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Old 07-25-2020, 11:44 PM   #1
DMMuir
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Default Is lead still needed?

Few odd questions from a newbie.

I know I can't get leaded gas, but I have lots of local options for Ethanol free.

Would you all recommend a lead additive?
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Old 07-25-2020, 11:55 PM   #2
deuce_roadster
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

Lead was added to gasoline in the 1950s when high compression engines were pinging and needed the lubrication on the valves. You don't need an additive. If you ever have to rebuild the engine you can install hardened seats on the exhaust valves but an old stocker will do fine without the lead. I live near an e-free station and that is all i put in any of my old cars, chain saw, leaf blowers etc that sit around.
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:56 AM   #3
Ken/Alabama
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

What year flathead ?? Most all flatheads I’ve been into from the mid to late 30’s on up to around 1950 or 51 had hard seats. I’ve seen some of the 8ba engines that were produced toward the end of the flathead era having the seats ground right into in the block , same for some of the early production flatheads in 32-33.
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

They started discontinuing hardened seats in 1950 or 51. Truck engines kept them on the exhaust seats only. Rotator valves coming in during the 1951 model year and modern fuels diminished the need for the hardened seats. These engines should at least have hardened seats on the exhaust valves to run unleaded fuel.

Lead additive would be unnecessary for an engine with lower compression. Most flatheads are limited on how high the compression ratio can be taken. The compression chamber has to include room for those valves to work and there is no way to get around that.
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Old 07-26-2020, 11:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

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Originally Posted by deuce_roadster View Post
Lead was added to gasoline in the 1950s when high compression engines were pinging and needed the lubrication on the valves. You don't need an additive. If you ever have to rebuild the engine you can install hardened seats on the exhaust valves but an old stocker will do fine without the lead. I live near an e-free station and that is all i put in any of my old cars, chain saw, leaf blowers etc that sit around.
Started in the 30s
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

If your running E-Free gas make sure you have fuel injection rubber hose, it holds up well with it. Al
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Old 07-26-2020, 04:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

Ken/Alabama,

it's a 1940
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:22 PM   #8
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Ken/Alabama,

it's a 1940
Your good to go. They have hard seats.
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

are you sure about no seats in the early engines, all mine have them in. I have one early 33 eng with stock bore and still looks like factory babbit that came off a farm in 85 and had been in the shed there for years, it has the seats in all
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Old 07-29-2020, 08:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

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Originally Posted by grumppyoldman View Post
If your running E-Free gas make sure you have fuel injection rubber hose, it holds up well with it. Al
I think you have that backwards. Ethanol free gas should be just fine, but with most gas having ethanol in it now the fuel injection hose is a little more rugged and should hold up better.

Here in NJ we don't have an ethanol free option, I've been running regular pump gas in my flatheads with no additives for twenty years and haven't had any issues.
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Old 07-29-2020, 06:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

Been running this old girl for 30 years with whatever passes for regular gas.
Enjoy the ride, no to worry
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

Auto your right on the fuel line, I had a brain fart.
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Old 07-30-2020, 05:15 AM   #13
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

I add 2 stroke oil to every tank of fuel, if I have any money I use upper cylinder lubricant like Lucas or Moryes, it helps things like your carb spindles and might even help with your shitty ethanol
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:47 AM   #14
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

You know guys, the subject of ethanol fuels has been beat to death on these forums. It's not that difficult to replace the offending hoses, carb parts and gaskets with "ethanol friendly" parts

The same with obsessing about the lubricating (necessity) of adding lead. There is enough lubricants in the chemical stew that passes for gasoline nowadays to make that unnecessary.
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Old 07-30-2020, 09:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

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Originally Posted by Rudolph View Post
I add 2 stroke oil to every tank of fuel, if I have any money I use upper cylinder lubricant like Lucas or Moryes, it helps things like your carb spindles and might even help with your shitty ethanol
Rudolph I use Moreys -Would be nice if we could get MMO in NZ.
Have never used 2 Stoke oil -did read In Harold Sharon's Veteran car book that you shouldn't but can't remember the reasoning -although I do remember he said we shouldn't fight the addition of ethanol to gas - However he was talking about very early cars with very low compression and generally minimal (if any) rubber parts in contact with fuel Karl
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Old 07-30-2020, 09:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

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Originally Posted by Gene1949 View Post
You know guys, the subject of ethanol fuels has been beat to death on these forums. It's not that difficult to replace the offending hoses, carb parts and gaskets with "ethanol friendly" parts

The same with obsessing about the lubricating (necessity) of adding lead. There is enough lubricants in the chemical stew that passes for gasoline nowadays to make that unnecessary.
If you drive a vehicle often this shouldn't be an issue, but if they set for long periods of time it can be. I have had issues with fuel tanks and fuel lines and carburetors. I just fined it easier to use non-ethanol on all my yard type equipment and older vehicles. All the yard stuff is designed for ethanol, but that still doesn't address the issues of it setting around for long periods of time.
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: Is lead still needed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene1949 View Post
You know guys, the subject of ethanol fuels has been beat to death on these forums. It's not that difficult to replace the offending hoses, carb parts and gaskets with "ethanol friendly" parts

The same with obsessing about the lubricating (necessity) of adding lead. There is enough lubricants in the chemical stew that passes for gasoline nowadays to make that unnecessary.



Actuality lead was a lubricant and the fuel is less oily now days, adding some oil will make things last longer
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