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Fuel
#1
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

rhlevine
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This forum has been tremendously helpful to me as I struggle with my new toy ( 1952 Packard 300 4-door sedan ). With the huge, straight 8 engine, I already have figured out that I had better use high-test gas. What I don't know is whether to add a stabilizer or octane booster. Is the ethanol they add to fuel today a potential problem?


rhlevine

Posted on: 2012/5/2 15:39
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Re: Fuel
#2
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BigKev
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Ummm..... you shouldn't need it as the compression on the motors is low by todays standard.

The ethanol is detrimental to the older rubber/gaskets components in the fuel system. (hoses, carb, fuel pump, etc). So you would need to replace those components with newer "fuel safe" versions. Any newer rebuild kit should be using compatible parts now. Also ethanol will start to clean/dislodge any built up fuel varnish in the system, which then promptly can clog up filters and the carb jets.

Posted on: 2012/5/2 15:53
-BigKev


1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan -> Registry | Project Blog

1937 Packard 115-C Convertible Coupe -> Registry | Project Blog
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Re: Fuel
#3
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Owen_Dyneto
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As BigKev says, your engine has a compression ratio that only requires regular gasoline, anything else gives no benefit except to the oil refiners.

Posted on: 2012/5/2 16:09
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Re: Fuel
#4
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su8overdrive
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I second, or third, the knowledgeable gentlemen above. Your car will run fine on 87 octane regular. Just make sure your engine's tuned, the vibration dampener mark visible. My '47 356 has 7.5:1 compression, and dances down the freeway just fine on it.

An oil company tech engineer told us that gasoline will easily last a year or so, so long as your car/garage isn't subjected to heat above 80 degrees. But, as belt and suspenders, if you don't expect to burn through a tank of gas within a year or 18 months, pick up some Stabil at any parts house, Target, etc. and use as directed.

All gasoline is like aspirin. 87 is 87, regardless of marketing. You're only throwing your money away buying higher octane gas.

BigKev is right about the rubber, materials in any rebuild kits from the last several decades. We've been hearing a lot of hysteria about ethanol in gasoline, invariably from the downhome brigade who just wants another excuse to rail against "the government" we elect. Often, this whining is from people driving old cars on the cheap, who haven't rebuilt their carburetors or fuel pumps in 60-70 years, with similarly ancient rubber hoses, et al, and they want someone to blame for the passing of Old Man River.

We've had ethanol in our gasoline in California for years,
and manage to drive just fine; various Packards, Cords, L-head Cadillacs, '50s Ferraris, you name it. BTW, should you be due to change any rubber fuel line hose, use that sold for fuel injection systems. It'll last into the next century.

Can ethanol harm certain ancient rubber? Sure, but it's an overblown issue. As with ZDDP in motor oil, silicone brake fluid, the "need" for antifreeze in cars not exposed to hard freeze, the adviso to never place a battery on a concrete floor, ad nauseum. People always want to blame something, someone, the black helicopters, Y2K, witches.
Some of us traditionalists stick with SAE papers, engineers, petrochemists, the tech advisors at Conoco-Philips-Kendall, Chevron, etc. who are themselves gearheads driving old cars.

Our cylinder heads be flat, the world be round.

If the car you describe is largely original from the factory, you might consider dropping the gastank, boiling it out, coating it with one of the quality sloshing compounds available through Hemmings, etc., adding an additional fuel filter.

Red Line Lead Substitute will protect your valves from recession. Use as directed. Available widely.

If your 300 has Ultramatic, drop the transmission pan, drain the old ATF from the torque convertor, too. Replace the filter. Drive with a light foot, accelerate gently. Ultramatics will last forever so long as you don't stop light Grand Prix. HydraMatics took brisk acceleration better.

Too many people think just because they're driving one of the better cars of a world long gone, that they can drive them the same way you'd drive a late model Camry or Taurus in a nation of a third of a billion people, double and triple the number of when our Packards were built. Relax and enjoy the ride. A friend with a '63 Ferrari Lusso admits a recent Honda Civic will outperform it.

Posted on: 2012/5/2 16:10
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Re: Fuel
#5
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JWL
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Good advice about using Stabil to keep you gasoline from going bad after sitting a long time.

The newly formulated gasolines with ethanol will vapor lock easier than the old formulations. I use a 5% diesel fuel mixture with pump gasoline to keep vapor lock away. I have not noticed any odor, smoking, or running problems using the diesel.

I did install an electric fuel pump on one of my Packards, but it is probably going to be one of those unnecessary improvements.

I don't know about lead additives, but suspect you will not need them. I don't use anything besides Stabil and diesel in my gas.

Posted on: 2012/5/2 16:29
We move toward
And make happen
What occupies our mind... (W. Scherer)
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Re: Fuel
#6
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patgreen
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I have been told repeatedly to use a lead substitute and ZDP in my car. Small price to pay if it helps the car run well....

Use Rotella from Sam's Club as well since it has some zdp in it.

I'm not up for all the discussion about whether to use these products or whether they are useless....but I'd rather err on the side of caution. I have no idea how the straight eight differs with regard to what makes it happiest.....

Posted on: 2012/5/2 16:37
When two men ride the same horse, one has to be in the back...
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Re: Fuel
#7
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Wesley Boyer
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Here's my two cents on 10 percent ethanol gas. I got a 1947 Packard from my father that he was going to restore, but never did. It sat around for many years before I got it. I had taken the gas tank off and the sended came right out with no problems and checked good. The tank was all gunked up, I had it cleaned out and the inside coated. All was well until my local COSTCO station swithed to 10 percent ethanol, I didn't think anything at the time. And I would go out and started the engine once a week and let it idle until it warmed up.

Than one day as I was walking out of the garage I thought that I could smell old paint. I looked under the Packard and found gas dripping from the gas tank. When I removed the gas tank I had to use vice grips to remove the screws from the sender and two of them broke off. I was shocked to see the bottom half of the sender was eaten away. Since than I haven't started the engine, now I am having to tear the engine down , I've all ready found two stuck valves. You can add this and the pictures to the affects of ethanol, and I won't get into how it's ruined my small engines.

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Posted on: 2012/5/3 11:50
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Re: Fuel
#8
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Steve
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OUCH!!!!! Sorry to see that......

Posted on: 2012/5/3 14:44
Steve
Old cars are my passion

1951 Packard 200
1953 Packard Clipper Custom Touring Sedan
1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer Tri-tone
1966 Rambler Classic 770 Convertible
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Re: Fuel
#9
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PackardV8
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Wesley, thank u for your post.
Can u give approximate time frames between each incident u described in your post.

How much time elapsed between fixing sending unit and ethanol useage began???? About how long did it take for the etahnol to ruin the sender??? How long did it take to ruin the engine?????

U found stuck valves. Exhaust or intakes????

Posted on: 2012/5/3 15:15
VAPOR LOCK demystified: See paragraph SEVEN of PMCC documentaion as listed in post #11 of the following thread:f
http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=7245
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Re: Fuel
#10
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BigKev
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I would think if ethanol was that corrosive, then we would have old cars dying all over the place as Calif has been using it for many years. Typically ethanol tends to "clean" things as it tends break loose existing fuel varnish. That can of course travel down stream and cause issues filters, carb jets, etc. Similar to using detergent oil or synthetic in a old dirty motor.

I would ask what you cleaned the tank out with originally? If you used some with of acid etch and got that on the sender, then is possible ate away any plating that was left on it. Which then caused it to rust up from any moisture in the tank.

Posted on: 2012/5/3 15:35
-BigKev


1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan -> Registry | Project Blog

1937 Packard 115-C Convertible Coupe -> Registry | Project Blog
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