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Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
#563021 09/13/14 1:37 am
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I've always used 93 octane, but never added any "lead additive" such as this:

http://www.amazon.com/Motor-Medic-G...=1-10&keywords=lead+additive+for+gas

Lately the bike has been "pinking" when going uphill. Sometimes the bike cuts out and seizes at speed, but only when hot.

I've read it could be the fuel (low octane or lack of lead) or carbon buildup.

What kind of lead additives do you guys run? Do you use octane booster?

Thanks

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Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563031 09/13/14 2:04 am
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Try changing down a gear or two


beerchug
Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563048 09/13/14 5:16 am
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+1.

Let that engine rev. It was built that way.
Unlike modern car engines where you are supposed to shift up at 2000 rpm.


Ger B

Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Ger B #563049 09/13/14 5:38 am
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I thought lead additive was to prevent exhaust valve seat recession. For pinking you need octane booster. But regardless, adding an additive is curing the symptom rather than the underlying problem. Since pinking has started "lately" something has changed, maybe the spark timing has changed (advanced).

Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563052 09/13/14 6:56 am
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My brothers and I over the years have owned several GM/Mopar muscle cars as well as Triumph,BSA,and Royal Enfield motorcycles. We could go to the local airport and fill our jerry cans with 100/130 Avgas,and since that has been phased out, 100LL. Aviation fuels are designed for low RPM airplane engines and are not ideal for high,over 2500 RPM applications, and racing fuel is a better albeit more expensive option. Some might say"You'll burn your valves using Avgas" When mixed with 93 octane unleaded to bring the octane level up to the point where it met the requirement of the engine as envisioned by the Factory Engineers,it never created a problem. I feel that there are people out there that think they know more than the engineers.You are better off with factory spec timing and a static compression ratio compatible with the available fuel than a retarded timing curve and high(er) compression. My 1969 BSA owners manual shows a minimum octane requirement of 98 for a 9:1 A65. I think this is an RON which would be approximately 96 at the pump R+M/2.An air cooled engine will have a higher octane requirement than a liquid cooled engine with the same compression ratio.Are there any petrochemical engineers out there who can add to this? I can only speak from 35 years experience.Please note that the additive you mentioned does not claim to boost octane.Not all lead will boost octane.In fact most "octane boosters" are combustion chamber cleaners that may marginally lower the octane requirement but in my experience are useless. I will now put my soap box away. This stuff really works <www.octanesupreme.com>. One to two ounces per gallon of 93 is adequate.Regards Keane.

Last edited by Keane Lucas; 09/13/14 7:30 am.

1969 BSA A65T w/A70 engine
1970 Royal Enfield Interceptor S ll
Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563061 09/13/14 8:53 am
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Could also be an ignition timing issue, or excessive carbon build up in the combustion chamber.

Emphasis on "could" not "is" :-)

Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563086 09/13/14 10:34 am
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When I rebuilt my 66 A65 I couldn't get it to stop "pinking" except when I used a blend of 110 octane racing fuel. It is inherent in the design. However, I switched to a Boyer which has a more gentle advance curve than the stock AAU. Now the bike tolerates 93 octane pump gas fairly well but you have to keep the motor revved a little especially on hills. Remember when these bikes were sold when was 96 octane fuel was virtually everywhere.

Mr Mike

Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Mr Mike #563099 09/13/14 11:16 am
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Oh heck, I can feel an "Ethanol in fuel" blog coming from me (again = VW Camper van forum hot topic wink )

Personally I NEVER put fuel that contains Ethanol in my bikes (or my 1986 watercooled VW camper).

I consider this website HERE is a "must read" on the subject. The problem is determining whether the "premium" fuel you found has Ethanol or not. The bottom few paragraphs on that website discuss this. All Shell fuel, including "V-Power" does have it frown All Murco "premium grade" fuels do NOT have it smile Most Esso and Total premium grade fuels do not have it, but in some parts of the coutry, even they do crazy Some garages don't even sell the higher Octane / Ethanol fuel. It's a minefield.

Now, I am not saying it is Ethanol in your fuel causing the problem (though it does cause the engine run a tad weaker, = hotter) but most of the "premium" grade fuels that I seek out to avoid Ethanol (NOT Shell btw !!) have a higher Octane (RON) value. They certainly make my bikes run better (and start better too).

Might be worth bearing in mind as the higher Octane / No ethanol fuel offers a "win win" advantage to all classic vehicle owners.

p.s. = Don't ever "over winter" any machine (incl garden implements) with fuel containing Ethanol in the tank or carb. It is hygroscopic (absorbs water from the air) causing corrosion, plus it also produces a horrid snotty green gluey mess in the float chamber etc. I just spent a whole day cleaning out the carbs, filters and tank on a Ducati 960 being recommission after a 3 year lay up. Also never put it in a Fibre-Glass fuel tank, it dissolves them in no time.

Of course, you have checked you timing and are letting it rev, as mentioned above wink


Current rides = 1959 650 Matchless G12CSR in near showroom nick, 1956 BSA B33 in "Goldy" trim (yeh, I know, cheesy but I like it !)
Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563107 09/13/14 11:48 am
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Thanks for the replies. My bike has a Boyer ignition, so I don't think it's a timing issue? (Correct me if I'm wrong)

I went to the store and picked up 3 items. Lucas octane booster (orange bottle), Lucas lead-substitute and a bottle which should help clean the carbon buildup.

I plan on using the lead substitute and octane booster together.

I am fairly certain the Mobil I bought the gas from uses ethanol, but I will double check on my way home later today.

Would the pinking have anything to do with the gas settings on the carb? (Not the jets, just the screw which controls the gas mixture)

Thanks for the help

Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563113 09/13/14 12:01 pm
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Sorry, just popped back in to say, of course many of you guys on here are in the USA, so the info I gave about Ethanol fuel is likely useless as I think nearly all petrol in the USA has it mad


Current rides = 1959 650 Matchless G12CSR in near showroom nick, 1956 BSA B33 in "Goldy" trim (yeh, I know, cheesy but I like it !)
Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563118 09/13/14 12:23 pm
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My 70 A50r suffered pinking even tho I ran a mixture of race gas - the same mixture that worked well for my 70 t-bolt. After many dead ends with ignition advance curves, searching for intake leaks etc, I eventually discovered carbon build up - so much so that small pieces could break free and short out a spark plug. Upon removing the head I found badly worn exhaust valve guides. While doing the head work I took the time to radius and polish the piston tops as per Allan (him off star trek)and am very happy with the result. I still add a quart of race gas to two gallons "premium" in an effort to approximate the correct fuel. Leon p.s. check the Lucas bottle to see how much octane boost you get. I seem to remember the the result is expressed in tenths of an octane unit - not much.


October of 69-A50R
Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563134 09/13/14 2:17 pm
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John Healy always gives a good comment on these matters,

However, pinking is damaging the engine.

If your bumming around on your A65 ( assuming this is your steed) shouldn't be lugged under 3000 RPM.

If you find your opening the throttle, waiting for the rpm's to increase and it's pinking then again you need to change down. Same if you are climbing a hill, if you need plenty of throttle to get up it then your in too high a gear. Opening the throttle when like this creates a high pressure low flow in the port, and your dynamic compression goes through the roof. The faster the engine is turning the lower the pressure and higher the flow in the port, the engine/carb will breath properly. Which means it will fill the cylinder correctly and your throttle response will improve.

A friend fitted new carbs to his A65 and complained that it was pinking ( too lean he thought) and we swapped bikes. I rode the bike in different manors, on occasion let it rev out and on occasion ride it quite softly, however it never dropped to 3k without changing down a gear. For me it didn't pink once and the mixture was crisp and spot on.


beerchug
Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
LeonGustus #563136 09/13/14 2:46 pm
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Quote
I went to the store and picked up 3 items. Lucas octane booster (orange bottle), Lucas lead-substitute and a bottle which should help clean the carbon buildup. 

Before you add a coctail of unknown chemicals to your gasoline !

Why not just de-coke your engine ...

If It's a daily rider , I would not use any of these , but thats me , I'd rather have a machine that could run of pump gas and would lower compression .

Just read the MSDS on both these Lucas products .
they both appear to have the same main active ingredient , ( from their msds' they appear to be more the same than different )
It's methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl , or MMT .
It will boost octane , but adding both at the same time may be asking for trouble in the form of red-powdery spark plug fouling .
... btw do not add MMT type boosters to your modern car , its not compatible with sensers and catalytics
.

Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
quinten #563144 09/13/14 4:03 pm
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Originally Posted by quinten
Quote
I went to the store and picked up 3 items. Lucas octane booster (orange bottle), Lucas lead-substitute and a bottle which should help clean the carbon buildup. 

Before you add a coctail of unknown chemicals to your gasoline !

Why not just de-coke your engine ...

If It's a daily rider , I would not use any of these , but thats me , I'd rather have a machine that could run of pump gas and would lower compression .
.


I plan on bringing it in this winter to have everything cleaned up as I am not that proficient with taking it all apart and putting it back together. The bike isn't a daily rider, I ride it on the weekends probably for about 20-30 miles each time (depending on how far the bike wants to go, haha).

I added a very small amount of octane booster with the lead-additive and took it for a quick ride today. There was some pinking, but I would say 95% of it was reduced. Didn't go that far so I'll bring it out tomorrow again and see how she goes.

I spoke to a mechanic buddy who works on these bikes and runs his own shop. Says to NOT run solely 93 octane. I need race gas 50/50 mix with 93 octane. Said the booster and lead-additive will help and I can get away with that but it should be a temp fix only.

Last edited by Waymon3x6; 09/13/14 7:06 pm.
Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563155 09/13/14 8:16 pm
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I had no luck with several octane boosters I tried...none whatsoever. If you are taking short jaunts, the bike is likely not heated up enough to pink. Check you timeing, make sure your carb is right (tell us what slide, needle jet, main jet you are using. And as Allan says keep the motor reasonably revved and the bike will run decent on 93 octane blended with ethanol. I'd sell my A65 if the only thing it would run on is race fuel.

Mr Mike

Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563173 09/13/14 11:25 pm
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My 2 cents: I had some pinking with my A65 before the last engine rebuild and now I have none. Here's what's different and what's the same:

What's different: Switched from '66 lower to '65 crankcase, crank, and conrods, with ball-bearing main. Crank balanced and conrods polished. Late-model OE cast iron oil pump. New valves, valve guides, and springs. New camshaft and cam followers, new piston rings.

What's the same: Pistons (.040"-over) - but cleaned of course, and cylinders honed. Carbs (Mik VM32s), no jetting changes. Ignition (Boyer analog) timing the same. (I've always gone by the book - 34 degrees.) Same exhaust system (Armours stock replica silencers). I run nothing but Sunoco 93 fuel. Gearing is 20-47.

So I have to conclude that some internal engine factor or combination of factors was causing the pinking. My best guess is that it's difficult to impossible to get a "clean burn" with today's crappy fuels, causing carbon buildup and eventual detonation. I only have about 500 miles on this engine; we'll see what happens after a couple thousand.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563174 09/14/14 12:03 am
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Waymon- back to the Boyer is the base timing set right or ie what's the bike running at max advance ? If base timing is to high it could cause a ping. Or at least that's to my understanding.

Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
mikelucas #563175 09/14/14 12:30 am
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Originally Posted by mikelucas
Waymon- back to the boyer is the base timing set right or ie what's the bike running at max advance ? If base timing is to high it could cause a ping. Or at least that's to my understanding.


I honestly am not sure. I have never checked. There is a lot I still have to learn, as I am just getting into these old British motorcycles. I am almost afraid to mess around with the timing (it took me a weekend to figure out the right carb mixture and balance both sides - still not 100% sure if I have it right) and I don't want to blindly start taking things apart without the right know-how.

When I bought the bike from a collector about ~2000 miles ago (odometer reads 8k) it ran perfect. I have not altered it in any way. Therefore my understanding is that this pinking has just come about from carbon buildup thanks to repeated refueling with 93 (no lead-substitute or octane booster was ever added until today). I don't think the timing would be altered that significantly in that time frame, right? In addition, I have taken it to the mechanic who specializes in these bikes for a tuneup, so I would assume he would have checked the timing over.

What exactly are the steps to check the timing with a Boyer ignition?

Another thing that I'd like to point out is that there is some black carbon buildup around the outside of the exhaust (where the chrome meets the block) on the right side of the engine. Left side looks pristine. There is also a light brown, almost sand colored heat mark on the bend of this side as well. Could this be the result of an overly rich mixture?

[Linked Image]

Thanks



Last edited by Waymon3x6; 09/14/14 12:35 am.
Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563195 09/14/14 9:26 am
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I had the same symptom on my Bonneville ... pinking up hill. And I did not lug the engine. It also used a Boyer. I cured it by retarding the timing ever so slightly. An easy fix till you go inside for a decoke during winter.

Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563209 09/14/14 11:53 am
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Timing is easy to check. Take off the timing inspection cover on the left side of the engine, it is the one with the 4 screws at the front of the cover. You'll see an embossed line on the alternator rotor and a pin on the side of the aperture. Hook up your timing light. Start the motor and rev it to over 3K rpm. The timing light should strobe when the line on the rotor and the pin are in alignment. I'll let somebody else explain what is required to the Boyer if its out.

Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
LarryLebel #563210 09/14/14 11:59 am
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Originally Posted by LarryLebel
Timing is easy to check. Take off the timing inspection cover on the left side of the engine, it is the one with the 4 screws at the front of the cover. You'll see an embossed line on the alternator rotor and a pin on the side of the aperture. Hook up your timing light. Start the motor and rev it to over 3K rpm. The timing light should strobe when the line on the rotor and the pin are in alignment. I'll let somebody else explain what is required to the Boyer if its out.


I understand how to check the timing on a points-system, but mine has a Boyer. Wouldn't it be a little different? I was told Boyer's never had to be checked or adjusted - because they cant? Thanks

Last edited by Waymon3x6; 09/14/14 12:00 pm.
Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563218 09/14/14 1:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Waymon3x6

I understand how to check the timing on a points-system, but mine has a Boyer. Wouldn't it be a little different? I was told Boyer's never had to be checked or adjusted - because they cant? Thanks

Actually it's much easier. Strobe time at 5000rpm, the timing mark should stop advancing by then. If the marks line up you're done. If not, make a note of which way it's off.
Open the 'points' cover and loosen both screws on the stator plate. Rotate the plate, clockwise to advance, counter-clockwise to retard. Check the timing again. Once the marks line up at full advance, tighten both screws and put the covers back on.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
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Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563221 09/14/14 1:28 pm
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I might have to take back what I implied about Lucas octane booster. When I compared the cost of race gas that I add per tank to the stated amount of Lucas booster to get the same octane, the Lucas product is actually cheaper. Same could be said for Royal Purple. Both use an ingredient called MMT that is bad for you and me. Maybe as bad as tetraethyle lead in race gas. Maybe. Certainly a bottle of this stuff would be easier to carry around than a quart or two of race gas - thus making refueling when away from home more convenient. I'm gonna go get some. Wonder if my exhaust valves will miss the lead? Leon


October of 69-A50R
Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
DavidP #563253 09/14/14 4:57 pm
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[checkquote=DavidP]
Originally Posted by Waymon3x6

I understand how to check the timing on a points-system, but mine has a Boyer. Wouldn't it be a little different? I was told Boyer's never had to be checked or adjusted - because they cant? Thanks

Quote
Actually it's much easier. Strobe time at 5000rpm, the timing mark should stop advancing by then. If the marks line up you're done. If not, make a note of which way it's off.
Open the 'points' cover and loosen both screws on the stator plate. Rotate the plate, clockwise to advance, counter-clockwise to retard. Check the timing again. Once the marks line up at full advance, tighten both screws and put the covers back on.


... a variation on the the theme
All you need to adjust or fine tune the timing on a Boyer , is a one of those multi-tip screwdrivers and something pointy and sharp , like a dental pick . A strobe is of little help , at this point , if it pingks when
Properly strobed.

1. Remove the 2 screws that hold on 'timing points cover'
2. As Boyer forget to add any calibration , Scratch a line from the Boyer PCB stator plate through and too the aluminum housing ( 38º be dammed , this is your reference ' pinking point ' , from which you want to retard ) ...
3. loosen pillar bolts using just the hex-holder part of a multi-tip screwdriver.
4. To retard , Move the stator plate ~1/16 " , using your reference mark , the same direction the magnetic rotor , behind the stator , spins when running .
5. Tighten up and go for a ride , re-adjust as necessary , you'll know when its right ...
The 38º advance number is only a reference . Do what you have to do .
It a britbike not a watch
.

Re: Lead Additive to cure "pinking"
Waymon3x6 #563274 09/14/14 8:20 pm
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Quinten,
I use the same method. I use the light as a start point but then advance til it pinks under hard acceleration when hot, then retard slightly. On the A65 I run slightly retarded. This method works equally well with a points ignition. Depending on you mixture, the condition of the head, and your driving habits, the factory timing mark is not always the best.

Mr Mike

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