Petrol sell by date / unleaded head recognition

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Forkie
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Petrol sell by date / unleaded head recognition

#1 Post by Forkie » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:20 pm

What is the view by 'the general public' of how long does the modern petrol last before it should be ditched? I am aware it does eventually 'go off ' but not sure how old that is.


Also - what tell tale signs,if any , are there to distinguish an unleaded head to an original,leaded head. I realise what is required for the change,as in hardened seats etc but am wondering if there is some kind of external mark or stamp that distinguishes them apart.


The fuel age item being of value to any car.


The head item is related to the Dolly Sprint, of unknown head state.


More apologies for the Sprint word on here - but at least it is a Triumph,and another one being rescued. Hopefully :|
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Alec
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Re: Petrol sell by date / unleaded head recognition

#2 Post by Alec » Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:56 am

Hello Forkie,

petrol does age but will still run a car if you can get it to fire. My P.I. had no problem I found, maybe carburettor cars would be worse. Just a hunch really so don't quote me?

Isn't the Sprint cylinder head aluminium? if so then it must have inserts. If cast iron there is rarely any indication externally that it has had inserts. It's either remove the head to check, a boroscope may be an alternative. Or you can just run it and keep an eye on valve clearances over time.

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Re: Petrol sell by date / unleaded head recognition

#3 Post by Forkie » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:01 pm

Hi Alec - yes it is an alloy head. That is a fair shout regarding inserts. I have a gut feeling it is a head issue with overheating anyhow so more than likely the head will be coming off at some point.

Regarding the fuel that was what I was thinking in that it should be ok,it was on the road four years ago, not like 20 years. Im off to do some investigative work on it tomorrow - the usual plug checks/compression checks and drop the rad back in and go for a start up. Going blind with it at the minute- need to see what she is doing or not doing :roll:
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1975 TRIUMPH 2500S AUTO ESTATE IN BRG!

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Re: Petrol sell by date / unleaded head recognition

#4 Post by Alec » Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:44 am

Hello Forkie,

good luck with that

I've found that with old machines that haven't run for a long time, adding fuel directly into the air intake often helps. At worst it helps narrow the cause of a non start by eliminating the fuel side of it.

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Re: Petrol sell by date / unleaded head recognition

#5 Post by johnnydog » Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:00 am

With the increased ethanol content in modern fuels, which is extremely corrosive to the old carburettor components, leaving the fuel in cars for extended periods is not ideal. There are fuel stabilisers for this purpose, but I use Millers VSPe additive in all my Triumphs for the valve seat protection, and it also helps combat the harmful effects of ethanol.
I would personally drain all the old fuel from the tank via the pipe underneath (under the car on the nearside near the diff mount), then refill with fresh, and as long as the carb pistons are free and topped up with oil, and the linkages are are still free, it should start. Four years isnt that long in reality for it to start with fresh fuel without too much of an issue.
I still run all mine with their original heads, without any so called head conversion, and nearly 20 years on from the abolition of leaded petrol, have found no need at all to have the heads 'converted' for unleaded.I do think that the Millers additive goes a long way in protecting the heads and fuel systems.
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Re: Petrol sell by date / unleaded head recognition

#6 Post by Mike Stevens » Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:10 am

In my experience, old fuel hasn't given me any problems. For example, my PI is awaiting restoration (when I can get the '49 Land Rover finished!) so its fuel is at least 3 years old, maybe even more. When I need to move it, it always starts and runs very sweetly. Of course being 3-4 years old, it probably doesn't have much or any ethanol anyway!

With these cars I would never use E10 fuel, just keeping to E5 so there should not be more than 5% ethanol anyway.

Unleaded conversion - The Sprint head is probably the same material as the Stag heads and I run my Stag on standard unleaded with, although replaced, standard inserts which were done many years ago before the unleaded change. It had new valves in 2012 but again standard types. I believe that the Stag, being designed for the US market, could run on unleaded anyway. I assume the Sprint will be the same.

As with the big saloons, I just run them on standard unleaded with no additive. I don't over-rev them or over-load them in a low gear and I have not had any problems in the last 20 years or so. A careful monitor of the exhaust valve clearances is a good thing to do as it will reveal any possible problems. Easy on a big saloon - not so an a Sprint!

Just my 2p worth!

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Re: Petrol sell by date / unleaded head recognition

#7 Post by Forkie » Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:55 pm

Well today did not go too well - but then it is a Triumph so what did I expect !!!! Bear in mind I have NEVER worked on a Sprint. Firstly I went down armed with the old style compression tester - not realising the Sprint plugs are 3 feet down inside the head. Great. The washers are missing from the rocker cover. Number 3 plug was awash with oil. So I quickly learnt these engines have 'tubes' that have 'o rings' that fail. The oil level in the engine was way to high ( previous post) so time to drain some off. The state of the oil was shocking. ( I hope the trader that took the £5500.00 from my brother in law is reading this - but then if he has he probably would not have slept a wink :| It is a definite head fail - and tonight I have added things up - he is looking at a £2000 + bill. And that is without the seized brakes ( unknown)So £7500.00 for a maybe running Sprint.
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Re: Petrol sell by date / unleaded head recognition

#8 Post by torque2me » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:59 am

Forkie wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:01 pm
Hi Alec - yes it is an alloy head. That is a fair shout regarding inserts. I have a gut feeling it is a head issue with overheating anyhow so more than likely the head will be coming off at some point.

Regarding the fuel that was what I was thinking in that it should be ok,it was on the road four years ago, not like 20 years. Im off to do some investigative work on it tomorrow - the usual plug checks/compression checks and drop the rad back in and go for a start up. Going blind with it at the minute- need to see what she is doing or not doing :roll:
As far as I know all Dolly heads had inserts which were for unleaded petrol due to the TR7 being exported to the USA (however it might be only TR7 heads had the harder inserts). Difficult now to get the true story/facts. Certainly USA Stag and TR7 production had the harder inserts and exhaust valves.

Kev

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Re: Petrol sell by date / unleaded head recognition

#9 Post by torque2me » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:05 am

Forkie wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:55 pm
Well today did not go too well - but then it is a Triumph so what did I expect !!!! Bear in mind I have NEVER worked on a Sprint. Firstly I went down armed with the old style compression tester - not realising the Sprint plugs are 3 feet down inside the head. Great. The washers are missing from the rocker cover. Number 3 plug was awash with oil. So I quickly learnt these engines have 'tubes' that have 'o rings' that fail. The oil level in the engine was way to high ( previous post) so time to drain some off. The state of the oil was shocking. ( I hope the trader that took the £5500.00 from my brother in law is reading this - but then if he has he probably would not have slept a wink :| It is a definite head fail - and tonight I have added things up - he is looking at a £2000 + bill. And that is without the seized brakes ( unknown)So £7500.00 for a maybe running Sprint.
You may have recourse and that the vendor is liable for part or all of repair cost. Depends how the sale agreement was worded. As long as the bodywork/paint is sound then 7.5k is still a good price for a Sprint.

Kev

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Re: Petrol sell by date / unleaded head recognition

#10 Post by Forkie » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:42 pm

Hi Kev. He bought this on a whim and I have since given him an earful x 6. He should of at least asked my opinion which he did not. But any way.... The advert DID NOT mention the brakes were seized solid - a nightmare then ensued when the car was dumped in his parents drive ,to then having to drag it further up the drive to get it into the garage. ( It was me suggesting to remove both front out board pads to ease movement) The ad also said ' No welding required'. MMMM. another lie - even without a proper inspection, IT DOES require welding at the base of front N/S front arch.And that is without checking underneath. 'Overheating issues but there is no water in the oil' Another MMMMM. On the dipstick maybe - but when the engine oil is like 'baby fresh' on the stick - so we drain some out as it is well above max and it is a cold,grey streaky mix of thick s**t - that stinks of H/G failure. And has any one checked out the Rimmers catalogue of advertised 'NLA' list of parts lately ??? Im sticking my neck out here I know but this kind of crap does the cause of keeping classics going no good at all. He has paid bloody good money for a) a car that was ( in my opinion NOT a barn find ,as advertised.) b) advertised wrongly in descripition as the seller must of clearly known the issue - you know who you are - I hope you sleep well at night on that heavily laden mattress . c) Has anyone priced up the worst case scenario of rebuilding a Sprint head ? Now that the majority of parts are now no longer available? He has parted with 5.5k on something that may not even be repairable - is the head on its limit of skimming? The fact that the rear O/S rear door is beyond redemption. ?


I had a stern chat with him this evening. I gave him s**t for not talking to me first. He gets that now. But how the hell are we meant to help and encourage the youngsters into this way of life ( he is 22) when he ends up in this position?
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1975 TRIUMPH 2500S AUTO ESTATE IN BRG!

DON'T TIDY UP - LEAVE IT WHERE IT FELL!!

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