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Discussion Starter #1
What do you think about using ethanol free, leaded, racing gasoline for my 40 yr old Tecumseh sidevalve?

Here in Mass., USA, all gasoline is 10% alcohol or more. At the racing speedway nearby, I can get pure non-ethanol gas, with lead! For a few dollars more, I'll avoid the corrosive qualities of ethanol, get the lead the engine was designed for, and make my old engine last years more.

Your thoughts?
 

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I'd use nitrous as well....seriously, can't hurt.
And add boost, turn it up as much as it goes, and you can run it. Once. :D

As far as the gas goes, the engine lasted 40 years without it, what's the benefit? Proper maintenance will take care of any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey Cranman, you are close to me. I'm talking about Columbus Energies, 1455 Us Hwy 6, Swansea MA, which has VP Racing fuel at the pump for $10/gallon. Leaded and no ethanol. Sweet...

If you are using nitrous on your blower then post the video!

Jsup, don't't be a kill-joy. I love my engines. Maybe you need therapy?
 

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You could buy a can of that VP racing fuel - it's only about a hundred bucks for a 5 gallon can. Seriously if it's not a lot of money why not? Probably has a much longer shelf life too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You could buy a can of that VP racing fuel - it's only about a hundred bucks for a 5 gallon can. Seriously if it's not a lot of money why not? Probably has a much longer shelf life too.
Sir, be real. I can get it the pump for less than half that. If you can't add to the thread then sit back and chill.
 

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The first sentence was not serious. My second sentence started with the word "Seriously...." so that tells you the previous sentence was not to be taken as such and I was agreeing with you that if it wasn't much money to go for it. YOU need to chill....
 

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So if it is 40 years old it would be a 1977 or 78 vintage engine. I am not so sure it was designed for leaded fuel.
The switch to unleaded was around 1974.
If the octane level is about 100 or higher I would not do it. It may run worse since you can not adjust the timing. You could even burn up your exhaust valve since it burns slower.

If you are concerned about the ethanol......and you should a little bit. Get some 91 octane Aviation gas at your local small air field. I just bought some at around $5 per gallon. Or you could get the VP or True Fuel which is about $20-25 per gallon.
Don't sweat the small stuff!
 

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The only ethanol-free gas around me is similar, leaded racing gas, for a similar price range. I'm glad to have the option available, at least, but I've never taken advantage of it.

I'm not comfortable with the idea of using leaded gas, especially when I'm standing next to the engine and the exhaust. Maybe there's no real justification for that, but lead is not good for you, and frankly, my health (and peace of mind) is more important to me than the health of an engine. We all have to make our own decisions on this point, of course, and I'm not trying to impose mine on anyone, simply sharing my perspective.

I've opted to use ethanol gas with stabilizer all the time (ie- stabilizer even in the middle of the season), and have not had any issues yet. I close the fuel shutoffs and run my carbs dry at the end of their seasons. If I really wanted to go ethanol-free, such as for off-season storage, I'd be more comfortable using TruFuel, the canned ethanol-free unleaded stuff you can get at Home Depot, etc.

It's even more expensive, at ~$20/gallon, unfortunately. So I just use stabilizer. If I gunk up a carb despite my precautions, I'll clean it. Or if it really came to that, replace it. I've seen people talk about replacement carbs for $15-20 on eBay, etc.

Again, only sharing my approach to the situation.
 

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I failed to mention what RedOctobyr just did......lead is a neuro-toxin........You take your own chances.......if you don't mind your IQ being lowered a few points.
 

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race gas is a waste, just hit up a tractor supply and add some motor medic lead substitute they sell along with some stabilizer if your that worried, a 6 dollar bottle is good for about 20 gallons of gas, https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/motor-medic-lead-substitute-for-off-road-use-12-oz-bottle,

the old alloy block and bore flat heads have steel valve seat inserts unlike a old car motor, these motors have seen unleaded gas since 1975, if they were to have valve problems it would have been decades ago.
 

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Hardening valve seats was a good business for a while for vintage car engine rebuilders. Now they say it isn't necessary and old cars run fine on the lead-free ethanol gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Go to Taunton airport and buy AV gas.....$5 gal.....
I haven't tried Taunton Airfield, but Mansfield just gave me a dismissive look and sent away me discourteously.

RedOct, and others, it's not the lead so much as the ethanol. The corn lobby has prevented straight gas from being sold out here. Straight gas is better, and I'm not warm to others making decisions for me. Sure, after rebuilding the carb, replacing the fuel lines, etc, then engine will last as long as designed. Or,...I could just use regular gas that's been used for decades, until corn became king.
 

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"Straight gas is better, and I'm not warm to others making decisions for me..."

Sign216 - if you know the answer WHY ask the question? Do what you're gonna do.
 

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RedOct, and others, it's not the lead so much as the ethanol. The corn lobby has prevented straight gas from being sold out here. Straight gas is better
Sorry, yes, I understood that your concern is the ethanol. I personally just am uncomfortable with trading ethanol for lead. If it was unleaded, ethanol-free gas, I'd be all for it (especially at a reasonable price).

I wish we could easily avoid ethanol in our gas as well. Alas, they didn't ask us.
 

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Engines have a way of speaking if we listen properly. It seems to me that whatever the engine's been getting for 40 years is probably what it wants. If not, it would have said so by now.
 

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Hope I say what I understand correctly. Higher octane fuel takes higher compression and spark etc. to ignite it and gain the advantage of that higher octane. Increases in octane actually makes it harder to ignite and burn than lower octane, which is why it's specified for high compression engines (to help prevent pre-ignition etc.)


Stick with your 87-91 octane fuel, it's what's the engine is designed to run on.
 

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Hardening valve seats was a good business for a while for vintage car engine rebuilders. Now they say it isn't necessary and old cars run fine on the lead-free ethanol gas.
yes it was, when we did a valve job, found well burnt seats, we machined the heads for hardened seat inserts, replaced valves, since many were sodium filled stems and not reface-able even thou many shops would, some times we reamed for Os stems or knurled the guides to return to stock size, or machined them for brass guide sleeves. machined for stem seals, lots of cash came in for sure to the machine shops.

cars since the last of the leaded gas with cast iron heads have hardened cast in seats, some are flame hardened others go though a special heat hardening treatments, either way the process is simple and works .

the OPE alloy flat head blocks since they always had hard seats installed, there is no reason to worry, if the owner has worries,simple use of additives .esp. the most have stabilizer, in a good name brand gas, follow the owners manual for storage of over 30 days.then lay back,watch a few games, go fishing, a few cold ones or what ever one enjoys
 

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This is all I use in the rider and walk behind


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