Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

1955 Fords - Adding lead

I have two 1955 Fords with 272 engines. I have been using leaded additive in their fuel and also use high octane gas. Is the leaded additive that good for the motors? Both seem to run well. Also would using Berryman’s fuel additive help the engines run better?

Rather than high octane gas, you should be using non-ethanol gas.
The alcohol in the high octane gas will react with components of the fuel systems in your Y-blocks, unless you have replaced/rebuilt everything with alcohol compatible components.
Unless you are flogging your engines, I question the need for the additives.
From an article posted by advance auto parts:
That said, some engines definitely did have “soft” valve seats that were prone to damage from use of unleaded fuels. Some of these engines have been upgraded to harder valve seats over the years by their owners; if yours is among these, you can use unleaded fuel with impunity. If your car is currently running just fine, and has been running for the decades since leaded fuel was phased out, it is probably safe to continue running without lead substitute.

I would not use additives, eventually the engines will need ‘valve jobs’, at that time hardened valve seats could be installed.

Not familiar with “Berryman’s”.

1 Like

I looked at Berryman’s, appears to be similar to Gumout.
As far as making the engines “run better”, these are simple, reliable motors.
But do require more frequent maintenance.
Spark plug wires
Valve adjustment

As far as additives, one that might be beneficial is adding 1 ounce per five gallons gas of full synthetic marine two cycle oil, this will act as an upper cylinder lubricant.

Among other things, what have you done to the engines?
Have you done a compression test?
Have you pulled the heads?
Have the carburetors been rebuilt with ethanol compatible components?

Who knows what the internal parts look like. 1955 was during the transition from non-detergent to detergent oil. The engines may have a lot of sludge. The combustion chambers&valves may have heavy carbon deposits. Only a complete overhaul will tell you.

There are articles and books on the care and feeding of Ford Y-blocks.