SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

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SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by theholycow » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:40 am

My car has a dieseling problem. When I shut the ignition off the engine often convulses and keeps running for a few seconds. Using 93 octane fuel eliminates the problem. I bought a tank of 87 to see if some work I had done has fixed it. I fixed all the other symptoms but the dieseling remains.

So, in Dollar Tree yesterday I saw octane booster.
http://www.dollartree.com/cleaning-stor ... /index.pro
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It says it treats up to 20 gallons of fuel.

For a buck a piece I figured it was worth a try. I bought two. With an estimated 12 gallons of gas in my tank, I poured one in immediately. No luck. I poured the other in. Still no good, the engine continues to diesel at shutoff.

The product does not work.
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Re: SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by Shadow » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:05 am

I'm pretty sure that a tank of 87 octane fuel plus a bottle or two of octane booster doesn't equal 93 octane fuel.

I remember reading a whole big debate about this on another forum a while back. Basically, the consensus was that octane booster provides a minimal increase in octane when you add it to a full tank of 87.

What does the label claim?
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Re: SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by Shadow » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:08 am

BTW, did you try adjusting the timing?

Do you have any carbon build-up problems?
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Re: SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by theholycow » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:12 am

I probably have carbon buildup. I may also have insufficient cooling.

Adjusting the timing was how I cured the other problems. However, it can not help with the dieseling, since the ignition is off when that happens.
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Re: SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by theholycow » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:04 pm

I forgot to respond to this one...and please note that rants contained herein are not arguments and are not directed at anyone here.
Shadow wrote:I'm pretty sure that a tank of 87 octane fuel plus a bottle or two of octane booster doesn't equal 93 octane fuel.

I remember reading a whole big debate about this on another forum a while back. Basically, the consensus was that octane booster provides a minimal increase in octane when you add it to a full tank of 87.
That was certainly the effect I experienced, at most.

What is the use? The only uses I can think of for octane booster are:
- If you need 93 but bought 87 (accidentally or experimentally)
- If you think you can save money by buying octane booster and low octane gas
- If you want higher octane fuel than is available
I can't imagine a practical use for octane booster that only increases your octane rating by a tiny amount.

Googling it, I found one person who suggests that it can't possibly be any good if it comes in a plastic bottle, as the compounds that are used by gas manufacturers to increase octane level for pump gas would go right through the plastic. However, that only makes sense if they bond permanently to gasoline once put in, as gas in a plastic can or a car's plastic tank doesn't lose its octane rating.
What does the label claim?
I think it didn't say how much it increase your octane, just that it treats up to 20 gallons.

If all commercially available octane booster products work as well as the dollar store one I bought then they are yet another snake oil product. I can't say I'd be surprised, but I had hoped that a discrete function could be accomplished by something that seems simple and is named for that discrete function.

Gasoline manufacturers have plenty of octane boosting additives, which is how we have usable gasoline...without such additives gasoline wouldn't work very well for internal combustion reciprocating piston engines, and it's how we have multiple grades at the pump. One would assume that an octane booster additive bought at a store would be a similar product.

Wikipedia says gasoline is "enhanced with isooctane or the aromatic hydrocarbons toluene and benzene to increase its octane rating". I can't buy isooctane in a can, but I can buy toluene at Home Depot...I could try that. Another option would be to pump in a couple gallons of E85. However, since the only symptom I have is harmless apart from hydrocarbon emissions and wasted fuel, I might as well just burn the rest of the tank as is.

A quick trip to Google provides validation of toluene, but reading deeper into those threads the math adds up similarly to commercial octane booster products...
http://www.google.com/search?q=toluene+home+depot
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=430071
http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/advanced- ... oster.html
I'd probably need to use a gallon or two to get the effect I need. Obviously that would be a whole lot of 12oz $1 octane booster bottles.
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Re: SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by RITmusic2k » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:23 pm

Most of the verbiage on those bottles will read like, "Guaranteed to raise octane rating by 5 points!" or something to that effect. Turns out what they're saying is you will raise the octane rating from 87 to 87.5. It's not false advertising, it's just very shady and misleading.

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Re: SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by watkins » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:43 pm

From what I recall last time I looked into this, the Lucas octane booster is the only one that actually increases octane by any substantial amount. And by substantial, its still well under a full octane.
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Re: SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by Rope-Pusher » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:52 pm

My mammaries of engines dieseling when shut off include two brane farts:

1 - there was a throttle dashpot solenoid that, when de-energized after the ignition switch was shut off, would let the throttle plate shut so far that the car couldn't have idled even if the coil still got juice.

2 - there was something on a GM product that fed voltage back the wrong way thru the coil when the ignition was shut off and the alternator was still spinning down. Solved by putting a diode in the line to the coil that prevented the reverse polarity flow of currants (raisins, too!)

I think ya really gotsta work on gettin your throttle plate opening / idle speed down lower.
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Re: SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by Shadow » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:10 pm

Rope-Pusher wrote:My mammaries of engines dieseling when shut off include two brane farts:

1 - there was a throttle dashpot solenoid that, when de-energized after the ignition switch was shut off, would let the throttle plate shut so far that the car couldn't have idled even if the coil still got juice.

2 - there was something on a GM product that fed voltage back the wrong way thru the coil when the ignition was shut off and the alternator was still spinning down. Solved by putting a diode in the line to the coil that prevented the reverse polarity flow of currants (raisins, too!)

I think ya really gotsta work on gettin your throttle plate opening / idle speed down lower.
On newer vehicles, the throttle plate could be welded shut and the car could still idle. So I'm not sure how far you're going back in time...
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Re: SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by theholycow » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:52 am

He's probably going back 30 years to my carbureted 1980 Buick.

Anyway, I don't think mine is equipped with that dashpot, and I know for sure that mine isn't equipped with an anti-dieseling solenoid. I also know that my throttle is closing fully and is not the cause of my dieseling or high idle, but it wouldn't hurt for me to check again.

BTW, my high idle is less severe than it used to be and is very sensitive to timing...advancing my timing makes my idle increase a lot.

However, until I rebuild the junkyard carb* I bought I'll just stick with buying high octane fuel and I'll advance my timing more to take better advantage of it. With increased octane and increased timing I hope to find increased fuel economy, to partly make up for the increased price.

*: ...and de-carbonize and degrease and replace my fan clutch and replace my thermostat and make sure coolant is flowing everywhere it should and install a temperature gauge...
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Re: SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by theholycow » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:21 am

Also, I ought to follow up on the diode thing. I don't think that's my issue since 93 octane fuel makes the symptom go away, but it's still something to look into.
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Re: SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by Shadow » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:33 am

theholycow wrote:Also, I ought to follow up on the diode thing. I don't think that's my issue since 93 octane fuel makes the symptom go away, but it's still something to look into.

Carbon build-up.....definitely could be contributing to your problem. Forget the fact that it raises your compression ratio, but it also makes a great breeding ground for hot spots that can cause ignition when you don't want it. Have you pulled any plugs? Even carbon build-up on the plugs is a possibility...
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Re: SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by theholycow » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:56 am

I replaced the plugs about two years ago. Since then it was idled for an hour at a time at least a few times, possibly left to sit without running at all for a few months, and then driven about 15000 miles in various states of running better and worse.

I pulled the drivers side front spark plug out on April 19. No carbon, looked good.

As a side note, I have new Bosch platinum plugs and BWD Select wires to install but I intend to wash and degrease my entire engine bay soon, so I want to wait until after that's done. I need to find a self-service car wash that allows it, the one I went to has a sign disallowing it.

I do suspect there is carbon in the combustion chamber. It's had 30 years to build up, under the appropriate conditions to do so - for the first 35,000 miles of its life old people owned it and drove it slowly around town for very short trips only. I did have one day when I think a piece of carbon must have broken off and gone out the exhaust...I actually think it found its way into my exhaust leak and plugged it. I took it up to high RPM and it suddenly went from extremely incredibly noisy to merely very noisy and seemed to run a little smoother too.

Properly clearing it is a smoky process and I'm chicken, I don't want to piss people off. I keep thinking I'll come up with a good place to do it. Image

I also suspect cooling may be an issue. The Buick 4.1 is known for being difficult to keep cool. The dieseling doesn't happen EVERY time I turn it off, and the pattern seems to correlate with likely engine temperature. I will eventually have a temperature gauge. I can't tell if the fan clutch is working right, and I can't tell if coolant is circulating properly everywhere; it seems possible that portions of the engine block have flow restricted or blocked by corrosion but I don't know how to test that.
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Re: SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by Shadow » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:55 pm

Just for the heck of it, you can try running without a thermostat in place if you suspect cooling issues.

Fan clutches can be tricky, but if it has a moderate amount of drag when the engine is off (and cool), that usually indicated that it should be working properly and it has fluid in it. You could always buy a flex fan (they are very inexpensive) and use it temporarily to see if it helps.
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Re: SMB Performance Octane Booster from Dollar Tree

Post by watkins » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:11 pm

theholycow wrote:Properly clearing it is a smoky process and I'm chicken, I don't want to piss people off. I keep thinking I'll come up with a good place to do it. Image
Its only smokey for a little while. Go to Walmart after closing and use their parking lot.
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