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RickAB

2 Cyl oiling questions

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Hello All,

Can some of you knowledgeable enthusiasts please answer the following questions and help settle a 'discussion' I'm having with a mechanic friend - re the 2cyl AB Maxwell oiling system.

1/ Is oil needed in the crankcase? (No mention of it in the manual. Obviously it is needed in the transmission part, but does the crankshaft and big ends have to dip in oil?)

2/ If so, how much?

3/ How do you check this level?

4/ Should there be a check valve on the centre oil feed to the rear main/gearbox? (I know there is one on each of the jugs but I've had conflicting advice over the centre one, and again no mention of it in the manual.)

5/ Has anyone experimented with venting the pressure build up in the crankcase? (seems to be a lot of pressure in there with no effective means of ventilation. I understand many other similar engines of the time, like the International buggy for example, had simple flap valve type arrangements to get rid of excessive pressure)

Am keenly awaiting your responses.

Thanks

Rick

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The Maxwell oiling is self regulating, if the drippers are set at 15 to 20 drops per minute then the crankcase will maintain enough oil. If you drain the oil then enough should be put in so the rods will touch the oil for start up. There should not be oil rings on the pistons, if there is more oil then the engine needs it must either burn it or sling it out. There is not a check valve on the third oil line. Are you in the Maxwell Registry if not contact Vern Cambell dccampbell@toast.net Leroy Francies

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Some more comments on 2 cyl oiling. Some cars like to syphon the oil from the dash tank when sitting idle. Some do not. Those that syphon deliver most of the oil from the tank to the crankcase where it is not wanted in such quantities. It will throw it out or drip it out in large quantities making even more mess than the usual Maxwell. I do not know why this is. I install a shutoff valve between the tank and the oiler to keep this from happening, which is a difficult plumbing task.

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Thanks Leroy and Twrcars for your replies.

Leroy - Maybe I should put in a drain tap/plug on the crankcase at about the position I think the oil depth would be just sufficient fot the rods to dip in. That way I can ensure that excess oil above that level can be drained off fairly easily. But the main thing is you think there should be at least some oil in there? ie you don't start it up with a dry sump? (Yes, i'm in the Registry)

Twrcars - Yes, my car suffers from syphoning after the engine stops. I even unscrew the oil tank cap after stopping to destroy any pressure, but it still wants to syphon. Would be interested in seeing details of your shut off valve mod....although I'd be worried I'd forget to turn the valve back on when starting up! I take it you have to take your hood off to access this valve?

I still wonder why the centre main doesn't have a check valve. Surely this oil line is subject to the same back pressure as the ones on the jugs?

I also still wonder why there isn't some sort of crankcase ventilation. Has anyone out there made a vent mod?

Thanks

RickAB

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Merle S. made two suggestions to me on the Maxwell oiling system.

He drilled a very small vent hole into the cap of the oil tank (I don't remember the exact size, about as small as a 70). The vent is not large enough to impede oil flow, but will release pressure when you shut down.

He also showed me a short tube braised into the rear crankcase drain cock. It is just long enough to measure out the proper depth of oil. This makes sure you don't start dry.

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The Maxwell instruction book #2 says "The valves in G and H permit oil to drop at the right moment into channeled connecting rods, the oil splashing back and forth into the bearing." The diagram shows fittings G & H going to the cylinders with ball valves and fitting F (with no ball valve) going to the transmission an the small Maxwells and to the clutch on the 5 X 5. Leroy

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The syphoning problem makes a mess. It will drain a full dash can of oil into the crankcase and transmission overnight. The engine needs some oil, like maybe a pint, but this excess gets forced out all over, and it can foul the plugs. The plumbing for the turnoff is simple in that it just puts a line stop cock in the connection from the tank to the oiler. I run a shaft through the dash with a lever handle so that I can turn it on and off from the seat. Finding the fittings is the job.

The threads seem to be all different on the various els and valves. Essex Brass can be of some help. Once you get the drips all working as they should, I wouldn't worry much about the oiling system. They seem to work just fine. I have driven my LC more than 2000 miles. You might want to take off the top of the transmission once a season to see if the level has kept up. Usually, this is not a problem.

TGhe threse

to tha

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Dear Rick,

We've successfully toured with a 1909 LD Runabout for 10 years. The oil is put into the engine and transmission via the lubricator reservoir and the three sight glass drips on the dashboard. I set mine to drip about once every 5 seconds.

Don't vent the crankcase! There's a line that goes from the crankcase to the oil reservoir. This line has a check valve in line which allows pressure to flow from the crankcase to the lubricator reservoir and keeps positive pressure on it for oil feed. If you vent the crankcase, it will keep this line from pressurizing properly.

I hope this helps! Enjoy your Maxwell!

Bill Johnson

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I think Jim Maxwell in his DR and I in my 1905 L and 1910 AA 2-cyl cars run 7 to 9 drips per minute and that has proved adequate. I thought I could draw the excess oil out of my 1910 AA through a bolt in the back engine plate through a copper sump line inside the engine I put in at about the top of the back bearing. I worried about losing pressure so I put a PVC valve on it that would not let it suck but only blow. I drilled the bolt and sweated in the inside line and the line on the outside to curve over to an oil bottle I wired to the chassis. Made no difference. The oil still was ejected out the back bearing and several other points on the engine. I removed it and the car still ran the same and oil was forced out everywhere.

When you think of the roads at the time, a single pass oiling system was a stroke of genius. With no breather on the crankcase, it did not suck in dust and grit. Oil was cheap and engines expensive. The dusty roads were benefited by the dripping oil. The oil being forced out working surfaces lubricated them.

Phil Knighton

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