Author Topic: Oil Level Question  (Read 6610 times)

32 coupe

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Oil Level Question
« on: February 07, 2012, 03:32:18 PM »
Hey all,

My Metro 6/1 manual states the oil capacity is 4.5 pints. When I fill to that level the oil just touches the bottom of the dipstick. ( about 1/2" showing on the "dipper" )
I have run the engine for many hours at this level with no problems and a look at the "gear train" ( looking through the inspection door )after setting for a few days oil is still dripping from it.

I watched several vids that show that oil level should almost touch the bottom of the rod bolts. ??  I added 3 more pints of oil and it still does not show "full on the dipstick and about 1/2" from the bottom of the rod bolts.

What do you guys think ?

32 coupe

 
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 03:58:08 PM by 32 coupe »
Metro 6/1 turning a ST 7.5 KW gen head
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carlb23

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Re: Oil Level Question
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2012, 05:17:01 PM »
my metro says 5 liters of oil which is about 5.25 quarts.

LowGear

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Re: Oil Level Question
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2012, 06:58:35 PM »
The voice of ignorance must be heard!  So the question that comes to my mind (quiet in the peanut gallery) is how much oil is "full" and does the con-rod cap touch it?  The more oil the greater the margin of safety.  However, too much oil and splashing that stuff around takes energy and can encourage oil leaks and burning.

Wouldn't it be pretty easy to make the dip stick a half inch longer (obvious therapeutically advantages).  I see lots of ads on TV for just this outcome.  ;D

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ronmar

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Re: Oil Level Question
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2012, 07:24:11 PM »
If I recall the wisdom of Magic Jack, who had a lot of run time living on one of these beasts, he said that any additional oil above what was required was just slobbered away by the engine.  The excess oil gives excess splash which works it's way past the rings and is burnt.  Mine has the upper and lower sump.  With the upper sump full to overflowing, my dipper is in the oil almost 1/2" and the oil also just barely registers on the dipstick.  The oil pump keeps this upper sump full and any excess just runs over the lip into the lower sump.  IMO, around 1/2" on the dipper is an appropriate oil level, based on similar observations of oil splash and internal component coverage...  

My .02.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 03:10:34 PM by ronmar »
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38ac

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Re: Oil Level Question
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2012, 02:49:46 PM »
On my single sump Metro 6/1 both the book and the dip stick were wrong. You need to keep the oil level below the rod bolts for sure and I'd think that 1/4" would be the minimum on the dipper. My Metro dipstick now carries three marks. one is just below the rod bolts, one is at the "ideal" spot 1/2" on the dipper and my low mark is 1/4" below that.   1/2" woiuld be ideal but with a single sump engine you have to allow consumption thus my high level mark. One advange of the original double sump is the pump keeps the oil level at the dipper constant until it is completely out of oil
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BruceM

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Re: Oil Level Question
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2012, 02:53:40 PM »
My Metro 6/1 takes about 4.5 quarts. It has a single sloped sump with the dipper traveling within half an inch of the bottom; there's no place for gunk to settle to in these units.

I have one of Dave's hollow dippers.  I noticed a bit more oil consumption when I switched to that when the engine was young, running the oil level at 1.5" depth on the dipper. I had previously run the stock dipper turned edgewise to the oil.  Oil consumption did slow as the oil level went down. By about 1000 hrs of run time I didn't see a big change in oil consumption rate as the oil level lowered.  I now start at about 1" of depth on the dipper, and add about 1/2 a quart of oil in 200 hrs of run time.

I have low/high oil auto shut down via a float/magnet in a sight tube that connects to the former drain hole and goes up to an angle nipple mounted near the top of the case. The visual sight line is from the top of the float, between the blue and yellow zip ties. Cheap magnetic reed switches are zip tied to the sight tube and close when the magnet rises or lowers too much.  The shut down is set for oil level below 1/2" on the dipper when running. The picture shows just the low oil sensor, but now there are two.




I use a splash/gravity fed oil filter box inside the case just below the big door, inspired by Jack Beck's filter.  I use cotton rags (socks, underwear) for media, with a 100 tpi copper screen at the bottom.




I do all my oil changes using a homemade propane tank- topsider to suck the oil out and then squirt it into waste oil containers. I open the big door so I can also change the filter media and swab out the bottom of the sump; so I don't have to disturb the oil sight tube plumbing to do an oil change.

Because of the oil filter on the door, the running oil level is lower than the fill level, and I had to adjust the visual and reed switches to accommodate this.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 05:24:02 PM by BruceM »

ronmar

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Re: Oil Level Question
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2012, 03:20:41 PM »
That is the best way to gauge oil level Bruce.  The dipstick comming in at such a steep angle is a terrible way, as it takes only a slight difference in angle to give a wildly different indicated oil level...
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BruceM

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Re: Oil Level Question
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2012, 03:26:16 PM »
Thanks, Ron.  I wanted to be able to just visually check the oil level, and like you I was not impressed with the factory scheme.  I'm so forgetful that I also really wanted auto low oil shut down, and this seemed like the cheapest way to get both.

Edit-  By the way, I think it was Ronmar who pointed out many years ago that paper towels should not be used for this type of oil filter media, as moisture (water) will degrade them into goop.  Thanks, Ron.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 05:34:17 PM by BruceM »

ronmar

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Re: Oil Level Question
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2012, 07:40:41 PM »
But the cellulose will capture and trap the moisture:)  You just need to trap the media when it becomes water saturated...
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32 coupe

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Re: Oil Level Question
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2012, 11:41:56 PM »
Bruce,
Thanks for the pics of the filter. I read where you guys talked about it but even though I searched the forum I could not find anything on it. I had a good idea what it would look like and but as they say " a picture is worth...well you know the rest".

I like the way you have the "visual" on the oil level. Sometimes the oldest ideas are still the best.

Your report on the bearing problem is somewhat concerning to me. I have not looked at the "big end"  of my engine as of yet and believe after 200 hours running it's about time. I'm a little nervous to be honest.  Not of the phyiscal work as engines of all kinds have been a lifelong hobby but what I might find !

At this point I'm leaning toward a belt driven pump and filter system much like "veggie" has  but before that it will definately be the   smooth bearings and hollow dipper tube. Someone point me in the right direction for these ?

As for oil level I can't tell the differance in running between the factory level (4.5 pints) and the higher level of adding another 3 pints (at this point I'm about 1/2" below the rod bolts with about 1 1/2" dipper depth in oil and halfway on the dipstick). My engine only has 1 oil well, no pump or step in the bottom end .  With the engine totaly warmed up and about a 2500 watt load I can't see any differance in the exhaust or temps at either oil level.

Just my 2 cents..

32 coupe 
Metro 6/1 turning a ST 7.5 KW gen head
Changfa 1115 turning a ST 15 KW gen head
Ashwamegh 2/25
John Deere 110 TBL
New Holland TC 30

"I was sitting here reading this thinking what an idiot you are until I realized it was one of my earlier posts !"

BruceM

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Re: Oil Level Question
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2012, 05:15:17 PM »
Hey 32coupe,
The hollow dippers have come up recently- XYZer is no longer making them, so you'll have to do your own.  woodnstuff.ca  (John F) was were I got my plain bearings.  I hope he's still carrying them.

Lot's of ways to skin the cat, but I don't see the need for a pump for a bypass filter where there is such good flow down the big door of the case for gravity filtration.  If you don't believe it, put a temporary piece of 1/4" plexiglass over the door hole and fire it up briefly.  I think Jack Beck had the right idea for an easy, effective bypass filter.

Unless you check your upper bearing shell, you just won't know what the ongoing dirt/sand situation really is. (The lower will also show a very bad source within 100 hrs.)  I searched high and low for my major source of contaminants revealed by the bearing- eventually found a big gob of moderately hard black greasy casting sand UNDER the top of the piston, completely hidden from visual inspection unless you pulled the wrist pin and rod. It slowly rained down grit in my engine for hundreds of hours.  I still have a much smaller, slower source- somewhere that I can't find. The governor and cam cover areas are often a source, but that's not mine.  There are no visual signs except the bearing shell and crank pin, on my engine anyway. Some of the engine experts here might have some ideas of other places to check. 







bluesky

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Re: Oil Level Question
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2012, 03:09:34 AM »

I have low/high oil auto shut down via a float/magnet in a sight tube that connects to the former drain hole and goes up to an angle nipple mounted near the top of the case. The visual sight line is from the top of the float, between the blue and yellow zip ties. Cheap magnetic reed switches are zip tied to the sight tube and close when the magnet rises or lowers too much.  The shut down is set for oil level below 1/2" on the dipper when running. The picture shows just the low oil sensor, but now there are two.




Bruce,

Thanks for the pictures of you low oil shutdown and the big door gravity filter. I see the magnet in the left portion of the photo. Is the float in the right portion of the photo a piece of glue stick? Also, it appears there is something embedded in the right portion of the "glue stick," is a magnet embedded in the "glue stick" to float the magnet?

BruceM

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Re: Oil Level Question
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2012, 03:47:57 AM »
High Bluesky,

The float is a piece of "milk tubing" (HDPE tube sold at Ace). The magnet was pushed inside, and then the ends melted and molded shut.   It just barely floats in the oil, but it's worked fine for the years it's been in service (5?).  The bulge you see in the center of the tube is the magnet. The poles point up and down- orientation of the float doesn't change the level sensing via reed relays. They are about $3 at Digikey, as I recall.