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Leaded Fuel Additives
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Joined:
2010/10/2 23:19
From Kansas City, MO
Posts: 60
I am in the process of having the engine of my 50 Deluxe rebuilt. What is it about the original engines that requires leaded gas/what can I do during the rebuild to make the use of leaded gas no longer necessary?

Posted on: 3/13 23:36:46
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Re: Leaded Fuel Additives
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Joined:
2007/3/14 16:01
From New Jersey
Posts: 16020
Leaded gasoline is not necessary for your engine, and no snake oils or modifications to the engine internals are required to burn today's non-leaded fuels. The exception to this statement would be if you intend to give the car a full time diet of high speed (75 mph+) turnpike driving. The primary purpose of lead in older fuels was to increase octane rating, to a lesser extend it benefited exhaust valve life; I suggest your rebuild incorporate modern, stainless steel exhaust valves.

We may not like today's fuels, but the huge majority of hobby cars today are running satisfactorily with it, though those of us in hot climates or with substandard cooling systems may find ourselves a bit more prone to vapor lock. Of course your fuel line components like rubber hoses and pump internals must be compatible with ethanol.

Posted on: 3/14 6:08:13
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Re: Leaded Fuel Additives
Home away from home
Joined:
2007/10/28 7:49
Posts: 2345
The oil companies are lobbying to get rid of ethanol using the argument that the law is out of date. The problem is the government has been crapping on the American farmer for so long they have lost the export market and many are relying on the implicit subsidy that comes from ethanol.

Sure I'd like to see that junk taken out of gasoline, but if that is the only way to keep the American farmer from going bust I'm willing to live with it.

I remember the "free marketeers" ranting about farm subsidies back in the 80's. They talked about the American farmer as if they were more crooked than Wall Street. So they started making us buy ethanol instead. It's so typical. The American farmer isn't looking for crooked stock option schemes, million dollar bonuses,and childish wars in the executive suite so they have nothing in common with almost every lawmaker.

Posted on: 3/14 8:42:27
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Re: Leaded Fuel Additives
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2010/10/2 23:19
From Kansas City, MO
Posts: 60
Thanks for the info. Sounds like the Motor Medic Lead Substitute Iíve been using was a waste of time, money, and shelf space.

Posted on: 3/14 10:07:39
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Re: Leaded Fuel Additives
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2014/7/15 11:30
From Terrebonne, OR
Posts: 1764
Yes, totally unnecessary for average driving.

Posted on: 3/14 10:52:48
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Re: Leaded Fuel Additives
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Joined:
2013/7/17 6:26
From Clover, SC
Posts: 619
I guess we need to talk periods; post war flathead and post war OHV.
High octane fuel is not necessary in a flathead simply because the compression is so low. Your '50, if stock, is flat(L-head). Octane boost was needed when they went OHV, which allowed to up the compression, which can lead to "knock"ing(preignition) with some low grade fuels. That compression change occurred somewhere around the early to mid '50s depending on manufacturer. Packard kind of hung on to flats a bit long. Of course, a quality motor with a following for it's day, but the post war market changed fast and lack of response lead to the need to merge to survive. Two factors there, the insistent control freak Packard guy and whom they merged with and the rest is history(literally). (just the facts)

The other factor, ex ambient lead pollution, negating lead was switch to "hardened" valve seats. They're a slightly different metallurgy and any engine shop would use modern materials. If you change the valve material, I'd have the seats changed accordingly. Which has to be done if they can't cut and lap them due to XS wear, etc.
As far as the ethanol record, it's an artifact of EPA anti-smog oxygenate fuels(RFG) policy. Bill Clinton made that call to "favor" ADM(who lobbied - not small farmers) over petroleum producers and used the MTBE spill/aquifer contamination in CA as "justification". Then EPA subsequently made everyone change their USTs to double wall, so go figure that one? Cart-horse. Double wall negates the need to switch oxygenate additives, but no crony subsidy $$ that way. Once they start something in the GOVT, it's like nearly impossible to stop it*. Been reauthorized ever since. That's one give away example of why we're so far in debt and deficits keep on coming uncontested. One day we'll wake up, but it'll be when our paper holders call us in, we can't pay, and no more USA.
* - eg; we still have three fully funded national clocks running.

Posted on: 3/15 17:51:20
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Re: Leaded Fuel Additives
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2010/10/2 23:19
From Kansas City, MO
Posts: 60
Thanks for responding. My takeaway from all of this is rebuild with stainless steel exhaust valves and hardened valve seats. Is that about the long and short of it?

Posted on: 3/15 19:43:28
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Re: Leaded Fuel Additives
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Joined:
2015/1/16 9:43
From sw, pa
Posts: 1124
Yeap....

Posted on: 3/16 7:41:25
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Re: Leaded Fuel Additives
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2010/10/2 23:19
From Kansas City, MO
Posts: 60
👍 Thanks.

Posted on: 3/16 10:47:42
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Re: Leaded Fuel Additives
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2010/10/2 23:19
From Kansas City, MO
Posts: 60
I found out the Kanter engine rebuild kit I bought has stainless steel exhaust valves, as well as stainless steel seats. Is that a good combination?

Posted on: 3/17 13:19:51
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