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Old 02-05-2008, 05:59 PM
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Modern Fuel in vintage mills?

I used to buy lead substitute.

I have not seen any for sale in some time.

I have recently picked up a cherry 1950 Studebaker and do not wish to upgrade it at this time, but I will be driving it with the original automatic trans and 6 cyl. mill.

What to do, what to do...

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Old 02-05-2008, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ret_marine2003
I used to buy lead substitute.

I have not seen any for sale in some time.

I have recently picked up a cherry 1950 Studebaker and do not wish to upgrade it at this time, but I will be driving it with the original automatic trans and 6 cyl. mill.

What to do, what to do...
I don't think you need to do anything as long as you're not racing or commuting with it.

Valves of engines before unleaded fuel didn't have a very long life even with lead in their fuel. The failure mode is a bit different being that lead deposits interfered with valve cooling so burnt valves and seats were common and had to be repaired on a 30 to 50 thousand mile interval back then anyway. The failure mode with unleaded fuel is for the seat to be pounded in by the valve, this also takes about 30-50 kilo miles. So if you still have the Studie when it needs a valve job, you just have the shop machine the seats for hard inserts and your head is in the modern era. After that, with new valves they'll probably never wear out.

Bogie
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:57 PM
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Suppose I decided I wanted to commute with it.

Then what would you recommend?

Do the machine work first, or make other reliability based improvements?
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ret_marine2003
I used to buy lead substitute.

I have not seen any for sale in some time.

I have recently picked up a cherry 1950 Studebaker and do not wish to upgrade it at this time, but I will be driving it with the original automatic trans and 6 cyl. mill.

What to do, what to do...
I saw the lead substitute at walmart not too long ago.

Shane
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:10 AM
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Assuming this hasn't had a valve job enough lead has built up on the exhaust valve seat to prevent recession for quite a long time. Occasionally put a couple gallons of leaded race fuel thru the tank and it will be fine.
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:19 AM
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it is much more likely you will be needing to pull the head to replace the:

1:valve seals
2: valve guides and 3 angle valve grind
3: re-ring the pistons

than "needing" to add hardened inserts on the exhaust seats as a first parts failure

"all" old motors burn "some oil" and that carbon is coating the exhaust valve seat just like a lead substitute additive

agree with oldbogie....drive it till something else wears out ....then add the inexpensive hardened inserts while having a compete head job done
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:34 AM
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I agree with the drive-it-til-it-drops group.

Every year I have to file my annual mileage with my antique insurance and I found out how little I actually drive my cars. In the 10 or 20 years it takes you to have problems, you can be collecting the parts for a complete overhaul.
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:49 AM
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Well, lets see where this goes. Kind of a side line but relevant to the discussion.

When lead was first introduced into gasoline, it was NOT added to help valves or valve seats. It was used as an anti-knock additive. Early on, lead deposits caused a LOT of problems as it would build up on the seats and valve faces and prevent complete closure resulting in burned valves, as some have already mentioned. Hardened seats were introduced to mainly resist the pitting that lead hotspots caused. Valve technology had to be changed also, as the lead would also pit or burn spots on the valves and exhaust system.
Spark plugs suffered a lot too as the lead deposits built up until the plug would not fire.
It's possible that "some" lead will help cushion the valve closing but that is a by product, not the intended purpose.

Mark

Last edited by Jmark; 02-06-2008 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:58 AM
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Most automotive engines driven normally will not have any big problems if lightly loaded. The ones that had big problems were trucks and industrial engines that ran long periods under heavy loads and high heat, that type of use will cause burnt and recessed valaves and seats.

Run it till it drops...........
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