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Fuel Additives

Steven Williams
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Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:30 am
Location: Isle of Wight

Fuel Additives

Post by Steven Williams »

I have recently bought a prewar DB18. The vendor mentioned using Redex although in the boot there was an empty bottle of Carlube Fuel Treatment and a full bottle of Millers VSPe. In the past I have always used a combination of Frosts Ethomix and Castrol Valvemaster Plus. I'd be interested to know what other people use and what experiences they've had.

classiclife
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Re: Fuel Additives

Post by classiclife »

Hello Steven,

Leaving the DB18 model aside, fuel additives or any type of additive is very much a subjective plus personal interpretation. Some folk agree with certain additives, whilst others never use them.

It appears the PO was covering all possible permutations with his "medicine cupboard" !!

On a personal note, I have always used Redex in all my various classics over the decades; I believe it does help to keep the engine and carbs cleaner and working more efficiently.

VSPe I have used when travelling on mainland Europe and that is purely from the Ethanol point of view.

Valvemaster plus I certainly know of, although I do not use that as my Vitesse has an unleaded head and there is no requirement for my particular model of Daimler owned. As for the other additives you have mentioned, I have never used them so can comment.

Not being a DB18 owner, I am unsighted what (if any) is a useful additive to use. There are plenty of Forum users on here that do own such / similar type engine and I am certain they will be able to assist - especially Graham Emmett.

There is a lot of concern regarding ethanol in fuel and its deleterious effect on the fuel system from tank to carbs. Replacing fuel hoses for ethanol proof type, such as Gates Barricade, will certainly go a long way to help deflect some of the potential ethanol issues. Realistically, all classic car owners should be using either Gates Barricade fuel lines or a reputable brand of at least R9 or R14 rating; anything less than those numbers is likely to lead to the fuel hose degrading because of ethanol in fuels.

Referring to the list of additives that the PO had in stock, ethanol was certainly one of their paramount concerns.

Good luck.

Regards.

Richard.
1968 Daimler V8-250 Saloon
DLOC East Sussex Area Representative.
DLOC 2.5L V8 & V8-250 Registrar

Southern Classics Society Events Co-ordinator.
www.southernclassics.org.uk

Marcel Renshaw
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Re: Fuel Additives

Post by Marcel Renshaw »

In my Consort I never use additives. The valve seats are hard and the engine low revving so doesn’t suffer from the wear more modern high revving engines do.
I do however tend to use the high octane petrol on offer at most petrol forecourts.

grahamemmett
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Re: Fuel Additives

Post by grahamemmett »

I’m with Marcel on this one. The engine has hardened valve seats so doesn’t need any additive to lubricate them. I also use premium fuel.
“Rubber” fuel lines need replacing every 5 years and fuel line bought today is marked with the year of manufacture. I bought mine from the Triumph Six Club Stores as it’s the right spec and a great price.
Graham Emmett
Northwich, Cheshire
Joint DB18 Registrar (with Marcel Renshaw)
DB18 1949 LCV522 (Yes that one with the P100s)
https://www.db18.org

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marchesmark
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Re: Fuel Additives

Post by marchesmark »

Why do you use premium fuel? I ask as a genuine question, as I never do. My reasoning is that when these cars were new, low grade pool petrol was more the norm, something like 87-93RON?. If you are going to get the best out of modern, premium fuel, and by that I mean the higher octane rating, my understanding is that you would need an engine that can use the higher power, and will either adjust itself to the higher RON, or has been adjusted. Since a Consort does not have a modern engine management system I wonder how you are benefitting from this fuel? Unless you have adjusted the timing to allow it to run on that RON, but even then, do you really get noticeable performance gains?

One of my cars is a modern high performance car with an ECU that can adjust to different fuels as it runs. Even with that, the specialists advice is that I am wasting money on 97RON and should stick to 95. On top of that, I have no qualms about using supermarket fuel, another big no-no on another club forum I use. Again my reasoning is that with only 6 refineries in UK, and with all fuels having to meet minimum UK, EU and international standards, there is no real difference between these fuels. Unless people really believe that Tesco have their own refinery where they secretly brew low grade petrol?

Except for one difference of course, which is that I know some companies put cleaning agents in the higher RON fuels, which can be a definite benefit. Is that what you are after by using these fuels?

Mark

PS just to add I agree with you both on the use of lead additive. High speed valve recession is not likely to be a problem given the usage and mileage our cars get.

Sydsmith
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Re: Fuel Additives

Post by Sydsmith »

This subject comes up regularly both on old and modern car forums, it always provokes differences of opinion, there seems to me a case for proper research into what works or does not work.

Personally I don't use lead additives. If they really work, surely some smart petrol company would have added them and exploited the "advantage" of using their brand. Beside, lead was taken out of petrol to remove the nasty pollution it causes, I am not too sure these additives don't put it or some other pollution right back into the fuel.

In the years many of our cars were built, fuel quality was a lower grade than current fuel. Back then folks argued about the virtues of Redex, most of us, even with petrol at only 25 pence a gallon and Redex only 1 old penny a shot did not use it.

I am with John and before anyone says it, before lead was added we just got used to having a decoke every 30-40,000 miles until hardened valves and valve seats become the norm. How many years would it take most of us to need a decoke given the limited miles we do in our classics. Syd

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Brian-H
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Re: Fuel Additives

Post by Brian-H »

This thread has moved away from the question put by the OP and, as has been said, it's moving into territory much discussed in all car forums.

But the main thing with fuel is to start at the oil field where the crude came from. See this page https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=7110
From which I'm referencing the image below
Image

Refineries take crude from particular oil fields, mostly determined by cost. The end result is that, what you buy from say a Shell forecourt did not originate from the same oil field as you'd get at Tesco etc.

Whether there is any difference in the final fuel quality is the point that gets murky on all the forums, but I for one believe there are subtle differences based on the fact that there is a difference in the original crude. At one end of the spectrum of cars, if you bought a spanking new Ferrari and had it serviced by Ferrari and you kept it in an air-conditioned garage, you would be barking mad to fill it with anything but the most expensive fuel you could find.

However regarding most other cars that depreciate in value at the same rate as one another (including those that can alter the timing to take account of higher RON), well it's unlikely that, if you removed the head after 100k miles, you'd find much difference whether you bought high or low RON from Shell or Tesco. For those of us who didn't have excess money to be able to buy a spanking new Ferrari (or similar) it's all a matter of wallet and belief.

Regarding additives that are added separately from the fuel, what's been said already should hopefully guide the OP.

Marcel Renshaw
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Re: Fuel Additives

Post by Marcel Renshaw »

I tend to buy the higher octane petrol either from the major brands or supermarkets because I have less issues with evaporation when coming to a stop after a long run or in traffic.
Why the higher octane suffers less I do not know but while it works I am happy.
The cleaning additives are also a consideration.

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marchesmark
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Re: Fuel Additives

Post by marchesmark »

Thanks Marcel, fully understood. I have heard that from others as well. Fortunately my car doesn't suffer from it but I have had cars that did, most notably a 1975 Rover P6 V8, which was notorious for it.

Mark

Big Col
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Re: Fuel Additives

Post by Big Col »

Brians point about crude is interesting. In my college days a small amount of lecture time was spent on lubrication. My understanding was that the refining process cooked the crude and different products were drawn off at different levels. Tars and the like at the bottom and gases at the top with spirits and liquids at various points in between. The quality of the input determined the ease and costs of refining rather than the output. The output generally being highly monitored for quality. The lighter stuff from the North Sea is said to be good for petrol and gas production.
Colin,
I may be slow but I’m rough as well !

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