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Additive Makes No-Lead Gas Safe For Old Engines
Many gas engines built before the early 1970's for use with leaded gasoline suffer damage when used with no-lead gas. Valve seats, made with softer metals in those older engines, deteriorate rapidly when levels in gas fall below about 0.1 gram. Last January, the Federal government reduced lead in gas to 0.1 gram or less and on January 1, 1988, it will be eliminated altogether.
Red Line Synthetic Oil Corp. is one of the first companies to come out with an additive that'll take the place of lead in gas. According to the company, their lead substitute added at the rate of 12 oz. per 120 gal. of fuel brings no-lead up to the 0.1 gram of lead per gal. level which protects against valve seat recession. At $4.95 per 12 oz. bottle, it treats gas at a rate of 4 cents per gallon.
Although little independent testing has been done on such lead substitutes, other companies are readying products for market, including big oil companies. A spokesman for Phillips Petroleum, Bartlesville, Okl., told FARM SHOW the company has decided to come out with it's own additive, which actually consists of lead. "Rather than using a substitute product, we're trying to get approval from the EPA to make a true lead additive available to people with older gas engines. We don't think the intent of the law banning lead was to punish people with older gas engines. Studies show that over half the tractors still in use on the farm are gas-powered."
Phillips hopes to have it's lead additive, called Valvepro, on the market within months.
Jack True, extension engineer at the University of Minnesota, told FARM SHOW he had not seen any test results on lead additives and would not speculate on whether or not they would perform as promised. "There is a problem with older engines when used with low lead gas, both with valve seat wear and spark knock. You can eliminate the valve seat wear problem on some engines by replacing the valve seats with longer wearing replacements," notes True.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Red Line Synthetic Oil Corp., 3450 Pacheco Blvd., Martinez, Calif. 94553 (ph 415 228-7576).

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1986 - Volume #10, Issue #5