This is an update on an earlier post concerning the oil pump/filter that I have fitted on my 1914 Touring. A number of interested readers asked questions about how it operates and installs and I thought that a few pics would make those points better than a lot of verbage. Have a look and let me know what you think.
Very cool. You should submit an article to the magazine on that. I like it.
Very interesting. I'm going to make a couple of guesses here
1. I see two hoses from the top. Is the one not connected to the aluminum block connected to a dashboard mounted indicator?
2. Please a bit of information about the aluminum block thing?
3. Source for the "tank"?
The rest seems quite understandable
Les, You're very observant, in fact, the hoses are from the vacuum source (intake manifold) and to two vacuum gauges mounted on the dashboard. One gauge monitors intake vacuum while the other monitors the vacuum in the reservoir. The "aluminum block" you refer to is a pneumatic valve that has been reported and modified to provide adjustment for the point at which the reservoir fills and empties. The tank is something that I manufactured from pyrex tube and machined aluminum and contains a float valve assembly that I also fabricated. The pictures show a lot of stuff that isn't necessary but a result of being the prototype and wanting gauges to verify the proper cycling.
Sounds a la Stewart Warner vac fuel pump!
Similar in many ways to the old vacuum fuel pumps but only delivers oil to the front of the engine during acceleration or full throttle driving. Quite a bit simpler in design also. I just installed a new napa gold 1515 filter and changed oil (15-40 diesel) tonight and timed the fill cycle at idle - 16 fl. Oz. In 12 seconds after it warmed up.
Wow, interesting setup! Why not install a flux capacitor as well while your at it!
It might be hard to get up to 88 mph before the flux capacitor would work
I like the filter. Since it only delivers oil to the front during acceleration or full throttle, does it not circulate the oil at constant speed?
Actually, I started with a flux capacitor but apparently the variations in emf generated by the magneto caused an instability in the lateral fortitude of the whatsit rendering the first attempt useless, so I fell back on the more conventional vacuum approach, which is better explained in my first post "It won't work" from about a week ago.
Very cool, Dave.
I understand the extra tubing to give you some indications of performance -- after all, it's a prototype.
I don't understand taking the oil supply from the pan drain rather than the bottom petcock fitting. This seems to me the most vulnerable place on the entire car to put a rather fragile fitting that could be knocked loose by a piece of road junk, allowing your oil to say bye-bye.
Also, how do you change your oil?
I've considered an oil filter fed by an electric pump, but haven't gotten around to it. Your vacuum-powered setup is elegant, I must say.
Thanks for posting and explaining. I agree there should be an article for the magazine.
Peter, I guess you could draw from either location. My thinking was that the drain plug was where the dirtiest oil would be and using it leaves the petcocks available for their original purpose. I'm not sure whether the petcocks would provide oil or foam when the engine was at speed. As far as vulnerability, I think that would matter a lot more in the late teens on deeply rutted roads. It seems to me that anything that would do enough damage to break the fittings would make enough noise to be apparent. Draining the oil is simply a matter of removing the swivel fitting or for a more rapid draining both that and the plug.
The return oil...is it sprayed into the crank case to lubricate the engine bearings or allowed to flow back to the bottom of the pan?
George, I initially put a tee into the outside oil line to direct the oil to the front main and timing gears but found that at higher engine speed the oil line was under enough pressure that the oil would not gravity feed properly. I then fabricated an adapter that slips into the oil filler tube and the breather cap fits into it.
That adapter also contains the check valve that prevents air from being drawn into the system during the "fill" cycle. Depending on driving conditions (hills, speeds, etc.) the fill cycle requires approximately fifteen seconds and the delivery cycle lasts about three or four minutes, displacing one pint of clean oil.
George, I just looked and had a jpeg of the discharge/check valve assembly. Here it is.
Say I wanted to purchase a "beta" version of this setup from you to put on my speedster (26-27 engine)- how much would it cost me without shipping?
James, I am in the process of making another system for my '26 coupe and have purchased enough hardware items to make about a half dozen kits. It would probably be smart to purchase the hydraulic hoses locally since the mounting locations and modifications of a speedster might change a few things. It appears that my material costs for the kits will be somewhere in the two hundred to two-fifty range and if you are interested I would be willing to throw in the labor at no cost since I would like some other practical input and since I can make two about as fast as one. If you want to discuss the possibility just shoot me an email with your phone number included and we'll see what comes of it.
Anybody go to the Coolspring engine show - I was thinking of taking the '14 there on Friday?
I understand the gravity delivery requires the reservoir to be up high, as you have it. However, would it maybe be possible to mount it in a less obtrusive location, like next to the filter, if you added a pressure circuit from the exhaust manifold to facilitate delivery to the engine? Exhaust would not provide huge pressure, but then the gravity head you're creating really doesn't either. Just a thought.
Could also use non side fumbling marzel vanes I guess...
P.S. Very nice work by the way!
Ford used exhaust pressure to operate the lubricator on at least some of the model N cars, so certainly a known concept.
I think the reality is there are lots and lots of ways to "skin the cat". In the end, simple and reliable usually wins!!!
Yup, my N has such a set-up. I didn't think I was inventing anything.
Certainly not meaning to pick apart Dave's cool set-up, just thinking it would be nice to hide the reservoir.
I have seen Dave's system in operation first hand and it is a first class set up.
Is there enough room for everything under the rear seat?? Black hose? Bud.
Well, here's the deal. The pictures are of the prototype the purpose of which was to prove the theory. That worked far better than I ever expected. Fill time for the reservoir, depending on oil temperature and viscosity runs from ten to twenty seconds, give or take, and the gravity flow during the drain cycle currently runs about four minutes at atmospheric pressure which is slower than I would like but adequate for my driving style. The system will fill any time the throttle is completely closed and the drain cycle operates about half the time on level roads and always when going uphill. As for design and appearance I made a priority of not modifying the car in any way and the radiator support rod just happens to be in exactly the right place and is able to easily support the reservoir. I am currently looking at brass castings to improve the appearance of the reservoir making it look for all the world like an antique drip oiler. The valve assembly is completely out of character for the car but Rev. 2 has it moved to just beneath the coil box in the early cars, attached with rare earth magnets (no holes) and sporting a vacuum gauge peeking out from under the left side where only the driver can see it and a system shutoff valve hidden below. The blue discharge hose was just what was lying around with the inside diameter that I wanted. It obviously should be black and maybe nylon (smaller O.D.).
The other priority I had was the ability to add and remove the entire system quickly and completely so if you wanted to go to a show populated with "rivet counters" it could be removed in short order and for touring could be returned to service.
Great job Dave!
If there's "no modifications" necessary, how do you get the vacuum from the manifold? Would you supply an adaptor plate between the carb and manifold or do you have to drill a hole in the manifold? I would consider that a mod.
Stephen, Either option is available. For those challenged by drilling and tapping the hole in the intake manifold an adapter plate can be added between the manifold and carb by removing and reinstalling two bolts. On the two cars that I have done I drilled and tapped the manifold on the back side and routed the vacuum line through the void between number two and three cylinders so it was not apparent from the manifold side. That qualifies as a modification but the only one if you choose to do it that way. A vaporizer carb setup doesn't lend itself to the adapter plate so well.
In response to Peters post on 6/10 about moving the oil pickup point from the drain plug to the bottom petcock I made that change last night and found that it works just as well. I drove the car about twenty miles and it fills just as rapidly. Thanks Peter. Of course it worked a lot better once I turned the car right side up.
In Operation, I presume your "float valve" simply blocks off the vacuum from the manifold and possibly 'vents' the reservoir, enabling the oil to drain to the front /cam wheel ? The float valve then re-connecting the vacuum to the reservoir, drawing more oil thru/from the filter ?
Is it a std filter element ? Most have a pressure by-pass valve which may not work under vacuum ?
Pretty cool design Dave!
You asked what we think...well done that's a clever setup but it's good that you can remove it because it looks incredibly ugly and out of place, especially on a non-speedster.
So after how many miles will you be changing the oil? 10,000?
I'm guessing you decided to do this because you want to save $ on oil or that you're running an insert bearing engine.
It could well be a good idea to use one of these (together with a trans cover filter) with a fresh engine for a few thousand miles but I question the need for this given the eyesore it is.
In response to the last few posts. The purpose of the float valve is simply to prevent oil from being sucked into the intake manifold once the reservoir is full. The simplest way to explain the system is to compare it to breathing. When it inhales (high vacuum) it draws air from the oil filter mounted on the frame and when it exhales (lower vacuum) it deposits the oil in the reservoir into the oil filler neck. Those operations are controlled by the valve (the ugly gray eyesore) and check valves on either end of the system. The oil filter is an off the shelf napa 1515 spin on filter which contains an internal check valve to prevent back flow in a normal application. At the other output end is a ball check to prevent air being sucked into the reservoir during the inhale cycle. As far as a bypass filter preventing the system from working, I can assure you that the system works flawlessly with that filter.
Addressing Constantine, the fact that the system is incredibly ugly owes largely to the fact that it is a prototype with no thought or energy given to making it pretty. The first go around was simply to prove the theory. Your supposition that I was simply attempting to save money on oil is silly for several reasons. For the several hundreds of dollars I spent on the system I could have bought enough oil to change it for quite a while and because I am one of the fortunate ones maintaining at least a hundred or more engines, large and small, making it possible to buy my oil by the 55 gallon drum at volume savings.
As far as wanting an oil filter because I run insert bearings I am somewhat confused. I consider changing insert bearings somewhat like changing socks while re-babitting more like changing feet. If I had insert bearings I would be much less eager to refine my oil while I drive. I expect to honor an annual oil change interval regardless of mileage driven although, quite frankly, I don't drive all that much.
Several misconceptions should be addressed. First, that following an oil change, regardless of interval, the oil in a Model T is "clean." Even brand new oil is immediately adulterated with dirt and residue following a change. The time interval between changes is really predicated on how much contamination can be tolerated by the owner. As the oil circulates it attracts more and more microscopic particles of carbon, metal, band material, etc. any of which can and will do damage to the bearing surfaces. Insert bearings might mitigate the damage or make it easier to repair on rods and mains but have no effect on triple gear bushings, wrist pins and bushings, cams, cam bearings, lifters, transmission bushings, etc. Those surfaces are all prone to wear caused by oil contamination. When you consider that many of those clearances are one to five thousandths of an inch it is foolhardy to expect that a screen could possibly remove that small of a particle. Anything a screen could catch would be too large to find its way into a closely fit bearing anyway. The screens are great for band lining lint, larger chunks of goo and dislodged metal shards and certainly have a place in engine maintenance and they will often prevent the clogging of oil lines both internal and external.
The intent of my work has been to create a system that can be installed in an hour or two, requires no modification of the automobile, and can be removed just as easily while it cycles to filter as the car is driven. For my kind of occasional driving I suspect that I will not be removing it at any time but I realize that in the interest of authenticity some would prefer to remove it for show purposes and return it to service during a tour or for any other extended driving.
To address the "eyesore" aspect of the project I have recently rebuilt the control valve, shutoff valve, and vacuum gauge and use magnets to mount them, as an assembly, beneath the coil box where they are accessible for adjustment and service and largely out of view. Pictures to follow. All that remains under the hood of any consequence are the reservoir and oil filler cap assembly, two 1/4" vacuum lines, and the oil supply lines (now black).
I'm really impressed with your work. I'm interested in being a "beta tester"!!!
I disagree with most of what you said.
"If I had insert bearings I would be much less eager to refine my oil while I drive."
Babbitt far better in handling fine impurities in the oil compared the shell type bearings.
"Insert bearings might mitigate the damage or make it easier to repair on rods and mains..."
Babbitt is more forgiving should a failure occur and usually gives warning it is failing and lets you drive more many miles. Inserts fail quick and may take the crank and or the block with them. Your "changing socks/changing feet" comparison is what's silly.
Anyway, good project and as I said could be very useful on some speedsters and racers once the design is fully sorted.
IMHO I cannot see any reason to use one on a standard T driver; I'm sure others here will think it's the best thing since sliced bread. The other reason I wouldn't touch one is because of the real possibility something could break, come loose or crack resulting in losing all your oil thus destroying the engine. I'm sure we here all agree that:
Blown-up molten engine = not good
I'm excited to see the re-design pictures.
I am not sure about the concerns about oil filtering in our Ts. How many million VW aircooled Beetles were running, and are still running, without an oil filter?
Not sure about Beetles but my air cooled VW kombi
ran a separate oil filter. Perhaps the earlier ones were like the Fiat 500, 600, 850 & 126 and had a hollow fan pulley that acted as a filter ?
It had a central flinger and trapped the crap from going back into the engine ?
They are supposed to be cleaned out but I suspect many never are.
Also the VWs do not share their engine oil with a transmission and cotton band system AND they have an oil cooler system.
The train of thought that modern oils should be better at providing lubrication to a T than period oils is sound, as is the theory that the detergent oils will keep crap in suspension rather than form sludge is also sound. So which is preferable ?
Lubricating oils are almost cheaper now than they were 20/30 years ago, and in real terms certainly are so perhaps just change the oil a lot more often and if using detergent oil, hope that most of the crap flows out with it ? And drop the dip pan and clean that to help ?
I think Dave's design for a filter system ingenious. Some call it ugly, but what do those same people say about disk brakes ? probably rave about them !
I don't imagine that either Henry or the German engineers that created the "bug" had any idea they were designing and selling what would become an icon. The priorities in both cases were to produce a good quality automobile and sell it at an extremely low price in volume to folks who had no prior awareness that they would be able to join the driving population. One of the primary rules of engineering is to consider how long the product will be expected to last. Decisions are then balanced between expected service longevity and cost. I read an interesting piece years ago that stated that the Fordson tractor was designed with an expected service life of nine years and I suppose that the Model T engineers may have assumed a similar lifespan. Here we are, over a hundred years later, still driving their products. Was an oil filter necessary - NO. Will it prolong the service life of the engine/transmission - probably. Will they still be here and in operation on their two hundredth birthdays - at least a few. It seems stupid but I can't help but feel that those of us who own one of these historical pieces have an almost sacred responsibility to preserve it best we can.
Bump to get rid of the spam