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W MacDonald

Oiler, Detroit Lubricator

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My 1911 Little Giant uses a Detroit Lubricator 4-port oiler, worm gear driven off the engine. Other makes of the era would have also used Detroit Lubricator oilers. The pump drive eccentrics and the volume adjusting cams are made of pot metal which has disintegrated sometime in the last 100 years. On mine, once the eccentrics froze, the worm gear stripped. Does anyone know if any of these little pieces are being reproduced- the eccentrics, the adjustment cams, or the worm gear? I've got one decent example of each part for a pattern.

Thanks for your input.

Wayne MacDonald

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Ben: Thanks for the reply.

A photo of the top of the oiler is attached. The case (reservoir) is cast into the engine. As it turned out, it wasn't too difficult to make new pieces out of brass using the engine lathe and vertical mill. Photos of the new parts are attached in case anyone else may need to make some of their own. The half-moon slot in the back of the eccentric is for automatically timing the two valves depending on whether the pump is driven clockwise or counterclockwise. Since i know which way my engine turns, all that was needed was a small slot to register the steel cam. (Although it wasn't necessary, I did continue the slot across the drive shaft hole, so that the pump rotation could be manually changed in the future, if desired.)

Wayne MacDonald

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I thought I was finished with this topic, but today realized that the banjo fittings on the top of the oiler (photo above) have 7/16 - 22 threads for the copper lines. This is halfway between standard 45 degree flare fittings (7/16-20) and inverted flare fittings (7/16 - 24). Before I start machining new banjo fittings (since I don't have the original matching nuts), does anyone recognize this fitting as something available today?

Wayne MacDonald

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I don't have my thread charts in front of me but the threads used on LaVigne and McCord oilers are National Pipe Straight. NPS have the same thread and similar diameter as the more common NPT pipe threads except they are not tapered. Taps & dies are available from McMaster-Carr or other suppliers.

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Thanks, I had checked on that. 1/8 NPS is .405 dia x 27 threads per inch, while 1/4 NPS is .540 diameter x 18 threads per inch. Too bad there isn't a 3/16 pipe - that would be just about right for diameter and pitch!

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Wayne-- Wouldn't it be easier just to make the four nuts? I solved a similiar problem by this method and it worked out fine using hex brass stock. But if there is a problem with the "banjo" fittings that must be addressed--Bob

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