All you guys out there are going to think i`m a nut. In a normal country at the gas staition you have pumps marked Unleaded , Leaded , LRP Lead replacement petrol etc ,etc..... Here we have pumps marked Petrol,Diesel,Parafin. If you ask about leaded or unleaded the pump guys don`t know what you are talking about. The oil company rep dosen`t know what you are talking about. Two of the Ex-pat mechanics say all petrol in Ghana is leaded. That would explain why nobody has heard about unleaded. I am just hoping the Co. mechanics are right. If not what can I add to the petrol? My brother in UK adds Red-X for his 1984 Ford. Let`s presume there`s only Two-stroke oil available here. Possible or not????
Harry, I think most of us in the US use unleaded 91-93 octane, since leaded gas has been unavailable since the 1980's here. I run it in my BSA A65 and I am more concerned about octane level than tetra-ethyl lead. Used to hear a lot about installing 'hardened' valve seats for use with unleaded, but not much anymore. I don't have 'em.
Anyway, I used to hear of guys putting a spoonful of diesel fuel in as a lead substitute, no experience with it though.
Of course if your fuel has lead, thats what the bikes were designed to run on.
The chemists, metalurgists and engineers should be along soon to give a more technical insight.
'Never argue with an idiot, they'll bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience'
Funny you mention diesel, Fisherman, as an addition to petrol. On a Dutch forum somebody wrote the same thing this very evening. He claims it enhances the octane value of the petrol.
I tried a lead substitute by Wynns in unleaded 98 octane petrol and found it made my exhaust valves seize (or sieze?). Since I use nothing in my unleaded fuel my bike runs fine. No more problem with hanging valves. I think you should not worry, Harry.
Re: Leaded or unleaded???#26349 06/21/0712:21 am06/21/0712:21 am
I have tried several "Octane booster" additives to the 93 octane unleaded we have here in the states. None of them provide any advantage that I could notice. 110 octane leaded racing fuel mixed 1 part to 3 parts pump gas works wonders. Unfortunately it is only available at race tracks and such. I replaced my old 4ca points with a Boyer and the bike does pretty well. The advance rate of the Boyer was less drastic than the points.
Re: Leaded or unleaded???#26350 06/21/072:40 pm06/21/072:40 pm
Ray Hall Turbocharging in OZ advises the following octane improvements using methanol and acetone: 10% methanol in petrol gives about 5 points of octane improvement i.e., 93 to 98 octane. Jet diameters must be enlarged by a factor of 1.125 to account for the loss in calorific value. 10% acetone gives about 3 points more but acetone has approximately the same calories so no jet changes are necessary.
Adding diesel fuel to improve octane is an interesting concept but I'd want to see some evidence of this.
As long as you're getting your engine oil in sealed and marked containers, you should be able to avoid two-stroke oils.
Re: Leaded or unleaded???#26351 06/21/074:08 pm06/21/074:08 pm
Harry:in the 1930's the oil companies started using tetraethyl lead to increase the octane ratings of gasoline,especially in aviation gas.This was the cheapest and easiest way.I usually reccomend 100ll av gas to people in the U.S.This fuel can be mixed with unleaded to work well with high compression engines.However I understand that it is hard to find in Africa,in fact piston aircraft are not much used in Africa and asia because of this shortage.You might ask at the airport what fuel is available.But do not use the equivalent of 80 octane avgas ,only the equivalent of 100 octane.
Re: Leaded or unleaded???#26352 06/21/078:00 pm06/21/078:00 pm
Would like to hear more about a drop of diesel in the petrol. Dose`nt sound right.Diesel is less inflamable & has no lube properties. I was dead scared about running on unleaded. Expected burnt exhaust valve seats on first long run. Still worried about petrol here co`s I don`t know what it is? If you think about two-stroke oil in fuel one would presume it to lube top end & not oil up the plug?? It dose that anyway. Don`t fancy being surrounded by a cloud of blue smoke so would have to add 1/4 measure. I`m hoping somebody els tries it first. Go- on,try something new. Be sure to let my know what happens. PS....I used to love that smell of caster oil at the race track. Do they still use it?? What was it for???
Re: Leaded or unleaded???#26353 06/21/078:34 pm06/21/078:34 pm
SBOYD, Bike is a 1967 Mk III Spit with a Lightning engine. A65 L/EE08585. She`s running fine but I was dead scared of this unleaded story. Surprised to hear some guys run OK with no additives. I only thought the lead stopped the valve seats burning. Didn`t know it raises the octane to stop the seats burning,(this correct yes???) Whats the EE stand for on eng. no.???
Re: Leaded or unleaded???#26356 06/22/073:23 am06/22/073:23 am
Harry Congratulations on having and enjoying a BSA Spitfire in Africa. What a life! now, In my humble opinion There is little DIRECT relationship between valve-seat erosion and octane rating in your fuel.
You state that you are worried about valve-seat "burning". Well, valve seat erosion is minimized if the fuel contains lead. If it does not contain lead, erosion will occur more rapidly, but if you have a standard machine with standard cams, ridden normally, valve-seat-hammering should not progress more rapidly than other wear-points in the engine such as valve-guides, bearings and rings. Just don't worry about it.
Now, as far as octane rating goes...... if it's seemingly running ok and it's not pinging, I think you are good. Please look at the spark plugs and do a serch on this forum about plug readings. Include the Triumph listings in your search.
Stop the insanity.
Re: Leaded or unleaded???#26357 06/22/0711:50 am06/22/0711:50 am
I agree with Sboyd. Don't worry about valve seats. I have 3 BSA's and no seat problems. If pinging is a problem, higher octane fuel will fix it. If that is not an option, retard the timing a little and try a Boyer. If that doesn't work you will have to change pistons to lower the compression or as a last option...accelerate gently, but that will take all the fun out of a 650 Lightning motor.
Re: Leaded or unleaded???#26358 06/22/0712:14 pm06/22/0712:14 pm
When we in the UK went to unleaded petrol there was a lot of worry about valve seat regression. We have a company here called the Cylinder Head Shop. Their advice regarding replacing with hardened seats was to wait until you need to and then do it, and they make money from replacing them. Chances are it won't need it or for many people who do little mileage, they'll be dead and gone well before it happens. Granted I don't have any highly tuned sporty bikes but I've been using unleaded for several years now without any problems. In fact I've done 25-30 thousand miles on my little LE Velo without having to even reset a tappet, which suggests that it's not suffering.
Re: Leaded or unleaded???#26359 06/23/0710:26 am06/23/0710:26 am
I will take your advice & stop worring. `Don`t worry , Be happy.` (I think the guy who sang that commited suicide) In South Africa leaded pump shut down about 2 years ago. Now have Leaded replacement petrol. Big thing in UK about using right pump or damage to engine when unleaded came out.Wrong pump could`nt work in wrong car. Can understand why SBOYD thinks I`m a nut. GER I`m a BRIT white african based in Joburg. Sounds confusing.You could also call me Ex-colonial missfit. I`v stocked up the fridge with cold beer but still waiting for any bikes to turn up.
(ps. There`s 4 million white africans in S.A.)
Re: Leaded or unleaded???#26360 06/23/0710:33 am06/23/0710:33 am