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  • Marvel Mystery Oil, MMO

    We have not had a good informative MMO thread yet on the VFF. Discussing all the positives, any negatives or even the smell may help others.

    One benefit is MMO helps lubricate the valve guides / stems when its mixed with the fuel. Personally ( many use it) i am not a proponent of adding it to the oil, i don't like thinning out the viscosity. If i ever did need to try and free up a stuck piston ring i would drain it out after.

    Maybe someone can get into the reason why these motor are susceptible to sticking valves.
    3 ~ Tudor's
    Henry Ford said
    "It's all nuts and bolts"


    Mitch's Auto Service ctr

  • #2
    ATF was the way to go on my first engine stuck in the elements for decades. I have a bottle of MMO but never used it.

    Comment


    • #3
      I use it, and have for a long time. It works for upper lube, and some say it helps with vapor lock in the new gasoline. I also put it in my motorcycles. As for the smell, I think it is great. I have always said that the after shave people should make some that smell like MMO, Hoppe's #9, corn silage, and new mowed hay!
      Bill
      http://www.brauchauto.com/
      Eastern Connecticut

      Comment


      • Ray Horton
        Ray Horton commented
        Editing a comment
        I grew up using Hoppe's to clean my .22 and love that smell, tho it changed slightly when they had to reformulate it. As for MMO, I add it to my gas, along with some Sta-bil, when I put a car away for more than 30 days, but I don't know if it does anything. To me MMO smells like diesel, but who knows what's in it? That's the mystery.

        A friend was having some kind of trouble at high altitudes on a cross-country trip, and added some MMO to his gas and the trouble stopped.
        Last edited by Ray Horton; 01-05-2018, 10:42 AM.

      • Dennis
        Dennis commented
        Editing a comment
        Hoppe's #9, corn silage, and new mowed hay. :rolling Bill when you have lived with those odors for most your life, you never forget them.

    • #4
      I carry a medium size pill bottle in the passenger pouch with about 4oz in it next to my gas filler adapter for the EPA nozzles we are forced to use out here in the United State of Brown country. Thanks for reminding me that I need to refill it after filling the tank last night!

      I have used it in so many vehicles over the years that is has almost become and automatic thing when I reach for the gas pump at the station. Don't ask me what is in it or what it does as I ain't no brain sturgeon, but I know it works and it is cheap insurance to keep the top end lubed in these troubling fuel additive times. It seems to me when I miss a treatment the engine talks just a little louder to me, but then, I just turn up the volume of my headset music and it all goes away.

      After working for the railroad I know for a fact that the gas out here has butane added to it for evaporation of the gas, and I know first hand that it also displaced oxygen, as I was unable to breath in a cloud of it, so knowing that, I think the gas is made to go bad and I think adding a bit of MMO won't hurt a thing. I never use it in the oil as I too don't like to think of thinning down what lubrication the internals get from the oil, but I'll be glad to listen to the quieting of noises when added to the gas.

      My 2¢ worth.
      You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!

      Comment


      • #5
        MMO debate. as a retired automotive mechanic most Mechanic in a Can were basically bulls%&t. I do agree that gasoline refinements don't agree with upper cylinder lubrication, valves and guides etc take a washing during every cycle . So yes something added to gasoline is recommended for all these early engines. MMO... have never seen it here in Canada, BUT.. I am sure it has been beat around the forums , fellas pissed off and bawling when you don't agree that MMO is the final answer, and chemists in white lab coats spraying a lab rat looking to see how slippery he is and Have come to the conclusion this is the one for a Model A engine. I have seen MMO at Walmart while visiting USA, Never seen one security guard on duty near the display. Throw in a hint of 2 Stroke oil , a lot cheaper and does exactly what you want , lubricates and cools. I think . But Its A MYSTERY. No smoke No smell... And don't add MMO or another Mechanic in a Can to engine oil .. its Bulls%&t.

        Comment


        • Mitch
          Mitch commented
          Editing a comment
          The modern term is "Technician in a can" ask DAD

        • canadian
          canadian commented
          Editing a comment
          just noticed that on my licence it clearly states... Automotive Technician. Jez for 37 years I thought I was a mechanic .... hope DAD didn't spot my muck up.

      • #6
        I use it. Too many pros and no cons. $1.00 worth of MMO in a @$20,000 car makes $cents to me.

        Comment


        • #7
          Well, Seafoam sure as hell works if you want to call that tech in a can. Put it in a friends 1989 Honda and started it. Looked like it was on fire it was smoking so much. Ran the piss out of it down the highway. Smoke cleared and never ran better.

          Comment


          • #8
            For starters, a whole lot of old cars are prone to sticking valves, not just As. Many of the posters here, including Mitch, the Chief, myself, etc have worked on many different marques over the years. And while I don't like to add to the oil either, there are times that I will, then drain it all out when done.

            I am specifically thinking of a '54 Packard straight-8 we worked on that had at least half the cylinders with stuck valves. It had run fine, then was parked and not started for 6 months, then would only fire off on a few cylinders. I knew right away stuck valves.
            It was almost impossible to get it to run. I put a QT of MMO in the crankcase, a bunch in the gas, and had a bottle ready in my hand. I set the idle screw up. Pushed it outside, closed all the doors to the shop. Shoved 12V on the 6V starter and forced that beast to start. Ran like crap, but at least it was running, prolly at about 1200. I started to gingerly pour MMO right from the bottle down the carb, so it was getting a bath in the stuff. And one by one you could hear the cylinders kick in. Once the engine got to temp it got much easier. The blue cloud surrounding the property was unbelieveable. But I did not care

            This was about 8 years ago, and the car has run perfectly since. We then made the decision to run MMO in the gas of every vintage car here, which is about 9 of them, and every customer drives out of the shop with a free bottle of MMO.

            You can thank today's crapahol type gas, which is heavily polluted with ethanol (a highly corrosive substance) for all these sticking valves

            For whatever reason, we have also found that MMO somehow stabilizes the fuel and will not breakdown as quickly as raw gasahol

            MMO is just a lightweight oil, I am gonna guess about a 5W consistency.

            The only Mystery to it is why more people don't use it

            Tha's my story and I'm sticking to it!
            Last edited by tbirdtbird; 01-05-2018, 10:27 AM.

            Comment


            • Mitch
              Mitch commented
              Editing a comment
              Dave maybe you can explain why the flathead valve set up needs help with guide lubrication

            • tbirdtbird
              tbirdtbird commented
              Editing a comment
              Well I have seen OHV stick, also, just not as many. For starters, valve guides do not get direct oiling, just from the mist of the oil.

              And if you be running Non-D oil then all bets are off. I guarantee stuck valves in that case. I have heard all kinds of crazy-assed crap over the years....Detergent is bad for an A, glycol antifreeze is bad for an A, etc etc. And NO I am not trying to start an oil thread, and would refuse to participate in one!

              Wonder if Geo Miller can comment here
              Last edited by tbirdtbird; 01-05-2018, 07:39 PM.

          • #9
            Another option, ZDDP or high rich zinc oil if it can be found (Rotella, Delo,?) + fuel stabilizer for each fill up. We use the latter in our leaf blowers, etc. because the ethanol gas seems to eat up the seals and gaskets. The red bottle STP used to advertise a lot of zinc in it, but this product was pulled from (our local) shelves due to purported catalytic convertor issues with zinc.
            Just saw Tbird's post. How much MMO is put in the fuel fill ups?
            Last edited by plyfor; 01-05-2018, 10:28 AM.

            Comment


            • tbirdtbird
              tbirdtbird commented
              Editing a comment
              4 oz per 10 gallons. I just eyeball it, you know, 4 shot glasses worth

              oops that is what I meant, 4 oz per 10 gals, I corrected it
              Last edited by tbirdtbird; 01-05-2018, 11:26 AM.

            • DaWizard
              DaWizard commented
              Editing a comment
              I use 4oz for 10 gallons.

          • #10
            You can also use a product called Klotz 2 stroke oil it mixes at like 50:1 if memory serves me correctly so clean you will not even see it but when you turn a motor at 10000 rpm you can bet it is working so in the fuel it is lubricationg mmo atf any of these will help with upper cylinder lubrication. I never had any sticking valve issues on my flatheads, now vaporlock that is another story.

            Comment


            • Ray Horton
              Ray Horton commented
              Editing a comment
              My A won't turn 10000 rpm. At least, I've never tried it. Maybe it will.

            • BNCHIEF
              BNCHIEF commented
              Editing a comment
              If it can keep an engine like that lubed what do you think it could do in your A Ray, bottom line is good lubrication unless you like spending money to overhaul engines, first time is enough for me, bottom line if their are better products then why not use them. The cost of klotz may be cheaper than mmo if you use it.

          • #11
            I have used their product extensively in the past and am tempted to do it again but I would consult with their staff first and discuss the application. Take a look at their website some interesting reading there.

            Comment


            • tbirdtbird
              tbirdtbird commented
              Editing a comment
              Hmm, Mitch has pointed out that synthetics don't show smoke when they burn, I am gonna guess that is why you don't see it

            • BNCHIEF
              BNCHIEF commented
              Editing a comment
              Tbird Mitch is correct which is my point I cannot say that i see smoke with mmo but I can tell the tail pipe is clean and not black with the synthetic oil, in a twostroke the the oil gas mix lubricates the rod and crank bearings because of the engine desgn.
              Last edited by BNCHIEF; 01-05-2018, 05:15 PM.

          • #12
            I use it in the gas only on my old cars. Does it help I like to think so. But it is a mystery.

            Comment


            • #13
              My Model A was running to the point it wasn't running about 6 months ago. I took the carburetor off to clean it out and had a bunch of this white stuff I assume was from the gas. Blew out the jets and passages and got to the plug and saw this. I've been adding MMO to every fill of gas since then and no more problems.
              You do not have permission to view this gallery.
              This gallery has 1 photos.

              Comment


              • #14
                I use it in the gas on my small engines, and in all my air tools prior to hooking them to the air hose.
                Good oil

                Comment


                • #15
                  FWIW:

                  1. MMO is just one (1) of the popular Upper Cylinder Lubricants which were displayed and sold years ago at all filling stations across the U.S.; however, it is one of the very few Upper Cylinder Lubricants widely advertised and readily still available today.

                  2. All filling stations years ago had displays of (4) ounce cans of Upper Cylinder Lubricants such as Cromwell, Shamrock, Clark, Klotz, Texaco, Castrol Castrollo, Mobil, Bardhall, etc.,etc. E-bay has many brands of cans sold as collector items. Mechanically informed conservative car owners added Upper Cylinder Lubricants religiously back then when money was tight.

                  3. Many untra-conservative vintage mechanics back then were also very well familiar with how cylinder wear and ring wear was greatly reduced in vintage hopper type water-cooled (2) cycle engines used in industry and in shops across the U. S. because of adding lubricating oil to fuel, thus lubricating tops of cylinders where most cylinder wear always occurs until today. Less cylinder/ring wear meant less engine overhauls, less shut down periods, and less cost for re-boring, new pistons and new rings ..... again, money was tight.

                  4. Today in 2018, engine wear really does not matter that much. Almost everybody is over weight from overeating as compared to the lean times of years ago. Refrigerators are stocked with beer, and the stock market in 2018 is at an all time high.

                  5. Appears MMO and other Upper Cylinder Lubricants are still recommended mainly by vintage car owners like a few of us who used to depend solely on outdoor toilets years ago.

                  Comment


                  • #16
                    I've been using MMO in mine even with no hint of a problem. Going to switch to ATF in the spring (costs less and I'm "frugal" ).
                    Paul in CT

                    Comment


                    • #17
                      MMO is good stuff and Dave described why exactly, My 1949 Chevy 216 had stuck valves twice, and I didn't make the connection to the use of crap gas, and the poor lubrication it offers to valves. Now I use 4 ounces to 10 gallons of good gas, and haven't had any more problems.

                      Dennis, your picture looks like corn starch, and a John Deere dealer showed me the same stuff once. He said it was the remnants of the corn crap gas.

                      Comment


                      • Dennis
                        Dennis commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Yup, first thing I thought when I saw it. There was a thin coat of it in the bottom of the carburetor bowl. Since then I haven't missed putting the MMO in. I carry a full bottle and a partial with me at all times in the trunk. Oh and another thing, the gas pump have labels on them that claim it is the better quality gas... yeah sure it is Costco.

                    • #18
                      I took this pic at Gettysburg .. I wonder if he measures it.

                      mmo.jpg
                      3 ~ Tudor's
                      Henry Ford said
                      "It's all nuts and bolts"


                      Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                      Comment


                      • DaWizard
                        DaWizard commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Heh, was probably the last 4oz in the bottle!

                      • Beauford
                        Beauford commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Yikes

                      • Dennis
                        Dennis commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Uh Mitch, are you sure that isn't your car? Naw couldn't be.

                      • Beauford
                        Beauford commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I bet he's getting ready for the tour...

                    • #19
                      Just one (1), 200,000 mile shared actual vintage car experience from (75) years ago:

                      My Dad operated and managed a Car Garage and repaired old vintage cars from 1920 until 1932.

                      Even back then, he told me both he and his (3) brothers and most vintage mechanics back then were firm believers in adding top cylinder type oil to gasoline for top cylinder lubrication of four (4) cycle engines.

                      He told me immediately after the Japanese invasion in December 1941, he hurriedly bought our new 1942 Desoto. I remember we climbed Pike Peak twice in that 1942 Desoto, traveled to Washing D.C. and many other different states during the summer months, all on old back roads, (many gravel), prior to Interstate Highways back then.

                      After 100,000 miles on that 1942 Desoto, my Dad sold it to his brother and we bought a new 1948 Desoto.

                      My Dad's mechanic brother changed the rings and drove that 1942 Desoto another 100,000 miles before he sold it.

                      Both claimed that 200,000 miles on a 1942 Desoto, (with only one (1) single, ring replacement job), would never have been possible without top cylinder lubrication provided in this old vintage straight-eight engine.

                      It was a different time, with different people, who drove on different dusty roads, with different compositions of oil and gas, who did things all together differently.

                      FWIW: One (1) opinion is: Model A's are now 85+ years old, we are living in a different time, with different people, who drive on different paved roads, with different compositions of oil and gas, and we really all do things differently .... please just have Fun with your Model A and do as you please with what you have!

                      Comment


                      • #20
                        Henry, a 1942 anything car would have been quite rare. As you well know all passenger car production ceased on Feb 1, 1942

                        Comment


                        • H. L. Chauvin
                          H. L. Chauvin commented
                          Editing a comment
                          It was a 1942 2-door coupe with a light grey body and (4) maroon fenders. I have a few photos of it. Probable would be a collector item today.

                          Our closest dealership was (20) miles away in a small rural town. He only had one car on display in his small front show room as late as 1965 ..... his cars were special catalog ordered for customers. Our later 1948 Desoto 2-door coupe was a "Demonstrator" with fluid drive.

                      • #21
                        The MSDS reveals a napthenic base stock in MMO as well as a halogenated solvent component. That base stock is a far superior lubricant than the n- and iso-paraffins that comprise standard motor oil, albeit lower in V.I. and long term oxidation stability. That lower V.I. and lack of oxidation stability accounts for the primary reason modern motor oils designed for long service life are primarily based on branch chain paraffins despite their lesser lubricity.

                        As an additive the halogenated solvent component facilitates penetration of the napthelenes in the MMO into surfaces previously saturated with oil. This would account for the reported MMO success in freeing hydraulic lifters and sticky valve stems.

                        In an OHV gravity assists oil penetration into valve stem clearances when the engine is off. In a flatlead gravity drains lube from stem clearances and addition of some type of oil that does not completely vaporize with the fuel helps lube those stem-down valves while running.

                        As for the use of MMO in oil to un-stick carbon laden ring lands, the wintergreen smell in MMO is methyl salicylate, an ester type oil with a superior solvency for the carbon based varnish compounds that stick rings in their lands. Here I agree with Mitch, unless you have a problem use of it will needlessly reduce the oil viscosity.

                        I use MMO in the gas, not in the oil. Modern oils already contain additive packages that should prevent coking of ring lands under normal operating conditions. Modern fuels, however, do a pretty good job of washing off what little lube is present on stem-down valves.

                        Comment


                        • tbirdtbird
                          tbirdtbird commented
                          Editing a comment
                          thanks, Mike, stellar commentary as usual!
                          It is often reassuring to be clued into the scientific basis of something that most of us understand more from a seat-of-the-pants viewpoint. In other words, we are not dreaming, it really does work
                          Last edited by tbirdtbird; 01-06-2018, 06:30 AM.

                        • BNCHIEF
                          BNCHIEF commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Mike your reasoned fact based posts are an absolute pleasure to read thanks.

                      • #22
                        With continued use it should also help coat the inside of the fuel tank walls and baffles. This may help to prevent corrosion of the tank internals. I have no evidence of this it is just my presumption
                        3 ~ Tudor's
                        Henry Ford said
                        "It's all nuts and bolts"


                        Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                        Comment


                        • #23
                          It cannot hurt.

                          Comment


                          • #24
                            MMO as a top cylinder oil seems to be working well, but my introduction to it was with 1938 Allis Chalmers tractor I once owned. I had been on "Yesterday's Tractors" (Ford 8N) and most on the site swore by it. Previously, I thought it was just another scam "Technician in a Can" Snake oil! Great stuff for the seller, but not much more. Along with"Wynn's Friction Proofing"and "Slip", just to add to those already mentioned. There was a retired Boeing engineer who swore by MMO and STP. I started listening! When the A.C. was made available, the engine hadn't run in a couple of years and it was stuck. A few ounces of MMO in the cylinders and she broke free. Made a believer out of me!
                            Terry

                            Comment


                            • #25
                              Also, FWIW With MMO Use:

                              For the past (10) years, my 1947 Farmall CubTractor sits idle without running the engine for (6) months, i.e., from October through March.

                              I fill the gas tank using "only" (10%) Ethanol gas with about (4) ounces of MMO per (10) gallons .... sometimes more MMO ... sometimes less MMO.

                              I fill the tank using a large red plastic funnel, from Amazon; however, this funnel has a removable fine screen, (as fine as a Model A fuel bowl screen), which can block water and deleterious materials in fuel from entering the gas tank.

                              With said (10%) Ethanol gas, and with only the original sediment bowl filter, with original type new fine screen for filtering fuel, I haven't cleaned the original pot-metal carburetor in the past (10) after using said plastic funnel and MMO. I even had (10%) Ethanol gas mixed with MMO in a gas can sitting for (3) years with no problems after using same.

                              Also, on this vintage tractor, as an additional FWIW, (LOL, even though not MMO related), I noticed that without long periods of annual engine running during part of fall, winter, and part of spring, I never had to adjust, file, or clean the ignition points in (10) years because the 1947 tractor distributor cap totally encloses and isolates the ignition points from outside humid air in humid areas; however, on a Model A, with a Model A or Model B distributor, (with a non-sealed distributor body opened to outside air at the rear of the distributor body), in humid areas, in spring and fall, with cold nights and warm humid days, warm moist air condensing on cold metal points can cause metal oxidation where Model A and/or Model B points have to be filed and cleaned "if" insulating oxidation occurs on mating surfaces of points.



                              Comment

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                                One benefit is MMO helps lubricate the valve guides / stems when its mixed with the fuel. Personally ( many use it) i am...
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