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Bigjohn

Fuel mix for ww2 vehicles

Question

Following a discussion on the Bedford MW owners Facebook thread, I thought I'd throw this question open here.

What additives (if any) do you put in your fuel for wartime vehicles?

It seems that lead replacement is not required but some people mix in some diesel or paraffin to reduce vapour locking. I'm wondering what mix ratios people are using and what I should be wary of.

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Considering what WW2 vehicles , actually any vehicle pre about 1960, were built to run on, if it burns it runs. Mine do get the ocassional dose of 40:1 two stroke, if I fill from the wrong can. Never seems to worry them.

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We run about 70 ex military vehicles at the museum, most of which are WW2 or early post war and we only ever use the cheapest unleaded that we can find :)

 

Cheers,

Terry

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I use some additive to stop the green slime of doom growing, but that's about it. Leaded petrol was introduced for tanks during the war, but not for softskins.

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I use some additive to stop the green slime of doom growing, but that's about it. Leaded petrol was introduced for tanks during the war, but not for softskins.

 

In actual fact leaded petrol was available before WW2 as an option. During the second half of WW2 the British army introduced a leaded petrol for all vehicles use and it caused a lot of valve problems and modifications to do with valves, guides and ignition timing are often seen in the workshop manuals of wartime vehicles. The lead built up on the exhaust valve stems causing them to stick.

 

regards, Richard

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On our off shore Island we all add Castrol Valve Master and Frost's bio protection additive to all petrol. The Frost product as we have had fuel pumps and carbs showing the effect of bio in petrol attacking the metal. All run well on it and a recent "Head off" showed no problems with valves etc.

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This subject should be so simple , over a period of many years - I used to get on the odd cracker. About 1978 , the Engineer at the Cargo Fleet Works , Middlesbrough - loaned me a book :-

 

Pioneers of Petrol

 

A Centenary of History of Carless-Capel and Leonard 1859 - 1959

 

(published 1959) not a easy book to find - it took me many years to track down a copy for self.

 

----

 

What with registered Trade Marks , Pratt's Spirit , Shell Motor Spirit , Carburine (originally Manuf. by Carless) Politics - Anglo-American and a few more

 

differing specific gravities and boiling points .700 Petrol or .650 gasoline

 

Phoebus, Pilot , Lighthouse for the autocarist

 

It is safer IMHO to use the word 'Spirit' in the early days , certainly up to WW2 and .

 

From page 43

 

launch Spirit or Deodorised Petroleum Spirit , S.G. .680 , but after that date we generally invoiced the Spirit as Petrol and , when quoting for a new customer (then goes on to explain how the word 'Petrol' could NOT be registered as a trade mark.

 

---------

 

The first petrol pumps appeared in the twenties , Movril and Carbus changed from cans to bulk.

 

Leading up to WW2 , in the 1930's another and novel motor spirit , "Carless-Coalene" (this was ersaz from coal)

 

Page 76

 

The Air Ministry interest was understandable. Carless, Capel & leonard had produced from British Coal a petrol which was ideal for the requirements of modern fighter planes. It had a octane No. of 83 , much more higherthan the best quality petrol distilled from petroleum (dino) , the octane number of which was above 73. and it was highly volotile. The first bulk supplies of this new petrol were delivered to the Royal Air Force early in 1933

 

blah blah

 

- to offer their petrol to the British motorist and on November 29th , 1935, the first pump selling "Carless-Coalene" was opened at Brew Bros.,

 

blah blah

 

Sold at the same price as No. 1 grades of petrol, "Carless-Coalene" was in demand and by the end of 1936 nearly 200 pumps up and down the country were retailing it.

 

Page 79

 

immediately on the outbreak of the Second World war etc. etc. About half of Carless, Capel & Leonard's activeties were absorbed under the aegis of the Petroleum Board

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i was told to use super unleaded because it doesn't have ethanol in, (the the ethanol attacks the rubber in the fuel pump and carb) however at 3 gallons to the mile i stuck with the cheapest i could find and i didn't have any problems

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Are there any additives around that will neutralise the ethanol?

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In actual fact leaded petrol was available before WW2 as an option. During the second half of WW2 the British army introduced a leaded petrol for all vehicles use and it caused a lot of valve problems and modifications to do with valves, guides and ignition timing are often seen in the workshop manuals of wartime vehicles. The lead built up on the exhaust valve stems causing them to stick.

 

regards, Richard

 

Ah cool, I'd not come across that before. I do have a questionnaire somwehere that answers what type of fuel is for what types of vehicle, I'd imagine either at the point of introduction or later after problems.

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Are there any additives around that will neutralise the ethanol?

 

I use Ethomix from Frosts since having problems, and it seems to do the trick.

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Not the reference I was looking for, but:

 

M.T.72 coloured orange or yellow, issued in UK for all B vehicles, carriers, generating sets and small engines.

M.T.80 coloured red, issued in UK for A vehicles except carriers, and overseas for all vehicles.

Petroleum Spirit undyed, issued overseas for generating sets and small engines. Forbidden from use in vehicles.

Derv for use in C.I. engines.

 

Use of MT72 and MT80 necessitates daily check of engine compression. Any suspected lack of compression to be reported immediately (which ties in with what Richard was saying about valve problems).

 

From the RAMTS March 1945 "General Principles of MT"

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i was told to use super unleaded because it doesn't have ethanol in, (the the ethanol attacks the rubber in the fuel pump and carb) however at 3 gallons to the mile i stuck with the cheapest i could find and i didn't have any problems

 

I have read that ethanol itself is quite harmless , it is the water created by ethanol being hygroscopic . However - what type of water eats in to some rubbers , plastic & metals ??

 

You read that todays unleaded E5 can go off after 3 months , yet the Briggs & Stratton (USA website) state it can go off after only 1 month , however this will be the US E10. I have in the past used their stabilizer 'Fuel-Fit' to overwinter petrol in engine tanks - however it is no protection against ethanol attack. Looks like I will have to move over to a combined additive that serves both functions , something bigger than a 250ml bottle and £££ cheaper - a search on eBay it seems. A Briggs on a Bar-O-Mix gave instant start today after a 6 month job pause (and I had forgotten to add the fuel stabilizer last year) , the metal tank was 1/4 full and no signs of water in the bottom. Hard to tell if this problem is just the few worst case frighteners by the snake oil merchants ?

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i think Ruxy has summed this whole issue up in two words Snake oil. Basically two facts 1 if you put no fuel in the vehicle it will stop. 2 pull up to a pump and put in petrol or derv and it will go if you picked the right one

. Why does it have to get so anal

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We use Frost Ethomix, 01706 658619 http://www.frost.co.uk , and have had no problems with Ethanol damage etc etc. We were put on to it by the vintage commercial boys a couple of years back. All the MV's on the Island use it and quite a few of the Bike and Car boys down here also add it to their petrol.

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Posted (edited)

This is why I use it. This crud grows in the water and blocks everything up. A sample of my fuel tank contents when I was having problems.

 

[ATTACH]73415[/ATTACH]

Edited by Lauren Child

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This is why I use it. This crud grows in the water and blocks everything up. A sample of my fuel tank contents when I was having problems.

 

[ATTACH]73415[/ATTACH]

 

Was that petrol or diesel ? - seems fungal or bacterial growth. I understand less of a problem with petrol.

 

In a sealed approved type 'emergency' fuel container , I can't see where the water comes from (my second son is the chemist) . In a vented vehicle tank - I suppose in a damp atmosphere it is possible , even with just a pinprick vent hole.

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Was that petrol or diesel ? - seems fungal or bacterial growth. I understand less of a problem with petrol.

 

In a sealed approved type 'emergency' fuel container , I can't see where the water comes from (my second son is the chemist) . In a vented vehicle tank - I suppose in a damp atmosphere it is possible , even with just a pinprick vent hole.

 

It was petrol in a vented vehicle fuel tank. The gunge was sucked through the fuel pump and into the carb, clogging both up.

 

No problems with ethanol rotting the older rubber components (touch wood), but the cleanup was a real pain in the bum, so I've stuck with the additive.

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It was petrol in a vented vehicle fuel tank. The gunge was sucked through the fuel pump and into the carb, clogging both up.

 

No problems with ethanol rotting the older rubber components (touch wood), but the cleanup was a real pain in the bum, so I've stuck with the additive.

could it not be emegency container had stored water and gone rusty before you used it

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Posted (edited)

When I worked for a Bio fuel company Methanol was used in the product. I used to take it in 36000 lts at a time. U.K. fuel has to have a percentage of Bio Fuel in the mix. Methanol and water attract and the difficulty is they do not let go easily, which is where the problems come with the human body when Methanol gets in it stays. Bio Fuels generate algi when stored so no matter how you store it you have to treat and filter fuel for both algi and moisture. We also had a problem with the reclaimed cooking oil used in the product attacking the Stainless steel tankers and causing deep pitting on the inside surfaces.

Edited by john1950
addition

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When I worked for a Bio fuel company Methanol was used in the product. I used to take it in 36000 lts at a time. U.K. fuel has to have a percentage of Bio Fuel in the mix. Methanol and water attract and the difficulty is they do not let go easily, which is where the problems come with the human body when Methanol gets in it stays. Bio Fuels generate algi when stored so no matter how you store it you have to treat and filter fuel for both algi and moisture. We also had a problem with the cooking oil used in the product attacking the Stainless steel tankers and causing deep pitting on the inside surfaces.

 

What was the corrosion mechanism causing the issue in the Stainless steel if there was inhibitors etc. being used. Was it microbial?

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Posted (edited)

Sorry I did not find out the cause, the lab was very secretive. We just had to watch for damaged areas usually about 6mm in diameter in the bottom of the tanks. Some of the tanks were only a couple of years old and had only done that job. Then the company changed hands and closed so I lost track of what was happening. I went back to Fridges and raggy sides etc.

Edited by john1950
correct

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I did a bit of Gooooogling on this water created by ethanol in petrol and diesel , it seems is is miscible - I had a rough idea but I looked up the definition :-

 

 

adjective: miscible

 

(of liquids) forming a homogeneous mixture when added together.

 

--

 

So it seems that unlike ordinary water - that you can see balled up and rolling at the bottom of a tank . this stuff is effectively not water that can be centrifuged , sedimentered or filtered out . That is if I understand correctly , so

 

adjective: homogenous

 

1.

of the same kind; alike.

 

2.

Chemistry

denoting a process involving substances in the same phase (solid, liquid, or gaseous).

"homogeneous catalysis"

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It is interesting where the answer to a seemingly simple question leads. Some of the words that were used on a daily basis that get filed away and covered under the grey cells.

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My strategy based on a bit of research is that I will mix in a small amount of diesel with my unleaded petrol to raise the vapour point and reduce vapour locking.

I will start using Frosts to neutralise the effects of the ethanol.

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