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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Jay4200's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
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    1,686
    Location
    Hudson/Weare, NH
    Tractor
    L4200GST w/ LA680 & BX2200D w/ LA211

    Default Fuel for old tractors - Lead?

    I've been looking for a vintage "lawn" tractor to mow my grass - something like a Farmall/IH Cub or Allis B/C with a belly mower. How cool would that be in the 'burbs? Anyway, it got me thinking - can I even safely run pump gas in these things? Surely none of the fuel system seals are ethanol-resistant, and the motors are designed for leaded gas. What do you vintage iron owners use in your tanks? Do fuel system seals need to be updated? Do you put in a lead replacement additive of some kind?

    JayC

  2. #2
    Super Star Member
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    Mar 2009
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    16,139
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Fuel for old tractors - Lead?

    My brothers and I own a Ford NAA and two 600's, we use an additive that is suppose to replace the effects of lead.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  3. #3
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    3,061
    Location
    texas
    Tractor
    7040 HDC 1153 fel

    Default Re: Fuel for old tractors - Lead?

    the best thing for those old motors is to find gas with out E85 in it.but thats like looking for a needle in a haystack.

  4. #4
    Silver Member Scrambler82's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    228
    Location
    A little Village North of Boston
    Tractor
    CC-Y SC2450 TLB

    Default Re: Fuel for old tractors - Lead?

    Check out additives as TripleR has stated.
    Not the easiest but most of the time they work.
    CC-Y SC2450 TLB, Black and Yellow.
    “Do It Right The First Time"
    Grev


  5. #5
    Veteran Member Jay4200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    1,686
    Location
    Hudson/Weare, NH
    Tractor
    L4200GST w/ LA680 & BX2200D w/ LA211

    Default Re: Fuel for old tractors - Lead?

    As far as I know, we don't have any non-ethanol fuel available in my area - everything is 10%. So, for the next question: should I avoid old tractors that have been run WITHOUT additives (or plan on early valve jobs for those)?

    JayC

  6. #6
    Super Star Member
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    Mar 2009
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    16,139
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    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Fuel for old tractors - Lead?

    I honestly don't know as there seems to be some disagreement and I am not a mechanic; maybe one will show up with a definitive answer.

    Fortunately, my brother is a mechanic, so I can usually check with him when I don't know which happens more than i care to admit.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  7. #7
    Platinum Member tessiers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    669
    Location
    Central Maine
    Tractor
    05' JD 790 - 49' Ford 8n - 53' Ford NAA - 70' Massey Fergusen 135 diesel - 1950 John Deere MC - 1992 Thomas T-83 skid steer

    Default Re: Fuel for old tractors - Lead?

    I run lead additive in all my old iron. The lead was a lubricant, so I assume the additive is not real lead, but I don't know. The engines will run without lead, however premature valve wear will result. When it will become a problem is a hard call, under light loads (mowing grass) many will last a long time with no ill effects. It will not hurt a newer engine to run the additive so I run it when ever I am in doubt. As to weather or not ethanol will ruin the engines, who knows. I think the ethanol will eventually ruin all engines, including the ones made for it, save the planet. I have had great sucess running old iron and I think a lot of people are overlooking great old tractors simply because they are old and not shiny. We still work a Ford NAA 12 months a year doing general farm work and it has preformed excellent, not to say a newer one wouldn't have done the same.

    I say go for the old!!!
    check us out at www.tessiersfarm.com

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor jinman's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
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    21,014
    Location
    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
    Tractor
    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Fuel for old tractors - Lead?

    You do not have to add the lead additive to every tankfull. Once the valves are coated, that coating holds for a long time. Using lead additive for a couple of tanks of fuel will probably make your tractor good to go for at least 6 months. I had one old tractor dealer tell me that most tractors have enough lead already on them that you need not worry ever. Certainly, if hardened valve seats have been used on a recent engine rebuild, lead is not necessary. If I were buying an old tractor with many hours on the engine, I'd run a couple of tanks full of gas with lead additive and then never again.

    It's your choice, but those who sell additives may not be the best to seek advice from. Their interest is in selling their additive. They will say to err on the side of caution and use their product in every tank. You can hardly blame them for that logic. If it makes you sleep better at night, by all means use the additive.
    Jim


  9. #9
    Platinum Member joemd11's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    924
    Location
    Western Pa
    Tractor
    LS R3039, Power King 1614, Simplicity Soveriegn 75th Aniv model.

    Default Re: Fuel for old tractors - Lead?

    Can you even buy a lead additive anymore. I thought that stuff was banned by the EPA a long time ago.

  10. #10
    Super Star Member
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    Missouri
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    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Fuel for old tractors - Lead?

    Quote Originally Posted by joemd11 View Post
    Can you even buy a lead additive anymore. I thought that stuff was banned by the EPA a long time ago.
    The stuff we use is a "lead substitute", so not banned by the EPA as I understand it.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

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