No engine oil for 11 years after rebuild. What to do?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: No engine oil for 11 years after rebuild. What to do?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Max Albert Treece on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 11:28 pm:

No oil has ever been in the 1912 engine since restoration 11 years ago. The engine block number 125016 was cast 4-29-12. Two Model T engine rebuilders stated that the crankshaft will self-destruct unless the crankshaft bearing caps are removed and lubricated. The original owner stated that a sealed bearing was used to prevent engine oil from running down the drive shaft housing tube to prevent diluting the differential lubricant. I propose to fill the oil pan with 30 weight motor oil until it runs out the crank port and turn it over every day for a month. What is your advice? It had been turned over with Mistic Marvel Oil until May 2010 when the restored touring car was delivered to me with no further turning over. Today, Mistic Marvel Oil was added to the piston tops through the spark plug holes via a tiny funnel and flexible quarter inch dia. x 4 inch flexible rubber hose. A hydraulic jack placed underneath the iron end of the crank handle will turn the crankshaft. It has turned 4 revolutions. The clutch finally disengaged. Jacking the hand crank still lifts the front end an inch. Now I can stand one foot on a rear wheel spoke while pulling up on the other side and rotate a spokes worth at a time after the clutch disengaged. There is neither oil nor grease anywhere that I can see. What is your advice? Max Treece


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison_Rice Minnesota on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 11:44 pm:

The best thing is to place the car in a corner of the shop until I can get there with my trailer and dispose of it as it should be. You can never be too careful.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dale Peterson on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 12:15 am:

In 1992, I purchased a 15 touring project in which the engine had been rebuilt by a reputable T mechanic in 1981. It took 15 years to finish the restoration and start the engine. Like yours, the engine had been stored without oil. The crank could be turned with much effort, not quite the jack amount, though. I filled the crank case with oil, attached a tow rope and pulled it around the block a couple of times by the time it started. It ran well for several weeks, but started to seize up when traveling longer distances and up long hills. Finally, it terminally seized just prior to my first week long tour with our club. On removal of the head I found that #2 cylinder was badly scored and #4 was mildly scored. The wrist pin in #2 had seized causing the damage in that cylinder. I purchased a new set of pistons, honed the damage down to a couple deeper scratches in #2 and went on the tour. I am still driving the T with those replacement pistons, no trouble after about 25,000 miles. If given the chance to do it again, I would pull the pistons and main bearing caps, lube all the babbit bearings and check the wrist pins. Also, check to make sure that the cotter pins were put into the clutch adjusting screws!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 12:41 am:

Max,
Are the cylinders rusted? It that what is causing the binding?

Your idea of filling the crankcase with oil should get every thing lubricated. Other then the wrist pins and if they were installed correctly to start with, they should not be a problem. It will take several gallons of oil and I would think that a lighter grade of oil would be better then 30wt.

An other option would be to drop the pan and manually oil all bearings. In either case, other then checking the bearing clearances, there should be no reason to pull the bearing caps.

Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 01:15 am:

I have found in cases like that the piston pins are the first to stick and cause trouble.

I would drop the inspection pan and spray the piston pins with a mixture of ATF and acetone, or your favorite penetrating oil, and see if you can get it to turn easier.
If not then it's time to remove the pistons and free up the pins.
With the pan off you can squirt light oil or ATF on the mains and rods. put some down the spark plug holes too.
If you fill it with 5-30 or some other light oil and it gets to turning over easy there is no reason to take out pistons or bearing caps.
You need to just fill it until it runs out the front or rear main to lube everything.

If the engine was put together with dry piston pins then you will have to remove the pins to get them free again.
But if they had any decent lube put on them at that time they should be alright.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mike conrad on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 01:19 am:

This is a no brainer in my opinion. Take it all back apart, why risk it? Don't over think it just do it. It will be done sooner than you may think and you will have the piece of mind that it is done right this time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 02:11 am:

Mr. Mike's right, it takes longer thinking about it, then doing it.

Also you can check the work for anything that could use attention!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andre Valkenaers on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 05:42 am:

Max,
Mike is right. I just want to add: just take your time to do it and do it right. Now maybe you just need a complete gasket set but it is cheaper as a total rebuild in a few months.
Good luck

Andre
Belgium


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 05:56 am:

I recommend taking the engine apart and inspecting it. A very hard to replace engine. You have proven it is needed. Now do the right thing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 07:30 am:

I concur with the guys. It's way too tight. You have to find out what's wrong. It could be as simple as the mains being too tight but it needs to be addressed not run. Drop the cover. loosen the rods and check for a change. Do the same with the crank bearings if the rods don't produce a change. If it's still tight at that point you'll you'll have to go deeper but you won't have done any thing that didn't need to be done anyway. Systematically go deeper from easier to harder don't hit & miss. Are the bands free? (actually I'd check that first).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 07:38 am:

Max

Many of us have the facilities that make disassembling an engine easy, but many do not.

If your in the latter group, you might try draining the oil and OVER filling the engine (including the cylinders) with something like kerosene or the atf/acetone mixture mentioned above. Let it sit for a few days then turn it over by hand until your arm wears out.

Drain, fill with 5w-30 and turn over again until the aforementioned arm is very sore. (Best done over several days). (This is to dilute & remove and remaining kerosene/whatever)

Drain again, refill with 5w-30 and handcrank again. Don't forget to also put the oil in the cylinders each time (plugs out of course !).

Then give it a go.

I just rebuilt my engine and I can tell you that even with a fresh rebuild using plenty of oil on each assembled part, a newly rebuilt T engine can be difficult to crank until it starts and runs the first time. If you use anything thicker than 5W-30, cranking can be almost impossible.

My $.02. Many (most) will disagree ;o)

Cheers
schuh


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 08:09 am:

Don't know why you guys are putting them together so tight, I never have them that tight. Just helped a friend start his on a total rebuild from Ross Lilleker, hand cranked the first time easily, second time 1/4 turn on mag. If they are to tight on the first start up, you will have trouble no matter how much oil you put in. My worthless opinion, KB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerome Hoffman, Hays KS on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 08:22 am:

A gasket set costs less than almost everything else in an over haul.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Ostbye on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 09:40 am:

I'm kinda with what was mentioned.. I would pull the head, pull the pan and take a good look inside. Squirt oil into the rods and up into the main bearing oil holes. Wipe out the cylinders with WD-40 and scotch bright to remove the rust that is in there before you turn the engine over anymore because if there is rust in the bore you are just scratching the bores. This will also allow you to rotate the valves to make sure you don't have one that is stuck. Mikes latest project had this issue. Maybe he can add to what I said.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 10:26 am:

You can do this in stages. As Aaron suggested remove the inspection plate and squirt very fine penetrating oil into the wrist pins. You have already oiled the pistons from the top. Squirt the oil into the rod and main bearings too. Then jack up the rear wheels and see if it will turn over easier. If it is still too tight, remove the head and pull out the pistons. Try again. If you still can't get it to turn over easy, with the pistons out, then you can pull the whole engine and go over everything.

Anyway, that's the way I would do it if it were mine.

If it turns over much easier with the wheels jacked up, your problem is in the transmission.

Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 10:56 am:

1, Remove cylinder head
2, Remove tappet inspection cover
3, Remove 3 dip inspection pan
4, Remove pistons and connecting rods from engine
5, Remove Timing cover
6, You can now see (down through the piston bores) each of the oiling holes to the three crankshaft journals.
7, Using a flexible snout pump oil can, aim it at the three holes and start squirting until the holes are filled. Let sit for a day or so until it drains into the journal.
8, Repeat this several times and rotate the crank.
9, Turn your attention to the wrist pins and remove and lubricate them.
10, Remove the valves if you wish and lube the stems and check the seats. Repair if necessary.

From this point, you can oil just about everything you need and the best part is you don't have to take the engine out of the car! If the cylinders have slight surface rust, you can hone them right there in the car... just be careful to protect the crankshaft with cardboard. When I did it, I also added new rings.

This is how I brought my original, unrestored 1915 engine back to life and that was 7 years and many tours ago.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 11:43 am:

I don't understand why this is a function of time. If it's a problem now, why wouldn't it have been a problem at the time it was rebuilt?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 11:52 am:

Dan,

I think time comes into play since it was assembled dry. If it had oil the internal parts would be at least somewhat protected from the development of surface rust on such areas as the cylinder walls. Absent any oil surface rust is bound to develop causing problems with the friction surfaces (rings to cylinder walls).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By William Rowles on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 12:05 pm:

My big concern would be the piston pins, after reading the recent horror stories here about seizing piston pins that were fit too tight and oil could not get into the pin bearing surface, resulting in eventual seizure. At least check that potential problem and while pistons are out, you can also lube and evaluate the crankcase bearings without removing the engine from the car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison_Rice Minnesota on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 12:26 pm:

It would take you an afternoon or two to pull the head and the pan and pop the pistons out. Make sure the wrist pins are loose and not binding. Pull each main one at a time for clearance and I wouldn't be afraid to use a sense of feel on it and plasti-gage. I know plasti-gage is a dirty word for some of these guys but it's always worked for me. Get the clearances right on the mains and torque them good. Turn that crankshaft and I'll bet she'll feel good enough your fears will subside. Then start putting the pistons in one at a time. Remember to stagger the rings and put oil on everything. Put the pistons in and turn it over after each piston. If you get the clearances right on the rods and it feels good to you (remember you've still got the head off)go back and check the tightness on all the rod bolts. Now at this time also grab the crank and give it a bunch of turns. It won't seat the rings or make a difference in the babbitt clearances but it'll let you know if anythings going to bind. While you're turning it apply copius amounts of oil to the top of the pistons and the rods and crank and let that oil just work it's way into the bearings. Now button it back up, torque the head and hook up the radiator. This is a good time to take the waterpump off and drop it into the closest trash receptacle. Once everything together, fire that puppy up and enjoy the exhilarating feeling of the wind in your hair as you scream down the road at over 30 mph. After your first run (keep it short) remember to torque your head. And as long as you've got the torque wrench in your hand you might as well retorque the head on the Model T. This thread has taken 24 hours to get this far. That's 24 hours you could have spent with the love of your life or you could have spent the time with your model t or if you think it'll do any good spend it with your wife.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 12:32 pm:

Dave Huson has told a story about a Ruckstell that was assembled with white lubriplate assembly grease & left unused for some years - it got totally stuck and had to be completely disassembled with each part cleaned in lacquer thinner - so there are products to avoid when assembling an engine. You can't go wrong with ordinary motor oil, though :-) (+ perhaps something extra on the cam lobes if there's a new/reground cam shaft )


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 12:52 pm:

I agree with everyone :-) and like Bud's approach with the kerosene but am concerned that the motor can't be easily turn over with the crank now.

I think I would eliminate the clutch from the equation by jacking a rear wheel instead of the crank.
I would also remove the spark plugs.
Then if the motor can't be turned over with the crank (handbrake off) I would assume that it is time to figure out what is binding things.
Remember - Someone said that they turned it over up to 2010 so it must have been free enough to turn by the crank then!

Removing the inspection pan and maybe a tear down would then be best.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 04:16 pm:

James, I believe has the best idea. Once you pull the #1 piston and rod out you will have a pretty good idea of what you are dealing with. You can most likely re-use the head gasket.

I think anything less than pulling the #1 piston and rod and checking it out is inviting disaster.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert L. Cook on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 05:45 pm:

Brother in law had engine rebuilt and it was tight. He died. 4 months later with a 12 volt battery and a man standing on the crank we got it to turn over. Finally got it started. The rebuilder said to start it, let it get hot, shut it off and let it cool and do this again and again. After about 6 times doing this and some normal driving it was fine. Car is still running after about 7 years.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 06:22 pm:

I was thinking about kerosene also.
I would take the head off and fill the crankcase with kerosene. Turn the engine over a few times with one wheel jacked up.
Do that for a few days to get things lubricated up. Turn the engine so that all four cylinders can hold some kerosene.
If it starts to turn easier then you know your doing some good.
After doing this for a day or so drain the crankcase and fill it with 20 W oil and turn it over some more.
By that time things should be OK. Others will disagree.
My opinion.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 08:53 pm:

Why start with pulling the head? Though it may be necessary to do later it's NOT the place to start. The inspection cover on the pan is first. Then loosen the rods continually checking to see if it gets easier to turn. If it makes no difference the caps can be removed to check piston movement. If their stuck then the head comes off. Not before because if it's not the rods or pistons it could be a crank bearing and the head would stay on if that's the case. Your not systematically going through a checkout blindly pulling stuff off. It's foolish. A waste of time & money. As I stated above the clutch & bands is where I'd start then rods, pistons then
crank mains. That's the natural progression for checking this problem out. Forget the over filling with oil or any other liquid you're not going to soak a tight bearing free and you'll never get it high enough to soak the crank anyway. You're asking for an oily mess and you'll get it then you'll end up working in it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dale Peterson on Friday, April 12, 2013 - 08:51 am:

The problem with filling with oil, kerosine or anything else is that this is a splash system, you cannot crank it fast enough by hand to get things adequately lubed to do any good.


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