Author Topic: Where does the oil go to get lost in the "total loss" oil system?  (Read 541 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Tim OConnor

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Aug 2022
  • Posts: 62
  • Location: Batavia, Oh, USA
Where does the oil go to get lost in the "total loss" oil system?

I can't find any outlets other than what appears to be a crank-case breather tube.

Is it all lost through the cylinders???



Image rotated, converted to linked file - Dave, 14Aug2022
« Last Edit: 14 Aug 2022 at 08:38 by Dave »
1920 2 3/4 W-20

Offline EW-Ron

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jan 2020
  • Posts: 267
  • Location: Oztralia
They didn't call them "road oilers" back then for nothing !
Yes, so quite a bit of that total loss goes out the breather.

And, the instructions in many a makers handbook back then was that the oiling was correctly set
- when using the valve lifter produced a slight blue haze out the exhaust pipe.
So, yes that was the oil being burnt out of the cylinders.

If you watch old film footage from back then, many a bike (and car) had quite a haze following it down the road.
"Smoking like a two stroke" I believe was the expression ...

And don't forget that most roads were dirt until the mid 1920s (at least), tar/macadam wasn't involved until then.
So a bit of oiling did the roads some good ...

And if you follow the F1 Grand Prixs, even today those ultra high performance engines mostly don't have oil rings.
They rely on using some oil to have no lube problems. And fill them with sufficient oil to last the whole race.

Offline eddie

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Mar 2006
  • Posts: 1775
  • Location: Hampshire, UK
Tim,
       Those 2 pipes going into the top, front of the crankcase connect to the oil gallery in the top of the crankcase. The pipe from the oil sight feed is correct - the other one (that you are pointing to) is a previous owner modification, and probably adversely affects the lubrication! That fitting and pipe should be removed, and a blanking plug or tap fitted in it's place. Inside the crankcase, the oil gallery allows oil to drip onto the rotating crankshaft. Some of that oil gets into and lubricates the bigends - the rest gets thrown around the engine to lubricate the pistons and small ends. The timing end of the crankshaft has a non-return valve that allows excess pressure and oil mist to pass into the timing chest. The bottom of the timing chest should have a fitting with a short stand pipe - this is the engine breather/oil level control for the timing chest. Usually, this is routed via a copper pipe to the other side of the engine so that the oil mist lubricates the primary chain before dropping onto the road. It is important that the engine is piped up correctly as the partial vacuum created in the crankcase helps to draw the oil from the tank.

  Regards,
                Eddie.

Offline Tim OConnor

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Aug 2022
  • Posts: 62
  • Location: Batavia, Oh, USA
Wow! Thank you!

Can you show me a photo of this fitting on the bottom of the timing chest?
1920 2 3/4 W-20

Offline Tim OConnor

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Aug 2022
  • Posts: 62
  • Location: Batavia, Oh, USA
Tim,
       Those 2 pipes going into the top, front of the crankcase connect to the oil gallery in the top of the crankcase. The pipe from the oil sight feed is correct - the other one (that you are pointing to) is a previous owner modification, and probably adversely affects the lubrication! That fitting and pipe should be removed, and a blanking plug or tap fitted in it's place.

Ok, I have removed the pipe and plugged the hole.


 
The bottom of the timing chest should have a fitting with a short stand pipe - this is the engine breather/oil level control for the timing chest. Usually, this is routed via a copper pipe to the other side of the engine so that the oil mist lubricates the primary chain before dropping onto the road. It is important that the engine is piped up correctly as the partial vacuum created in the crankcase helps to draw the oil from the tank.

  Regards,
                Eddie.

Still unable to locate this. I have a drain plug at the bottom...

.
1920 2 3/4 W-20

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 492
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Tim,
In addition to Eddie’s comments;
The one way valve (404D in the 2 ¾ hp list), blanking plug and general layout of the oiling system pipework, is shown in the attached picture from Jeff Clew’s “The Best Twin” on page 62.

There are two drain holes in the base of the circa 1922 2 3/4hp crankcase. One is for the “sump” which collects oil to a certain level in the crankcase. The 2 ¾ hp book of instructions states that this stale oil should be drained every 500 miles by removing the drain plug (some earlier bikes may have a drain tap).

The other intentional exit point for oil is at the bottom corner of the timing chest and is total loss (i.e not sealed in any way, so as Eddie states acts as an engine breather). From the 1925 parts list, the 1920-22 models have a brass elbow (part 418D Waste Oil Elbow (1920-22) ) that is screwed into this threaded hole. This is locked into position by a nut. To the elbow, a pipe (part 1095D Drain Oil Pipe, 1920-22) is attached. This drains onto the road, and as Eddie describes, via the primary chain to give it some “automatic” lubrication. (I don’t have an original pipe and so far have only found a fairly average picture of this pipe in situ - so I will look some more as see what I can find).

A side thought:- I have not seen a standpipe in the 2 3/4hp engines in the waste oil elbow / pipe setup (It is used in the timing chests of the later EW models). On the 2 3/4hp, the exhaust valve lifter mechanism occupies the space below the cam gear and would appear to be in the way of a standpipe if it was fitted (???). I will have a look through the parts list etc. and see if it was used sometime in the production history of the 2 3/4hp.

Cheers

Hutch
« Last Edit: 15 Aug 2022 at 03:50 by Hutch »

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 492
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
Tim,

Sorry forgot to add this in my last post;

A little hard to see but in your picture, the fitting and pipe next to the one way valve that is in the wrong place, could well be the waste oil elbow 418D and the associated pipe 1095D (not sure about the shape of the pipe). If so, you should be easily able to fit it to the waste oil threaded hole at the bottom of the timing chest. The end of the pipe should come out near the lower section of the primary chain. I'm still looking for a good picture of it but hopefully you will be able to work it out?

Cheers

Hutch


Offline Tim OConnor

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Aug 2022
  • Posts: 62
  • Location: Batavia, Oh, USA
YES! I think you are correct that looks exactly like the elbow!

The bottom of my engine timing side looks exactly as the picture you posted.

I think I will be able to set that up, THANK YOU!

BTW, my flywheel was spinning oil out hitting the bottom of the petrol tank, I ASSUME this is because it has been running too much oil. Is this 'normal' or might there be another issue?




Tim,

Sorry forgot to add this in my last post;

A little hard to see but in your picture, the fitting and pipe next to the one way valve that is in the wrong place, could well be the waste oil elbow 418D and the associated pipe 1095D (not sure about the shape of the pipe). If so, you should be easily able to fit it to the waste oil threaded hole at the bottom of the timing chest. The end of the pipe should come out near the lower section of the primary chain. I'm still looking for a good picture of it but hopefully you will be able to work it out?

Cheers

Hutch
1920 2 3/4 W-20

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 492
  • Location: Queensland, Australia

BTW, my flywheel was spinning oil out hitting the bottom of the petrol tank, I ASSUME this is because it has been running too much oil. Is this 'normal' or might there be another issue?


Tim,

Yes there appears to oil in the engine - which is probably better than a lack of oil :-). I guess that this could be most likely due to people being over exuberant with the oil pump and dripper setting? Probably best to drain the sump and reset the amount of oil in the sump (as per the  2 3/4hp operating instructions i.e. starting a new or rebuilt engine) and run the engine  and see what happens before making assumptions about other issues??

(Edit:- I'm assuming in the above comment that the oil didn't come solely off the primary chain but from the crankcase?)

Originally there are no "seals" as such on the main bearings, but they did have a brass "washer" over the bearing with a small hole in it to allow oil mist / drops to pass through to the bearing. So the main bearing on the flywheel side could leak oil - in fact a small amount of oil leaking is probably a good sign that the bearings are at least getting some lubrication? These washers are part no. 376D.

There has been discussions on this forum about the relative merits of these washers, using a sealed bearings (i.e 2RS), and pulling seal out of one side instead etc. Unfortunately you would most likely have to pull your motor apart to see what it has fitted and I wouldn't do that just to find this out :-). Many of these washers have disappeared years ago and are not fitted at all, so therefore no significant restriction at all to oil passing through the drive side main bearing to the outside world.

Attached is a picture of the drive side casing washer. (actually on a 1915 2 3/4hp engine from The Handbook of the Douglas Motorcycle 1916) It is a better picture than the 1925 one. Does not show the small hole in the washer very well tho'. Also a picture of some "battle scarred" originals.

Cheers

Ian
« Last Edit: 17 Aug 2022 at 06:46 by Hutch »

Offline Hutch

  • Master Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Posts: 492
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
.... The bottom of the timing chest should have a fitting with a short stand pipe - this is the engine breather/oil level control for the timing chest......

Hi Eddie,

Your comment had me thinking some more. I said above that the exhaust valve lifter mechanism would interfere with the fitting of a standpipe for the waste oil. This was based on the location of the hole for the fitting on the crankcase I just happened to pick up at the time to photograph for Tim.

Some rummaging turned up this crankcase from 1919 (i.e. engine number 40xxx). It has the hole in a location that would maybe permit the use of a standpipe on the waste oil drain (I will have to investigate further)!. All the other engines I have - earlier and later, have the hole in the same place as the engine on the right in the picture!.

Very interesting :-). These earlier engines had a nipple to thread into the crankcase, instead of an elbow, for the waste oil pipe, so it may have been a simple task to extend the end of the pipe into the timing chest by simply sliding the olive up the tube a bit and clamping it in place with the gland nut on the nipple??

(Edit:- I think I may be wrong on this - the hole in the nipple is probably not large enough for the pipe to pass through - well not on the ones I have  - unless they were drilled out that is. If a standpipe was used maybe a special fitting? I don't know)

Maybe an experiment by Douglas that didn't work so well?? Maybe the location was not altered for a standpipe but some other reason?? - not sure at all. It would be interesting to find out from forum members what the drain location their engine has as I have no idea how common this is as the 1919 crankcase is the only one I have seen like this (...it could be very common for all I know!!  :-). It may be a feature on 1919 engines......or maybe not!!

So a drain / breather standpipe may be technically possible on some 2 3/4 hp engines.......if I get a chance I will see if it is possible on this particular 1919 crankcase !

cheers

Hutch

« Last Edit: 17 Aug 2022 at 07:38 by Hutch »

Offline Müs

  • Member
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2019
  • Posts: 10
  • Location: Kiel Germany
Moin, I have with me the problem with the oil on the road so solved: a pot (see photo) connected to the vent pipe and when oil comes out of the vent on the pot is full and must be drained!
it collects much less oil under the motorcycle

Offline Tim OConnor

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Aug 2022
  • Posts: 62
  • Location: Batavia, Oh, USA
Moin, I have with me the problem with the oil on the road so solved: a pot (see photo) connected to the vent pipe and when oil comes out of the vent on the pot is full and must be drained!
it collects much less oil under the motorcycle

Very cool! Can you please show me a photo of where the vent pipe connects to the engine?
1920 2 3/4 W-20

Offline Müs

  • Member
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2019
  • Posts: 10
  • Location: Kiel Germany
I hope you can understand that the arrows mark the path

Offline Tim OConnor

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Aug 2022
  • Posts: 62
  • Location: Batavia, Oh, USA
thanks!
1920 2 3/4 W-20

 

motorcycle