So I removed the magneto post for cleaning and inspection of the oil line accessory the previous owner had installed.
The fittings and the copper line are clear and clean. Not a trace of oil! Appears oil has never flowed in the line. Connection to the front cover is open to the crankcase as well. Engine has been run recently.
Any ideas what is going on here?
Couple ideas.... Check to see if there are any opportunities to improve the internal clearances and smoothness/openness of the fittings used. Also, from what I've seen, most any of these things wont really flow oil for several minutes after start up till the oil gets good and warm.
I assume you have used compressed air to verify that the line is clear? If not, put one end of the line in a bucket (in case something nasty comes out) and shoot compressed air into the other end of the line.
Yes, Mark. Took the line off, Line looked like new inside. Blew it out with compressed air to verify it was not blocked. No obstructions found.
I figured you had. Very puzzling!
You'll have to remove the magneto contact from the hogshead too, and check what it looks like from the underside. Some of these accessories weren't designed for the best flow, and if the fitting goes too far inwards, the flow can be shut off completely - in that case it can probably be fixed by screwing out the fitting and adjusting it with a file for better flow when screwed in again - or by adding a washer as Jason Given did in this old thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/158389.html
Bad flow here:
Roger, Thanks for the picture.
I removed the magneto plug again and checked for that condition. Apparently, the threads on my fitting are not protruding into the housing.
I hope you have enough oil in the engine
Model T's likes medium thin oil, like 10W-30 or even 5W-40 to start flowing to the lubrication points as soon as the engine is started. Too thick oil and it won't flow everywhere until warm - and that's too late.
Oil runs out of top petcock and is !0w-30.
Then it's a mystery..
You can isolate the problem by starting the engine a short while without the magneto contact, verifying that oil flows out that hole at an alarming rate, then mount the contact without the pipe, starting again, verifying it indeed flows, then adding the pipe again - isn't it actually flowing after a while, at least when revving it up?
Warning: Put some protective plastic to save the car and interior from any oily mess that may occur..
No mystery here. No flow is very common with this style oiler. The unusual thing is that you have checked the oiler for flow. The most common thing is that the owner installs the oiler and figures the engine is protected. That is usually good enough because most folks don't need an oiler and the presence of a non-functioning oiler doesn't hurt anything. The only function of most oilers is as a conversation starter anyway.
It is my opinion that anyone who really needs an auxiliary oiler because of operation on steep grades needs a real oiler not one of these rarely functioning toys. Look at the i.d. of that drilled stud in the oil kit, if the oiler actually worked do you think that enough oil at ambient pressure to do anything can get through there?
It is my experience that for mountains a huge oil line paired with a properly placed oil scoop and modified oil pan is essential. It is also my experience that most model T's will never need this.
Make sure the stock oil line is clear and go drive it!
If the magneto pickup body for your '26 has a clear hole for the oil to run into the brass angle fitting then it should work. Your photo isn't real clear, as maybe a flaw in your part?
Would be easy to check by flowing backward some fluid and see if it runs out the pickup body.
Do know that the outlet fitting needs to point to the left side of the block, as the oil slung by the magnets throws it to the upper left side of the hogshead! Like to extend (helps clear the braces on the '26-'27 hogshead) with a straight tube, the brass tubing fitting, then angle it down to get good gravity flow too.
These work well for me.
Had my oil line Crack on a mag post oiler sure made a mess. Be it a little one
When the line cracked on my ford faithful with a decent scoop it made a bigger mess
Getting oil back up front good idea but non pressurized system it just pure luck
Thanks all for the replies and tips.
Dan, The outlet fitting points to the rear. May have to try your arrangement with the extended nipple and turn it to point to the left.
That should be a big help for deflecting the oil to the tube.
The mag type oilers always fit outlets to the left side.
Matches the flow of oil thrown up and to the left.
Ford followed that physics too in 1924 change to the hogshead, of a little cast in deflector that is angled to the left too, helped throw a portion of the oil outward toward the band linings.
Period mag oiler for the Improved Car
I have one of those magneto oilers that doesn't flow any oil, tried lots of things to get it to work and no success so I removed it and put it on the shelf.
Do you have magnets in your engine? Some owners have removed the magnets and don't use the magneto to power the engine. In that case, you might not be getting very much oil at that location.
Update, Norman, I must have magnets as it runs on magneto.
So I decided to settle the issue once and for all. Cut approximately 2" out of the oil line and slipped 1/4" ID Tygon tubing over the ends of the copper tubing to make a "window". Started engine and to my astonishment, oil flowed freely through the tubing. I was actually surprised at the volume of the flow as well. See photos and short video.
Tube before starting engine.
Oil flow visible with engine running just above idle.
That's great Bob, like they say, "the proof is in the pudding". When i first installed mine, i didn't expect too much out of it, but thought it would be better than nothing. After installing it i got about a quart at idle in about 30-45 seconds.
An easy way to check to see if oil flows through the outside oil line is to hold the bare line after the engine has had time to warm up. If oil is flowing the copper line will be warm to the touch.
Great Now change to tubing with better durability and put clamps on - if the clear tube is allowed to harden from age and high temperatures it may break, and then maybe you won't notice the leak until it's too late..
I expect one could check flow by disconnecting the front end of the line and seeing how much oil comes out of it when the engine is running.
Installed new 5/16" copper line rerouted to eliminate the 90 degree fitting. Clears floor boards by 1". Has more slope to front of engine as well.
Bob, I like how you did the reroute.
I had one of these with a copper line break off at the front fitting while driving. If it wasn't for another motorist pointing out I was pouring LOTS of oil at a traffic light my engine would have been toast! I was able to crimp the end of the line with pliers, add more oil, and drive home and repair the line.
The copper line has a tendency to work harden, crystallize, and break off at a fitting since it is "floating" between the front and rear fittings. This allows it to vibrate while your driving. Steel would be a better choice even though it's harder to bend.
Jay, thanks for the copper line fatigue reminder. Having the line break would be bad news. Will put steel line replacement on the future to do list.