If there are no oil leaks, you may be out of oil
Why do we put kerosene in engine cylinders while hot?
To soften the carbon?
Duey is the contest winner. The idea was that the kerosene would soften the carbon and that it, or some of it, would exit through the exhaust valves during the next run cycle. I have no knowledge of it's effectiveness. Bill
But how much per cylinder?
Fortunately today's gas is better, so less carbon is produced in the combustion chambers. No need for kerosene today.
Tommy, Also how would U do it? I'd say remove each (hot) plug in turn and with a pump type oil can, give each cylinder 2 to 4 pumps. Let it soak for a while and when you start the engine you'l get lots of smoky exhaust. (I think white smoke.)
Roger's right, carbon deposits were a big problem with the crumby gasoline of the 20's. The need to do things like this made an impression, I recall my dad "dosing" the family car occasionally with a product named "Shaler Rislone", as he put it, we needed to "blow the soot out of 'er". Lots of white smoke resulted, as Hal notes.
To answer the question of how much kerosene, I'd reckon it would take about 3/4 oz. to cover the top of the piston. I hope this doesn't veer into a discussion of how "lamp oil" or diesel fuel is better for the purpose than kerosene . . . ; - )
Rich, Or maybe transmission fluid???
Just remember a liquid won't compress... too much and rod and bearing damage can result. When I was a kid the old-timers would dribble a few drops of water from a coke bottle into the carb during a fast idle, cleaned carbon like a charm. BUT NOT MUCH AT ALL.
I really don't think this is a necessary maintenance procedure these days. Even the problematic ethanol laced gasolines burn far cleaner than the low-grade gas in the 20s.
You could write a book on the number of ideas, cures, devices and inventions that were around in that era, all offering to cure, eliminate, or at least lessen the amount of carbon build-up owing to the "quality" of gasoline at the time.
Over 50 years ago, in my early T days, I tore down a few Model T engines that had been unused for 20 years or so, and the amount of carbon in combustion chambers was pretty impressive. Back then, folks figured they were doing well if they could go 8-10,000 miles between valve jobs, at which point carbon build-up usually caused valve failures, and scraping literally pounds of carbon from engines was part of the job.
Since then, I've never seen that amount of carbon build-up in any motors I've worked on the past 40 years.
If you want the carbon removed before you take the head off run the engine and spray some water into it. I have seen how clean and carbon free a cylinder can be but have not tried it myself. I like to see what the inside looks like before it's cleaned.
Gary is right... be careful adding liquid and then trying to crank the engine. Serous damage could result.