Product Reviews                                                                           11/08-R. Kwas
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Just in case anyone’s interested, here is a list of products which we have used and my (highly opinionated!) impression of each: 

My Most-Favorite-Products and preferred products (which I use first, and which I highly recommend...I also buy these in bulk when the price is right, and hoard them like some sort of Über-hunter-gatherer, just so that I don’t run out,)...my Not-So-Favorite-Products...(I use ‘em, but can take ‘em or leave ‘em)...and don't really go out of my way to get them...finally, my...You-Wont-Get-Any-of-My-Business-Ever-Again,-I-Hope-Your-CEO-Chokes-on-a-Chicken-Bone-Products...too. 

I have no financial interest in any of these companies, but I know what works (and what doesn’t) for me!

Rated with thumbs, from two up ,to two down , they are presented in the order they came to me while I was thinking about a list for this page, included are hopefully helpful remarks in the categories of:  Advantages, Applications, Disadvantages, Manufacturer/Source, Other:  The "unique and interesting" thumbs up and down pix were stolen from where I found then posted...which I didn't record so is probably lost forever.


            Most-Favorite-Products :

Permatec Anti-Seize
Burndy Penetrox
Tri-Flow

Synth-lube
Marvel Mystery Oil
Mobil 28 Synthetic Grease
PB-Blaster
Room Temperature Vulcanizer (RTV
)
DOT5 Brake (Hydraulic) Silicon Fluid
Deoxit
Dry Teflon Spray
Carb Cleaner
Brake Cleaner
Gaffer Tape
Rain-X

DL Hand Cleaner
Lexol Leather Conditioner and Preservative
Novus Plastic Treatments


Erdinger Weissbier

            Not-So-Favorite-Products

WD-40

            You-Wont-Get-Any-of-My-Business-Ever-Again,-I-Hope-Your-CEO-Chokes-on-a-Chicken-Bone-Products:

Heineken Beer
Anheiser-Busch Products
Lucas Automotive Electrics
Starburnt Coffee
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Most-Favorite-Products

Permatex Anti-Seize Graphite filled grease...I don't start ANY automotive work nowadays without it close at hand!  Link to its own SwEm Page

Burndy Penetrox :  Anti-Corrosive Zinc Paste for electrical connections...I don't start ANY automotive electrical work nowadays without it close at hand!  Link to its own SwEm Page

Tri-Flow PTFE containing precision oil :  Advantages:  Can be misted over general areas as a preservative anti-corrosive creeping oil (which is kind-of a waste) or pin-point applied by the half-drop to wick into the smallest crevice for lubing.  Tri-Flow leaves behind a pleasant smelling oil with excellent film strength (probably due to the PTFE particles), which doesn’t dry out or gum up in decades.  It has a wide suitable temperature range: (-60 to 475F).  It displaces moisture.  Fine mechanisms I have lubed with it (which are not exposed to outside atmosphere) do not exhibit the need for new lubrication for a very long time (years).  Carlocks on the other hand, do well with a yearly treatment.  Applications:  Fine mechanisms, car and home lock cylinders, bicycle control cables and chains (for automotive control cables like choke,heater or clutch, I prefer the heavier duty anti-seize), switches and bushings in electric/electronic devices, sluggish pullchord switches on lamps, binding or squeaking hinges, bushings and pivot points, fishing reels, yard and garage tool hinges, firearms, model railroading mechanisms, etc.  Disadvantages:  It is a petroleum based oil so it has a lower upper temperature operating limit than synthetics, and it creeps making a possible mess.  Manufacturer/Sources:  It’s made by Thompson and Formby / Bicycle, motorcycle, and firearms shops, on-line shops have it.  Other:  The particulate micro-PTFE does settle out while the container is stored, so shaking before use is absolutely required.  Tri-Flow is packaged in 4-12 oz spray cans with snoozles as well as small, handy 2 oz. non-aerosol containers also with snoozles...in a word, er...two...:  Great Stuff!  Link to Manufacturers Page:  http://www.triflowlubricants.com/Superior_Drip/superior_drip.html 

Just in case your wondering what all is in this product...apparently quite a lot!  See:  http://siri.org/msds/f2/byf/byfgf.html

Synth-lube:  Light duty synthetic grease:  Advantages:  Very good lubricative properties for light duty jobs, stays where it’s put and does not creep away, has no creeping, staining oil-filmApplications:  Lubing light mechanisms where grease or film creepage is undesirable, lubing O’Rings before installation (check compatibility with other materials present, but its pretty darn benign!), giving a hair-trigger to the release mechanisms of mouse traps at your birdseed storage!  Disadvantages:  Film is very longlasting and tough to remove totally.  Don’t use anywhere near a surface to be painted...”fisheyes” will surely result.  Manufacturer/SourceXXXXXXX  Link to Manufacturers Page  Other:

Marvel Mystery Oil  Advantages:                    Applications:  Freeing up piston rings of engines which have not been run a loong time.  See:  LINK Freeing Piston Rings , use as an SU carb damping oil when ATF is not handy.  See Link: Damping oil             Disadvantages:                     Manufacturer/Source:           Other:  Link to Manufacturers Page

Mobil 28 Synthetic Grease AdvantagesPolyalphaolefin (PAO) Synthetic base aviation grease good from -54 to 177C                    Applications:   Disadvantages:                     Manufacturer/Source:           Other:  Link to Manufacturers Page    http://www.exxonmobil.com/USA-English/Aviation/PDS/GLXXENAVIEMMobilgrease_28.asp   Technical Product Info:  http://www.exxonmobil.com/USA-English/Aviation/PDS/glxxenaviemmobilgrease_28.pdf

PB-Blaster :  Advantages:                    Applications:              Disadvantages:                     Manufacturer/Source:           Other:  Link to Manufacturers Page

Room Temperature Vulcanizer (RTV) (family of products) Silicon [not to be confused with Mr. Spock!]  :  Several formulations exist, from general purpose to high temp, to heavy, viscous or runny self-leveling, also hydrocarbon compatible – use the correct one for the application!  Advantages:  Excellent shear and peel strength throughout wide thermal range, will take on any shape of the surface it is applied to, from glass to rock, can be cleanly trimmed after curing with a blade, will remain compliant and stable in its characteristics for sealing and glueing for years(!), glued joints can be undone with a shearing cord (think of cutting adhesive with a dental flossing action), and material can usually be tracelessly removed.  It is not a good conductor of electricity.  Applications:  Gluing of just about any material (short of Teflon) to any other material (short of Teflon), including badges to vehicles (with no holes!), sealing out air or moisture, sealing of holes in fuel bladder/tank, instead of fuel-system gaskets, (Beware:  General purpose RTV is not suitable for hydrocarbons.  Hydrocarbon compatible fluro-silicon formulation must be used for fuel contact applications!), making custom spring pads (i.e. the replacement separator "spring" for LINK:  Amazon Horn Switch Repair) or non-slip feet or bumpers, insulating (thermal and electric), soft-mounting, potting of assemblies against moisture...the list is long, and getting longer all the time!  Disadvantages:  Requires oil-film free, clean surface to properly bond (but what glue doesn’t?), some formulations release acetic acid during curing (smells like vinegar...in an enclosed area, some may complain, some may make a stink about it, themselves), some formulations release methane (so do I after Mexican food!), full curing time is a function of cross sectional area of exposure and level of humidity, and so certain applications may take over 24 hrs., must cure before exposure to hydrocarbons, paint will not adhere to it, it is not a good conductor of heat.  (For the If-a-little-is-good,-globbing-it-on-with-a-shovel-must be-better types):  Beware, excess which squishes out of a joint can become dislodged and clog up some place you'd rather not have it be...  Once tube is opened, tends to vulcanize right up the nozzle, all the way into the tube...seal unused portion of dispenser from outside moisture well!  Manufacturer/Source:  Dow-Corning, General-Electric, plus other manufacturers and sources.  Other:  Various colors are available.  Link to Manufacturers Page

DOT5 Brake (Hydraulic) Silicon Fluid :  Link to its own SwEm Page

Deoxit (family of products), electric contact cleaner and preservative treatment...an evolution of their "Cramolin" product :  Advantages:  Not just a contact cleaner which leaves nothing behind, so that you need to reapply soon again in an endless cycle, but a cleaner which leaves a long-lasting neutralizing and lubricating chemical barrier behind.  Applications:  Scratchy potentiometers (level controls on equipment), selector switch contacts, and connector contacts in electronic (including audio or automotive) equipment including 122 and 544 Fuse Blocks after restoration (I apply it for for general protection  / use Penetrox for specific protection), and Bosch D-Jetronic connectors and all Throttle Position Switches – [TPS] especially the later ones which cannot be opened for inspection or servicing.  Disadvantages:  Film from overspray is bothersome and tough to clean (mask area, use gloves).  Manufacturer/Source:  CAIG Laboratories / professional industrial electronic suppliers, on-line.  Other: Link to Manufacturers Page:  http://www.deoxit.com/      LINK to its own Page:  Deoxit D5 Additional
...an interesting page I found, which covers the evolution of this product :  http://www.siber-sonic.com/electronics/caig.html

Dry Teflon Spray:  Advantages:  Sprays on wet, creeps into crevasses, and dries absolutely dry, leaving a thin continuous film of Teflon particles, but without any wet film which will capture and hold dust or dirt, which will act as an abrasive.  Applications:  Places where lubrication is needed but where lots of dust or particulates would get captured by a wet-film product and cause problems...i.e. cutting blades, suspension bushings or balljoints.  Disadvantages:  Particulate Teflon is not so good to breathe into your lungs, (wear particulate mask).  Manufacturer/Source:  ? / but distributed under Black & Decker’s name a while ago, then discontinued...probably by the California safety whackos because some brainiac inhaled it to see what kind of high he could get out of it, and got screwed up.  I laid in a lifetime supply of stock by buying up a case, and sharing it with racer Ron T. from an overstock place (and I feel pretty smug about it!)....I don’t know where to get it under the B&D label anymore, but Super Lube now has a Dry-Film PTFE lube I expect is very similar with all the advantages.  Other:  I expect it will even improve High Voltage surface creepage or arcing ratings in electric equipment because of dielectric characteristics (I have yet to confirm this). 

Carb Cleaner (no specific manufacturer type):  Advantages:  A portable can of high-order hydrocarbon, under pressure, therefore applyable with force and pinpoint accuracy (use snoozle!) for loosening and flushing away external carb dirt, internal gummed up fuel deposits, and carburetor gritnick (wear eye protection!), but also  instantly giving those nasty yellow jacket wasps, which took over the seam between the drivers side door and front fender during last summer, something other than defending their territory to think about!  Cleans label-stickem from containers as well as paint from acid-brushes, when doing small paint jobs which you don’t want to break out a fullsized brush or thinner for.  Also, when ignited, gives spectacular nighttime fireball shows (Kids:  "Don’t try this at home"...suggest your friend try it at his home to impress his mom...and "roll video tape" just in case it all goes wrong,...at least you can get some hopefully only entertainment mileage out of it...plus, there are TV shows which actually show and maybe even pay for harebrain videos like this!).  Applications:  Cleaning carbs and oil or grease films off vehicular surfaces (...most boring use!), killing angry, inbound flying and stinging insects (...infinitely more exciting use!), charging up potato / tennisball cannons (...more pyrotechnic fun), and making night-time fire displays (maybe the most exiting), especially as the fireball comes back and ignites any liquid which sneaked past the valve and is sitting on the top of can (See:  “roll video tape” )!  Disadvantages:  Because of the atomized fuel, can make lighting oneself up, way too easy...wear Nomex® undergarments and stay clear of sources of ignition...this includes those Swischer Sweets stogies you like to smoke while wrenching! (See:  “roll video tape” ).  Manufacturer/Source:  Numerous / Automotive stores, watch for specials!  Other:  Use with good ventilation...preferably outdoors, especially when (your friend) is doing the fireball trick! 

Brake Cleaner (no specific manufacturer type, formulation which smells like  dry-cleaning fluid / Tetrachloroethylene):  This solvent is nonflammable (and so possibly not nearly as much fun - see "Don’t try this at home"), but is less likely to attack the insulating laquers used on magnet wire, and this characteristic is crutial when cleaning inside motors or relays where it is advantageous to blast away carbon brush dust with a cleaning solvent, but also important not to compromise the insulating qualities of the magnet coils in any way!  

Gaffer Tape (with apologies to H. Ford, available in any color as long as it’s Black) :  Advantages:  “Sticks like sh** to wool blankets” Joe M., is strong as hell in tension, or for temporarily fastening dry surfaces together (like the left front fender, after that guy in the E-Production Triumph tried to outbrake you into Bigbend with a soft pedal, and his tail came around and damn near peeled it off!), until more permanent means can be implemented.  Beats the heck out of even the real duct tape whose adhesive dries after a while (especially in the sun) before the silver layer separates from the dried and useless fabric and dried glue residue left  which is a bi*** to clean off – use Carb-Cleaner, or Brake Cleaner for this (and certainly beats the junk knockoffs like “Tuck” Tape [China’s finest!] available everywhere!), Gaffer Tape is meant to be applied and removed and applied and removed...etc.  I’ve removed it from surfaces (not exposed to sunlight) and reused it a year after it first came off the roll, with no separation or degradation in adhesive or function.  Applications:  Wherever Duct tape fails.  Disadvantages:  No compatible with hydrocarbons (don’t fix a fuel-line with it!), cost (about $15 a roll).  Manufacturer/Source:  Permacel / Photographic supply houses.  Other: Link to Manufacturers Page

Rain-X Advantages:  Improves visibility through the windshield during rain tremendously, because rainwater beads up on the hydrophobic film instead of flattening out across the glass distorting driver’s view through it.  This allows driver to literally “see between the drops”.  The beads have less adhesion to windshield because of the film, and also present more frontal area to the wind rushing by, so wind sweeps them up the windshield and away...under some conditions of rainfall and roadspeed, wipers aren’t even required, so this doesn’t put any more wear and tear on that vintage wiper mechanism (which you haven’t had a chance to refurbish yet!); frozen-on moisture during winter is easier to remove because it just doesn’t adhere as well to the film, so it makes windshield cleaning easier.  Applications:  Windhields, and all (outside) vehicle glass including rearview mirrors.  Disadvantages:  Seems to break up older, oxidized wiper blades more rapidly, resulting in black lines on surface as the oxidized layers of rubber are shed from wiper surface (this can be cleaned up)...new blades are less susceptible to this.  Used on inside glass surfaces, causes hazing...(do not use on inside glass surfaces!)  Manufacturer/Source:  SOPUS Products, Houston TX, Other:,  Winter road dirt and wiping removes the film from and necessitates more frequent reapplication.  Link to Manufacturers Page:  http://www.rainx.com/SiteMap.aspx

Link to discussion on using it:  http://www.brickboard.com/RWD/volvo/560513/220/240/260/280/wiper_drag.html

Link to Subaru Forum discussion on it:  http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-331244.html

Read there:

BillyD
02-23-2004, 09:23 AM
Another happy Rain-X'r. Any speed over 30 miles per hour and you don't even need your wipers.
Best quote ever from a girl riding shotgun: " Do you have some special kind of windshield?"

DL Blue Label Hand Cleaner (Emulsifying gel type hand cleaner, now sold under the name DL Permatex) Advantages:   Works better than any other hand cleaner I've tried (including the one whose name rimes with Joe Blow)! It contains lanolin and aloe vera amoung other things. Applications:  Cleaning grease soaked hands after wrenching obviously, (so that when you go see "Le Nozze di Figaro" on Friday night after having done an oil change on Wednesday, your fingernails will not spoil the effect as your sipping the Asti!), but also grease or common pen ink spots from clothing.  Allows you to be a home wrencher, but not look like it the resto of the week!   Saving your favorite shirt from becoming a use-for-oil-changing-only one!  Disadvantages:  Emulsifying action is stopped by water – once you start rinsing, the emulsifying effect is done...don’t rush rinsing...emulsify all the mess before rinsing!  Manuf. / Sources:  LINK DL Permatex   Other: A long time ago, when I first discovered it, it used to be its own brand...then Permatex bought it up.  It is now sold as DL Permatex...I guess they know a good product when they see it too!  Permatex, being a technical products company, have also published a Technical Product Sheet .

Lexol Leather Conditioner and Preservative Advantages:  Spray applicator allows a general misting of emulsion product over a wide area simplifying application...product is specifically designed not to "creep" to adjacent areas.  Applications:  Just about any leather product (except suede) you want to be good to...including keeping the leather seats in that '73 ES from turning into cardboard, leather furniture, keeping those (original leather) Hippo Hands supple for the next scooter ride in less than perfect weather, and keeping your lederhosen supple for some serious beer drinking and Schuhplattling at the Oktoberfest visit!   Disadvantages: ?  Manuf. / Sources: Summit Industries   LINK:  http://www.lexol.com/

Novus Plastic Treatments Advantages:  (Remarks Coming!)  Manuf.:  http://www.bestplasticcleaner.com/
Erdinger Weissbier
Advantages:  Wheatbeer brewed to the German purity law of 1516 (as in year of...it's the earliest food purity law!), it is really tasty, truly refreshing, and the brewer's yeast it contains is quite healthy for you...it's best while Volvo-wrenching in the summer!  Disadvantages:  None.  Applications:  Really only the obvious one.  Manuf. / Sources:  Brewery of the town of Erding, in the state of Bavaria, Germany.  Link to their HP:  http://www.erdinger.de/

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Not-So-Favorite-Products:  I can take 'em or leave 'em...

Disadvantages/Reasons: 

WD-40 :  Disadvantages/Reasons:  I dislike just about everybody’s favorite and most recommended spray lube because being mostly solvent and very little lube, it may work immediately, but has very poor long-term performance (instant gratification/long-term disappointment is for 14 year olds!), and being a long-term solution kind of guy, it just doesn’t meet my requirements.  Sure, I’ve used it to lube a slave cylinder while I was honing it, or lubed a stuck bolt or bleeding nipple to help with unfreezing, or remove tar from a car finish or price sticker residue from a product surface right now, but I refuse to use it for locks or anywhere where I want or expect long-lasting service.  When I lube a carlock, WD will allow it to work now, but I can repeat the procedure next week.   No thanks!  Instead, I use Tri-Flow once a year!  ...and come to think of it:  I don't like the smell!

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You-Wont-Get-Any-of-My-Business-Ever-Again,-I-Hope-Your-CEO-Chokes-on-a-Chicken-Bone-Products:

Just about anything “Made in Taiwan or China” :  See: 

Heineken Beer: :  They’ve got a great ad campaign, which is funny and apparently brings in a lot of business, but this brew is made in Holland where they have no purity law for beer and absolutely anything goes...and I mean anything...sorry, I don’t want that applying to my beer!  Have you ever smelled it when warm? 

Anheiser-Busch Products   :  It’s not brewed to the purity law either...have you ever heard of the saying “Budweiser, ...headache in every bottle”!  maybe its from the rice...maybe its from the “anti-foaming chemicals”...

Lucas Automotive Electrics...terrible stuff!  :  Link to its own SwEm Page

I've had a total of two cups, and finished them only because they were so expensive, not flavorful!  If bigger is better, I guess they figured burnt to a crisp is better than roasted.  Too bad, I like coffee. :  Seattle slicksters who buy cheap coffee beans, overroast the bejesus out of them, then try to convince people their coffee tastes good.  Sorry, I tried it (twice!), and I’m not buying the ad campaign, and it, ever again!  These whackos are also so presumptuous as to believe that they can put one of their joints into Vienna (where they have had coffee houses since before Mozart’s time, and been making and enjoying the finest coffee in the world), and think they can show those uppity Viennese a thing or two about coffee!!!  I expect them to go the way of that big deal, here today / gone tomorrow, donut joint at some point!  

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The product and trade names used here are for reference only.  I have no affiliation with any of the above listed companies, other than having tried their products, and presenting my highly opinionated results here.  The results presented here are strictly from my own experience, and can be believed (or not, and laughed at and ridiculed!) at your discretion.  Your results may vary, but I stand by what is written here as my experience.  As always, if you can supply additional objective information or experience, I’d be interested in hearing it, and consider working it into the above notes...along with likely the odd metaphor and maybe wise-a** comment. 

You are welcome to use the information here in good health, and for your own noncommercial purposes, but if you reprint or otherwise republish this article, you must give credit to the author or link back to the SwEm site as the source.  If you don’t, you’re just a lazy, scum sucking plagiarist...go put together your own damn article! 

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