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Thread: 1929 mechanical oiler question

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    Reno NV
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    167

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    Eric, that is an interesting idea, but i don't think I would like to experiment with a good motor.
    Your original comment of that is the price we pay is probably the easiest way to live with it. Put a tap in the oil line?

    If it becomes necessary to repair the pump, I think the best way would be to hone out the piston bores in the rotating body to ensure it is round. Then have a hardened steel rod centerless ground to whatever the OD needs to be. Cut the rod to length and radius the ends on a belt sander.
    The body and pistons were probably made from a hard grade of metal, which i don't think would wear much, as long as it was kept in oil.

    I would think the most wear would occur in the cast iron pump body where the piston body rotates.
    This is an area where the hone round and build up the piston body with hard chrome would work. You would only need to chrome the surfaces that meet the cast body, then grind to size.
    Either of these solutions is a fiddly job, and probably not worth the effort unless you absolutely had to restore a pump. In another 50 years, it may become a standard process if nobody ends up manufacturing new pumps.
    Cheers,
    Mick

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    England
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    1,304

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    I go along with the wait 50 years plan. It could still be the hand oil pump check valve, which is worth stripping and checking. And swap meet mechanical pumps are still around for less than the cost of the remedial work we've been discussing.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    1 mile east of the Rocky Mountains.
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    Gentlemen, thank you for this lively discussion on the mechanical oiler. my buddy is going to have an adjustment period accepting over all his '29's overall oily nature but i am confident he'll do it with a broad smile on his face!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Reno NV
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    167

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    I am trying to figure out how these mechanical oilers work.
    Going with the direction label, and the cable pulls the pump open, the oiler cam shaft rotates in a clockwise direction.
    Looking at the interaction of the cam shaft and the cam plate, when the cam is rotated clockwise, it pushes the cam plate to a more vertical position. This means the pistons move less in their bore, and pump less.
    This seems the opposite of what the pump should be doing, more oil at high speeds.

    When I have worked on hydraulic pumps, the more angle on the swash plate, the higher volume of oil is pumped.


    Am I missing something here.

    Cheers,
    Mick

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    1 mile east of the Rocky Mountains.
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    Thank Mick, for your post. I'm glad to see you are studying the '29 oiler function. i didn't get a chance to inspect or work on my buddy's '29 oiler; he did that himself. So, i'll be interested to hear your thoughts. If Tommo sees this, hopefully he will. Or Mark Masa.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
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    4,144

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    I think the pump's function is to drool oil on the timing gears, and some goes into the crankcase. There is no pressure feed to the mains, or rods, and nothing gets returned to the tank. My Hendersons have a mechanical oil pump which serves that purpose. When I realized what it did, I thought it was a gimmick of that era that gave a nod to "new" technology; however, that pump has it's own petcock from the oil tank and I neglected to open it on one occasion. Those timing gears screamed bloody murder so the pump did have a job. The kicker is, Henderson used a gravity feed oil dripper in earlier days and it was just as effective as the mechanical pump, and far less complicated. With all bikes that used that primitive pump, you have to ride them heuristically and monitor oil accumulation in the crankcase to see if the pump is over or under oiling. Oil consumption is based on what gets burned, and what leaks Heavy demand on the engine called for a shot from the hand pump. I have to believe that the rider could hear the timing gears wailing if they weren't getting oil. I'm only speculating because I have never taken my Js, or Hendersons to that point. Cannonball riders could answer that question.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Reno NV
    Posts
    167

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    I have a 1946 1/2 ton chevy truck that still uses a "splash feed" system to lubricate the cranshaft. I think they finally pressurized the crankshaft a few years later, certainly by 1957.

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