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Hello Guys Just wondering if anyone here uses additives to their older bikes now that there is only unleaded fuel available that I am aware of anyway. Or is it a non-issue?
 

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Hello Guys Just wondering if anyone here uses additives to their older bikes now that there is only unleaded fuel available that I am aware of anyway. Or is it a non-issue?
I did but the bikes been off the road a while. The way I understood it was that the older fuel also worked as a lubricant and without it the internal parts would wear. I believe it was a Esso product. Like I said it's bin a while.
 

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Additives are a lazy crutch. If it's a bike you will keep and ride, do it right.

Call your local shops and tell them you want to drop your head off and get ballpark quotes.
 

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If it's apart I'd go for the valve seats. If it's not I'd be inclined to drive it till it needed work. Better yet send it to Ichiban Moto and he can do a tutorial video ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If it's apart I'd go for the valve seats. If it's not I'd be inclined to drive it till it needed work. Better yet send it to Ichiban Moto and he can do a tutorial video ;)
No its not apart, but do have another to play with good idea.
 

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Leaded fuel is still available at airports and from suppliers of race fuel :| It's intended only for specific applications and real racing so use it responsibly. It's a proven fact that too much lead make us all stupid and maybe vote irresponsibly. The lead based shit might have made us all crazy :) but engines, paint and politicians just thrive on it.

Lead is right up there with asbestos, mercury, uranium, steroids and LSD it's all good shit and there really is no safe substitute for any of them, but all of it can either kill you outright or warp your babies.
 

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this also depends a lot on the bike. I have never run leaded fuel in a CB750 ever and I don't think it needs it. In fact I don't think anybody runs leaded gas in 70's hondas and they seem to work fine.

Lead does two things: increases octane rating (preventing detonation or knock) and as a barrier layer to preent the valve from welding itself to the valve seat (microweld). repeated welding and breaking of a valve from the seat causes a rough finish that erodes the edge of the valve and causes wear. Modern engines do this by using hardened valve seats and stainless valves making it harder for the microwelds to happen.

TEL (the lead in gas) is nasty stuff. If you have ever worked on an original 50's-60's car the stuff is sludgy and everywhere, even in the oil passages. Redline has a sodium replacement in their additive that works better and isn't as nasty, I think Lucas uses something else too.
 

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Japan had earlier restrictions on lead than 'murica. 70's Japanese bikes were designed around unleaded
Oddly enough so were American cars from the 1900's to the 1930's. It wasn't until WWII when the government needed a really cheap way to increase the octane in the poor fuels of the day that it started to become much more common. It's really only the 1940's-60's cars that used lead in any great numbers. 1930's Chryslers have hardened valve seats and can run on regular.
 

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Tetra ethyl lead......

I heard that some dodgy person who was selling it to Nazi Germany throughout WW2 using neutral switzerland and could've pretty much shut down the luftwaffe and hence WW2 overnight. Seems that even back then there were entities more interested with making money than doing what was right.

There is a lead replacement available in the UK (or at least I think there still is) which Sainsburys garages sometimes sells.

Like geeto said, by the late sixties, early seventies; valve seat technology took a big step in front of the fuel limitations so there was no real need for TEL in automotive fuels. They kept this poisonous little secret to themselves mind, as they were making money hand over fist and once again greed prevailed over the greater good.

It's pretty much a non issue with anything built after 1970 but a little research into specific model specs never hurt anyone.
 

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Tetra ethyl lead......

I heard that some dodgy person who was selling it to Nazi Germany throughout WW2 using neutral switzerland and could've pretty much shut down the luftwaffe and hence WW2 overnight. Seems that even back then there were entities more interested with making money than doing what was right.
That is some dodgy information to go along with the dodgy person. Germany had TEL production deep inside Germany and was able to manufacture the fuels no problem. The production facilities were prime targets for the US bomber groups operating out of Europe starting in late '44 once they could get good penetration. There's a great picture for you: A B-17 dropping 1000lb'ers on a lead factory that then mists the stuff all over the town. Makes a superfund site look like a playground.

But there is something else: ME-109s and FW-190s can and did run on 96 octane unleaded fuel. It was us who needed 150 octane fuel (Ethyl as it was called) to run the big compound turbo-supercharged engines at high altitude to they could make it deep into Germany (B-17s, P-38s, P-51s, etc...). The Luftwaffe relied on other ways to make hp such as water injection and nitrous (on top of supercharging). If Germany was cut off completely from TEL production it wouldn't have affected them as much. The Luftwaffe lost because of superior numbers of aircraft on the side of the Allies.


Like geeto said, by the late sixties, early seventies; valve seat technology took a big step in front of the fuel limitations so there was no real need for TEL in automotive fuels. They kept this poisonous little secret to themselves mind, as they were making money hand over fist and once again greed prevailed over the greater good.

It's pretty much a non issue with anything built after 1970 but a little research into specific model specs never hurt anyone.
If it wasn't for the surplus of lead post WWII we probably wouldn't have had the musclecar revolution here in the states. Without the at the pump support, companies like GM would have been reluctant to release their engines with such high compression. My GTO's original compression ratio is 10.25:1. When I rebuilt it we swapped out the pistons for 9.5:1 and put in hardened valve seats so I could run pump gas without detonation. Our pumps used to mix the additive at the pump - my father used to tell me about the old sunoco pumps that you could bend the mixing tang back and bump 96 octane to 105 with no problem (he used to run auto pump gas in his Cessna 140 so this helped).
 

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That is some dodgy information to go along with the dodgy person.
It would appear that you are right about some of the information being dodgy. As far as the dodgy person goes. Standard oil, who's help to germany was critical in the run up to ww2 was majority owned by one of the very same dodgy names that is running the show today.

I thought we were on about motorbike engines anyway. I wasn't aware of any gto or cessna powered motorcycles hence my reference to being pretty much safe after 1970 but best to check specific model specs. It was off the top of my head, I didn't have time to copy and paste from wikipedia.

an interesting point about TEL and the types of people who like to make a fast buck regardless is the fact that those who stood to make the money chose to just call it ethyl so that nasty poisinous leady stuff which we've known to be toxic for probably more than 2000 years just floated away with the marketing. That was nearly a hundred years ago and they've been getting better at it ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
this also depends a lot on the bike. I have never run leaded fuel in a CB750 ever and I don't think it needs it. In fact I don't think anybody runs leaded gas in 70's hondas and they seem to work fine.

Lead does two things: increases octane rating (preventing detonation or knock) and as a barrier layer to preent the valve from welding itself to the valve seat (microweld). repeated welding and breaking of a valve from the seat causes a rough finish that erodes the edge of the valve and causes wear. Modern engines do this by using hardened valve seats and stainless valves making it harder for the microwelds to happen.

TEL (the lead in gas) is nasty stuff. If you have ever worked on an original 50's

The bike is a 74 CB 750 guess I should have opened with that, so no additive are needed. Thanks guys interesting info.
 

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That is some dodgy information to go along with the dodgy person. Germany had TEL production deep inside Germany and was able to manufacture the fuels no problem. The production facilities were prime targets for the US bomber groups operating out of Europe starting in late '44 once they could get good penetration. There's a great picture for you: A B-17 dropping 1000lb'ers on a lead factory that then mists the stuff all over the town. Makes a superfund site look like a playground.

But there is something else: ME-109s and FW-190s can and did run on 96 octane unleaded fuel. It was us who needed 150 octane fuel (Ethyl as it was called) to run the big compound turbo-supercharged engines at high altitude to they could make it deep into Germany (B-17s, P-38s, P-51s, etc...). The Luftwaffe relied on other ways to make hp such as water injection and nitrous (on top of supercharging). If Germany was cut off completely from TEL production it wouldn't have affected them as much. The Luftwaffe lost because of superior numbers of aircraft on the side of the Allies.




If it wasn't for the surplus of lead post WWII we probably wouldn't have had the musclecar revolution here in the states. Without the at the pump support, companies like GM would have been reluctant to release their engines with such high compression. My GTO's original compression ratio is 10.25:1. When I rebuilt it we swapped out the pistons for 9.5:1 and put in hardened valve seats so I could run pump gas without detonation. Our pumps used to mix the additive at the pump - my father used to tell me about the old sunoco pumps that you could bend the mixing tang back and bump 96 octane to 105 with no problem (he used to run auto pump gas in his Cessna 140 so this helped).
The Germans also developed gasoline and diesel from biomass (coal) way back when with the Fischer Tropsch synthesis process first released in 1925 or thereabouts. There are some modern alternatives to that process but several European countries and Canadian companies were planning on technology based on that to develop relatively cost effective fuel sources - until the price of oil fell through the floor. Syngas is still a technology that makes sense in some markets/locations and will be all that's available when oil runs out or when people get tired of oil spills and waste disposal issues related to shale oil pipelines....

It's time for a huge increase for alternative and renewable energy investment so they can leave the rest of the oil supply for motorcycles - especially for smelly dirty two strokes that some of us prefer..:rolleyes:
 

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The bike is a 74 CB 750 guess I should have opened with that, so no additive are needed. Thanks guys interesting info.
I don't even run premium in the bike unless it is the middle of summer. Listen for the rocks in coffee can sound - that detonation, if you hear it increase the octane in your fuel. The only time I have ever heard it in my 1975 cb750 was when I was stuck in manhattan traffic in the middle of july and the bike was close to overheating. on my 1978 with an oil cooler I never heard it in the same conditions running 89 octane fuel.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK thanks for the information, never thought of overheating before? What happens with the air cooled engines and no oil cooler? Seize or worse.
 

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OK thanks for the information, never thought of overheating before? What happens with the air cooled engines and no oil cooler? Seize or worse.
If something like a SOHC cb750 heat seizes you have already done some internal damage. Little two strokes are much easier to heat seize since they don't use oil as a cooling liquid like the 4 strokes do. I've seized a couple little smokers in my day - basically wait till they cool and then restart and hope you haven't broken a piston ring or bent a rod.

On the cb750 the couple times I have overheated mine, the big give away was detonation. Every acceleration was rocks in a coffee can so I had to pull over and let cool. What can happen? you can warp the head/block mating surfaces, pop gaskets, the rings start to shave themselves down (metal shavings in the oil), bearings can begin to score, pipes can discolor and even crack, burnt valves, when it does seize it can seize bearings, cause them to spin in the bore, all sorts of nasty stuff...I mean it's not a great thing to do. The nice part about SOHC 750 is that is gives you lots of warning before it starts to really get into trouble (including burning your leg with the amount of heat it is throwing out. Oil operating temp is between 200 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit, when you start to approach 400 degrees oil begins to oxidize and break down which turns it from lube into sludge and destroys the film barrier. Ideally you want your bike operating at around 240 degrees. My ducati won't throw an overheat light until 315 degrees in the oil (it has an oil temp gauge). If you overheat the engine (get to 300 degrees or above) twice in one oil interval, change the oil.
 
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