Oil sight gauge

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Oil sight gauge
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tommy coffey on Tuesday, December 06, 2016 - 05:19 pm:

Would two elbows, 1/8" pipe to 1/4" slip fit with clear hose in between work for a sight gauge?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek Brookshire, Texas on Tuesday, December 06, 2016 - 05:26 pm:

No elbows necessary. Some report tubing bent into a let "u" between the petcocks. I have no idea how they keep the tubing from slipping off but do know the petcocks are only opened for inspection of the oil level and then closed for driving.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek Brookshire, Texas on Tuesday, December 06, 2016 - 05:27 pm:

No elbows necessary. Some report tubing bent into a letter "u" between the petcocks. I have no idea how they keep the tubing from slipping off but do know the petcocks are only opened for inspection of the oil level and then closed for driving.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Tuesday, December 06, 2016 - 05:45 pm:

Here's my home-made one. It allows me to shut off the oil to the petcock during drives to prevent oil loss just in case the sight gage falls off. :-)

pic


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Davis Houston TX on Tuesday, December 06, 2016 - 06:21 pm:

I did this one time until the sight glass came off while I was driving. The driver behind me saw the trail I was leaving. Good thing, otherwise I would have had disaster on my hands.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek Brookshire, Texas on Tuesday, December 06, 2016 - 06:22 pm:

Mark, Did the belly band for your tranny come with the T or did you add it later?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Tuesday, December 06, 2016 - 06:41 pm:

I added it later, I put a "wanted" in the classified and another member sold me one.

One of my pan ears has a weld repair and I wanted some backup support for it.

Do a Google search for "pan truss mtfca" and a bunch of old threads will come up. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Davis Houston TX on Tuesday, December 06, 2016 - 07:45 pm:

I did this one time until the sight glass came off while I was driving. The driver behind me saw the trail I was leaving. Good thing, otherwise I would have had disaster on my hands.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, December 06, 2016 - 09:38 pm:


Here's how. Open the petcocks to read the oil level, then close them. If it gets knocked off, you won't have Jerry's problem. The big advantage of this setup is that you can actually see the oil level. That's not always true with the brass/glass type.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek Brookshire, Texas on Tuesday, December 06, 2016 - 09:41 pm:

The brass/glass type has to have a miniscule vent hole drilled in the upper cap for it to work properly.....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Norton on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 12:14 am:

After checking the oil level, I close the petcock and then empty the plastic tube.
This is to avoid a possible incorrect level at the next check due to a clogged/blocked petcock.
Or possibly a dried dark oil stain (is that possible?).

I don't use a [eg Jubilee] clip as the tube seems to stay on the petcock.
Just in case, I attach the free end of the tube to the top petcock with a rope or cable tie.

Old photos at: http://www.mtfca.com/cgi-bin/discus/show.cgi?tpc=331880&post=532688#POST532688


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 08:34 am:

How do you empty the tube? I'd think the oil would stay there unless you took off one end and let it run on the ground.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 08:54 am:

Myself i like the old time sight gauge but i think a heavy brass fitting with a very very small hole would be better? The plastic looks easy and cheap but was there plastic tubing in 1914?? Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 11:09 am:

To each his own. I like the original system myself. I do use a home made wand deal to open and close them. On the TT, it's easy. There's a direct line of sight due to the lack of splash shields. On the Touring, I just put my left knee on the running board and bend down and look under the right fender while reaching with my 'wand'.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 11:45 am:

I've had a problem with the plastic tubing getting stained black by the oil so it wasn't possible to read the level even though I try to change after only 750 miles, so I went back to the original Ford method.

When there's flow from the bottom but no drip from the top petcock, then I add until it drips. Oil is cheaper than engine parts ;)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Norton on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 01:50 am:

Hal, as the 8mm clear vinyl tube is a push fit onto the petcock, it drains onto a rag after the tube is pushed sideways off the petcock. Then an easy push fit back onto petcock.

Bud, I guess one could put the tube away after use?

Roger, if you drain the tube after oil check, then no stain :-)

Just sayin'


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Barker, Somerset, England on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 04:42 am:

It should drain if you open the taps with the engine running.
I (almost) always check my glass twice. Before starting to see if it's visible, and after starting to ensure it isn't. No chance of being misled by stains or blockages.
You can also remove the clear tube from its brass holder for cleaning with the motor running.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 06:51 am:

Sorry Guys, that just seems like a lot trouble.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Norton on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 07:29 am:

Chris, thanks, good comment that the tube will drain after the engine is started (I hadn't thought to try it!).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Brough on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 08:17 am:

Please don't refer to it as a sight gauge. Someone will come along in a minute and tell you that you have to refer to it as a sightometer.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Manuel, Lafayette, La. on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 09:12 am:

I have a brass and glass oil level indicator on my truck . When I first installed it and added oil, no oil entered the tube until I loosened the top to allow air to escape. Now I worry that the level in the guage won't drop unless I loosen the top and allow air to enter. Any one have a problem with theirs?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek Brookshire, Texas on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 09:22 am:

John, You have to drill a tiny hole in the upper cap so the level of oil stays correct. I used a tiny drill bit used to build model trains. It is the diameter of a needle.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Manuel, Lafayette, La. on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 10:38 am:

Thanks Michael. That's what I was thinking about doing. They should come vented or you run the risk of running out of oil.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 11:34 am:

The real risk of running dry is if the gauge replaces the lower petcock. and gets knocked off. Much safer to keep the petcock or its equivalent and open it only to read the gauge. The oil check tool Hal described makes it easy. You can buy one from the parts dealers or make it yourself.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 11:42 am:

I have a brass and glass sight gauge but have a shut off between it and the pan. I open it to see the level in the sight gauge and if the level is OK I start the car and the oil in the sight gauge gets pulled back into the sump. I then close the valve which hopefully protects against a problem if the glass in the sight gauge breaks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 01:08 pm:

I have been running the brass covered sight gauges for over 20 years with no problems and i live on a gravel road.Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Manuel, Lafayette, La. on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 01:15 pm:

I've used the tool, the sight guage and the Akurret dipstick. The dipstick is my favorite by far. I think I will get another one since my previous one went with the coupe I sold.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 07:56 pm:




period aftermarket oil level indicator APCO cast iron. No glass to break. Works great.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Schiebe - Plymouth, MN on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 09:10 pm:

I have accessory brass site gauges on my three T;s. One solution if your concerned about breakage is slip a flexible 3/4" clear plastic piece of tubing over the gauge.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Friday, December 09, 2016 - 06:22 pm:

That long brass threaded pipe with the weight of the gauge housing on it, the pipe could certainly crack at the threads with such leverage. Erich's support is a great idea to prevent vibration.

I have a glass sight glass gauge on mine coupled as close as possible. I'm very aware of any oil drips in the area when I'm parked.

A great tip from the late Ralph Ricks is to insert a sheet metal screw into the orfice so it would limit the oil dripping out in case of a breakage, Oil seeping past the threads will still register on the gauge. He used this on his fuel glass site gauge as well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eugene Story on Monday, December 12, 2016 - 04:56 am:

When I bought my first model t a old T man told me not to let the experts talk you into putting any kind of sight gauge on the engine or you are flirting with losing your oil


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, December 12, 2016 - 08:23 am:

About 1960 long after all the DeLong model T's were gone a young kid was looking,finding,and asking questions about some of what he found in grand dad's barn.The kid knew the T never came with a water pump,so why was there one in the barn? On the sand and mud roads back then many T's would overheat from new! When i asked about the Atwater Kent distrubitor i found i was told when the coils got out of adjustment the Attwater Kent was the cure plus it also got the timer cap and wires up out of the mud,water,and dirt!When i asked about the brass sheild oil gauge i was told,it was easy to use and kept you out of the dirt.Just things i was told almost 40 years before my first T came along.Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 07:52 am:

Some say if the sight glass breaks off you lose all your oil going down the road. Others say you should start the car after you check the oil with the el-cheapo clear plastic tube "sight glass substitute" so it will suck all the oil back into the crankcase. Which is it? Not that it's a big deal to me either way, as I'll continue to use my petcocks as Henry intended, but it sure seems like a contradiction to me. So does does it suck the oil in or does it blow the oil out?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 09:09 am:

The oil level in my sight gage drops when I start the car - I found out accidently when I left the petcock open, but noticed it and closed the petcock before I drove off. When I re-opened the petcock after the drive, the level rose back up to its pre-engine start level.

Having the petcock before the sight glass is a great safety feature as long as you remember to close the petcock after checking the oil level. I have forgotten a couple of times, luckily the sight glass stayed put during the drive.

I have no doubt that if the sight glass were to get torn off with the petcock open, that eventually all the oil would run out and I'd be up a creek... :-)


pic


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 09:42 am:

For a very long time now the "sight gauge" kit has used a piece of solid plastic tube inside where the old glass tube used to go. I have had such a kit on my '23 touring car and gravel or smooth pavement either one doesn't seem to harm it. I check it at every opportunity when my T is stopped and before I start it up again. I merely peek under the running board and look at it. It uses very short threaded pieces and is about as minimal in weight as one could make it. I figure It is safer for me more because I check the oil way way more often this way than when I had a long reach petcock turning tool.

The usual "horror story" on the site gauge is that a rock hits the glass and breaks it but the plastic tube that was supplied with my gauge isn't going to break unless you lay it down on a bench and hit it with a hammer. It also doesn't stain very much either although I CAN see where a higher level has been reached at times.

Since I am lazy by nature I think the motor is at more risk of me not checking the oil than the sight gauge breaking and dumping the oil. Time will tell if I am right but I have used this thing for well beyond 20 years and it is on my second motor in this car. The first motor just got tired from too many miles.

Your mileage may vary.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Tillstrom 30 miles N of Memphis TN on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 10:26 am:

I agree with John on this. I promise there have been more engines ruined by loss of oil out a petcock being left open than by broken sight gauges. As others have stated, the gauge can be checked for plugged return by watching the oil level drop while running. No drop = plugged.

I like the brass kit sold by the vendors.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Barker, Somerset, England on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 10:28 am:

I am 100% with John on this - I have the same device.
Only thing to add is that, as Mark has pointed out, the oil disappears from the glass with the motor running. I check this sometimes. If the oil stays visible, either the thing is blocked, or the tube is stained.
You can also remove and clean the tube with the motor running.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 11:49 am:

I think i favor the top petcock with the valve facing you instead of under where you oil your hand? With the sight gauge there is no need to open the top petcock and fill till the oil runs out.The oil savings will add up over the next 100 years,[if your Mr Thrifty] That's a joke Vern,just a joke! Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 12:01 pm:

Bud, every time I see the handles on my petcocks facing down, I tell myself I'm going to fix it and move them to the outside at the next oil change. So far, every time, I have forgotten! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Erfert on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 12:31 pm:

I use a 1/2" PVC pipe 24" long with a 1/8" slot in one end and it works for me. Either way I have to get down on one knee (or both) to see if I have oil.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 12:32 pm:

I agree with John and have one like the picture that Chris posted. The glass in my gauges is thick and the same used in many industrial gear boxes and such. It surely isn't going to break out with a simple rock ding.

The hazard is a crack at the threads.

The flow limiter screw installed in the outlet is a Very good and simple idea.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eugene Story on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 06:31 am:

I dad been driving around for a while and not checking the oil because I don't check the modern car that often. I opened the bottom petcock, no oil panic pored in quart, on oil near hart attack. Idea, crawled under and stuck a nail in the petcock, and got oil down to my elbow before I could move. Got a pan ,and got my two quarts of oil back. Now if there is oil in the sight glass and you have a blockage in the petcock you think you have plenty of oil when the crankcase may be near empty. Some body explain this to me.
.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 12:33 pm:

Eugene:

I think the only way one has a constant oil level while driving their T very often is if their T absolutely does not leak any oil nor burn any. My sight gauge goes up and down as I drive and periodically add a little oilwhen on week long tour. The sight gauge has a rather large passage from pan to viewing vile since it is mounted with a 1/8 NPT pipe thread. The small place on it that is most likely to get plugged up is the air vent at the top of the screw on cap. I have never had my sight gauge plug up but I did buy it a very long time ago so maybe new ones are different. I honestly think you are more likely to have a pet cock get plugged and others have stated you can get fooled that way too when nothing flows. I am not trying to convince anyone to agree with me but just stated what I am doing and why. Whatever is working for you - stick with it.

My radiator pet cock never flows when I open it since the antifreeze always plugs up the passage way but I don't get a face full of antifreeze anymore after that one first time. I have bucket and drill bit sized and ready when I push that bit up into the pet cock.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Norton on Friday, December 16, 2016 - 12:29 am:

Eugene, to avoid a high false reading in the tube, drain the tube before or after every check.
I drain the tube after every check to avoid a possible oil stain in the tube.
While running, a closed petcock between tube and crankcase would seem advisable IMHO.


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