Marcel Irnie at Miller Motorsports Park 2014

Marcel Irnie leads the pack en-route to three WERA West titles at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah in July 2014.

AMSOIL-sponsored motorcycle road racer Marcel Irnie of Kelowna, BC wrapped up three class titles in the US-based WERA West series this past weekend.

The final race of this series took place at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City, Utah and Irnie had a chance to clinch championships in the Superbike Expert, Super-Stock Expert and Formula 1 Expert classes. Irnie put an exclamation point on his WERA West conquest by winning all three classes and walking away with the titles.

Irnie has enjoyed tremendous support from title-sponsor this season and has capitalized on this opportunity with an outstanding string of performances.

It’s nice to see a hard-working privateer get a break and we look forward to seeing what Marcel can accomplish through the rest of 2014.

Permatex Bullseye Windshield Repair KitNote that we do not sell this product and have no relationship with Permatex or any of its subsidiaries.

Update: September 29, 2014- We had to perform another windshield repair on a family vehicle over the weekend and picked up the 3M Windshield Repair Kit at a nearby store. As mentioned in this article, the 3M kit does not have great online reviews, but we came away impressed. We repaired a stone bruise that was about 1cm in diameter and the results were quite adequate. Sorry we did not have a camera handy! An advantage of the 3M kit over the Permatex kit is that you can repair multiple stone chips with one kit, whereas the Permatex kit is a “one and done” application. The Permatex kit seems to offer a better process for pulling air from the damage in order to get more complete injection of the resin. But we can’t swear that it does a better job over 3M. Our verdict is that if we had one stone chip to repair, we’d opt for Permatex. If we had a few chips to repair, we’d go with the 3M kit.

Stone chips on your car’s windshield are more than just a cosmetic irritant. If a chip or bruise is predisposed to spreading, a minor ding can eventually destroy your expensive windshield. Have you priced one of those out lately? Ouch.

After a recent family trip, we noticed a tiny pit in the upper visor region of the passenger side. Small pits are often harmless, but this one had two little “wings” coming out of each side. This was one stone pit that has the potential to run amuck, so we began exploring options. Professional stone chip repair tends to cost anywhere from $50 to $75, depending on the firm and the severity of the damage. Not bad a bad price to pay if the repair saves your windshield.

There are also several “do-it-yourself” windshield chip repair kits on the market that (according to consumer reviews), seem to be fairly effective. As we enjoy trying the do-it-yourself option on many tasks and as this stone ding was relatively minor, we opted to give one of these kits a go.

The two kits available nearby were made by 3M and Permatex. The reviews on the 3M kit were less than flattering while the Permatex kit reviews were favorable (on average). As we had great results using the Permatex Rearview Mirror Adhesive Kit earlier this year, we felt comfortable opting for the Permatex Bullseye Windshield Repair Kit. This kit can retail anywhere from $12-$17.

Before using one of these kits, keep in mind that you should not expect the repair result to be 100% invisible. Permatex states this on the packaging. While this caveat may be an effort to head off any disappointment in the appearance of the outcome, the ultimate goal of this process is to prevent a stone chip from spreading. As our stone chip is in an area of the windshield that is completely inconsequential, we thought we’d take a flyer on the Permatex kit.

Below is the stone chip in question. It is about 6 mm in length and was very difficult to see in a photo. We placed painters tape on the outside of the windshield to provide improved contrast.

Stone Chip Before Repair

Here is the stone chip before the repair. Note the seagull shaped item in the middle of the painters tape.

Permatex produced an outstanding YouTube instructional video as shown below. It complements the instructions included with the kit and is well-worth a view or two before tackling this project.

A Few Notes Before Starting

Items shown in the video that are not included with the product include alcohol wipes (for cleaning the area), a push pin for cleaning out the pit of the damaged area and a razor scraper. Do have rubbing alcohol and paper towel, a pin or fine tool for cleaning loose glass from the pit and a scraper on hand before starting.

Also Permatex suggests that the windshield temperature be between 10°C and 24°C for best results. We are not sure whether this process would work in a heated shop during the winter. The final step involves parking the vehicle in the sun to cure the resin. It may work, but with much longer curing times. We carried out this job in a garage on sunny 23°C day. We had plenty of sun for the final curing process.

The Results

We were initially disappointed with the finished result as the wings of the stone ding seemed to still be noticeable. We wondered if we had failed or if the product was ineffective. We knew that we had a good seal during the critical “injection” process, so we were fairly confident that we had held up our end of the bargain. Then we compared the “after” photo to the “before” photo and began to change our tune. The wings of the shone chip that were so evident in the “before” photo were barely detectable in more than a dozen “after” photo tries. That tells us that the resin of the repair kit did indeed penetrate the stone blemish and should prevent spreading.

We took photos from every angle and in all sorts of light and this was the best one.

Stone Chip After Repair

Again we used painters tape on the outside of the windshield to allow the stone crack to show up in the photo. Note that the crack is definitely finer than in the “before” image.

Bottom Line

We give Permatex top marks for instructions and overall quality of the kit components. Everything fit and sealed well and went exactly according to plan. Again, the above video is an invaluable learning tool. Ultimately, the final judgement on whether or not this process is a complete success will happen next winter. If the stone ding does not spread, then we can call this repair a success. If it does spread, we will provide an update at the top of this very page.

A question from a reader: “I have a stock KTM 250 EXC 2-stroke dirt bike and I ride tight trails where the engine is lugged. I also run the bike hard in sand and on open trails. I’m confused as to whether I should use AMSOIL Dominator or Interceptor two-stroke oil. How hard can you run Interceptor compared to Dominator? With either product, is a 50:1 mix ratio adequate? Of course I’m looking to prevent wear and want a clean running engine.”

AMSOIL INTERCEPTOR Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil

AMSOIL Interceptor Synthetic Two-Stroke Oil is the ideal choice for this reader’s KTM 250 EXC dirt bike.

Answer: Interceptor would be a great choice for your riding style. Interceptor will provide exceptional wear protection for the hardest possible riding with a stock engine. It will also maintain very clean exhaust power valves. Stock (or close to stock) engines simply cannot generate enough heat to completely burn off Dominator’s additive package and some power valve deposits could be the result. Dominator is formulated specifically for racing or highly modified two-stroke engines that generate hot operating temperatures.

Interceptor is not a second tier oil in AMSOIL’s two-stroke line, it is simply designed for the best possible operation in stock engines. Dominator is overkill for stock engines and as mentioned, too much of a good thing may not be helpful over time. With either two-stroke oil, the recommended 50:1 mix ratio is actually very safe and offers clean performance along with superb protection.

Have a question for us? Simply type it in to the comment section of the contact form on your right and we’ll be happy to address it.

Below is a very well-made short documentary about our friend, motorcycle road racer Marcel Irnie. This video was filmed and produced by Alex Melnik and Lona Bondarenko at the legendary Laguna Seca race circuit near Salinas, California. Marcel was participating in his very first AMA Pro event, so this race was of huge personal and professional significance. Unfortunately, Marcel crashed out of the race in tenth position on lap 18 of 25.

This was a considerable disappointment for Marcel, but considering the breakthrough success he’s been having in 2014, he still has a smile on his face. The huge support that Irnie is receiving from has allowed him to ride competitive equipment and participate in numerous events this season. He has taken full advantage of this opportunity by mixing it up with established factory riders at national events and cleaning house at local races.

He finished eighth overall in the ultra-competitive West Coast Superbike Shootout earlier this spring and has a chance to clinch the Superbike Expert # 1 plate in the WERA West series this weekend at Miller Raceway in Utah. He will also be competing at the Mosport round of the Canadian Superbike Series in August and the AMA Pro event at Millville, New Jersey in September.

We have spent a lot of time over the years talking with Marcel about the innumerable obstacles he has faced as a privateer trying to make a living as a Superbike racer. At times we wondered if he would eventually just pack it all in. A tip of the hat goes to Marcel for clawing his way to his dream season and seizing the opportunity.

Update August 2016: Chrysler now requires API 5W-40 motor oil for all model years of Ram 1500 with the EcoDiesel engine

Finally someone is offering a diesel engine option for a modern day half-ton, but we can’t offer an engine oil for it just yet. Here’s why…

If you have a 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 equipped with the brand new “EcoDiesel” 3.0L diesel engine and are looking for AMSOIL synthetic engine oil for your truck, please stand by. At the moment, AMSOIL cannot make a definitive motor oil recommendation for this engine and are performing due diligence to see if any of their current products will meet the Dodge spec or require reformulation.

What we do know so far is that these engines require a synthetic 5W-30 with low volumes of sulphated ash, phosphorous and sulphur (also known as “SAPS”). The required engine oil specifications are “ACEA C-3” (from the European Auto Manufacturers’ Association) and Chrysler “MS-11106”.

Why Can’t Just Any Oil Be Used?

Tip: Do not use just any 5W-30 diesel engine oil in this new RAM 3.0L engine. The reason that a low “SAPS” motor oil is required is because this engine is equipped with very sophisticated emissions components that can be fouled when exposed to high volumes of certain motor oil ingredients. For this reason, it is vital to stick to an oil that meets the aforementioned specifications. Dodge is not trying to make your life complicated by suggesting an engine oil that may not be offered at every parts counter. This engine really does require a motor oil with specific fundamentals.

We have seen this situation for years with many European auto brands, so rest assured that eventually product options will expand. The reason that this engine requires an motor oil that could be considered “Eurocentric” may have something to do with the fact that it is manufactured by VM Motori, an Italian engine maker.

Would You Like to Receive Email Notification When We Have an Oil For the EcoDiesel?

We suspect that AMSOIL will have a synthetic motor oil option available for the EcoDiesel engine in the very near future. If you would like to be informed as soon as this happens, contact us using the form on the right of this page and we will email you as soon as an announcement is made. Simply put “EcoDiesel” in the comment section.

We will NOT keep your info on an email list forever or use your email address for any other reason.

While we can’t offer an engine oil for the EcoDiesel Ram just yet, we can offer a host of synthetic options for transmission and differential. Just contact us for more information.