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Old 01-03-2010, 09:25 PM   #1
crazed2881
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Will 1930 engine run ok on Unleaded Gas??

I've got a '30 Model A with the original engine. Wondering if I clean it up, will it be ok to run it on todays unleaded gas? I've heard I can have the valve seats machined so there will be no long term damage. Without doing any machining, would it not be recommended using station fuel?
Are there any lead additives on the market that I can buy?
Or any special fuels recommended in use of a motor from 1930????
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:35 PM   #2
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Re: Will 1930 engine run ok on Unleaded Gas??

You should be fine with unleaded gas. Valve seat wear is not an issue with your engine.

First of all, your Model A engine was designed just before lead (tetraethyl lead) was used as an additive. So, it was designed with a very old version of unleaded gas in mind.

The pre-war low-compression, low power, low revving side-valve engines did not need lead as an additive. Engine temperatures were low, engine power was low, the valves ran cool, the valve spring pressures were gentle, all of which meant the valve seats did not experience much wear.

This lead was first added to gasoline as an anti-knock additive in the late 1920's. It was only much later, in the 1950's, that its valve seat anti-wear properties became apparent. In the 1950's and '60's, over-head valve, high compression, higher revving V8's became popular. They produced many times the power of your 'A' engine, so the valves ran hotter, with much higher spring pressures. Therefore, unleaded gas is an issue for these engines, but not your 'A'.

There are some companies that make lead replacement fuel additives for such engines, that either use tetraethyl lead or potassium (I think). I use them on my 1960's engines. But I do not use them on my ancient side valve stuff, simply because it is unnecessary.
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:47 PM   #3
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Re: Will 1930 engine run ok on Unleaded Gas??

Thank you for your time. The advice and the history lesson are very much appreciated! Any advice on who may sell a good rebuild kit for my "A" ?
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:18 AM   #4
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Re: Will 1930 engine run ok on Unleaded Gas??

I have never bought a kit myself, but here is one available on Ebay. The seller seems to have decent feedback, after 18,000+ items.

http://cgi.ebay.ca/Ford-Model-A-Basi...item5185160f95

Otherwise, contact a Model A club and see if they can recommend anything.

http://www.mafca.com/

Otherwise, if you are having machine work done, (rebore, etc) speak to your machine shop to see if they have a supplier. A machine shop prefers to have all the parts at hand before doing the machine work, so everything can be sized appropriately.
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Old 12-24-2015, 07:43 PM   #5
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Re: Will 1930 engine run ok on Unleaded Gas??

so why do you worry about unleaded gas. it has an additive for the valves. plus the model a ran on white gas and alcohol when it was new no problems then. besides you don't drive it enough to worry about that anyway.
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