Oil Change Question

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: Oil Change Question
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nowell Herman on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 03:08 pm:

I did my first oil change to my 1925 T. Before the oil was changed I could see the oil a little over half way up in the sight glass under the car.

I drained the oil completely. Then I had someone filling the oil and I watched under the car at the the sight glass. I told them to stop when the oil was about half way full in the sight glass, but I guess more oil was to run down (rookie mistake)even after he stopped, now the sight glass is completely full.

Question: There is a petcock on the sight glass. should I just drain out some of the oil until it's at the half way level? Thanks!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 04:00 pm:

A Model T has two petcocks from the factory.

The oil level in the crankcase should never be above the upper petcock and never below the lower petcock.

If you are using a sight gauge, it should be installed in place of the lower petcock. The oil level in the gauge should not be higher than the upper petcock.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nowell Herman on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 04:03 pm:

Erik, It is installed in the lower petcock, so I guess I should drain some oil....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 04:09 pm:

Nowell
I am not familiar with the sight glass but know that the oil level should be between two petcocks that are on the transmission.
I assume that your sight glass is connected to the place the bottom petcock normally goes.

When I put oil in my T, I open the top petcock and add oil until it starts to run out. Then I drink a soda, and play with my granddaughters before closing the petcock.
That way it is full to the top and not overfilled.

I would judge the correct oil level in the glass by the location of top petcock hole


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 04:12 pm:

You can open the upper petcock until the oil quits running out.

There were a variety of oil sight gauges made by different companies - some are longer (higher) than others so it's easier to see the relationship of the oil level to the upper petcock before the glass completely fills up. (Hope what I've typed makes sense.)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 04:15 pm:

There is nothing wrong with running the oil level above the top petcock. The real problem is when it drops below the bottom petcock. Just drive your car and don't fret about it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nowell Herman on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 04:18 pm:

Fred, I'll take your suggestion and open the top petcock and let it drain until it stops.

I did drive the car for about 4 miles with the car possibly being over filled, could I have hurt anything?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 04:20 pm:

With the original twin petcocks in place, an oil level anywhere in between the two is considered okay, but if the top petcock can flow oil, in theory, you may be over-filled. In that case, oil can flow backwards down the drive-shaft tube to the rear end and make a mess of your rear brakes, especially if you do a lot of uphill driving. When I replace or top off the oil, I leave the top petcock open and pour slowly until it begins to drip.

In the case of a sight-glass, you need to fill it no higher than the level of the top petcock (or the level of where the top petcock used to be in case it was removed to install the sight-glass). Hopefully, your installation allowed for some method of convenient, controlled draining. If not, drive around on level ground until you burn off the excess. Then, if you like, pull the plug on your differential and let any excess drain out before it can flow down the axle housings to the brakes.



But my bet is that a LITTLE over-fill of oyl won't do any harm.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 04:36 pm:

The worst that can happen with too much oil is fouled plugs.
Next time drain out all the oil and add 4 quarts of fresh oil and you are done. No need to measure, that's what the car is supposed to take.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 04:44 pm:

As the other guys have pointed out, sight gauges are an aftermarket accessory.


In this gauge you can see the edge of the back window, showing an absence of oil all the way to the bottom. This car is way low on oil. The oil level should be even with the top petcock, almost to the top of the gauge. As the other guys said, leave the top petcock open until the extra oil stops running out. That's the correct level.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 04:57 pm:

Be careful with the glass oil check. I had one on my 14, a rock came up and broke the glass. Luckily it happened shortly before I got home, as I found a trail of oil following me into the driveway. I ended up taking it off. I really liked it, but if I ever use one again I would need to make a protective shield for it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 05:04 pm:

I don't have a glass sight gauge but from what I've heard and read there's another caution:

If a piece of debris gets into it the debris can block the flow of oil causing it to show plenty in the glass when in reality the engine needs oil.

I don't know if this is common, but I've heard of it happening....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Halpin on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 06:13 pm:

I'm to old and lazy to do that stuff anymore. I put a dip stick kit on mine. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Richard Bennett on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 08:08 pm:

There is a third problem with sight glass oil petcocks. The top of the tube must be vented to allow oil to rise within the tube. This means there will always be oil dampness around the area. The real kick comes when the vent gets blocked and the column of oil in the sight gauge is captive. It can, {and did with me} show half way on the tube, but was in fact down to less than a quart in the pan. The result was a heavy knock, a scored piston at number 4 and a siezed wrist pin, all down to lack of lubrication.

My sight gauge is now out of sight!

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 08:22 pm:

I'm not too anal about mine. As long as some runs out the lower pet cock, I'll go for a drive. When I change it, I put in 4 quarts. Last time I changed it, I had a 5 quart jug, so I did open the top pet cock and fill until it started to trickle out, then shut it. I'm not gonna worry about leaving it open until it quits dripping. You think those extra drops are gonna make a difference? Come on! I'm not saying it's OK to fill it until it runs out the filler neck, but the difference of an 1/8" or 1/4" ain't a gonna hurt nothing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Bamford, Edmonton AB on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 09:47 pm:

I'll add a fourth potential problem with those sight glasses I had a repro unit on my speedster about 20 years ago and the dang thing broke off (vibration fatigue probably) at the threaded portion going into the pan.

Very fortunate someone noticed the growing puddle of oil at a stoplight!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 10:25 pm:

When the motor is running you will not see any oil in the site glass as it gets sucked out.

Even over filled the oil should not run down the drive shaft tube because most of it is being slung around the flywheel by centrifugal force. If the oil is going to run down the drive shaft tube it would do it over filled or not, running on the flat or going up hill (worn 4th main). If you over filled the crankcase to the point that it was flowing to the rear end sitting you would have to fill to all most to the top of the crankcase and you would have one huge puddle under the car before and after you started it (leaking out the u-joint housing etc)!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Norton on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 11:29 pm:

To avoid the problems outlined above by Dan, Henry, Allan and Chris, 8mm clear vinyl tube can be used as below.
Photos: before & after oil level check, during oil level check.
Oil is drained from the tube after the check.

The cord is pushed through a modified plastic fitting at the top of the tube.
This increases the chance of not losing the tube if it's pushed off the lower petcock when car is moving.

Reference Forum 2010: Glass tube Oil sight gauge
For those readers who use the petcock as the oil stopper:
8mm clear vinyl tube is a push fit onto the petcock (eg VT081 from Bunnings in AU);
8mm elbow and tee fittings available also.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Friday, June 21, 2013 - 01:07 am:

Just remember, all you guys that leave the top petcock open for awhile. DON"T FORGET TO CLOSE IT! I do not leave them open. So I have never driven off with one left open. But I know several people that have done that!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Friday, June 21, 2013 - 01:55 am:

Why not just remove the petcocks and install two 1/8" IPT to whatever sized clear vinyl tubing you have. Then just install a "C" shaped section of clear tubing between the two fittings. Not original but should be pretty durable, there would be no valves to leave open, it would be easy to see, easy to change back to original and keeping oil in the engine is an important part of keeping you car on the road.
Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Norton on Friday, June 21, 2013 - 04:38 am:

I guess the attraction of the petcocks is that they provide a surer method of containing the oil (as long as the tap does not vibrate into the open position).
Tubing would appear to be more easily broken or dislodged.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brendan Hoban on Friday, June 21, 2013 - 04:54 am:

The beauty of a sight glass is that, if you have too much oil now, you won't have too much soon as it will leak out of the sight glass.

Been there, learned my lesson, I now have a dipstick which is right by the fuel petcock at the carby, it reminds me every time I open the fuel to check the oil!

(Almost) Foolproof. (I have driven a short distance to have the motor die and THEN turned on the fuel petcock!)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Friday, June 21, 2013 - 07:32 am:

The pet cocks are just another small part of the Model T experience. One more thing that sets it apart from modern vehicles. I made a tool to twist them open and closed. There are a couple offered by the various vendors as well. On the TT, it is EASY to get to the pet cocks with the tool, as there is no splash shield. On the Touring, I put my left knee on the running board while reaching and looking underneath to check with the same tool. I'm 100 lbs overweight and have a bad ankle and I can do it. Now......if I ever develop back problems.........I could see a dipstick on the Touring.:-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nowell Herman on Friday, June 21, 2013 - 09:32 am:

Thanks for all the input!!

Everything went great! I opened the top petcock and let it drain out to a slight drip. It turns out it was not over filled much. Now the level in the sight glass is perfect.

So what did I do to celebrate? I went for my second Solo and longest ride to date, 10 miles.

Peoples response was unbelievable. I was even video taped driving down the street by a fan :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Friday, June 21, 2013 - 11:21 am:

It would have to be very high to do any damage to the car other than possibly burning oil. However if it is too high, you might have more leaks.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Friday, June 21, 2013 - 08:25 pm:

I put a shut off between my sight gauge and the sump. I open it to check the oil level then when I see the oil level is OK I start the car and when the oil is sucked back out of the sight gauge I close the shut off. That way I do not have to worry about the glass breaking or the oil level being wrong because of a blockage. So far so good!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Friday, June 21, 2013 - 08:39 pm:

I like the "Akuret Oil Gauge" which is being reproduced and marketed by Texas T Parts. It is a copy of a period-correct aftermarket accessory dipstick, and it works great! It's easy to install, and it goes into the lower petcock hole. You do need to make a 7/8" hole for it in your splash apron, but that's the only alteration to the car. No more crawling under the car to check the oil, and no worries about broken glass tubes.

http://www.texastparts.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=TTP&Product_C ode=T3069-Ak&Category_Code=2b


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Manuel, Lafayette, La. on Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 11:13 am:

I also have the Akuret dip stick on my coupe and I really like it. Easy to install, easy to use and looks good too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Richard Bennett on Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 10:05 pm:

I have an original Akuret dip stick and it is really convenient to use. It does suffer one problem though. The long tube through the splash panel is a rigid lever, and the vibrations and twisting of the frame in normal use means the brass elbow into the pan suffers movement over time and the thread wears a little. The consequent leak is minor, but can be fixed with a non-hardening sealant.

when I fitted mine I chased the thread so I could get another full turn in the elbow to tighten it.

Allan from down under.


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