Add-on product to extend life of engine

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by mrcshbs, May 18, 2019.

  1. mrcshbs

    mrcshbs Pre-Flight

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    Before we start, I realize this is not going to be a 100% guarantee, but I would like to get some opinions from the pilots and mechanics here on what product to use.

    Is there a product that we can on the fuel or oil to extend the life of the engine?

    As we all know, keeping the maintenance up and regular oil changes is the lifeline of the engine. As it gets older in total time, it becomes increasingly more difficult to reach TBO without any issues.

    So, for mid-life engines that are in good share (compression in the 70’s) and descent health, any products that anyone knows that will help the engine give a few more hours?

    I’ve seen some people running engines like a 1000 past TBO and still going strong. What’s the secret?

    I appreciate your input.
     
  2. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Marvel Mystery Oil.


    :popcorn::D
     
  3. Bell206

    Bell206 Pattern Altitude

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    Changing the oil/filter regularly, not abusing the the engine in flight via lean mixtures settings or super-cooling the cylinders in decent, following the OEM recommended preventative/servicing procedures, pre-heating on cold days, breaking a new engine in per the OEM recommendations, etc. However, never seen any "TBO extender" in a can that worked better than the previous list and common sense. If you start from day one down this path it will give you the best chance at getting longer life. But nothing is 100% guaranteed. One contract pipeline patrol aircraft I know of would consistently get close to 3000hrs life but he had a few lemons in there as well.
     
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  4. mrcshbs

    mrcshbs Pre-Flight

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    I've heard some good things about that Marvel oil. Is that really
    How do you use it? It looks like it can be used on fuel tank and/or mixed with the oil
     
  5. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    Would this be an engine one has since the 1st hours of flight? If not you’re at the mercy of the previous owner for all the above. Yes, preheat, routine flying, gentle treatment, and the rest factor in. A lower time engine that sat a bunch is a red flag.

    I think the ‘mystery oil’ mention is more a joke. Camguard likely has some benefits. I still think routine flying is better.
     
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  6. Luigi

    Luigi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Camguard oil additive
     
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  7. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    As long as you don't add too much, there is a good chance it won't damage your engine.
     
  8. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    Yes..................Camguard in the oil
    ......................2 cycle oil in the fuel 1:1000 ratio
     
  9. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    Tincture of time....the more you fly the engine the longer it will last. Airplane engines that are not used regularly deteriorate in a hurry.

    Bob
     
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  10. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    I just fly it as often as I can so that when the mythical number ticks over the threshold most prospective buyers consider run out, I've would gotten all the utility value I emotionally expected out of my purchase.
     
  11. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Flying often and frequently and for a decent duration to get oil to operational temp and keep it there for a good while.

    Routine oil changes (our club does it at 50 hrs tach time)

    Oil analysis of what was drained to determine if bad trends are occurring.
     
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  12. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    lmao, skip the forums until you learn some basics. You will see a lot of bad information, misinformation and myths perpetuated by pilots. e.g. such concepts as shock cooling are OWTs. Either get Mike Bush's book on engine management or take the online course from Advanced Pilot Seminars (https://www.advancedpilot.com/).

    Tim
     
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  13. weirdjim

    weirdjim En-Route

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    Is that why when we were still running piston engines on the DC-7s that I worked on as a young mechanic for the airlines we used to buy MMO by the 55 gallon barrel? And you could have one of those old turkeys belching, far+ing, and smoking coming into the hangar at night and it would be purring like a kitten the next morning?

    Yes, it was all carefully hidden with blankets and such when the Feds came to look us over, but most of them in those days actually had gotten greasy working for the airline anyway before they went over to the Dark Side and knew damned good and well what was under those blankets.

    Don't mix it with the oil. It thins it waaaay too much. However, used as described on the can (or bottle) into the fuel as a top cylinder lube seems to work pretty well for some people. The afore mentioned 2-stroke oil seems to work pretty well also.

    I agree with the 1000:1 ratio. That's a quarter of an ounce of oil to a gallon of fuel, or 5 ounces to 20 gallons, however you choose to calculate it.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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  14. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    A long time ago, in a universe far, far, away, I worked for a company that was one of the largest manufacturers of piston engine driven vehicles on the planet. The company had a whole department devoted to actually testing, evaluating and writing specifications for fuels and lubricants. One of the individuals in that department had two file cabinets. One had a bunch of name brand oils on top. The other had a bunch of the wonderful additives that you find in the wishful thinking isle of the auto parts store. Each had cabinet had a sign on it. One sign read "good stuff" and the other sign said "garbage, schlock" Guess which sign was on which cabinet... Guess which cabinet had a bottle of red minty fresh stuff on it.
     
  15. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Jim,

    The problem with these statements is MMO has changed formula's over the years. As such, what may have helped the DC7 is not the same sold today.
    Further, MMO is almost completely a solvent, not a lubricant. As such, it may have removed carbon buildup and other crap in the engine. However, in no ways lubricated the engine.

    Tim
     
  16. weirdjim

    weirdjim En-Route

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    Agreed. In the oil itself it does squat other than make the oil too thin. In the fuel for top cylinder lubrication, I can only point to a reasonably long time turning wrenches on piston aircraft engines where it was a godsend and there wasn't a mechanic in that lot of 100 that wouldn't agree with me.
     
  17. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Don’t fall for all the magic tricks and hype. Change the oil, use a cam guard especially on a lycoming, operate the engine often, Lee the cylinders and egts cool.
     
  18. weirdjim

    weirdjim En-Route

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    I have heard this story (or heresy, whichever you choose to call it) from a dozen people over the years and as yet not ONE of them has told me what the change in the formula is or was. After handling a few hundred gallons of the stuff over the last 60 years it still smells the same, it feels the same, and it does the same thing it did back in the early 1960s. Call it snake oil if you will, but there are DAMNED few products that have been around for all that time without going out of business because "they don't work". They do. And yes, I'm a graduate engineer that has been practicing for the last 55 years and I don't take ANYTHING on somebody's word that it works. My name isn't Thomas, but I doubt anything I can't attest to myself.

    Jim
     
  19. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    If your aircraft is supported by the STC, install a pre-oiler. I think something like 90% of engine wear occurs on start-up.
     
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  20. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    camguard in the oil,MMO in the fuel.
     
  21. weirdjim

    weirdjim En-Route

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    To tell you the truth, other than an emetic "throw up your cookies" for a completely bound up engine, MMO (or 2-stroke) does little than leave a thin film of oil on the cylinders to keep startup from thrashing the rings and cylinder walls about. But I've done great big engines and little tiny engines that had real serious problems and an overnight soak (and I do mean SOAK) in MMO oil does wonders for the engine.

    Jim
     
  22. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Not doing flight training such as landings, takeoffs and full power climb settings. 60% cruise power setting. Smooth throttle changes and avoidance of shock cooling. Changing oil at 25 hours / 3 months. Careful ground use of carb heat / alternate air to avoid particles bypassing the induction filter. Changing induction filters as recommended. Proper maintenance of baffles. Cleaning / gapping plugs every 50 hours. Not unnecessarily start the engine ( each time you start and engine you reduce TBO)
     
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  23. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

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    Read up on importance of real preheating - not just a lil blast of hot air to thin the oil a bit..
     
  24. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    And maybe adding pre oil.
     
  25. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Positive Crankcase Ventilation has made a HUGE difference in the life expectancy of automobile engines.
     
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  26. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Indeed. Personally I've never used it for anything. Some people seem to think it could be more accurately named, "Marvel Snake Oil". Then there are those (like Jim, but he's certainly not alone) who swear it has benefits, based on their own personal experience. It seems to be mostly guys with a lot of experience with radials and old Continentals, but that may just be my own perception. Then there is the large group that will claim that it's actually illegal to put it in your fuel, since the FAA and original manufacturers do not specifically endorse or require it. I have no idea who's right and who's wrong, or to what degree, but it's always an interesting and lively discussion. :)
     
  27. Bell206

    Bell206 Pattern Altitude

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    FYI: that's where it supposedly originated due to the leak down of the residual oil when the engine was shutdown, leaving the upper cylinders "dry" especially at the upper ring area. Hence MMO, Seafoam, and a dozen other additives (natural/man-made) made their way into engines.

    Were they needed back then? Yes. In the 30s-40s lube oils were straight with no additives and the oils had nowhere the life or viscosity stability as today's oils. The addition of additives actually came from the locomotive industry as they tried to reduce engine failures. Are they needed with today's lubricants? Probably not, as lubricant technology made several big strides in the 70's and 90s.

    Do I still use MMO? Yes, but in round-engines only. Why? Because it worked for all those years for the reasons mentioned above as these 2 engines sit static for extended periods. So why buck tradition plus it makes the owners happy. No different than people still put batteries on wooden vs the ground. That requirement went out too back in the 20s-30s after battery construction changed.
     
  28. mondtster

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    Considering that MMO contains TCP I have a hard time believing that it doesn’t do something. How much it helps is open to debate however, since there has been no real testing performed.

    TCP is used in fuel as a lead scavenger and in oil as an EP antiwear additive.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tricresyl_phosphate
     
  29. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    100LL. Applied several days per week.
     
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  30. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    give its history i would say it at least keeps the fuel system clean

    Founded in 1923 by Burt Pierce, the brand has remained legendary for over 90 years. Pierce’s reputation for ingenuity preceded him as he was already well-known for inventing the Marvel Carburetor, standard equipment on 80% of all vehicles produced after World War I. Vehicles of the post WWI era encountered carburetor problems, the most perplexing being clogged jets due to high lead content and other contaminants found in the gasoline of the time. The problem motivated Pierce to direct his creative ingenuity towards formulating a blend of chemicals and petroleum products to clean and maintain clogged jets. He was successful beyond his wildest expectations and the legend of MMO was born.
     
  31. flyingbrit

    flyingbrit Pre-takeoff checklist

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  32. chemgeek

    chemgeek Cleared for Takeoff

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    The faux magic of MMO crops up from time to time on various aviation discussions. If you read the MSDS, MMO is 98-100% petroleum distillates (napthenic "base oil" and stoddard solvent), and 0.1-1% TCP and o-dichlorobenzene. The latter two components are present in far too low a concentration to have any special effect when mixed in with fuel or oil. If you want to use TCP to reduce lead fouling, then use TCP additive, which is 10-20% TCP in petroleum distillates. The bulk of MMO is essentially solvent-diluted oil. It is unlikely and unproven that MMO will make your engine last longer. Modern engine lubricants are pretty good on their own, and I'm not sure about the benefit of adding "oil" to your fuel system. At best, it does no harm.
     
  33. chemgeek

    chemgeek Cleared for Takeoff

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    There is no magic potion. The biggest enemy of engines getting past TBO is corrosion. The best way to avoid that is to fly frequently for at least one hour at a time to boil water and acids from combustion out of the engine oil. An anti-corrosion-fortified oil (e.g., the now discontinued Exxon Elite) or using a proven anti-corrosion additive (e.g. Camguard) can reduce corrosion in engines that are not flown regularly. If you inherit an engine at mid-life, you are at the partial mercy of the previous owner's care or neglect for all those prior hours.
     
  34. NordicDave

    NordicDave Line Up and Wait

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    Nicely said. -David
     
  35. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pattern Altitude

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    Wow. A thread about engine longevity and 34 posts and nobody has brought up engine heat and running LOP. If this was Beechtalk half the posts at least would have been about LOP in reply to "I’ve seen some people running engines like a 1000 past TBO and still going strong. What’s the secret?"
     
  36. Flybuddy

    Flybuddy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    1) Fly regularly
    2) Use TCP, (reducing/eliminating lead did a great deal to extend life in auto engines)
    3) regular oil changes, use Camguard or W100 plus if not flying regularly
    4) engine monitor-avoid high CHTs & high oil temps
     
  37. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    The worst engine life I have seen is in engines that were ground-run in the mistaken belief that "circulating the oil" or some such thing was keeping the engine in good condition. All you manage to do is fill the crankcase with moisture from blowby, which mixes with the oil and reacts, in the presence of metals, to form acids that cause the corrosion. We had to replace a 277-hour engine in a 172S that had been treated like that. Cylinders were shot, all pitted, and If we had taken it apart we'd have found plenty of cam, crank and gear corrosion as well. Been there before.

    It takes a good hard run to get the oil and everything else hot enough to drive off the moisture generated while the engine was warming up and the cold clearances let so much stuff past the rings.

    And as Geoffrey Thorpe said, PCV made a big difference in auto engines by removing all that moisture. It doesn't work in aircraft engines because high manifold pressures (low vacuum) at aircraft engine operating percentages won't draw the air through the crankcase.

    Air/oil separators dump moisture back into the case along with the oil. Bad idea. Put up with the oily belly.
     
  38. Kyrpto

    Kyrpto Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Wow such a thing actually exist.
     
  39. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Aside from proper mx

    Not being ham fisted
    Watching your CHTs in climb and decent
    Proper mixture settings
    Proper start up, heck just heard a cirrus start up right to like 1800rpm and sit on the ramp at that speed, strobes and all going for like 10min
    Proper run up and mag check, no need to go to off etc
    Watching for trends and not being ok with “in the green”
    Knowing your engines cold weather and hot weather procedures and following them

    I’d wager more of it is pilot related than just needing to add another widget.
     
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  40. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    MMO is also great for cleaning your tools and it’s not half bad on a salad too.
     
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