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Thursday

The car engine additive and lubricant component notes?

In chemistry, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene which finds numerous applications. PTFE is most well known by the DuPont brand name Teflon.

So, guys when you add that can of Slick 50 and your oil filter gets clogged, or your newly rebuilt crank suddenly seizes up like many have as stated in several of the lawsuits, don't say nobody warned you.

There are many other additives on the market featuring this ingredient as well so this company isn't the only culprit.

Lets also remember the STP fiasco, when many mechanics discovered the hard way that getting that product OUT of an engine you wanted to rebuild was a nightmare, not to mention it hits crankshaft (throws) counterbalancers like a pile of playdough when it's subjected to cold weather.

We all want a friction free engine, or as close to that as we can get right?
If you have been in the automotive field for a few years, you have most likely been exposed to these slick products at some point.

Do your research on the net with any given name and it all comes back to this one bare fact. None of these additives significantly change the friction properties inherent in your engine more than plain old motor oil.

(That is the way it is stated in the lawsuits as well)

But lets go back a few years to the mid 1950 era.
There was this small company called Justice Brothers.
Just like any company, they started small and eventually developed a product that is still used in racing engines today called Justice Brothers with metal conditioner. I was introduced to this stuff by an old friend after he handed me a top engine rebuild to finish. The job was easy enough, since the other mechanic had nearly completed it. Unfortunately for him though, he got picked up and hauled off to jail for some old warrants.

Unfortunately for ME though, his camshaft bearings were the wrong size.
Later I discovered that he had also sent the crankshaft for a rebuild and reinstalled it.

All I really had to do when the job landed in my lap was torque the camshaft down and reinstall the water pump, alt, power steering etc. Well I get her done and go for the test drive, take it up to about 85mph. All seems good then the engine starts slowing down.

I tap the gas and it's still slowing down, finally with my foot to the floor I make it another few hundred feet to a gas station where I discover my exhaust manifold is almost white hot, the oil has turned to sludge and the radiator is completely empty. So here I am, many dollars later having lost the new antifreeze, oil and who knows what else.

Since this has never happened on any engine I have rebuilt before, I am clueless as to what went wrong. I usually just buy a crank kit with matching bearings and do the same with my camshaft kits.
Turns out the other mechanic had bought everything separately.
The sizes didnt match on the cam bearing box with the camshaft.

So here I am with this hot dead lost cause and I call up my old buddy and fill him in. He tells me not to panic, drives up 10 minutes later and tells me to hop in, were going shopping. We stop at several places and finally he finds this old can at a gas station with a Big JB on the label still sitting on the shelf. He asks a guy in the back a few questions, then next thing you know he has 2 more cans. Im curious, but he isn't talking. we get more oil for the car while were there (generic stuff) because im about tapped out.

We head back to the car, he asks me to try cranking it and it's locked up.
He pours a can of this stuff in, gets burned by the dip stick, but keeps on pouring, adds a second can and tops it off with the rest of the way with the cheap motor oil, tells me to wait 5 minutes, we talk for awhile, smoke a winston and a marlboro each and he says, ok crank it. All this time im arguing with him that we cant try cranking and doing more damage to the engine.

Soooo with nothing else much to lose I go ahead and crank the engine, it starts right away and starts idling faster by the second. He grabs a water hose while im steadily decelerating to keep from over revving. He pops the radiator cap and steam blows everywhere. Im sure I'll be buying parts, but he tells me to calm down. the engine starts taking water without gurgling, cools down and stays at a steady 1500 rpm.

Here I am just waiting for this thing to die any second and he wants me to follow him back to the shop. What the heck, I follow him, and this car is really driving smooth. We park and it doesn't boil over.
Then he gives me the lowdown on Justice brothers, and I've been a fan ever since.

Since that time, I have unlocked seized lawnmowers, driven a Toyota hilux with 350k on the odometer and severe connecting rod clatter, drive another 150k with no problem.
Increased mileage on just about anything I put this stuff in, and even managed to resurrect an old Chrysler Newport with worn rings and a smoking exhaust. Yes, it stopped smoking!

I figure it this way, if they use this stuff in race cars, and it's been around since the mid 50's with no consumer complaints, and it's backed and used by Andy Granatelli and a few dozen other Top drivers, then it's good enough for me.

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