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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - 'Slick' type products

Do these after market luberication enhances really work for engins, gearbox and backaxles? Do they help with the Rover SD1 box in particular!
Thanks for any opinions.
Richard E

Check the archives on this. Loads of expert opinions - General consensus is "stay away" as modern oils have everything they need... From a man who always used Slick 50.

Better putting the money to changing fluids more often
Stuart Robson

BTW Do use use ATF in the SD1 Box?
Stuart Robson


Avoid see long post.

This is the transcript of an AA article published in Motor May 10th 1986.

The widely-advertised oil additive Slick 50 has been soundly slammed by the AAs Technical Services.
The AA claim that their tests show Slick 50 provides no fuel savings when it is added to a cars engine oil and there is no evidence of any other benefits under normal operating conditions.
The AA have made no press or public announcement of their report, but have produced a leaflet for the benefit of any paid-up members who apply for one. An AA member on Motors staff applied for a report in the normal way.
The report states that whilst there is no evidence the product will do harm to the engine, one good point is that most of it will be very rapidly removed by the oil filter. At about 12 per treatment, say the AA, it is a very expensive way of coating your oil filter element.
The AA performed tests by taking three identical cars and carefully running them in, splitting the driving equally among their test drivers. Oils were changed at 1500 miles, the cars were run a further 500 miles to stabilise the oils viscosity, the cars tuning was carefully checked and steady speed fuel consumptions and power outputs were measured.
The report says: The procedure is so sensitive that, for instance, leaving the headlamps of the car switched on will make a nonsense of the results due to the extra drag of the charging system.
Engineers added Slick 50 to two of the cars in the recommended way at 3000 miles.
After a further 2000 miles, further dynamometer tests were carried out. One car should show the sort of gradual change expected of a car in good condition says the report, whereas two should show a noticeable improvement . Here came the big disappointment. After our several months of careful testwork, we could not distinguish any difference between the three cars.
The AA claimed that all cars were performing well, but performance was remarkably consistent , within a few percent.
The AA say that a detailed examination of the claims made for the product will explain what happens when Slick 50 is added to an engine. Of one gallon of petrol burnt in an engine, says the report, some 60 percent of the energy will be lost as heat from the exhaust and cooling system. That leaves 40 percent and some 25 percent is used to drive the car and its accessories. The remaining 15 percent goes to losses such as pumping air into the engine (6 percent) and some 9 percent is lost as engine friction. Of that 9 percent, 6 percent is lost in churning the oil and only 3 percent of the total input goes into the sort of boundary friction that a solid lubricant could affect. If tests of Slick 50 did show a 16 percent decrease in this friction, as claimed in current advertisements, says the report, it would only affect the cars overall consumption by a half of one percent.
The AA also claim that their tests show there is no evidence that Slick 50 produces a surface layer on the engine wearing surfaces, let alone one that could last for 100,000 miles.

On questioning John Rowland, Silkolene/Fuchs Chief R&D Chemist for 40 years about additives, I received the following reply.


The AA report encapsulates my opinion of Slick 50, it is an expensive way of blocking your oil filter, Believe me, it does precisely nothing beneficial. It has been proven time and time again that it just blocks oil filters and oilways.

For all other magic additives, most are based on 1930s technology corrosive chlorinated paraffins. (synthetic anti-seize compounds originally made 70 years ago. They are cheap, toxic and corrosive. We use them in certain types of cutting oil!) Do not touch them with somebody elses bargepole!

UCLs on the other hand can be useful. After all, 2-strokes in effect run entirely on UCL. Sothe best UCLs are 2-stroke oils! I always tell people to use a decent 2-stroke at 0.5% or 1%, because they are superior to the UCLs sold as UCLs if you get my drift. A litre of Super 2 Injector or Comp-2 will be better than a cupful of cheap mineral oil dyed red (no prizes for guessing the name) any day.

Vee engines (twins, to V8s) benefit from UCLs because the upper walls of the RH cylinder bank, looking from the front, always run dry. Think about it!



What is a UCL?
Jim Blackwood


It took me a while, but I worked it out!

Upper cylinder lubricants!

Ian Buckley


Please read:-

which deals with lubrication of the LT77 gearbox and the R380.

In summary for the LT77 Castrol TQF Auto Trans Fluid or other makers equivalent and in the R380 Castrol Dextron II or Dextron III or other makers equivalent in the earlier boxes and Texaco MTF94 (or possibly Castrol SMX-S) in the later (post August 1988) R380's.

My view would be to avoid any other lubricants, or additives like the plague.


Nigel J S Steward


I have used various oils in LT77 boxes and offer the following comments based on my limited experience.

EP80/90 hypoid Oils.
Never noticed the heavy shift reported elsewhere but have broken oil pumps. NOT Recommended because of pump failures.

ATF Type F.
Poor synchro performance and excessive wear of gear selector forks. NOT Recommended.

ATF Type Dextron II.
Good synchro performance and good wear performance. Recommended.

Are you having particular problems with the LT77 gearbox?

Dave Brooke

This is my personal opinion on additives.

Manufactures spend lots of $$$testing different lubricants and filters, with the result of this test they write the manuals with specific recommendations on different driving conditions, etc. I personally do not use any additives and use the recommneded oil by the manufacturer on all of my vehicles.
If Fram filters were as good they say they are, then GM, Ford etc. would use them, but they don't.
Use what the manufacturer recommends and save your $$$

The only additive that is endorse by GM is a break in oil additive for rebuild engines and their Posi traction oil additive which they both are sold with the GM Logo.
Additives in my opinion is a waste of money.
Short story:
Two spec race cars, same engine, trans, tires etc.
Lubricants are not covered in the rules. One car was using an oil additive, the other synmtetic oil only, 5 races later the car with the oil additive engine fail, the other went to finish the season. End of story.
Bill Guzman

Many years ago I was privileged to work for Mobil Oil in a training program, & attended a number of lectures & seminars. One of these delt with additives. Long before Slick50, additives were a serious problem for consumers & oil companies alike. A senior research scientist talked about the exhaustive research that went into the additive package for various Mobil Oil products & flatly stated that none of the additivies available were beneficial & most were harmful. I doubt if anything has changed.

All major oil companies spend huge amounts of money developing & TESTING the additives used in their oils & gasoline. They spend all this money to obtain or maintain a competitive advantage. It is hard to believe that someone has made a discovery in their basement workshop & tested it & found it superior to the products used by a major oil company.

Jim Stuart

OK chaps I have slapped my wrists for even thinking about it! Many thanks for the feedback.
Dave Brooke- not rearly having problems with LT77, just a little notchy at times, when cold, (car that is) thinking about it.
Thanks again
Richard E


Notchy shift when cold is a commonly reported problem with the normal recommended cure being to run ATF or MTF.

If thats the only problem your doing alright!

As far as I can find out the original 1970's LT77 spec said use ep90 type oil but this was changed to ATF in the early 1980's.

As Nigel wrote the Dextron II or III ATF seems to be the current normal recommendation for the LT77.

Interestingly, it is also the recommended lubricant for BW/Tremec T5 family of gearboxes.


Dave Brooke

This thread was discussed between 13/09/2004 and 16/09/2004

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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