Just wondering what is considered normal usage of motor oil. As in, how much do you go through?
Thanks in advance...
on tour and driving hard, I'll use about 3/4 quart in 120-150 miles. The car does not smoke, and leaks a little less than most, but is obviously burning it. I'll get a bit better mileage around town. Engine is old and has loose wrist-pins, but decent compression ranging from 48-52 psig, and runs very well.
Oil ring technology wasn't as developed back when the T's were built, so I would guess original engines still using cast iron piston with solid rings, even with very low miles, may use quite a lot more oil than those with modern replacement pistons and rings?
The T was a great improvement over the earlier Fords with total loss oiling, though
Forgive me for being clueless, but what's "total loss oiling"?
Many antique pre ww1 cars and motorcycles up until the 30's used to have a oil pump or some device to drop oil to bearings and cylinders, but no return oil pump. When oil reached a certain level in the crankcase it just dripped out on the road or on the rear part of the chassis..
A total-loss oiling system was an early engine lubrication system wherein oil was added to a tank, passed through the engine, and was either burned or went out on the ground.
That must have driven the Environmental Protection Agency nuts!
Thanks for the information!
That oil helped keep the dust down on the dirt roads at the time......
The reason for asking is I drove Lizzy on a 122 mile trip the other day and had to add 1/2 quart of oil when I got home.
"Only the Shadow knows..."
How much oil was dripped vs. how much was burned during that journey.
In one of the many articles on the Forum, there was one about Henry being proud of the Model T because on a 1000 mile trip it ONLY used 11 gallons of oil, so there is no normal.
I normally go through about 6 quarts every 700 miles, and that counts what I drain out of the crankcase for the oil change.
Gus - That pretty much compares with what Scott said. Seems like on average, you both add about a quart at just a little over 200 miles. I'd bet that that's just about average for a "T" engine in good shape. I wonder what Ford dealers told customers when they asked what to expect as far a oil consumption. Ford must have had an idea of what "normal" oil consumption would be, right? But then as we all know, every "T" has a personality of it's own so maybe Ford didn't have a good answer for that...???
Our 1913 366 cubic inch Cadillac had a five quart tank on the crank case and a pump that transferred it to the engine. The excess oil ran out both ends and lubricated the mains. The crank case had four teacup sized dipper pans for the rods to dip in. We pumped a quart every 100 miles and the book said that was normal when new.
Our two cylinder 200 cubic inch Moline had a half gallon tank and an oiler with six delivery tubes, One for the mails, one for the rods, and one for the cylinder walls. I clock work rotated around and each port got two drops about once every 30 seconds.
Both systems were total loss. In the picture below the tank is that square box on top. The flywheel is orange in honor of later Moline tractors.
This makes me think on my uncle. In 1958 he went to Alaska (from his native San Jose, CA) for about 2 years. He would tell of an old Chevy he had in Anchorage that, "used so much oil I had to drive with the hood up and my girlfriend riding on the front fender so she could add oil as we went down the road".
Probably true, almost.
i get very worried when my T stops dripping oil......
As i always say: "if it ain't leakin'...somethin's wrong"
I used a tube and a half of "The Right Stuff" gasket sealer on the brand new engine for my '26.....it still leaks all over my garage.
I have never read of anything suggesting Ol' Henry was a doper.......but a QUART of oil every 23 MILES?
I wouldn't have bragged about that.......yikes!
Rick,I never understood either but that was a open valve engine.Bud.
Wasn't the 11 gallons oil consumption on the first test tour of Model T #1? That very first production T had a oil pipe back to the fourth main which caused leaking and thus excessive oil consumption. The pipe was dropped after that test.
I worked in a Ford District Office back in the early 60s. Verified oil consumption had to be less than 600 miles per quart before they would do any thing under warranty. This was for the engine consuming oil, not leaks.
From "Tin Lizzie" by Phillip Van Doren Stern. "The T that Henry Ford took on a hunting trip to Iron Mountain, MI is in that book. What really struck me was the account of fuel and oil usage for the 1,357 mile trip: 68 gallons of gas and 11-1/2 gallons of oil."
And an explanation:
"There is another very simple explanation for the oil consumption on the way up to Iron Mountain. The first, probably no more than 15 Model Ts, had TWO (2) internal oil lines. One that ran to the front of the motor as usual, and a second line that ran to rear ball cap and oiled the babbit bearing. The drawing for the second oil line and the early pressed steel transmission cover showing that oil line in place has survived in the collections of the Benson Ford Research Center at The Henry Ford. They were included in one of my presentations at the Centennial in July. If you read the article on the Iron Mountain trip, notice that the oil consumption was much worse on the way up than on the way back. Although the Ford Times article claimed that no repairs were made to the car during the trip, there is no question in my mind that while Mr. Ford went hunting, Bert Scott and C.J. Smith, who accompanied Mr. Ford on the trip, stayed behind with the car and with instructions to stop the oil leak, probably by either completely removing or pinching off the second line. The drawing for the second line is also marked OBSOLETE on November 3, 1908 by authority of Joe Galamb who also noted "Per Field" on the drawing."
Now I KNOW something must be wrong... I change my oil every spring and 4 come out and 4 go back in. Typically about 1000 miles per year. I rebuilt with std. aluminum pistons, new valves, lifters and refitted std. bearings. I did install a trans screen and magnet. BTW, it starts on 1-2 spins on the 12 volt starter with absolutely NO CHOKING. Starts on BATT and runs all day on MAG.
I do drain the radiator of water and EGGS in the fall and refill with 2 new eggs in the spring and it doesn't use a drop of water and runs at 175 ALL DAY LONG... What am I doing wrong??? ws
Are you SURE it's a T?
YUP! Built by a certified Chevrolet / Buick mechanic; yers truly. Really, I gotta confess Im a lousy mechanic, none of my stuff ever leaks. ws
Another confession: The original MAG plug does leak a drop or two every 100 miles. Its OEM with no outside oiler on it
About 1 quart in 200 - 300 miles or so. Each morning on tours, I make sure it runs out the top spigot when I depart.
My TT leaks, but Karen's Touring is fairly oil tight. While I don't measure what I drain out of it, I don't have to add between changes. There's always oil at the lower petcock, which is all I am concerned about.
There is a common theme in the last 2 posts that I'll state for the record: EVERY time you start your T for the first time that day check the oil!
Simple and effective.
Don doesn't stipulate what his engine configuration is, but by the answers of posts the pattern seems to be as my T's are, a good aluminium piston engine will use no more than it's worst oil leak, on mine, a ten year old rebuild, no added oil between changes, the other, a high mileage cast iron original, push it hard on a tour will use 2 gallons in a 1000 miles.
I have been tracking my oil usage for the last two years and what I've learned is my usage is around 1 qt. every 350 miles.
I used about a quart a day on the last tour. I'm noticing more oil dripping from the starter and need to put the seals Ron Patterson discusses in the starter. Also, my front seal is leaking and I need to put a seal behind the front pulley. Normally, I go about 500 miles before I add anything. I change it at 1000.
Wow...I feel like I am on the other end of the spectrum. My '10 Touring used 1 quart in about 900 miles on two week-long tours this summer. I checked it every day and added 1/2 quart on each Friday morning.
I do have the advantage of a 1-piece pan and square hole transmission cover, but the disadvantage of open valves. I do have modern seals on the lifters.
My '24 Touring seems to have a natural oil level that she likes. If I put enough oil in her to come out of the top petcock, she'll leak like crazy! But once she leaks enough to get to the right level (the oil will still come out of the bottom petcock but not the top) the leaking almost stops completely, and it will be months before I need to add another quart of oil. Once it gets to that magic level, she doesn't leak or burn much oil at all.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I owned a very good looking 55 Chevy P/U with a well worn out motor that leaked about the same amount of oil that it burned. It was painted Chevy Red (Orange) and the wife of a friend of mine that lived 3 houses away called it the "Great Pumpkin". It would use 2 to 3 quarts of oil per tank of gas! (I bought starting fluid by the case to keep in the truck as the compression was so low that you needed it to start the darn thing most of the time). I sold it to a friend that lived in Florida and did not lie to him about the condition of the motor. He laughed it off and drove the truck from my house in Texas to Florida. He called me when he got home and told me that he would pull into a gas station and tell them to fill it with oil and check the gas!
I ran the 713 mile Kanab tour in my 1911 Touring and never had to add a drop of oil or water, even on the 103 degree day in Zion canyon. Now have about 4000 miles on the engine since 2008. Ron Miller did a great job on this rebuild! I did have to add a few squirts of oil to my fan bearing though!
If you painted the '55 engine ( 6 cylinder ) Chevrolet Blue, you wouldn't have the oil leak >>>>>>>> LOL