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Thread: 1929 mechanical oiler question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    1 mile east of the Rocky Mountains.
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    Default 1929 mechanical oiler question

    My buddy is getting his first few miles on his '29 and now preparing for predesignated rides to adjust his mechanical oiler output. Oil is getting past the oiler into the crankcase at the rate of more than one ounce in seven days. Would appreciate hearing what may be the causes of the oiler allowing oil to get past it and into the crankcase.

    my buddy would like to know if anyone rebuilds the mechanical oiler?

    His hand pump check valve does not allow any oil into the crankcase.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Steve Swan; 05-06-2019 at 10:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    England
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    Dear Steve, those steel oil pumps are usually pretty good. At one ounce per week I would first look for a slow leak round the hand oil pump check valve. Disconnecting the hand oil line will show it over a couple of days. If not, then it must be the plunger wearing a few thou loose in the pump body, for which there is no easy fix. The pumps are simple and the average person should be able to strip and understand them. The similar 1930-33 VL oil pump is described in my VL book, with an exploded diagram made by laying out the parts on a white sheet.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Steve for your reply. His hand pump check valve let no oil by after sitting. with the pipe off. As you say, it must be the the mechanical oiler's plunger is worn. We are wondering if some of these newer coatings might add however many thousanths is missing.

  4. #4
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    Steve,
    One way to build up the pistons is to hard chrome them, then grind them back to whatever size is needed. This is not decorative chrome, it is an industrial strength coating.
    Being so small may be an issue with handling.
    Mick

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    A bit over an ounce in 7 days doesn't sound that bad. I would consider that part of the price one pays for enjoying a running JD. I would consider having the tools, and a cup handy (in the toolbox) for easily draining the crankcase and pouring it back in the tank. Perhaps even a petcock. Most bikers stop frequently for all sorts of reasons. Now your buddy has a good reason for stopping
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  6. #6
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    I tend to agree with Eric, and have not had to try the hard chrome method yet. The 1934-36 VL oil pumps are more prone to leaking, as the diecast body was not a great choice to take a hardened steel piston.

  7. #7
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    Upon reflection, hard chrome is probably not a viable option anyway, parts are to small, probably easier to make new pistons.
    Where does the wear typically occur, the two small pistons, or the rotating part to the pump body.
    If the pump bodies are wearing, is it viable to sleeve it, like an Amal carby sleeve?
    Cheers,
    Mick.

  8. #8
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    I'm just going to throw this out there; if a person wanted to tighten the tolerance of the pistons, would a soft plating like zinc, or cadmium be less likely to chip, or flake? It may not last that many years, but how many miles does one plan to ride a 1929 JD?
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  9. #9
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    Gentlemen, thank you for your replies and comments. i have heard of some coatings used in aerospace, but it was some time ago and can't remember what they were/are.......

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    283

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    There is an add in our last magazine that listed a build up coating for cylinder walls. You may want to give them a call, you cannot miss the add. What is the piston diameter and what seals it to the wall?

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