hello all looking for a garage in the Midlands that sells leaded petrol not keen on putting in additives Thanks Regards Chris
Haven't seen any 4-star leaded on the forecourt for a couple of years now. Bayford Thrust were making and distributing for a while but all the specialist petrol stations that once stocked it seem to have disappeared. There is some info on the Web, e.g. http://www.silverforce.co.uk/TB-UK/list.htm but it seems to be very out of date.
I know you said you don't want additives but tetraethyl lead is the additive that makes 4-star. And you can mix your own : http://tetraboost.com/
And rightly so. Even the 4-star sold by Bayford was lead free. It used an additive pack that did a 'valve seat protection' job that the lead did. (And the lead was put in for octane, not valve protection- that was just a happy by product!)
Now, do you mean you want ethanol free rather thsn leaded fuel? If so, then Esso synergy plus is the stuff except in a few areas like Cornwall.
Do a search on here (been done to death before) to find where it isn't ethanol free.
If your OHV head is alloy then the valve seats are hardened and do not need protection from wear by the addition of lead, if your OHV head is cast iron or you SV barrel is cast iron then get hardened valve seats installed.
Having said that my ES2 with iron head runs beautifully on standard 95 octane. Just been out for a brisk canter and it's going like a bird.
Don't waste your money on valve seats until you actually see the seats receding. Which in my view you won't.
Try your local general aviation airport.
I believe that all "older" private airplane engines require leaded avgas.
It will probably be illegal for them to sell it to you for an automotive use but perhaps you can find a friendly type that will sell it to you in cans.
Aviation petrol is also unleaded. Where it differs from road fuel is it must be ethanol free - too much risk of fuel freezing at altitude. Aviation petrol is also over 100RON, which might be somewhat overkill for an ES2. Finally, if you get caught putting it in your bike, then Customs and Excise would be interested for all the tax you are avoiding.
As others have said, run it on what is available on the forecourt. It is better stuff than was available when your bike was designed in the late 40's.
Thanks George for your comments regards Chris
Tetraethyl lead is not banned. Leaded petrol can only be sold in limited quantities for road use, with a licence, and it seems not many filling stations are interested anymore.
You *can* legally add tetraethyl lead to unleaded petrol to boost octane and protect valve seats. I use TetraBOOST, other sources may be available. It adds about 20p to the price of a litre.
Almost every light plane you see in the skies above you is running leaded avgas. See https://www.shell.com/business-customers/aviation/aviation-fuel/avgas.html . The continued use of lead is mainly due to engine certification requirements.
While I would agree that thousands of cars crawling along the M6 in Birmingham on leaded fuel is a bad thing, I don't have any issue with a few classic Nortons using it on an occasional run out. I would also point out that unleaded uses the RON caculation and 98 octane is about 92 MON, or 2*. A dose of lead means you can run your 750 Combat without messing with the timing or worrying about overheating. Avgas 100LL is roughly equivalent to 5* and is permitted by the ACU for racing. It can be obtained with road duty paid although dosing up Shell v-power premium unleaded with TetraBOOST is easier and gives the same result at a lower price.
In most areas you can dodge all the issues with crap fuel . Buy Esso Synergy plus. An added benefit is that it seems to last years in the tank and still fire up and not cause rust. I also tape tank breathers to reduce water absorption in my damp garage. May not be necessary with better buildings . I regularly check for fuel leaks. and release fuel caps if moving the machine.A pressurised tank will show up any weakness.
The garage near Harbury on the Fosse Way in Warwickshire sold unleaded four-star the last time I looked - blooming expensive though. I imagine they do OK being near the Gaydon Motor Museum.