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Fuel advice for a newbie owner (Spitfire 1500)


Jonathan Pryse
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Dear all

I'm picking up a 1980 Spitfire 1500 on Saturday and would be grateful for advice as to what is the best fuel/additive to use.  This is my first classic car so apologies for such a simple question.  Dealer said just put normal unleaded in, but I'm not so sure.  The car is pretty much as new and has 33k miles on clock - just one owner.  Excited and scared at the same time!  All advice welcome.

Best wishes

Jonathan

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try driving it on normal fuel to see if it runs without pinking (rattling sound in engine on accelerating from low revs). If ok you could just use a lead substitute additive to protect the valve seats if theyre not the hardened type and youre going to do longer, high speed driving.

If pinking is a problem you'll need to either retard the ignition timing (losing a bit of power), use higher octane (RON) fuel or an octane booster (this last option comes in a combined lead additive).

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Welcome, Jonathan!

Try with ordinary.   

Don't bother with lead substitute.    Cars valve seats have  a 'lead memory'. ( lead pounded into them for years) that goes on protecting them, until you either regrind or recut them, or else indulge in competition or prolonged motorway driving.    Look up "valve seat recession"  and buy a workshop manual, so you know what to look for, and what to do!

John

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Filled the Vitesse this morning with Tesco 99 Momentum at £1.20 a litre - bearing in mind the high RON value I think that's a decent price.

The local Esso charges more for premium 97 than Tesco do for their 99.

My Daimler is happy to run on Esso 95, but with only a few pennies difference it gets the Tesco 99. 

That's correct Esso do supply Tesco, as part of their long standing trade partnership.

Regards.

Richard.

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My Spitfire prefers premium unleaded but will run OK on 95 when that's all I've been able to get.

If you're considering addatives don't buy them, just put the price of a bottle in to a jar every 10 fill-ups.  If (and it is only an if) you have issues with valve seat regression (basically always having to close the gap when adjusting the tappets) it will take a while to become a problem - at which point you'll have enough in the jar to pay for a recon. head with hardened (unleaded) valve seats.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 22/02/2019 at 13:55, classiclife said:

Filled the Vitesse this morning with Tesco 99 Momentum at £1.20 a litre - bearing in mind the high RON value I think that's a decent price.

The local Esso charges more for premium 97 than Tesco do for their 99.

 

Interesting thread on Pistonheads on this - found it when I was trying to find out why we don't have 99 RON over here. https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=23&t=923761&i=0

I also did find out why I can't find any 99 RON over here:

https://www.change.org/p/tesco-99-ron-for-ni

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I've never had pinking issues with timing set to standard,( assuming the marks are correct). 4 star is such a long time ago I can't remember if I've lost performance. sometimes use an additive if doing long trips. car runs at a good temperature until I hit queues.

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I was always told Momentum was a rebranded product from Greenergy who are down near Dartford. It gets its octane from use of ethanol and similar.

All petrol come from just a couple of places, the companies just add their own additives afterwards.

Most of the fuel in the South East comes from Shell Haven on the Thames, you see all the different tankers coming and going.

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We used to get ours from when it was piped to  Buncefield nr Hemel till it all blew up one sunday morning  taking schools and industral units with it  we heard and felt the bang 15 miles away  caused miles of devastation,  

Think there is still some limited supply but not like before and distribution costs went up a good few pennies per ltr.at the pumps

Pete

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30 minutes ago, thescrapman said:

I was always told Momentum was a rebranded product from Greenergy who are down near Dartford. It gets its octane from use of ethanol and similar.

All petrol come from just a couple of places, the companies just add their own additives afterwards.

Most of the fuel in the South East comes from Shell Haven on the Thames, you see all the different tankers coming and going.

 

I doubt very much Esso (who supply Momentum to Tesco) would be purchasing their fuel from a rival.

There is no need for them to do so, as Esso fuel comes from the Fawley refinery in Southampton - you cannot miss it when you are out that way, it is a super massive industrial complex to say the least !!

 

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