Common RV Maintenance

Common Recreational Vehicle (RV) Maintenance

Lots of Miles, Followed by Lots of Downtime: Tips to Take Advantage of Both

When passion and pocketbook seem to work in tandem, not only does one help the other but an attentive audience can also learn straight from the source. For the Recreation Vehicle enthusiast, today’s source is not only a veteran of the common past time, but also a veteran of science and technology, directly helping RVs stay on the road and better ensuring his fellow RV’er, remain a happy camper!

Chris Gabrelcik, President of Lubrication Specialties, Inc. (LSI), is one of the few people worldwide to hold certifications of Lubrication Specialist (CLS) and Oil Management Analysis (OMA). He has built his company and his Hot Shot’s Secret product line around his and his team’s scientific expertise with a goal to keep vehicles on the road with less breakdowns, more efficiency and especially in his own case, to keep his RV in tip-top condition for all of his past, present and future jaunts across the United States interstate system.

Gabrelcik has been an avid camper from the days when he first met his wife and able to only afford a tent, to supporting a growing family on the road with him as he traveled for his job, to current-day outings in his coach. “RV’ing is the opportunity to get away from city life and exit the pressures of our daily concerns,” says Chris. “It’s is an economical way to escape the grind, seize the chance to relax, sit by a campfire and get to know a ton of other like-minded folks. We all like to walk around the campsites, talk about the different rigs, share our favorite experiences and further build the camping community.” Chris notes that the camping enthusiasts typically share the common sense of camaraderie regardless of what kind of rig is used to get them there. “There are people at the campsites in $500,000 rigs and there are people there in pop-up campers. And everyone is there for all the same reasons, we love camping. It’s always like you’re there with your next door neighbor.”

Chris has traversed the country experiencing almost everything while camping or cruising in an RV. “If it can happen, we have experienced it, good, bad and ugly,” says Chris. “We started in a little pop up camper, then a pull-behind camper.” The Gabrelcik’s continued their graduation with expansions to a Class B RV, Class C, then a couple Class A Gas RVs. Chris now pilots the 40’ diesel pusher with slides and two bathrooms. “We are on our 10th rig, and making plans to head (from Ohio) to the Pacific Northwest.” Among others in their past, the G’Family excursions include trips to San Diego, annual trips to Florida, Texas, Maine, Vermont, North Carolina and the list goes on. “We’ve been RV’ing for 30 years with a lot of trips under our belt. I could write a book on RV’ing!” chuckles Chris.

COMMON MAINTENANCE:

Most RV’s rarely surpass 100,000 on the odometer. Therefore, maintenance is a crucial need to reach the century-mark milestone as well as keep the big camper on the road. “So many of these RV’s are not made as performance machines,” says Gabrelcik. “The manufacturers are building a house on top of a chassis, and all of the R&D goes into the box on top of it. The focus is in the camper; the beds, the kitchens, the tile, finishes, etc. Not a lot goes into mechanical performance enhancements.”

To help however, Chris offers a few items requiring mechanical focus, to make sure the beds, the kitchens, the tile, finishes, etc. can successfully stay on the road.

Resilience of your tires: Tires include a date-stamp because ozone and sunshine can wreak havoc on tires and they become dry-rotted. Without good rubber on the road, the chances of a blow out increase, “and that’s a disaster,” says Chris. “I’ve been there and learned that lesson the hard way.”

Resilience of your belts: Similar to rotting tires, the engine belts tend to rot when idle as well. The engine may have only 15,000 miles on it but the belts may be 20 years old. Always check for cracks, frays and pliability in your belts. Older rotting belts should be replaced before any road trip.

Age of your oil: People mostly consider the mileage on their RVs and the components used within, but Chris notes, “with RV’s they will sit idle for longer periods. There may only be only 1000 miles on the current oil in the engine, but it’s been in there for three years.” When oil sits over an extended period of time, acid builds up and weakens the lubricity, causing unneeded wear and tear when the engine restarts. While sitting the acid also eats away at the surrounding metals and gaskets. Consider oil changes against a measurement of time as well as mileage.

Age of your fuel: Old gasoline and diesel fuel become ‘varnishy’ leaving deposits throughout the fuel system. Fuel additives can help with deep-clean and daily usage to not only help clean the aging fuel residue and in the case of diesel fuel also provide a higher cetane rating so the old fuel actually burns cleaner and more efficiently when restarting after sitting idle.

Take advantage of Additives: “Run a heavy duty cleaner through the fuel system at minimum, annually. “This isn’t the time for the $2.99 bottle on the shelf,” says Chris. “When running a cleaner additive, use an industrial strength cleaner that you know will provide the benefits promised, making sure your engine remains in its best condition.

The proper line of additive products supports the common issues specific to the RV and its use.

PREVENT DISASTERS:

The worst thing that can happen to a truck driver, an RV’er or anyone traveling is to breakdown. “Beyond the obvious inconvenience and being stuck on the road,” says Chris, “you become at the mercy of everyone else during a breakdown. If my rig breaks down in California, and I have to go back home to Ohio, while they are working on it, I’m unable to monitor any work done on my rig. Plus, when the repairs are inaccurate, it’s not at all feasible to take my rig back to California for them to correct their errors. Or if staying with the rig, then you’re held up in a hotel, while the RV (your home) is in the shop. The time to avoid a breakdown is at home before you ever leave for the trip.

With so many online forums available it’s easy to see multitudes of stories where someone didn’t take the proper care of their RV before, during and after the trip. Just as a pain-free RV get away can be such a pleasure, without proper care and attention to any mechanical vehicle, quite the opposite extreme is possible (probable) as well when leaving it to chance. So…

Check Your Tire Pressure: RVs and other bigger rigs on the road are designed so that the weight of the vehicle and the torque between the wheel and road are distributed across multiple axles and tires. Should one of the tires be off spec, and not able to handle the distribution designed, the entire vehicle becomes a risk. Chris says, “When a wheel has to carry more weight because of another weakened tire in the vehicle, the extra burden causes extra heat, and the steel belts in the tire begin to separate, and cause blow-outs. With the added weight, the added distribution and the added distances traveled, the RV tire pressure is exponentially more vital than just the daily driver car in the garage.

Check the Electrical System: Again, these vehicles are not in use every day so issues can creep into a variety of systems. Campers and RVs often include multiple electrical supplies: 110v / 12v / and inverter systems must all be checked for proper amperage. Checking before you leave will save any unwarranted surprises when it comes time plug in any electrical device. Not to mention any possible fire hazards.

Check the Generator: Make sure just as the powertrain engine, that the generator also has been maintained and addressed for any new fluids and operating components. Make sure to change fluids and filters as recommended.

Change the Oil: Ensuring fresh oil and avoiding oil that has not broken down is imperative. Avoid a locked up motor, or a motor chewing itself up with non-lubricated parts continually grinding away. Oil additives can help enhance the source oils as well, providing a bonding agent and nano particle protection barrier for added lubricity across the oil-impacted components. Especially in diesel RV systems, the oil serves as not only lubricity in the main engine block itself, but some injectors may still be on the road reliant on oil pressure and lubricity within the higher tolerance fuel system.

Check the Roof: Whether a rubber, thermoplastic polyolefin, or fiberglass roof, Chris claims, “I have had them all leak. You have to ‘stay on top’ of it; especially the rubber roofs, the sun will rot them. I’ve redone roofs once I spent a week at a campsite with rainwater leaking in.

Make a Test Run: Before pulling out of the driveway for the long distance excursion, try a shorter version as a trial run. “Take the rig for a 100 mile trip, maybe around the city, or over to the next town first,” says the RV veteran. “If it’s been sitting for over three months, provide yourself a re-break-in for everything. 500 miles down the road is not the time to experiment. Put in your heavy-duty fuel additives for the fuel system deep clean, regardless of gas or diesel, and drive for a while. Take notice of your fuel economy as it could be an easy telltale sign that everything is running smooth, or not.

Whether the coast-to-coast thrill seeking geographic adventurer, or the weekend warrior at the local campground, your RV can make or break the ideal getaway trip. With some beneficial maintenance and preventive care however, a pain-free drive is far more probable with complete confidence in your rig. You’ll find it wise to invest a little extra time and money so that you don’t cheat yourself out of a fun trip!

TESTIMONIALS:
“We run Stiction Eliminator once a year, and we always use the Blue Diamond engine oil. The extra additive benefits included in the Blue Diamond synthetic engine oil, help protect our coach while it’s sitting 3 months at a time. While our additives help prevent the oil from any acid build up, the synthetic then helps improve fuel mileage.”

“We use Diesel Extreme and Everyday Diesel Treatment in the fuel system and we experience a full 10% increase in our RV mileage. As both a scientist and a consumer, I have consistently tested with and without the fuel additives and I consistently experience the same results. Gasoline Extreme is available for the same results in gas RVs.”

“We use the Transmission Stiction Eliminator and we’ve noticed there is more power provided in the hills and shifting into 4th gear. We see a drastic increase in the efficiency of the transmission. For example, the gas RV’s often use a V10 and a 4-speed transmission that seems underpowered. If you get stuck behind a Class A RV, you’ll notice it doesn’t power up a hill. They are only going 35mph and the driver’s pedal is to the floor with the RPMs screaming. The TSE makes a world of difference in 4 speeds and the big rigs. It’s a much more enjoyable driving experience with the transmission shifting smooth, gliding from gear to gear.”

“We continually take advantage of the Hot Shot’s Secret advanced lubrication and the additives, for much more enjoyable driving, performance and peace-of-mind. It’s a drastic difference, undeniable in the experience. If we took a road trip in one direction without Hot Shot’s Secret, then added the transmission, oil and fuel additives for the return trip, it would be night and day difference. You can literally tell the difference within just a few miles. You’d be stunned! It’s like replacing a V6 with a V8. Since these RVs are not really made to be a performance vehicle, the added boost is just that much more noticeable.”

“We know just from scientific studies with dynamometer and lab tests that we can increase horsepower performance by 5% to 8% just in standard big-rig applications. But it’s the overall driving experience of RV, Pro Coach and Big Rig drivers that can truly notice the improvements.”

DPF Regen Cycles Explained

What causes Regen Cycles, How to Reduce Them and Benefits To Be Had

The Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) is an assist in emissions-control included within diesel exhaust systems, to catch the remaining particulates left within the combustion cycle of the diesel engine. Each combustion cycle includes un-burnt components of diesel fuel, carbon and particulates that accumulate into a visible smoke from the exhaust stacks. Among other components along the way, the DPF captures many of these particulates, helping eliminate the ‘dirty-exhaust’ emanating into the air.

As an exhaust component continually clogging from the perpetual operation of a diesel truck, this filter is built into a system where it essentially cleans itself of the buildup. In doing so the filter can more efficiently capture exhaust artifacts, and more easily pass through the airflow from intake to output, causing less stress on the engine itself.

“A regeneration cycle occurs by essentially ‘cooking’ the filter clean again,” says Kyle Nace of Response Equipment Specialists (Kalispell, MT). “The DPF Regen contains the heat of the exhaust, adding up to temperatures exceeding 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, so that the filter is depleted of its buildup and returns to proper functioning capabilities.”

DPF Regeneration Cycles:
An active regen cycle is a normal process that takes place as the truck is going down the road. A computer sensor monitors the DPF and a dashboard indicator light notifies the driver that the regen is taking place, or the DPF is now cleaning. “You’ll notice a reduction in power during a regen,” notes Nace. “You can sometimes hear a ‘hissing’ type noise, or a different sound from the engine.” First time diesel owners often think there is something wrong with their trucks, but the DPF regen is a normal, often recurring, requirement included with diesel ownership.

A forced regeneration cycle is a manual process that takes place at the diesel shop with a certified technician initiating the cleaning of the DPF. “We force the truck’s computer to initiate the process prior to the parameter requests that happen with the active regen,” says Nace. “These circumstances happen when the owner/technician recommends a regen prior to the automated process. If something happens that indicates a necessity, or to simply avoid the process while driving, we can override the system to regen.”

Indicators of Pending DPF Regen:
Depending on the manufacturer and the gauges installed in the truck, the driver may notice an increase in exhaust back-pressure, and/or simply a lack of performance.

“When the engine is being choked down with a clogged filter, the driver may recognize just a lack in performance, throttle response, and power,” says Kyle. “The diesel engine is essentially a compressor in the airflow. With the efficiency of drawing that air into the truck for the combustion and then releasing it through the exhaust, it’s imperative that the least amount of restriction exists for enhanced performance of the motor.”

If the DPF regen cycle is not taking place, or not completing a full cycle, a ‘check engine’ light might illuminate on your dash. In doing so the many sensors in the system will calculate the particulates prior to the DPF and post, recognizing a lack in operation of the DPF. “With the accuracy in modern computerization, and the rigs that control that whole system, it’s something you want to pay attention to and address relatively soon, before you enter ‘limp mode’ or ‘De-rate’ where the truck will not operate over 20 to 30 mph in some cases.”

If the EGR system is failing, with improper recirculation of the exhaust, the truck runs with a lot more particulate and a lot more soot, therefore also clogging the DPF even more. “The entire system relies on the engine running well and doing everything possible to avoid repair or replacement of the DPF,” says Kyle. “An exhaust system is incredibly expensive and susceptible to abuse just like anything else. And with the fragile condition of the DPF itself, the less regens required, the better.”

How Often Does a DPF Regen Cycle Take Place?
Unfortunately, there is no predefined number of regens to be expected. Depending on the maintenance and upkeep of the truck, there may be less regens required with proper maintenance and attention to your truck, or if the engine is underperforming and a continually ‘dirty-exhaust,’ many regens may be required. Multiple regen cycles can happen per day if a truck is in heavy operations. And with multiple regens come mounting costs and interruptions in daily use.

“It depends on each individual truck,” says Kyle. “It all comes down to how efficiently that truck is running. From the quality of the fuel it’s burning to the additives that are being added to preserve the quality of the injectors, to improving the cetane in the fuel system, to changing the filters; These all affect the cleanliness of the fuel burn, therefore the cleanliness in the combustion, which determines the quality and the quantity of the exhaust being produced, which then may or may not clog the DPF.” Clean exhaust obviously is a by product of the care that goes into the fuel tank and the treatment of that fuel, from pump to exhaust stack. Nace says “the dirtier and more rich exhaust you produce, the faster it’s going to clog your DPF, therefore requiring another regen cycle.“

Proper Additives Help Reduce DPF Regens
Stiction is the sticky friction caused by byproducts of burnt oil. High pressure builds heat in tight-tolerance applications. Extreme heat causes the oil to burn, oxidize and create layers of sludge and deposits. Fuel injectors, pistons, rings, and a variety of other engine components, are continually susceptible to this stiction buildup. All of which are the enemy of any clean and efficient mechanical system. When oxidization, layers of sludge, carbon and deposits form throughout the engine, additives are an imperative need to clean the parts. The proper additives clean the gum, varnish and stiction while also lubricating everything the oil touches in your engine. But the proper additives also do so with no harsh solvents that potentially harm engine components. Specific to the DPF, the correct additives properly clean the engine parts and reduce the amount of particulates clogging the DPF, thereby reducing multiple regen cycles.

The proper additives also help restore dynamic compression with increased ring seal. The tighter seals provide improved combustion efficiency, thereby translating to not only better fuel economy, power and a better running engine, but also the efficiency required in the combustion cycle to prevent blow-by and added particulates flowing through the exhaust system. The proper combination of additives can provide not only a better running truck, but an extremely helpful deterrent to unexpected repairs and replacements in the future.

Specific to diesel engines, the proper additives also restore the lubricity that has been refined out of the ultra low sulphur diesel fuel purchased at the fuel pumps. With the proper lubricity returned to the fuel system however, mechanical parts are then more fluid in their operations with less friction. With less friction the amount of wear and tear is reduced, better maintaining the tolerances of machined parts for a cleaner burn and more complete combustion cycle.

Most diesel engines operate more efficiently with a fuel that has a cetane rating of 48 to 50. Fuels with higher cetane burn more efficiently and completely than those with lower cetane ratings. The proper additives contain a cetane improvement to reduce hydrocarbons and particulate matter in your exhaust. The cetane booster in Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme for example, promotes more complete combustion, fewer emissions and therefore fewer DPF regens. Diesel Extreme has been shown to have 83% less DPF regens.

“We see a lot of Cummins motors in our area for maintenance, in addition to heavy trucks. We rely heavily on the the Diesel Duo from Hot Shot’s Secret. It contains two 64oz bottles of Stiction Eliminator and Diesel Extreme, which provide an incredible solution to helping our customers with a variety of diesel issues,” says Nace. “We’ve saved several customers injector jobs, and/or had customers come to us that have already spent thousands of dollars on replacements or servicing their DPF system, their injectors, their EGRs and trying to figure out why they are constantly going into a regen cycle. We’ve used these additives and within 1000 miles we see complete resolve in many of these issues. It’s really been incredible for us.”

DPF Regen Case Studies:
Hot Shot’s Secret is working to continually provide the best additives on the market. With scientific testing in the lab, in conjunction with real world testing in the field, many of the top diesel experts monitor, learn and save from HSS testing results. In a past field study, Hot Shot’s Secret helped save the city of Columbus, OH thousands of dollars, annually, in fuel, labor and costs directly related to regen cycles. With an additives investment of $200 in two city test trucks, regen cycles were reduced from 36 annually, to 6.

See more information about Savings on DPF Regen Cycles.

 

“We have a customer that offers a delivery service for rental equipment,” states Kyle. “They were experiencing DPF regen cycles almost daily. They had sent their main truck to another shop and had the whole system replaced, to the tune of nearly $8000. It didn’t fix the problem at all. When they came to us for an oil change, we added our Hot Shot’s Secret additives and within about a week, they saw reductions in their regen cycles and within a month, they had no more issue at all.

We also had a mobile home mover which had their injectors replaced about a year previous, and it was just pumping white smoke out the exhaust and missing like it needed injectors again. Same thing; we ran both the Stiction Eliminator and the Diesel Extreme additives from Hot Shot’s Secret, and within a couple weeks, our customer was loading his truck again and noticed the miss and smoke were gone. That’s been probably eight months ago and he hasn’t been back. When we don’t hear back, we consider that ‘no news is good news’. Or when they do report back that its running better, and we don’t see them back in the shop for repairs, we chalk that up as a success.”

Testimonial:

“There are a million (additives) products out there and we’ve tried almost all of them. When I found out about Hot Shot’s Secret at a Diesel event a couple years ago, I soon realized that Hot Shot’s has a claim just like everyone else. And when I look into new products, I try and test these claims and use these products myself, before I ever represent them for my customers. So my shop foreman, lead fabricator and I used these additives in our own trucks. Within a week we all noticed a significant improvement and have ever since then, felt comfortable attaching our name to these products and representing something that IS real, and something that DOES work. We continue to have great results.”

Kyle Nace
Response Equipment Specialists, LLC

 

Hot Shot’s Secret Tests with South East Harley

Easy Tips to Keep Your Bike, and Your Ride, Safe and Enjoyable

“Riding is a fun experience, a hobby and a sport that can’t afford short cuts. If the bike needs something, do it. And if you can’t afford to do it, park it until you can. Be prepared, and confident in your equipment, so you can have fun riding.”

Ever notice the awesome transition on the roadways when the weather starts to hit around 60 degrees (maybe even 50 for the die hards)? After being cooped up inside for the winter and the bike stored in the garage for the past months, the motorcycles start taking to the streets. An awesome sight to see as not only the validation that spring weather has returned, but a great sign for the summer riding season to come, with the sunshine and wind in the faces of those cruising their way up and down the highways on two wheels.

And for someone never blessed with the ability to keep his two wheels upright, instead laying it down nearly every time I ride (haven’t tried again since my last attempt concluding at the ER), this author grows green with envy for all the Harley’s on the roads and dirt bikes flying over the triples. Below is some advice from far more seasoned riders to help keep your bikes road (and track)-ready all season long.

ABOUT SOUTH EAST HARLEY:
Dave Baumgardner, General Manager of South East Harley (Bedford Heights, OH), runs a destinational Harley-Davidson shop founded over 70 years ago by Paul Meyers, Sr. and remains a family owned business to this day. “We have a 4-building campus here just outside of Cleveland,” says Dave. “Our Harley-Davidson shop runs out of the original building in this location, built in 1972.” In the 1970’s, corporate H-D also had a golf-cart division, that has since been defunct, but the Meyers family reign has continued the legacy supporting golf cart needs for the Lake Erie islands, Put-In-Bay and Kelleys Island, golf courses throughout Northeast Ohio among other well-established Club Car clients. The shop supports around 5,500 golf carts in the area. The third building of the complex houses the Used H-D business and their building #4, built about five years ago, is a restaurant and bar aptly appointed as South East Gears and Cheers.

“We have ‘bike nights’ here every Tuesday night, for upwards of 200 seats in the house. We have 5 garage door openings that open to another 200 outdoors,” says Mr. Baumgardner. “We also have a historic functional Diner car within the Harley dealership serving breakfast and lunch for our customers and the surrounding community. Plus we host our annual Ferrari Night in late June. It’s just a big ole customer appreciation party that often (weather permitting) draws upwards of 5,000 in attendance. 2019 is our 30th Ferrari Night event.”

“I like anything with steering wheels and handle bars!” says Dave. “I’ve been riding bikes since I was 13-yrs old. Riding is my golf game; it’s my sport, my passion and what I love to do. I also get to make my living at what I love to do, and not ‘working a day’ in my 68-yr-old life.” Dave gets to enjoy the perks of combining heart and pocketbook, with a new bike every year, sporting in the riding season his 2019 Street Glide Special. “I always used to ride a Road Glide or an Electra Glide Ultra Limited. My new daily rider this year is the Street Glide with a lower center of gravity. Same motor and saddle bags, with a little more hot rod look to it,” says Dave, “and I have my full size bike for my rides to California, Sturgis and wherever I decide to go.”

Bikes just like cars and trucks have come a long way in their mechanical design and reliability. Longevity has also come a long way in the lifespan of mechanical designs as well, both by manufacturer and owners now realizing the benefits of proper maintenance to keep their vehicles on the road.

ENTER HOT SHOT’S SECRET:
Not only the V.P. of Operations at Lubrication Specialties Inc., but also a customer, Brett Tennar is a fellow ‘biker’ that recently worked with Baumgardner, testing the effects of Hot Shot’s Secret FR3 Friction Reducer in bikes. Hot Shot’s Secret and South East Harley joined forces in a series of dynamometer tests to seek out more horsepower and torque changes on two Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
.
“I just love the peace of mind when out on the road,” says Brett. “I take care of my bike so I can enjoy my ride. And these tests provided some amazing, hopeful and gratefully expected results. I know when my bike is in good hands so am I, and I am able to enjoy myself… just to get out and it helps clear your head. I got back on a bike when a bunch of friends had bikes, and other than riding dirt bikes as a kid, it’s something I hadn’t tried again in a long time. I’ve been back in action since 2004 and loving my short rides as well as my longer trips to Sturgis, Vegas and hoping soon to tour the UP of Michigan.”

Brett first bought a Sportster to reenter his biking interests, but after a year realized he was going to have to replace it with a 2009 Electra Glide Classic for the full touring trips. Brett’s wife joins along on her 2015.

Tennar pours some FR3 in both his bike’s engine oil and transmission fluid. “FR3 helps the bike run a bit cooler,” says Brett. “When we are sitting at a traffic stop or somewhere in idle, that’s when these air-cooled bikes start heating up. The Hot Shot’s Secret products help reduce the heat transference, quiet down some of the engine noise and smooths out the transmission shifting.” FR3 can also be helpful in horsepower and gains in torque as well.

Brett easily recognizes the special sciences in the Hot Shot’s Secret products, and the benefits rewarded in his ride. “A big part of these products are the nano carbons included in Hot Shot’s Secret compounds. These carbon balls are filling the nooks and crannies of the engine parts providing enhanced surface barriers and protection. Especially on start ups,” says Tennar, “since bikes are not as often used as a daily driver like a car, the starting process is the most abrasive. Hot Shot’s products helps reduce the wear and tear of the process, after a bike has been sitting in between rides.”

In his fuel treatment, Tennar uses the Hot Shot’s Secret Gasoline Extreme regularly. “It helps keep the fuel injectors clean and in top notch condition,” he says. “and I fill the tank with Gasoline Extreme at the end of the season to help prevent condensation and rust building up in the fuel tank itself. I run the bike for five or 10 minutes to let the Gasoline Extreme run through the entire fuel system before she sits for long term storage.”

“These bikes aren’t getting any cheaper” says Brett, “and I use this stuff so I can keep the bikes I have for many years to come.”

As Tennar’s home base in Ohio, the early season rides sometimes require a trailer for the bikes, and a longer travel to find nice weather. Each March for example, Tennar straps down the bikes and heads to Daytona Bike Week. Taking further advantage of Hot Shot’s Secret additives, Tennar uses an array of diesel treatments in his 2018 Duramax dually ‘toy hauler.’ “I use everything,” he says. “From Diesel Extreme for the bi-annual deep cleans in the motor, to Everyday Diesel Treatment for the full time protection in every fuel fill-up, to using the Blue Diamond Engine Oil in congruence with the Franz Filter bypass system to help remove contaminants and lower DPF regens.”

FR3 and H-D TESTING RESULTS:
“In the testing we saw great results adding FR3 to our oils in the bikes,” says Baumgardner. FR3 improved in the horsepower and torque of each motorcycle in the testing.

Hot Shot’s Secret FR3 had a noticeable effect on the performance of both test motorcycles. Test #1 showed an increase of 3.21 in horsepower and an additional 3.39 ft/lbs of torque, an increase of 3.3% and 3.2% respectively. Test #2 proved an increase of 1.62 in horsepower and an additional 1.22 ft/lbs of torque, an increase of 1.8% and 1.1% respectively.

The additional transmission evaluation on the 2015 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special FLTRXS after baseline and product trials during Test #2 showed a reduction of .62 horsepower and an increase of 1.41 ft/lbs of torque, -.69% and 1.32% respectively. FR3, the tested product, improved both the horsepower and torque of each motorcycle in every dynamometer test. When added to the transmission, horsepower increase was negligible over baseline results, but torque was noticeably increased.

Click to see complete details on the H-D FR3 dyno testing.

 

BEFORE YOU GO, 4 EASY MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR YOUR BIKE:

Straight from the service shops, our experts offer a few tips for simple and preventive maintenance:

Safety Check: Visually inspect for hazards. “Just like being a pilot of an airplane, when piloting a bike,” says Baumgardner. “You must have proper command, respect and understanding of a bike. And if you do not, not only in riding capability but also upkeep and understanding of the maintenance required to stay safe, you should take the car.”

Change the Oils (engine and transmission): With the majority of air-cooled bikes, heat is quick to build up requiring nothing but the best oil to help dissipate the heat and provide proper lubrication in the moving parts. “Oil-changes are paramount. And you don’t want anything but the best oil in your bike. Run the good stuff,” says Dave. In any type of engine for that matter.

Check the Tires: Always check tire pressure and make sure proper tread is available for safe grip to the ground and avoiding high-speed blow-outs. “If you believe you could get more miles out of the weakened tire, and you probably can,” states Dave, “why ride the bike when you’re considering ‘pushing the tire too far.’

Check the Battery: If the bike started slow, perhaps replace the battery before you decide to head further down the road, stranded with a bike that won’t start. There is likely never a convenient time for a battery to go bad on a road trip and it could be a long push back home.

Baumgardner recommends that “riding is a fun experience, a hobby and a sport that can’t afford short cuts. If the bike needs something, do it. And if you can’t afford to do it, park it until you can. Be prepared, and confident in your equipment, so you can have fun riding.”

Dave Baumgardner Testimonials:

“We sell Hot Shot’s Secret FR3 at our main parts counter. Our customers that buy FR3 come back and they buy it again. It’s part of their regiment. They don’t just try FR3 once. They stick with it. It’s the only additive we sell.”

“I’ve bought other additives before Hot Shot’s, and I am totally confident with FR3, and it’s available at fair prices. I use FR3 in my personal Chevy Cruze diesel. I’m reasonably confident it gets better fuel mileage when I’m using FR3, and I think it makes the motor run a little more smoothly than a conventional diesel. It’s a good product!”

“I should probably throw some of this in my trunk, to sell when I’m at the races for all the race car haulers!”

“Everyone I’ve met with Hot Shot’s Secret have been top shelf, very professional people!”

Disclaimer:
By contributing to this article, Dave is not endorsing the use of Hot Shot’s Secret products and recommends following manufacturer’s guidelines.

Are Additives Worth It?

Are Additives Worth It?

“The right additives actually are an enhancement to the source motor oils and fuel we put in our trucks.”

Fake, Bogus, Bill of Goods, Rip-Off, Snake Oil – Perhaps a few terms that come to mind when some consider the use of additives as a beneficial assist in our vehicle’s mechanical operations. And while there are cases where this may be true in the old-days of fuel and oil additives where that bottle of magic juice actually was just snake oil, unfortunately there are still a few big name, big marketing agency-based companies that are still getting away with it today.

“I have customers come to me asking to put in XYZ additives in their truck,” says J.C.Counts, owner/operator at TD Diesel (Newberry, SC), “It puts me in an awkward position because I know their request is for a sub standard product. I ask them if they can tell me literally why they want this particular brand and what makes it work, as the product they want to pour into their truck. Naturally, they don’t have an answer for it, and usually call out something unrelated to their issue. They simply recognize the name on the shelf and nothing about the product itself.”

Fortunately however, there are very real alternatives, with very real solutions that provide results and extend the life of vehicles on the road while building exuberant customer satisfaction. Products truly do exist, with plenty of scientific origin, testing, data, and customer results to provide a successful solution among the world of misfit additives. And many are quickly discovering the benefits of the proper additives in the proper applications.

“For a while, I had tried very few additives,” says Counts, “because I was under the impression for years, that oil is good enough and shouldn’t need anything over and above the refineries and manufacturing representations. I thought if you added anything you would be disturbing the chemical properties and makeup of the oil specifications. I have since learned that the right additives actually are an enhancement to the source motor oils and fuel we put in our trucks.”

SO WHAT’S CHANGED?:

Counts feels that “technology, scientific research and market testing have made the difference. With so many years of questioning if additives are worth it, my vendor has chosen to prove that YES, additives are very much worth it.”

The evolution of base products has improved and quality raw materials are now more readily available to manufacturers. Also with engine tolerances running tighter and more precision in the design of mechanical parts, the proper additives now play a crucial role in engine protection due to the sophistication of mechanical and engine design. And consumers are paying attention too. Consumers are acquiring a better understanding of their vehicle maintenance and noticing the improvements and added miles that proper additives can deliver to the lifespan of their vehicles. The added value helps consumers hang on to their trucks for longer durations at an improved overall cost of ownership.

MOTOR OIL ADDITIVES:


With the essential function of the motor oil to easily flow through the motor, lubricate the friction between moving parts and dissipate heat throughout, the proper additive can be essential to its core use.

I always recommend manufacture specs or higher to my customers,” says J.C., “and I follow in my own personal vehicles as well. Specific to Cummins recommendations I can consistently pull my Fleetguard oil filters, and I can cut the filter open for oil analysis, showing the additive benefits and enhancements of the oil flowing through my truck.

Additives are included to help improve viscosity, reduce friction of the moving parts and keep the engine cooler in daily operations. The proper additive blends work synergistically with the source oil compounds to create an increased lubricity bond within the combination of fluids flowing through the entire motor.

FUEL ADDITIVES:


For diesel fuel applications, the refineries are required to distribute the newer ultra low sulphur fuel with less lubricity. Bio diesel contains moisture. Ethanol and methanol configurations require the moisture to be displaced from your fuel. With the various hydrocarbons and polar-solvents in the fuel mixtures, the unknown characteristics of the fuel at the pump can cause some impactful and sometimes damaging results in your engine. The correct additives however, can help disperse the moisture, boost cetane, remove the internal deposits and build-up, and help stabilize the various fuel blends so the motor is operating more efficiently, with less damage and more prevention of breakdowns. Especially with diesel fuel, the right additive helps restore the lubricity filtered out of the fuel from the refinery.

“I’ve owned a 12-valve, a 24-valve and now my common rail Cummins. I’ve driven different buddies’ trucks and a ton of trucks in my customer’s fleets, and just running straight diesel fuel is not the answer,” says J.C.. “There is a huge difference with the right additives, where I can tell my mileage is better. I can tell I have improved throttle response. My fuel filters are cleaner at replacements, and specific to my vendor’s additives, mine are nearly as clean and white as when I first installed it.

HOW THE PROPER ADDITIVES HELP:


FR3 Friction Reducer (from Hot Shot’s Secret ) is a lubricity-enhancing oil additive that increases the lubricating and wear reduction properties of the host oil. The product contains patented synthetic lubricants that have unique lubricating properties even compared to PAO or mPAO synthetics of the same viscosity. Negatively charged Group 5 synthetic esters tenaciously attach to all internal parts completely lubricating your engine. Esters are also responsible for the increased rubber seal lubrication as well as a slight swelling of the seal for less oil leaks. The anti-wear component of the formula is a patented carbon Nano particle that fills in microscopic irregularities on the machined surface to provide a smoother surface for the lubricating film to form. Wear rates are reduced by 43% on the ASTM G-133 test when using FR3. The patented nano particles cross link at the surface which increases film strength and boundary lubrication. The synergy of these components extends the base oil performance in shear stability, oxidation stability, film strength and especially friction reduction. Lost compression is regained by cleaning deposits on the rings and pistons and by providing a smoother sealing surface for the rings which results in better ring sealing, less blow-by and increased combustion efficiency. The reduction in the coefficient of friction reduces operating temperatures and improves the oxidative stability of the host oil ensuring longer life for your engine. Fuel mileage and horsepower gains of 5% are not uncommon with the use of FR3 as backed up by dyno and road testing.

Everyday Diesel Treatment (EDT) helps replenish the missing lubricity of modern Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) and biodiesel. The removal of sulfur, and hence the lack of lubricity, from diesel fuel causes added friction against all of the moving parts in your fuel system. Plus, waxy soap deposits that were soluble in higher sulfur content fuels are now forming in fuel systems and very difficult to filter. Most diesel fuel contains at least a portion of biodiesel which contains glycerides. Hot Shot’s Secret Everyday Diesel Treatment was formulated with an injector cleaner, cetane improver, neutral and sulfur free lubricity agent, water dispersant, rust and corrosion inhibitor and fuel stabilizer. EDT’s injector cleaner specifically cleans IDID’s as well as the original carbon coking External Diesel Injector Deposits (EDID’s) and waxy soap deposits. EDT’s injector cleaner cleans all parts of your fuel system including upper cylinders, fuel tank, fuel pumps and lines. The injector cleaner is also responsible for bringing asphaltenes and glycerides back into solution and preventing further ashpaltenes and glycerides from forming. With your diesel fuel void of carboxylic salts, waxy deposits, asphaltenes and glycerides in suspension, the problems with filter plugging and injector deposits are solved. DDS and HDS acids are neutralized by the injector cleaner to keep more carboxilic salts from forming. Independent testing shows that power-loss is restored up to 67% in the Peugeot CEC F98-08 DW-10 test with the keep clean level of injector cleaner found in EDT. It also passes the ASTM D2068 Filter Blocking Test. The Cetane levels found in diesel fuel in most states is around 42 to 45. The minimum required by ASTM D 975 is 40. Most diesel engines operate more efficiently with a fuel that has a cetane rating of 48 to 50. Fuels with higher cetane burn more efficiently and completely than those with lower cetane ratings. EDT contains a cetane improver that will raise your cetane number 4 to 7 points. There are many advantages to increase cetane numbers. Cold starting is improved and less black smoke is seen as a result of the improved combustion efficiency. Less hydrocarbons and particulate matter in your exhaust reduce the blocking of your Diesel Particulate Filter and using EDT in your fuel has been shown to reduce DPF regens 50%. Increased cetane levels have also shown to improve fuel mileage and power. Fleet tests with EDT have shown an improvement in fuel mileage up to 7.3% and up to 12.3% increase in power due to the combination of Hot Shot’s Secret injector cleaner and cetane improver. This combination is also responsible for restored throttle response. EDT provides a cetane improvement in the fuel for a smoother, less erratic pressure buildup in the combustion chamber during the ignition delay period which occurs between injection and ignition.

STICTION ELIMINATOR is composed of a safe and effective synthetic cleaner that dissolves the stiction found on oil-wetted components, resulting in a rating of 92% clean in the ASTM D4828 scrub test. A Group V synthetic ester assists in bringing deposits and additives back into solution, reducing friction and lubricating your oil system. Originating as a request by International Truck and Engine for a product that eliminated the performance and warranty issues caused by stiction in the Navistar and Powerstroke Hydraulic Electric Unit Injectors (HEUI injectors), Stiction Eliminator eliminates the sticky friction caused by byproducts of burnt oil, thereby eliminating the hard starting when cold, bucking, missing, chugging and black smoke. Stiction Eliminator restores HEUI injectors back to factory specifications and rejuvenates the engine to optimal performance by restoring the oil flow through the injectors, which corrects injector timing, fuel flow and the spray pattern of injectors. Stiction Eliminator cleans the gum, varnish and stiction while also lubricating everything the oil touches in the engine. Similar to HEUI injectors the same benefits hold true for many other engine components. Stiction can form on many other components as well. Turbocharger bearings operate with tight tolerance and extreme heat (reaching temperatures upwards of 400°F), and are a known victim of stiction buildup. Stiction Eliminator helps reduce spool time while building maximum boost sooner in the RPM range. Stiction Eliminator is an inexpensive preventative measure to avoid stiction problems in the future. Stiction Eliminator was formulated to be left in for the entire duration of your oil’s lifetime. Stiction Eliminator is not a flush that contains harsh solvents which can potentially harm your engine. Whether used to solve an existing problem or as a preventative measure, Stiction Eliminator is guaranteed to clean and protect your engine.

And don’t just take our word for it! Just like the conclusion of this article includes raving testimonials, please visit our website for more knowledgeable articles, to see further proof of Hot Shot’s Secret success and even more testimonials for satisfied customers that also are now true believers. Are additives worth it? If you want your truck to run better, reduce total cost of ownership, reduce breakdowns, and stay on the road longer, then the answer is ‘yes.’

Testimonials:

“I’m sure there are additives out there, that are worth it. But in my opinion, what I have seen in my own personal experience, is that Hot Shot’s Secret is by far the best. Hot Shot’s has not only set the bar, they have put the bar so far out of reach that others cannot compare.

I have used some other big name-brand products in the past, but I never saw the results. They have more space on the shelf but I just don’t believe in it like I do the Hot Shot’s Secret fuel and oil additives.

I had a customer ask if I recommend any additives, and I said yes, the Hot Shot’s Secret additives are the product that I sell, and I believe in. I don’t push any product that I wouldn’t or don’t already use on any of my personal vehicles.

I use Everyday Diesel Treatment, FR3 and Stiction Eliminator in my 2007 Dodge 6.7 Cummins. It’s a dually with gear ratio, tire size, and everything I can adjust spec’d for my particular driving situation in town and on the highway. Regardless of highway, city, back roads, you name it – I have a combined gain of 20+ miles per gallon in fuel economy using HSS products!

I love that EDT. The Everyday Diesel Treatment is bar-none an essential. When I started adding an ounce every time at the fuel pump, I started to see awesome fuel mileage in my truck!

I learn from the facts that I study, and I watch these big-names in the industry like Firepunk diesel, that have partnered with Hot Shot’s Secret. I follow these guys that are out there doing the research, these guys that are racing, constantly tearing down their engines, and consistently testing on their dynos; I trust their results. When those guys put FR3 in an engine, test a dyno pull and promote gains of 14 horsepower, just with the Hot Shot’s Secret FR3 oil additive alone, I’m paying attention!

After I saw the Firepunk experts gain 14 horsepower, I bought a bottle of FR3 the next day. I poured it in and noticed how slick it was – like nothing I had ever seen in the past, with ANY other additives. I fired the truck up and once the oil pressure came up, it sounded like a totally different vehicle. It ran like a Singer sewing machine!! I was amazed! I was so amazed I actually didn’t believe it myself. I shut down and walked away, and started it again the next day. Same thing: Easy start, smooth, quiet and unbelievable. $20 for some Hot Shot’s Secret! Sold!

There are only a handful of labs across the country originating their own additive products. Others will buy elsewhere and stick their own label on it, but it’s not theirs. With Hot Shot’s Secret, their parent company LSI is their lab with their product!

Once realizing that yes, additives are worth it, I have tried almost everything on the market, over the past 10 years. Hot Shot’s Secret is now the only additive that I use. It’s the only product I promote and I’m not looking to deviate from that!

When it’s your livelihood on the line, I have to trust in the products I sell. If I put it in my own personal truck, I can be confident putting it in and recommending it for my customer’s trucks. The other stuff, it’s a joke. I’m glad I sought out the Hot Shot’s Secret additives instead. HSS has been an amazing return on investment ever since.”

Ford Pickup 6.0L Power Stroke Symptoms

Three Common Issues Easily Remedied

Either you love it or you hate it, but the 6.0L Ford Power Stroke as one of the ‘big three’ diesel engines on the road had made a size-able impact in the market during its four years of sales. As an adaption from the International’s VT365, the Ford-based 6.0 was designed as a step above the 7.3L in performance and fuel economy, with upgraded emissions capabilities for tightening federal regulations.
Unfortunately the motor design included flaws that had essentially earned the reputation in some circles, of being a lemon. With computer issues and related injector problems, the Power Stroke took a hit in reliability and reputation. The motor did also have it’s upside however, and many saw improvements in throttle response for example, and overall performance enhancements over the previous 7.3L. A new HUEI injection system was incorporated as well as an enhanced variable geometry turbocharger (VGT), and the savings at the pump were a noticeable difference delivered from the smaller engine.
And while the motor design included ups and downs in reviews, a few routine issues continue(d) to haunt their owners. Interestingly enough however, owners can take responsibility as well, and those that stay up to date on maintenance typically see strong and reliable results from the 6.0L Power Stroke. Below we review a few issues at the top of the list with some helpful tips to remedy:

WHITE EXHAUST SMOKE:

A couple different factors could be involved in white exhaust smoke in the 6.0L Power Stroke, like Stiction in the injectors and/or a Failing EGR cooler.
Problem: In the case where the owner notices white smoke, primarily at start-up, it could be unburned fuel in the chamber due to an injector gunked-up in stiction. Until the engine’s combustion temperatures are able to warm up, the unburnt fuel emits the white smoke typically recognized in cold starts.
Solution: Clean your fuel injectors with a full dose of Stiction Eliminator oil additive to help reduce the smoke build up in both normal operations and cold starts. Plus, poor fuel quality can allow condensation in the fuel without the owner’s recognition. If the “water in fuel” light is on, or even a suspicion of water in the fuel, Diesel Extreme helps to clear out the condensation and increase cetane. If ever any water in the fuel, always change your fuel filter, plus drain the water separator.

Problem: A failing EGR cooler could cause what appears to be white smoke, but is actually steam, indicating a leak of coolant into the exhaust system. As the first EGR system in the Ford diesel, the problematic EGR cooler can be replaced with an upgraded aftermarket cooler, available as an enhanced replacement over the factory installation.
Solution: Differentiate between coolant and fuel: If the exhaust smells slightly sweet, it is coolant. If exhaust smells almost like bug spray, it is unburned fuel.

Running Rough / Misfire

A couple different factors could be involved in rough-running operation in the 6.0L Power Stroke, like Stiction in the injectors and/or a mechanical failure of the injectors.
Problem: When the truck is running rough when starting cold, but then clears when the engine is running warm, and/or, if the truck is running rough during idle, there is a probable stiction build-up in the injectors.
Solution: The easy solution is using a dose of Stiction Eliminator in your engine oil to clean out your gummed-up injectors, enhancing both normal operations and cold starts. For a double-punch to the system, also add in Diesel Extreme when at the fuel pump, to clean out the entire fuel system.

Problem: If the truck is consistently running rough, all of the time, a severe case of stiction is a likely culprit of the spit and sputter. These symptoms can also indicate a damaged or failed injector, beyond the point of stiction elimination.
Solution: The easy solution is pouring a dose of Stiction Eliminator oil additive to clean out your gummed-up injectors, otherwise a repair or replacement may be required.

Problem: When an electrical issue, such as an ICP sensor failure, or if the FICM fails, misfires can be instructed to the injectors, causing similar spit and sputter in the engine.

Solution: Owners can visit the FAQ section of www.ficmrepair.com, and scroll down to “Can I test my FICM to ensure that it is the culprit?” and follow instructions on self-diagnosing the FICM. You will need a scan tool to properly diagnose this. If the FICM looks good, you may want to visit a knowledgeable repair shop specialized in diesel mechanics.

WHITE SMOKE AT THE OIL FILL CAP

If noticing excessive white smoke when removing the oil cap, it may be an indication of excessive crankcase pressure.
Problem: ‘Blow-by’ is when fuel, air, and moisture are forced past the cylinder rings into the crankcase. Due to the increased combustion pressure common to diesel motors, and when the pressure is too great for the piston rings to hold completely, some blow-by is normal on any diesel engine. Excessive blow-by however, can be caused by piston rings that are sticking in the bore.

Solution: One of the ways to check if blow-by is too great is to put your oil filler cap upside down on the filler hole. When running the engine, the cap gets blown off, there is too much pressure in the crank case. The easy solution is to use Stiction Eliminator and Diesel Extreme to free up both sides of piston rings.
When blow-by is caused from piston rings that are worn out, therefore the lower compression cylinder causing a misfire, these piston rings need to be replaced.

For those experiencing any of the above (or more), in any of your diesel engines, feel free to request assistance from Hot Shot’s Secret, either online and/or by phone at 1-800-341-6516.

Maintaining Your Lawn and Garden Equipment

Maintaining Your Lawn and Garden Equipment

Tips for keeping your lawn and garden equipment running great for years to come.

Spring has sprung and with the birds chirping dawn to dusk breaking the silence of winter gone by, so too returns the outdoor chores like mowing the lawn, tilling up the garden and a variety of other outdoor projects.

Much to our advantage, we now have the ability to trade up from rotating spinning blades powered by our legs pushing across the yard, to rotating spinning blades under the deck of our motorized zero-turn lawn mowers. Instead of strapping on the plow to the back of the horse, we can run our motorized tiller to churn up fresh dirt for planting. And with the continued advent of mechanical-powered machinery to ease our strains of manual ‘horsepower,’ also comes the need to maintain our equipment for prolonged use.

Whether it’s the push mower, or the riding mower, whether it’s the leaf blower, or the roto-tiller, whether it’s the skid steer or the mini excavators barreling across our properties, they all need the proper attention to perform their intended duties. “Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance,” says Mike McNutt from Detailed Lawn Care Service (Hubertus, WI). “I have 2050 hours on my zero turns, starting and running great every time, because I have done what is needed.”

“Among other things I change out the spark plugs annually. I’ll blow out air filters once a week, I change the fuel filters once a year, change oil at 50 hours, hydraulic fluid and filter changes at 100 hours, I sharpen blades at 25 hours. The proper maintenance will keep your gear running a long time. I check my oils every day. A zero turn costs almost the same as a car,” chuckles McNutt, “so I try to take care of it all.”

Equipment:

With the multitudes of helpful equipment on the market today, below are a few categories and selected items that may be out in the shed, or available in your garage today. A few considerations for operation can help in safety and maintenance:

Lawn Mowers: Whether push, ride and/or zero turn, many of the same Checklist principles apply:
• Remove and clean out any unwanted debris.
• Tighten or replace any loose nuts & bolts.
• Sand, prime and paint rusted parts.
• Replace, cap, wrap or coat any bare or frayed wiring connections.
• Check your spark plugs for proper gap and spark.
• Avoid tipping the mower in a direction where fluids might seep into the air filter and/or into the combustion chamber.
• Drain any stale fuel that may be present after the winter storage, or add fuel stabilizer in the gas tank, before starting.

Hot Shot’s Secret Application(s) for Lawn Mowers:

Product: FR3 Friction Reducer
Dose: 1.5 oz per Quart of Oil
Frequency: Every Oil Change
Benefits: Users can gain up to 5% Fuel mileage and horsepower. FR3 Friction Reducer is a lubricity-enhancing oil additive that increases the lubricating and wear reduction properties of the host oil. It increases rubber seal lubrication for less oil leaks and cleans deposits on the rings and pistons, thereby providing a smoother sealing surface for the rings. Lost compression is then restored with better ring seal, less blow-by and increased combustion efficiency.

Product: Gasoline Extreme
Dose: 1.25 oz per Gallon of Gasoline
Frequency: Once a year for moderately used equipment. Twice a year for equipment used over 100 hours.
Benefits: Gasoline Extreme is a deep-clean for fuel injectors, thereby restoring the flow and spray pattern from gummed-up fuel injectors. Intake Valve deposits are cleaned 69% on average, restoring valve seating and volumetric efficiency. A special lubricity additive is included in Gasoline Extreme helping pumps and injectors move freely. All of which add up to more efficient fuel burn and improved gas economy.

“Edgers”: Included in the category is also Leaf Blowers and Weed Eaters. Before conducting any maintenance, be sure the power button is in the off position, the gas tank is empty and the spark plug wire is disconnected and pulled away from the cylinder.

• Use a brush with a mix of water and detergent to clean off any grease, dirt and debris.
• Check all screws, bolts and nuts for tightening as needed.
• In a 4-cycle engine, check the oil level and consistency before every use.
• Check string or blades for proper stability and extension.
• Remove and inspect the spark plug for proper gap and spark. If the plug tip is black, replace the spark plug.
• After use for the last time in the season, empty the fuel tank to avoid condensation and fuel breakdown.

Hot Shot’s Secret Application(s) for Edgers:

Product: FR3 Friction Reducer
Dose: 1.5 oz per Quart of Oil
Frequency: Every Oil Change
Benefits: FR3 esters provide increased rubber seal lubrication as well as a slight swelling of the seal for less oil leaks and a regain in compression. FR3 provides enhanced protection against engine wear with a patented carbon Nano particle that fills in microscopic irregularities on the machined surface allowing a smoother surface for the lubricating film to form. FR3 components extends the base oil performance in shear stability, oxidation stability, film strength and especially friction reduction.

Chainsaws: For the utmost safety protection and operation, proper use of a chainsaw requires routine inspection and maintenance prior to every start of the motor:
• Ensure the chain brake is functioning properly.
• Check and/or replenish bar and chain oil level before each use.
• Remove debris from the cooling fins and air intake.
• Check the flywheel fins to avoid blockage of air from cooling the engine.
• Sharpen the chain to reduce load on the motor plus help avoid kickbacks.
• When the cutting tooth has been worn down to less than 4 mm, replace the chain.
• Clean debris from the saw after each use.

Hot Shot’s Secret Application(s) for Chainsaws: (All 2 Cycle engines)

Product: FR3 Friction Reducer
Dose: Pre-mix 1.5 oz. FR3 per Quart of 2-cycle oil, then mix 2-cycle oil blend with gas at usual treat ratio. (1:40, 1:50 per manufacturer’s instructions)
Frequency: every tank
Benefits: Wear rates are reduced by 43% (ASTM G-133 test). FR3 engages patented synthetics with unique lubricating properties improving friction reduction over PAO or mPAO synthetics of the same viscosity. Patented FR3 nano particles cross link at the surface, which increases film strength and boundary lubrication, improving shear stability, oxidation stability, film strength and especially friction reduction.

Rules-of-Thumb

Regardless of the types of equipment, similar rules can easily apply across the board for motorized lawn and garden equipment:

Change your oil.
Just as the oil is the lifeblood of the big engines, it also provides the same advantages for the smaller engines as well, requiring the same attention. Without the proper oil change maintenance, lawn equipment also wears out due to increased heat and friction, and lack of lubricity.

Change your filters.
Air Filters allow a cleaner air into the combustion chamber helping with efficiency in the torque and horsepower of the smaller engines as well as a cleaner burn and therefore, exhaust emission into the environment. Oil filters also help extend the lifetime of your small engine components as well. Clogged oil filters cause a backup in fresh oil and flow-through to all of the mechanical parts in friction.

Utilize Additives.
Additives help fill the gaps where some oils and fuels often fall short. Spending just a couple extra dollars on additives maintenance will go a long way in adding more lifespan to engines and motorized equipment. Additives help increase lubricity, fuel burn and heat transfer in any engine. Applying the same benefits to lawn and garden engines and moving parts can help avoid costly equipment repairs and replacements. Additives such as Hot Shot’s Secret Gasoline Extreme and FR3 Friction Reducer can help increase fuel mileage and horsepower, deep-clean and remove corrosives, improve compression and reduce oil leaks, reduce friction, heat and wear on tear on engine components, and extends the base performance in shear stability, oxidation stability, film strength and especially friction reduction in standard motor oils.

Sharpen Your Blades.
It’s easy to miss this step because we take for granted that our blades will cut through their intended materials. Not always the case though, we tend to forget what we don’t see and our engines work harder when the blades are not adequately serving their purpose. Sharpened blade helps not only get through the task more efficiently, but also saves unneeded stress on the power-plant, thereby requiring less exertion to maintain.

And don’t forget

…not only does the lawn and garden equipment in the field require maintenance, but also the hauler trucks to get all of that gear to the site. ““I have the dreaded 6.0 Power Stroke, and I’ve had the typical problems with my injectors. I use it to pull all my trailers and load down the truck bed with equipment. Using the Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme, Everyday Diesel Treatment and the Stiction Eliminator has helped my truck run better than ever,” says McNutt.

Conclusion:

With the gasoline, electrical, battery-powered and diesel driven power of modern lawn and garden equipment, large to small, all consist of a variety of moving parts, fuel mixtures and the need for additives and lubrication. Just like any other motorized vehicle, maintenance is the key to the success of your investment.

Testimonial:

“I believe in Hot Shot’s Secret. I was in for some injector repairs and the garage recommended HSS. I went online and checked them out and everything looked good. I actually called for more questions. They promised me the 100% money back guarantee and gave me all the details. And when I made the purchases, they asked me for my phone number.

A month or two later they actually called to ask how my truck was running. To me, that stands out. Nobody really cares after the sale. And they reiterated that if I still wasn’t happy, to send in the receipt. To me, that makes a big difference.

Not only did it help my injectors, I noticed I picked up a couple miles per gallon using their products.

They even sent me a bottle of FR3 friction reducer to try out as well. I loved it.”

 
 

josh scruggs ucc

Josh Scruggs – New Owner of Lavon Miller’s Firepunk Diesel Truck

With the chance to go out on top, 3-time Ultimate Callout Challenge (UCC) defending champ, Lavon Miller has recently sold his truck and taken a seat spectator-side for the 2019 racing season. As one of the most recognized trucks in diesel motorsports, Josh Scruggs will now pilot the Pro Street truck formerly owned by Firepunk Diesel.

With a pedigree of racing wins from coast to coast, the Firepunk truck has seen its share of victories in a variety of diesel’s finest displays. In addition to the former Miller daily-driver and hauler truck, this 2006 Dodge Ram 3500 has been the latest in Miller machines that garnered victories in a variety of manners ranging from the Diesel Power Challenge dyno, drag strip, obstacle course, and sled pull track competitions, to setting Pro Street records in the Outlaw Diesel Super Series (ODSS), running a 4.97 @ 151 MPH, and a top speed in the National Hot Rod Diesel Association (NHRDA), at 174.75 MPH, to even winning the Ultimate Callout Challenge three years in a row. . “We won the UCC in 2016 and we also won the Pro Street Points series in ODSS in 2016,” says Lavon Miller of his famed trophy-winning career, “which both seemed like an impossible goal for the 2016 debut on a new build! Going forward we pushed for new goals, earning the Firepunk Team a win in UCC 2017 and 2018, and being the first Pro Street truck to hit the 7’s in the 1/4 mile and the first to the 4’s in the 1/8th was monumental for our team. By the fall of 2018, we reached a point where we were faster than our chassis cert (7.99/5.00), and SFI had no provision for a faster chassis certification, which brought us to the crossroads of wondering what’s next for Team Firepunk.”

“If there were ever a ‘guinea pig’ truck that we have been testing with, it’s the Firepunk Pro Street truck,” claims Kyle Fischer, Director of Sales for Hot Shot’s Secret. “It’s exciting to have all of the success working with Lavon and the Firepunk Diesel team, and now we are excited to see what’s in store for Josh!”

“It’s nerve-racking to take ownership of a famed 2,300 horsepower and 3,400 lb-ft of torque race truck. A lot of people will be watching with their own expectations, to see if I can live up to what has come before. I hope to eventually get to where Lavon was, and many have already stepped up to help. For right now though, we are just trying to get it ready for the season,” says new owner, Josh Scruggs of Triple Hart Repair and Fab (Harrisonburg, VA).

Scruggs started racing in Honda classes and moved his way into diesel with a ’96 Dodge that his father and he converted into a pulling truck. “We got tired of messing with it though,” says Scruggs. “Every time we turned around, the rules were changing in our local pulling matches. We traded it for an ‘06 drag truck with a 6.7L, 400% injectors, S480 turbo and raced 5.90 index, and we won the 2018 Rudy’s Fall Truck Jam.”

His ‘06 was cut up and gutted about as much as it could be and Scruggs had to decide between gutting even more into a Pro Street truck, or sell it and look for something closer to ready, requiring less time for the build. With the decision to sell, Scruggs says it was a done deal within about 48 hours of posting it on Facebook. “I work with Lavon fairly often getting parts for the shop,” says Josh, “and I had mentioned I had just sold my truck.” Lavon had asked in return if Josh would be interested in the Firepunk Pro Street truck? “I didn’t know it was for sale,” mentions Josh of the conversation, “and technically it wasn’t. But if you’re interested in the truck at this price, said Miller, then we’re interested in letting it go,” claims Josh.

“Selling the Pro Street truck was undoubtedly a very hard decision to make,” says Lavon, “but we built the truck specifically to win the Ultimate Callout Challenge in 2016, then continued to race the Pro Street Class the remainder of the year. With 2019 UCC falling on the same date my wife and I are expecting the arrival of a baby girl, we found the timing of the sale to fall in-line with the goals Josh Scruggs had, and decided it was time to pass the torch, and let his team move forward with a chassis that has been so successful for our team here at Firepunk.”

Scruggs proceeded to deliver his newly sold truck to the 2018 PRI show, and bought his new one from Miller on the way back. Since then, Scruggs has had the wrenches at work. “We’ve done a lot of work,” says Josh. “We’ve been watching UCC and noticed everyone switching to cut tires so we have made that change. Lavon offered for us to use his pulling gear and we’ve kept the hitch and the plates he made. We dropped a big-truck rear end in it; drop-box reverser, 4-disc clutch, changed out the motor, and the chassis for racing is all the same except the power plant.”

“I don’t expect to pick up where Lavon left off,” says Josh. “This truck has been an icon in the diesel world, and the things he has accomplished with this truck has opened a lot of people’s eyes to what diesel can do,” credits Josh. “Pretty much anything Lavon had set out to do, he’s done it with this truck. Lavon’s are some big shoes to fill. They were a great team, got after it, had years of practice and they got it dialed in. I could have jumped in as-it-was and probably still couldn’t run what he did with it. I still have to learn this truck. With changing the power plant, turbo setups and working out the bugs, it’s a lot to get used to. I’m expecting mid 5’s until I get some seat time. Until I get used to it, and we get it dialed in as well, probably ain’t nothing gonna be the same.”

Josh has been seeing some of the same assistance come through the door however, from industry sponsors and peers offering help where they can. “Between the guys here at the shop, BD Diesel, Industrial and so many others lending a hand, it’s unbelievable the amount of help in this industry, and we couldn’t have done what we have without every one of them. I listen, and I don’t take anyone’s advice for granted. Many have been with this truck, and we are learning and trying to make something happen. I welcome everyone’s knowledge and their experience.”

Hot Shot’s Secret for example, has continued with providing racing oil to keep the motor alive. “I think it’s really gonna help out,” says Josh. “With everything Lavon has to say about Hot Shot’s Secret, I’m looking forward to a promising oil program to continue. I’m using the Adrenaline racing motor oil with the FR3 mixture, and the same Adrenaline racing transmission fluid that Lavon and HSS have worked to fine-tune.”

“We’re excited to see it in action this year. We continue with high hopes for this truck’s winning ways,” says Kyle Fischer. “Hot Shot’s Secret has been proud to be a part of this truck’s previous program and we are thrilled to see the truck continue at the track. With the torch being passed on, our sponsorship continues, and we are wishing the best to Josh and his entire team! ”

For more information on the truck and the current build, follow Josh Scruggs on Facebook and Instagram.

FR3 Friction Reducer nanotechnology

FR3: No Other Additive Like It. We Explain the Science Behind It and Why It Matters to YOU

By Eric Trimble, Lubrication Specialties, Inc.

There is not a product in the world that contains the same chemical makeup as Hot Shot’s Secret FR3 Friction Reducer. It is truly a one-of-a-kind.

There are several different chemicals that manufacturers use in their products to help reduce friction in any lubrication application, including molybdenum, phosphorus, zinc, titanium disulfide, antimony and many more. These chemicals are known as ‘friction reducers’ or ‘extreme pressure additives’ and are widely understood within the field of tribology (the study of friction, wear, lubrication; the science of interacting surfaces in relative motion).

Another form of these friction reduction or extreme pressure additives, which have become popular of late, are nano lubricants. Nano lubricants also come in many different forms, including nano diamonds, graphite, tungsten disulfide, borate, titanium and more. Every one of these friction reducers have their pros and cons, however, through extensive lab and real-world testing, Hot Shot’s Secret is using what is believed to be the most effective nano lubricant available, nano carbons.

Nano carbon particles are spherical in shape and are less than 10 nano meters in diameter. This allows the lubricant to find the voids and blemishes on a machined surface, fill these gaps and provide a smoother surface for the lubricating film to form.

While nano carbons are highly effective on their own, the researchers at Lubrication Specialties, Inc. has found one of the most innovative chemistry makeups in the world by combining these nano carbons with two other patented lubricants. The synergy between these lubricants results in one of the world’s most advanced friction reducers, Hot Shot’s Secret FR3 Friction Reducer.

The chemistry is certainly interesting, but what does it all mean for your vehicle?

 
Hot Shot’s Secret FR3 Friction Reducer has many benefits, but this oil additive is proven to reduce wear of oil-wetted components by up to 43%. This means, with proper maintenance, these components will last nearly twice as long as expected. That’s less trips to the service garage and more money in your wallet.

The unique formula of the FR3 Friction Reducer also reduces the temperature in the engine by absorbing the friction heat via the nano carbons. This, coupled with its ability to improve the host oil’s properties, allows for improved oxidation and shear stability of the oil. This helps keep the engine cleaner, longer.

Increased ring sealing is another benefit of FR3 Friction Reducer. This allows for an increase in combustion efficiency and it lowers the amount of blow-by that takes place. The increased efficiency of the engine also provides an increase in fuel economy and horsepower for any vehicle by up to 5%.

Older vehicles will especially notice a difference when running Hot Shot’s Secret FR3 Friction Reducer. Any compression or fuel economy that has been lost over time will be restored, noise and vibration will be quieted, and overall performance will be noticeably improved.

Recently bought a new vehicle? Make sure it lasts by using Hot Shot’s Secret FR3 Friction Reducer. It is a fully guaranteed product, like every Hot Shot’s Secret Product, and is backed by science. For more information, click here.

Originally published in LSI Magazine – Issue 109 – Spring 2019

Diesel Motorsports Fun Facts

Diesel Motorsports Fun Facts

Back half – (drag racing)
Referring to distance from the 1/8-mile mark to the 1/4 mark of the track.

Bleach box – (drag racing)
Area where bleach is deposited for cars to perform burnouts. Gasoline (since discontinued for safety reasons), water, and TrackBite are also used. Most organizations only permit water. This is done at the start of most drag races.

Christmas tree
Also called the Tree, the electronic starting device between the lanes on the starting line.

Deep staging
When a dragster pulls so far forward that they leave the pre-stage area and turn off the pre-stage lights on the Christmas Tree, but not far enough to leave the staged area. This is legal in drag racing. This may give the driver a few inch advantage, unless the other driver deep stages too.

Dial-in – (drag racing)
When bracket racing, drivers must estimate or “dial in” the time in which they expect to run. Therefore, two unmatched cars in weight and power can compete, by a handicap system. If one runs a faster time than dialed in, it is a breakout.

Door-slammer
Drag racing term used to group vehicles, usually sedan bodied, that still have functional doors for driver access to the vehicle, as opposed to Funny cars which have a single lightweight outer body draped over the racing chassis.

Drivers’ meeting
A meeting where drivers and officials meet before a race to discuss the upcoming event. Also referred to as Drivers’ briefing or Driver and Crew Chief meeting, as in some series, the driver and his crew chief must attend.

E.T.
Elapsed Time. A term used in drag racing about the total time the run took, from start, to finish. E.T. Slip – (drag racing) Slip of paper turned in by the race timer which denotes elapsed time for both drivers, and who won the race; it may also include reaction time and “60 foot” time. This is an official document, used for timekeeping. Also known as a timeslip.

Lit the tires – (drag racing)
Lost traction, producing smoke.

Blew the tires off
Lost traction, tires spun

Meth – (drag racing)
Refers to methanol injection used in conjunction with racing fuel

Oil down
When a race car deposits oil from the engine onto the racing surface, causing a delay.

Sixty-foot time
The time it takes a vehicle to cover the first sixty feet of the racetrack. it is the most accurate measure of the launch from the starting line and is the interval most critical to a quick e.t.

Tree’d
A racer whose reaction time is significantly slower than an opponent’s is said to have been Tree’d.

Originally published in LSI Magazine – Issue 109 – Spring 2019

3 Reasons Diesels Last Longer

3 Reasons Modern Diesel Engines Last Longer

20 years ago, a gas engine would be considered at the end of its life at 100,000 miles, but engines today are consistently making another trip around the odometer. But where gasoline engines are reaching 200,000 plus miles, diesel engines now often run for well into their 500,000-mile ranges and beyond. Here are three of the reasons diesels last longer:  

  1. THE DESIGN OF A DIESEL ENGINE

    We’ve lived long enough to know BIGGER isn’t always better, but in the case of diesel engines, it is exactly why they last longer than their petrol counterparts. Diesel engines have higher compression ratios and have higher cylinder pressures than gasoline engines. Diesel engines are built with these considerations in mind. They have a larger crankshaft and camshaft, which requires larger bearings and sturdier main and rod bolts. Larger crankshafts and camshafts also means increased clearance which allows for better oil flow, better engine lubrication equals less engine wear.

  2. There are other key design differences of the diesel engine that contribute to its longevity, they include:

    • Gear driven design
      Why it matters: You won’t have to worry about timing belt failure.
    • Piston cooling jet
      Why it matters: Sprays engine oil on the bottom of your pistons to prevent premature wear, by keeping pistons cool and properly lubricated.
    • No Spark Plugs
      Why it matters: Compression motor delivers a slower burn which creates less stress and more torque, inherent to diesel engine efficiency.

     

  3. DIESEL FUEL
    Another reason diesel engines last longer than gas engines: diesel fuel is a type of distillate fuel, that is essentially produced from crude oil, which gives diesel engines slower cylinder wear than gasoline engines. This gives diesel fuel lubrication properties that extend the life of your engine. On the contrary, gasoline is primarily made of aromatic hydrocarbons that act similar to solvents, that are harsh and corrosive with no lubricity and therefore wears the components of your engine faster. Diesel engines have lower Exhaust Gas Temperatures (EGT’s) which also helps their longevity. Although Diesel Fuel has more BTU’s, 139,000 versus 115,000 BTU’s for gasoline, the laws of thermodynamics indicate that the expansion rate of higher compression ratio diesel engines actually cool the exhaust gases faster. Coupled with the lower auto-ignition temperature of about 410°F for diesel fuel compared to the 495°F of gasoline, the initial flame front is cooler. Diesel engines also run at a much leaner air to fuel ratio which can be anywhere from 25:1– 70:1 as opposed to 12:1 – 16:1 for gasoline, so the extra air helps cool the EGT’s. Gasoline burns much quicker than diesel fuel. Less shock to the rotating assembly occurs because of the slower laminar speed of the flame during combustion which aids in the durability of diesel engines.
  4. RPMS
    The third key to diesel longevity is the operating efficiency. Diesel engines run at lower RPMs (revolutions per minute) and achieve higher levels of torque, relative to a gas engine. Being able to operate at a lower speed to achieve the same power means less wear on your pistons, rings, cylinder walls, bearings, valves and guides which aids in lengthening the life of your engine. Diesel engines are typically left running when not in operation for short periods in time. Since a large percentage of wear occurs at startup, the constant cycling of turning the engine on and off saves in wear over that of a gasoline engine. It also reduces the heat cycles and keeps operating temperatures constant.

Expert Spotlight: Here is what Stephen Peters of PSP Diesel, known for their 6.0L builds, (South Houston, TX) has to say about why diesels last longer:

“Diesel owners are using their diesels as much more intended for their purposes; to provide maximum torque, and to run for longer durations in the day, opposed to the typical start/stop patterns of the gasoline engine. They are not subjected to quick start and stops. Starting the engine is one of the most abrasive acts of the motor. While idling the motor is not the ideal condition, most of these trucks are started in the beginning of the day and turned off at the end. They run long hours and are worked very hard, but that is their purpose.”

Peters adds, “Diesel engines are just built tougher. The blocks are bigger, the walls are thicker, and the pistons are larger, for example. And with the added bulk even, let alone the precision in tolerances in the rings to prevent blow-by, the design originates with lubrication in mind, aiding in the reduction of friction and damage to the rubbing parts.”

DIESEL ENGINE MAINTENANCE IS IMPERATIVE TO ENGINE LIFE

While diesel engines were built to last, like all valuable things you will want to take care of your investment with regular maintenance.

Diesel owners can take simple but effective preventive measures, with the use of additives for their oil and fuel mixtures. With lubricity as such a high standard in diesel operation, additives help balance out the fuel mixtures providing more lubricity in the ultra-low sulphur fuel. Motor oils designed to the higher demands of the diesel workhorse last longer and have less viscosity breakdown as well as enhanced heat transfer, and high quality engine coolant helps keep the overall operating temperatures lower to reduce added friction from heat expansion. Hot Shot’s Secret additives and coolants were specifically designed for the heavy duty rigors of diesel engines in mind.

With the simple additions of the correct engine and transmission fluids, you can be sure your diesel engine will be around for the long haul.

Testimonial:

“Hot Shot’s Secret makes some amazing products, and we have been using them for years.

We are known for our 6.0L builds. And with the high-pressure oil systems, those injectors are really reliant on good oil quality. If not, over time, injectors build up debris, and I can give a laundry list of times that customers have come in the shop and their injectors are pretty much on their way out.  We hand them a 2qt bottle of Hot Shot’s Secret Stiction Eliminator, and we don’t hear from them for another year regarding their injectors. Our customers come back stating ‘this stuff worked great and my injectors lasted another year longer!’ ”

Stephen Peters
PSP Diesel
South Houston, TX