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The "Oil Eye", mysterious gadget


Dave Henderson
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This gem came from a pile of floor sweepings at a one-stall garage where I had a summer grease monkey job as a kid in the late '40's. No one knew what it was for or what it did. The "T" and "C" brought to mind the loud/soft horn choices for which some cars had a switch on their dash. It since had been in the depths of a seldom visited drawer of stuff for a long, long time. Then a break through, but with many unanswered questions; the discovery of an ad in the April '52 Motor Trend. "T" means transmission and "C" refers to crankcase.

How the heck does this thing work, if it in fact it ever did. Especially the part about it monitoring "condition". (I am skeptical). Was rather pricey for '52 when the ad ran. Perhaps that's why it was supposed to be so smart.

The device gets electrical power, and has what appear to be vacuum hook-ups. The buttons are plungers that push in about 3/8". (I'll have to see if they do something electrically too), and have a vent hole on their sides. No oil flows to the gage. The lens isn't really divided on its rear side. So, any ideas, or, a very very long shot, does anyone have instructions, or know what parts are missing for installing??

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Edited by Dave Henderson (see edit history)
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I saw one of these as a kid. A friends mother had one on a 1950 Buick. If I remember correctly you would press in the button and the sight glass would fill with oil. Maybe vacuum connects to the top and a line goes down the engine dipstick tube to one side, and a line to the transmission dipstick tube (Dynaflow) to the other?

Edited by bjr (see edit history)
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Thanks. You've probably nailed it. This gauge may have never actually been in use as there is no indication of any oil ever having been in it. The two lower tubes on the back look just like the upper (vacuum?) one, as if rubber tubing was to be pushed on to them too. I suppose copper tubing could have been used with a rubber tubing splice at the gauge's tubes.

In looking through a number of early '50's Motor Trends I found only the one ad for the device. In those days all cars had oil pressure gauges, and you'd probably also know if the trans was low.

Edited by Dave Henderson (see edit history)
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