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Fuels and Alternative Fuels Materials or substances that can be used as a fuel, waste oils, vegetable oils or animal fats, which can be used alone, or blended with fossil fuels.

Fuels and Alternative Fuels

Octane issues Ford 8N and other old engines


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  #1  
Old 11-09-2019, 10:44:40 PM
crazymike crazymike is offline
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Default Octane issues Ford 8N and other old engines

Hey all, this is not a discussion. Just an observation and tale of "I fixed it via telephone" message.
A friend has an early Ford 8N (1947) and I've had occasion to "tune it up" for him when the weather changes. He's not good with carb setting - so I get to tweak it for summer/winter, stale gas etc...
He called and said it had stopped starting and wouldn't go no matter what he did. had spark, had fuel, the plugs weren't fuel-dry, and so-on.
After a bit I asked when the last gas was purchased, and as met with "oh, I just tossed the leftover race-gas in it after the last race". Fortunately he uses pump premium with an additive (94/96 Oct calc'd).
I laughed for a bit. Told him I'd get back to him.
FWIW timing on the 8N is straight up. Compression on his is less than stock due to age, but around 6.6:1 if it were all good.

So - in 1947 Pump Gas was NOT the 89/92 R+M/2 of today. It was astoundingly low: 1935-1950 engines ran said 6-ish CR and Octane was 70-80
https://www.energy.gov/eere/vehicles...asoline-octane

Search "how to lower octane" for some lengthy and mostly unproductive web-time! We al know how to raise it, and there are plenty of additives, yadayada.

Cure:
Kerosene ~ 16 Oct, or Diesel ~19-22 Oct and use a mix calculator.
I had him dip the tank and guestimate how much fuel he had, then he added a jug of Kerosene that had been sitting around to get ~70-75Oct, had him drain the carb and let fuel run a bit to get the un-mized fuel out of the line.

~ the old girl fired right off. It even stopped a majority of its smoking - tho' now it does smell a bit like a lantern!

So - if you have a hard-starting or no-starting low CR engine from the early days, Lower the Octane.

Happy suck-squeeze-bang-blow to you all!
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:36:01 AM
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ulgydog56 ulgydog56 is offline
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Default Re: Octane issues Ford 8N and other old engines

yup low octane back in the day, I like to run instead of lead with my gas in old engines to protect the valves and sleeves also...
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:14:00 PM
slip knot slip knot is offline
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Default Re: Octane issues Ford 8N and other old engines

I used to run 100LL in my N tractors all the time. Never really noticed much difference in performance but it sure smelled different.
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:36:23 PM
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ulgydog56 ulgydog56 is offline
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Default Re: Octane issues Ford 8N and other old engines

slip, high octane gas is kinda a waste of time in a low compression engine. really no more power, maybe stop pinning, but it sure won't hurt the motor, just cost ya more....if it makes you feel good to run it..cool..

Last edited by ulgydog56; 11-10-2019 at 11:37:29 PM. Reason: added
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:11:24 AM
slip knot slip knot is offline
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Default Re: Octane issues Ford 8N and other old engines

I wasn't too concerned with the octane. it was the only fuel I could get that didn't have ethanol. For no more run time that my machines get it was way cheaper to go the 100LL route over carb kits.
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:45:31 PM
Odin Odin is offline
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Default Re: Octane issues Ford 8N and other old engines

Seems odd to me that it would have trouble with the octane being too high, I would expect it to just run unusually smooth since there would be no knocking. However, the race gas might have a lower volatility than the carburetor was able to deal with, and so it wouldn't have fired off properly even when choked.

I actually do use E10 in my hit & miss with no troubles yet, but there's no seals in the mixer to be damaged. It seems to take it as premium gasoline with a hint of moonshine, just like it would have used during the great depression. The troubles with ethanol always boil down to seal compatibility, proper jetting for the new mixture, and vaporlock on designs that can't handle the higher volatility caused by stabdards limiting the varnish content.
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Old 11-17-2019, 01:22:30 PM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: Octane issues Ford 8N and other old engines

The two greatest issues with ethanol in larger motor fuel engines, are it's hygroscopy, and reactivity to various materials in components of the fueling system, AND those of the environment that find their way in. WHEN a system stays clean and dry, and the fuel is not stored or left to sit long, it works out okay, but machines, especially antiques, are not generally under constant use.

The advantage that these old engines have over newer engines, and particularly small air-cooled two strokes, is the fact that they were designed and built before the proliferation of exotic polymers and fancy mixture management. A simple mixer with metal parts and large, adjustable jets is more difficult to plug than a smaller, more intricate design... and when there's greater tolerances in part fitment, a little corrosion has negligable effect.

This being the case, the only other concern, is that the hygroscopic attitude of carbohydrates (ethanol) and the prolonged effect of gravity (settling water and ethanol to the bottom) means that a bit more attention is needed to keep the fuel circumstance in check.

One plus of old engines... like my Allis WD, is that the seals weep a little bit... the carb gasket, needle and seat, and sediment bowl let a little by. I work it, but not every day. If I park it for a month without running it, it'll have an empty tank, so I put in a few gallons at-a-time based on what I'll need. It may seem an annoyance to some, but it assures that I won't have bad fuel to worry about- it'll be all leaked-out...
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