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Discussion Forum

Unleaded gasoline for old tractors?

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Roger Nixon

08-06-2001 12:52:58

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What kind of problems will I face using unleaded gas in my old tractor? Do the old engines tolerate it or should an additive be used?

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08-06-2001 18:44:56

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 Re: Unleaded gasoline for old tractors? in reply to Roger Nixon, 08-06-2001 12:52:58  
Your old tractor should do fine on unleaded gas. The low compression low speed tractor engines don't have any need for the lead.

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Bob Kerr

08-06-2001 14:38:20

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 Re: Unleaded gasoline for old tractors? in reply to Roger Nixon, 08-06-2001 12:52:58  
I am not exacty sure when lead was first used but I think it was around 1939 or so. It could have been after WW2.So a lot of tractors were built before lead even came out and are still running. Most tractors don't have the higher compression that lead was needed for. Lead also helped when the cam shafts had higher lifts and stronger valve springs to keep the cam lifters from floating at high speeds.Tractor engines are long stroke,High torque,low compression,low RPM engines and just don't need lead as a rule.

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Bob M

08-06-2001 13:31:13

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 Re: Unleaded gasoline for old tractors? in reply to Roger Nixon, 08-06-2001 12:52:58  
I've been using unleaded without any additivies for 20+ years in 7 different working tractors with no problems whatsoever. My only suggestion is to add some gas stabilizer (Sta-Bil or equiv) to the tank if the tractor is gonna sit idle for more than a few months - I've found modern unleaded is more prone to gumming than gas was 20 years ago.

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big fred

08-06-2001 13:54:17

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 Re: Re: Unleaded gasoline for old tractors? in reply to Bob M, 08-06-2001 13:31:13  
I try to use Sta-bil in my tractors all the time, as I don't put much time on them. However, from the time I got my B to the time I started using Sta-bil, it sat outdoors, under a tree in the rain for many (probably 5 or 6) years with no Sta-bil, and the gas probably set it in for up to two years at one time. No problem starting it, once I got the starter bendix freed up. Those carburetors can take an incredible amount of abuse and neglect.

I'm much nicer to my tractors now...

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