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quick question, Shell fuel in the 90's that damaged engines...what was it called?


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26 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   retrogeezer

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 07:31 PM

thanks.


RIP Julie & Maisie

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#2 ONLINE   scaryoldcortina

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 07:33 PM

Formula Shell, I think.


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#3 OFFLINE   Cavcraft

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 07:35 PM

Optimax?


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#4 OFFLINE   Lacquer Peel

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 07:39 PM


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#5 ONLINE   Des

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 07:41 PM

Unleaded.


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Festering scum of the earth, yer motoring public.

#6 OFFLINE   retrogeezer

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 07:48 PM

Formula Shell - that's the one, thanks :) 


RIP Julie & Maisie

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#7 OFFLINE   For Fiats Sake

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 08:02 PM

I think I've only filled up with bollocky nonsense fuels twice, once with v+ in the 100hp Panda to see if it made a difference (it didn't) and the other time momentenumnuminim from one of the supermarkets for alleged better economy - I forgot to log the miles.

 

Never bothered since, I tend to go for supermarket fuel for everyday fill ups and shell (as the garage is on the way to the M62) for trips out.

 

I used to throw the odd bottle of redex in the diesel yaris when it ran on bio stuff years ago though.

 

Loving the Maestro in the ad! :)


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#8 OFFLINE   Parky

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 08:08 PM

Yup, Formula Shell. As I recall it only knackered Volkswagens, Volvo's and Vauxhalls. Obviously the "v" section of the "Ladybird book of cars" used by Shell testers had fallen out
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#9 OFFLINE   Alexg

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 08:50 PM

What was the grief with Formula Shell then?

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#10 ONLINE   richardmorris

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 09:15 PM

I was only running a 2cv in the 1990s so know not of this super fuel. It was also 52.9p a litre for unleaded at sainsburys which was not to be sniffed at when I was doing 110 miles a day in it!
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#11 OFFLINE   xtriple

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 09:31 PM

Wasn't it the high sulphur content in fuel back then that was bad?



#12 OFFLINE   fatharris

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 10:09 PM

I have to admit, I used Shell V-Power diesel, and only Shell V-Power diesel in the Xantia and regardless of how I ragged it, 42 MPG occured.

Herman's been fed supermarket swill since, but now I'm upgrading him to Super Supermarket swill since yesterday, I'll see if there's an improvement from 17mpg day by day.

#13 ONLINE   MarvinsMom

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 10:15 PM

Wasn't it the high sulphur content in fuel back then that was bad?

that what was blamed for the nikasil liner thing with jaguar and bmw v8's.

 

not been a metallurgist, i cannot say if its true or bollocks.....


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#14 ONLINE   UltraWomble

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 10:15 PM

Probably came from the same stable as New System Persil Automatic.

 

Utterly fucked over some rather nice Hawaiian shirts I had.


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#15 OFFLINE   martybabes

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 10:44 PM

that what was blamed for the nikasil liner thing with jaguar and bmw v8's.

 

not been a metallurgist, i cannot say if its true or bollocks.....

and the M52 engine (straight 6) was affected by high sulphur content fuel


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#16 OFFLINE   Vin

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 11:06 PM

I'd forgotten that Shell ad, yet as soon as I saw the beginning I thought this was the 'I want to break free' one... :-D :-D

 

Probably came from the same stable as New System Persil Automatic.

 

Utterly fucked over some rather nice Hawaiian shirts I had.

 

Now UW, you've reminded me of this...MUM... :?

 


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#17 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 11:57 PM

Seem to remember it was the 1980s rather than the 90s, and a massive amount of detergent which cleaned up the valves so much that all the lovely soot vanished and ceased to protect things, amongst other problems. Thought Vauxhall rather than VW damage, certainly a Rover P6 felt very odd on the stuff, even to a 17 year old.

 

I avoided it completely after the first tankful, on nothing other than gut instinct.


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#18 ONLINE   Conrad D. Conelrad

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 01:14 AM

Despite being more than 1700 pages over three volumes, Shell's corporate history only mentions Formula Shell in passing. Even then, only in the context of marketing. 

 

This early commercial success, however, became qualified when it appeared that in a small number of cars the new gasoline caused inlet valves to burn. Negative publicity was inevitable, though the damage occurred in only four countries, Denmark, Norway, Malaysia and the UK. It took Shell technical experts in collaboration with the motor manufacturers more than a year to establish the cause of the problem. In the meantime, the Formula Shell brand was withdrawn from a number of markets, including the UK. Once the problem had been identified, the product was reformulated and relaunched, in some markets under a new brand.

 

DSC04152.jpg

 

Frustratingly, they neglect even the most minor technical information, such as what their technical experts discovered the problem to be. 


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#19 OFFLINE   Junkman

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 01:19 AM

 

...though the damage occurred in only four countries, Denmark, Norway, Malaysia and the UK.

 

Let me guess - they all have a ridiculous 70 mph speed limit?


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#20 ONLINE   UltraWomble

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 01:05 PM

This is teh stuff that melted shirts:

 

IIRC Watchdog or Thats Life had a "Washing Line of Shame"


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#21 OFFLINE   colino

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 01:35 PM

The benefits of a massive corporations PR department has glossed over that disaster.  They paid for replacement engines on a lot of Vauxhalls if they were Police or Local Authority owned (knackered from new in just a few thousand miles) but fobbed off private owners of second-hand versions with a, "prove it was us" response.  It was far more aggressive than simply decarbonising engines, it attacked the valves.


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#22 ONLINE   MrBiscuits

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 03:40 PM

My Dad had a formula shell sunvisor in his 120Y and I remember that TV ad.

#23 OFFLINE   Rovorsche

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 03:54 PM

It was indeed formula Shell additive at the heart of the problem causing stuck valves in Vauxhall engines plus some other cars.

The pool car where I worked was an Astra GTE and the snapped cam belt was blamed on formula Shell, nothing to do with the fact it was ragged everywhere by everybody every time.

 

I was responsible for turning off Formula Shell additive at the loading depot for a dozen or so sites one busy morning.

Using modems of course as this was before T'Internet was good for anything useful.



#24 OFFLINE   Cavcraft

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 04:38 PM

I remember all the trouble it caused, which is still surprising given the research centre they had. When they were testing fuels and oils they used to send a few Polos up/down the M53 all day long with aerofoils on the roof, then stripped the engines down from time to time to check for wear.

The (UK) research place is now closed, they blended the fuels for the Ferrari F1 team there I believe, but they sacked the whole testing place off after they flogged the refinery. There may/not be a reason the sulphur content was the problem, as their cracker could refine pretty much any old crap inc. high sulphur content crudes


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#25 OFFLINE   conkerman

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 05:19 PM

IIRC poor dosing control led to overdosing of the additive, causing valve stick and burnt out valves on some engines.

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#26 ONLINE   Tamworthbay

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 05:25 PM

I worked in a shell petrol station when I was a student in the middle of this. We had a few people come in shouting and screaming about it trashing their engines. The boss just fobbed them off and told them to contact shell uk (who just fobbed them off). For a few months the place was almost deserted, sometimes you would only get twenty or thirty cars through in a ten hour shift. Then people forgot and it went back to normal.
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#27 OFFLINE   Rovorsche

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 04:30 PM

The dosing method and mechanism was the same for all petrol additives, there was a second feed into the fuel being loaded that injected a fixed quantity of additive every 250 litres as the fuel was loaded in to the truck.

The additive was determined by the order number entered by the truck driver as this had a company code assigned.

Supermarket fuel usually got none of the secret sauce.






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