Premium Gas - Yes or No?
#1
Hello.  I am wondering what your opinions are on putting Premium Gas in my 71 mach 1.  Is it worth the money?  Does is help the longevity of the engine?  Let me know!
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#2
If you like your car, in my mind, it's worth the extra money.  Plus, the higher octane will help reduce or eliminate any pre-ignition (pinging) which can cause catastrophic engine damage.

I run one of two mixes in my 69 Mach1:  (1) a 50/50 mix of premium pump gas and 110 octane race gas, or (2) when race gas isn't available, premium pump gas mixed with Torco Accelerator at a ratio of 5 gallons of premium pump gas and 8 ounces of Torco Accelerator which brings the octane up to 95 or 96 depending on if your premium pump gas is 91 or 92 octane.  Torco Accelerator is basically concentrated race fuel and not a simple octane booster you find in parts stores.
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#3
What is "premium" over there? because over here premium is 98 octane. We have 91, 95 and 98. Mine runs fine on any. You can get 94 but it is 10% ethanol but I don't use the ethanol one.
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#4
I can only speak for myself in California.  Our premium pump gas is only 91 octane.  It was 92 octane up until about 10 years ago.  The lower grades of pump gas are 87 and 89 octane.  All of them contain 15% ethanol.  To add to that mess, during the summer months our pump gas is what they call "oxygenated" to further reduce exhaust emissions during the hot months of the year.  I know it's a mess and I don't like it at all.  But before bashing California, keep in mind our population here is so dense, air pollution is a real issue.  It's common to see a grey blanket in the sky over big cities.  It's then clear and blue again when you get to rural areas.  Fortunately, I live in a more rural area.
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#5
(09-11-2019, 11:41 AM)1969_Mach1 Wrote: If you like your car, in my mind, it's worth the extra money.  Plus, the higher octane will help reduce or eliminate any pre-ignition (pinging) which can cause catastrophic engine damage.

I run one of two mixes in my 69 Mach1:  (1) a 50/50 mix of premium pump gas and 110 octane race gas, or (2) when race gas isn't available, premium pump gas mixed with Torco Accelerator at a ratio of 5 gallons of premium pump gas and 8 ounces of Torco Accelerator which brings the octane up to 95 or 96 depending on if your premium pump gas is 91 or 92 octane.  Torco Accelerator is basically concentrated race fuel and not a simple octane booster you find in parts stores.

I do like my car, so good point!  I just want to make sure that it actually does something.  If it helps, awesome.  If it doesn't do anything different, then its obviously not worth the money.

-Jonner
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#6
(09-11-2019, 07:04 PM)Oztrailer Wrote:
What is "premium" over there? because over here premium is 98 octane. We have 91, 95 and 98. Mine runs fine on any. You can get 94 but it is 10% ethanol but I don't use the ethanol one.


Ours isn't nearly that high!  We have (I believe) 87, 89, and 91.   91 is our "premium."  I don't know what the ethanol levels are, but did I read correctly elsewhere that ethanol is bad for older engines?

-Jonner
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#7
Food for thought. If your timing is set correctly, and your engine "pings"/ spark knocks. Then you need a higher octane gas. If you have no hint of pinging, on 87 or 89. Then you do not need premium.

1,  I come from the era when Unleaded first came out. I had a 71 Mach1 with a 2 barrel 351 Cleveland . It never spark knocked, not the first time, I even had advanced the timing a little above stock, and it still didn't spark knock. As I remember, gas back then (1977) was 89 octane. I then built a 500 HP 351 Cleveland, and although it ran better on Premium, it never spark knocked on either octane. The Cleveland is a very robust motor, quiet capable of taking lots of abuse. If it doesn't spark knock, and the performance isn't increased. Then there is no reason to run the Higher Octane fuel, as you are simply sending extra money out the tail pipe. 

2,  I also come from the era when all the manufactures said you can't run earlier engines on unleaded. Well Most of the Manufactures (Ford) had seen the writing on the wall, and knew Unleaded was coming, so they had started putting hardened valve seats in their heads, about 70-71 ish. So that wasn't an issue, on the Cleveland. 

3, Also about that time, we came upon Gas a hol. which is what we have today with 10% alcohol mixed into unleaded fuel. The only issue that caused. Was that it had a cleaning effect. So all the crud in the bottom of your tank, got loosened, and about 3 days later, plugged your fuel filter, about once a week after that. Got mine 3 times before it was over. I simply kept a new one in the glove box, and swapped it out where ever it decided to plug up. After the 3rd one, all was fine. Oh, it was a little harder on the old rubber hoses etc.

So don't panic, The Cleveland is more then up to the task, even given today's crappy fuel. Hope it helps. 

JTS
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#8
(09-12-2019, 07:57 AM)JTS71 Mach1 Wrote: Food for thought. If your timing is set correctly, and your engine "pings"/ spark knocks. Then you need a higher octane gas. If you have no hint of pinging, on 87 or 89. Then you do not need premium.

1,  I come from the era when Unleaded first came out. I had a 71 Mach1 with a 2 barrel 351 Cleveland . It never spark knocked, not the first time, I even had advanced the timing a little above stock, and it still didn't spark knock. As I remember, gas back then (1977) was 89 octane. I then built a 500 HP 351 Cleveland, and although it ran better on Premium, it never spark knocked on either octane. The Cleveland is a very robust motor, quiet capable of taking lots of abuse. If it doesn't spark knock, and the performance isn't increased. Then there is no reason to run the Higher Octane fuel, as you are simply sending extra money out the tail pipe. 

2,  I also come from the era when all the manufactures said you can't run earlier engines on unleaded. Well Most of the Manufactures (Ford) had seen the writing on the wall, and knew Unleaded was coming, so they had started putting hardened valve seats in their heads, about 70-71 ish. So that wasn't an issue, on the Cleveland. 

3, Also about that time, we came upon Gas a hol. which is what we have today with 10% alcohol mixed into unleaded fuel. The only issue that caused. Was that it had a cleaning effect. So all the crud in the bottom of your tank, got loosened, and about 3 days later, plugged your fuel filter, about once a week after that. Got mine 3 times before it was over. I simply kept a new one in the glove box, and swapped it out where ever it decided to plug up. After the 3rd one, all was fine. Oh, it was a little harder on the old rubber hoses etc.

So don't panic, The Cleveland is more then up to the task, even given today's crappy fuel. Hope it helps. 

JTS

Hey JTS.  Lots of info to digest!  Very interesting that Ford saw unleaded fuel coming, and prepared in advance!

I finally got my car back from being saftied, and I just drove it for the first official time.  It previously was sitting for a while before I bought it, so I put in some premium for its "first tank" in a while.  I have not seen what 87 octane does yet, I'm assuming it will be fine but I guess the only way to know for sure is to try it!

Thanks for everything.

-Jonner B
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#9
Before relying solely on audible pinging (detonation, preignition) it might be worth knowing the static compression ratio of the motor.  If that's unknown, at least check the compression on one or more cylinders.  There are times when exhaust noise might overpower some pinging.


It's a classic car.  Not trying to be critical, but in my mind, using a fuel that might be better than needed is nothing to be concerned with.  And if premium fuel is more than needed, maybe the timing curve can be advanced some to get more power from the motor.
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#10
I put premium in mine - just kind of figured, "why not?"
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