About 3 months ago several of us took our cars out for a drive. I did all the due diligence prior to the run, paying special attention to the oil as "Annie" tends to be a bit thirsty for it. All levels were perfect. We drove 22 miles to a friends shop where I had planned on changing the oil. It only took about 30 seconds for all the oil to drain... approximately 1-2 pints. Not good! Annie has the original 1916 engine which has had very little done to it in way of major overhaul and the thought of having to replace the engine sent shivers down my spine. Thus began my inspection to find the culprit. Turns out, the sight glass on the external oiler had cracked and was leaking oil when driving, but undetectable when parked. No oil slicks, no smoke, etc... Short term fix, electrical tape wound thick and tight. Had I not planned on changing the oil, things could have turned out disastrous. Fast forward to Friday. Knowing I had to replace some rings and valves we, (my auto therapists)and I, pulled the motor. What we initially found was expected... some scoring on the cylinder walls, major carbon build up on the pistons and valves, etc, etc, etc... What we found next however made me gasp first, then do an Irish Jig, as I had yet again dodged a bullet! It seems the internal oiler tube had been hit in several places and actually sheared off 4 inches from the front of the motor. We found the intact, yet mangled piece just sitting there waiting to be found. There does not "appear" to be any secondary damage. Yet another reason to be thankful!
Glad there was no more damage than there was. Out of curiosity, do you have an external oil line? Do you think the damage was recent or do you think it has been that way for a while?
Yes, there is an external oiler. The sight glass cracked and began bleeding profusely a few months back. I patched it well enough to make it through the season, but did not realize until yesterday I actually ran (for a short distance) without oil making it to the front of the engine. I cannot honestly say when the damage occurred to the internal oiler. Just happy, Happy, HAPPY nothing truly bad happened!
Flow restrictor makes even a broken sight glass safe.
I have replaced bearings on two engines destroyed by these sight glasses. Take yours off and get one of those tools that you can reach for the petcock to check your oil. I have room on the waiting list for new main bearings. My opinion, others may vary.
Getting old, fat and lazy. Well, mostly fat and lazy. Installed the accessory dipsticks and I love them.
You should be able to get down on your right knee and reach under with the left hand and turn the petcock. That way if any dirt, it will only get on your knee. The tool mentioned by Erik works very well too. On one of my cars I have the dip stick, someone else installed. That's the easy way, but be sure to check the top petcock when you get the dip stick just to be sure it is installed accurately and reads correctly the full mark.
I don't like the sight glass oil gauge either. Had one and it broke. Either the petcocks or the dipstick are best for checking oil.
My outside oiler has a copper pipe. No problems on any of my 3 T's yet with the copper pipe.
I wonder what hit your inside oiler? I have never seen one like that.
Looks like another hole in the inside oiler to the right of the picture near the #2 exhaust cam.
You don't have to get the knee(s) of your pants dirty. Just set a small towel on the ground first. I do it all the time.
I just get my wife to check the oil That way I don't get my pants dirty.
I use a home made extension tool (Blacksmith project, but similar to the ones you can buy) to twist the pet cocks. The TT has no splash shields so it is easy, but on the Touring, I put my left knee on the running board and just bend over and look under the fender while using the tool. It's not difficult and my knee doesn't get any dirtier than the running board.
I like Steve Jelf's idea of a piece of vinyl tubing between the petcocks for a sight glass.
Anyone got a copy of the picture?
Ken Todd:: be careful. One of the better mechanics on the Montana 500 tried that and after the plastic tube melted and let out all the oil he had a con rod sticking clear out of the side of his block.
Dave, you're not supposed to run the engine with the petcocks open. The idea with vinyl tubing is to see the exact level when opening the petcocks while the engine is stopped. Then close them again before starting.
Here's Steve Jelfs picture:
It's from this thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/369914.html?1372140601