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#1384303 - 02/24/09 11:07 AM What is Marvel Mystery Oil?? (does it lubricate?)
davefr Offline


Registered: 03/31/03
Posts: 417
Loc: OR
Does this stuff really have lubricating properties when used as a stand alone product. Is it really oil based? What is it?

(this is not for an automotive application)

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#1384304 - 02/24/09 11:08 AM Re: What is Marvel Mystery Oil?? (does it lubricate?) [Re: davefr]
c3po Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 3358
Loc: Maryland
What are you using it for.

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#1384308 - 02/24/09 11:12 AM Re: What is Marvel Mystery Oil?? (does it lubricate?) [Re: c3po]
Bob Woods Offline


Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 1342
Loc: North of Dallas Texas

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#1384354 - 02/24/09 12:01 PM Re: What is Marvel Mystery Oil?? (does it lubricate?) [Re: Bob Woods]
Solo2driver Offline


Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 1385
Loc: Houston, TX
Dude, it's a Mystery! FWIW, MMO specifically states on its web site to NOT use it as a stand-alone lubricant in automotive applications, but it's okay as a firearm lube, air tool lube, etc. You can use it at maximum 35% MMO vs oil, I think. 10% in automatic transmissions.

EDIT-- Flash point is only 128-degrees F, not sure I'd want to use ONLY that in an automotive lube application.
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#1384356 - 02/24/09 12:04 PM Re: What is Marvel Mystery Oil?? (does it lubricate?) [Re: Solo2driver]
Boomer Offline


Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 1637
Loc: Pennsylvania
It is fundamentally a petroleum distillate fraction (Stoddard solvent) with a small amount of a phenolic material which gives it it's "peppermint" odor and adds to the solvent effect. It was frequently used and still is in aircraft engine fuel to remove lead deposits from engines running leaded gas. In gasoline, makes a good upper cylinder lube and in oil, can help clean out "gunk" from engines.
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#1384363 - 02/24/09 12:12 PM Re: What is Marvel Mystery Oil?? (does it lubricate?) [Re: c3po]
davefr Offline


Registered: 03/31/03
Posts: 417
Loc: OR
 Originally Posted By: c3po
What are you using it for.


Small sealed clock reduction motors that are about 75 years old. The sealed motor is simply a gear reduction mechanism.
Telechron Rotor

These rotors are a wondeful self lubricating design. However their downfall was the state of lubrication technology during the '20's-'40's.

I want to rejuvinate them by pressure injecting a few cc's of lubricant thru the pinion gear. I'd like the lubricant to have some cleaning properties because these old rotors tend to have dried up oil on the gears/pivots. However I also need some light viscosity lubricating properties.

I've used M1 0W-20 and it lubricates great but falls short when it comes to cleaning.

It looks like MMO is 30% paint thiner and 70% oil. (is Naphthenic Hydrocarbon basically a lubricant???)

Any other suggestions?

If I can't rejuvinate a rotor, then I completely dissassemble it and rebuild it but that's about a 2 hr process and often not needed if the only problem is noisy or sluggish operation due to near dry lubricant.



Edited by davefr (02/24/09 12:25 PM)

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#1384380 - 02/24/09 12:29 PM Re: What is Marvel Mystery Oil?? (does it lubricat [Re: davefr]
moribundman Offline


Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 23591
MMO is not a clock oil. Clock and watch oils have very specific properties that pertain to volatility, resistance to oxidation, thickening, drying, etc. A low viscosity clock oil like Moebius 8030 or Novostar Oil "R" should work. Google "clock oil Otto Frei." Expect to pay ca $12 plus shipping for a small bottle. You may also want to get the proper application tool.

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#1384389 - 02/24/09 12:39 PM Re: What is Marvel Mystery Oil?? (does it lubricat [Re: moribundman]
davefr Offline


Registered: 03/31/03
Posts: 417
Loc: OR
 Originally Posted By: moribundman
MMO is not a clock oil. Clock and watch oils have very specific properties that pertain to volatility, resistance to oxidation, thickening, drying, etc. A low viscosity clock oil like Moebius 8030 or Novostar Oil "R" should work. Google "clock oil Otto Frei." Expect to pay ca $12 plus shipping for a small bottle.


Ironically it's the clock guys that swear by MMO or 0W M1 for these rotors. Is clock oil anything special or just super expensive on a $/qt. basis. I'm also not sure they have any cleaning properties.

Clock movements are typically cleaned prior to lubrication. These rotors are sealed so some cleaning properties are needed for "in the can" rejuvination. Also these rotors run much faster then most clock movements. They're more like little motors then clocks.


Edited by davefr (02/24/09 12:44 PM)

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#1384436 - 02/24/09 01:17 PM Re: What is Marvel Mystery Oil?? (does it lubricat [Re: davefr]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 20970
Loc: NY
Just a thought, have you tried mixing MMO with the 0W-xx oil you've been using? As a side note I've used MMO to lube locks and it works well, its also a good lube for firearms, triggers, etc.
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#1384457 - 02/24/09 01:34 PM Re: What is Marvel Mystery Oil?? (does it lubricat [Re: davefr]
moribundman Offline


Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 23591
 Originally Posted By: davefr
 Originally Posted By: moribundman
MMO is not a clock oil. Clock and watch oils have very specific properties that pertain to volatility, resistance to oxidation, thickening, drying, etc. A low viscosity clock oil like Moebius 8030 or Novostar Oil "R" should work. Google "clock oil Otto Frei." Expect to pay ca $12 plus shipping for a small bottle.


Ironically it's the clock guys that swear by MMO or 0W M1 for these rotors. Is clock oil anything special or just super expensive on a $/qt. basis. I'm also not sure they have any cleaning properties.

Clock movements are typically cleaned prior to lubrication. These rotors are sealed so some cleaning properties are needed for "in the can" rejuvination. Also these rotors run much faster then most clock movements. They're more like little motors then clocks.


I don't know about the rotor in your clock, so different rules may apply. I already stated some of the properties that make clock oil "special." You need to obviously clean clock parts before lubricating them.

Does MMO tend to "creep" a lot? From my experience, yes, it creeps very well. That's why I like to use it for soaking/cleaning tools. The tendency to creep would be a bad property for any clock oil, because clock oil is supposed to stay in place. It may not matter much in the rotor/pinion assembly of your particular clock, but in clocks and watches, if oil were to get from pivot points onto gears, it would be disastrous.




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#1384545 - 02/24/09 03:19 PM Re: What is Marvel Mystery Oil?? (does it lubricat [Re: moribundman]
davefr Offline


Registered: 03/31/03
Posts: 417
Loc: OR
"Creep" is very important for these little rotors. They are self lubricating via capilary action based on the way the bearing plates are designed and sandwitched together. Oil should be continuously drawn from the bottom of the case, thru the bearing plates, pivots and gears.

It's an amazing design. Unfortunately lubrication technology was pretty primitive when they were manufactured.

I think I will try a blend of M1 0W-20 and MMO.

Thanks!!

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#1384563 - 02/24/09 03:40 PM Re: What is Marvel Mystery Oil?? (does it lubricat [Re: davefr]
MolaKule Offline


Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 14376
Loc: Midwest
I recommend a bio-synthetic Artic Gun oil.
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