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Marvel mystery oil

dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
A mechanic I know says to put a little of this in
your crankcase before an oil change, drive around,
then change the oil.

Supposedly, you can put a few ounces in your gas
and it works like STP to clean your injectors &
fuel system. I have yet to do this, but it would
be a lot cheaper than STP for this purpose --
assuming it works.

Does anyone know of some real research on this? I
put it in with my oil before my last change and
before a 60 miles drive, but another mechanic
opined that it is too thin to adequately protect
your engine.

I'll say this. It *does* smell good. MMMM

I'd appreciate any real-life experience, even
anyone who has good reason for calling me a dope
for using it.

dave

Comments

  • spnxspnx Posts: 37
    I'm skeptical of anything that claims to perform equally well in the crankcase *or* gastank.

    I've seen it in the store, and frankly, I've always dismissed it as snakeoil.

    So, I'm afraid I don't have real-life experiences with this, but I'll keep reading this thread and see if there are others who do, because I'm curious.
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    in olden times (say, before unleaded fuel :) ), that it was pretty common for people to add marvel mystery oil or sewing machine oil. i remember my dad doing it. it probably helped with the lubrication of something or another. with today's addpacks and modern oil formulations, it probably isn't necessary.

    and yes dave, it DOES smell good! lol...

    -Chris
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    Two things...

    1) it can replace your lead additive if added to gasoline. It doesn't say that on the package, but top cylinder lubrication is basically what lead did when it was in gasoline.

    2) it can be used to free a stuck engine. Pull your plugs and pour a little bit into each cylinder (not too much, don't want to hydrolock it) and let it sit overnight. Then try cranking it over. The stuff frees up your piston rings if they are rusted to the cylinder wall. Of course WD-40 does the same thing but it smells funny.

    Yeah, this stuff smells good...I used it in the gas tank of the 1965 Chevy I owned when I was in high school...only because there was a half a case of the stuff in the trunk and my mechanic told me to use it and not waste my money on lead additive. That straight six definitely outlasted the rest of the car, while I tore up the clutch and busted brake line after brake line.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    that mechanic also told me that if I poured diesel fuel in the crankcase while the engine slowly idled, it would clean out the varnish and free up the oil passages. Maybe so but I got yelled at by the station attendant when I tried it. I think he was right though...the internal explosion of the diesel fuel as it gets compressed between the main bearings would probably clean it up pretty good, it would disassemble it for me, then if I didn't die, I could rebuild it in the parking lot over the next few days (if I didn't get arrested) and it would no longer use any oil.

    Or something like that...
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    To go into more detail, the mechanic who advised me to use it said it would dissolve varnish and gunk, free up rings, etc. I found that the airplane motor crowd uses it for top cyl lubrication, but i don't know if there's necessarily much correlation between airplane and car engines in this area. Are cars nowadays wanting for top cyl lubrication with unleaded gas?

    Glad i'm not the only person who thinks it smells damn good. My wife didn't care for it one bit. maybe it's a guy thing?

    I'm thinking that if i don't find out for sure one whay or the other, i can just use a little every other oil change. It will probably end up costing me 50cents every 6K miles that way. Click and Clack put it in the "can't hurt" category.


    dave
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Many of the older, better-known oil treatments on the market do not make claims nearly so lavish as the new upstarts. Old standbys like Bardahl,
    Rislone and Marvel Mystery Oil, instead offer things like "quieter lifters," "reduced oil burning" and a "cleaner engine."

    Most of these products are made up of solvents and detergents designed to dissolve sludge and carbon deposits inside your engine sothey can
    be flushed or burned out. Wynn's Friction Proofing Oil, for example, is 83 percent kerosene. Other brands use naphthalene, xylene, acetone and
    isopropanol. Usually, these ingredients will be found in a base of standard mineral oil.

    In general, these products are designed to do just the oppositeof what the PTFE and zinc phosphate additives claim to do. Instead of leaving
    behind a "coating" or a "plating" on your engine surfaces, they are designed to strip away such things.

    All of these products will strip sludge and deposits out and clean up your engine, particularly if it is an older, abused one. The problem is, unless
    you have some way of determining just how much is needed to remove your deposits without going any further, such solvents also can strip
    away the boundary lubrication layer provided by your oil. Overuse of solvents is an easy trap to fall into, and one which can promote harmful
    metal-to-metal contact within your engine.

    As a general rule of thumb these products had their place and were at least moderately useful on older automobile and motorcycle engines of the
    Fifties and Sixties, but are basically unneeded on the more efficient engine designs of the past two decades.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    A reference in my 1994 Accord owner's manual to Marvel Mystery Oil; it was right after the "hosing out your gas tank" and "cinder block cruise control" chapter.
  • spnxspnx Posts: 37
    Well, substitutes for leaded fuel, here's something I've researched, as I own an older car. Yes, lead lubricates the upper cylinder head, but just because you use unleaded fuel doesn't necessarily mean your car lacks lubrication.

    My 1962 car converts to unleaded easily by using harded (stainless steel) valve seats. If I don't use the uprated piece, or some form of lead substitute, I'll need to teardown the engine in about 40,000 miles.

    However, there is NO need to worry about this condition in a newer car.
  • spnxspnx Posts: 37
    for harded, read hardened
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I don't think I've seen so many responses so quickly to a post before. Everyone must know about Mystery Oil. I think the can looks neat.
  • guitarzanguitarzan Posts: 633
    Dhanley, I believe those engine solvents in the can are nothing but a quart of diesel fuel. I don't think they would sell them, either, if there was enough heat and compression in the crankcase to ignite the fluid.

    I used one in an Olds 307 with 80k miles, with no bad effects. If the user follows the instructions, and doesn't put the vehicle under any load while that stuff is swishing around, I can't imagine any harm being done. Wouldn't someone have sued already if their bearings were destroyed?

    Guitarzan
    Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    It's Crap!
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    I have used Marvel many times over the years. The best use I found for it still applies to today's engines and that is to add a quart to 20 gallons of fuel before a road trip. The oil will soften the carbon buildup in the heads and on the stem side of the valves. Made an exceptional difference on a 4.3L GM engine with 40K of mostly in town driving. It can scare you, though. When I was 19, I put it in the Cutlass I owned. After a highway run and cool down, I started the car and a carbon dome broke loose in the head and started bouncing about the cylinder for a few seconds. I just knew I had thrown a rod!

    Jim
  • drandodrando Posts: 12
    AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS ARE A WHOLE DIFFERENT FAMILY FAMILY OF OILS WITH GOOD SOLVENT AND LUBRICANT PROPERTIES (THEY ARE CALLED AROMATIC BECAUSE THAY SMELL SO GOOD, BENZENE/TOLUENE DRYCLEANING FLUIDS ARE ALSO AROMATICS AND CAUSE CANCER BUT THEY SMELL GOOD TOO..)
    IT PROBABLY IS A GOOD IDEA TO RUN SOME IN THE OIL FOR A SHORT PERIOD JUST BEFORE AN OIL CHANGE BECAUSE IT IS NOT TOO HARSH OF A SOLVENT..
    SIDE NOTE: I READ A BOOK ABOUT A GERMAN FIGHTER PILOT IN WWII THAT TOLD ABOUT HOW DURING THE VERY COLD RUSSIAN WINTER A RUSSIAN PRISONER SHOWED THEM HOW TO PUT GASOLINE IN THE MOTOR OIL OF THE FIGHTER PLANES SO THEY COULD CRANK THE MOTOR IN THE MORNINGS, THE GAS EVAPORATED AS THE MOTOR WARMED UP .IT MADE THEM CHANGE OIL MORE FREQUENTLY
    BUT AT LEAST THEY COULD CRANK THE MOTOR.PROBABLY WOULDN'T DO THAT IN MY TRUCK BUT I GUESS THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO LOSE...
    HOPE THIS HELPS
  • dgsgdgsg Posts: 29
    Air cooled VW's loved MMO for long road trips!
    Dan
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    Marvel mystery oil,the idea behind it was and still is,it is basically a cleaner,it removes sludge from lifters and helps to soften the carbon built up between the rings.We used to use a quart of ATF to do the same thing.Marvel mystery oil makes a good penetrating oil and is great for an air tool oil.As for lead lubricating the heads,NO,it did not.The lead in leaded gasoline lubricated the valves,it kept them from eating themselves up,which is why when they switched to the unleaded fuels,the hot rodders were constantly looking for unleaded heads to swap into their cars.
  • page62page62 Posts: 30
    I use MMO to store my model airplane engines. These little powerplants use a mixture of methanol and nitromethane. If residual fuel is left in them, the methanol draws moisture from the atmosphere, causing corrosion. But the Marvel Mystery Oil helps prevent this from happening.

    But use it in my modern fuel-injected automobiles. Nooooooooo....
  • karluvverkarluvver Posts: 10
    Back in the 50's the Marvel Co. sold automatic dispensers for their product. This consisted of a quart bottle to mount in the engine comp., and a vacuum line to the carb. or intake manifold.

    I installed one on my '41 Plymouth. It used about 1 Qt. in 1000 miles. Don't know how much good it did as I sold the car soon after that.

    Do any other old timers remember this?
  • woodytxwoodytx Posts: 19
    I've got a 1970 IHC Scout, and we used to clean up old Scout engines (there's nothing dirtier) by slowly pouring ATF into the carb while racing the engine a bit. Smokes like late freight or a Ridley Scott film. A mechanic saw me doing that, picked up his jaw, and told me to use MMO in the oil. Not just before an oil change, but continuously.
    I don't think I used too much, about a half-quart per six quarts of oil (IHC motors use just over 6 qts). It must have worked, because I've got an IHC 304 that I bought with 70K on the clock. It sat for at least 5 years, and I've put another 30K on it. There is one problem though, finding Scout parts!
  • mystangmystang Posts: 2
    fuel injectors!

    I've been using MMO for years (7+) not for the benefit of the top cylinders but rather my fuel injectors. Those pintle's like a little lube now and then. I own an 89 Mustang 5.0 with 172k miles (with the original injectors) and she still purrs at idle like the day I bought her. Any time she starts idling rough I go for the MMO first instead of the Gumout. It's like giving a kitty a saucer of milk.

    cheers,
    JB
  • greg29greg29 Posts: 8
    Marvel oil is used in the gasoline of inboard and I/O engines as an upper cylinder lubricant, and to lubricate fuel system components,( especially the fuel injectors). Most boat owners run 4oz of MMO to ten gallons of fuel. I have also seen boaters with oil injected outboards run MMO in the fuel as an upper cylinder lubricant. They claim that the engines run VERY SMOOTH. I run this product in my 7.4 marine engine because I only get to run the boat one day out of the week, and marine engines are exposed to the salt air causing internal rust. The engine is very quiet and responsive. I HIGHLY recommend this product.-----Greg
  • debbiesuedebbiesue Posts: 1
    Used Marvel mystery oil on an oil change because lifters were sticking in my 94 trooper. Going on 6 months with no awful clicking noises. Great stuff and recommended by a mechanic.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    ... I am bringing this discussion out of the archives.

    So who thinks what about this product?

    Pat
    Roving Host
  • Marvel Mystery Oil has a place and a use in today world for a wide variety of equipment. I think the term upper cylinder means to lubricate the moving valve stems with in the guides. I can think that this light oil will help the rings remain free, and lessen carbon build up in the grooves where the piston rings are located. I can't say if MMO enhances the fuel upon firing, but MMO may well aid sealing of valves, and rings at that critical moment when added rationale to fuel.
    As added to crank case oil at the time of adding new oil several ounces will hurt nothing, and may well keep varnish and sludge from building up in the first place, by keeping contaminates in suspension.
    It seems here that from what I have read sludge build up is a concern somewhat out of proportion.
    I can remember well air cooled V W Beetles that used 30 weight non-detergent oil forming sludge from the act of mixing engine oil with condensation. This sludge in away was a useful thing as it sealed a wide variety of internal engine parts, such as push rod tubes. And yes at times when the oil was not changed in time did clog the oil strainers of those days. One of the most common problems with older cars then was the removal of all sludge in a worn engine, as this caused oil to become abundant in the combustion chambers, which caused excessive smoking from the tail pipes at all times!
    To add MMO to engine oil just before changing the engine oil seems to me a waste of MMO, time and money, as the solids are adhered to the engine castings by then due to heat, weight of solid contaminates, and trapping in areas that do not tend to drain well, for example places lower in the cylinder heads than the drain holes which I am willing to bet all engines have this common flaw.
    Also as this MMO seems to have no chemicals that eat plastics it would there fore be safe to use in injection systems, where other additives might dissolve certain internal injection parts. MMO is thin in viscosity, and even thinner when mixed in gasoline, so passing through filters should not be a problem.
    Oh I did read above a statement that said something about rusty rings. The only time piston rings could get rusty it if water were to sit for a long time with some form of water present. This would take a long time indeed, and only in the case of neglected storage of an engine. In this cases MMO can and will free rings in this condition to get the crank shaft to turn, but the MMO can does not say Marvel Magic Oil now does it! You might well expect to need to rebuild such and engine with no false witness to MMO.
    just my opinion. Von
  • tch65tch65 Posts: 3
    Well, I've been using MMO for many years now, along with Rislone. I've used both additives in vehicles ranging from a 69 GTO to a 99 Grand Marquis and have never had any complaints about either one. I use it at every oil change to replace one quart of new oil and use it regulary in my fuel tank. Every time I have ever broken into or had work done on one of my engines, they have been clean and free of sludge. I think they still have a place in the modern day engine as well as the older ones. Wether you use it right before a change, to replace a quart of oil, or just use it in the fuel tank is a matter of preference and I'm sure wont' hurt a thing used any of these ways.
  • I had a lot of trouble with my snow blower this year. Couldn't keep it running. Finally I took off the spark plug and sprayed MMO into the hole at what appeared to be the exhaust valve. Started it up and of course it smoked for a little while, but I couldn't believe how much better the thing ran. All kinds of power that I didn't have before. The exhaust valve must have been stuck before I sprayed the MMO.

    Is it good to ad this to my fuel injected Grand Marquis? Its a 1998 with low mileage.
  • MY 86 CJ-7 NEEDED THE HEAD GASKET REPLACED. WHEN I DID THIS I ALSO CLEANED OUT THE PUSH RODS AND POURED MMO IN THEM. THIS ELIMINATED THE VALVE TAP THAT HAD EXISTED PRIOR TO THIS WORK. THIS WAS AT 95K. I NO LONGER OWN IT BUT THE NEW OWNER NOW HAS 145K ON IT AND IT IS STRONG AND QUIET
This discussion has been closed.