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MG MGB Technical - additives in general

Hi all, it's been recommended to me to add several types of additives to keep my cars, '50TD and '71B, "healthy". Just wondering what everyone's take is on this. One of our club mechanics recommends "Engine Restorer" at each oil change. Another recommends "Sea Foam" in the fuel tank to keep that system running well. Then there's the whole zddp issue. In the past I have indeed used the Engine Restorer and added a couple of squirts of Lucas Fuel Injection cleaner in the tank. Your thoughts please.
Keith Yarbrough(TD 1275)

A well maintained vehicle shouldn't require any "miracle" additives to prolong its life expectancy. I've owned my '67 B for forty three years and run it on premium fuel, due to the addition of a supercharger system,and Castrol 20W50 oil. I've never encountered any issues while using these products. A car, with an unknown history on the other hand, may well show some improvement in performance due to a dirty fuel fuel system and oil that was rarely changed. However, these products can lead to the opening of a can of worms when the suspended compounds start to clog the engine's oiling system and the various passages inside the carburetor. Caveat Emptor. RAY
rjm RAY

Since you are in CA I assume you can not access alcohol free gasoline. I would therefore recommend Sta-Bil or equal, as used for marine engines. In my opinion ethanol contaminated gasoline, when left in stored vehicles causes problems. As to engine oil there is extensive information in the archives addressing ZDDP levels and users experience with various oils.


Jim Haskins 1953 TD
J. M. Haskins

The only "additive" I use on my V8's, is engine flush, prior to draining my "classic" 20w 50. V8's are bit prone to sludging, and as well as 4000mile oil change intervals I feel the flush helps to keep the hydraulic tappets in good condition. Don't know about the fuel additive but if it helps to neutralise the ethanol for storage purposes, can only be good.
Allan Reeling

Thanks for all the responses. Ray, thanks for the input. I also run Castrol 20W/50. I use the high mileage when available. Unless I can find Valvoline VR-1 cheaply, I ususally go this route. Jim, I too use Sta-Bil but have only been using it during the winter time. Probably wouldn't hurt to use a little even during the driving season. Allan, I used an engine flush on my '74 midget when I was a younger man. It seemed to work I guess. Didn't know too much at that point but it always ran really well. It still clocked at 92 mph flat out and that was when it was 10 years old when I sold it. Can't have a two seater car with a four seater family. Again, thanks for all the input.
Keith Yarbrough(TD 1275)

I can vouch for pre-change engine flush on V8s at least. I used it every other change at 3k intervals for many tens of thousands of miles while I was using it up to 150 miles per day - oil and filter change every 4 weeks, a bit overkill I agree! When I had occasion to remove the manifold gasket the crankcase was a light golden brown after some 60k in my ownership and 160k in total. According to pictures on one website that equated to 'very low mileage', a high mileage example being black an cruddy. Nevertheless the flush goes in completely clear, and although the oil has hardly any colour on the dipstick (unlike the roadster) it drains jet black. The only places I have found sludge in my engine are in a couple of small recesses in the heads that do not drain.
Paul Hunt

Be cautious when using engine flushes. Not that long ago, a customer bought a used truck and added engine flush to the oil, like he does to every used vehicle that he has bought for the last twenty years. He drove the large engined truck, on the highway, and didn't pay attention to his oil pressure gauge. Well, the oil pickup screen became so clogged with sludge that it cut off the feed to the oil pump. A few minutes later, the crankshaft snapped in half and a moment later the block cracked in half.I had to search high and low for a replacement 454 CI Chevy big block and then install the big, heavy SOB into his truck. RAY
rjm RAY

The need for injector cleaner is widely accepted. If you can't avoid ethylene completely then we also have to prevent the water it attracts causing rust.... injectors especially don't like water.
Like Paul, I have been changing oil every 3K since the sixties and never had probs with sludge. It's easy to forget that engine oil is the main cooler and cleaner as well as lubricator. The current engineering advice is to use flushing oil only when you have reason to believe you might have swarf in the system and then to flush out the flushing oil with a normal grade oil to be sure that your final choice of oil will not be diluted. It makes flushing an expensive operation !
...and I opened my first Rover/Buick 3.5 at 220K english miles. It was the colour that Paul describes above.
Keith, we are running two B Series engines, one fuel-injected 3.9 . We used to go looking for Duckhams but now use the cheapest 20-50 in the B series engines. Only the 2Ltr BMW get different treatment - full synthetic twice each year. Expensive ? maybe but we work all four engines hard and expect a long life from them all.
Roger Walker

This thread was discussed between 14/11/2015 and 16/11/2015

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