To add lead or not to add lead?

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Blaze
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To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by Blaze » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:46 am

I was given some advice a number of years ago about adding lead to the unleaded gasoline used for my T.
I use the rv fuel when available for all my gasoline engines.
Is the advice to ad lead to gasoline used in T good advice? I use it according to directions.
Any thoughts, I've never heard it discussed in forums.
Thx for advice.
Rick


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Re: To ad lead or not to ad lead?

Post by Jeff Hood » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:47 am

There was no such thing as leaded gasoline in Model T days. The lower operating temperature, low RPM, and low valve spring pressure of a Model T engine should have no problem with unleaded gas now any more than it did 100 years ago.


Jerry VanOoteghem
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Re: To ad lead or not to ad lead?

Post by Jerry VanOoteghem » Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:05 am

There is no way to add lead to your gasoline. To my knowledge, lead additives contain no lead. They are billed as lead substitutes.

All that said, I don't believe it's of any use in a Model T.


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Re: To ad lead or not to ad lead?

Post by Colin Mavins » Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:39 am

My T has ran on unleaded gas for 40 some years , in 2013 I broke the crank . The valves were up dated in 1960 ,in 2013 those valves and the original seats were in perfect condition. All that was done was a good cleaning and back together. Cheers Colin

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Re: To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:05 am

Don't waste your money.
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Re: To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by Norman Kling » Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:11 am

It is not necessary. The lead was added to fuel with the higher compression engines. The T is very low compression and doesn't PING unless it is running very hot. If your T starts to ping, you need to check the coolant, the fuel mixture and timing. Slow timing, or lean mixture can cause it to run hot as with a clogged cooling system.
The lowest octane gas works just fine in a Model T.
Norm


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Re: To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by Rich Bingham » Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:23 am

By the mid-1920s compression ratios were becoming high enough (7:1 or so) which resulted in detonation in the fuels of the time. Enter tetraethyl lead, which raised octane to tolerable limits, eliminating "octane ping" in the higher performance engines of the era. Model T never needed it.

The leaded amendment produced lead halides that coated valves and seats, resulting in a misunderstood "lubricating" quality that prevented valves from "micro-welding" to the seats under extreme conditions of heavy load and heat. When tetraethyl lead was phased out of fuels by mandate, many older engines began to exhibit valve failures. The "cure" is to opt for stainless valves and stellite seats.

The Model T engine never suffered from the lack of leaded fuel, nor ever needed it so long as one maintains the original parameters it was built to.

That's why Steve says "don't waste your money".
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Re: To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by TRDxB2 » Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:12 pm

No disagreement with the lubricating qualities of TEL. Perhaps Upper Cylinder Lubricants are a alternative.
"By the mid-1920s, gasoline was 40 to 60 Octane." >>> https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-gasoline-1991845
"In the early 20th century, automotive manufacturers were searching for a chemical that would reduce engine knock. In 1921, automotive engineers working for General Motors discovered that tetraethyl lead (better known as lead) provided octane to gasoline, preventing engine knock. While aromatic hydrocarbons (such as benzene) and alcohols (such as ethanol) were also known octane providers at the time, lead was the preferred choice due to its lower production cost. Leaded gasoline was the predominant fuel type in the United States until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began phasing it out in the mid-1970s because of proven serious health impacts." >>> https://www.eesi.org/papers/view/fact-s ... -of-octane
Had a friend that always used Upper Cylinder Lubricant . Here is a manufacturers claim.
Another benefit of Upper Cylinder Lubricants is a thing called “oil cushion”. The “oil cushion” or thin protection film on the valves, helps prevent the slamming together of bare metal as the valves open and close. This film also helps to guide the valves into place helping create a good seal. This prevents excessive wear on the valves and valve seats.
In older fuels, lead was an additive in the fuels that acted like this oil cushion for your valves. Now that lead has been removed, its up to additives in products like AMSOIL Upper Cylinder Lubricant to accomplish this. >>>https://synthetic-oildepot.com/why-use- ... lubricant/
Last edited by TRDxB2 on Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by Mark Gregush » Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:13 pm

While I can't give numbers, fuel in the teens and 20's contained a high level of kerosene(I believe I have seen numbers like 40-50%) which I believe is why the octane was so low. I have never seen a need for adding anything to todays fuels, which should burn cleaner and hotter then back then. Todays fuel contain additives to lubricate the valves and prevent sticking. Adding kerosene, diesel or MMO would get you close to what fuels were like back in the T era. The only time I have seen a need for valve seats is when the seat has been ground so many times the top of the valve is at or below the deck surface or were so pitted from rust that they would be too far into the block to work well. I have seen no real proof that replacement seats are needed for the average T, the cast iron work fine thanks in part to the really good grade of iron used by Ford.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by Been Here Before » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:06 pm

Early Gasoline was purer, a relative term, than modern gasoline. The early gasoline used in the Model T's, at the time of production, did not contain an antiknock additive or , if you wish lead additive. The early gasoline generally had an octane of 70.

Of course, gasoline could be souped-up by adding an acid, ether, benzene...but that is for another day...

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Re: To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by TRDxB2 » Sun Nov 01, 2020 2:59 pm

I recently listed many interesting facts about the history of gasoline as it related to the Model T in this posting which has contradicted many myths about gasoline in the early years https://mtfca.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=16844
here are some highlights.
"As late as June 1917, Standard Oil (the largest refiner of crude oil in the United States at the time) stated that the most important property of a gasoline was its volatility. It is estimated that the rating equivalent of these straight-run gasolines varied from 40 to 60 octane and that the "High-Test", sometimes referred to as "fighting grade", probably averaged 50 to 65 octane."
"Henry Ford built the first Model Ts in 1908 to run on ethanol/alcohol and Standard Oil began blending it as early as 1920 to boost octane and reduce engine knock. Prohibition put a stop to the Ethanol production, for a while."
"In the early 20th century, automotive manufacturers were searching for a chemical that would reduce engine knock. In 1921, automotive engineers working for General Motors discovered that tetraethyl lead (better known as lead) provided octane to gasoline, preventing engine knock. While aromatic hydrocarbons (such as benzene) and alcohols (such as ethanol) were also known octane providers at the time, lead was the preferred choice due to its lower production cost"
"During the early period of gasoline engine development, aircraft were forced to use motor vehicle gasoline since aviation gasoline did not yet exist. These early fuels were termed "straight-run" gasolines and were byproducts from the distillation of a single crude oil to produce kerosene, which was the principal product sought for burning in kerosene lamps. Gasoline production would not surpass kerosene production until 1916. The earliest straight-run gasolines were the result of distilling eastern crude oils and there was no mixing of distillates from different crudes. The composition of these early fuels was unknown and the quality varied greatly as crude oils from different oil fields emerged in different mixtures of hydrocarbons in different ratios"


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Re: To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by OilyBill » Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:02 pm

Early octanes were probably in the 50's, or even less.
"Phillips 66" was the brand new, hopped up "racing gas" with an octane rating of 66.
Union Oil bumped it up to "76" octane. By God, that was some REALLY HOT RACING FUEL! "Be careful you don't blow up your engine!"
I doubt any Model T could tell the difference. They were used to running on half-gas, half kerosene.


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Re: To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by Blaze » Mon Nov 02, 2020 3:15 am

Thank you to all who responded to my question. I was told by someone several yrs ago that I should ad lead to gasoline used in T. I see now that it is not necessary. I assume that using the ethanol free gasoline, RV Fuel, is a good idea though.
Thank you once again to all who helped educate me, the information, knowledge gained is invaluable.
Stay safe and healthy.
Sincerely,
Rick Miller

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Re: To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by john in kzoo » Mon Nov 02, 2020 7:32 am

Rick,

I use only lead free (rec fuel) in my T. I just runs better period......

John

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Re: To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:18 am

I use the least expensive gasoline. In these parts that usually means E-10. E-85 has a lower price but gives such lousy mileage that it's really more expensive. I use E-10 in a 2008 Camry, a 1973 Suburban, a 1951 Dodge B3C pickup, a 1946 Allis Chalmers Model B tractor used for mowing, a 1923 Ford Touring, a 1915 Ford runabout, a Dixon riding mower, a push mower, a splitter, and a chainsaw. In thirty or more years the E-10 has been a problem in one instance, probably the problem in another instance, and possibly a problem in the third. After the splitter sat unused for a few months I found the aluminum carburetor clogged by white powdery deposits I had to clean out to get it running again. I had to replace the leaking filler hose in the Suburban, and I suspect that was due to ethanol's effect on rubber not formulated to handle it. Last spring the tractor had a spell of dying from water in the fuel supply. Some would say that's because Ethanol collects water. Others would say it was because of condensation from humid air in a tank with only a couple of gallons of gas in it. Those three incidents were the only problems I think were or may nave been due to E-10.
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Re: To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by TRDxB2 » Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:34 pm

Lots of pro's and cons about Ethanol but need to remember that it was used in the 1920's to increase octane which was later replaced by a lead additive. While cars and other engines may have issues with E10 no one should ever use E85 unless the manufacturer has stated it can be used.

"The first thing that you might encounter is at the first use of a fuel containing ethanol because ethanol is a strong cleaner, it can clean away years of dirt, which can plug the fuel filter and can give you some performance problems. Change the filter, problem gone. Also, inside a lot of carburetors, there’s going to be leather parts, there may be some metal or plastic parts that are not compatible with the 10% ethanol. But in those cases, it’s probably going to be a long term degradation of performance and it’s going to be easy to correct; you just replace the part with a modern part that is ethanol compatible – things like fuel hoses and so on." from https://www.motorweek.org/features/goss ... assic_cars
Some good information in this link after the "environmental justifications" https://www.hemmings.com/stories/2012/1 ... ector-cars


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Re: To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by leakyrad » Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:46 am

If i am not mistaken aviation gas still contains lead. Glad to finally get back had to register used to be gridleak.


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Re: To add lead or not to add lead?

Post by Kerry » Thu Nov 05, 2020 3:47 pm

Yes Don aviation gas still contains lead, why?
I researched it several years ago, lead to boost octane was never it's original intent, back in WW1 in Europe, they were looking for a way to stop fuel from freezing at altitude in planes. Silver was the best and lead a close second and still used today.
The extra benefits of using lead in gas all was found out later.

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