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Old 10-17-2011, 09:12 AM   #1
don's 37
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Default Effects of Adding Lead Additive

I'm am writing in this concern for my father. My father owns a 1929 Model A. For 20 years now he has been adding a lead additive to his gas. Recently after the gas has switched to 10% ethanol he has been experiencing engine stall while driving. He removed the carb for inspection and found that everything inside the carb has a hard, black coating. It has the looks of tar but much harder. His tank screen and even inside the tank is coated with it. We have a feeling it's the lead additive. Now with using the new gas these days we think it's starting to loosen everything up and plugging up his fuel lines. Any ideas what my Dad can use to put in the tank to start eating this stuff away? Hopefully something can be done without removing the tank. Thanks! Don
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:33 AM   #2
reggiedog
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Smile Re: Effects of Adding Lead Additive

I have never heard that one??. I think your dad is going to have his gas tank taken out and re-sealed and the engine is going to have to have the valves taken out and new stainless Valves put in for the new gas of today's gas then he don't have to put the lead in the tank any more. But if I were u I would send my tank down to Brent in Tenn. He's on the barn allot he re-does gas tanks the right way but he is spendy but he is worth it u never have to screw with the gas tank ever again. And any body that re-builds engine's can do the valve stems that is what I would do if I were u might spend like a 1000.00 or maybe a little more but it is worth it if u want to drive your car with out any problems. Good luck reggiedog
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:38 PM   #3
mass A man
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Default Re: Effects of Adding Lead Additive

Don, either go ahead with reggiedog's idea, which is a good one,or first take a small "chip" of this black stuff and do a little chemistry test yourself. Put the chip in a small container and then try adding a drop or two of different solvents. Try to see which solvent dissolves the chip, then go "big-time" with that solvent and try to soak and flush your tank and parts with it. I know this may be a reach--- but does anyone else have an idea?
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:44 PM   #4
Keith True
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Default Re: Effects of Adding Lead Additive

Don,this sounds like something I have run into a lot around here.Years ago guys would mix up Permatex and alcohol,then slosh it around the tank.It made a nice sealer in it's day.Fast forward 30-40 years and the alcohol is attacking the old sealer.If it is semi-liquid in the carb as soon as you dump it out the residue will harden back up in a couple of seconds.The local gas stations did this a lot when I was a kid,so I've run into it a quite a few times.I've never seen the need for the unleaded conversions.When the A was new there was virtually no leaded gas available.It was being experimented with,and could be bought,but not readily available at the time.Locally,leaded gas showed up here after the war.So,realistically speaking,the A's ran on unleaded since new.The machine shop that I use has all but given up explaining to customers that they don't need unleaded conversions on the real old stuff.The customer read it on the intertube so it must be gospel.American sold unleaded gas for years before everybody went to unleaded.The highg test was unleaded with a higher octane,and they sold a cheap line of unleaded they marketed as Blue Boy.We knew it as White Gas.
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:31 PM   #5
ford1
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Default Re: Effects of Adding Lead Additive

lead was added in the 50's to stop pre ignition( ping or knock) in the newer high compression engines, the lead made the gas burn a little slower instead of going off with one fast explosion, slower flame travel keeps pushing the piston down the cylinder for a longer time
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:31 PM   #6
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: Effects of Adding Lead Additive

Keith: I can remember going with my Dad to get "white" gas, for the lawn mower. Don't ask me why.
Paul in CT
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:01 PM   #7
JimK1930A
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Default Re: Effects of Adding Lead Additive

I have found that the gas that works best in my Model A is non-oxygenated 91 octane. I have tried the 89 octane ethanol gas, but my spark plugs soot up.
Jim
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Effects of Adding Lead Additive

I agree with others that the black stuff is not from the lead additive and that the alcohol is helping to dissolve it. It's probably severely oxidized gasoline heavy ends; the higher boiling components. The solvent wash suggestion was a good one. Actually, tetraethyl lead was invented in the 1920s and was used extensively in early aircraft because those engines needed the antiknock properties of TEL for their higher compresion ratios (and resulting increased power). With compression ratios starting at 4.2:1 and going up to about 6.5:1 with high compression heads, 87 (R+M)/2 unleaded will do the trick for our engines. The octane benefit from TEL would be wasted on a Model A but those who want it can get it at race tracks or airports (but you'll need a wing number at the airport). To protect exhaust valves from receding, it takes about 0.5 grams/gallon of TEL, but not to worry; Model A engines don't turn fast enough or make enough heat (power) to need the stuff. Besides the EPA won't allow the sale of leaded fuels to the general public, so the lead additives you buy at WalMart are either lead substitutes or fake - they just can't sell it legally.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:22 PM   #9
30Murray
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Default Re: Effects of Adding Lead Additive

A member of our club had a similar problem last year. He discovered that the ethanol was dissolving the gas tank sealer, which had been applied many years ago. Apparently it was not made to be alcohol resistant, although nowadays some of it is (Bill Hirsch brand). The solution for him was to change to premium gas, which in our area does not contain ethanol.
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