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I was filling up the 38 and a fellow classic owner in an old Chevrolet mentioned that I should be using a fuel additive lead replacement. Here in Australia  we have unleaded fuel , should I be using a lead replacement additive with these older engines. As a side note mine has had a total rebuild. 

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There was almost no lead in the fuel in 1938. Lead was primarily used as an octane booster in the early '50s as compression ratios started to go up. Your car never needed lead and doesn't need it now. The nonsense about the lead cushioning the valve seats was a myth started by the gas companies in the '70s when lead was being phased out. They originally had a year to do it but convinced the Feds that all these poor schlubs' cars would have valve recession problems without the lead so the EPA allowed them to gradually phase it out over a decade, saving them billions in retrofitting stations overnight. 

The leaded gas scare is almost 100% nonsense. You don't need additives. Use them if they make you feel better or more confident, but your car won't care. 

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Back in the day (prior to change for everyone to unleaded) Amoco was unleaded in premium and Mobilgas (maybe before 1960) was also available in "white gas" , aka unleaded.


Buy unleaded, motor on.

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I always vote to use non-oxy (little to no ethanol content) when possible (and it is legal to use non-oxy in most US states despite the fact that non-oxy has less road tax than conventional gas).

Ethanol is scientifically proven to be a bad/poor fuel for certain polymers and other materials commonly used in old and new cars. 

It also is unstable and gels when not stirred or mixed, and it lacks the latent heat energy value of crude-based fuel.

Less joules per gallon in ethanol gas means you pay more for gas per mile, and if you do care about mpg, then that might be important as well.

Edited by 32buick67 (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, 32buick67 said:

despite the fact that non-oxy has less road tax than conventional gas).

I was going to say this is bunk, because it doesn't matter 0, 5, 10, 15, 85% Ethanol here in Virginia is the same per gallon tax. Then I Googled and found in some states there is a difference. 🤔


I have to drive to another county to buy non-ethanol, which I do in several 5 gallon containers to run lawn equipment and emergency generator. 

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I use the ethanol-laced gas because it is the crappiest. I like to go on trips, and want to know the car will work with whatever gas I encounter. Here in the US, the ethanol-laced gas is available literally everywhere, but the supplies of ethanol-free gas are spotty at best. What kind can you get easiest in Australia? I would sort the car out using that, whichever it is.


I do put the ethanol-free gas in when I store the car through the snowy season, because the ethanol-laced gas spoils faster.


Don't worry about lead. Lead might matter if you are towing, otherwise probably not. It still might not matter on a car that old. Lead substitutes typically aren't real lead, so their usefulness is questionable even if you really did need the lead.

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I am sorry you have to navigate non-ethanol that way Mr. DuVal.

Those of us in the upper midwest have a dichotomy with corn everywhere (heavy ethanol usage in the local pumps), but we also have a very heavy availability and use of non-oxy fuels.

Since you brought up the topic of non-automobile, I use non-oxy in all my lawn and garden equipment, and after a heavy -20F winter, I can go to my chainsaw or mower in the spring and after only a few pull-starts, the motors rev to life.  No carb work, no cleaning, just using the equipment when non-oxy is used.


Its sad to say, but the ethanol proponents probably didn't consider quality of life for those of us focused on getting things done and enjoying life vs those who like to spend springtime tearing apart carbs and fuel systems in an effort to clean out the gummy winter ethanol residue (if it wasn't proactively run dry in the fall to prep for winter).

I am personally not interested in unnecessary maintenance, and I applaud those who have time and enjoy fuel system maintenance, kudos to you, indeed!


I am however very jealous of your VA winters and the nearness to the ocean!


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