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W. Tripp

Octane Boosters

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There is a LOT of good and bad info on octane boosters available today. Basically, if you do not need additional octane for your engine to run correctly, don't add it. In most cases, running more octane than you need will slow down the combustion process, and make less power - there are exceptions to this rule. If you want to run more compression and timing advance, then you may need more octane to make more power.

Race fuel is an expensive option, either running it added to pump gas, or by itself. Commercial Octane boosters usually use toluene and xylene as the major ingredients, and cost MUCH more than buying the same stuff in the paint section of your local hardware store.

I am having a new STV River Rocket built that will be powered by a stock 280 Merc rotator with bolt on aftermarket parts. I am planning on changing the heads to run 185 psi compression and higher on premium pump gas with additives. This will work out some of the BS about our engines and the fuel they burn - stay tuned.

below are some links that I think are informative:

Toluene FAQ - http://elektro.cmhnet.org/~charlie/photos/cars/audi/toluene.html

Home Brew Octane Boosters - http://www.vtr.org/maintain/gasoline-octane.html

Popular Hot Rodding article 1998 - http://www.ducatimeccanica.com/gas.html

Combustion controlling additives - http://www.syty.org/archives/syty/9807/msg00545.html

TK-7 - http://www.bndautomotive.com/page/page/931760.htm

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A very interesting post...The first link is most interesting..

So what will your octane requirements be with the 185psi heads? As I understand the Toluene / gas  (92 octane) mix you would get 103 octane by mixing 50 / 50...This would be a bit cheaper than the cost of race fuel which I assume is in the neighborhood of 3.50 to 4.50 a gal...And you would be one of Sherwin Williams best customers :)

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JJ - I will be using a fuel additive called TK-7 that I have used for years. I LIKE the stuff, and my friends call it "engine crack". 1oz treats 4 Gallons. If you can't find much info on the web, send me an e-mail. I will send you some info.


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Hey Wayne, thanks for the great reading!  The TK-7 page states 1oz per 6 gallons will result in a 9 point increase of octane rating.  Do you run that at 1oz per 4 gals?  If so, what does that yield?

Also, looking at the toulene stuff, could toulene be added to, say, 100octane pump gas as easily as to standard 91?  If yes, in up to 50/50 mix, that *could* theoretically yield 107 octane fuel.

Sounds good to me.  :)  Maybe I should get Jay to tighten up the heads a bit.  :D

Have you run toulene yet?  What does it do to the fuel curve?  Have to richen it up?

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Toluene has several key factors that you should know. It is higher octane. It has a higher specific gravity that gives more power. AND it burns FASTER than race fuel. It is added to the high octane race fuels to increase octane and speed up the burn so more advance in not need.

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Thanks Wayne,

I guess the guys who I buy fuel from @ 4.50/gal are gonna miss me :0

I don't whether to set up a tolulene plant in the garage or get some TK-7.  ;)  I guess the mix is bout the same??? Cleans/lubricates/boosts??

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Trikki10106 -

I have been using tk-7 for over 10 years. The claims for this product make it sound like Ssssssnake oil - it most definately is not. In fact the FTC forced TAL Technologies (the manufacturer) into court several years ago - stating that the product could not do what it claims. TAL spent a LOT of money on outside lab testing and test by well known engine builders to prove the claims. Since then, the U.S. government is one of their buyers; Caterpiller, JB Hunt, Don Garlitz, are a few others. The US Government has said that this product is no longer allowed to be sold to some countries, as it could be used to extend the range of SCUD missiles by up to 30%. (do an internet search for TK-7 and scud).

Send me an e-mail and I will send you a file that has an outside test on TK-7 by a well known engine builder that is involved in NASCAR engines outside of Charlotte, NC. 1/4 ounce per gallon in 91 octane pump premium gives it the same detonation resistance as 100.9 octane race fuel. The RGF (race gas formula) is even more potent.

*info and name deleted to protect the "fast-but-doesn't-want-anyone-to-know-why-or-how"*

Wayne Tripp  

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As a side note:

I have used Toluene for increasing octane and speeding up combustion in ratios up to 30%. I can get it from a local paint supply for $3.50 a gallon in a 5 gallon pale. They order it in drums as "Methyl Benzine" or "Toluol" - different names for the same stuff. It costs $5 a gallon for Parks brand at the local Lowes/Home Depot.

If you are going to use brand name octane boosters, the stuff from NOS seems to be the best. A can will give up to 95-96 octane from premium pump gas, depending on the quality of gas you start with.

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Same as posted by W. Tripp above

Motortec Magazine - www.motortecmag.com - January, 2001

TK 7 Fuel Additive - Page 1

I should warn those of you who are into instant gratification that this is going to be one of the longest tests you will read. Indeed it rivals my 22 page article in, if my memory serves me right, the April '81 edition of Popular Hot Rodding entitled 'The Great Nitrous Oxide Shootout'. If you don't want to wade through, or cannot wait to get to the test results then go to the sidebar entitled "TK7 Test - Quick Check" at the end of this feature.

Normally product tests would be in our product test section but in this instance I felt there was so much of General Interest in the testing of the TK7 that it warranted going under that heading. I wanted to both congratulate and condemn the FTC (Federal Trades Commission) and thank a number of companies that helped out along the way. Also there are psychological aspects and associated tales worth telling as it all contributes to how many of us see additives and their role or place in the market.

Additives - General Reputation - Snake Oil !

You would think that only the youngest and most naive among us would whole heartedly believe all the claims made on additive bottles. But there is, in most of us, an element that wants to believe, if only to a minor degree, that the claims on the bottle have some foundation in truth. If you want proof of this look no further than the staggering sales of age defying creams. Maybe modern science is just now producing something that works but up to the '80's I'm sure every single bottle and jar sold was substantially misrepresented. This has been my experience with automotive oil and fuel additives - a lot of hype and not much else.

I have been dyno testing additives since about 1964 and one thing is for sure - they have, in my experience, the highest rate of any product group for failing to work. So much so that by the late '70's, after a couple of dozen additive tests, all of which failed to deliver one iota of the power increases claimed, I stopped testing. The principle reason was because the salable editorial I was getting from such tests was almost zero. I say "almost zero" with good reason because there were some incidents worth a few words. One was when I was testing a lot of performance parts for a book I was doing on the Ford 2 litre Pinto motor.

I had built a dyno mule motor, which, in base line form, would click off near identical power curves time after time from one week to the next. I had just finished a series of tests and was getting ready to pull the motor from the dyno when a young man with salesman written all over him came into the shop. Guess what - he had the latest and greatest oil additive the world had ever seen and had, as far as he was concerned, all the right pieces of paper to prove it.

After a cursory look at the printed blurb I said "we have a test motor and a dyno right here - let's test it". It was apparent that this young man had never even heard of a dyno let alone seen one. After a very brief explanation of what a dyno did he agreed to a test.

To establish a baseline five power curves were taken. These all fell well within 1.5% of each other so were used to get an average result. Next the additive was added and the motor run as per instructions for 10 or so minutes to let the additive do it's stuff. The "after" power tests were then done. Over the 2500 to 7000 rpm band tested the motor lost an average of 0.2 of a horsepower. A change that small is within experimental error but if the product had given even 1% gain tests would have almost certainly shown it. When confronted with the results this young salesman looked me right in the eye and sternly commented - "This proves to me that dyno's are a waste of time !" The need to believe in this product, regardless of strong evidence to the contrary, over ruled all.

Knowing It Doesn't Work

Of course there are those that know the product they are touting does not work - but they are going to sell it anyway. A few years ago at SEMA I approached a senior staff member of a company that was throwing huge sums of money promoting the sale of a well-known and somewhat controversial additive. I approached the person concerned and introduced myself in my capacity as a tech writer. I inquired about the possibility of performing some comprehensive testing to establish the worth of the additive for once and for all. The interesting thing is that my suggestion was very well received and it seemed like this gentleman could not do enough for me to help these tests get published. He rounded off what he thought would be the end of the conversation with comments along the lines of "we will get a motor on our dyno and call you when the tests are ready to be run". To this I replied "well no - I had in mind to use my own dyno so that the results will be completely independent (I was subtle enough not to add "and fudge free")". It was obvious this gentleman was amazed that a tech writer actually owned a dyno but more to the point his whole demeanor changed. With what appeared to be a far more reserved disposition he informed me they would organize something and let me know. I never did hear back !

From the forgoing it should be easy to see most of my reasoning behind giving up on additive tests - it's a waste of time and usually my money. But there is another. Namely that many additive manufactures (like the one just mentioned) seem to have big advertising budgets and spend large sums advertising or sponsoring events. Selling a story about a massively hyped additive that does not work to a magazine earning hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in advertising from that company is, to say the least, difficult! If the fact that up to about the mid '80's I had borne the cost of dyno testing products is taken into account it won't be difficult to see that for me, testing additives was quickly loosing any appeal whatsoever. The reality was a bit like standing in the workshop men's room and flushing hundred dollar bills down the toilet. If I sound a little pessimistic about additives excuse me, but I think I have reasonable grounds for doing so. All this led me in the mid '80's, to adopt a policy of "no free dyno testing", especially for additive manufactures.

Octane Testing - a Different Way

During the early '80's the fuels we were buying at the pumps in the US were seemingly at an all time, post '50's, low in terms of octane value. That this was so appeared pretty much common knowledge. It was also apparent that any fuel company that could advertise higher octane on the pump was going to sell more fuel. As a result there appeared to be an "octane war" brewing.

Having had some experience with fuels and ways and means of raising octane values I was aware that it is possible to formulate a fuel that showed well in a CFR octane test motor for R+M/2 figures but did not resist detonation significantly better in a road motor. Why would a fuel company do that ? At the time brewing octane into unleaded fuels was expensive but making them look better on the pump for the purposes of sales was not. What I wanted to find out was just how good (or not as the case may be) these higher-octane fuels were. A CFR test was not going to tell me anything I did not already know from reading the labels on the service station pumps.

Different Test Procedures

At this point I felt a different kind of test was needed. One that was more applicable to the motors we drove on the street. The test I conceived was to use a very high compression (14/1), short cammed, small block Chevy and test the power output of fuels rather than doing a direct test of their Octane number. The logic is simple - we don't care what the octane value is just the amount of power at the driving wheels. If you were offered 50 octane fuel that would deliver double the power would you worry about having to retard the timing 20 degrees if that's what it took? No - at least not if you are in your right mind. This was the concept of my test motor. It would test for what we might call the apparent octane value of the fuel. How resistant it was to detonation would be measured by the amount of advance that could be used before a knock sensor found detonation. How effective it was as a fuel would be measured by how much HP was developed at the test speed of 3000 rpm !

With an intake manifold coupled to the city water supply the temperature of the intake charge, a key issue when testing octane, could be varied by as much as 70 degrees F. The following chart shows the test procedural differences between Motor Octane Numbers (MON) and Research Octane Numbers (RON). The higher temperatures of the MON test typically result in numbers about 8 octane less than the RON test.


``CFR Octane Motor Test Parameters

Motor Octane

Research Octane

Inlet Air Temp

300 F (149 C

125 F (52 C)

Water Jacket Temp

212 F (100 C)

212 F (100 C)

Test RPM

900 RPM

600 RPM

Motortec Magazine - www.motortecmag.com - January, 2001

TK 7 Fuel Additive - Page 2

Service Station Fuel Apparent Octane

With the Apparent Octane test motor ready to go, the first project I did, in about '86, was to test all the popular premium fuels to see how effective some of the then new higher octane ones were. I suspected that a lot of the higher octane values did not significantly reduce detonation in our road cars. This largely proved to be the case. A 93 octane fuel at the intake temperatures seen in a typical high performance road car tolerated less advance and delivered slightly less power than two other brands of 91 octane. It was only when the intake charge temperature was reduced to that seen in a typical drag race car the 93 octane fuel showed any advantage.

Basically the 93 octane fuel had been arrived at by boosting the Research Octane Number of the fuel, which is measured at a much cooler temp than our road cars run at, rather than the Motor Octane Number, which is nearer the temperature they do run at. The bottom line here is that the extra octane numbers looked good on the pump but did nothing for our road vehicles. What would have been much better was something that helped our road vehicles but did nothing for the octane values as seen by a CFR octane test motor.

The fuel octane test proved to be the basis of a good magazine feature. When it came out the novel format of these tests prompted TAL Technologies Inc., manufacturers of TK7 additive and the subject of our tests, to contact me. They had an additive for which all kinds of claims were made and the FTC was on their case and had charged them with false advertising. Working on the premise that almost all additives were snake oil (my experience to date had shown this to largely be the case) and that people who peddled it were often out of touch with reality I expected that after a test cost quote this job would go away. Much to my surprise it did not and so started the first of one of the most extensive and time consuming series of tests I have ever conducted.

TK7 Fuel Additive- The Claims

The original basis of the TK7 formula, which was developed for military use, is a story in itself, but we already have too much to cover to get into that. Suffice to say that after extensive tests of their own TAL Technologies felt they could justify the following claims.

1) An increase in the road ( or apparent) Octane of the fuel.

2) An increase in power output while reducing emissions.

3) A reduction in the exhaust valve seat recession problem brought about by low or no lead fuels.

4) Reduced ring and bore wear.

5) Cleaning of the fuel system.

These claimed attributes are for a range of related products where the emphasis changes to suit a specific requirement. For instance TK7 Injector & Carburetor Cleaner, the subject of most of our tests, targets, as you might expect, fuel system cleaning with the other attributes as a subordinate issue. The RGF (Race Gas Formula) additive is intended to boost the power output with all the other issues subordinate to that and so on. Somewhere in the middle is TK7's most popular product, the "Super Power Booster" for day to day street use.

Essentially the bulk of the tests here were on the product that the FTC were lining up for their legal assault. Namely the Injector & Carburetor Cleaner additive targeting primarily fuel system cleaning with strong attributes in wear reduction and a moderate increase in road octane.

TK 7 & Apparent Octane

Because of the fact they are a little different to the norm these "octane" tests will need some explaining so you know what it is you are looking at or comparing. Essentially we have two unconventional octane numbers we are dealing with.

Our 14/1 CR motor looks at how well a fuel compares with a known high octane race fuel that can be used in the test motor at optimum spark advance (Mean Best Torque Timing). The reference fuel was 105 octane (R+M/2) race fuel from Daeco. At the other end of the scale we had a fuel of 90 octane that was on the point of detonation with almost no advance. A graph was made and between the two reference points a straight line drawn. In practice this method of assessing octane makes no concession to the fact that leaded fuels usually have a longer ignition delay time so it delivers conservative results. In addition to spark advance a similar graph was drawn using power as a reference.

OK I realize that without being on the spot this all sounds like it's complicated. But once a basic understanding of the principles involved it all gets a lot clearer.

Hot Manifold Tests

Let's start with the power and timing when the motor was fed with the Daeco 105 reference fuel. On this fuel with the hot manifold (about where most street cars are) it produced 217 HP at the fixed test rpm of 3000. The timing for best output was 31-32 degrees of advance. The best we could get from a particular pump fuel rated at 91 octane was 156 HP and 10 degrees of advance. This 91 octane fuel actually made more HP and allowed more timing than another well known and respected brand rated at 93 octane. The 91 octane fuel actually reacted as if it had slightly more octane than 91 where as the 93 reacted as if it had less.

Our first test was with the test motor configured with a hot intake as per a typical production street motor. This test was intended to establish whether TK7, in a motor simulating what we drive on the street, can make the fuel react as if it has more octane value. Using 92 octane base fuel and in the heated manifold configuration the results in Fig 1 were delivered. These show the test motors output was increased from 155 to 162.5 hp when the optimum (in this case) 0.4 ozs of TK7 per gallon was used.

Tests were started with a small dose of TK7 which was stepped up to, and just beyond, the point where no further power gains were seen. As can be seen from the curves Fig. 2 the best apparent octane increase occurred between 0.3 and 0.4 ozs per US gallon (0.54 -0.72 grams/litre).

With power as a criteria results showed that one of the better 92 octane test fuels used as a reference could have it's octane value increased from 92 to an apparent 93.6 and using spark advance as a reference it went from 92 to 93. As the numbers show the TK7 added some 7.5 hp to our test motor - a 4.8% increase.

Cold Manifold Tests

The next tests were to establish what TK7 would do in a motor where the air intake temperature is about that of a typical pushrod competition motor. Using the same test procedure but with a water cooled intake the results showed TK7 delivered a significantly greater response. The 92 octane base fuel and the 105 octane Daeco race fuel delivered 190.0 and 225.7 hp respectively. The optimum TK7 dose in this instance proved to be less than with the "hot test" at 0.25 ozs per US gallon. At this concentration the test motors output increased from 190 HP to 215.5 hp. These figures indicate that the apparent octane based on power has increased from 92 to no less than 100.9 and based on spark advance from 92 to 95 octane.

With the cooler charge the power took a substantial leap upward. The gain being an impressive 13.5%. However I should caution you that the high compression, short cammed test motor is intended to magnify power differences so do not assume your motor will make such big gains unless a correspondingly high compression is involved.

Low Compression Power Tests

If your motor is a very high compression unit then the power increase seen could, as some users have reported, be significantly more than in the following test. However, this test is presented for two reasons. First it represents the typical increase that can be expected each and every time TK7 is poured into the fuel tank. Second it shows what TK7 can do for a motor when insufficient fuel octane is not an issue.

For this particular conventional power test, the motor used was a 350 inch SB Chevy with a 9/1 CR, a short street cam and production heads. Induction was via a 650 cfm Holley on an production heated intake manifold. All this dumped through 1 5/8 inch diameter dyno cell headers. This is representative of many street motors. To establish a base line 7 pulls were made and the highest and lowest results thrown out. An average was then made of the remaining five curves. The same was then done with TK7 in the fuel. The chart Fig 4 shows the results of a straight 'pour in' test on a 9/1 compression motor. The base fuel was 92 Octane. The treated fuel was 87 octane pump fuel with TK7.

I suspect that this increase is partially from reduced piston friction and partially from the ignition enhancer that TK7 claims it has in all it's formulations. The result of eight tests with low compression (8.5-9.5/1) motors ranging from 52 inch (850 cc) to 468 inch (7670 cc) shows that the average gain was only less than 1% on one occasion but typically right around 1.6% and with one test as high as 3.25%. The test Fig 4 delivered an average increase of 2.7%.

Wear Tests

The basis for TK7's claim of reduced valve seat recession and bore wear is based in turn on their claim that when combustion takes place part of the TK7 formula is converted to a high grade synthetic lubricant. This appears to be the case as, when some straight TK7 was burned it left what appeared to be a very slick oil residue. Also exhaust valve stems, previously dry, appear to have a trace of lubricant.

The tests run to establish TK7's ability to reduce valve seat recession and bore/ring wear was the all time most boring test I have ever done. The fact that it involved 500 hours of dyno test time of which mostly was involved just monitoring the test motor did not help but, inescapably, that's what it took. Running the tests around the clock meant each test, with the down time for the measurements involved, took some 12 days.

Here's how these tests were done. Two identical 4 cylinder 850 cc BL (subsequently Austin Rover and now BMW) Mini motors where built. Prior to assembly the bores of each block were accurately measured at key locations with a one ten thousandths of an inch (0.0001 inch) per scale division bore gauge. The divisions on the scale were such that we could discern 40 millionths with relative ease.

Of these two motors one was to be run on straight Union 76 fuel and the other Union 76 with TK7 added. A special dial indicator test stand was made up that installed on the head so the location of the tip of each valve could be measured. The plan was to stop the motor at regular intervals and establish the position of the valves. Also the motor was to be run through a cycle to represent a variety of driving conditions. These would range from relatively small throttle openings and rpm's around 2000 - 2500 up too near Wide Open Throttle (WOT) and speeds of 4000 rpm.

After the test with the motor on un-additized fuel was finished the whole extremely boring process was repeated with the second identical motor running on TK7 additized fuel. The bar graph Fig 5 shows how TK7 reduced valve seat recession on the un-hardened seats of the 850 Mini motor. In essence seat recession was cut by an average of 362%.

At the time the valve seat recession tests were done the EPA were also doing some tests of their own on other products. I compared their test results with mine. The standard which was being used at the time, was to compare an additive's effectiveness against Tetra Ethyl Lead (TEL). The best anti - recession additives the EPA tested that I was aware of were only about 10% as effective as TEL. Our tests indicated TK7 was 28% as effective as lead or 280% better than what ever else was out there at the time that I (or seemingly the EPA) was aware of. However since I did not know the EPA's exact test procedure here comparing these numbers should be as an indicator rather than an absolute.

Motortec Magazine - www.motortecmag.com - January, 2001

TK 7 Fuel Additive - Page 3

Cylinder Bore Wear

The time each of the 850 test motors was run for was the equivalent of some 13,000 miles. Each was used with quality synthetic oil (Mobil 1) which was changed 50 hours. All cylinders of the un-additized fuel test motor showed a typical wear pattern. This was the formation of a step were the top ring comes to a stop at the top of the stroke. This step is caused by two distinct events taking place. First as the piston slows the ring is less able to "hydroplane" over the oil film and has more time to push through the what ever film there may be this far up the bore above the oil control ring.

The negative effect of reduced ring face to cylinder wall interface lubrication is compounded when combustion takes place. The pressure in the combustion chamber rises and as this pressure builds behind the top ring it forces the ring harder onto the bore. This brings about an even greater tendency to squeeze the oil from between the ring and the cylinder wall. As the piston gains speed down the bore so hydrodynamic lubrication once more comes into effect.

The forgoing then explains why we see most of the bore wear at the top of the bore. If this area can be effectively lubricated then it is reasonable to suppose ring and bore life could be significantly extended. Because the combustion process causes part of the TK7 formula to turn into a lubricant a process along the following lines is envisaged to be a mechanism by which positive results could be achieved.

As combustion takes place so a layer of TK7 lubricant, probably only a few hundred molecules thick, is deposited on the cylinder walls. This process continues during virtually the entire power stroke length. As the piston returns up the bore so the ring rides on either the oil film from the crank case oil or, as the top of the stroke is reached, the oil film deposited by the TK7. If this film can last just 2 revolutions of the motor it will be replaced at the next combustion cycle. If this successfully happens we have a mechanism that could prevent the ring from ever experiencing any real metal to metal contact with the cylinder wall.

Well, like a lot of things this all sounds good in theory but let's see if it works out in the real world. Bearing in mind that a race motor losses more HP from ring and bore wear than from any other single factor other than a breakage or blow up I was anxious to see the state of the bores and rings of the TK7 additized fuel motor.

Bore Measurements

Normally now would be a good time to do a chart but in this instance there would be little point because a few words will sum up the situation. The bore wear on the TK7 fueled motor was so small that on three of the four cylinders my 40 millionths resolving dial gauge could not measure it. Only on one cylinder was I able to measure any wear. So as to be conservative and less than fair to the TK7's ability to combat wear I took the least worn cylinder of the "before" test and compared it with the most worn cylinder of the 'after' test thus showing TK7 in it's worst light. The result was that the TK7 treated fuel cut bore wear by no less than 600% ! Similar measurements comparing the before and after change in ring gaps revealed a similarly large trend toward reduced wear. In this instance it was more practical to take an average as ring gaps change at a rate equal to the surface wear x Pi. These measurements showed ring wear to be reduced by 350%.

Test results as positive as the those seen from the bore and ring wear tests can be a little worrying. With such a vast difference involved I had to ask if there might not be other factors involved such as one block being of better cast iron then the other. If such was the case then maybe as much as half the wear reduction shown by the use of TK7 could have been from this source. Obviously TK7 did reduce wear but 600% seemed like a quantum step and then some. Without some corroborating evidence I was reluctant confirm the 600% as a realistic number. This continued to be the case until Caterpillar, well respected in the industry for the standard of their testing, had even more positive results with big diesel's subjected to high load 252 hour durability test. Their tests showed an improvement from near total piston failure at the end of 252 hours to long term survival with minimal wear.

Fuel System Cleaner Test

This group of tests was the least informal of all our tests. This was primarily the case because I got hold of some comprehensive tests done by one of the industries top test facilities, namely Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio Texas. All of their lab test results showed TK7 to be an effective deposit remover and system cleaner. Based on this I made the decision to do both short and long term field tests on vehicles in use.

The long term test essentially involved my 350 injected Chevy truck. Short term tests were done on a couple of acquired cars known to have dirty injectors.

First the truck, this was run with TK7 from the day I collected it from the dealer. Although I might miss pouring TK7 into the tank at every fill up, the TK7, in much greater dilutions than recommended, was still there. So it is unlikely that until the day I sold it this motor was ever run without at least some of the wear inhibiting properties of TK7. As for crank case oil 98% of the time this motor had Mobil 1 or Castrol Syntec. At 2400 miles the truck was tested for output on a chassis dyno. It made a peak of 172 HP at the rear wheels. Also the compression pressures and the cylinder leak-down was tested. At 98,000 miles the truck was re-dynoed on the same dyno and returned 177 HP. The compression pressures and the leak-down, when tested showed virtually the same average figures as the test at 2400 miles. For all practical purposes this motor was still as new. An injector inspection showed these to be about as clean as the day they were installed.

I picked up a Pontiac 6000 LE V6 that had been used almost exclusively for freeway miles only. It had seen regular oil changes at 3000 miles during it's 114,000 mile life and the motor was a gem. However the idle was far from being as smooth as one would expect from an injected V6. Before adding any TK7 to see if it would straighten out the idle problem it was emission tested and a drive from Riverside, California to Tucson Arizona and back was made. The car failed the emission test with an out of spec idle and on it's 900-mile trip netted a little over 21 mpg.

At this point I thought I would get the injectors clean quicker than waiting for a whole tank of fuel to go through the system so I poured two bottles of TK7 Super Power Booster (rather than the Injector and Carburetor Cleaner) into a full tank of fuel. In this instance this proved to be a case of over kill. About 10 miles and five stop lights later the car was idling as smooth as it should. A few weeks later a second round trip from Riverside to Tucson and back showed mileage up to 24.9 mpg. This car, with substantially lower figures, also passed it's emission tests second time around. Similar results were seen on the other test vehicle.


A point I need to make clear here is that I was for the most part, testing the Injector & Carburetor Cleaner which is intended primarily to clean fuel systems and provide top notch upper cylinder lubrication. This it did but I feel I should mention, for the benefit of those who's priority is power output, that TK7 has a Race Gas Formula, their RGF additive. I did not test that because that was not what the FTC were into TAL Technologies for. After not only my tests but also our Mopar editor Chrysler Steve's separate ( on a different dyno and Chrysler motor) tests with the Super Power Booster I am anxious to test the RGF. For most of MotorTec readers I would assume that either the Super Power Booster (for street use) or the RGF (for competition use) would fit requirements best.

I am pleased to say that I am not the only one to have found TK7 beneficial. Some major fuel company's servicing large, less developed areas outside of the US, are finding it cheaper to meet road octane and emission requirements by using TK7 concentrate in the bulk fuel instead of brewing a higher quality fuel. The findings of these other users and big company's goes a long way toward helping me feel more comfortable with my own test results.

Since the subject of cost has been broached it is worth pointing out that at about $7.95 a bottle it is cheaper to use this stuff than not by a big margin. If you work out the numbers the savings in fuel costs due to increase mileage plus the savings from considerably extended motor wear life make it an extremely cost effective product to use. If it's just the improved wear and clean fuel systems that your are after I have found that the amount of TK7 can be reduced to about one bottle for 80 gallons of fuel and this makes it really cheap.

For what it's worth, since I use it in all my dyno motors (which are inevitably costly units) and street vehicles I get it by the 24 bottle case as this is more convenient. Although the situation may change, most speed shops do not have TK7 yet so you will need to order from a dealer or the factory. The contact source is at the end of the feature text.

For a race vehicle the fact that the motor will maintain it's power because ring and valve seal will not degrade is important. For sure TK7 has the potential to double the life of a race motor as well as make the vehicle a little faster. If your $10,000 race motor lasts twice as long between rebuilds a considerable sum of money has been saved and can be spent elsewhere (tires?). If you check out the cost of treating the fuel in terms of cents per gallon you will also find TK7 to be about the least expensive additive on the market assuming the ones used as a comparison actually work (big assumption!;).

And Finally -----

At one time I really wanted to get onto the FTC's case concerning their seemingly aggressive action against TAL Technologies that produces TK7. Apparently, without running a single test of their own, they decided to take this company to court over what they saw as outlandishly exaggerated claims. I don't think they picked on the TAL Technologies alone so there seems at least, to be no malice involved. However, the irony here is that after almost bankrupting this then small company, they did not even offer an apology after the product was shown to work.

Now lets be fair about this, the FTC does a lot of great work weeding out charlatans that they rarely get due credit for but I thought that weeding out one of the few good guys was a counter productive step. However it is all too easy to be critical of others and that became clear to me when I put myself in the position of an FTC official. Bearing in mind my own very negative experiences with additives would I have done any different - probably not! Even after all these tests I'm still a little gun shy when it comes to additives so I'm not making a single claim as to what TK7 will do for your vehicle. I use it as a matter of course in all my dyno test motors but you have the results I got - so decide for yourself.


I want to thank Arias for making my special pistons, FelPro for gaskets and Comp Cams for grinding my one off spec cam. When I ordered this cam Scooter Brothers (Comp's technical director) said he was sure it's use would lead to detonation - how right he was!

Sources for purchasing TK-7 products:

BND Automotive LLC

Rushwood Lane

PO Box 670016

Sagamore Hills, Ohio 44067

440-821-9040 phone

413-521-7173 fax


TK7 Quick Check

Type of Additive - Fuel

Claimed Functions: primary

Injector and fuel system cleaner

Claimed Functions: secondary

Boosts power and "apparent" octane. Reduces cylinder bore, piston and ring wear and reduces valve seat recessions.

Did TK7 clean the fuel system ?


Did TK7 increase mileage ?


Did TK7 boost power ?

YES - By an average of 1.6% based on test results from 8 street type low compression motors. Significantly greater increases seen in high compression motors.

Did TK7 increase octane effect ?

YES - In our 14/1 cooled manifold test motor, the apparent octane test referenced to spark advance increased by 3 octane and referenced to power increased 9.7 octane.

Did TK7 cut ring and bore wear ?

YES - Our 500 hour tests showed bore wear was reduced by 600% minimum.

Did TK7 cut exhaust seat recession ?

YES - Exhaust seat recession was reduced by 362%.

Did this product generally meet the manufacturers claims ?


MotorTec Magazine Product Rating - 5 stars

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Techno - Yes it can, but it will not mix with the oil. I do not know what the active ingredients are, but it seems to be mostly made up of alcohol as a carrying agent.

It seems that the Eastwood Company is bottling this stuff and selling it as well. http://www.eastwoodco.com/Search.asp?skw=power+booster

Price at Eastwood is $5.88 for 10 oz. compared to $8.95 for 5 oz at BND and Ridemor. A MUCH better deal.

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??? Wayne if it don't mix with the oil then it can't be added to it? Figure if it ain't mixed you would either get oil or booster first in the cup. At the very least you wouldn't get the proper ratio of oil or booster.

I'm planning on going cupless so if I did use this then for my situation no mix makes a bother but if mixable painless.

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Techno -

If you are going to measure a given amount of oil into containers, and then add the additive on top of this, you will be fine. Such as - measuring out 20 oz into an empty oil bottle (or Coke bottle), and then adding your chosen amount of additive. Then you add the contents of the bottle to each 5 gallons of gas you have put in the boat - for a 32:1 ratio.

I have a few friends who do this other than just me.

And YES, I do have a few friends. ;)

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As I understand this.. unless you have an oil injection engine..you could add to your oil containers then to the gas tank..I dunp whatever oil (qt to 8 gals) into the tank and then add gas..mixing should be no problem if the additive is in the oil

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I'm not using measuring cups. Cupless.

An oil tank and a hand cranked peristaltic pump built to provide 8 Oz per turn. A 20 lobe clicker cam and a counter.

One turn of the handle reads as 2 gallons of gas. The lobes give 1/10s gallon readout.

My fuel gauge tells me about how many gallons to pump-it reads gallons not E 1/2 F. I pump in something less of this in oil. Pump the gas and turn the handle until the clicker matches the gallons of gas pumped.

I figure to use about 15 G out of a 20 G tank each use. So about 60 oz.

Sounds complex but is simple in operation. You turn a handle and look at a readout. Should be able to pump gas and oil at the same time but depends on where the pump ends up.

I can send the oil either into the old vent tube next to the fill or in the new fitting up forward of the pickup, fill, vent. These are all in the rear of the tank. Not sure which is best for mixing.

A peristaltic pump is one of those squeezed hose kind of pumps and they do highly accurate metering jobs. Just too expensive to buy.

Kind of a pain to pull out a cup for booster if it don't mix with oil. Being in small bottles I suppose It could just be eyeballed.

1 bottle per 30 G. Dump in 1/2 a bottle :)

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Thanks again Wayne.

Techno - I'm used to mixing anyway. Pop the jegs cap, fill up at the station, dump some oil, some boost and I can easily refit the cap before you get that pump set up;)...lol You made me LMAO when you said, I guess I could just eyeball it....thanks:D

I carry 4 5gal. cans to get juice on the water once I'm in. I just dump the "stuff" in at the station.

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I may be wrong about alcohol being the main base, but whatever it is, it does not mix directly with oil.  And it acts very much like Methanol.

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Trikki You misunderstand. The pump is a permanant install along with the oil tank. Jugs of oil dumped in so I don't need them hanging around.

And you can't fill before me since I have one of those speed open fills. Hit the tab and it flips open kind. Your spinnnnnning...:P Must have a chain though so you don't have to find it a home?

You can't eyeball a half bottle? ;)   The alternative is an old oil bottle with the marks on the side. I can sutrabted.

Wayne you've mentioned alchol & menthol:0  does this mean that it don't mix with oil? That what I assume.

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I gotta mix anyway, so I don't have the option of oil injection.

That stock fuel fill on the boat sucks, unless ya like to pour gas on the boat or have a gas station with concrete pads pitched the right way. I pour directly into the tank and leave all the stuff on the dock ;)

Just a gentle ribbing Techno, no hard lines :D

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All I could think of was one of those lumber jack or firefighter competitions. We're at the gas pumps and the gun goes off.

Who fills first. Like some twilight zone competition.

If youse guys weren't such gas gluttons you could have a normal filler in what was it? a 20 gallon tank instead of 30? :0

Who let the pigs in?   WHO?    WHO?

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C'mon Techno, you know how hard it is to let up once ya got your foot in it. These babies were designed to suck gas :D

Although, you could cruise at 55 for quite a time ;) But for me, 3 laps around the lake, scare off a few also-rans and park it for a piece to let the adrenoline to wear off and the tank is more than 1/2 empty.

I believe Wally stated that the tanks went from 20 to 24 while Roark was still building them, THAT led to the level fuel fill.

Quick pigs

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