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Post Info TOPIC: non hardened valve seats & non leaded fuel


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non hardened valve seats & non leaded fuel



Looking for opinions ,....

Does the use of today's non leaded fuel pose a "realistic" problem for older engines with non hardened valve seats?  We all know that today's gas has no lead lubricant for the older heads.  I'm considering a rebuilt on a an older small block.  I'm not sure if it's worth the cost of all new valve seats.  I've heard different views on the subject.  One of the locals has been rebuilding engines for many years and running today's gas in his engines with non hardened seats,.,.. and he insists that it's not worth the cost.  He claims that you have to put on a lot of miles before you'd see damage to the valve seats directly due to the use of unleaded gas.

So,.  I'm looking for some opinions,....
On a cruiser that would be putting on maybe 2500 - 3000 miles a year. ,... would you actually experience adverse engine performance after 5-10 years if you run non hardened valve seats?   Has anyone out there encountered head damage after an engine tear down.  If so,.. what type of damage?   And after how many miles?

I came across this link on the subject.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Using-Unleaded-Gas-in-Vintage-Cars




-- Edited by 64 Hard Top on Thursday 29th of April 2010 07:30:28 PM

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Here's my 2 cents worth, I did my engine in 2001 [389] didn't put the "new" seats in, but I do add "lead" additive every 2nd. or 3 rd. tank full. The damage occurs on long runs & the valves "hammer" the seats till they receed into head. I may be all wet on this but that's what my machine shop told me when they did the shop work & I put the engine back together again!!  The "un-leaded" plays HAVOCK with the fuel lines, pumps & carb. parts with our "older" cars as they weren't designed to have this "crap" they call gasolene, as well as lead addit. I'm also having to use Octane Booster as well, if I can't find a SUNOCO station. I put around 7000 mi. a year on the 64 Catalina. Heading to St. Albans West Virginia for a small car show the 5th. of June, so there's 1300 mi right off the bat & I've already put a 1000 on & haven't been anywhere!!!   Amazing how many miles go on just "cruzzin" around for a drive, soon as the local shows & cruise's start then watch them "rack" up. Was going to Stirling this wknd. but it now depends on weather, calling for RAIN!! nothing worse than a swap meet in the rain

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So if I understand correctly ,...... you have run your engine for 9 years with "lead" fuel additive and have not had to rework the heads?  What is the name of the additive?
Where do you buy it?

I would imagine that it would also make a difference how one drives.  If the engine is continually singing around 6500 rpm at the strip,... then I imagine the seats would really be taking a beating.

-- Edited by 64 Hard Top on Thursday 29th of April 2010 02:44:54 PM

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I added lead substitute every fill up with the goat. In the states you can get decent stuff cheap. Used to buy it by the case.

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64 Hard Top wrote:


So if I understand correctly ,...... you have run your engine for 9 years with "lead" fuel additive and have not had to rework the heads?  What is the name of the additive?
Where do you buy it?

I would imagine that it would also make a difference how one drives.  If the engine is continually singing around 6500 rpm at the strip,... then I imagine the seats would really be taking a beating.

-- Edited by 64 Hard Top on Thursday 29th of April 2010 02:44:54 PM



NAPA has it as well as CTC [crappy tire] ctc brand is STP think Car Quest likely has it too. I'm also running LUCAS zinc additive for camshaft & lifters, as today's oils don't have that & you can "wipe" out  your cam & lifters in older engines in a short peroid of time!!!!

 



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Thanks for the advice Pete.  And about the recommendation on zinc in the oil.  Much appreciated.  Do you add the Lucas zinc additive at every oil change?

BTW,.. I've always admired that 2X4 on your Pontiac.  Here's a link that I'm sure you'll find interesting.   The classic showdown,.. 409 2X4  VS Super Duty 421 2X4





-- Edited by 64 Hard Top on Thursday 29th of April 2010 11:54:36 PM

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...I would agree with the other guy's general opinions. The "mantra" from the "pro's" is to go the hardened valve seat route but I do think it depends on your mileage and driving style. We run the old CTC lead additive and probably will spring for hardened seats when we eventually rebuild, but we're going to probably go .030" over with a cam and headers so we feel that hardened seats are the safe alternative. But with our basically stock engine right now we're just adding the CD-7 or whatever it is.

Wasn't aware of the zinc additive for the oil. I'll have to ask our resident 'guru' who's got the car right now for his opinion. Firestone Air-Ride going in this week..I'll post pics when she's back...

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I've been adding the CD-2 lead substitute in all my antiques for years. At about $10US for enough to mix with 320US gallons its very cheap insurance if it works and not much money spent if it doesn't. Bought 1/2 dozen of the smaller bottles which mix with 160US gallons last weekend @ Wally Marrt in Carlisle, PA for $5 each ( surprisingly TSC store and Pep Boys didn't have it ). So I'm good for a while.

Having said the above I also had hardened seats put in the 283 for my Beaumont when it was rebuilt but haven't fired it yet. But will probably add the CD-2 additive just in case.

Last fall at Hershey I bought a Cam-shield ZDDT additive ( 8oz was about $22 ). It treats up to 32 quarts in normal operation of classic cars or hot rods. Check them out on line at www.cam-shield.com

So do we really need either or is it all hype to get our bucks?


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norontcan wrote:

I've been adding the CD-2 lead substitute in all my antiques for years. At about $10US for enough to mix with 320US gallons its very cheap insurance if it works and not much money spent if it doesn't. Bought 1/2 dozen of the smaller bottles which mix with 160US gallons last weekend @ Wally Marrt in Carlisle, PA for $5 each ( surprisingly TSC store and Pep Boys didn't have it ). So I'm good for a while.

Having said the above I also had hardened seats put in the 283 for my Beaumont when it was rebuilt but haven't fired it yet. But will probably add the CD-2 additive just in case.

Last fall at Hershey I bought a Cam-shield ZDDT additive ( 8oz was about $22 ). It treats up to 32 quarts in normal operation of classic cars or hot rods. Check them out on line at www.cam-shield.com

So do we really need either or is it all hype to get our bucks?



Alot of this stuff makes sense to me because they have made these changes to fuel but the one that gets me is fuel stabilizers for when you're sitting for a while.  I have never used them and I've had boats, snowmobiles, motorhomes, and vehicles which have sat for extended periods of time and I've never had any noticeable difference.  I just try keep the tanks at least half full and the boats and snowmobiles I used to fog the carb until they stalled when I knew they were going to sit for awhile.  To me it's just a crock and a money grab from my experience anyhow.  I know I won't be changing anything soon that's for sure.

 



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Jerel


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Yikes, i'd have to disagree on that one Jmont.
I find that in small engines, gas usually goes skunky to the point of having absolutley no volitility in about 6 months or less.

But, i find with the cars, it does not affect them, only the small engine stuff.

I also find that if you do not use stabilizer you could risk gumming up and sticking a valve on a small engine.  i always use it in the mower, snowblower, outboard, etc.

I have had to bail out numerous neighbours from the "Bad Gas" thing.  No start on the lawnmower?  Problem:  last years gas has gone bad.  Its always the same story.
So i always use stabilizer,  and i have never had a problem since.

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MY BEAUMONT HAS 4 STUDDED TIRES AND 2 BLOCKHEATERS......AND LOTS OF OIL UNDERNEATH.  The other one has a longer roof.



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You know I just may have been lucky then. Have had couple of lawnmowers over the last 30 years and the current one is about 15 years old, has a primer and will start first or second pull whether it has sat for a while or has run recently. I'll just keep my fingers crossed and see what happens.

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