Microlon

Microlon

<HTML>I just saw an ad for Microlon which is apparently an engine additive (crankcase & fuel) purported to reduce friction, wear, increase horsepower, etc.  They have a very impressive website and claim have been around since 1979 with a proven history.  Sounds great! Does anybody have any experience with this product? Thanks. Bill</HTML>

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Re: Microlon

<HTML>Microlon is a product that contains PFTE's (Dupont's name for it is Teflon).  Dupont states that they have "no knowledge of any advantage gained through the use of PTFE in engine oil."
Think about this.  Most engines these days have oil filters to filter out junk from the oil.  A filter sees Teflon particles as junk.  After once or twice through the system you oil filter is loaded up  with Teflon, clogging it's element, and possibly sending it into "bypass" mode.  This consists of a spring-loaded relief valve that opens up in case the filter becomes clogged, in order that your engine not completely starve for oil.
So,...for adding this stuff called Microlon (or any other additive with miracle particles of Teflon) you've destroyed your filtering advantage, and wasted your money, and possibly damaged your engine because it has started operating without the benefit of a filter.
As a friend of mine once said, "Why not just buy a couple of large snakes, boil hell out them and skim off the oil. Same thing!" 
Lycoming did a review of all the additives and said, "We have tried every additive we could find on the market, and they are all worthless."
My advice:  Save your money.  If you really want to make a meaningful contribution to your engine's life through improved lubrication, start doing oil changes more frequently, like....halve the period you presently do them.  I guarantee that your money is better spent.  Think about it.  Nice, clean, warm oil.  Mmmmmm.</HTML>

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Re: Microlon

<HTML>George:  Thank you so much for your comments.  I guess my real concern is, because of the weather, I am not flying as much as I do in the summer. I am concerned with engine wear on a cold start after the engine has set for two or three weeks and the oil has drained off of wearing parts.  Any thoughts on that problem? Thanks.  Bill</HTML>

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<HTML>Did that Lycoming study include AvBlend? I know different mechanics have wildly different views on AvBlend. What are your thoughts George? And anyone else?

Ben</HTML>

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<HTML>Adding to the above responses - Clean oil goes a long way toward keeping an engine a long time - With non aviation engines I have rebuilt in the past, It was incredibly easy to tell which ones ran on oil not changed very often, or at all, and which ones were changed frequently - I'm sure no one just changes the oil only anymore - but anytime you change the oil -change the filter (always). Frequent changes remove the solvents and chemicals that become part of the "oil" after a while, and even if you use any engine infrequently I recomend changing the oil "with the seasons" to help remove the things that go along with frost, high humidity, extreme temperatures - and the change from one extreme to the other - either hot or cold, dust, etc.,etc..

That said I recently responded to a question on engine heaters - If i'm not flying often I still like to preheat the engine occasionally (only an hour or so), start it up - get it up to operating temp for a little while, then shut down. Seems to work good on cars, snowmobiles, airplanes, etc.

At one time a shop recomended any of several additives to its auto customers, I didn,t see any real reason for them but saw no harm, However when I tore down one of (latter others also) the engines for rebuild - it was clearly not as "clean as one with oil changed "religiously". 

I don't know if the oil reacted differently or if the owner stretched out the oil changes because of the expensive additives in the oil that they did not want to throw away, but either way several of the engines were just not as clean as with normal regular oil and filter changes.

Ken</HTML>

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Re: Microlon

<HTML>The original question was not addressed wit hrespect to the fuel additives. My c150 has had one, maybe two, valve stickig events and very good mechanics have reccomended adding Marvel Mystery Oil to the fuel. Do you think this is helpful? If so, how much and how often? Thanks</HTML>

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<HTML>Fuel samples look redish. Makes me wonder how well it mixes...</HTML>

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<HTML>I am not sure if the sticky valve question was directed to me or not -

but If a mechanic you trust suggests an additive for a specific problem - like sticky valves - I would try it for the "short term" then return to the regular stuff etc.

Sticky valves or whatever makes me always wonder why its happening, and on close inspection I usually have found another underlying problem sometime more serious but hasn't fully matured yet. Take any advanced warning your engine is trying to tell you and look deeper into it. 99 % of the time there is usually something else waiting to get your undivided attention when you really don't need it.</HTML>

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Re: Microlon

<HTML>"If i'm not flying often I still like ...   ...to start it up - get it up to operating temp for a little while, then shut down. Seems to work good on cars, snowmobiles, airplanes, etc."
 
  I'll offer a caution on this practice.  Starting an engine and ground running it will never get it up to proper temperatures.  A major by-product of combustion of fossil fuels is water vapor (plus carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, etc.).  That water vapor next cools down, condenses, mixes with your oil and forms sludge and acids which accelerate your engine's internal corrosion and sticking parts, etc. 
  It's better to NOT start your engine just for a ground run.  It's better to go FLY, even if only for 30 mins, than to periodically ground run an engine.  I've actually seen engines ruined by this practice, not only from corrosion, but also from sludge building up inside a hydraulic lifter, then causing the valve and piston to collide due to excess valve-lift, bending the valve-stem, hole-ing the piston, and bending the pushrod and collapsing the hydraulic unit.</HTML>

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<HTML>That is interesting George. I've never realized that. I live in the D.C area and when I was grounded after Sept 11th I thought I was doing some good doing run-ups every week. Luckily restrictions have lightened up enough to fly here again.

Ben</HTML>

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<HTML>The only instance I'm certain of was right at end of annual they detected rough running and a cold cylnder. Apparently the exhaust valve wasn't sticking, but was STUCK open. Mechanic asked if I had run any auto gas.I didn't know if he was suggesting I should or that was the culprit. We only use 100LL.</HTML>

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<HTML>Ken,
The Autogas "situation" as you probably know has caused quite a few heated debates...I,myself try to run about a 70% mix of Exxon to 100LL in the 150.
Ive never had a valve stick,but did have a lot of problems clearing the plugs on run-up.This went away with the Exxon(autogas)and 100LL mix.
Im theorizing(and im NOT a rocket scientist)..nor expert,that since 100LL has about 4 times the lead content that mogas does the Exxon  regular is burning more efficiently in the cylinder,and producing much less carbon.Carbon can be a big culprit in a valve sticking situation,but not the only one.Guides can be a factor also,as well as alot of other things.
My 150 actually runs much smoother on the Autogas,the stacks are clean,and of course the obvious money savings....Most mechanics Ive dealt with suggest Autofuel and 100LL mix for the Continental 0-200A(providing you have the STC,and the fuel you use meets the requirements of that STC).</HTML>

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Re: Microlon

<HTML>The key in the start and run up is actually getting up to operating temp for a particular duration for - cars, snowmobiles, airplanes, etc.

All engines have different operating environments, durations and limitations - but can be  brought up to (and not past) actual operating temps - it can't be done in five minutes and only at idle rpm, but it can be done, normally and routinely, (especially if actual use/flight is not posible for any reason).

The key seems to be "actual operating temps, etc." and knowing what these are for any engine, and what it takes to accomplish that.

I do however appreciate the advised warning.
Thanks,

Ken Wanagas</HTML>

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<HTML>Flyers:  I am so very glad to see that I am not the only one with tons of questions on engine wear (life!).  I have heard that planes used in flight schools generally last to TBO because they are flown every day.  It hurts me to start my engine after a couple of weeks of inactivity knowing that I have dry parts grinding together until that oil pressure needle comes off of the peg.  I believe that there is a "pre-oiler" that can be installed to mitigate the problem of dry starts. Anybody have any experience with such a gadget?  Bill</HTML>

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<HTML>I am so very glad to see that I am not the only one with tons of questions on engine wear (life!). I have heard that planes used in flight schools generally last to TBO because they are flown every day and there is no time for oil to drain from engine parts It hurts me to start my engine after a couple of weeks of activity knowing that I have dry parts grinding together until that oil pressure needle comes off of the peg. I believe that there is a "pre-oiler" that can be installed to mitigate the problem of dry starts. Anybody have any experience with such a gadget?  Bill</HTML>

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<HTML>It's anecdotal, but....
  I've got a friend who flys pipeline patrol for a company almost every day.  They have pre-oilers on some of their engines.  Mostly Lycomings.  They've got several of those engines way past TBO and still flying.
BUT......
When I further questioned them,...it seems they've got their philosophy's a little backwards.   The engines haven't "made it" way past TBO because of the preoilers,as much as  they've convinced themselves that the preoilers are so beneficial that it's OK to run engines way beyond TBO. 
The problem I see with their logic is that they've not run any non-equipped engines beyond TBO as a control group to see which ones truly benefitted from the pre-oiling.  If an engine didn't have a pre-oiler, they just automatically removed it for overhaul. 
  I know of lots of Lycomings AND Continentals that have gone just as far beyond TBO without a pre-oiler.  Either way, if you add the cost of the preoiler to the equation, not nearly as much is saved.  Why would that be?
Think about this.  A preoiler pressurizes the oil galleries, supplying oil to the main bearings, connecting rod bearings, and the hydraulic lifters,....but NOT to the upper cylinders, valves, valvetrains, gears, etc, where all the really HOT and DRY damage occurs!  Engines almost NEVER wear out at their lower ends (mains/rod bearings.)  They wear out at the upper cylinder areas, where the preoilers do absolutely nothing!  So....
  Why waste money on preoilers?  Remember that aero engines are not like car engines,....we don't run 'em til they quit.  We run 'em to recommended TBO, then we overhaul/replace them.  So, if we're gonna remove 'em and overhaul 'em anyway at TBO,  ....?</HTML>

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<HTML>I know I've seen this discussed elsewhere, but I have a nagging question regarding engine corrosion in cold/wet climates (I live in Portland, Oregon).

Everybody talks about heated hangars as being the best environment for your airplane/engine.

What about a non-heated hangar and a heated engine compartment?  I've got a couple of pilots at my field who, get this, drape a sleeping bag/quilt/bed comforter over the engine area and place a $40 electric radiator style heater under the engine.  One guy actually made a chimney out of a cardboard refrigerator box to contain the rising heat and direct it straight up and into the engine compartment.  Mind you, with the heat set at its lowest temp and outside temps running around 30 to 50 degrees (plus lots of humidity), they claim all engine components stay toasty warm to the touch.

Since you are heating the entire engine compartment, it appears all parts are receiving heat. Barring a power failure, you won't get the heating/cooling cycles that create unwanted condensation.  The engine and its accesories are all heated; ready to go fly.

Which leads me to this question - even though the engine compartment stays warm, are we causing a problem due to temperature differentials (top of the crankcase is colder than the bottom)?  The real tough issue in our area comes from something being coldsoaked, then we get a warm moist front to move through and bingo, you've got moisture dripping off of everything in the garage/hangar.

****

I'm currently grounded due to cam corrosion.  So when I plunk down the $$ for a new motor and can't fly it for a couple of weeks, what's the best environment for the least possible corrosion?</HTML>

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