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Lead Additive! Who uses it?

Posted by cfowler 
cfowler Avatar
Craig Fowler
CBS, 74 Bracken MGB Roadster 28k miles, Newfoundland, Canada   can
1974 MG MGB "Bracken B"

I have been adding lead to my fuel fearing the car might have problems without it.

How many of you use lead additive in your fuel?

Is there a particular year/engine that no longer requires the additive?

My car is a 74 but the motor is from a 72.

Engine code: 18V-584-Z-L/10959



Craig Fowler
Newfoundland, Canada
74 Bracken MGB
Email: Craig.fowler@nf.sympatico.ca
Web: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/662911

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Jack Long Avatar
Forest Hill, Maryland, USA   usa
1955 MG TF 1500 "Harriet"
1974 MG MGB "Lucy"

My 74 has a very early head (no smog ports) so I use it religiously. Its pretty cheap and a bottle lasts me 2 years.
rbobrowski Avatar
Bob Bobrowski
Livonia, Michigan, USA   usa
1974 MG MGB

There has been a lot of discussion on this whether or not we need to use lead additive or not. I figure if it was designed for leaded gas, why not use it. It's cheaper to put it in now, then to find out later you should have.
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Naomi Avatar
Naomi C
Between Greensboro and Roanoke, USA   usa
1964 MG MGB "Kirby"
1979 MG MGB "Bandit"
1980 MG MGB "Robbie"
1995 Mazda Miata Special Edition
2003 Jaguar S-Type

I've never used it but now that you've brought it up should I on my 64? Interesting smiling smiley




"1964 MGB" (Kirby) All original pull handle MGB, 3 main, with overdrive, but a daily driver with all the dents and dings to prove it -- Titled in 1965~~

"1980 MGB" (Robbie) Even though it's a RB it does have overdrive, a Weber Carb, and is my favorite MGB. We have logged thousands of happy miles together ~~
Rod H. Avatar
Amity, Oregon, USA   usa
1964 MG MGB
1968 MG MGB GT

Are you talking about actual lead, or lead substitute?



I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones. John Cage

'63 MGB
'68 MGBGT
'80 VW Vanagon Kombi
'09 Mazda 3 with 5 speed manual

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Limey Avatar
Eric Marshall
Pentwater, Michigan, USA   usa

Rod H. Wrote:
Quote: Are you talking about actual lead, or lead substitute?

I didn't think you coul buy actual lead! Isn't it all lead substitute?

I put it in the roadster before I had hardened seats put in the head. I have no idea if it had any effect or not, but it is (relatively) cheap insurance (or peace of mind)!



Eric and Mary
us-marshalls.net
1974 MGB, 1971 Piper Cherokee, 1971 MGBGT
..... and 1978 Kawasaki KZ650-B2


Member Services:
Headlight relay kits, replacement fuse box kits, headlight alarm, overdrive "reminder", solid state voltage stabilizers and other useful "bits" to help keep your car running at its best.
OldBloke Avatar
Jim Legg
Napa, California, USA   usa
1970 Rover 3500
1971 MG MGB GT
1972 MG MGB V6 Conversion
1973 MG MGB "Tagalong"

Never used it in either car. Rdstr motor last rebuilt in 93. GT never rebuilt pushing 80K.



"Not all who wander are lost." -J.R.R. Tolkien
ekafant Avatar
Emmanuel Kafant
Winston-Salem, N.C., USA   usa

I found a place, www.batterystuff.com that sells genuine tetraethyl lead. FWIW
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Naomi Avatar
Naomi C
Between Greensboro and Roanoke, USA   usa
1964 MG MGB "Kirby"
1979 MG MGB "Bandit"
1980 MG MGB "Robbie"
1995 Mazda Miata Special Edition
2003 Jaguar S-Type

I just asked the hubby why one would add lead to the gas and he said "lead is a lubricant". He ain't right is he ???





"1964 MGB" (Kirby) All original pull handle MGB, 3 main, with overdrive, but a daily driver with all the dents and dings to prove it -- Titled in 1965~~

"1980 MGB" (Robbie) Even though it's a RB it does have overdrive, a Weber Carb, and is my favorite MGB. We have logged thousands of happy miles together ~~
Steve S Avatar
On The Road, Lost in the California mountains, USA   usa
1925 Ford Model T
1939 Ford V8
1949 MG TC
1953 MG Y-Type Saloon
1958 MG MGA   → more

It's all lead substitutes these days. I don't think real lead is legal to use in a motor car in any state but I could be mistaken.

If your engine has been rebuild in the past 25 years, it should have hardened valve seats and related non-lead hardware. If it's a high-mileage original engine then your seats are hardened by now anyway, and you shouldn't suffer any ill effects from running unleaded. This is theory and speculation of course, so you should investigate what is in your engine and make your own choice.




Limey Avatar
Eric Marshall
Pentwater, Michigan, USA   usa

Naomi Wrote:
Quote: I just asked the hubby why one would add lead to the gas and he said "lead is a lubricant". He ain't right is he ???

Partially! In an auto engine it works as a lubricant and a cushion. It formed a thin "coating" on the valve seats that "cushioned" the valve as it contacted the seat - it also lubricated that interface as well as (slightly) lubricating the valve stems! It also made the inside of your tailpipe a nice shade of light grey!

It also fouls sparkplugs and makes oil stink like cats pee! IMHO, we are better off without it!



Eric and Mary
us-marshalls.net
1974 MGB, 1971 Piper Cherokee, 1971 MGBGT
..... and 1978 Kawasaki KZ650-B2


Member Services:
Headlight relay kits, replacement fuse box kits, headlight alarm, overdrive "reminder", solid state voltage stabilizers and other useful "bits" to help keep your car running at its best.
cfrantz Avatar
Chris Frantz
Mississippi, USA   usa
1957 MG MGA
1964 MG MGB

I use a lead substitute in by B.
cfrantz Avatar
Chris Frantz
Mississippi, USA   usa
1957 MG MGA
1964 MG MGB

I use a lead substitute
snoski Avatar
James Blackledge
Lake Norman, NC, USA   usa
1970 MG MGB

I just put some old fishing weights in my gas tank........no, not really...
Limey Avatar
Eric Marshall
Pentwater, Michigan, USA   usa

snoski Wrote:
Quote: I just put some old fishing weights in my gas tank

So THAT's what the rattle is when you go round a corner... winking smiley

(It would probably keep the tank nice and clean though!)





Eric and Mary
us-marshalls.net
1974 MGB, 1971 Piper Cherokee, 1971 MGBGT
..... and 1978 Kawasaki KZ650-B2


Member Services:
Headlight relay kits, replacement fuse box kits, headlight alarm, overdrive "reminder", solid state voltage stabilizers and other useful "bits" to help keep your car running at its best.
Daniel Dreier
Portland, Oregon, USA, USA   usa

What additive do you use that a bottle lasts two years? How much do you need per tank?
tedjr Avatar
Ted R. Schneider Jr.
Akron, Ohio, USA   usa
1974 MG MGB "Ruby"
1974 MG MGB GT "The Orphan"

Yes.
I’ve used this ever since I purchased Ruby about 4 years ago, picked it up
at Wal Mart.
(click on image to enlarge/hosted offsite)

ted




1974 MGB "Ruby"
Ruby Photos
MGExperience Journal
ENMGR
BumbleB74 Avatar
William Milholen
Tidewater VA, USA   usa

Big debate about if the substitutes do anything at all.

I have a good friend that has a fairly hot rodded '57 Chevy, that he drives the wheels off of...and he hasn't added hardened valve seats, and won't for a very long time. Based on his vast
experience, I don't even worry about it with the MGB!



1974-1/2 Roadster, "Bumble Bee", Corvette Yellow - in shambles, wire wheels
1976 Roadster, un-named, Sandglow - "driver" condition (stock + 32/36 Weber DGEV, cast iron header, 25D distributor), bolt on wheels
ourmg Avatar
George Heissenberger
Victor, New York, USA   usa
1973 MG MGB MkIII "OUR MG- The Old Girl"
2006 Mini Cooper "Greta's Mini"

I use lead substitute. Back in the days before unleaded fuel the cars didn't have hardened valve seats because the lead in fuel was the lubricant. Its cheap to throw in half a can every other tank or so. Thats what I do.



"OUR MG" Glacier White 1973 MGB, owned since 1983. Factory hardtop. Member MG Car Club Western New York Centre
"Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Ben Franklin
Tbobx Avatar
Bob T
Danville, CA, USA   usa

I use the CD-2 Lead Substitute and Marvel Mystery Oil....

The car loves it like a cat likes fish.....
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