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creed227

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Hello,  

 

I am a newbie with vintage cars as I have never owed one or even drove or sat in one before but am  I am thinking of buying one in the near future.  I am looking at late 1940's to late 1950's cars.  The question I have as I have heard about is Gasoline issue.  I heard modern gasoline cannot be used in vintage cars as I do know the gas was leaded back in the era. Also about fuel pumps and such and our modern gas today has ethanol in it and will ruin a vintage cars engine.  Can anyone tell me more about what to do about this dilemma as its kinda scaring me off from not investing in a vintage car.  I was thinking what is the point of having a vintage car if you cannot even drive it around sometime and to ca car show and such. Can anyone help me on how you gas up your cars and such.  I know if I purchase a car it will not be a daily commuter but would like to take it in the summertime and and drive it sometimes and to local cars shows when they come up.  Thanks in advance for all your responses. 

 

Thanks again,

 

Chris   

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Chris,

Thanks for jumping in here.  If you are interested in old cars figure out which one(s) light your fire and do some research to determine if it will be the right one for you.  There was a lot of technological changes from post-war cars to late 50s cars.  Many different brands, body styles, engine & transmission combinations, styling, options, parts availability, ease of maintenance, the list goes on. 

 

As far as gasoline, it's not a real big problem unless you are starting from ground zero on a car that hasn't been used in a long time.  Lead, or lack of, is not a real issue but can be depending on the car you chose.  The biggest concern is ethanol in today's fuel.  It will deteriorate old rubber like acid.  Any car you consider you'll have to ascertain whether the fuel pump, fuel lines, carburetor, vacuum lines,  etc. have been converted to be ethanol resistant.  If not, you'll have to change them out.  You'll also have to be concerned about the gas tank.  Old gas tanks collect rust and other harmful contaminates as the age. 

 

Ethanol free gas can be purchased in many places in the US.  Google ethanol free gas.  You'll find websites to direct you to stations in your area.

Also, search this website for discussions on this issue. There has been many over the years talking about this subject.

 

Once you have narrowed your car search to a few candidates look up forums for the marque and read about what owners are saying about their cars.

 

I'm sure other people will jump in with more advice so hang on and enjoy the ride.

 

Wes in VT

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3 minutes ago, tripwire said:

Chris,

 

Ethanol free gas can be purchased in many places in the US.  Google ethanol free gas.  You'll find websites to direct you to stations in your area.

Also, search this website for discussions on this issue. There has been many over the years talking about this subject.

 

 

Wes in VT

 

Chris, I have a carbureted engine from the mid 60's and had been running modern gas with some problems like hard starting and relatively minor vapor lock.  I had already switched the engine components over to ethanol-tolerant rubber/neoprene.  However, when I started using gas that did not have alcohol contamination (modern fuels) the car starts easier and doesn't suffer from vapor lock.  There are ways around vapor lock like installing an electric fuel pump near the gas tank to pressurize the line.  Still, not really a big deal as the enjoyment of old cars is much greater than any of these problems.  I use a website called "Pure" to locate ethanol-free gas.  Check for the app and download, it's free.

 

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My cars (1957 to 1984, and one from 1916) 

have had no trouble at all from ethanol-laced gasoline.

Whenever I put gas in, I also put in a small amount

of additive which is supposed to protect the car from

ethanol.  The additive keeps the ethanol from breaking

down into acid.

 

I also make sure I drive my cars!  Not only is it enjoyable,

but it keeps all the systems moving and operating better.

I make sure I go through a tank of gas every year, which

is 200 to 300 miles.

 

You have a wide horizon ahead of you, Chris.  Enter into

the hobby with the proper knowledge, as you're doing.

You'll always learn more--and you'll have plenty of fun

with the hobby, showing and driving your car.

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The fuel system in my old cars is a very temporary holding container. It goes in the fuel tank and out the exhaust in a short period of time. I think a lot of driving helps. At least the farm derived microorganisms don't get a chance to colonize.

I also do not price shop gas. I have a Mobil station on the corner that costs more that others in town, but the same truck with Mobil written on the side keeps filling their tanks. I think that is a good thing, too.

I have not had winter storage issues. I put the cars away late and get them out early. And I maintain the garage at a minimum of 40 degrees all winter. That helps with many issues, especially condensation.

 

If you follow those basics things should work with only one drawback. You have to watch out that driving the old car too much will detract from the specialness of ride. You will need more that one just to have a little diversity.

Bernie

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Chris, welcome to our world,

 

   Don't let the naysayers scare you off.  Just jump right in. If you buy a car that is already being driven a substantial amount the chances are good that it has newer rubber components in the fuel system .  If not, the replacement/repair stuff today will handle the ethanol. There are MILLIONS of us out here driving our old cars.  Join us.

 

  Ben

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I've been using ethanol in my 1937 automobile since they started selling the stuff, with no adverse affect.  Of the various fuel system components (carb, fuel pump, and various neoprene hoses), possibly one or two had been rebuilt using ethanol-adapted seals, but it's possibly they were re-done before ethanol was introduced.  Yet still it runs, and I have yet to experience vapor lock in recent years.  Note that only those components that I mentioned (above) should need attention due to the possible harmful effects of ethanol.  But, these only represent a small part of the car as a whole.  So I would not let this fear of ethanol hold you back.  Likewise, the danger from non-leaded gasoline is not a problem so long as you don't race your car or drive at extremely high speeds.  I replaced the valves in mine several years ago -- after years of lead-free gasoline usage -- and found no problems at all in the old valves.

 

I think your biggest potential problem is "lack of use".  Cars need to be run and driven.  Awful things happen through disuse.  So once you get your antique, don't let it sit!

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Hi, Welcome to the world of old cars. Here in the UK we can still find gasoline (we call it petrol) with no ethanol added. If I can't find ethanol free petrol I mix water with the petrol in a clear plastic container, adding a little food dye, give it a good shake and leave it overnight. The water absorbs the ethanol, or the other way about, you then just decant the petrol and pour the ethanol and water away. I use this method for all my pre first and second world war motorcycles and cars. It's a bit of a chore but they certainly run better on the fuel without the ethanol. Get as much advice as you can on which car to chose as your first 'old car'.

Mike

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Cars up to the early fifties had low compression engines that were made to run on low lead, or no lead gas. They will run fine on modern gas. Where you may run into trouble is on the high compression, high performance models of the fifties and sixties. The heavily leaded high test gas came to market around 1955. 1955 to 1970 models are the ones that suffer from unleaded gas. 1970 and newer models are made to run on unleaded.

 

As far as compression goes, your gas octane rating should look like your compression. In other words if your local gas station sells 87 octane regular gas, and you burn it in a car with 8.7:1 compression or lower  it will be fine. Hi test in most places is 92 octane so you are good to about 9.5:1 compression. Only if you have a high performance, muscle car engine with 10:1 compression or higher do you have a problem but such cars are not too common. This is not a hard and fast rule, only a guide. There are other factors that affect the need for high octane fuel but if you keep this in mind you won't go far wrong.

 

The big problem is valve seat recession and valve wear. You can combat this by adding a dash of Redex, Marvel Mystery Oil, Bardahl or your favorite upper cylinder lubricant. This is not absolutely necessary but will make your engine last longer.

 

The introduction of ethanol laced fuels in the mid 80s did result in a rash of fuel pump and carburetor failures due to the alcohol eating up the rubber and plastic parts. But this problem was solved by rebuilding the fuel pump and carb, and installing new neoprene fuel line. Practically all old cars have had this done by now.

 

A little general advice. There was a tremendous advance in car design between the mid forties and mid fifties. You went from the typical car having a flathead six cylinder engine of 80HP and three speed manual trans, with heater and cigar lighter being the deluxe accessories, to relatively modern cars with V8 engines of up to 390HP, auto trans, power steering, power brakes, better brakes, suspension etc etc.

 

This means cars from the late forties and early fifties are happiest on surface streets and 2 lane rural roads, and are not happy on the interstate. While a car from the late fifties might be quite happy driving from coast to coast at 70MPH especially if you add a few improvements like radial tires and modern shock absorbers.

 

On the other hand the older cars are simpler, easier and cheaper to keep in repair. It all depends what kind of car you want.

 

I would also suggest buying the best condition, most original car you can afford. An old car that has been allowed to deteriorate can be an absolute money pit. Even the best require more upkeep than a modern car. Fortunately the old cars are easier and cheaper to work on than the modern ones.

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3 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

My cars (1957 to 1984, and one from 1916) 

have had no trouble at all from ethanol-laced gasoline.

Whenever I put gas in, I also put in a small amount

of additive which is supposed to protect the car from

ethanol.  The additive keeps the ethanol from breaking

down into acid.

 

I also make sure I drive my cars!  Not only is it enjoyable,

but it keeps all the systems moving and operating better.

I make sure I go through a tank of gas every year, which

is 200 to 300 miles.

 

You have a wide horizon ahead of you, Chris.  Enter into

the hobby with the proper knowledge, as you're doing.

You'll always learn more--and you'll have plenty of fun

with the hobby, showing and driving your car.

Can you tell us what the additive is?

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The ethanol fuels seem to cause more of a problem in the hotter climes. If you live in an area with moderate temperatures you may not experience the vapor lock issues.

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 angst. noun:    a feeling of persistent worry about something trivial.

 

The biggest problem with E-10 fuel seems to be all the angst it causes.................Bob

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17 minutes ago, Bhigdog said:

 

 angst. noun:    a feeling of persistent worry about something trivial.

 

The biggest problem with E-10 fuel seems to be all the angst it causes.................Bob

*

*

Bob, you need to tell my pressure washer that. It sat for a year and when I finally got it started, it was wide open! had frozen the carb float and butterfly. Lots of fun!

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I think the subject on soft fuel parts has been well covered. Some have also gotten technical on hard components like valves. In simple terms older cars had a softer valve in them and the new gas can burn them therefore causing engine problems. Most old cars that are used regularly have had an engine complete or partial rebuild. When that happens new valves which are hardened (compared to old type valves) are installed and the gas does not effect them. I’m driving a 38 Studebaker as the second car in the garage. It came out of a barn after sitting for 40+ years. The engine, trans, brakes and electrical were all rebuilt at this time. No problem with gas. The fuel pump was rebuilt also so it holds up with new gas. 

Have fun

Dave S 

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49 minutes ago, R W Burgess said:

*

*

Bob, you need to tell my pressure washer that. It sat for a year and when I finally got it started, it was wide open! had frozen the carb float and butterfly. Lots of fun!

 

I hear what you are saying Wayne.

 

On the other hand, until recently and in the last 20 years I've used E-10 in my 6 collector cars, mowers, leaf blower, weed trimmer,  chain saws, generator, etc etc. The only problem I've ever had was recently the accelerator pump cup in my Olds carb shriveled up after 10 years. If it was leather even that likely would not have happened.

Since the Valero gas station 3 miles from me put in non ethanol pumps I do now use that in every thing except my daily drivers.

 

On the third hand, if I had to drive any distance I'd likely use E-10 and not fret about it.

 

My condolences to your washer............. :).............Bob

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On 8/15/2018 at 2:04 PM, plymouthcranbrook said:

Can you tell us what the additive is?

 

Surely.  I use "Phase Guard 4 Ethanol Fuel Treatment"

by CRC Industries of Warminster, Pennsylvania.

(www.crcindustries.com on the internet, or

800-272-8963 toll-free telephone.) 

 

I just confirmed with the manufacturer that Phase Guard 4

has been replaced by a new product called

"Stor and Go Ethanol Fuel Treatment and Stabilizer,"

which accomplishes the same results.

I do not see the "Phase Guard 4" on the company's internet site,

though some internet vendors still carry it.

 

Both products come in three sizes:  8 ounces, 16 ounces, 32 ounces.

I was buying the small 8-ounce bottles for about $12 at my

local auto parts store;  then at a swap meet, a vendor had

the 32-ounce bottles for only $5 each!  That's about 1/8 the cost 

per ounce of the smaller bottles, but I think his was a clearance price.

Still, you'll save a lot of money by buying the larger bottles.

 

Stor & Go® Ethanol Fuel Treatment & Stabilizer, 32 Fl Oz

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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6 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

I also do not price shop gas. I have a Mobil station on the corner that costs more that others in town, but the same truck with Mobil written on the side keeps filling their tanks. I think that is a good thing, too.

 

Being from Pennsylvania oil country--in a town

with its own oil refinery--I can dispel a myth or two.

Your Mobil gas is almost certainly the same as

every other brand of gas in town.  

 

At the refinery, the gas is dispensed into tanker

trucks that drive in.  Trucks with all sorts of names

on them fill up at the same place.  All sorts of brands

get the same gasoline!  It's commonly known in town,

and the people chuckle.  Someone told me that some brands

may put different additives in, but I don't know how that

would occur, given the common source at the refinery. 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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I can't speak for every car but Chrysler products of the forties and early fifties came with hardened valves and valve seat inserts. They were made for unleaded gas, at a time when all gas was unleaded or low lead by our standards. The heavily leaded hi octane gas came along in 1954 and 1955. The first car I know of, that had no valve seat inserts and no valve guides was the new 55 Chev V8. I have not made an exhaustive study on this point and don't mind being corrected if anyone has more details.

The point is, you only have to worry about 1955 - 1970 models, and not all of them, only the ones with high compression above 9.5:1 or so, usually certain luxury cars or performance cars with optional V8 engine. Most standard cars are fine, although it does not hurt to toss in a little upper cylinder lubricant.

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My 51 Kaiser had a restoration done to it a little over 10 years ago and I have no details as to who did it, what was done, etc. 

 

For that reason I've been running ethanol free fuel in it since buying it two years ago. It had a tank of regular pump gas when we bought it but it has seemed a bit happier since making the switch. 

 

Granted...it's not cheap but it's not my daily driver. I'd rather spend a little more at the pump and not really give it a second thought than wonder how much longer I have before needing to tend to the fuel system. 

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creed227,

 

Welcome to the AACA Discussion Forum. The best thing to do would be to visit and hopefully join an AACA Region or Chapter near you. Your new AACA Friends will be happy to let you get some seat time in a variety of antique automobiles. When you have had a bit of exposure you will be better positioned to decide exactly what antique car you want to buy. You will be able to find local AACA Groups by visiting the following link: http://www.aaca.org/Community/regions-a-chapters.html

 

If you post your location here, there may also be a forum member who is near you who might be able to help introduce you to the hobby.

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The AACA club does not require you to own an antique vehicle, you only have to have an interest.  Our local club tours monthly from April thru October and normally 10 to 50 percent will drive a modern car.  We tour about 40 MPH unless a slower car shows up.

 

In Ohio there is the “Ohio Region” & 7 local Chapters around the state.  Three times a year we have a weekend region gathering with both modern & antique vehicles.

 

Join in the National club and visit your local chapter/region tours before joining.

 

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Fuel additives are "added" at the point of delivery. Might be Chevron "Techron" when delivering to a Chevron station, and the same truck deliver fuel to a different station with additives other than Techron. BTW, my mom always went to Chevron, and at least at the time her muffler rusted out quick more than once and needed replacement. The shop told her Chevron has more "detergent" which caused the muffler to rust out faster. Not saying I personally know this to be a fact; just what was said to her.

 

Info of the almighty Web:

 

In my part off the country, the same tanker truck delivers fuel to most of the gas stations in the area - Shell, Chevron, Phillips 66, Murphys, Bud’s stop and Go - most all of them. There are only so many refineries around the country and a LOT of different gas stations. It’s pretty rare that you actually see a tanker truck with the same name as the gas station filling the big tanks. If you do, it’s often because the franchise owner has enough stations to own his own trucks and haul his own gas rather than contracting it out, or it’s a corporate owned store. If you watch the driver or go talk to him, you will see him pour an additive package into tank he is filling. This is what makes Shell gas different from Chevron gas - the additives not the base fuel - and they are almost always added at the station as Chevron doesn’t want Shell additives in their gas.

 

 

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5 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

Surely.  I use "Phase Guard 4 Ethanol Fuel Treatment"

by CRC Industries of Warminster, Pennsylvania.

(www.crcindustries.com on the internet, or

800-272-8963 toll-free telephone.) 

 

I'm quite sure that this product has been renamed,

"Stor and Go Ethanol Fuel Treatment and Stabilizer."

I do not see the "Phase Guard 4" on the company's internet site.

 

Both products come in three sizes:  8 ounces, 16 ounces, 32 ounces.

I was buying the small 8-ounce bottles for about $12 at my

local auto parts store;  then at a swap meet, a vendor had

the 32-ounce bottles for only $5 each!  That's about 1/8 the cost 

per ounce of the smaller bottles, but I think his was a clearance price.

Still, you'll save a lot of money by buying the larger bottles.

 

Stor & Go® Ethanol Fuel Treatment & Stabilizer, 32 Fl Oz

Thank you. I will look into getting some.

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On the fuel thing, this report pretty much confirms my thoughts: https://www.consumerreports.org/car-maintenance/study-shows-top-tier-gasoline-worth-extra-price/

 

In any case, I would recommend consistency in the routine expendable items for your car; fuel, oil, cleaners, even polish all have some affect. So don't chase down the bargain gas, oil, or whatever.

 

Definitely join a club and use all the resources of the group to buy the best car you can. The members know what is out there. If you go it alone and hunt down that rare, long hidden, fabled, barn find you could show up at a show and hear "Oh, Chis, you bought THAT car."

 

Don't go on a secret mission to impress the old car guys. Barnfind is a novice, journalistic term. Those cars aren't lost. We just aren't telling where they are.

Bernie

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