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'59 Lark fuel question

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  • '59 Lark fuel question

    I recently bought a 1959 Lark Regal V8 with 4 barrel and dual exhaust. I need fuel advice. I've already found that any ethanol is a bad idea, so I've found a filling station that sells pure gas. My question is about additives. Do you recommend lead substitute? Other additives that are beneficial?

  • #2
    Why is ethanol additive bad ? It's been used to power racing engines to higher horsepower than gasoline for many, many years..! One just needs to know how to tune the engine with alcohol in it. And actually, the amount is so small, just slight adjustments may be required. A "little" more fuel, and a bit more ignition timing to run it's best. HEll, most people don't run enough ignition timing in the first place. The "book" value is way low for the best power and fuel milage.
    The only thing marginal with the alcohol, is that the rubber in your fuel system will need to be changed for a better material. It will still be rubber, just a better, modern mix.

    As for lead additives, most all are snake oil. You know, lay out your money, get a bottle, that really doesn't do anything, but you bought it...it makes you THINK it does. Don't waste your money.
    Think about it, the government removed tetraethyl lead from the gas for a reason. You really think that, that same government is going to let car owners buy it in small packages of tetraethyl lead to put into their gas tanks themselves..!?

    As for non-leaded gas, yes, even...before the addition of the alcohol...the lack of lead will exacerbate the wearing of the exhaust seats, and to a much smaller amount, the exhaust valves.
    BUT... If you don't do a lot of driving on the freeways, long trips at higher speeds, etc., your heads should be fine for many years of around town driving with a few long distance trips. I put just over 93,000 miles on my 259 powered Lark as a daily driver without hard exhaust seats. This includes more than a few 500 mile (250ish one way) trips in those miles.
    You will have to adjust the exhaust valves much more often than the intake valves though.
    If for any reason you remove the heads, you can have hard exhaust seats installed and new exhaust valves, and your concerns will be washed away.

    Overall, acid rain will do more damage to the paint than the alcohol in the gas will hurt the engine.

    Mike

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    • #3
      No problem, Martin Buck will soon realize that the Lark runs just fine on Unleaded 10% Ethanol Regular with no Short or Medium term damage. Then he can stop believing the "the Sky is Falling Rumors" that were prevalent when Ethanol was introduced !
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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      • #4
        If you want to add anything, just a couple ounces of Marvel Mystery Oil to each fillup will help keep things clean and lubricated, and may also deter some vapor lock issues; and it's been around for a century.

        And, with ethanol in the gas, don't ever think you will need to add dry gas, which only adds more alcohol.
        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
        sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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        • #5
          I happen to live where non-ethanol gas is readily available and use it in my "old iron" implement engines, yard equipment, and the Studebakers. I also use premium non-ethanol in my BMW motorcycle. If I'm on a trip in a Studebaker and need to fuel up, I use 10% ethanol if there is no convenient choice to do otherwise. I have not had trouble with the ethanol because I don't let it linger for long periods (winter), and usually use it up before letting it sit long in the system.

          If I were to spend too much time worrying about having to become a chemical scientist in order to play with my cars, I would probably find a different hobby. Life's too short.
          John Clary
          Greer, SC

          SDC member since 1975

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          • #6
            I have yet to ever put lead additive in any classic car ever- including my ‘62 Cadillac- and have never had a single issue, ever. Same with fuel stabilizers for storage- never have used one yet. The mowers get parked inside with whatever pump gas is left in them and simply restarted the next year. You hear guys tell horror stories, but I have never had a single problem.

            Well, I am doing a full brake job on my ‘59 Rambler. Maybe lack of additives are the cause of that lol.
            Proud NON-CASO

            I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

            If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

            GOD BLESS AMERICA

            Ephesians 6:10-17
            Romans 15:13
            Deuteronomy 31:6
            Proverbs 28:1

            Illegitimi non carborundum

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            • #7
              On my V-8 Lark, I added an inverse oiler that meters Marvel Mystery oil into the intake.I can adjust the atomizer as necessary and it looks cool on the firewall.

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              • #8
                If pure gas is available, I recommend it. Especially if the car sits for periods of time. Anything with a carburetor gets it at my house.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                  No problem, Martin Buck will soon realize that the Lark runs just fine on Unleaded 10% Ethanol Regular with no Short or Medium term damage. Then he can stop believing the "the Sky is Falling Rumors" that were prevalent when Ethanol was introduced !
                  I ask because I've had some fuel line/vapor lock issues. But when my car arrived about a month ago, it was low on gas plus I have no idea how long that gas was sitting in the tank. My mechanic is doing some work this week, including draining and flushing the gas tank and installing a new fuel filter. Thanks for everyone's input.

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