3 Best Lead Additive For Classic Cars
In the past, lead was applied to the mixture of gasoline to help increase octane levels because of the recurring issue with pre-detonation. It also helped with the valve seats to maintain better durability.
In the 1970s, unleaded gas was introduced because of the rising issues lead was causing both with vehicles and the health concerns it brought with its use. All lead gasoline vehicles were off the road by 1996.
Because of this radical change, classic cars are forced to use a lead additive with the unleaded fuel available today to prevent this engine knock from happening all over again.
However, you cannot buy actual lead directly because of the health risks. This was when a lead substitute additive was developed to mimic the same properties using healthier chemicals.
Below we have listed three of the best lead additive products for classic cars to ensure you best protect your vehicle. This will ensure maximum durability without breaking the bank.
1. Hapco Products Lead Additive
The Hapco Products lead additive is ranked as the number one lead substitute for old classic car engines for a few reasons. First, it is widely available and even is offered in bulk pricing for a discount.
Next, you can expect one bottle to provide treatment for 25 gallons of gasoline. It is the perfect choice for many classic car owners because it is safe for any type of fuel system.
It will assist in stopping power and compression loss that often occurs in older car engines when there is no lead present for combustion. It also improves lubrication for better vehicle performance.
The last benefit is how well it will protect your valve seats. This is essential for any car that uses older valve seats because they are more susceptible to damage and wear than new hardened ones.
2. Red Line 60202 Lead Additive
The Red Line 60202 lead additive is another high-quality lead substitute product built for classic cars. If you worry about using unleaded gas with your old engine, this can cure your concerns.
Not only does this product increase the longevity of your engine, but it will prevent valve seat damage and recession. It works well to clean the carburetor deposits and injectors too.
This lead additive is safe to use for catalytic converters too. It is used with many engine types like racing cars, off-road vehicles, and marine engines for boats too.
One bottle is cheap and can be used to treat up to 25 gallons of gas. This is the ideal choice for the classic car owner who doesn't drive as often with their vehicle.
3. Niteo Motor Medic Lead Additive
The Niteo Motor Medic lead additive is an affordable option to consider for your classic car. This product will help your older vehicle run more efficiently to avoid the risks of using unleaded gasoline.
It contains an anti-wear additive, so if your vehicle was designed with valve seats, you could expect them to hold up nicely while driving. This is crucial for many classic cars too.
This lead substitute also uses a protective film coating for your valve seats that helps prevent recession. This is one of the most important features it can provide.
It can be used to prevent upper cylinder wear as well. This is a common problem for many older engines when using unleaded gas.
This lead additive mimics the benefits of lead protection and provides excellent off-road use support.
Why Should You Use Lead Additives For Classic Cars?
First, you must determine if your car requires any lead in the fuel. This will depend on the year it was built, and if your car qualifies, we advise you to take it seriously.
The most important thing about lead additives is that they should be safe for the car and easy to use. The benefits far outweigh the risks, and we recommend it for any classic car owner.
Reduce Engine Knock
Lead additive is a gasoline additive that helps prevent engine knock by reducing air-fuel mixture detonation and preventing ignition delay. This allows the combustion process to be more efficient and reduces emissions.
Because lead is a toxic chemical that can cause serious damage to your health, an alternative substitute was introduced that provides the same engine benefits.
These engines used higher compression points, meaning that higher octane gas was required. You can replicate that process by adding lead or a lead substitute while keeping your engine and the fuel intact.
Avoid Valve Seat Recession
The valve seats are another interesting thing about older classic cars and the modern-day ones we currently drive. The new valve seats are hardened for better durability.
This was not the case in classic cars, and the valve seats were prone to recession. And this was typically caused by the lack of lead in fuel.
Because your classic car still uses these old valve seats, you can use the lead additive to prevent recession and improve vehicle durability and performance.
Lead additive is also an excellent solution for classic cars because it is cheap and low cost. If you have an older car, lead additives might be the best option.
It is not toxic, doesn't need to be disposed of, doesn't leave any residue, and can be used in all weather conditions.
For these reasons, there is no actual downside to using it because you can only experience benefits and treat it as a preventive solution to potential severe risks.
How To Use Lead Additive For Your Classic Car
You should use 1 ounce of lead additive per 10 gallons of unleaded gas in your classic car. If you drive your vehicle less, you likely won’t need as much.
But this is a relatively low-cost product, so using this recommended amount is a good benchmark. It will protect the valve seats and prevent any engine knocking from occurring.
What Year Cars Require A Lead Additive?
This is a difficult question because it depends on the vehicle's design and when it was purchased. In 1971, the change was made to stop using lead gasoline, but it took many years to get these vehicles off the road.
If your vehicle was manufactured in 1970 or earlier, there is a good chance you will need some lead substitute additive for your fuel. You should look to see if your car has a set of valve seats.
The valve seats are the primary reason why lead was so crucial to many older vehicles' success. By preventing the recession of these components, vehicles could avoid engine knock issues.
If you are unsure, using it is worth the small investment. It will not cause any harm to your vehicle, but going without it could result in some failures that cause expensive repairs.
About THE AUTHOR
My name is Matt and I've been around cars all my life! I have owned and worked on many different classic vehicles, so I started this site to share my experiences. If you're new to classic cars, then this website is for you.Read More About Matt Lane