Preserving Performance Helping Engines Keep Their Edge
By David Vizard
Preserving performance should be a factor foremost in the mind of any performance engine shop. Taking steps to preserve performance not only preserves or enhances your reputation but it also has the same effect on your bank balance. When a high performance engine starts to lose its edge it can almost always be traced back primarily to ring seal and, to a lesser extent, valve seal.
If bore and ring wear can be reduced the repercussions are all positive. Not only do the compression components last longer and perform better but the fact that less iron particles are finding their way into the oil means less bearing wear as well. There are a ton of products out there that claim to make wear reductions and I, along with 99 percent of pro engine builders, tend to regard them mostly, and with good reason, as snake oils. But occasionally there are exceptions. Here are two that you can not only save but actually make money on.
We all know that N2O injection is instant power but lurking in the background there is always the concern that it carries with it the penalty of extra wear. So long as the quantities of nitrous injected are within the engine’s ability to deal with it without breaking, the next issue is bore and ring wear. This is normally increased as a consequence of higher cylinder pressures forcing the top ring harder against the cylinder walls. This inevitably breaks down the oil film and the bores and rings experience accelerated wear.
Nitrous Express has the fix for this and I don’t mean a "sort-of" fix but a total fix. Their new additive not only enhances the combustion process, especially when the nitrous is in operation, but also a group of the additive’s components burn to a very high film strength synthetic lube. During the combustion process this is literally blasted onto the cylinder walls at about a molecule or so thick. Because of the nature of the process and its cyclic replacement, the rings, theoretically at least, should never touch the cylinder walls.
So how well does it work? I ran some 250-hour before-and-after tests using two identical engines to evaluate the anti-wear components of this fuel additive. The results were nothing short of sensational. The absolute worst-case scenario was a 600 percent reduction in bore and ring wear and the average reduction was in excess of 5,000 percent!
I have to say that it proved so good I doubted my own tests and wondered if some factor I had overlooked had influenced the results. Fortunately, my confidence in these tests was restored when I heard that Caterpillar’s tests showed even better results.
The anti-wear function of Nitrous Express’ additive is good for all engines, N2O injected or not, as it will make a production engine last well beyond even the most optimistic of expectations. Some power tests on my otherwise stock N2O injected 5.0L Mustang with a moderate 100 hp kit revealed that the power increased 2 percent (4 hp) without the nitrous in operation and 5 percent (15 hp) with the nitrous on.
Talking to some racers using substantially greater nitrous loads indicates my power results may be somewhat conservative. However, they are my results, conservative or not, so until I run some really high power tests that’s all I am laying claim to. Power and wear aside there are a lot more pluses to this Nitrous Express additive. My advice is to give them a call at 940-767-7694 (fax 940-767-7697) or go online at www.nitrousexpress.com and get the full details.
I doubt there is a pro engine shop in the country that does not have any air tools such as die grinders and the like. Because I cater so much in my writings for the enthusiast I often find I am testing equipment that is of a quality more likely to be used by the enthusiast than the pro.
Nowhere does this apply more than with cheap, air driven die grinders. I go out and buy different brands to establish just how many cylinder heads they will do before having the almost inevitable bearing failure. Over the last five years I must have run at least a dozen different grinders in the $20-30 range. All seemed to be consistent in lasting between 6 weeks and 3 months.
Then two things happened. I bought a $19.95 Xcell die grinder from Home Depot and BND Automotive introduced its all-new Quantum Blue air tool lube. After over 12 months of use my Xcell grinder still has zero slack in the bearings and functions every bit as well as the day I bought it. Was this the grinder or the lube? My old but sound lathe was running smoother when I topped up the headstock oil with the BND stuff. Also the lead screws and slides ran smoother when I used it there.
Last but not least, a 2-cycle weed eater that had a propensity to tighten up and stop now, with 6 drops of BND additive per fill up (in addition to the regular 2 cycle oil) doesn’t. All good indicators that this stuff works but none proof positive.
A little research here settled the argument. It seems that one of BND’s customers is a big contractor in the aerospace industry. It had a lot of hand-trimming to do on a particular aircraft component and the $340 German-built, 22,000-rpm die grinders were lasting 3 months. After this contractor adopted the BND lube it was able to use $35 die grinders while achieving twice the service life. After finding this out I put some of this additive into about every machine in the shop including my overworked air compressor.
This air tool lube, with the NASA technology used to develop it, seems to have a million and one uses. It is not sold in tool stores yet, but things could change. Meanwhile call BND at 440-821-9040. For more information check out its Web site at www.bndautomotive.com.