by Ron Fraser
I am sure you are all aware that the EPA mandate for lead is 0.1 gram/gallon. (ed note: now 0.05 g/gal) This could mean valve recession for any pre-1972 engine. The market is full of lead substitute additives, but do they work? The following is taken from the October, 1987, issue of POPULAR SCIENCE, brought to you by your friendly, neighbor hood Energy Czar. First, any pre-1972 engine needs a lead substitute.
“The EPA mandated lead content of 0.1 gram/gallon is only a maximum level. There is no minimum required lead content.” “Gasoline sold as regular grade sometimes contains only the slightest trace of lead-not enough to provide adequate valve protection for some engines.” Also, several oil companies have stopped making leaded fuel, it is being replaced with 89 octane unleaded. Good leaded gasoline may become difficult to find in some areas or it may disappear if this trend continues. Lead Additives 1. Sodium formula called Power-Shield produced by Lubrizol Corp., Wickliffe, OH. It contains sulfur and sodium. 2. Alkyl-phosphate surfactant, called DM-4 produced by E.!. DuPont DeNemours & Co., Wilmington, DE. These two additives have been tested by the EPA, and they do reduce valve recession and may eliminate it in some or all engines. Unfortunately, these chemicals or trade names do not always appear on the label. Maybe this will change. 3. 104 Real Lead- each quart can contains 1.05 gram tetraethyl lead plus ammonium phosphate and provides the valve lubricating equivalent of 0.1 gram/gallon of lead. Cost: approximately $9/quan, treats 20 gallons. 4. New type of leaded gasoline: “The Ethyl Corp. is marketing to fuel refiners a valve protection and octane boost package called Hi Tech 1000, it adds 0.1 gram tetraethyl lead and 0.1 gram of a manganese compound called MMT, to each gallon of fuel.” This is supposed to provide the valve protection equivalent of about 0.5 gram lead/gallon. This fuel will appear in the Midwest first and will, hopefully, be advertised on the gasoline pumps.