The Truth About Oil Additives?

Home Bottled Oil

Home Bottled Oil

One of my friends who has been a practicing mechanic for 55 years informs me of how much engines have changed over the years. He’s built a lot of race engines, has hours and hours of time on the dyno and has seen the damage done by infrequent oil changes in modern engines. Part of the problem is a mentality that an extended warranty means you don’t need to do oil changes or you can do them less frequent because if anything goes wrong you’re covered.

Newer designs take less torque to turn over, lower tension in the piston rings, roller cams, and more. Part of this effort is to make the engine more compatible with modern engine oils that are more compatible with emission systems. Antiwear agents containing certain metals can kill a catalytic converter.

But what about our old engines? Especially our older diesel engines with mechanical fuel pumps, and old-style cams? What about journal widths, the bearing surface area and more?  I think the answer is clear, antiwear agents were part of the lube oil package when these engines were developed, and they are needed if you are going to get the expected life out of your engine that was designed knowing these antiwear agents were there to mitigate some of the wear.  I see a number of additives designed especially for these engines,  and I certainly use it in my lister six one.  As for the fuel oil, people have been using ATF as a fuel additive for many years, and if you have an older diesel running this new low sulfur fuel, you might consider adding a little lubricity to the fuel? Of course, there will be others who will tell you your pump will be fine on the new fuel, but do check the cost of a new pump, and consider how cheap a little ATF could be as a preventative.

Yes, this is an old conversation, but I think there’s even less wear protection in lube oil today than the last time we discussed it.


Posted in Engines, Slow Speed Engines, Small Diesels | Tagged | 4 Comments

Happy New Year 2020 DIYers!

Tesla Fans!

“Ava says “Dad Needs this flashy red Tesla”




Zach continues to like math, he’s passed me up in doing multiplication in his head, he’s behind the wheel of the Tesla above, his Sister Ava is Zach’s understudy, it’s given me a lot of insight into the advantages of being the second kid.

After a long sabbatical, I think I’m back. I wanted to update you on a few things I get asked about, and then share my direction. I will appreciate your input.

First, it might be hard to believe, but it’s fairly easy to make money that costs you more to file federal income tax on than it’s worth.  I’ll give you the example of Bill Rogers, the way he got paid for his ebook included forms that force you into filing a far more complicated and expensive Federal Tax Filing. In Bill’s case, he took the ebook off the market, because his CPA was charing him more for all the extra paperwork than his share of the proceeds. Basically, Amazon,  the CPA, the IRS were all happy with the arrangement, but not Bill.

I have some very minor oil and gas interests, last year I got $63 worth of checks from these royalties, but spent just shy of $200 to account for the money I received. I have a friend that keeps very close track of his petty royalty money and then claims the money came to him in a miscellaneous way, he makes sure to claim it all, and figures it will be less hurt if he gets audited, but says he’s tired of losing money in the making of it.

I may have found a way to accept small contributions to keep this site on the air and to improve it, I keep and active, and I pay a hosting company to keep these things up. Kirk Vandenberg has also been doing me a large favor of keeping blogging software up, I have sent him money for a meal out at times, but I have not rewarded him in a long time.

So here’s my idea, I’ll accept a gift to help keep this site on the air, in exchange for internet-delivered digital CDs and possibly copies of Bill’s book. According to the last person, he was able to download all of the CD info onto his hard drive. I think a $20 fee would be the recommended donation, but accept less if people are strapped.  I’ll consider stepping up to that big fee of making more paper books if there was enough interest expressed here.

About a week ago, a professor teaching at a University in the US was alarmed by all the websites saying you could download Bill’s book for free, but nowhere could he do so. in addition Amazon had listed it, but he couldn’t download it!  I think the free offers are just trying to harvest a ‘click-through’ from you that produces revenue for them. I told the Professor, I’d check in with Bill, and get him a copy one way or another, and that was done.

I found running a small business no fun at all, in order to meet all the requirements of City, Country, State, and Fed, you need a pretty good set of books, and the last copy of QuickBooks I bought was expensive. I did have a CPA for a while, but it was another business that made that feasible.

I doubt my donations will ever exceed my expenses, but if they ever do, I’ll claim the income as miscellaneous.  I do have a number of garage sale items around here, and I should make people aware of what I have before I get rid of it. If it doesn’t fit in a flat rate box, I’d like to sell it out of the shop door.

One of the things I need to do is hire a person to go through old pages and remove offers and prices, all the pages are well marked that they are for reference only, but no one sees that. Occasionally I get a big thank you from someone who found an answer to their problem on my pages, this has caused me to leave them up all these years.

Still, there’s reason to have more discussion here. I think DIYers will eventually inherit the earth, no one else will be able to pay the man to keep all their stuff running.

All the best, and Happy New Year!

George B.

Posted in Announcements, Products | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Is It Time To Analyze Crossover Sales?


The Crossover fad appears to be in full swing, and it seems that every Mom wants one, or something even larger? They sit higher, some have the 4WD option, and many are sold in areas where it will never snow.  Many people who buy them will never leave the pavement, so what is driving the Crossover popularity? according to a few reports, crossovers give up mileage due to their higher stance, and higher drag coefficient numbers, some say about 41mpg for a more streamlined car like the Prius, VS 32 mpg for a crossover.

In the news during the last few weeks are stories of discontinued cars that seem to be more efficient than the pickups and crossovers that people want.  That person who told you that you had no business driving a pickup around? Will she buy one for herself this coming year? I do keep hearing people say both the pickup and the crossovers are easier to get into and out of, maybe that’s the draw?

Where did all those people go who were insisting we all drive tiny efficient cars? With all the table pounding and endless testaments for the EVs and Hybrids, there aren’t enough real buyers to keep the well engineered Chevrolet Volt in production? Does it make you wonder about the sales potential of the Teslas?  Yes, they may be a great car, but will large numbers of people shell out the money with their range limitations?

A car to keep your eye on is the Mazda crossovers, people want them, and the 2019 model promises great mileage and even lower emissions.  If you’re in the business of selling cars, it’s always nice to know the difference between what people say they want, and what they’ll actually buy. Mazda may actually know that.


Posted in Critical Thinking, Engines, In The News, Vehicle Design | 7 Comments

There is a new trend underway!



This post is short and sweet, Big Oil has been under attack for some time and has been looking for a cost-effective insurance policy and a way they may become better accepted by the Social Justice Warriors?

Yes, Big Oil and others are on the brink of offering their full support for Carbon Taxes, after all, it is you who will pay them, and it is them who will get the credit for enslaving you to them.

About two years back, I watched Monsanto start to yield to the left, there message has been changing, and it reminds me of what I saw in the National Geographic some years back when they seemed more willing to embrace pseudoscience.

The big question is will the public submit to writing the government the blank to tax us at the rate they think necessary, and will people like Greenspan find a job within yet another powerful government oversee responsible to no one? What do you think?

Posted in Critical Thinking | 28 Comments

It’s a brand new day, but almost exactly like days of the past.

Will this activity create a new business for you?

Oh the shock, oh the Horror of it all! I’ve actually heard people say they’d leave the country. Personally, I’m beginning to think that Washington DC is making every effort to take business away from Hollywood, I mean who needs a movie to watch when the daily and nightly news is so entertaining?

Here in the Seattle area, we have something very interesting going on, it’s our Sound Transit Authority who was given far more authority via the ballot box. It’s all about rails, and building a train, a  system I’ll never use because I won’t live long enough to see it, but of course I’ll pay the full measure of taxes.

Here south of Seattle, my property taxes are far more than the monthly payments including home owners insurance were, and I’m glad I did pay off my Mortgage as it would be difficult to tender it all today as a retired guy, but it’s even higher now with ST3 passing.

Let me zoom in on what counties in and around Puget Sound are up too.  The Voters granted Authority to our Sound Transit to levy a tax on car tabs, but to the surprise of many, they have had a different way of valuing cars, and that is to claim they’re worth far more than what you paid for them in many cases. I think the worst case might be seen in three-year old luxury cars, the original owners dump them at three years, because it’s just not cool to have that old of car. Those who buy them get all that luxury at a modest price because the supply of these cars during good times is quite high.

So let’s say you bought a car that listed new at $110.000 and you paid $42,000 for it. Our transit authority was granted authority to assess value with their own formula, and that in some cases has been to use the new list price. So our value shopper goes to buy new tabs for his present car, and is ordered to pay an additional 1.1 percent of >their< valuation. In the case of our well equipped but out of style AMG Mercedes V12, that might be an additional $1500.00 or more. For those on a fixed income, there’s an additional surprise, as your property tax is now higher as well. And if you have a vacant lot that is classified as unsuitable  for building , don’t expect that they spared you the tax even though it doesn’t add to a traffic problem.

But why do I share this? Because all we need do is turn to the past to see how the public responded to a similar event where they choose to punish you more if you are the Ant, and where they plan on giving you a free ride if you are the grasshopper. And of course, if you are an illegal grasshopper, Seattle will even invite you in and allow you to pitch a tent!

So back to making money? Well maybe we touch on the British Window Tax first. Their Lords and learned men decided that a man who could afford large windows in his home need pay a far higher tax.  Soon, there were jobs, and plenty of them for those who specialized in removing big windows, and fitting small ones. As as you could imagine, their were craftsmen busy making new doors full of glass.

Seattle isn’t a creative city, almost nothing the Government does here is new, so we know the new opportunity here is NOT unique. Remember the Toyota Tacoma? It was a popular small pickup, it sold quite well here, now we need a Chevy Seattle!

The Chevy Seattle is sold as a stripper, it’s even radio delete! It’s the perfect hot rod for some, as it’s the lightest car you can buy and it saves you hours of work tossing out the heater, radio, AC, insulation, window crank motors, trim, and more. Of course it’s rear wheel drive, and a bit like the original Datsun 510.

Now don’t worry, every amenity you could dream of is at your dealer, and since there will be a decent demand for used parts, you’ll shop on ebay. So you’re thinking, how do I get a part of this action? I think there will be a segment of the population here that WILL buy pre ruined cars, cars with branded titles will cost far less to register each year, and if you take a ball peen hammer to every inch of that Mercedes, it’ll retain all of the luxury, but likely be classified as a rolling total. Tod Bjorkman is perhaps one of the better researchers I know, when I mentioned dimpling a car, Tod quickly researched the idea, and found someone who took the golf ball idea and applied it to a car claimed notable better mileage!

Now… there’s that rolling total in Rapid City, everything works fine, but there’s a gash from the front head light to the rear bumper, could you buy it and put it in the paper? allow a family headed to Seattle on vacation a small fee to drive it there? will there be a new car  lot called rolling totals? Another one called drive a dent?

all I’m suggesting is the Puget Sound Basin is going to become the home of JUNKER cars. Now don’t worry about emissions, as the car only needs pass ODB2 scan, and I’d also imagine that Seattle will become the dumping ground for cars with these problems if they can be valuated CHEAPER.

Our law makers in Olympia recently throttled back some of the insane valuations ST3 has made, but it’s still high, and Washington State itself wants a pound of your flesh when you buy a new car as well, sales tax here is nearly 10 percent, and they insist you pay the high blue book price unless you have the proper documentation.

So to close, if you are to sell cars in Seattle, I’d advise you to advertise the lower price your customer will pay for his license tabs EVERY year.  You got the idea, what will stop a used car lot from selling a car minus a lot of easily removed parts? Who needs a back seat to go to work? And does the law require you have a trunk lid and hood?

George B.



Posted in In The News, Strange Stuff, Survival Skills | Tagged | 7 Comments

Developing Instructions to use a Toaster

Ava-her Cat

Grand Daughter Ava and her Cat

One of the more brilliant technical works I have ever read was authored by Forrest Mims, but I’m not sure if there’s even a hand full of people that really know why they are such great works. My summary of his work? It’s like pouring knowledge out of a can. It’s rather dumb founding how clearly written his explanations are.

Forrest wrote a whole series of Electronic books for Radio Shack and many of us learned from him.  Fact is, I keep a number of his books on my shelf as a quick reference. One book that really shows off Forrest’s talent to communicate clearly is a book called Understanding Digital Computers, Forrest designs a nibbler processor to teach the inter workings of a computer, and you walk away with a deeper understanding than most people will ever have.

But now I’ll tell you the secret, and if you are a developer of anything that needs instructions, it can put you light years ahead of others including your competition. Forrest was learning as he wrote! This allowed him to explain what he was doing in terms that a person just learning could understand, because he was just one step ahead of his audience.

I write this because the last few days, I have been pouring over the worst of the worst technical manual I have ever read. The instruction was written by a man that has done the work so many times, there’s no way he can really relate to the person who is doing it the first time. I found an account given by two geeks, (both engineers) who took a week to complete the same work, the Author calls it a 10 hour job, but I didn’t do any better than the two geeks.

The biggest mistake you’ll make is giving the job to document the assembly or the use of a product to the man who knows it best. If you want clear and concise instruction, you find someone who knows absolutely nothing about it.

I’ve been studying this process for 40 years or more, and I just think it must be counter intuitive for managers to grasp that they need the untrained to write the manual so the untrained can learn it best. Sure thing, they’ll struggle, but they will discover the majority of the potential misunderstandings in the first draft.

Next thing I’ll write about is a product that Marketing said needs no lubrication ever, but the lack of lubrication takes out the poorly designed controller that then takes out the motor. How could they get it so wrong? Well.. it happens after warranty so no big deal…. (for them).

All the best,

George B.

Posted in Critical Thinking, Inspirational People | 3 Comments

David Edgington R.I.P.

David's Alfa

How is it you learn of the Men who have the Answers? If you ask enough questions, if you are tenacious in your pursuit, you’ll likely find Men like David Edgington.

David has passed away this May 22, 2016; we had spoke of health issues, and David mentioned he was having good days, and others not so good. David was not a man to sit idle. when at home, he was gardening, or providing answers to those researching iron.

David started Stationary Engine Magazine, a most wonderful creation put together with a full measure of love. The Quality of the photos, and stories of Stationary Power that had been ‘on line’ for a lifetime or more in some occasions were items I read over and over. How could a curious person who is inclined to study mechanicals not study Stationary Engines?

It is the past that gives us insight into the Future, to understand what made a prime mover of the past viable helps us make assessments of today’s power plants. Among the most basic requirements is the cost of maintenance, can you afford to maintain the power plant and still make a profit?

We find legendary masterpieces at Internal Fire, they were built for a ethical purpose, and at the top of the list of design priorities was to provide value to those who invested in them.

David Edgington Authored a number of well researched books, and over here in North America, we found many questions about the differences of manufacture of the CS models. It’s rather amazing how many times a person would finally resort to pulling David’s book from the shelf and finding the answer, it left the rest of us wondering… “why didn’t I do that?”

This is in no way a proper tribute to David, he really was so unselfish with his time, and I will never forget the times people would write me from some ‘far off’ place, and tell me how excited they were to get an email back from David!  It was more than just an answer, as David was always interest in your find, and left so many who wrote him feeling as if they had found a friend.

David, you were a rare man, and I am so glad our paths crossed. My Condolences to your Friends and Family, and there’s no doubt there’s a place for you in Heaven ….. amongst the Iron so many of us love.  For those who find Tributes, please consider sharing a link or information by using the comments tool.  And M.M, sorry for your loss, I think of you often, we are friends always.

George B.

Links you might explore:



Posted in Announcements, Engines, In The News, Inspirational People, Slow Speed Engines, UtterPower Articles | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

I don’t get why they don’t get it!

As I watched Bernie, the other night, I listened to the applause when he mentioned healthcare was a right for all people. I wondered, why not food, as you have no health without it? But why not shelter, as you have no health without that either?
And of course, since it’s a right, none of us need do a thing to get it, we’ll all just sit around on our ass.

For those who are upset about what it says on our Money, will they ever understand how wise our predecessors were?




I always wonder about Atheists, I wonder if they’d be foolish enough to surrender their ‘God Given Rights’, and place their lives in the hands of men?



Posted in Critical Thinking | Tagged | 16 Comments

An Important Question: Will western people learn anything from South Africa?

An important read:

After you read this article, consider asking your friends if they know what’s going on in South Africa?

What will we learn? I think the answer is nothing.

One party unchecked… could it happen here? Maybe it already has….

George B.

Posted in In The News | 1 Comment

The Home Power Producer’s Guide to Electrical Reality is now on line at Amazon.

Kindle sales were light, and the rewards even lighter, so Bill canceled the effort.  I do have a way to deliver you a digital copy should you decide to make a small donation to keep utterpower info online.

All the best,


Posted in Bill Rodgers Book | 7 Comments