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Getting Your Money's Worth.

 Case History: 1979 Dodge

Shimmy Shimmy -- Front End Problems
Diagnostic Tips & Tricks Freon (CFC's) and the Ozone Layer
Knocks, Ticks, Rumbles, and Squeals
 Engine Noises - What's Wrong?

Troubleshooting?

 Use the Starter

How To Avoid Car Payments Mail Order Gadgets
MGB's - You Gotta Love \ Hate 'Em Sludge...What causes it?
Quiz: Wheel Noises The Case of The Mysterious Miss:
Blowing Smoke The EGR Valve...Friend or Foe
QUIZ - Test Your Diagnostic Skills The Case of the Reluctant Buick
Uh Oh...Water in the Oil! Broken Head Bolt
Clutch Notes Dirty Tricks

The Fabric of Space

 Dark matter \ Missing Mass

Dieseling

 The whole story

For more information on the Pow-R-Lube 350 Click here

Getting Your Money's Worth.
Case History: 1979 Dodge


One of the advantages of working as an auto mechanic for over 20 years is coming across good used vehicles with plenty of miles left on them for practically nothing. This is the story of a 1979 Dodge wagon (225 slant six engine) I acquired in 1984 for $100.

The car came in on the back of the wrecker with a bad transmission. The family had planned to give it to their daughter for college but she refused as she thought it was ugly. They decided to buy her a new one and get rid of the Dodge. They asked for $100 and I happily wrote them a check.

The service records on the vehicle showed it had been well cared for and the body and interior were in perfect condition. With only 75,000 miles on the clock, I decided it would make a good loaner for my business if the transmission repairs didn't cost too much.

I have always liked the Chrysler Torqueflite tranny as it is a snap to remove from the vehicle and very easy to rebuild. This one was no exception. I had it out of the car and on the bench in under 30 minutes. Removing the front pump, I immediately saw the problem. The pump gasket had blown
between the intake and exhaust ports. The large 'O' ring around the pump assembly had held so it was not loosing any fluid but hydraulic pressure had dropped to the point where
the front clutch pack (high gear) had burned up.

The rest of the tranny checked out ok as low, second, and reverse don't need nearly as much hydraulic pressure to engage solidly. Just as in a standard shift, a bad clutch will start slipping in high gear long before slippage is noticeable in the lower gears since the transmission has a
greater mechanical advantage in the lower ratios.

Replaced the front pump gasket, frictions and steels in the front clutch drum, installed a new filter and pan gasket and buttoned it up. After re-installation, the transmission performed perfectly. Total cost of parts was under $25. I drove it home that same evening.

The next morning I was feeling pretty pleased with myself until I started it up. The engine produced a low rumbling sound that went away completely when the oil light went out. Every good mechanic knows what that means - loose main bearings.

When an engine is started cold, it can take several seconds for oil pressure to reach the rod and main bearings. It is during these few seconds that most engine bearing wear occurs. The experts say that each cold, dry start can produce as much wear as 500 miles of normal driving. Also, some drivers have a habit of revving the engine under these conditions thus exacerbating the problem.

I developed the habit of not allowing the engine to run above idle 'til the oil light went out when starting up in the morning and thought no more about it for several months. Then I saw an ad for a prelube system in a national magazine that claimed to eliminate the 'dry start' by pumping oil throughout the engine before each start automatically. "Good deal!", I thought. "Just what the doctor ordered for the
Dodge wagon."

So I sent away for information on several such systems and quickly discovered they were poorly designed, cheaply built, produced hardly a trickle of oil, and cost too much. And worse, they used cheap rubber hoses and spring clamps that could easily come loose or burn if routed near a hot
manifold and result in loss of lubrication that would quickly lead to catastrophic engine failure. So much for that idea.

But it did get me to thinking. Why not put together a good prelube system myself and give the Dodge a chance for a long, happy life? I decided to keep it simple and use a passive accumulator system consisting of just 4 components; an AeroQuip stainless steel braid over Teflon hydraulic line, a
12 volt solenoid valve, a plain steel tank, (the accumulator) and a control module to turn the valve on and off at the proper time.

The hydraulic line is connected to the engine at the oil pressure sending switch port and routed to the solenoid valve. A tank is connected to the other port of the valve. When the engine is running, oil flows through the line, through the valve, and begins filling the tank, compressing the air in the tank as it fills. Oil flow continues until pressure in the tank equals engine oil pressure. The solenoid valve acts like a check valve when it is off so that oil from the engine can flow into the tank but oil from the tank cannot flow back into the engine, therefore, pressure in the tank will always equal the highest pressure the engine has developed while it was running.

When the engine is stopped, engine oil pressure drops to zero but the tank holds about a quart under pressure. (About 50 psi on the Dodge.) The next time the ignition is switched on, the control module opens the solenoid valve allowing oil to flow from the tank back into the engine's lubrication system.
The module continues to deliver 12 volts to the solenoid valve for about 15 seconds to insure oil reaches all critical engine components. This is called the prelubrication cycle.

The engine may be started as soon as the oil light goes out or the oil pressure gauge (if so equipped) reaches it's maximum reading. The control module has now shut off the solenoid valve so it functions as a check valve again and engine oil pressure recharges the tank preparing it for the next prelube cycle.

The Dodge wagon is now 19 years old and had accumulated well over 300,000 miles. The engine has needed no work except for normal maintenance items such as spark plugs, plug wires, belts and hoses, a valve cover gasket, a water pump, and of course, regular oil and filter changes. The vehicle still uses no oil between changes, has even compression across all  cylinders, and I've never heard the main bearing noise again.

Not bad for a $100 car and I'm sure my customers who use it as a loaner are none too careful with it.

I should mention that the radiator failed early on and I replaced it with a double row Dodge truck unit that dropped right in and has provided much better cooling than the original. No doubt this a factor in the long, dependable service obtained from this vehicle.

The point of this article is that a good prelube system makes sense and can dramatically extend the service life of any engine. Many over-the-road diesel truck engines, diesel locomotives, and marine diesel engines come factory equipped with prelubrication systems so why not cars? The answer is
planned obsolescence. Detroit wants you to buy a new car every few years. They have no intention of putting themselves out of business and design their vehicles accordingly.

I believe in getting as much service as possible out of a vehicle and have put forth the time and effort to design and build an industrial quality prelube system. To help others, I have put together  construction plans and a parts list along with a list of suppliers for all the components and posted
it on the internet. The information is free and available to anyone with a computer and internet access. Here's the e-mail address: info@prelube.com

What, no computer? Send a large self addressed envelope and 2 stamps to the address below.
John Young
P.O. Box 608,
LaPlace, La. 70069

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
Diagnostic Tips & Tricks

When troubleshooting, pinpointing the source of the problem is half the battle. Over the years I've accumulated a number of diagnostic techniques that have served me well. Very
little is needed in the way of test equipment - just a practiced ear and a length of 3/16 vacuum hose. Naturally, engines with computer controlled fuel injection need specialized test equipment, but for older cars with carburetors, these tricks work fine.

Engine Noises:
Get a length of 3/16 vacuum hose several feet long. Place one end to your ear and direct the other end around the engine compartment. This simple tool is remarkably effective in locating the exact source of the noise.

Vacuum Leaks:
A vacuum leak will cause the engine to run rough at idle but smooth out as RPM increases. At idle, a vacuum leak anywhere in the induction system can lean out the air/fuel mixture to the point where the engine begins to skip and miss. This condition is known as lean roll. To find out for sure if a vacuum leak is causing the problem, first remove the air cleaner. If you need to remove any vacuum lines to do this, be sure to plug the port from which the line was removed. Now start the engine and allow it to idle. Carefully place your hands over the carb intake. (Be sure to take proper safety measures such as eye protection, etc.) The idea is to choke the engine slightly. If the engine picks up RPM, you've got a vacuum leak. (Use the 3/16 hose trick to locate the source of the leak) If the engine slows down or stops, the trouble is elsewhere.

Ignition Troubles:
If you suspect problems with the ignition system, start the engine in total darkness. Under these conditions, any high voltage leakage will be quite visible as corona discharge or
arcing. Don't forget to check the inside of the distributor cap for signs of carbon tracking, too. Any evidence of carbon tracking indicates higher than normal resistance in the secondary (high voltage) wiring. Best bet here is to replace both the plug wires and the cap.

A/C Problems:
Many auto air conditioning systems depend on intake manifold vacuum to operate the various under-the-dash components. A vacuum leak under there can render the system inoperative and
be maddeningly difficult to locate. First, check the line on the intake manifold that supplies vacuum to the system. Heat from the engine frequently causes the end of the hose to become hard and brittle. If this is the case, work your way back along the hose to the point where the rubber is still supple and flexible. Snip off the bad section or replace the hose entirely. If the vacuum leak seems to be under the dash, remove the vacuum feed line from the intake manifold and blow a mouthful of cigarette smoke into it while a helper in the car watches. Smoke coming from the offending component will
pinpoint the source of the leak. *Note* I don't approve of smoking in general and around customer's cars in particular, but in this case blowing a little smoke can go a long way.

The Starter as a Diagnostic tool:
The general condition on an engine can be quickly and easily determined by disabling the ignition system and spinning the engine with the starter. The engine should be cold and the throttle held wide open for this test. An engine with even compression across all cylinders will produce a steady rhythm
as the starter turns. An engine with low compression on one or more cylinders will produce an uneven rhythm. OK, this takes a practiced ear and having some musical talent seems to help too, I guess, as I have tried to demonstrate this to friends and sometimes get only a blank stare in return. This starter trick can also help determine the cause of the low compression. Intake valve leaking: Use the procedure outlined above and listen in the carb intake with the vacuum hose trick. A leaking intake valve will produce a hissing sound each time that cylinder comes up on compression stroke.
Exhaust valve leaking: Same procedure but listen in the tailpipe. A leaking exhaust valve will produce a hiss in the tailpipe as that cylinder comes up on compression. If the valves seem OK and compression is low on two adjacent cylinders, suspect a bad head gasket.

Fouled Spark Plug:
The ignition coil produces only as much voltage as necessary to overcome the resistance of the wires and to jump the gap on the spark plug. An easy way to see if a miss is caused by a fouled plug is to force the coil to build up a higher voltage before discharging. This can be done by simply removing the plug wire and holding it some distance from the plug. A quarter inch or so is OK. In many cases, the hotter spark will allow even a badly fouled plug to fire thereby pinpointing the problem. To prevent a dangerous or even deadly shock, use a single jumper cable. Attach one end to the negative battery terminal of the vehicle and use the clamp on the other end to remove the plug wire. Work carefully to avoid damaging plug wires and boots. Any stray high voltage will be harmlessly directed to the vehicle
ground and prevent you from getting zapped.

Dieseling:
Also known as run-on or post ignition. Whatever you call it, the engine keeps on running after the  ignition is switched off. For standard shift vehicles the engine can be stopped by simply putting it in gear and letting out the clutch. For cars with automatic transmission, turn the ignition back on, put it in drive, and switch off the key. The drag of the torque converter is generally sufficient to stop the engine.
Many factors can cause dieseling; deposits in the combustion chambers, using spark plugs with too high a heat range, or octane rating of the fuel too low for the engine, but most commonly, the idle speed is just set too high. Resetting the idle speed to specifications will generally solve the problem.

What's actually happening inside the engine during post ignition is quite complex and was the subject of an earlier 'Mechanic's Notebook' article. (Dieseling: The Whole Story. SK. June 1998, page 28) Readers may wish to refer to that article for a more details.

Next Month: A look at environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional automotive air conditioning systems.

Mailbox:
In response to Steve Price's letter published in the Mar. '99 issue: I do not approve of nor condone the defeat of any pollution control device, obliquely or otherwise. I did report on what I have seen others do.

In response to Bob Amos' letter in the same issue: "....John Young leads the reader to believe.....the use of propane and isobutane is an acceptable replacement for R-12 refrigerant. This cannot be farther from the truth..."

Actually, the use of propane or isobutane may not be acceptable from a legal or safety standpoint, but I can attest to the fact that it works fine as I have been using straight propane in my own personal vehicle for over 15 years with no problems at all.

Mr. Amos continues, "....the product by the trade name 'Hot Shot' (made by ICOR Corp.) is an  acceptable replacement but does not contain 60% isobutane and 40% propane as indicated
in the article."

I stand corrected. In much the same way that aspirin started out as a trade name for Bayer's  formulation of acetylsalicylic acid, but later came into common usage, and everyone calls facial tissue Kleenex, I used the term 'Hot Shot' in the generic sense to refer to any of the hydrocarbon based R-12 replacements in common usage. I had no intention of singling out any particular manufacturer or trade named product. I apologize to ICOR and any readers who may have been misled by my ignorance.

John Young

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
Knocks, Ticks, Rumbles, and Squeals
Engine Noises - What's Wrong?
Unusual noises coming from the engine compartment need to be checked out immediately. It might be as simple as a V-belt that has become glazed and needs to be replaced or as serious as a loose connecting rod bearing that could easily result in complete engine failure. The trick is in knowing  what's causing the noise and taking the right steps to correct the problem.

Tracking down the source of the noise is half the battle. Get a piece of 3\16" vacuum hose several feet long. Place one end to your ear, direct the other end around the engine compartment and listen carefully. This simple tool is highly effective at locating the source of the noise.

Knocks - Loose Connecting Rod Bearing
A loose rod bearing will produce a knocking sound when the engine is given throttle but go away completely while the engine is slowing down. To make sure, pull the plug wires one at a time and gun the throttle a little. Even a very loose rod bearing will stop knocking if that cylinder is not firing. If caught early, it's possible to pull the pan and replace the bad bearing. If allowed continue, crankshaft
damage is sure to occur and a general overhaul will be required. Incidentally, another often overlooked sign of loose rod bearings is excessive oil consumption and smokey exhaust.
The cylinder walls receive lubrication from oil that escapes from the rod bearing journals. The spinning crankshaft sprays this oil on the cylinder walls as the piston travels upward in its stroke. On the way back down, the rings scrape off the excess. As the bearings wear, more oil is sprayed on the cylinder walls until even rings in perfect condition cannot control it all. Smokey exhaust is the result.

Rumbling - Loose Main Bearings
Loose mains make a rumbling sound deep within the engine when it is first started, especially on cold mornings. The sound may go away completely in 5 to 10 seconds as oil pressure builds up. An engine in this condition may run for many years provided the owner makes a practice of never  allowing the engine to rev up when started cold. Let it idle 'til oil pressure builds up. Another solution for engines in this condition is to install a pre-lube system as described in a previous "Mechanic's Notebook" article. Another sure sign of loose main bearings is the gradual decrease of oil pressure as the engine comes up to operating temperature. Drivers with idiot lights have no idea oil pressure
is dropping 'til the light blinks on, then it's too late. There is no substitute for a good quality oil pressure gauge.

Ticking - Valve Rocker Arms
On engines equipped with solid lifters, a steady ticking indicates it's time for a valve adjustment. Just setting to factory specs is sufficient if the rockers and rocker shafts have been receiving adequate oil supply and are not excessively worn. On hydraulic lifter engines, the ticking may come and go, get better or worse, or stop altogether. The best bet here is regular oil and filter changes and the addition of an additive designed to quieten noisy lifters.

Knocking That Goes Away on Acceleration - Flex Plate.
On cars equipped with automatic transmission, the torque converter is attached to the crankshaft with a flexible steel plate. If the converter to flex plate bolts work loose, a distinct knocking sound will be heard at idle but will go away completely as throttle is applied. At idle, the engine slows down as each piston comes up on compression stroke and speeds up as each cylinder fires. Not much, but
enough to cause the flex plate to alternately push the converter on the firing stroke and then be pushed by the converter between firing strokes. As throttle is applied, the torque smooths out to the point
where the flex plate pushes the converter steadily and the noise goes away. If this situation is not allowed to continue too long, the solution is to remove the converter dust cover and snug down on the
3 or 4 flex plate to converter bolts. If the flex plate bolt holes have gotten egg shaped, it's best to remove the transmission and replace the plate.

Creaking - Fan Belt
As V-belts wear, they become glazed and can make quite a racket as they make their rounds.  Noticeable mostly at idle, a creaking belt will shut up completely if sprayed with a little WD-40. This is not a solution as the worn belt will soon start creaking again. It's just to identify the problem. Installing new belts is the fix.

High Pitched Whine - Alternator or Water Pump Bearings
Use the vacuum hose trick to locate the probable source. If it looks like the alternator or water pump, remove all the belts and start the engine. If the noise is gone, replace the belts one at a time 'til the noise comes back. Replace the offending component.

Light Knocking, Gets softer as engine warms up - Piston Slap

As piston skirts wear and get looser in their bores, they can make a slapping sound upon  acceleration. As the engine warms up, the skirts expand and the noise becomes less noticeable. Piston slap does no harm but can be reduced somewhat with the addition of an oil additive such as STP. The only real solution is a general overhaul but if engine is not using excessive oil and is performing well, leave well enough alone.

Two Knocks Very Close Together - Wrist Pin
If a wrist pin gets loose, it will generally show itself with two distinct knocks on each power stroke under hard acceleration and 1 knock per stroke when slowing down. At idle, the knocking may be
almost gone. Understanding this is a bit tricky. On the upstroke, the connecting rod is pushing the piston. At the top of the stroke, the rod changes direction but because of inertia, the piston would
like to keep going up. If there is excessive play in the wrist pin, the piston continues in it's upward travel until it takes up the slack and makes a knocking sound. Naturally, the faster the piston is moving, the louder the knock. Now the plug fires and the piston is slammed in the opposite direction producing the second knock. When the engine is slowing down, only the first knock is heard. It idle, the piston isn't moving fast enough to knock. Pulling the plug wire on the offending cylinder will stop the second knock when revving the engine but not the first. Diagnosing this particular problem requires experience and a practiced ear. Repairing this problem means a general overhaul so
if the engine is performing well otherwise, let well enough alone.

Whistles - Vacuum Leak
A vacuum leak bad enough to produce a whistling sound will generally cause the engine to run rough at idle, but smooth out as speed picks up. With the engine idling use the vacuum hose trick described above to locate the source of the leak. When you find and repair it, you'll be rewarded as the engine settles down to a smooth idle.

Overheard at a used car lot:
Salesman, "This car is a real opportunity."
Customer, "Yes, I can hear it knocking."

Copyright (c) John Young 11\4\1998

(My column appears monthly in 'Skinned Knuckles' Magazine,
a publication for classic and antique collectors and restorers.)

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
How To Avoid Car Payments
Chances are by the time you've finished paying for your car, it's time to buy a new one...and the car payment cycle starts over again. If you want to break the payment cycle, the best way is to extend the useful service life of your vehicle.

I haven't had a car payment in 14 years. My 1979 Dodge Aspen wagon has now passed 362  thousand miles and has needed no engine work at all...not even a valve adjustment. The car uses no oil and still starts and runs like new. Here's how I did it.

1. Change oil & filter every 3000 miles. Long oil change intervals don't really save any money. You pay for it in engine repairs down the line.

2. Don't let your engine overheat. Air conditioning and trailer towing can overtax your car's cooling system. Heat build-up can damage head gaskets, warp cylinder heads, and send your engine to an early grave. I installed an oil cooler kit and an oversize radiator. The engine temperature has never gone above 160 degrees even on the hottest days towing a trailer with the A\C on.

3. Install a prelube system. Most engine wear occurs at start-up. Your engine runs for several seconds with no oil pressure. This produces as much engine wear as 500 miles of normal driving. A good prelube system pumps oil throughout your engine before start-up automatically and eliminates a major cause of engine wear. More information on prelube systems can be found at HTTP://www.prelube.com

4. Put a hot cup of coffee on the dash board and drive so you don't spill it. Jack rabbit starts, tire squealing turns and stops reduce the service life of your vehicle by many years. Leave hot rodding (and car payments) to the kids.

The procedures outlined above have saved me tens of thousands of dollars in vehicle expenses over the last 14 years. With a little effort, you can achieve the same results.

John Young

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
MGB's - You Gotta Love \ Hate 'Em
After working on American cars for many years, one gets a feel for the quirks particular to many  different makes and models. For instance, water in the oil on Pontiac 326 - 389 V8's means the aluminium timing cover is probably leaking in the web area between the water pump housing and the
crankcase, not a blown head gasket or cracked head.

1960's vintage English sports cars have their full compliment of maddening little idiosyncrasies - many of which I would not have believed without having had the personal experience. This is the story of a 1966 MGB that I owned for several years in the mid 1970's.

The car was smoking so badly the owner panicked and traded it to a local used car dealer for practically nothing. The dealer (a friend of mine) wanted nothing to do with it and offered it to me for $100. Since the body and interior were in very good condition and odometer showed less than 50,000 miles, I took a chance and wrote him a check. "Gee.." I thought, "I've always wanted an MGB."

First, I ran a compression check and was surprised to find all 4 cylinders tested over 120 p.s.i. - not bad! Intake manifold vacuum tested quite low so I started looking for a vacuum leak. The first item I looked at - the PCV system - proved to be the culprit. A diaphragm had ruptured allowing oil from the crankcase to be sucked directly into the intake manifold. Replacing the part stopped all traces of exhaust smoke.

I drove it home that evening and quickly discovered the fun factor. This car stuck to the corners like glue and the quick steering and precise gearbox were a joy! The next morning I was looking forward to some more driving fun. The engine started easily and took throttle well. As I pulled out, the brake pedal went to the floor. I called my helper to bring the wrecker and we towed it to the shop.

The master cylinder fluid level was ok so I figured the rubbers inside must have failed. I decided to just replace it with a new one and be done with it. While removing the bolts from the engine compartment side, I heard the nuts falling on the other side of the firewall. I figured to just recover them from the passenger compartment, but no.., they had fallen into the firewall space never to be seen again. Got
new nuts and had my helper hold them in place while I ran the bolts through from the engine compartment. The brakes worked fine now but I began to wonder about English engineering.
Why hadn't they just fastened the nuts in place to avoid this problem?

That weekend I took the car out for a shakedown cruise. Within 5 miles the engine developed a dead miss on one cylinder. Feeling slightly embarrassed, I pulled onto the shoulder and checked the spark plugs. A tiny piece of carbon had lodged itself in the air gap of the plug in #3 cylinder. I flicked it out with the blade of a pocket knife and drove off with all 4 cylinders firing well. Geez, I thought. How
often could that happen? About 15 miles later, I began to notice how hot my feet were getting. Although the water temperature gauge showed normal at about 180 degrees, the transmission hump was steadily getting hotter. Finally, I had to pull over as the heat was unbearable. I had lunch and let
it cool off, then started home. On the way back, another dead miss developed. Same problem - different spark plug. The excessive oil burning from the bad PVC had formed deposits in the  combustion chambers and the car continued to short out plugs until I eventually pulled the head and cleaned the stuff out.

I couldn't find any reason why the transmission should get so hot during normal operation until another MGB owner told me, "Oh that? You just have to live with it. Plan your long trips for the winter. Since the heaters don't work very well, you'll learn to appreciate the heat from the transmission."  I never did get the chance to look into the transmission problem any deeper as every time I planned to have some fun with the car, something else needed immediate attention. One by one, every hydraulic part on the car failed. Clutch master cylinder, clutch slave cylinder, rear wheel cylinders, front calipers, brake  lines, and so on. By the time all hydraulics had been renewed, the brake master cylinder failed again. I
asked my MG buddies, "Am I using the wrong fluid or something?". "Nope" they said, "You just have to live with it!"

Then the wire wheel splines began to slip and required replacement. Had to replace the hubs, too. My $100 MGB was beginning to drive me to the poorhouse. After about a year of weekend work the car was running well and I figured it was time to finally have some fun. It was winter and I planned to visit friends who lived about 100 miles away. Before I was half way there the rods started knocking! Turned around and began the trip home keeping the RPM low enough to keep the rods quiet. By the time I got back they were knocking at any speed over 25 mph. Next day I pulled the pan expecting to find the crankshaft destroyed. To my surprise, the crank was in perfect condition - but there was not a trace of bearing material left in the rod caps. It was all in the bottom of the pan. Unbelievably, just fitting new rod bearings and cleaning up the mess solved that problem. The main bearings were ok. The crankshaft gave no more trouble as long as I owned the car.

I haven't mentioned the electrical short that nearly burned the car up, or the aggravation with the side draft carburetors that were forever in need of that one last adjustment, or the heater cores, fan motors, and oil coolers that leaked or failed on a regular basis.

One day, when I thought I finally had all the problems licked, I was just looking at the car sitting in the
driveway, admiring it's racy lines, when gasoline started pouring from the bottom of the tank. I tried to run a sheet metal screw with a gasket into the hole in the tank for a temporary fix, but it went right through. The tank was mostly rust. That was the last straw. I hung a FOR SALE sign on it.
Before long I noticed a young man walking around the car with a far away look in his eyes. "Gee.." he said, "I've always wanted an MGB."

P.S. I don't really expect anyone to believe this story. I
wouldn't believe it myself if I hadn't lived through it.

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
Quiz: Wheel Noises
Ever notice how things seem to happen in series of three? There is no logic to explain it, but it is real none-the-less. In the automotive repair trade, sometimes years can pass without seeing a particular problem crop up, then it happens three times in a single day. One day in the late 1960's, 3 separate jobs showed up each with a mysterious noise coming from the left front wheel. See if you can correctly diagnosis the problem in each case. Solutions are given at the end of the column.

1. Clunking noise from left front wheel when applying the brakes while backing up. No noise under any other circumstances. Removed wheel and brake drum. Brakes had just been replaced and drums turned. The noise appeared shortly after the work was done. Shop that did the work had been unable to solve the problem. Inspection revealed no obvious signs of improper assembly. Wheel bearings had been re-packed and new seals installed. What's wrong?

2. Creaking noise from left front wheel. Noise occurred in both forward and reverse, with and without brakes applied. With the wheel jacked up off the ground and turned by hand, the noise vanished only to return when the weight of the vehicle was on it again. What's the problem?

3. Noise in left front wheel at low speed only. Goes away completely over 10 - 15 mph. Returns as vehicle slows down. What's going on?

Solutions:

1. Improperly turned brake drum. Close inspection of the drum revealed a distinct spiral groove running from the inside to the outside of the drum. When driving forward and applying the brakes, the shoes were forced inward but couldn't move since they were bottomed out on the backing plate. In reverse, the shoes screwed themselves outward when brakes were applied until they returned to the
backing plate with a loud clunk. Re-machining the drums solved the problem.

2. Loose hub cap. Although it's not commonly known, steel wheels flex slightly as the vehicle rolls. A loosely attached wheel cover is sensitive to the flexing of the wheel and can make a creaking sound. Bending the retaining tabs on the wheel cover outward a bit and seating it properly with a rubber mallet stopped the noise.

3. Foreign object inside wheel cover. At slow speed the object tumbled around like a tin can in a clothes dryer. At higher speeds, centrifugal force held it firmly in place so the noise went away. When slowing down, the object was free to tumble again. (The object turned out to be an inner piece of the fancy wheel cover that had come loose due to a minor impact with a curb or some such.)
 

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
Blowing Smoke
Smokey exhaust and excessive oil consumption can be an indication of worn piston rings which means a complete engine rebuild will be needed. However, there several other possible causes that need to be checked out before you push the panic button. Sometimes smokey exhaust can be  corrected quickly, easily, and without spending a fortune.

Condition: Engine smokes on start-up, but smoking stops after engine reaches normal operating temperature.

This condition can be caused by leaking intake valve guide seals. On overhead valve engines, the intake valve stem passes through the intake manifold and is exposed to a pretty good vacuum. If the seals are bad, oil from under the rocker covers can be sucked down the valve guides into the intake
manifold and then into the combustion chambers along with the air\fuel mixture.

First, remove the valve cover(s) and check for excessive oil build-up. Oil pumped to the rocker shafts or rocker balls normally finds its way back to the crankcase via drilled passages in the head. If these oil return passages become blocked with sludge, oil can accumulate under the rocker covers to the point where the intake valve guides become submerged. Even seals in perfect condition will leak under these circumstances. The fix is to unplug the oil return passages. Use a length of speedometer cable and an electric drill like a plumber's snake to clear out the passages. A straightened out clothes hanger or compressed air may also do the trick.

If the oil return passages were clear, the next step is to replace the valve seals. This can be done without removing the head(s) if you have a source of compressed air and a spark plug \ air chuck adaptor.

Remove the rocker shafts and all spark plugs. Thread the air chuck adaptor into a spark plug hole and pump the cylinder up to 120 psi. BE CAREFUL - the engine may rotate as the piston moves to the bottom of the bore. Compressed air in the cylinder will hold the valves in place. Use a valve spring
compressor designed for your particular make and model to remove the valve springs and replace the seals. Repeat the procedure on each cylinder.

If you don't have a spark plug \ air chuck adaptor, one can be easily made by removing the porcelain from an old spark plug and soldering or brazing an air chuck fitting to the hollow shell.

Condition: Engine smokes steadily while running.
#1. If the engine produces white smoke, it indicates automatic transmission fluid is being burned. This can happen if the transmission vacuum modulator is defective. The vacuum modulator monitors engine intake manifold vacuum and adjusts the transmission to shift properly at various throttle  settings. If the diaphragm in the modulator begins leaking, transmission fluid can be sucked into the intake manifold and burned by the engine producing white smoke. Replacing the defective modulator is the fix.

#2. If the engine produces blue smoke, engine oil is being burned. Oil that escapes from the rod bearing journals on the spinning crankshaft is sprayed onto the cylinder walls as the piston moves upward and the excess is wiped off by the rings as the piston moves downward. As the rings wear, oil
consumption increases until smoke is visible in the exhaust. If worn rings are the problem, an oil viscosity extender such as STP may help but a general overhaul is needed.

Older, high mileage engines that have been using a non-detergent oil may start smoking if a high detergent oil is used. Switching back to non-detergent oil may help in this case.

Although not commonly known, loose connecting rod bearings can cause smokey exhaust even with rings in good condition. The amount of oil sprayed onto the cylinder walls is controlled by rod bearing clearance. As the rod bearings wear more oil is sprayed onto the cylinder walls. Extremely low
oil pressure and engine noises that go away after start-up are an indication of worn bearings. It is sometimes possible to replace main and rod bearings without removing the engine from the vehicle. Unbolting the motor mounts and jacking up the engine can provide sufficient clearance to remove the oil pan in some cases.

Also, a defective PCV valve can sometimes be the cause of smoking. Generally, if the valve is leaking badly, the engine will run rough at idle. If replacing the valve improves smoothness at idle, the smoke problem may also be reduced.

Don't forget to check the cooling system. Oil thins out as temperature rises. Sometimes just replacing a faulty thermostat can greatly reduce smoking.

Keeping these few tricks in mind may make the difference between giving up on a vehicle - or getting more years of dependable service from it.

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
QUIZ - Test Your Diagnostic Skills
Troubleshooting automotive problems can require a bit of detective work. Sometimes problems crop up that would make even Perry Mason scratch his head. Below are listed several of the more difficult cases I've encountered over the years. See if you can correctly diagnose the trouble in each case.
The answers appear at the end of this column.

1. The Case of the Mysterious Distributor Cap.
Received a road service call from a local customer with a no start problem. The car was a mid 60's Plymouth with a slant six engine. Starter operated fine but engine made no attempt to start. Checking under the hood revealed the distributor cap had come off. "Boy", I thought, "An easy one for a  change." Finding nothing else wrong, I re-attached the cap. The engine started immediately and ran fine. Customer drove off happy.

The next morning I received a call from the same customer with the same problem. Upon arrival, checked the cap and sure enough...off again. I told him I thought he might be the victim of a prankster and after replacing the cap again, I secured the hood with short length of chain and a padlock.
The next morning it happened again. When I arrived, the chain was still in place but the cap had come off again. I had the customer leave the car at my shop that evening so I could check it myself in the morning.

First thing next day I raised the hood to be sure the cap was still in place, then proceeded to start the engine. The starter turned but the engine did not fire. Yep! The cap had come off again. What's the problem?

2. The Case of the Burning Master Cylinder.
Towed in a car with total brake failure. Inspection revealed the hydraulic line attached to the master cylinder had been so hot it had turned blue. The plastic brake fluid reservoir and caps were melted and the hood was blackened above the master cylinder. Replaced the master cylinder, brake lines
and bled the system. No other problems apparent. Upon starting the engine for a test drive, I  immediately smelled smoke. The brake line was red hot and the master cylinder was smoking. What's the problem?

3. The Case of the Traveling Saleslady.
One of my customers who services a route of vending machines complained of intermittent engine failure. She told me the engine would just quit while driving but would always start up again if left alone for a few minutes. I asked her to leave the car with me as tracking down intermittent problems
can be a bit tricky. She removed the ignition key from a rather large ring of vending machine keys and handed it over. I helped her move boxes of vending machine products from her car to my loaner and sent her on her way.
Suspecting fuel starvation or ignition breakdown, I performed fuel pressure and flow tests (fuel system ok) and swapped out the ignition coil. I then drove the car back and forth to work for several days with no problems so I assumed the coil had probably been at fault. I delivered the car to her house
that evening and helped her move boxes from my loaner to her car. She then returned her ignition key to her ring of vending machine keys and I drove the loaner home.

The next morning she called from a phone booth. Her car had quit in traffic and would not re-start. What's the problem?



ANSWERS:

1. Mysterious Distributor Cap.
When I attempted to start the car at my shop in the morning, I heard a popping sound as soon as the starter began turning. Fuel vapors from the carburetor had entered the distributor through a leaking vacuum chamber diaphragm. Since this car had ignition points, as soon as the starter began turning the engine, spark from the points ignited the gasoline vapors in the distributor and blew the cap off. Replacing the vacuum chamber solved the problem.

2. Burning Master Cylinder.
The negative battery cable had come loose from its mounting on the engine block. The engine had no ground straps and the negative battery cable had a branch that was attached to the vehicle frame. High amp current from operating the starter found its way back to the frame through the transmission,
propeller shaft, rear axle bearings, brake backing plate, wheel cylinders, and then through the brake lines to the master cylinder. Replacing the negative battery cable solved the problem.

3. The Traveling Saleslady.
Bad ignition switch. The weight of the ring of vending machine keys hanging from the switch eventually wore it out. The switch operated fine for me as I only had a single key. When she put the key back on her large ring, the problem returned.

(My column appears monthly in 'Skinned Knuckles' Magazine, a publication for collector car owners and restorers.)

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
The Case of the Reluctant Buick
After 20 years in the automotive repair trade, most jobs become routine so it's refreshing to have an unusual problem crop up once in a while. One such case was an early 70's Buick that wouldn't go over 20 mph. The car was owned by an older gentleman who told me another shop had diagnosed the
problem as a bad timing chain. He'd had the chain replaced but the car still would not accelerate. I noticed the spark plugs, distributor cap, plug wires, ignition coil, and the carb all looked new. He said he was pretty handy with tools and had replaced those items on the recommendation of the
counterman at the local auto parts house. None of the parts replaced had any effect on the problem.

I stuck my neck out and accepted the job on the condition there would be no charge if the problem was not corrected.

The car had less than 70,000 on the clock and was immaculate inside and out. I started the engine and it immediately settled down to a smooth, even idle at about 900 rpm. With the transmission in neutral and brakes set, I opened the throttle a crack by hand and it quickly picked up to about
1800 rpm. Increasing the throttle opening made no difference. Even with wide open throttle, the engine refused to rev up.

Suspecting fuel starvation, I sprayed a little gasoline into the carb throat with the throttle held wide open. The engine stumbled a little, then returned to 1800 rpm. Just to be sure, I disconnected the fuel line at the carb and performed a fuel flow test. Spinning the engine with the starter with the ignition disabled produced more than a pint of gasoline in the test container in about a minute. No problem with the fuel pump or fuel system.

Next, I took a look at the timing chain job recently done. I removed all spark plugs and rotated the engine by hand until the timing mark on the vibration damper aligned with the pointer. Then I checked to be sure the piston on #1 cylinder was actually at top dead center. No problem here.

Then I removed the valve covers, attached a degree wheel to the crankshaft, and rotated the engine until the exhaust valve on #1 began to open. This test showed the timing chain had been installed properly as the valve began opening within a degree or so of factory specifications. The shop that
installed the chain had done a good job.

I didn't think it was necessary to check compression as the engine ran so well at idle but since the plugs were already out I ran the check. All cylinders were well within spec.

I discounted any possibility of the brakes or transmission dragging as the engine wouldn't even rev up in neutral. At this point I was beginning to think I had stuck my neck out a little too far, then it occurred to me the exhaust system might be restricted causing back pressure. I moved the vehicle onto the lift and inspected the exhaust system. It looked to be in perfect condition - no dented or crushed pipes. To make sure, I disconnected the pipes from the exhaust manifolds, wired them up out of the way, then lowered the car and started the engine. It roared to life with a racket that brought dust down from the ceiling. With the engine now responding to throttle normally, I removed the exhaust system piece by piece. The manifold Y pipe was clear from end to end. The muffler also appeared normal. Then, shining a light into the muffler end of the tailpipe, the problem showed itself. Something was peeling away from the inside of the tailpipe and had become lodged in there.

The tailpipe on this vehicle was actually a pipe within a pipe with a layer of asbestos in between - probably to lower the sound level. In this case, the inner pipe had worked loose and the debris had effectively plugged the system.

Replacing the tailpipe returned the vehicle to normal operation and earned me a loyal customer - not to mention saving my neck!

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
Uh Oh...Water in the Oil!
Finding water in the oil - a milky brownish fluid on the dipstick - is enough to send the average car owner into a panic. And justifiably so as water getting into the crankcase is likely caused by a blown head gasket, cracked cylinder head, or worse, a cracked block. Not good news!

But hold on...it's just possible the problem may be easy or moderately easy to repair. Here are several examples.

1. Late 60's Mercedes 220 sedan (gas). The customer had bought the car for a song only to find water in the oil. He brought it to me to check out before trying to get rid of it. A check under the hood showed all the indications that the head gasket had recently been changed, i.e., clean valve cover, block cleaned up, and a fresh looking head gasket peeking out from between the head and block.

I pulled the valve cover and selected the proper size metric Allen wrench to check the torque of the head bolts. Sure enough! Loose as a goose. Re-torquing the head bolts stopped the flow of water into the crankcase and a couple of oil and filter changes finished the job.

The instructions that come with newer head gasket sets say no re-torquing is necessary but older models, such as earlier Mercedes, use a multi-layer gasket that does require re-torquing after a 1000 miles or so.

2. 60's and later Pontiac 389 and 326 V8's. I have seen any number of early Pontiac V8's with water in the oil. This problem is quite well known in the automotive trade but I haven't seen it in print anywhere so here's the story. The timing cover / water pump housing on these engines is cast
aluminum and the metal is quite thin. After several years of service, corrosion can etch a tiny hole in the aluminum and allow water to pass from the water pump chamber directly into the crankcase. Changing the timing cover is a bit of a job but after the first hundred or so, it gets easier.

So don't push the panic button if you find water in the oil. Check out the head bolts and the timing cover first.

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
Broken Head Bolt
SNAP! That's the last thing you want to hear when torquing down the final head bolt on a valve job. At first, I thought the torque wrench had broken or the socket had slipped off the bolt head, but no...I lifted what remained of the bolt out of the cylinder head. It was about an inch too short. The bolt had  snapped off clean just at the point where the threads started. Close inspection of break on the offending bolt showed it was a little shiny but most of the broken area was dull in color. It must have been cracked most of the way through and torquing it down finished it off.

"Oh Lordy", I thought, "Customer is due in less than an hour and it will take several hours to tear the job down, remove the broken bolt end, and button it up again." What to do?

It was a 1956 Ford with a 292 cu. in. v8 that had blown a lower radiator hose and overheated. The engine might have survived the incident but the owner had poured cold water in it immediately and the heads had warped. I told him since the heads have to be removed and re-surfaced, we might
as well do a valve job at the same time. He agreed. Tore the job down that afternoon and noticed several valve guides needed work, too. Sent the heads out to the local automotive machine shop for re-surfacing and valve guides.

While the heads were being done I cleaned up the block. I always run a tap into the head bolt holes in the block to clean them out so the head bolts will run in easily. This insures the reading on the torque wrench will be accurate. I sent a helper to the Ford dealer for a new head bolt. While waiting, I shined a penlight down the vacant head bolt hole. I could see the broken end clearly - about 3 inches out of my reach. With clean threads in the block and the broken end protruding slightly above the head surface, I thought if I could just grab it somehow, I might be able to screw it out. Tried a long, thin screwdriver but the broken end was nearly flat and the screwdriver blade could find no purchase. While thinking about what to try next, I noticed a guy at the muffler shop across the street welding on a manifold pipe. He wasn't a very good welder as the rod kept sticking to the pipe and he kept having to wrench it free. That's when the inspiration hit me...

When my helper returned, I dropped the new bolt in the head on top of the broken one. Then I took a jumper cable and hooked it up to the positive battery terminal and jammed the other end against the new head bolt. After the shower of sparks cleared, I tried to withdraw the bolt. It didn't move. As I'd
hoped, it had been spot welded to the broken piece. Ever so carefully, I tried to turn it counter-clockwise. It turned so easily I thought the spot weld had come loose but after a dozen turns or so, the new bolt came out with the broken piece neatly attached to the end of it. When I tried to remove the broken end from the head bolt, I was surprised to find how firmly it was attached. Had to use pliers to crack the spot weld loose.

After torquing down the new bolt, I was enjoying a warm, fuzzy feeling and finishing up the job when the customer arrived. "Got it finished right on time, I see.." he said. "Any problems?"

"Nope!" I replied, "No problems at all..."

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 

The Fabric of Space:  Dark matter \ Missing Mass

This article attempts to address three of the greatest scientific mysteries of all time.

1) How is light able to propagate through the vacuum of space?

2) What happened to the antimatter that must have been created when the universe was born?

3) How is it possible for information about the quantum state of certain sub-atomic particles
to be exchanged faster than light?

In the past, wise men were absolutely sure the Earth was the center of the universe and the
heavenly bodies revolved in crystal spheres. The Earth was flat. Space was filled with ether.
Disease was caused by foul air. Silly now of course, but back then, firmly believed.

The old geocentric (Earth at the center) theory, supported by the Church, had been in vogue since
the days of Ptolemy. However, the observations of many early astronomers made it difficult to
explain the apparent retrograde (backwards) motion of planets like Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
Equally confusing, and difficult to explain, was the fact that Mercury and Venus were never seen
to be more than 30 or 60 degrees away from the Sun.

No matter...mathematicians of the period developed complex and convoluted proofs to explain it. Even when Nicolaus Copernicus published his work on the heliocentric (Sun at the center) theory, that
resolved the problems with the geocentric view, it was not immediately accepted.

Challanging currently held beliefs invites the rath of the powers-that-be, whether a midevil
inquizitor or the academic community. Resistance to new ideas runs deep. Historically, revolutionary discoverys weren't accepted into the scientific main stream until the elder scientists died off.

Scientifically, we're light years ahead of the of the alchemists, but there are still mysteries
that the current 'Standard Model' fails to explain, most notably, events immediately following the Big Bang...and the more complicated and convoluted the theories become to explain it all, the more likely they are to be wrong. Here's a little background...

Astronomy's great leap forward in the 20th century was the discovery of the expanding universe.
Edwin Hubble's observation that light from distant galaxies is shifted toward the red end of the
spectrum not only proved the universe is expanding, but also implied the universe had a beginning.
The age of the universe can be calculated if the rate of expansion, known as the Hubble Constant,
can be determined.

Observations keep improving, allowing the value of the Hubble Constant to be calculated ever more
precisely. As a result, it now appears the rate of expansion is far slower than predicted. Direct
observational evidence suggests 7 to 10 times more mass would be needed to account for the
motions of the visible stars and galaxies. The missing mass gives itself away due to it's
gravitional influence on the visible universe. Cosmologists call the missing mass dark matter.

A good starting point in the search for the missing mass would be at the beginning, the moment when the universe came into being and all the matter that exists was created.

The event that gave birth to the universe, the Big Bang, occured some 12 to 18 billion years ago.
At that time everything that now exists was consentrated into an area smaller than an atom.
The titanic explosion of pure energy that followed created not only the universe, but space
and time as well.

The 'cosmic egg' expanded to trillions of times it's size in the first few billionths of a second,
and even more extreme expansion was to follow. The expanding bubble then underwent a stage the
cosmologists call 'inflation' where the rate of expansion far exceeded the speed of light. No,
this is not a violation Einstein's theories as space, and even time did not yet exist outside
of the expanding bubble.

Eventually, the universe expanded and cooled to the point where energy began to condense into matter. When energy is converted into matter, equal amounts of matter and anti-matter are formed. Currently held theories of the Big Bang and the origin of matter rely on the counter-intuitive idea that when temperatures dropped enough for energy to condense into matter, it did so asymmetrically, that is, slightly more matter was produced than anti-matter. Since matter and anti-matter mutually annihilate, the slight excess of normal matter accounts for all the matter in the universe today...or so the theory goes.

One of the fundamental building blocks of physics is the law of conservation of symmetry. In the
world of sub-atomic particle interaction, the principle of symmetry was used to predict the
existance of the neutrino, a ghostly particle that scarcely interacts with matter at all.
The neutrino accounted for the missing energy observed in certain electron interactions and the
law of symmetry was upheld. If this law must be violated to account for current Big Bang
theory, something must be very wrong indeed.

A more likely scenario is that equal amounts of matter and anti-matter were formed and the universe
is half matter and half anti-matter. However, if this were the case, random collisions between atoms of matter and anti-matter would produce a cosmic light show. There would be no such thing as a dark night. The midnight sky would be as bright as noon.

Yet it does get dark, so the answer must lie elsewhere. The cosmologists maintain that the
proposed slight imbalance of matter to anti-matter in the early universe was necessary for matter to
exist at all, otherwise the universe would still consist of pure energy due to a never ending
cycle of matter\anti-matter creation and annilation.

Matter does exist, and observational evidence indicates that all the matter we can see is of
the ordinary type. There is no evidence for the existence of any large quantity of anti-matter
anywhere in the universe except for that which is created during high energy events or that
which is produced when matter is drawn into a black hole. So the law of conservation of symmetry was ignored to account for the existance of matter.

In my view, taking liberties with the foundations of physics to allow for current cosmological theory just isn't good science, and doesn't answer two big questions...

1) What happened to the antimatter that must have been created during the birth of the universe?

2) And where is all the cold, dark matter? It must exist as it's gravitational influence is undeniable.

A true Sherlock Holmes mystery if there ever was one, and maybe a Holmes axiom might help to solve it. He said, "When all other possibilities have been exhausted, whatever remains, however unlikely, must be the truth."

However unlikely it may be, there is a theory that explains where the antimatter went and may also
offer some insight into the currently unexplainable faster-than-light quantum effects that occur between sub-atomic particles.

The anti-matter created at the birth of the universe may have undergone a transformation, a phase change of sorts. Current cosmological theory holds that the universe became very big, very quickly, faster then the speed of light, before settling down to a more sedate rate of expansion. What caused inflation to stop?

When energy condenses, matter\anti-matter particle pairs are formed and speed away from each other at close to the speed of light. If the trajectory of the anti-matter particles was oriented outward,
and the matter particles moved in the opposite direction, the effect would be the matter particles
decelerate to sub-light speed and the anti-matter to accelerate to greater trans-light velocities.

The anti-matter may still be here, still traveling faster then light, having made the transition to
trans-light speed 'behind the teacher's back' so to speak since space and time did not yet exist
outside the expanding bubble.

The inflationary phase could have ended because the matter transitioned to sub-lightspeed,
and the antimatter accelerated to trans-light speed...passing out of existance so far as the matter universe was concerned, except for it's gravitational influence and other effects ranging from providing a rational means to accout for faster-than-light interactions between subatomic particles, to defining the very fabric of space itself.

Before inflation, space and time did not exist outside the expanding bubble. After inflation, half the mass of the universe was beyond the bubble, traveling much faster than light, but mutually attracted to the sub-light, matter half. So the trans-light antimatter particle trajectories would curve to form a sphere
surounding the expanding matter bubble....in effect, defining the very fabric of space the matter bubble is expanding into.

What would it be like in the anti-matter universe?

If the law of symmetry is conserved, and there's every reason to believe that it is, the anti-matter half of the universe would be a mirror image of the matter half. Here, the slowest possible speed is the speed of light. Anti-particles at rest would move at nearly infinite velocity. More energetic anti-particles would move more slowly but none could ever move as slowly as light, that is, just the exact opposite of our universe.

From our view point in the matter universe, any given point in space would touch the entire anti-matter universe since the particles are traveling at near infinite velocity and are effectively everywhere at once. Call it the tachyon flux for want of a better term.

The concept of faster-than-light particles, called tachyons, is nothing new and has been the subject
of speculation for decades. Imagining that the tachyons are anti-matter particles moving at nearly infinite velocity, and their flux throughout our universe defining the fabric of space is a totally new concept. Of course, its most likely a totally wrong concept too, but since we're just supposing, let's see where it leads.

To begin with, in a closed or finite universe, a tachyon at rest would, effectively, be everywhere at once. The resulting tachyon flux throughout our universe would define the very fabric of space itself. It's possible from the point of view of an observer in the anti-matter universe, ours would be the one composed of tachyons and would define the fabric of their space.

Two parallel universes, equal but opposite, each defining the other's fabric of space is an appealing concept on many levels. It accounts for much or all of the missing mass, provides a symmetrical view of the cosmos, and eliminates the need for the asymmetrical creation of matter\anti-matter, and most importantly,could even provide the medium through which electromagnetic radiation propagates. Physicists have had no plausable explainition to account for the ability of light to travel through the vacuum
of space since the Michelson-Morley interferometer experiments put to rest the concept of an all prevading medium called 'ether'

In 1887 two American scientists, Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley, performed a classic experiment that contributed to the downfall of the concepts of absolute space and the ether. If the Earth moves through the ether, the speed of a light ray as measured on Earth would depend on its direction, much as the speed of a swimmer depends on whether he or she swims with, against, or across the current. Michelson designed an apparatus called an interferometer which could detect this effect.

The expected shift was about four tenths of a wavelength. No such shift was observed. Many
repetitions of the experiment by other researchers have confirmed this result. This was such a devastating blow to the prevailing theories of the period that Michelson and Morley did not believe the results of their own experiment and spent many years trying to determine what was wrong with their apparatus.

So if there is no ether, how is light transmitted through a vacuum? In 1905 Einstein proposed his theory of relativity which postulates that light has a constant velocity no matter what the speed of the observer so that its velocity appears to be the same in any direction. This explains the result of the Michelson Morley experiment but does not explain how light is able to move through a vacuum.

The existance of tachyon flux is strongly supported on the basis it provides the medium for the propagation of electro-magnetic radiation, while being compatible with general relativity.

Space is also affected by gravitational fields, planets and stars, for instance, form dimples in the fabric. How could empty space be warped by gravity unless mass is involved? Perhaps the virtual mass of the tachyon flux. Pretty simple. Mass bends space so the fabric of space may consist of the virtual mass of uncounted speeding tachyons.

At the quantum level, information about a particle's quantum state can be communicated to another particle some distance away at speeds faster than light. This is an observed fact. The tachyon flux provides a convenient medium by which this transference could occur. If the particle's quantum state could somehow modulate or influence the tachyon flux, then the other particle might be able to de-modulate the flux and have the information necessary to assume the proper quantum state. If true, it would be the foundation of a whole new branch of science. Tachyonics.

Much of quantum theory is counter intuitive. It just doesn't seem to make any sense except at the deep mathematical level and even then a lot of it is taken on faith. The tachyon model offers a clear and rational approach to unraveling the current quantum quagmire and opens the doors to a whole host of other interesting possibilities, too.

For instance, ESP, telepathy, remote viewing, and other psychic phenomena now have a rational means by which they could function. If it is natural for faster than light information to be exchanged among the particles, it may also be natural for our brains to be sensitive to the tachyon flux and it may have played a part in human mental evolution.

Looking into the past and the future may not be out of the question since the tachyon flux consists of particles that are everywhere at once, they may be every WHEN at once, too. Time would certainly operate differently at trans light velocities and that could provide a means for the exchange of information about future or past events.

If the brain can de-modulate the tachyon flux, it stands to reason someone will build a machine that can do it better. Once the principles are understood, building the tachyon TV is inevitable. Imagine tuning in to any time and place.... across the street or across the galaxy. Star ships are rendered obsolete even before they're invented.

Galactic exploration via the tachyon channel has some distinct advantages besides just cutting out the travel time. For instance, we could observe a race on a distant planet, but we could not interact with them or affect them in any way, although they might get the feeling they are being watched.

We could observe, but not interfere. It seems the tachyon channel comes with a built-in Prime Directive.

Of course, humans may not be the first to develop tachyon TV. Advanced races across the galaxy may have already deployed a tachyon communication network, and developed a universal culture based on the cosmic internet. Take note Seti people. When we bring our first unit on line, we may get the surprise of our lives. Our first message may come from the Cosmic Tachynet Administrator who informs us that our crude device is spewing garbage across the bandwidth and would we please stop with the static already, and here's the specs to build one that is at least tunable and when you build it give us a call and we'll see about giving you people some instruction, a novice license and.....

Portions of the above article have been reprinted from
'The Fabric of Space' (c) 1991 John Young

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 

Dieseling...The whole story

Whether you call it dieseling, post ignition, run on, or after run, it all means the same thing. Your engine keeps on running after you shut off the key. What causes it?

There seems to be a great deal of mis-information in circulation about this subject. Some otherwise credible mechanics have told me, "The ignition timing is too far advanced." or, "You need to use higher octane fuel." Neither is entirely correct.

Obviously, ignition timing has very little to do with it since the ignition system is off when dieseling occurs.

Higher octane fuel might reduce the problem somewhat but if your engine doesn't ping on the grade of fuel you're using, the higher expense can't be justified.

Dieseling is more than just an inconvenience. It can cause severe engine damage such as cracked pistons or broken rings if allowed to go on unchecked. In addition, the extremely high combustion chamber pressures created when fuel detonates can force the nitrogen and oxygen present to
combine into some really nasty pollutants such as nitric oxide. You've probably noticed a bad smell around the vehicle after dieseling occurs. Nitrogen compounds are responsible.

Dieseling will occur if too much air\fuel mixture is present in the induction system after engine shut down. When the engine is idling, there is a pretty good vacuum in the intake manifold so each cylinder receives a very rarified charge. After the ignition is switched off, intake manifold vacuum drops rapidly as the engine slows. As the vacuum drops, the cylinders receive a larger and larger charge until, just before the engine comes to a complete stop, the last couple of cylinders coming up on compression stroke receive the equivalent of a full throttle air\fuel charge.

The heat of compression is now sufficient to ignite the concentrated air\fuel mixture and detonation takes place with a loud knocking sound. Depending on where the piston is in its stroke, the engine may speed up - or run backwards a few turns.

If detonation occurs before the piston reaches top dead center, the engine can reverse direction, pump some really nasty smelling stuff out the carburetor throat and then the process stops.

If detonation occurs near top dead center, the engine picks up RPM and intake manifold vacuum rises again. This starves the detonation process of fuel until the engine slows down again. Just before the engine stops, intake manifold vacuum drops to a point where detonation can again take place. This 'detonation cycle' can go on for some time.

Here's how to stop the detonation cycle once it has started.

Standard shift vehicles: Easy! Put it in gear and let out the clutch.

Automatic transmission vehicles: Turn the key back on. Put the transmission in drive. Turn off the key. The drag of the torque converter is generally sufficient to stop the engine.

So what causes detonation? The engine idle speed is set too high. In the old days before power steering, air conditioning, smog pumps (uh oh, my age is showing) and other power drawing accessories, engines didn't need much throttle to maintain idle so detonation wasn't a problem.

Modern engines have quite a load to pull and so need more throttle to maintain idle speed thus setting the stage for detonation problems. Detroit responded with the anti-diesel solenoid. This little gadget is mounted on the carburetor and holds the throttle open far enough to maintain idle
speed with the additional load. When the key is switched off, the solenoid de-energizes and allows the throttle to completely close thus eliminating the fuel flow that causes detonation.

The problem is when the solenoid fails, some folks just turn up the idle to compensate rather than replacing it with a new one. Bingo! Detonation city.

So if your engine keeps running after you shut it off, replace that anti-diesel solenoid or turn down the idle speed, whichever is appropriate.

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
Freon (CFC's) and the Ozone Layer
Owners of air conditioned classic cars designed to use R-12 refrigerant are having a tough time keeping their cool these days. The price of R-12 is approaching $25 a pound and converting older A\C systems to use the new R-134a refrigerant can be prohibitively expensive. So we're left
with a choice of taking a hard hit in the wallet or sweltering in the heat. What's all the fuss about R-12?

Are we really in danger of increased ultraviolet radiation due to ozone layer damage from CFC's? The government mandated phase-out of CFC refrigerants is based on this theory but much of the information in circulation on this subject is quite misleading and some of it is just flat wrong.

First off, what is the ozone layer and how is it supposedly damaged by CFC's?

Ozone is made of 3 atoms of oxygen that have joined up to form a molecule. (O3) In the stratosphere, molecules of ordinary oxygen (O2) absorb photons of ultraviolet light from the sun and are converted to ozone. Ozone strongly absorbs UV light and protects living things below on the surface from
damage. The ozone layer is formed and maintained by the sun.

The important thing to grasp is that the sun produces ozone. If, by some magic, ALL the ozone were to disappear NOW...a new ozone layer would be formed by the sun's action on atmospheric O2 in a matter of days.

How do CFC's damage the ozone layer? Let's take a look at how the damage is done. Chlorine monoxide is the culprit. A single molecule of chlorine monoxide can split tens of thousands of ozone molecules. This much is absolutely true. It's where the chlorine monoxide comes from that is the
subject of controversy.

How do CFC's which are many times heavier than air get high into the stratosphere in the first place? The plain truth is...most of it doesn't! When CFC's are released into the air, they immediately seek the lowest level available and stay there for the most part. Since CFC's are extremely stable, they remain in their non-toxic, non-ozone damaging form for a very long time. The only possible way for such a
heavy molecule to ever reach the stratosphere is to be carried aloft on a violent updraft such as occurs in thunderstorms.

The few CFC molecules that actually do reach the ozone layer account for a very small percentage of all the chlorine monoxide found in the stratosphere. So where does the rest come from? There are several sources and we'll look at them one at a time.

VOLCANOS: Volcanos account for about 30% of atmospheric chlorine monoxide. The Mt. Pinatubo eruption in the early 90's released vast quantities of chlorine monoxide into the atmosphere, probably more than that contained in all the CFC's manufactured to that date.

SEAWATER: The sea covers about 70 percent of Earth's surface.
Seawater contains sodium chloride - common salt. The wave action from all the world's coastlines produces a very fine spray. Some of the very tiny spray droplets evaporate leaving crystals of salt suspended in the air. The really small ones can float in the atmosphere for decades and, eventually,
reach the upper atmosphere. Here, water vapor condenses on the salt crystals to form tiny salt water droplets. Exposed to UV light, they split to become atoms of chlorine and sodium. The chlorine atoms pick up oxygen atoms from the atmosphere and are converted into chlorine monoxide. Each chlorine monoxide molecule can destroy thousands of ozone molecules.

Volcanos erupt from time to time but the sea never sleeps. Chlorine monoxide from seawater probably accounts for about 70 percent of that found in the stratosphere.

SPACE SHUTTLE LAUNCHES: Volcanos and seawater account for the vast majority of chlorine monoxide found in the stratosphere, but there are other contributors as well. The space shuttle's
main engines burn liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The exhaust product is mainly water and has no detrimental effect on the ozone layer, but the boosters are a different story.
The solid fuel boosters belch out vast quantities of chlorine compounds and they bore directly through the stratosphere with every launch and so deliver the nasty stuff right where it will do the most harm.

The space shuttle program probably does more to damage the ozone layer than all the leaking air conditioners in the country but we (the users of CFC refrigerants) are the ones who get the blame and have to pay the price. It just ain't fair.

SO WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT? There are several R-12 substitutes available, the most common is a mixture of 60% iso-butane and 40% propane. It is compatible with all mineral based compressor oils and can be mixed with R-12 in any combination. This substitute (commonly known as Hot Shot)
works well in systems designed for R-12 but is quite flammable and could present a fire hazard in the event of a head-on collision. Use of a flammable R-12 substitute could also present a hazard for service personal using R-12 recovery equipment. Also, it may be illegal in some states.

Anyone considering the use of a flammable substitute should be aware of the danger involved and clearly mark any system containing a flammable substance to warn A\C service personal that may need to work on the vehicle in the future.

Personally, I have been using pure propane as an R-12 substitute for over 15 years with excellent results. Pure propane runs about 20 degrees colder in the evaporator and about 40 degrees hotter in the condenser. Also pressures on both the high side and low side run a bit higher. Typically, the low side pressure will be about 50 psi and high side pressure will run at about 300 psi depending on outside air temperature.

I have had some reports of newer rotary compressors failing in service while using propane. The plastic vanes can't take the higher temperatures and melt. Running these compressors
about 1\2 to 1 pound low seems to solve the heat problem. Older piston type compressors use metal reed valves and have no problem with the additional heat.

Propane (common torch gas) is cheap, convenient, and available everywhere. A modified propane torch can be used to charge propane into an A\C system. (See illustration)

Propane can only be used in systems designed for R-12. Propane cannot be used in systems designed for R-22 or R-134a
No inexperienced person ever should attempt repairs on any air conditioning system. If in doubt, please seek the help of a qualified professional.

The bottom line is R-12 substitutes do work and for the classic car collector experienced in A\C repairs, it could be a viable option.

 


 

John Young

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
Mail Order Gadgets
One can hardly turn the pages of a newspaper or car magazine without seeing an ad for yet another miracle gadget that claims to increase gas mileage, reduce engine wear, or whatever. The vast majority of these have little or no positive effect on engine performance and some can actually do considerable harm. Such products depend upon the gullibility of the motoring public. Ever hear  someone say, "After I wash my car, it seems to ride better". Obviously, washing a vehicle has no effect on the suspension components so the perceived ride improvement must be purely
psychological. This is an example of the placebo effect. (pla-SEE-bow) It is quite powerful. In Medicine, the placebo effect has been long used. It works because the patient believes the doctor has given him medication when, in fact, it was only a sugar pill.

Ad writers for automotive aftermarket products use the placebo effect, too. The idea is to present the reader with something that sounds plausible and believable. A good example is the fuel pressure regulator widely sold some years ago. The ad said, "Prevents fuel pump slop-over - saves gas." Remember that one? The ad implied the fuel pump supplies much more fuel than the carburetor  needs and the excess is somehow wasted. The device fit between the fuel pump and the carb and had a graduated dial to adjust fuel pressure. At best, this device had no effect at all and at worst, starved the engine of fuel.

Of course, even though a fuel pump can deliver a quart a minute or more, it actually delivers just enough to keep the carb float chamber full. Flow is regulated by the float, needle, and seat  assembly. The fuel pump is designed to deliver a constant pressure over a wide range of flow rates. Here's how it works.

A mechanical fuel pump is driven by an eccentric on the camshaft. The eccentric moves the fuel pump lever which in turn pushes on a contact pad in the center of a spring loaded diaphragm. Check valves on the pump intake and exhaust ports allow fuel to flow in one direction only. Maximum fuel pressure is determined by the strength of the spring behind the diaphragm.

During a fuel flow test, the fuel line is disconnected at the carburetor and the free end is placed into a suitable container. The engine is turned with the starter with the ignition disabled. The amount of fuel delivered in a given time is then compared to factory specifications. Under these conditions, the pump will deliver fuel at its maximum flow rate. With no head pressure, the pump diaphragm remains in contact with the pump lever throughout the entire stroke. With the fuel line connected to the carb, fuel pressure quickly builds up and movement of the diaphragm is limited by head pressure. The pump lever comes into contact with the diaphragm only when the engine demands more fuel. The pump lever continues to move full stroke as usual but comes into contact with the diaphragm only at the very end of its stroke.

So an aftermarket fuel pressure regulator is not needed at all since this function is designed into the fuel pump. Since many motorists don't know that, the faulty concept of fuel pump 'slop-over' was used to sell a great number of these gadgets to an unsuspecting public. Their ad campaign was so effective
I've had customers refuse to believe me when I told them their fuel starvation problem was probably due to that little gadget hooked up to the fuel line. Of course, removing it and sending them out for a test drive usually changed their minds. There have been exceptions, though. One customer in particular comes to mind. About a week after I removed his fuel regulator, he came back and said, "Yeah, the car runs great now, but I'm not getting the mileage I used to." Belief is a powerful thing.

Bits and Pieces

In the article 'Getting Your Money's Worth' published in the Oct. '98 issue, free construction plans were offered to readers for an engine pre-oiler system. Since then, over 500 emails and about 250 written requests for the information have been received.

Had no idea so many folks were reading the column. :)

All were answered within a few days of receipt. Learned quite a bit about the innards of my cranky copy machine which frequently refused to function. Readers with internet access may now
download the plans directly from following web site:
HTTP://www.prelube.com
or send a send a self addressed #10 envelope with two 33 cent
stamps to: John Young, P.O. Box 608, LaPlace, La. 70069

The article, 'Test Your Diagnostic Skills' also produced a bit of reader feedback. Since it was well received, another quiz is in the works and will appear in a future issue. Get your thinking caps on, folks.

Also, would like to thank technical editor Bill Cannon for providing the 'Mechanic's Notebook' forum and the editorial freedom to talk about topics that don't always fit into the classic car restoration category. It's gratifying for an old time mechanic with no particular writing skills to be given such an opportunity. Thanks Bill.

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
Shimmy Shimmy -- Front End Problems

Regular readers of this column might get the idea I've never been stumped by an automotive
problem. After all, it's human nature to talk about your successes but conveniently forget
your failures. Nobody bats 1000 and I've come up with egg on my face a few times, but never
more so than with this job. This is the story of a mid-60's Dodge van with a violent front end
shimmy problem that completely baffled me. Even worse, the problem was eventually
correctly diagnosed by a wise guy kid whose only mission in life was to roar around the
neighborhood every afternoon in his hot rod.

The old Dodge van was brought in by a group of hippie chicks who were evidently living in it.
They said it shook so bad it was unsafe to drive. The van was in bad shape and I told them it
might be better to think about getting another vehicle. They said they didn't have much
money and had to make do, and would I please just take a look at it.

Against my better judgment, I agreed and rolled the van into the shop. (That fact that my hair
was a bit longer then and the girls were kind a cute might have had something to do with it.)
Lifted the front end and had a helper shake a front wheel while I looked underneath. Both
tie rod ends and the idler arm were shot. Figured that would solve the problem with a minimum
of expense, so I changed the parts and sent them out for a test drive. They were back in 15 minutes - they said now it shook worse than before.

I put a jack under the lower control arm and lifted the tire off the floor. Slipped a bar under the tire and lifted. Yep! Both upper and lower ball joints were loose as a goose. Knew I was in over my head but agreed to change the ball joints. The job took several hours. The girls standing around
in the shop has not escaped the notice of the wise guy hot rodder. He screeched to a stop
outside and was soon chatting with the girls while I worked. The upper control arm bushings
were bad, too. Had no choice but to change them, all the while mentally kicking myself for
getting in deeper and deeper.

Finished the job, aligned the front end, and sent the girls out for another test drive. The wise
guy kid went with them (fast worker). They were back in a few minutes. Front end shook worse
than ever now. Geez. I crawled under on a creeper and had the kid move the steering wheel back
and forth. Then I noticed the steering box was shifting slightly as the wheel was being turned.
Evidently the violent shaking had worked the steering box bolts loose. Confident I had found the
problem, I pulled the bolts down good and tight while listening to the kid crack wise to the girls
about the skill level of their mechanic in none too flattering terms.

With all traces of play in the front end now cured, I took the van for a ride. At about 30 mph it
broke into a shimmy that almost wrenched the wheel from my hands. Sheepishly, I drove back
to the shop and told the girls I'd done all I could do and couldn't solve the problem, so there
would be no charge for the work. Left them in the parking lot with the kid while I went back
inside. As I was working on another job, I saw the kid jacking up the van one side at a time
and switching the tires back to front. They drove off a few minutes later.

I thought I was done with them, but the van rolled up outside later that afternoon. "Hey old
man," the kid taunted. "I fixed it. Take it for a ride now!" I suppressed the urge to commit
mayhem and took the van out to the highway. The kid was right! No trace of a shimmy at
any speed and the front end felt very solid due to all the new components. I drove back to
the shop and asked the kid, "Did you do anything besides switch the tires?" "No," he said,
"The front tires were worn round across the tread. That'll make any car shimmy."

The girls insisted on paying for the parts as they had seen the condition of the ones I had
changed, but I wouldn't accept anything for the labor. The girls drove off leaving the kid and I
standing in the driveway. Before he could say a word, I asked, "When do you want to start work?"

Yes, I hired him. He worked part-time, evenings and weekends, during the school year and full- time in the summer. No, he never mentioned the incident again.

Moral: Those who feel they have nothing more to learn, will learn nothing more.

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
Clutch Notes
Cars with manual transmissions need to have the clutch, pressure plate, and throw out bearing inspected periodically as problems here can quickly lead to failure of related components.

Adjustment:
If the clutch doesn't release fully, difficult shifting and gear clash can result, leading to unnecessary transmission damage. The clutch linkage should be adjusted to allow about an inch of free pedal before the throw-out fork comes into contact with the clutch release bearing. If this adjustment is proper and the clutch still drags with the pedal fully depressed, most likely the pressure plate - also called the clutch cover - will need to be replaced.

Noise When Clutch Pedal is Depressed:
If the noise goes away when the pedal is released, a bad clutch release bearing - also called the throw-out bearing - is the most likely cause.

Noise When Clutch Pedal Released...but Not When Depressed:
In this case, likely no problem with the clutch. If the transmission input shaft bearings are bad, noise will result when the clutch pedal is released, but when depressed the transmission slows to a stop and the noise goes away. Most noticeable in neutral with the engine idling.

Chatter:
Clutch chatter can be caused by many factors, but the most likely is contamination of the clutch disc with motor oil due to a leaking engine rear main seal. Other causes include bad motor or transmission mounts, loose transmission to bell housing bolts, worn pilot bushing, bad transmission shaft and\or shaft bearings, warped clutch cover or flywheel, or because the clutch lining has reached the end of it's service life.

Slippage:
As the clutch lining becomes thinner due to normal wear, free pedal will gradually decrease. Eventually, if not compensated for by adjusting the linkage, the clutch will not engage fully and slippage can result. Many times an otherwise serviceable clutch will fail needlessly, simply because the owner neglects to make the necessary periodic linkage adjustment to maintain a little free pedal.

If the free pedal is okay and the clutch still slips, replacement is the only remedy. Its interesting to note that a worn clutch will begin slipping in high gear long before it is noticeable in low, second, or reverse. This is because the engine has a greater mechanical advantage in the lower gear ratios.

Clutch Replacement:
Replacement of the clutch components requires the removal of the transmission. Remove the propeller shaft, the clutch linkage, and the speedometer cable. Its a good idea to mark the propeller shaft so that it can be re-installed in the same position relative to the rear axle to maintain shaft dynamic balance. Now place a hydraulic jack under the bell housing and support the weight of the transmission before removing the cross member. With the cross member removed, lower the jack slowly. Pay particular attention in the engine compartment area for lines, linkage, or hoses binding due to movement of the motor. Now support the transmission with a suitable jack and remove the transmission to bell housing bolts, and slide the unit rearward until the input shaft clears the bell housing.

Mostly, the clutch cover, clutch disc, and the release bearing can be removed without removing the bell housing. If the same clutch cover is to be re-used, mark it relative to the flywheel before removal so that factory dynamic balance will be maintained upon re-installation.

The Pilot Bushing:
This item is often overlooked when replacing clutch components, mainly because it can be hard as the dickens to remove from the crankshaft. If it is worn beyond serviceable limits, the transmission input shaft bearings can fail due to mis-alignment. Other indications of a badly worn pilot bushing are vibration, chatter, and noisy operation. You will need an alignment tool when installing the new clutch. The best tool is a spare transmission input shaft. This handy tool can also be used to remove the pilot bushing. With the clutch cover and disc out of the way, pack the pilot bushing hole with the heaviest wheel bearing grease you can find. Place the input shaft in
the pilot bushing hole and strike it sharply with a dead blow hammer (brass or lead). As the shaft is forced into the hole, hydraulic pressure will push the old pilot bushing out. Use the shaft as a bushing driver to install the new pilot bushing.

With the new pilot bushing in place, install the new clutch cover, disc, and release bearing. Pass the alignment tool (transmission input shaft) through the clutch cover and disc being sure it seats fully in the pilot bushing. This will maintain disc alignment while tightening the clutch cover to flywheel bolts. Tighten evenly, a little at a time, to prevent pressure plate warpage. With the clutch disc properly aligned, the transmission can be re-installed with a minimum of unprintable expletives - hehe.

The clutch does one heck of a job and will give long, reliable service if kept in proper adjustment and the driver remembers not to use the pedal for a foot rest.

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
Sludge...What causes it?
Having worked as an auto mechanic for over 20 years, I've seen the insides of countless engines. Some were so sludged up I had to shovel the stuff out of the way to even find the rockers.

Others were clean as a whistle inside. I checked the lube stickers to get an idea of the service history of the vehicles. Maybe it was the brand of oil, or the frequency of service that kept some engines sludge-free.

Nope! No significant difference in service intervals or lubricants although many will swear by their particular brand of motor oil. (Although Castrol seems to make less sludge.)

But what is sludge anyway? Sludge is made of carbon, oil, and water. For every 2 gallons of fuel burned, one gallon of water is formed as a product of the combustion process.

An engine running at normal operating temperature is hot enough to keep the water vaporized all the way to the tail pipe. No problem. With the engine cold, it's a different story. Combustion chambers are not yet hot enough to vaporize the water and some of it gets past the piston rings and into the crankcase. Here it mixes with oil and the impurities suspended in it. If the engine is stopped before fully warming up, the gooey mix is deposited on engine parts.

Every engine gets water in the oil every time it is started cold. So why don't all engines get sludged up? In order for the oil to rid itself of suspended water, it must be heated to beyond the boiling point. Once vaporized, it is exhausted through the PCV system.

Pistons have to get rid of a lot of heat. They are cooled by a spray of oil from the spinning crankshaft. Oil that escapes from the rod bearing journals is sprayed into the cylinder bores and on the piston bottoms. At this point, the oil picks up enough heat to boil off the water and thus eliminates a major cause of sludge.

In order for the oil to do its self cleaning trick, the engine must be fully warmed up.

Sludge is primarily caused by short trip driving, or engine operating temperature too low due to faulty or missing thermostat. I had the opportunity to get to know the driving habits of many of my customers with sludged-up engines. They were short trip, around town drivers. The clean engine folks were out-of-towners who drove 100 miles a day or more. Some others with sludge problems had removed the thermostat in the false belief that a cooler running engine was beneficial.

The cleanest engines were in taxicabs and police cars. They ran 24 hours a day and had no opportunity to build up sludge.

So don't start that engine just to back out of the garage. Let it warm up completely before shutting it down and your engine will stay clean as a whistle.

John Young

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
Troubleshooting? Use the Starter
Good mechanics can tell a lot about the condition of an engine just by listening to the sound the starter makes as it turns the engine over.

The procedures listed below will help you correctly diagnose a low speed miss caused by a vacuum leak, burned intake or exhaust valve, or worn piston rings with no test equipment other than your practiced ear, the vehicle's starter, and a length of rubber vacuum hose. These tests assume the engine has a carburetor, not fuel injection.

First, disable the vehicle's ignition system by removing the coil wire or disconnecting the primary (+) wire at the ignition coil. (On cars with high energy ignition, pull the distributor end of the coil wire and lay it against the engine block to harmlessly dissipate the high voltage.)

Now spin the engine with the starter and listen carefully. An engine in good condition (equal compression across all cylinders) will sound like this:

rrrrRRRrrrrRRRrrrrRRRrrrrRRRrrrrRRRrrrrRRRrrrrRRRrrrrRRR...

An engine with low compression on one or more cylinders will sound like this:

rrrrRRRrrrrRRRrrrrrrrrrRRrrrrrrrrRrrrrRRRrrrrRRRrrrrRRR

The drag on the starter will be less on cylinders with low compression and the sound produced will be uneven.

This technique takes a bit of practice to use effectively but the time saved on diagnosing common engine problems makes the effort well worthwhile.

Now that we know the general condition of the engine, locating the cause of the low speed miss is quick and easy.

If compression is ok and the miss goes away at higher engine speeds, suspect a vacuum leak. At idle, intake manifold vacuum is high and each cylinder receives a rarified air\fuel charge. A vacuum leak will lean out the mixture to the point where the nearby cylinders will skip and misfire, but run ok
at wider throttle openings.

Here's the easy way to determine if a vacuum leak is causing the problem. Remove the air cleaner. Start the engine and let it idle. Slowly and carefully place your hands over the carburetor throat. The idea is to choke the engine slightly.

If the engine picks up speed, you've got a vacuum leak.

If the engine slows down or dies, the trouble is elsewhere.

Once you've determined a vacuum leak is present, here's the easy way to locate it. Get a piece of 3/16" rubber vacuum line several feet long. Carefully place one end to your ear and move the other end around in the intake manifold area.
The hissing sound of the leak can be clearly heard through the tubing and will guide you right to it.

No leaks around the intake manifold? The next most likely suspect is the power brake booster. Pull the hose off with the engine idling and plug it with your finger. If the miss goes away, the diaphragm in the booster is leaking or the vacuum hose connection to the booster is faulty.

The air conditioning system is the next most likely culprit. Remove the line that provides the A/C vacuum from the intake manifold and plug the port with your finger. If the miss goes away, use the 3/16" tubing trick to listen under the dash board to locate the source of the leak.

Still no luck? Check the remaining vacuum lines that connect to the intake manifold. Pinch each line with needle nosed pliers. The engine will smooth out when you've pinched the right one. If the hose has several branches, pinch close to the intake manifold first, then work your way down the branches to locate the one that's leaking. If pinching cracks the rubber hose, it has reached the end of its  service life and should be replaced anyway.

(Note. Pinching the PCV hose will cause a change in engine rhythm even if the PCV system is working properly.)

Here's the procedure to check for a burned valve or bad piston rings.

BURNED INTAKE VALVE: Remove the air cleaner and disable the ignition as described above. Use the 3/16" tubing trick again and place the end near the carburetor throat. Have someone open the throttle and spin the engine with the starter. If an intake valve is leaking, you will hear a hiss from the carb throat each time that cylinder goes over.

BURNED EXHAUST VALVE: Same procedure except use the tubing to listen in the vehicle's tail pipe. If an exhaust valve is leaking, you will hear the hiss in the tailpipe each time that cylinder comes up on compression stroke.

No burned valves? Next, determine which cylinder is missing. Start the engine and let it idle. Get a set of jumper cables and connect one end to the negative battery terminal. Using the clamp on the other end of the same cable, pull off and re-install the spark plug wires, one at a time. The grounded cable will prevent you from being shocked. Work carefully to avoid damaging the spark plug wires and boots.

Pulling the plug wire off a good cylinder will result in a change in engine rhythm. Keep going until you find the one that doesn't effect engine speed when removed.

When the missing cylinder is located, remove the spark plug, squirt some motor oil in the spark plug hole, and replace the spark plug. If oil in the cylinder improves compression (run the starter test again) worn piston rings are the problem. If compression doesn't improve, all that's left is broken rings,
cracked piston, blown head gasket, cracked head, cracked block, worn cam lobe, collapsed valve lifter, bent push rod, or broken valve spring.

The procedures described above should performed only by persons experienced with engine work and aware of the dangers involved. If you do not feel comfortable with any listed procedure, please seek out the help of a competent mechanic.

John Young

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
The Case of The Mysterious Miss:

Just when you think you've seen everything, a job will come along that puts you back to square one. One such case was a 1970 Mercedes 220-S 6 cylinder (gas) that had a bad miss at high speed but ran perfectly at idle. The owner said he had taken the car to several different shops but none had been able to solve the problem. He brought it to me on the recommendation of a friend. Gratified, I
accepted the job and looked forward to doing a little detective work.

The car had 161,000 miles on the clock but was in excellent condition inside and out. Lube stickers in the engine compartment showed the car had been serviced regularly. First, I ran a compression check. All cylinders tested slightly below factory specs but none varied more than 10 psi so I assumed all was well with the rings and valves. Next, I started the engine. It idled smoothly and steadily at
800 rpm. I removed each plug wire in turn and noted a 150 - 200 rpm drop as each cylinder was disabled; just what you'd expect from an engine in good condition.

Then I had an assistant put the transmission in drive, hold the brakes and slowly apply throttle. As the rpm came up to 2000 a distinct miss was evident. Again I pulled plug wires to identify the offending cylinder. Number 4 was dead. I held the plug wire about a half inch from #4 plug. This is a rough
'n' ready way to check for a fouled plug. The larger gap forces the coil to build up more voltage before discharging and will allow even a badly fouled plug to fire. The spark was fat and blue but the cylinder refused to fire.

As the engine returned to idle speed, #4 cylinder began firing smoothly as ever. The spark plug in #4 showed no evidence of fouling. The electrode was light tan in color and looked as if it had been operating normally. Just to be on the safe side, I installed a new spark plug, plug wire and checked inside the distributor cap for evidence of carbon tracking. This done, the miss returned as soon as engine was given throttle. What gives?

I ruled out a vacuum leak as this would cause the cylinder to miss at idle but begin firing at higher engine speed. Maybe the intake or exhaust cam lobes on #4 had worn down enough to
starve the cylinder at higher engine speed. This engine had a single overhead cam and cam followers. The valve cover came off easily. Finding no sign of unusual wear or broken valve
springs, I turned the engine by hand and measured the stroke of each valve with a dial indicator. No problem here. All were within a whisker of factory specs.

Running out of possibilities, I began considering what was left. Maybe some foreign object had gotten lodged in the intake manifold runner to #4 cylinder and was preventing sufficient flow of air\fuel mixture at higher engine speeds. Having nothing else to go on, I began unbolting the intake
and exhaust manifold assembly.

As soon as the manifolds came away from the cylinder head, the problem showed itself. The exhaust port on #4 was completely blocked with carbon deposits. Closer examination showed a tiny hole remained open - about the size of a pencil lead - just enough to allow the passage of exhaust gasses at idle. Back pressure at higher speeds prevented the cylinder from firing.

The problem was caused by a leaking exhaust valve guide seal on #4. Oil was leaking onto the hot exhaust valve and carbonizing. This had been going on for some time as the deposits reached several inches into the exhaust manifold. Some work with a hammer and small chisel cleared away all
deposits.

Changing the valve seal without removing the cylinder head was accomplished by pressurizing the cylinder with a spark plug\air chuck adaptor, then compressing and removing the valve springs with a special tool. The result was an engine that ran smoothly at all speeds and a very happy customer.

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
Dirty Tricks
Never judge a book by it's cover. That old saying holds true for choosing a
used car as well as picking a good book. Some folks will go to extraordinary
lengths to cover up an automotive problem that, if known to the prospective
buyer, would surely put a damper on the deal.
Sometimes its as innocent as putting on a set of seat covers to hide worn
upholstery, or as diabolical as adding a little brake fluid to an automatic
transmission to temporarily stop fluid leaks and\or slipping. Here's one of
the more memorable cases of used car skullduggery I've encountered over the
years.

Customer brought in a recently purchased Ford pick-up - 250 cid six engine
with a dead miss on one cylinder. Located the offending cylinder easily by
removing the plug wires one at a time with the engine at idle. The spark
plug looked okay, but a compression test on that cylinder showed nearly
zero. Removed the oil filler cap and cranked the engine with the ignition
disabled. This is an easy way to determine if the low compression problem is
due to broken rings or a cracked piston. As the bad cylinder comes up on
compression stroke, the air\fuel charge leaking past the piston into the
crankcase will show itself as a puff of vapor coming from the oil filler
cap. Nope! No problem there.

Next step is to take a look under the valve cover. Maybe bad push rod or
broken valve spring. Removing the valve cover, I was surprised to find what
looked like a greasy burlap bag. I removed layer after layer of burlap and
heavy grease until, finally, the rocker shaft appeared. All the rockers were
badly worn and evidently had not been receiving oil for a very long time.
The intake valve rocker on the cylinder that was missing was worn to the
point where the valve was not opening at all. The burlap and heavy grease
had effectively silenced the clatter.

Its not unusual for vintage Ford sixes and eights to develop poor oil flow
to the rockers. Aftermarket oiler kits solve the problem by directing oil
from a 'T' fitting installed at the oil pressure sending switch port on the
engine block to the rocker shaft(s) with copper lines.

A new rocker shaft, a set of rockers, and an oiler kit had the Ford purring
like a kitten. The owner, although quite please with the repairs, was none
too happy with the fellow who had sold him the truck. I won't repeat what he
said, but it sounded like the former owner was going to eat some burlap and
grease.
 

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 
The EGR Valve...Friend or Foe
Tips from an Old Time Mechanic

The EGR Valve...Friend or Foe


EGR means exhaust gas recirculator. It's purpose it to pass a portion of the exhaust gasses back through the intake manifold to recycle any unburned fuel and thereby reduce exhaust emissions. Normally, the valve only opens when the engine is running fast enough to recycle exhaust without hurting engine performance too much.

Basically, the EGR system provides a connection between the exhaust and intake manifolds via the heat riser passageways in the intake manifold.

The problems begin when the valve fails to close completely at idle like it's supposed to. A partly open or leaking EGR valve will cause the engine to run roughly at idle but have no noticeable effect at speed. The roughness is due to the introduction of exhaust gasses into the intake system which leans out the air\fuel idle mixture to the point where the engine begins to skip and miss. This condition is called 'lean roll'.

If your engine runs smoothly at idle, the valve is not leaking. To check for proper function at higher engine speeds, watch the valve push rod while giving the engine some throttle by hand. (The push rod is visible between the vacuum diaphragm and the valve body.) If you see the push rod move when
revving up the engine, the valve is probably ok.

Will it hurt your engine to run without an EGR valve? No, but it may be against the law to tamper with it. Does the EGR valve hurt engine performance? Yes, it does.

Of course, you and I would never break the law and tamper with the EGR valve, but some folks do....and here's how they do it.

1. If the engine runs smoothly at idle, the valve is not leaking and you can simply pull off the vacuum hose to defeat it. (Plug the hose to avoid rough idle resulting from the vacuum leak.)

2. If the engine runs rough at idle, remove the valve and weld or braze the valve to the valve seat. Re-install the valve. You can leave the vacuum hose on in this case. The valve will give no further trouble.

3. Or, remove the valve and using the gasket as a template, make a thin stainless steel plate. Put the plate between the valve and the intake manifold and re-install the valve. Leave the vacuum hose on. This, too, will cause the valve to give no more trouble.

So if your engine runs rough at idle and there are no obvious vacuum leaks, the EGR valve is a prime suspect.

*Note* I do not advocate the defeat of any pollution control device. :-)

John Young

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.

 

Pow-R-Lube 500 - INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ENGINE PRELUBE SYSTEM

Motor driven hydraulic pump system provides oil pressure before start-up.

Extends engine life. No more dry starts. Includes quick oil change function for

 NO MESS - NO FUSS oil changes without jacking up vehicle.

 
 Pow-R-Lube 350 - Oil change system without prelube function.

Everyone knows the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will last
Pow-R-Lube 350 makes do-it-yourself oil changes a snap
!

 

SOS Automotive Specialties Co.
2125 Colonial Drive

LaPlace, La. 70068

985.652.1756
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