How I make my own PTFE (Teflon) motor oil additive for small engines on our farm
A product named “Slick 50®” came out in the late 1970s purporting to increase engine life dramatically. The sales pitch, as I remember, was that a large percentage of engine wear occurs in the first minutes of a cold start, before oil has a chance to get between moving parts. Slick 50 had tiny PTFE (aka Teflon®) particles in the formulation which helped prevent engine wear during those critical first minutes.
I took notice when my then brother-in-law, who used Slick 50 in just about everything, forgot to replace the oil in a lawnmower he was working on. The engine apparently ran for about 20 or 30 minutes before he discovered his error. I suspect a small engine with no oil will run, at best, 5 or 10 minutes before seizing. So the fact that my bro-in-law still had a working lawnmower after his mishap was enough evidence for me to try Slick 50 in my engines.
As I recall, “Slick 50” was selling then for about $20/quart. When we moved to our farm, I decided to experiment with a home-made version.
BTW, I purchased a bottle of Slick 50 a few years ago and noticed that the characteristic cloudy appearance (caused by the PTFE particles) was no longer apparent. I called the company, and was told that they now use a different additive - the PTFE particles are no longer part of the formulation because the particles were being filtered out by newer, improved auto oil filters.
I figured there might be a market for the old formulation with small engines, most of which have no oil filters. But I guess they figured it might confuse their customers. In any case, for my small 4-stroke engines, I now make my own PTFE formulation, which, btw, is much less expensive...
Because I can't afford to do good comparison testing, my only evidence that those little PTFE particles work is that my small engines seem to run a little cooler and with better power when I use my homemade additive. I don't use it with my 2-stroke engines (chainsaws, etc.)
Go to next page to see how I make it.