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Thread: Marvel Mystery Oil?

  1. #1

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    Question Marvel Mystery Oil?

    Lately I'm hearing some remarkable things about Marvel Mystery Oil used as a fuel additive in aircraft, from a VERY experienced and competent mechanic and aircraft owner. (I've read positive evidence from others who are using it too, in everything from lawnmowers to bombers.) Presumably this is not technically an authorized (i.e. legal) aviation product, but based on his testimony I think I'll start using it myself in my P&W-powered warbird. Anybody else out there using it and care to share thoughts or experiences?

  2. #2

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    I use to use it to soak parts in cause the place I was working at the time had a 50 yr supply.
    It's just a naptha based solvent with a mystical reputation. The testimonials are legendary, kinda like the guy that accidently got the car with the 50 mpg carburetor. Fuel and oils are formulated to give good performance. Adding solvent is not going to make them any better. The last ditch sales pitch used to be "it won't hurt" but I'm not so sure about that.

  3. #3
    Max Torque's Avatar
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    MMO input worth reading: http://www.supercub.org/forum/showth...el+mystery+oil and

    http://www.avweb.com/news/savvyaviat..._196730-1.html

    and http://www.pipercubforum.com/marvel.htm

    Basically it's some oil, mineral spirits, dichlorobenzene (about 0.25%), red dye, and a bit of Wintergreen oil for fragrance.

    The military certainly used it by the 55 gallon barrel back in the days of planes with round motors which correlates with your warbird. FAA is reported to have used it in their DC-3s too.

    It does seem to help loosen up sludge and such just prior to an oil change (1 pint for about every 6 qts an hour or two prior to change).

    FWIW - The guys who run it in their fuel say it seems to help with keeping deposits from building up in low compression engines using 100LL.

    Read the MSDS for some good info on composition, health hazards, etc.
    Last edited by Max Torque; 03-31-2012 at 12:41 AM.
    "You have to be alive to spend it..."

  4. #4
    Wow - this stuff?
    1,4-Dichlorobenzene (p-DCB, para-dichlorobenzene) is an organic compound with the formula C6H4Cl2. This colorless solid has a strong odor. In terms of its structure, the molecule consists of two chlorine atoms substituted for hydrogen at opposing sites on a benzene ring. p-DCB is used a pesticide and a deodorant, most familiarly in mothballs in which it is a replacement for the more traditional naphthalene. p-DCB is also used as a precursor in the production of the polymer poly(p-phenylene sulfide).[1]

  5. #5
    Or this stuff:
    1,2-Dichlorobenzene is obtained as a side-product of the production of chlorobenzene:
    C6H5Cl + Cl2 → C6H4Cl2 + HClThe reaction also affords the 1,4- and small amounts of the 1,3-isomer. The 1,4- isomer is preferred over the 1,2- isomer due to steric hindrance. The 1,3- isomer is uncommon because chlorine, like all halogens, are ortho/para- directors in terms of electrophilic aromatic substitution and the 1,3- isomer is a meta- compound.
    It is mainly used as a precursor to 1,2-dichloro-4-nitrobenzene, an intermediate in the synthesis of agrochemicals.[2] In terms of niche applications, 1,2-dichlorobenzene is a versatile, high-boiling solvent. It is a preferred solvent for dissolving and working with fullerenes. It is an insecticide for termites and locust borers.[citation needed]

  6. #6

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    The chlorinated hydrocarbon in MMO likely came from carbon tetrachloride, a solvent used in the old days before it's hazards were known. I can see some guys sitting in the back corner of a garage, after a few to many drinks, mixing up solvents like carbon tet and naptha in a can of mineral spirits, naming it "mystery oil" and selling it like carpet baggers.

    I do like the testimonials....I remember the one where the guy got 13 mpg in his new chevy, added some MMO at the next fillup and his gas mileage went to to 21 mpg. Amazing stuff.....lol.

    There's millions of internal combustion engines running around the world without MMO and they seem to get along just fine.

  7. #7

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    Vets tell me back in the good ole days when both the airlines and the FAA had airplanes with by god real piston engines like DC-3, D-6 etc. , that they bought and used Marvel oil by the 55 gal drum. That's not proof that it works,but pretty good hearsay.

    There are many people who will tell you their theory or honest belief. Some of them are trying to sell you something, but some are earnest and honest.
    The problem is belief is not the same as proof. I know a school in Florida that tried multigrade oil in their Merlin and claims it almost runied the engine. Meanwhile guys with the same engines in Calif or Canada are doing just fine on multi oil. And some dinosaurs in England still use single grade mineral oil!

    Virtually no one does real factual large scale testing like would be done on a new medicine. Nobody take 50 new or fresh oh engines and runs 25 of them on single grade oil and the other 25 on multi, all the way to run out. And to be more exacting it would have to be under the same conditions, like a twin having one engine on one oil and the other on another oil. Even then you'd need a double blind study where the neither the pilot nor the mech knew which oil was going in which engine.

    By the way I use Marvel in my fuel as a top-end lube for valves and stems. I can no more prove it works than I can disprove it. I see less reason to put a thin oil with some solvent which is what Marvel is, into engine oil, unless you are running something like plain mineral oil like back in the 50s. A modern AD oil like 15-50 or 20w-60 already runs pretty clean in an engine and doesn't seem to me to need an extra flush out.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 03-30-2012 at 09:47 PM.

  8. #8
    Max Torque's Avatar
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    Bill Greenwood - you pretty much nailed it. To some it's snake oil, to others it's magic oil. To me it's a pretty good oil thinner & sluge loosener on some engines immediately prior to oil change. It's an ok penetrating oil too. Except for what I just listed, I don't use it in my fuel or oil. Today's oils are very well formulated and far superior to what was available back in WWII. I agressively lean my long time since overhaul O-300 during taxi and flight and I don't have any problems with buildup/leading with 100LL. Same for the other old low compression engines I've flown.

    Flyinriki - Instead of going to wherever you cut & pasted your posts, take a look at the MSDS - it lists the type of dichlorobenzene.

    martymayes - the MSDS lists p-dichlorobenzene (1,4 dichlorobenzene). I'm just going with what is listed there.
    Last edited by Max Torque; 03-31-2012 at 01:07 AM.
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  9. #9

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    The reality is there is no science to support the (sometimes ridiculous) MMO claims. No evidence that it removes sludge, lubricates cylinders, etc. Only hope and faith and I try to keep those out of my flying activities.

    I use this really neat stuff in my engine. It's called motor oil. Works like magic. I also put something in the fuel tank. It's called gasoline. Amazingly good stuff, but it's expensive!

    If you want an oil additive contact Ed Kollin at camguard. Some products really are tested and verified with science, not mystery.

  10. #10
    Joe Delene's Avatar
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    More snake oil than marvel for me.

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