Yesterday's Tractor Co. Shop Now
   Allis Chalmers Case Farmall IH Ford 8N,9N,2N Ford
   Ferguson John Deere Massey Ferguson Minn. Moline Oliver
Classified Ads
Photo Ads
Tractor Parts

Discussion Forums
Project Journals
Tractor Town
Your Stories
Show & Pull Guide
Events Calendar
Hauling Schedule

Tractor Photos
Implement Photos
Vintage Photos
Help Identify
Parts & Pieces
Stuck & Troubled
Vintage Ads
Community Album
Photo Ad Archives

Research & Info
Tractor Registry
Tip of the Day
Safety Cartoons
Tractor Values
Serial Numbers
Tune-Up Guide
Paint Codes
List Prices
Production Nbrs
Tune-Up Specs
Torque Values
3-Point Specs

Tractor Games
Just For Kids
Virtual Show
Museum Guide
Memorial Page
Feedback Form

Yesterday's Tractors Facebook Page

Related Sites
Tractor Shed
Ford 8N/9N Club
Today's Tractors
Garden Tractors
Classic Trucks
Kountry Life
John Deere Tractors Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

lead additive for old engines ??

Welcome Guest, Log in or Register
Joe P.

08-13-2004 10:04:48

Report to Moderator

There are several sellers of TETRAETHYL LEAD out there. They claim that this is the same stuff that used to be in the old leaded gas. I wonder if this is actually true? I also wonder how the older engines can run without it. Wasn't the idea of the lead to soften the impact on the valves and seats? The sellers also claim the addition of this lead increases the octane level of the gas. If true wouldn't this be a good thing? I never hear much about this stuff. What do you all think?

[Log in to Reply]   [No Email]

08-14-2004 11:38:27

Report to Moderator
 Re: lead additive for old engines ?? in reply to Joe P., 08-13-2004 10:04:48  
I'm not responding to Joe P. question, but rather thanking everyone for their responses. I've been adding "Lead Substitute" to my 2 bangers ever since leaded fuel was no longer available for farm use. Have never had a problem using it, but I guess I'm wasting my money. Thanks again.
However, I had up until recently (sold it to buy another JD) a 1969 Chevelle 396 375hp. Car wouldn't run right unless I used premium gas and lead substitute.

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]

08-14-2004 05:26:08

Report to Moderator
 Re: lead additive for old engines ?? in reply to Joe P., 08-13-2004 10:04:48  
Add-a-tive; Adding to your fuel definitely adds to your cost per gallon, don't you think. Does it provide the benefits stated, maybe. The reason for the lead initially in fuel was to increase the rate of heat transfer from the valve face or valve seating area to the mating valve head seating surface. This has always been the thermal mass that took away the greatest amount of internal combution heat. When valve assemblies became better in their ability to withstand thermal extremes and vavle seats went to stellite or other improved heat bearable designs they could endure the EPA requirements of reduced lead or no-lead. The chemistry of additives may not be a solidly proven as UL approved ratings but are available widely for a bit of extra cash.
The high lead fuels have reduced flame front explosions in the combution chamber with the energy delivered a bit more broadly over the small amount of time they have to produce a force applied across the piston face. Since it is slightly cooler in its violent explosive phase it reduces problems of super-heated carbon detonation or pinging. I would go with whatever fuel works for you. Don't make a fuel out me I can do that very well on my own. Gool luck in your carbon based fuel choices.

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]

08-14-2004 03:23:49

Report to Moderator
 Re: lead additive for old engines ?? in reply to Joe P., 08-13-2004 10:04:48  
About ten years ago I used some lead subsitute in my TO30. It thoroughly gunked up the carb. Been running straight regular since problems. I let all the tractors sit the winter with whatever fuel/gas is left in the tank and start them up in the spring, also no problems so far. Somebody always wants to sell you something.

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]

08-14-2004 00:34:29

Report to Moderator
 Re: lead additive for old engines ?? in reply to Joe P., 08-13-2004 10:04:48  
To slove your problems just add 1 cup of non -dert motor oil in your tank this will lube valve train

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Farmall Don

08-13-2004 13:51:52

Report to Moderator
 Re: lead additive for old engines ?? in reply to Joe P., 08-13-2004 10:04:48  
I had my valves & seats updated (replaced) to accomodate the new gas when I had valve jobs done. I hope I wasnt being taken, but I dont use addivtive and dont have any problems. I do use gas stabilizer and a Marvels when my tank gets filled.

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]

08-13-2004 11:06:24

Report to Moderator
 Re: lead additive for old engines ?? in reply to Joe P., 08-13-2004 10:04:48  
If they are selling real "tet lead" the EPA will have the venders cuffed and stuffed within days. The fouling and wear deposites left from burning lead will reduce engine life more than extend it. Removing lead from road fuel made a 100,000 mile gasoline without a rebuild the exception. Now an unleaded 200,000 mile engine without a rebuild common place. Unless your tractor has an aircooled radial engine or Franklin engine. And spend alot of time in overboost doing short hop flights on floats. Stick with fresh 87 octane.

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]

08-13-2004 10:49:55

Report to Moderator
 Re: lead additive for old engines ?? in reply to Joe P., 08-13-2004 10:04:48  
Joe, there are very few outlets of "TETRAETHYL LEAD" as it is banned in most areas.. Most of the lead additives are a “Lead Substitute” & those don’t do much for octane rating but do somewhat help valve seat recession..

You ask—
Quote: “Wasn"t the idea of the lead to soften the impact on the valves and seats?”…. Answ,,That was one of it’s assets.. It actually didn’t soften the impact as much as keep the valves from sticking to the seats as they cooled when they settled in their seats.. The other added benefit was, it did boost the octane rating of the fuel.

Quote: “The sellers also claim the addition of this lead increases the octane level of the gas. If true wouldn"t this be a good thing?”….Answ,,Not necessarily so.. Using a higher octane than your engine requires to operate without preignition & detonation gains you nothing & can even lower engine performance slightly.. Most people see higher octane as more power.. Actually octane [rating] is the ability of gasoline to not ignite under heat & pressure… Higher octane CAN add power if the engine compression ratio & spark timing is also raised to take advantage of the harder to ignite fuel.. Adding octane [rating] to fuel where it isn’t required do to the engine having higher compression or better combustion can lower the MPG slightly & impede starting slightly..

My personal feeling on using lead or lead additives in old cars, trucks, & tractors is: unless the engine is run hard, & hot enough, & long enough to turn the muffler red [red hot] the lead additive isn’t needed & can cause other side effects like spark plug fouling & valve cokeing… Even on hard run engines [boat & aircraft engines especially] the use of a low amount of lead will help prevent valve recession due to the valves distorting the seat as the red hot valve shrinks as it cools in the seat & pulls the seat metal with it..

Early on when low lead & no lead fuel was first sold the auto companies did extensive testing & what was found was for most operating conditions the lead wasn’t needed.. On industrial engines, heavy duty trucks [the few left with gas engines] & continuous high RPM hard working engines the lead was still needed due to valve seat wear.. On the tractor situation: most old tractors are used for light duty anymore so don’t need the additives.. For hard continuous field work it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea or at least watch the valve clearance & if the valve lash starts to close up add some lead or install hardened valve seats & stellite valves..

If the old engines would function without lead under all loads & conditions why are almost all the newer engines [ built since no lead appeared] have hardened valve seats & tougher valves?

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
John T

08-13-2004 10:37:02

Report to Moderator
 Re: lead additive for old engines ?? in reply to Joe P., 08-13-2004 10:04:48  
Joe, Many of us have cussed n discusssed this very topic numerous times here or other places. For what its worth (it and 75 cents might get a coffeee if not at Starbucks) heres my thoughts n opinions, Im sure others will add theirs later.

1) For one thing, unless youre bored n stroked n domed pistons etc, those old tractor have such low compression they dont need any lead or lead additive to prevent pre ignition in the first place.

2) Some of those can accumulate and leave deposits n foul the plugs, especially as youre not working with any super hot spark energy in the first place.

3) On valve n seat wear and valve recession, unless youre using her for hot long hard continuous loads, its gonna take a long time to make much valve wear difference with or without any additive. The use of hardened valve seats and/or check the valve lash time to time could either suffice if you have any problem.

As an alternative and whats worked well for me for this and other potential problems is I add low ash 2 cycle oil to my gas for corrosion prevention PLUS its a good top end lube, then I use Marvel Magic oil in my crankcase (NEVER in my gas) as an addition top oil lube, plus I use Sta Bill, year round and check valve lash now n then.

Thats my story n Im stickin to it, I dont use it nor think its needed and it may foul the plugs. Hope others add their findings and opinions to this also then you can decide for your own self.

Good topic, good luck n God Bless ya

John T in Indiana

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Handsome Jim

08-13-2004 18:08:15

Report to Moderator
 Re: lead additive for old engines ?? in reply to John T, 08-13-2004 10:37:02  
John T., You and Clooney answered several questions that I had concerning higher octane fuel and lead additive but you touched on the stabil thing and got me wondering, In the fall when our 1020s are parked for the winter I always fill the gas tanks before the go back in the sheds. Is it a good idea to use stabil in the tractors? When I think of using stabil, I'm thinking about lawn mowers etc. We also have a 950 diesel (Yanmar) what do you recomend for it for the winter wait? HJ

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
John T

08-14-2004 06:44:43

Report to Moderator
 Re: lead additive for old engines ?? in reply to Handsome Jim, 08-13-2004 18:08:15  
I like Sta Bil in anything that sets long periods as I believe it increases gas shelf life and can lessen gumming and varnish deposits. If the tanks are full, theres less volume of air that can condense out its moisture into the tank PLUS the tanks innards are not exposed to oxygen which is need to form rust (iron oxide). I ADD LOW ASH OUTBOARD MOTOR OIL TO MY GAS WHICH I believe leaves a protective coating on the carbs also helping to prevent rust (lessens oxygen contact). I usually drain the carbs AFTER they have a good chance to have Sta Bil and 2 cycle oil in them but it may be even better if they were filled with a solvent or lubricant to even better prevent rust and gum n varnish.

John T

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
[Options]  [Printer Friendly]  [Posting Help]  [Return to Forum]   [Log in to Reply]

Hop to:

Fast Shipping!  Most of our stocked parts ship within 24 hours (M-Th). Expedited shipping available, just call! Most prices for parts and manuals are below our competitors. Compare our super low shipping rates! We have the parts you need to repair your tractor. We are a company you can trust and have generous return policies. Shop Online Today or call our friendly sales staff toll free (800) 853-2651. [ About Us ]

Home  |  Forums

Copyright © 1997-2018 Yesterday's Tractor Co.

All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of any part of this website, including design and content, without written permission is strictly prohibited. Trade Marks and Trade Names contained and used in this Website are those of others, and are used in this Website in a descriptive sense to refer to the products of others. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy

TRADEMARK DISCLAIMER: Tradenames and Trademarks referred to within Yesterday's Tractor Co. products and within the Yesterday's Tractor Co. websites are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with Yesterday's Tractor Co., our products, or our website nor are we sponsored by them. John Deere and its logos are the registered trademarks of the John Deere Corporation. Agco, Agco Allis, White, Massey Ferguson and their logos are the registered trademarks of AGCO Corporation. Case, Case-IH, Farmall, International Harvester, New Holland and their logos are registered trademarks of CNH Global N.V.

Yesterday's Tractors - Antique Tractor Headquarters