Steam Car Club Forum
Steam Car Club : The Steam Car.....Forum
The Official Forum for the Steam Car Club
The fastest message board....ever.
Having trouble logging in or posting messages? Email for help.
Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Alkylate Petrol as Pilot Fuel?
Posted by: (
Date: June 2, 2012 06:12PM

Has anyone tried using Aspen 4 alkylate petrol as pilot fuel? It appears to be a very pure petrol with few additives. It also seems to be easier to obtain and cheaper than Hexane.

See []

Peter Turvey

Re: Alkylate Petrol as Pilot Fuel?
Posted by: Michael Dyke (
Date: June 3, 2012 05:16AM

Hi Peter,
I have never tried that, but I have an idea that if you go into your local trade motor factor, you can buy 'Brake cleaner', I ran some past father's well trained nose the other day, and we are both of the opinion it smells remarkably like hexane.
It may require some inquiries to the manufacturer as to weather there are additives in it, but it is freely available in 5 litre tins, at around 8 to 10 from trade factors.
I still use hexane from a large drum we have down here, so I haven't tried it yet, so a little caution would be required to make sure it is the correct thing, but if it is,it may be a good alternative.
I find that my one gallon pilot tank holds enough for a few days running, I don't know if your pilot may be less economical though.

I now have my 1914 607 boiler tested, wheels repainted, brakes sorted and Mot'ed, having not been used for the past four years (due to small children, house extensions, running a business, etc.), but she is now running very well, and is great fun.(Unfortunately though she may very reluctantly be for sale soon.)

I would say don't worry too much, get steaming and start doing some miles gently on quiet roads and get used to the car, have a good fire extinguisher, and watch the boiler water gauge like a hawk, but don't forget to allow for going up or down hill or accelerating, which obviously give a bit of a false reading.
I find that it is much easier to drive on roads where you can 'run on' at a reasonable cruising speed, as the car reaches a happy medium, if you are on narrow little lanes or lots of stop starting, its more difficult to maintain steady pressure and level in the boiler, especially while you are getting to know the car.
good luck and enjoy it!

all the best,

Mike Dyke.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
The Steam Car Club Forum
Having trouble logging in or posting messages? Email for help.
Web by NPC