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Another Report on Power Pill FE-3 ...
8/31/2007 1:58:54 PM
Friday, 29 June 2007
A hard pill to swallow

Tim Hunter reports on a controversial motoring product marketed from Auckland.

The couples in the photos look happy, embarrassed, pictured like kindergarten birthday boys and girls on decorated thrones, holding briefcases overflowing with banknotes.

You can see them in the reception area of New Image Group's Auckland office where they advertise the rewards of belonging to its multi-level marketing network that has spread from NZ to Australia, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The network sells products made by NZX-listed New Image at its factory in Mangere - diet supplements, "wonder products", weight loss formulas and oral sprays. But it makes another, unrelated, product that is attracting particular attention across the Tasman.

In January, the Sydney Morning Herald began publishing stories about Perth-based company Firepower, which burst on to the Australian sporting scene last year with a major sponsorship of Russell Crowe's rugby league team the South Sydney Rabbitohs, quickly followed by the purchase of the Sydney Kings basketball team. Firepower also sponsors the Western Force Super 14 rugby side and Welsh rugby side the Cardiff Blues.

Firepower markets "fuel conditioners" - liquids and pills claimed to clean engines, save fuel and reduce emissions - and an engine "purging" machine. The company had raised at least $10 million from investors, said media reports, and had received financial help from Austrade, the Australian government's export agency. A senior Austrade official, John Finnin, joined Firepower as CEO.

But there were worries - a promised sharemarket listing was repeatedly delayed, claims that its products were used by the Australian and New Zealand military were not true, as were claims of links to major carmaker GM Holden. And Firepower's ideas were not new.

The company's founder, Queenslander Tim Johnston, had been involved in the same business in New Zealand in the 1990s, with some unfortunate results.

There was the fuel pill business, Power Plan International - a network marketing company selling blue Petrol Pills imported from California company CYI Techni Lube; there was the liquid diesel additive business, Tested Lubricants & Conditioners; and there was the engine purging machine business, TL Chemplex, linked to a California company of the same name.

The engine purging firm is now in liquidation, threatening a loss of $1.18m for a director who had lent the firm money.

Johnston's fuel pills were a particularly attractive idea - put one in your fuel tank and it cuts fuel consumption and emissions and increases engine power - but they didn't work. A test by the AA, published in its magazine in 1992, found the pills did not produce the claimed results. Johnston's claims that the product had been tested by the Victorian Police, and that they were recommended by the Victorian RAC and the Motoring Association of New South Wales, were found to be false.

But some people still believed. A former associate of Johnston, who became involved after attending a presentation by the Queenslander in Whangarei, said there were many satisfied customers for a diesel version of the product.

"For about eight years I was involved with the company and we had a fairly good run. Then the product, coming from America, gave us a major hiccup due to a fault in production. That's when things started to unravel for Tim Johnston and the company."

Customers began complaining of catastrophic engine failure and the business collapsed. Johnston's associate was left with heavy losses.

"It nearly cost me my marriage," he said. "When you get the phone going one after another from disgruntled people, you've got to run around to appease them, give them a different batch of products, handouts, money towards (new fuel) injectors."

Johnston returned to Australia and started a new firm in Perth, TPS Group, which became the nucleus of Firepower. But he had made a useful contact in NZ - New Image Group.

It's not clear when New Image began making fuel pills, but it has been selling a product called Power Pill FE-3 for several years. Described by New Image as a fuel conditioner and lead substitute, the brown 10c piece-sized pills - $30 for 10 - are designed to be dropped in vehicle fuel tanks, where they are claimed to increase engine power, improve fuel economy, reduce exhaust emissions and save money.

New Image founder Graeme Clegg told the Sunday Star-Times the pills were invented by a company employee, the late Malcolm Hall. "We've been the leader in this type of technology," he said. "It's nothing to do with licences. We've developed the product over 12 years."

Oddly, a sample he supplied to the Star-Times featured an American flag on the packaging with the words, "All new hi-tech formulation from USA". The packaging also states "patent pending", though Clegg said a patent was not required. "We don't have to patent it, it's very difficult for anyone to reverse engineer it."

New Image also makes the Power Pill FE-3 for Spanish multi-level marketing network Ubiee, whose literature states: "The (power pill) product was originally developed in Russia at the end of World War II. Later it was refined and tested by Nasa as a rocket propellant, and patented in the US. The patent was purchased by our manufacturer in New Zealand." New Image has not scientifically tested the Power Pill to determine its fuel saving capabilities. Instead, Clegg cites customer satisfaction as proof it works. "Over the years we've got such a lot of success stories. But because of all the variables we can't get down to specifics."

One independent test has been done, however. In 2000, a test of the Power Pill FE-3 commissioned by the Ministry of Fair Trading in Western Australia found "the brown one-gram pills produced no measurable reduction in fuel consumption and could have even worsened fuel-efficiency". The finding led to a successful prosecution of the local marketer, Milestone Marketing, in 2003. New Image won't reveal the main ingredients of the pill.

"That's where the secret is in the formulation you see," said Clegg. "There's combustion catalysts in there, detergents for cleansing and also lubricants. So you've got it doing a number of things that you would need multiple products to achieve the same result... It's all about getting a complete burn that will actually burn the sulphur and reduce the emissions that are coming out the exhaust pipe."

The Star-Times was curious to find out what could produce such effects, so we commissioned laboratories at SpectraChem Analytical and AgriQuality to analyse the pills.

The tests showed the bulk of the Power Pill is ferrocene, a metallic compound discovered in 1951. It is well-known to the fuel industry and has been used in some markets, particularly Russia and China, as an octane booster to replace lead. Its characteristics as a fuel additive include anti-knocking, high temperature lubrication and soot reduction.

Unfortunately its side-effects mean it is banned in the fuel specifications of New Zealand and several other countries including America.

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), which sets global standards for fuel, recommends no metallic compounds should be used in fuel. Ferrocene in particular is excluded as it causes iron deposits to build up on spark plugs over distances of as little as 5000km, producing engine misfiring and bad acceleration. In cars with catalytic converters, chemical reactions of unburnt gas cause overheating and ultimately melt the catalyst. Chairman of the ISO's vehicle standard-setting body Jean-Pierre Cheynet said in a letter to members last year: "The after-treatment system is thus inevitably destroyed causing economic damage for the driver and negative ecologic effects for the environment."

His recommendation: "The use of ferrocene in road vehicles cannot be tolerated and shall be banned. If standards in your responsibility allow the use of ferrocene or at least do not forbid it, we ask you to take appropriate action to expressly exclude the use of ferrocene from these standards."

At Clegg's presentation to New Image's annual meeting in November, he said: "Negotiations are under way with a global environment protector organisation that could result in regular orders of several million pills a month... As governments around the world start to impose strict emission guidelines the future for the Power Pill is promising."

In view of the stance taken by the ISO, it seems unlikely that Clegg's optimism will be rewarded. But back to Firepower.

Although Austrade's senior trade commissioner in Moscow, Gregory Klumov, has described Firepower as "a wonderful example of the innovative thinking and advanced technology that Australian companies produce", the Perth company's fuel pills are made by New Image in Mangere. They are not patented, and they are also understood to be made primarily of ferrocene.

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Kenneth R Sword Jr

Sharon Lee

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Re: Another Report on Power Pill FE-3 ...
8/31/2007 2:20:16 PM

It saddens me that one can have so much time on hand to post un-factual information. And/Or misleading information to people, In order to just simply cause harm to others.

If one would place such efforts in thier own business's,,They could be so successful!!

Just my thoughts today.

I take one satisfation though about this article. It IS NOT The Ubiee pill. This is that copycat that WAS banned in New Zealand. So Thank God for that one.

Its GOOD to know your facts and proof. Thank you for the information.

Peace, Sharon Lee.


Jim Allen

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Re: Another Report on Power Pill FE-3 ...
8/31/2007 8:07:04 PM

Hello Kenneth,

Thanks for an informative and enlightening article.  It appears the virtues of this produt are definitely overstated and it's effects on the enviroment understated by those that market these products.  Hard to find enviro friendly information in this report. 

Really makes you wonder how an Enviro Project can support use of the fuel additives like this.  Those heacy metals contaminate the water supply of the entire worls.  That's why lead was removed from the gas, remember?

Keep up the great work.

May Wisdom and the knowledge you gained go with you,

Jim Allen III
Skype: JAllen3D
Everything You Need For Online Success

Re: Another Report on Power Pill FE-3 ...
9/1/2007 1:26:25 AM
Hello Sharon,

When a person looks into either products or businesses that they either want to use and/or want to represent then the time on their hands are not a waste. It's known as due diligence. Anyone here will testify that I do my due diligence and I preach it like the gospel to all my students. You can research any of my threads here for examples as well.

You are the second person that says "This is that copycat that WAS banned in New Zealand.Can you show us where this was stated and proven?  The first person never delivered the facts to me.

Also, you see the Power Pill FE-3 was banned in Australia, the main distributor, Milestone Marketing, was ordered to stop marketing the product and was prosecuted. For a prosecution to happen the product would also need to be verified as original. Otherwise, a posecution could not take place.

Please read all the facts and not be misled because someone gave you a business plan and said it's for real.

Other facts to look for. There is a lot of history missing from the internet on Ubiee since they have been around for so long. But, archived info is slowly coming around and can be found.

So I look at at two things here. I have individuals making statements and show no proof and then I read a government document making the opposite statement and made their proof thru legal councel. Who would you really believe.

Thank you posting and giving me more to debate with.


Les Johnson

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Re: Another Report on Power Pill FE-3 ...
9/1/2007 9:41:12 AM

  Hey Kenneth!

 As a man who has been looking into a few businesses the past couple of years, concerning some products that are suppose to reduce gas consumption and reduce emissions, the majority of the reports that I have read about anything that is put into you gas tank that has a solid in it, will if not right away, or eventually, clog up most if not all of the ports where your fuel line is concerned and your valves to your carb and injectors. I was going to get involved with a business that had pills as well, and there is no way, after talking to mechanics who have been in the business for over 38 plus years, and with some of the CEO's that I know down here in Texas, who work and do some research for Exxon, Shell, and a couple of more, who have stated that thru all of there testing, none, and I mean none of them, would put anything that is a solid at all. PERIOD! With the differences in weather and the way fuel reacts to cold and heat, not everything is dissolve as the reports are claimed to be from companies that say it does, "all of the time". Of course to me, I use common sense and after being in the different weather conditions as well, and after the experience that I have now with some of the failures that I have tried, I would have to agree that pills are not the answer.

 This is something, Kenneth, that I really am looking into as well, and I will continue to read what you come across, but I am anxious as to what you find out about Motorlatte! I already know, but I am waiting to see what you have to say!



Thanks! God Bless!! Les Johnson Certified Independent Representitive! Motor Latte Commercial & Fleet Services 281-999-1156 Hm Bus. # 281-999-0043 Fax # http://w

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