at my old job with a GM Iron Duke (2.3L Pushrod engine).  Drove to an airport, oil drained, then idled for 30 minutes without oil.  The project engineers gave up and put oil back into it, then proceded to drive it back to the plant.

The advertisements where they drain the oil out and run the motor with a fire hose on the engine Water keeps the parts cool, providing a similar effect to oil.

Dave R
 


The topic was revived over 14 months later, but from the slightly different angle of possibly fixing existing problems.
All of the previous discussion is implicitly about preventing the deterioration of an engine in good condition.


From: Ed Meadowcroft [ed_meadowcroft(at)snap-tite.com]
Sent: Friday, 20 February 2004 11:54 AM
To: Hillman List
Subject: "Hillman " oil additives

What do you guys think about oil additives such as STP?  Are they beneficial or just hype?  Molyslip is one in UK, do most of them have molybdenum compounds in them?
Reason, my venerable 242,000 mile Buick has developed a sticking valve lifter quite suddenly and I don't feel like doing the neccessary dismantling to fix it.  I'm hoping it's just a bit of carbon or something that might be dislodgeable.
Any ideas?
Ed



From: TLKSRHOME(at)aol.com
Sent: Friday, 20 February 2004 12:14 PM
To: ed_meadowcroft(at)snap-tite.com; hillman@can-inc.com
Subject: Re: "Hillman " oil additives

Ed,
   I have had some good results with adding a quart of ATF to free stuck lifters.  It is very high in detergents, and will help to allow the lifter to "pump up".  Drive it easy for 100 miles to see if it helps if so, drain and re-fill with your usual oil.
   Kevin Rodgers, Seattle Wa. PTC



From: humbersnipe [humbersnipe(at)cox.net]
Sent: Friday, 20 February 2004 2:56 PM
To: Ed Meadowcroft; Hillman List
Subject: Re: "Hillman " oil additives

Used to run into sticky hydraulic lifters quite often on 5 cylinder VW/Audi engines.  A pint of Marvel Mystery Oil in the engine oil usually quieted them right up.

Jon Arzt
Omaha, NE  USA



From: Jan Eyerman [jan.eyerman(at)usa.net]
Sent: Friday, 20 February 2004 6:25 PM
To: Ed Meadowcroft; Hillman List
Subject: "Hillman " STP

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

I fear I am about to get into a major firestorm, but here goes.....  STP serves two purposes and serves both of them very, very well.

First:  It is a "clinging oil".  Get some on your fingers.... now try to get it off.  It sticks and stays.  Inside your engine it stays in the oil passages after the engine shuts down and all of the oil has drained back down into the crankcase.  That means, when you start the engine the first time in the morning, the STP is still there to lubricate.  It is also great stuff to use when rebuilding an engine.  I use a can and an old paint brush to put it on all critical surfaces as I reassemble the engine.  That way everything is lubricated when the engine is started for the first time.

Second:  STP is a viscosity extender it changes 10W30 oil to 15W40 or something like that.  In this case, two cans are usually needed.

That is all it does, it will NOT make an old engine new or do any of the other miraculous or wonderful things the advertising claims.  It will cut down oil burning slightly because it makes the oil thicker.  However, I think the first item I mentioned makes it worthwhile to use.

So it really does work in the limited ways I have mentioned.

Jan Eyerman



From: The Becketts [thebecketts(at)optusnet.com.au]
Sent: Friday, 20 February 2004 11:49 PM
To: Jan Eyerman; Ed Meadowcroft; Hillman List
Subject: Re: "Hillman " STP

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

So if it stays in the oil passages, does it block them?

Ron



From: Jan Eyerman [jan.eyerman(at)usa.net]
Sent: Tuesday, 24 February 2004 9:04 AM
To: The Becketts; Jan Eyerman; Ed Meadowcroft; Hillman List
Subject: "Hillman " STP

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

Nope, it just blows through. It is kind of like a jelly.

Jan



From: kkj [kkj(at)privat.utfors.se]
Sent: Friday, 20 February 2004 7:23 PM
To: hillman@can-inc.com; Jan Eyerman
Subject: SV: "Hillman " STP

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

Sorry Jan, but there will be no firestorm from your opinions about STP.  What you say is right, and if there are anyone who says STP has no effect at all, are wrong.
They are course allowed to have a different opinion but I can't see any point in that.  :)

Kristian J



From: Keith Johnson [keiths55(at)bigpond.net.au]
Sent: Friday, 20 February 2004 10:29 PM
To: hillmanlist
Subject: Re: "Hillman " STP

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

Tut Tut Jan

Right about using STP in engines, but I wouldn't use it as assembly lube.
Some parts need to bed in when first installed. especially rings.
Standard engine oil is best assembly lube in this case.  Super slip additives such as STP, Molyslip and colloidal graphite are so slippery that bedding in of the rings doesn't take place and often leads to high oil consumption.
Once the engine is "run in" then the additives do wonders especially at start up when most engine wear occurs.

The beginning of this thread, the Buick with the sticky lifter.  I take it that this lifter is not pumping up and is hence noisy.  Or does it just leak down when stopped and take a few seconds to quieten down??
There are additives you can get that can and do help in a worn engine with these problems.  Flushing out the oilways when you next change oil often helps.  Worn engine bearings can rob oil pressure and cause these problems as well.  Switching to a slightly heavier multigrade oil may also help, say a 20W-50 or similar.

Do Buicks use a V6 similar to Holden?  (Or should I say Holdens use a V6 derived from a Buick unit)
If so at the miles you have I wouldn't bother, if it stops just replace the whole engine it has to be more cost effective.  What I have found is that the moment you look at one part of a high miles engine the rest of it goes out in sympathy :))

Keith
55 Californian



From: Ed Meadowcroft [ed_meadowcroft(at)snap-tite.com]
Sent: Friday, 20 February 2004 11:14 PM
To: Keith Johnson; Hillman List
Subject: Re: "Hillman " STP

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

Hi Keith, I agree completely about not monkeying with such a high mileage engine as my Buick.  The car is virtually worthless so I have no intention of spending much time or effort on it, I hope it can make the quarter million miles that's all.  I'm going to try the ATF method forwarded by a couple of listmembers then change the oil, if that doesn't work I'll just keep running it and hope it doesn't get any worse.
Ed



From: Darryl K. Pitts [sunbeamimp(at)alltel.net]
Sent: Friday, 20 February 2004 10:50 PM
To: Hillman List
Subject: Re: "Hillman " oil additives

Ed,
  I have been using this stuff called "CTC" in all my high mileage cars. Stands for "Carb, Transmission, Crankcase" Developed, or so he said, by a guy here in Georgia.  I use it in my tank every 3-4 tanks.  Use it in a 81 Corolla Wagon trans that gets sluggish going into drive.  200,000 mile car.  It works great in my experience.  They had a website but, a quick search turned up nothing.  I have his contact info at home.
I can buy it locally for about $5 for a 8 oz bottle.  Clear bottle with clear, red liquid.  That seems a bit high but, it's worth it to me.....
....cause it works for me.
      Let me know if you would like to try it and can't find it.
      Darryl Pitts
      GA USA



From: Darryl K. Pitts [sunbeamimp(at)alltel.net]
Sent: Sunday, 22 February 2004 12:43 PM
To: hillman@can-inc.com
Subject: "Hillman - " Additive link

This message forwarded by the Hillman List.

Here's the link for the CTC.  I am in no way connected with this distributor blah, blah, blah.......

http://ctcdistributors.com/



From: Keith Johnson [keiths55(at)bigpond.net.au]
Sent: Saturday, February 21, 2004 1:37 PM
To: hillmanlist
Subject: Re: "Hillman " oil additives

Father in law had leaks from the auto trans in his 240D Mercedes.
Got some auto trans leak fix additive and the problem has gone away.  1975 model would be seals getting old.  Cheaper than a pull down and rebuild.  This stuff was red as well  :))

Keith



From: David Rosicke [d.rosicke(at)snet.net]
Sent: Sunday, 22 February 2004 7:11 AM
To: Keith Johnson; hillmanlist
Subject: Re: "Hillman " oil additives

Stick lifters Use Marvel Mystery oil for two oil changes.  That will clear out some of the varnish build-up too.

Switch to lighter or synthetic brand name oil.

For long term use, I don't recommend any oil additives as most (molly, Teflon/PTFE, etc) are just Friction Modifiers something the oil already has in a balanced quantity.  Some of these are so large at a molecular level that a good oil fiter will catch them anyway.  STP Oil treatment (Blue-can viscosity Improver) will reduce sludge and varnish build-up if used on a regular basis when using cheap oil.  Marvel Mystery oil cleans out carbon and varnish build-up but I don't recommend extended use or more than the recommended amount used at any one time.  It can shock the engine deposits loose if not used properly and could cause more harm than good if they are in oil passageways instead of on interior surfaces.

Dave R


BACK to Tech Tips index page

HOME page