I know a car that runs on FREE airplane fuel!!! Not kiding!!!(AVGAS)


Airplane driver
09-06-2005, 10:44 PM
I am a pilot and my friend has a 1960~something Ford Maverick. He works at our university's airplane maintenance hangar and has access to avgas siphoned out of our planes for spin training (due to weight limitations). As most of you may not know, it's not too smart to put that fuel back into the planes (because of risk of fuel contamination and debris and what not) so it is usually is discarded.

This fuel is for piston planes (Cessnas etc) not jets, which use a more purified form of kerosine (Jet-A). It is called AVGAS or 100LL (LL for low lead) which is blue in color (for identification purposes) and has a sweet but heavy smell.

This fuel is destined to be burned or dumped somewhere and at many airports you could get that fuel for free.

His car was running rough (bad valves) and with fuel prices so high, he put this 100L he got form our maintenance barrels in his car. The result? A smooth-running sweet-smelling engine!!!

The engine is a carburated 6 banger and has no catalytic converter, so really there isn't much that could go wrong with it. It only runs a few degress hotter, but within limits. I suspect it might produce knocking or pre-ignition eventually, but he says he hasn't experienced any yet. He says it runs way better than with 100 octane gasoline sold in California, probably because of the lead.

I'm not too sure about this, maybe some engineer could explain, but my theory is that this would no way work with today's engines though, with so many sensors and stuff that would go wild with the lead, not to mention the catalytic converter clogging up.

So if you're sick of high gas prices and have an old car, run to your local (general aviation!!!) airport and put in some avgas!!!

Just an interesting story I'd think I'd share with you.

EDIT: just to clarify, the fuel in those barrels isn't necesarilly dirty, but it's not considered safe enough for aviation purposes. That's why fuel filters were invented anyways.

Moppie
09-07-2005, 12:05 AM
Here in NZ, and Im sure else where in the world that unused and old Avgas (there is also an expiry date on it) is collected by the oil companys and repackaged into 20L drums to be resold as 100+ RaceGas.

Running to high an octane fuel in your car will not generaly have any negative effects.
Your friends over heating is more likely a result of having a cooling system not able to deal with a heavily modified engine, and or from running to much ignition advance.
The only reason an engine orginaly designed for the streat won't run on avlaible fuels is if its been modified, or is running to much advance.



AvGas does contain lead, and if you run it in a car with a catalytic converter it will clog it very quickly.
Lead is also not good from some types of O2 sensor.



And note that in most countries that have totaly converted to Lead Free petrol I think you will find its very illegal to run leaded gas on the street, this includes AvGas, and here in NZ even RaceGas is illegal on the street.


Don't go rushing off to your local airport expecting to be able to get free fuel.

curtis73
09-07-2005, 01:11 AM
Correct... not to mention that Avgas is a much lighter fuel, meaning it won't burn properly without recalibrating your carburetor. Stoichiometric for gasoline is 14.7:1, but stoichiometric for Avgas is more like 11:1. All things equal, just putting Avgas in a car may cause it to run lean enough to burn valves, overheat exhaust and engine components, and cause all kinds of damage.

Great idea for racers who can calibrate their carbs (or EFI) to deliver the right ratio, but not for regular street cars.

sracing
09-07-2005, 04:58 AM
I'm not too sure about this, maybe some engineer could explain, but my theory is that this would no way work with today's engines though, with so many sensors and stuff that would go wild with the lead, not to mention the catalytic converter clogging up.

So if you're sick of high gas prices and have an old car, run to your local (general aviation!!!) airport and put in some avgas!!!



Actually it would work better on newer engines. With a couple exceptions.... The lead would ruin the cat after awhile and to a lessor degree it would ruin the 02 sensor(s). Aside from that, the avgas would work just fine.

On a carbed engine like your friends there is one serious problem and one very minor. He is in violation of federal and local law. (Actually a couple laws in each area.) The other is that his a/f ratio might be off a tad. It's isn't significant though. We test engines on the dyno here and have used 94 Octane premium, 100LL avgas and 110/115 race fuels and a/f ratios don't very by much more than .3 or so.

Jim
SR Racing

beef_bourito
09-09-2005, 07:16 PM
is there any way to remove the lead in a cheap fashion, as in if you did manage to get the fuel for free to unlead it for a price cheaper than you would buy it? also, i thought kerosene was like diesel and therefor would burn less in normal engines, also if it is like that how well would it work on a diesel car?

curtis73
09-09-2005, 08:00 PM
diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, and fuel oil are very similar in properties. For the most part, you could put any of them in a diesel engine and it would run. Modifications to the engine would be required for it to run well and for long term use.

Kerosene and Jet fuel will eat rubber pretty quickly, and kero will also not flow well through paper fuel filters. Heating oil is a little less volatile and more viscous.

I would assume that the lead could be removed. Its tetraethyl lead and I believe its a powder that gets dissolved in some liquid before being added. If you found something that reacted with the Pb it might precipitate out. Of course, if you take out the lead, you remove its primary source of its octane rating. You might be able to supplement it with toluene, but I think its not going to be a very viable alternative fuel when you're done

flip888
09-10-2005, 01:27 AM
How would anyone know if you were running the avgas instead of normal gas though?

My friend uses offroad diesel (which is illegal) in his truck and never gets caught.

curtis73
09-10-2005, 11:40 AM
There are targeted enforcements of it. I don't think they'll ever know if you run 100LL in a car since they can't really check it. Off-road diesel is dyed red instead of green. The red dye stays in some parts of the engine forever. Farmers who use red diesel in their road vehicles sometimes are targeted when their yearly inspections happen. Its rare, but some people do get caught.

jibbastack
02-11-2008, 07:47 PM
Id at least a cpl laws sracing and as far as getting caught, well up to you these are CFR'S federal,......your call

2.2 Straight six
02-11-2008, 07:49 PM
old thread. closed.

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