All passenger cars and motorbikes equipped with contact ignition and lubrication felt strips require highly viscous oils free of additives for the friction pairing cam/breaker. Now – after an interval of roughly 20 years – the oil for contact breakers can be supplied again. This is the story of the discovery of a storage place.
Flashback: at a workshop in the GDR in the 1980s: Simson, MZ, Trabant, Wartburg and Barkas, of course also commercial vehicles and some imports both from Eastern European and other countries such as Citroën GSA and BX, Mazda 323, Volvo 244 and VW Golf. Domestic motorbikes and passenger cars have one thing in common: their two-stroke gasoline engines possess a mechanically controlled ignition – electronic ignitions are very rare at this point of time – which in turn is equipped with a lubrication felt strip. The felt strip provides the friction pairing cam/breaker with lubrication – more precisely with highly viscous oil free of any additives. For workshops it is filled in 100-millilitre-packages and end consumers can buy small tubes; the stocks last ages as each vehicle requires a tiny quantity only. If the felt is not lubricated after timing the ignition and/or adjusting it to the right position towards the cam, the vehicle will be at the workshop after several hundred kilometres again. This applies in particular, where contact breakers made of light plastic and not of dark brown Pertinax bodies are used which are much more resistant to wear.
Back to the present. Even the largest stocks do not last forever. Replenishment? Negative. Irony of history: During the planned economy contact breaker oil was available at least every now and then, but in free market economy it cannot be supplied at all – although many two-stroke vehicles made in the GDR are still on the roads and also many other classic cars not manufactured in socialistic countries are equipped with contact ignition and lubrication felt.
Other oils are not suitable
By the way: ignition systems without lubrication felt are operated with breaker grease which is applied to the camshaft directly. This means, all classic cars with contact ignition and lubrication felt – either in a separate mounting made of sheet or at the tip of the distributor shaft – require highly viscous contact breaker oil free of additives. Engine, transmission and axle oils are too thin-bodied for this application and can neither ensure an exact dosage nor hydrodynamic features required at low speeds of the crankshaft. When starting or stopping the engine the lubricating film is broken and the breaker runs on the cam without lubrication. Furthermore, additives contained in the oil can attack the plastic body of the breaker. Lubricating greases are no alternative as they saponify after a while and harden the felt. Representatives of established lubricant suppliers usually do not know anything about this application and also shrug their shoulders after an explanation. A totally different reaction at ADDINOL in Leuna/Saxony-Anhalt in March 2009: "Some drums with contact breaker oil are actually on stock, but we question the effort for filling because the viscous oil needs to be heated up and we cannot fill such small quantities on the spot", explains Frank Merbitz of application technology.
Filling quantity: twelve millilitres
Pointed to the possible unique position at the market Frank Merbitz and his colleague Heiko Stephan are set thinking. Only a few weeks later the prototype of a new packaging arrives at asp Klassik in Munich – Jürgen Deckert, head of Research & Development at ADDINOL, had given his consent.
Since summer 2009 Lube Oil U 1500 is part of ADDINOL's product range again. MZA Meyer-Zweiradtechnik-Ahnatal, a long-standing sales partner of the lubricant manufacturer, has already bought several hundred units. The lubricant is filled into mini-packaging of the size of a biro (filling quantity: twelve millilitres). Exact dosage is effected by means of two points which can be pressed. The snag: The people at ADDINOL could not be convinced of selling the old product in the new packaging as "asp Klassik Contact Breaker Oil".
for the proper lubrication of the friction pairing cam/breaker in ignition distributors and on breaker plates:
► contact ignition with lubrication felt: contact breaker oil
► contact ignition without felt: breaker grease
Contact breaker oil U 1500
► Development, manufacturing and sale: ADDINOL Lube Oil GmbH, www.addinol.de
► Sales partner for products for classic vehicles: MZA Meyer-Zweiradtechnik-Ahnatal GmbH, www.mza-portal.de
German article published in aspKlassik issue September 2009 (view German article here)