Compression / Seafoam / Engine Restorer Report

Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:19 am

A quick review of some items I've used for my '54 Betty. She sat without running for at least five years. When I got the tractor and changed the oil before doing the much needed timing (it wasn't running) the oil was as black as oil can get. I did the timing and got it running. I did a dry compression test with a warm engine and the results were 107 / 107 / 96 / 114. OK, I'll take those numbers. (PS-It did smoke a bit especially under load) :?

I changed the oil and ran Seafoam in with the new 30 weight/detergent free oil according to the instructions. I also added Seafoam to the fuel. After five hours of use and an hour-by-hour exponential increase in blue smoke from the exhaust, I did another dry compression test: 100 / 100 / 90 / 110. :( I was informed by the dudes at Napa however that the gunk that lined the cylinder walls would have acted as a sealant which would increase compression. Whodathunkit? Bad stuff making my engine run better?! Well now.

I also cleaned the breather tube for the air cleaner as it was good and clogged. That at least eliminated the blue smoke from my oil fill tube.

So now I'm thinking these are probably true compression readings. The engine is probably cleared up pretty good and at this time the oil is dark (expected with remnants of the old oil) but far from black. The only problem of course is the tractor smokes like a chimney. :)):

Ten hours of use later, I changed the oil and mixed in Engine Restorer this time. I figured it couldn't hurt...seems most people are quite fond of it. This was done last night so I'm sure I won't see any difference for some time.

My question: The service manual hints at the timing being very sensitive. I believe I read +/- 1 degree. If I'm off by say, 4 or 5 degrees or more would that cause the smoke? I know I might be off. My compression ratings are certainly not bad by any means. But I'm wondering how significant the tolerance restrictions are. Thoughts? :thanx:

Re: Compression / Seafoam / Engine Restorer Report

Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:11 am

Connecticut Calvin wrote:I did another dry compression test: 100 / 100 / 90 / 110. Whodathunkit?
Current test is probably most accurate. Previous test was taken with a warm engine. I'm reading that as a recently operated engine. Running the engine will lubricate the cylinder walls.

My question: The service manual hints at the timing being very sensitive. If I'm off by say, 4 or 5 degrees or more would that cause the smoke?
Ignition timing will not cause blow by. If engine starts easily and has sufficient power - ignition timing is close.

Engines can have decent compression and the piston rings worn well beyond specifications.

Re: Compression / Seafoam / Engine Restorer Report

Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:15 am

While the tractor is here I'll throw the timing light on it and get it right.

Re: Compression / Seafoam / Engine Restorer Report

Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:17 am

Cecil wrote:While the tractor is here I'll throw the timing light on it and get it right.


I think I'm going to stop bothering oyu all and let Cecil fix the darn thing. :lol:

Re: Compression / Seafoam / Engine Restorer Report

Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:32 am

Im thinking since it sat so long the rings are stuck to the pistons causing the smoke.. compression should be higher. 120 or better.

Re: Compression / Seafoam / Engine Restorer Report

Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:39 am

just wondering how seafoam and engine restorer works. I used them years ago. all i ended up with is wiped out bearings.. I wouldnt waste my money on such trash, when a mechanical issue such as stuck rings or worn out engine arises nothing in a can or bottle is going to fix it.

Re: Compression / Seafoam / Engine Restorer Report

Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:50 am

Do you guys recommend I drain the oil and Restorer and just go back to the Seafoam and run it that way? Perhaps that will release the rings? I've been told too that the rings probably are stuck. is there another way to free them up?

Clark Thompson wrote:just wondering how seafoam and engine restorer works. I used them years ago. all i ended up with is wiped out bearings.. I wouldnt waste my money on such trash, when a mechanical issue such as stuck rings or worn out engine arises nothing in a can or bottle is going to fix it.


Clark, are you asking "if" they work or "how" they work? The first being of course being based on reviews you'll find herein the forum and the second being information you may garnish from the manufacturer's web site. I've researched both and know that Seafoam is a product people swear by. The Restorer has mixed reviews. But I know a few cases where friends ran it in their classic cars and have seen an increase in performance as well as reduced smoke.

Re: Compression / Seafoam / Engine Restorer Report

Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:55 pm

it has been my experience that seafoam may soften valve seals and other rubber components in antique cars thus leading to less oil burning temporally, as far as freeing up stuck rings I have had no luck with it or any other additive. The only way in my 40 years of experionce with all types of engines to fix stuck rings is to remove the pistons. There are additives to help keep a good engine running good and to reduce friction. In cases where you have stuck pistons i have had good luck with slick 50 one lube and free all lube. useually in a day or two soaking with this stuff the pistons will come free. But the rings are usually seized to the pistons no matter what.

Re: Compression / Seafoam / Engine Restorer Report

Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:00 pm

Both engines I repaired, that had stuck rings, were really stuck. Had to be chipped out of the grooves, with a thin chisel. Came out, in half inch pieces, with hard carbon material, sticking them in. Both had seafoam and Kroil, in them, for a decent time, including seafoam in the oil and gas, when running. Both needed tear down, and force, to remove the rings. The sea foam seemed to clean out a lot of deposits, but didn't free the rings. Ed

Re: Compression / Seafoam / Engine Restorer Report

Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:29 pm

I have never tried Sea Foam to free stuck rings, but do use it to clean varnish, etc. out of fuel system, and if I have an old engine I plan to rebuild I put it in oil and work it for a coupe hours before the tear down. Sure cleans up all the sludge, etc. and makes cleaning out inside of crankcase and engine parts easier.

Re: Compression / Seafoam / Engine Restorer Report

Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:19 am

I have been using sea foam since I moved down south. I have found it to be quite popular in boat engines and have now started using it in everything. I do not know enough, nor have the equipment to test for compression and all the other "stuff", but I do go away to work for am onth at a time and that allows my engines to sit for a mnth or longer without beign run. What I have found, is that: I try to find E-free gas and mix it with seafoam before i leave and run it through my engines before I go...I haven't had one problem with mtoocycle, tractor or boat engines yet...knock on wood...

There is one guy on my rig who says every once ina while he will line up the fuel line and run his engine with nothing but straight sea foam. He says the engine will eventually stall out, then he restarts the engine with straight gas and a large black cloud comes billowign out of the exhaust. Apparantly all carbon build up and other crap that has built up within the engine breaks free. I do not know how well it works personally, or if it is even good for the engine, but he swears by it and takes his boats offshore florida...so, he must trust it enough to go out in the ocean.

AS far as stuck rings...I would think it would depend on how stuck they are...Kind fo like what scottysdad said above, where he had to chip the rings out.

Anyways, that has been my experience with seafoam. Hope that helps.

Re: Compression / Seafoam / Engine Restorer Report

Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:14 pm

I don't know what seafoam does, or how it does it, but it definitely helped my cub after a couple tanks of gas were ran through it. Ran smoother with a lot more power. I can tell it after I run a tank or 2 without it. Starts to run rough again. Put in the seafoam and it's back to running good after 10-15 minutes. Don't care how it does it, just that it does it! :D