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Snake oil car parts?


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This device was mounted on the firewall and connected to the vacuum line going to the manifold of my Hupp when I acquired it.  It’s not 100% complete since it is missing the backfire device.   I also know its intended purpose which I find hard to believe.  Could even hook it up but not put any oil in it so people could ask me about it.  Should I reinstall it?  Opinions from others appreciated!  What other snake oil car parts are are out there?

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It’s an upper end lubricator......... made popular by Marvel mystery oil. I removed one off a car last month. A waste of time and money. Modern oils are much better than what we had 80 years ago.

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

It’s an upper end lubricator......... made popular by Marvel mystery oil. I removed one off a car last month. A waste of time and money. Modern oils are much better than what we had 80 years ago.

i still use a top cylinder lubrication on my engine today, even today's better oil will not lubricate above the rings.

Edited by pontiac1953 (see edit history)
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Adding a top end lubricator is fine if you so desire. They have made hundreds of millions of automobile engines, and none has come with one from the factory that I am aware of. Some people just add the oil to the tank on fill up. I have never seen a car benefit from one, but I have seen issues caused by them. 

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

It’s an upper end lubricator......... made popular by Marvel mystery oil. I removed one off a car last month. A waste of time and money. Modern oils are much better than what we had 80 years ago.

I've got one on my 35 Buick,I think it helps.

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Why would anyone be foolish enough to go to the time and expense of boring cylinders, oversized pistons, rings, bearings, valves, guides, etc. when for under $5.00 you could have a complete overhaul without taking your engine apart? I can't imagine how automotive machine shops have stayed in business!!

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Upper cylinder oil and oilers were made by a number of reputable firms. In the 1920s 30s and 40s the ring and valve job was a routine part of car maintenance because the piston rings and valves wore out, and the cylinders got worn at the top. By adding special oil to the gasoline, or injecting it into the intake manifold you could cut upper cylinder wear in half. Marvel Mystery OIl was one brand, there were others like Bardahl, Motor Rhythm, Redex or in this case, Craveroil.

They were quite effective back in the day but became obsolete in the fifties as engines got better.

Given the problems some older engines have with valve wear and valve seat recession on unleaded gas, they might be a good addition to your vintage car. If you have trouble with valves sticking after prolonged storage one of these might solve that problem too.

 

The bottle device is the oiler. This one is made to vaporize the oil and feed oily mist into the intake manifold. 

 

A similar device was the Thompson Vitameter which injected a mixture of water, alcohol and tetraethyl lead to control spark knock. This allowed an engine to run 10:1 compression in 1951 when everyone else had 7.5:1 which produced better power and economy. It was factory equipment on the Crosley Hot Shot, and Oldsmobile used a similar device on the F85 Turbocharged V8 in 1961. These water injection devices had a bit of a comeback during the gas crisis of the 70s. They allowed running a high compression V8 on cheap unleaded gas and prevented valve seat recession and valve wear, knock, ping and overheating.

 

image.jpeg.671bf5e39ad3e5c1ec6109962e29bfb9.jpeg

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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On 2/8/2021 at 7:48 AM, Buick35 said:

I miss looking at their catalouges.Warshawskys were also good but I think J.C.Whitney's were better.I remember buying a pair of taillight lenses for my 55 Chevy convertible,solid red ones.I wish I had that car now.

the Warsawskys owned J.C.Whitney, LOL, NOTE to edinmass, don't know what you find so funny, was it the FACT i stated that Warsawskys did own the J.C.Whitney company ???

 

Edited by pontiac1953 (see edit history)
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We used to put stuff like "marvel" just in the fuel on the cars with crude "low flying bird catchers" or no air filter/flame arresters.

 

We never were cronic about.

 

Naturally our sleeve valve Willys Knight..didn't need extra upper cylinder lubrication..We almost needed a drip can at the tail pipe.!😀

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18 minutes ago, Graham Man said:

Thought they used water injectors also to cut down on carbon build up?  My Graham-Paige owners manual recommends pulling the head annually to scrape the carbon.  Can you imagine anyone doing that today?  The head on my eight needs two big guys to lift it off.

the cylinder head on my 1953 Pontiac 268 straight eight weighed 70 lbs.

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5 minutes ago, pontiac1953 said:

the cylinder head on my 1953 Pontiac 268 straight eight weighed 70 lbs.

 

The cylinder head on the smaller Buick Series 40 eight weighs over 100 lbs. The head on the larger 320 engine, being several inches longer must be quite a lot heavier. Put away somewhere I have a list of the individual component weights of all of the 1934 Buick models. From memory the big early 90 engine was 1100 lb fan to clutch. In comparison the 'new' 233 cid Series 40 was 'only' 795 lb - heavier than a big block Chev.

 

Coincidentally we are in the process of reassembling my 1929 Studebaker Dictator cabriolet. Without its engine/gearbox, radiator, bumper and two spare wheels it is really easy to push around. The engine gearbox unit made the engine lifter really grunt. I swapped the radiator core for another one yesterday - another heavy, awkward to lift, item. Add the bumper and two spare wire wheels and it is no wonder that the car weighs nearly 1000 lb more than our 1929 Plymouth sedan. 

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  At one time I had a couple boxes of this. I like the claim Lee Petty supposedly made "I'd rather race without tires than VX-6 in my battery". Conjures up an image of Lee Petty taking the checkered flag of the 1959 Daytona 500 on the rims but the battery fully flowing electrons! Some of the claims were so outrageous how could they be taken seriously?

LEE-PETTY-Champion-Nascar-Winner-VX-6-CADMIUM.jpg

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They repeated the stories they heard so many times they swore they remembered doing it themselves. I was about 13 (1958) when my Mom helped me buy some books. And I quit believing them. The books are still an arm's length away.

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a) Catalog was JCWhitney east of ole Miiss and Warshawski out west.

b) Catalog had lower prices than in store.

c) Looked like a vacuum ash tray firewall unit to me. Once saw a factory prototype Pontiac roadster with one and a rain activated roof just didn't have the $2k price at time (quite a few odd GM cars showed up in wintertime)

d) Was an episode of Roadkill about a burnout Camaro SBC (small block Chevvy) being saved (several times) with a can of "stuff". Repeated with a different car in a later episode.

e) Have a few Petty-Fones, does that count ?

 

 

pettyphones.jpg

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On 2/7/2021 at 4:12 PM, trimacar said:

Yeah, but fooling with cars in the 60’s, I probably wore out a couple of JC catalogs thumbing through them...

 

I had fun looking at reprints of old Sears/Roebuck and Montgomery Wards catalogs from 1904 or 1897. You'd see them a lot about 20 years ago. I wish they'd reprint the old 60's Whitney catalogs, too.

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, pontiac1953 said:

the Warsawskys owned J.C.Whitney, LOL

 

I never checked out the story but I was told many years ago that Warsawskys and J.C.Whitney were on opposite sides of a city block and they shared warehouse between the two store fronts.

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Used to see Sears and Monkey Ward cataloged a lot (mostly hanging in outhouses).

I found that ATF (Automagic Transmission Fluid)can do the same as Marvel Mystery Oil and can be used as a hand cleaner.

Remember a friend saying that a can of STP (STudebaker Packard) oil treatment aka "motor honey" aka "viscosity improver"  could save an engine that lost oil pressure, for about three seconds (my Corvette had a 7 quart trap-door baffled oil pan & a windage tray - in 1970).

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20 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

A similar device was the Thompson Vitameter which injected a mixture of water, alcohol and tetraethyl lead to control spark knock. This allowed an engine to run 10:1 compression in 1951 when everyone else had 7.5:1 which produced better power and economy. It was factory equipment on the Crosley Hot Shot, and Oldsmobile used a similar device on the F85 Turbocharged V8 in 1961. These water injection devices had a bit of a comeback during the gas crisis of the 70s. They allowed running a high compression V8 on cheap unleaded gas and prevented valve seat recession and valve wear, knock, ping and overheating.

Here is a link to the text from the Crosley write up on the Vitameter. Rare to find one still on a Crosley but a few have shown up.

QuickSilver.jpg

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Olds turbocharged a version of the 215 aluminum Buick V8 (215cid/215 hp). One horse per cubic inch was astounding for an American V8 then. Corvair had a 180 hp 164 cid 6. Chev FI was a 370 hp 327 (1965), and then there was the Studebaker R3.

 

Friend had a turbo Cutlass with a four speed and was quick.

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On 2/7/2021 at 5:55 PM, 0001 said:

Fuel line magnets. 

Double your gas mileage!😜

 

In the early 80's my dad had a Ford pickup that was only good for about 8mpg. At the state fair he was drawn in by a fella with a similar device. He proclaimed to be the inventor; GM was trying to destroy him, he was dying of cancer but wanted to spread his invention as much as possible before he died. I think dad paid $45.

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5 hours ago, Morgansdad said:

Without hijacking this thread, Does anyone here use Marvel Mystery Oil and does it work for you or a waste of money ?

On the 93 F150, which uses a quart of oil every 800-1000 miles, I add a quart of either MMO or blue Rislone to the crankcase the last time I add oil before its next scheduled oil change. May not help but doesn't appear to hurt anything. I've never used it as a fuel additive myself but a friend adds 8 oz per fillup on all his older stuff. 

 

What you smell is wintergreen oil, which is useful in breaking rusted fasteners loose. 

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I remember a family friend back in the 1960's told my parents he had discovered a device which would improve traction for cars while cornering. It was some kind of sliding weight mechanism, which supposedly would shift a counterweight to the side of the rear axle which was on the inside of a turn, putting more weight on the wheel which would normally be "lifting" under the G-forces. I remember my Dad smiling politely and listening to the spiel. But later as we drove home, Dad told Mom and I that it was a complete hoax and "snake oil" product, which our friend (who was not a car guy) had fallen for. 

 

Is anyone familiar with such a product? Curious now about how it claimed to work. 

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