Author Topic: What oil to use in E29?  (Read 3983 times)

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Offline leebone

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What oil to use in E29?
« on: 08 Nov 2005 at 03:51 »
Hey there. I am getting my 1929 Douglas 600 ready to crank and run. What oil should I use? I know it is non-detergent, but what weight would be best and are there any brands that are better? Thanks in advance for a response... Lee
« Last Edit: 12 Nov 2005 at 01:55 by Doug »

Offline Doug

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Re: What oil to use?
« Reply #1 on: 12 Nov 2005 at 01:54 »

The owner’s manual for the late twenties big twins state Wakefield Castrol XL for winter and Wakefield Castrol XXL for summer use.  This equates to 30W and 40W respectively.  You can run it on something lighter, or a multi-grade, in a pinch.  It will not harm anything other than smoking a bit more and sooting up the plugs and combustion chamber. 

Any engine oil you get today, even the mono-grades, is likely to be detergent oil.  This should not be a concern, as the E29 has a total loss oiling system.  It did not re-circulate the oil, so the engine always received a supply of clean oil (assuming clean oil was put in the oil tank!)  So there should not be any major sludge deposits in the engine that could be loosened and distributed about by the detergent in the modern oil. 

The engine will leak a noticeable amount of oil in operation.  All the oil that enters the engine via the drip sight has to leave the engine somehow.  Surplus oil in the crankcase finds its way into the timing chest and lubricates the valve gear.  The studs retaining the tappet guides are hollow to direct oil mist out to the valve guides from whence it can escape to atmosphere.  There is also a breather tube off the top of the timing chest that leads oil mist to the primary chain.  The oil in the timing chest accumulates till the level rises above an overflow pipe (set at the level of the lowest gear in the timing train), which is also directed also to drain onto the primary chain.  And these are the designed means of egress, not including every other joint and orifice that might leak! 

A significant amount of oil lubricates the cylinder walls, gets carried up past the rings, and is burnt in the combustion process under normal circumstances.  Running lighter oil will tend to exacerbate this, and make a lot of smoke, combustion soot, and oil foul your plugs.  Heavy use of the hand pump when unwarranted has the same effect.  It is not uncommon on heavily oiled machines (any make) to blow raw oil out the tail pipe.  This can be detected on the helmet visor of the following rider!  The goal in operation is to provide oil at a rate that just meets the engines rate of consumption.