by Al Kolvites

I’ve been using Tufoil before it was Tufoil.

Forty-nine years ago, I was a flight instructor and gave Tufoil inventor Frank Reick his first lesson… read the forward in his book “Just Frank” for an interesting story on that subject. We became friends and I participated in the early tests of Tufoil. In those days, before this amazing lubricant had a name, I received test specimens with cryptic labels like P109s34. These numbers referenced pages in his patent notebooks and variations in experimentation. It was interesting to be involved in the early experimental stages.

 Al Kolvites in his 2013 Morgan 3-Wheeler

As a result of our friendship, I’ve had the chance to use every Frank Reick invention over the past 49 years including this engine oil treatment, bearing grease, gun lubricant, rust inhibitor and a few items that never made it to market.

For my 75th birthday, I bought a vehicle I wanted for many years… but before you can buy a toy for yourself, you must put the kids through college, pay off the mortgage, and take care of other debts.

It’s a 2013 Morgan 3-wheeler. It only looks like a 1930 vehicle. It is 1300 pounds powered by a fuel-injected 2-liter motorcycle engine made by S&S Cycle in the U.S., an excellent power to weight ratio.

I bought it used from a Morgan dealer in San Francisco and drove it home. It did not leave my garage until all lubrication fluids had been drained; i.e. engine, transmission and “bevel box.” There is no differential as in 2-wheel rear drive vehicles, but it has what the factory calls a “bevel box” —hypoid gears that turn the drive shaft direction 90 degrees to drive the rear wheel through a cogged Gates belt.

The Morgan “bevel box” is notorious for an unbearable howling noise, causing many to wear ear plugs or send the bevel box out for lapping of the gear faces. On the drive home, I learned what people were complaining about. Morgan placed some thick goop in the bevel box apparently in an attempt to quiet the gear box. From responses on the Morgan Forum, this fix didn’t work for anyone.

After multiple flushes with kerosene, I installed Mobile 1 synthetic differential oil with 2 oz. of Tufoil per quart. The tires on the road now make more noise than the bevel box!

The transmission, a Miata 5-speed, got the same treatment: Mobil synthetic transmission oil with Tufoil at 2 oz. per quart.

The air-cooled engine was of particular concern to me. Reading the Morgan Forum, I found people installing oil coolers. They worried about the oil getting too hot…but, interestingly enough, few people really bothered to see how hot their oil was getting.

I installed Mobil Synthetic 20W-50 V-Twin motorcycle oil with 2 oz. of Tufoil Engine Treatment per quart. I also installed an oil pressure and oil temperature gauge (why isn’t that a stock item?!). Mobil says that their synthetic Vtwin oil is good up to 500 degrees F. On a 90-degree day, running hard uphill, I have never seen the temperature more that 290 degrees. Maybe if I was going to trek across a desert, I would consider an oil cooler.

The Morgan is not a Lexus. There is always something to fix or tinker with but with Tufoil in the engine, transmission and bevel box, I have zero concerns about heat and lubrication.

Automotive reviewers have made interesting comments about the Morgan 3W such as: “The best horse ever”; “The best/worst vehicle ever made”; and “I can’t stop smiling when driving this thing.”

Impractical and FUN is how I see it. It’s not a commuter vehicle, but a pleasant ride in the countryside. It’s close to riding a motorcycle without the worry of sliding sideways on two wheels on a wet road…sliding sideways on 3 wheels is much more stable and preferable.

This vehicle gets more attention than I ever imagined. Parked next a new Ferrari, everyone wants to know about the Morgan. I had a man come up to me asking if he could take some pictures of the Morgan. He told me that he is having a contest with his son as to who can take a photo of the most interesting vehicle. He said that with pictures of the Morgan, there is no way his son is going to beat him. A Morgan 3W owner reported that he was parked next to a new Lamborghini at an outdoor car show. While chatting with the young man that owned the Lamborghini, he was constantly interrupted by spectators that wanted to know about the Morgan. At the end of the show, the owner of the Lamborghini admitted that he bought the car to impress and meet woman. He said if he had known about the Morgan, he could have saved $350,000.

Adding Tufoil Engine Treatment makes this car impressive inside and outside!

 Al Kolvites and Fluoramics’ President Gregg Reick, 2018. To get into the car, one must remove the steering wheel and then put it back on once seated.