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How much oil do I use

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  • modelt1916
    My name is Jan Arnett and I need help with a 1909 Maxwell, 2 cyc that Laurella and Royce spoke of. She now runs great except you are surround in smoke once
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 2, 2009
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      My name is Jan Arnett and I need help with a 1909 Maxwell, 2 cyc that Laurella and Royce spoke of. She now runs great except you are surround in smoke once you get started. How much oil goes in the engine pan to start and how do you put it in. What is the proper way to set the oilers. We are throwing a lot of oil out the front seal. Can this be corrected with out pulling the engine. Satuday we drained the pan (not the transmission) and put in a pint of oil. Still looked like my boy scouts camp fire with green wood. We are open to all offers of help. I will post some pictures.
      Thanks Jan
    • richentee
      The two cylinder Maxwell s have a total loss oiling system. You ought to expect to burn and leak oil, but not excessive amounts. My Franklin manual suggests
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 2, 2009
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        The two cylinder Maxwell's have a total loss oiling system. You ought to expect to burn and leak oil, but not excessive amounts. My Franklin manual suggests "a light blue haze" following a car is about right for such lubrication systems. The Maxwell manual suggests 20 drops per minute in each of the oilers.

        You just need the bottom of the connecting rods to skim the surface of the oil in the engine zone. Once the car is operating, the spinning of the rods and general mayhem of the compartment ought to have a good fog of oil stirred up. You can check that level by looking down thru the cam cage.

        I don't know of any way to seal off the front bearing without pulling everything. Perhaps someone else has that secret.

        Check to make sure you are not siphoning oil out of the tank after the engine has stopped and overfilling the engine compartment. That might cause part of your problem.
      • melmcdonald2000
        Regarding the siphoning of the oil from the oil reservoir tank, I expereinced this phenomenon soon after I got my 09 LD Roadster, so I now loosen the cap on
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 2, 2009
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          Regarding the siphoning of the oil from the oil reservoir tank, I expereinced this phenomenon soon after I got my 09 LD Roadster, so I now loosen the cap on the oil tank if I'm going to be sitting very long. I certainly do this if it is being stored overnight or til the next outing. I also open the two pet cocks on the cylinder heads. This seems to have solved the problem.
          Maybe someone can explain how this siphoning happens since their is an air gap between the pressurizing tube and the oil, and an air gap in the site glasses.
          Mel McDonald
          Dallas, TX

          --- In maxwellbriscoeowners@yahoogroups.com, "richentee" <chuckier@...> wrote:
          >
          > The two cylinder Maxwell's have a total loss oiling system. You ought to expect to burn and leak oil, but not excessive amounts. My Franklin manual suggests "a light blue haze" following a car is about right for such lubrication systems. The Maxwell manual suggests 20 drops per minute in each of the oilers.
          >
          > You just need the bottom of the connecting rods to skim the surface of the oil in the engine zone. Once the car is operating, the spinning of the rods and general mayhem of the compartment ought to have a good fog of oil stirred up. You can check that level by looking down thru the cam cage.
          >
          > I don't know of any way to seal off the front bearing without pulling everything. Perhaps someone else has that secret.
          >
          > Check to make sure you are not siphoning oil out of the tank after the engine has stopped and overfilling the engine compartment. That might cause part of your problem.
          >
        • richentee
          Just a guess: the crankcase, oil reservoir, and oilers is a closed system (sort of--none of the crankcase seals are great). When the engine stops, it starts
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 2, 2009
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            Just a guess: the crankcase, oil reservoir, and oilers is a closed system (sort of--none of the crankcase seals are great). When the engine stops, it starts to cool, reducing the pressure in the engine compartment. If that differentially is less than the remaining pressure in the oil tank/oiler part of the system, it might begin to draw oil down? Since there are check valves in place, once the oil starts down, it continues? If the oilers are well sealed, that air gap ought not to effect the siphon (think of the air gap in a medical IV used to count drips). Just a guess.

            --- In maxwellbriscoeowners@yahoogroups.com, "melmcdonald2000" <mel@...> wrote:
            >
            > Regarding the siphoning of the oil from the oil reservoir tank, I expereinced this phenomenon soon after I got my 09 LD Roadster, so I now loosen the cap on the oil tank if I'm going to be sitting very long. I certainly do this if it is being stored overnight or til the next outing. I also open the two pet cocks on the cylinder heads. This seems to have solved the problem.
            > Maybe someone can explain how this siphoning happens since their is an air gap between the pressurizing tube and the oil, and an air gap in the site glasses.
            > Mel McDonald
            > Dallas, TX
            >
            > --- In maxwellbriscoeowners@yahoogroups.com, "richentee" <chuckier@> wrote:
            > >
            > > The two cylinder Maxwell's have a total loss oiling system. You ought to expect to burn and leak oil, but not excessive amounts. My Franklin manual suggests "a light blue haze" following a car is about right for such lubrication systems. The Maxwell manual suggests 20 drops per minute in each of the oilers.
            > >
            > > You just need the bottom of the connecting rods to skim the surface of the oil in the engine zone. Once the car is operating, the spinning of the rods and general mayhem of the compartment ought to have a good fog of oil stirred up. You can check that level by looking down thru the cam cage.
            > >
            > > I don't know of any way to seal off the front bearing without pulling everything. Perhaps someone else has that secret.
            > >
            > > Check to make sure you are not siphoning oil out of the tank after the engine has stopped and overfilling the engine compartment. That might cause part of your problem.
            > >
            >
          • THOMAS REESE
            Hi All, Reference: 2 Cyl. oil consumption. You may need to put a positive shutoff in the line between the reservoir and the oilers. Some of these cars will
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 2, 2009
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              Hi All,  Reference: 2 Cyl. oil consumption.  You may need to put a positive shutoff in the line between the reservoir and the oilers.  Some of these cars will siphon the oil from the tank, even when not operating, emptying it over time, and some do not.  I have never found what does this.  

              Tom Reese
              LC & GA
              On Nov 2, 2009, at 9:18 AM, richentee wrote:

               

              The two cylinder Maxwell's have a total loss oiling system. You ought to expect to burn and leak oil, but not excessive amounts. My Franklin manual suggests "a light blue haze" following a car is about right for such lubrication systems. The Maxwell manual suggests 20 drops per minute in each of the oilers.

              You just need the bottom of the connecting rods to skim the surface of the oil in the engine zone. Once the car is operating, the spinning of the rods and general mayhem of the compartment ought to have a good fog of oil stirred up. You can check that level by looking down thru the cam cage.

              I don't know of any way to seal off the front bearing without pulling everything. Perhaps someone else has that secret.

              Check to make sure you are not siphoning oil out of the tank after the engine has stopped and overfilling the engine compartment. That might cause part of your problem.


            • RLtandem@aol.com
              Hello Jan You have made several assumptions about your horseless carriage that I am sure are based on your experiences with later era automobiles; assumptions
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 2, 2009
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                Hello Jan
                You have made several assumptions about your horseless carriage that I am sure are based on your experiences with later era automobiles; assumptions that show some results of the evolution of automotive engine design and accumulated engineering knowledge since 1909. The Maxwell Motto was, "Perfectly simple, simply perfect" and keeping the car simple and affordable was the makers goal.
                 
                Two-cylinder Maxwell's are examples of good attempts containing many advances in the manufacturing and engineering of self-propelled vehicles along with some unique efforts to solve some of the problems with earlier designs as they were understood by J D Maxwell and Ben Brisco. Please keep in mind this era was full of newly patented intellectual property and only some solutions to the problems of automobile design and operation were available to Maxwell manufacturing (The patent interchange and licensing agreements of the SAE were unheard of yet). Among the problems was the variability of oil & gas quality. This was a very real issue in this era and since oil was literally often taken as found in natural pools and lakes (in addition to rendered animal fats as well as simple distillation residues & products) and "Non-fluid oil" (we call it grease) was still under patent by Stoffer Company of Switzerland --the inventors of the grease cup in the 1870's-- so when JD designed this car (1903-4) proper oil control was perceived very differently than it is today. 
                 
                The fuels and oils of the day had many undesirable side effects such as sulfuric acid chemical corrosion, sludge formation and hard dry film formation on ageing (called shellac formation)  Everyone understood that it came from the earth and it did a good job of keeping down the dust and weeds when spread back on the ground after a short use in keeping metal parts from over heating, galling and wearing excessively.
                 
                For example the Maxwell engine is designed with large areas of it's combustion chambers without any close connection to the water cooling passages. The intent here was to cause the iron surfaces to obtain operating tempetures high enough to completely burn off the accumulated oil film and carbon deposits as they formed from the oil used to lube the pistons and rings that is constantly passing into the combustion chambers. That is why after a long hard hill climb run taken after dusk you can see the top of your engine cylinders glowing red under the frame rails! There are many other effects of this design we can go into in the future.
                 
                By 1905 effective high-speed oil control scraper piston rings had not yet been invented and they would not have been very effective in a flat twin engine design-- because of the high crankcase pumping volumes present. But Maxwell recognized these crankcase pumping effects of the design and attempted to harness them to force the oil into the engine with out going to the additional expense of a pressure oil pump. So the oil reservoir is connected to the crankcase thru a tube what contains a ball check valve. Now this system while far cheaper and simpler then an independent pump has several undesirable side effects, among them is that the the pressure provided to the reservoir varies inversely to the RPM of the engine and the needs of the engine for fresh oil. What this means is that when the engine is turning over slowly at idle the amount of oil that is shown dripping in the sight glasses is at it's maximum and we we drive the car flat out at 40 MPH attempting to keep up with modern traffic the amount of oil provided is too small to properly feed the engine! One other troublesome feature of the system was that it would continue to feed oil into the engine when not running until the pressure in the tank equalized; over filling the engine crankcase with oil. JD's solution to keeping things simple and affordable was not to install a shut off valve between the oil tank and the engine --after all if the driver ever forgot to turn it on before starting the engine disaster would be the first result. So he engineered a small passage past the check ball's seat in the pressure line to allow the air pressure in the oil tank to equalize quickly after the engine is turned off back to the crankase. But over time the score in the check valve seat is closed down by the pounding of the check ball. Additionally modern multi-viscosity oils flow more easily and have different capillery actions then the old oils had so as a result it is common for the oil reservoir to continue to drain into the crankcase while the car sits between uses. The safest fix for this is to make opening and draining the forward petcock to the crankcase a part of your starting routine. First remove this drain valve and make sure there is an attached standpipe present on the valve --my car has one about and inch & one-quarter tall-- so that there is a known reserve of oil in the engine. The fix for the low oil delivery on long fast highway runs is to open up the drip rate control screws above the center and passenger side sight glasses during those times and then close them back down when back to slow engine speeds. Typically only a 1/4 to 1/2 turn each is all that is necessary. Now to make this easier many owners have soldered period pennies to the screws so no tools are needed while driving.
                 
                The solution to the build up of road grit, abrasive particles of carbon --as well as the formation of acids and shellac on the bearings of the engine was to allow the oil to exit the bearings and move on to it's natural resting place keeping the dust down and improving the roads! One proof of this concept is that the builders installed a splash shield under the floorboards of the passenger's compartment to redirect the oil flow leaving the engine downward to reduce the amount of exiting oil from coating the driver's and passenger's shoes and clothes. I and several other owner's have followed this design lead and installed a ring shaped oil catchers around the front crankshaft as it exits the case before the oil can climb the spokes of the flywheel and be delivered over the entire undersides of the hood. There are no engine seals present in the design and installing them is an exercise in futility as the crankcase gases displacement equals the engine piston displacement and a modern PVC type of crankcase pressure reducing & breather system required to make seals viable defeats the oiling system. So get used to oil under the car and invest in lots of rags and drip pans. I would avoid encounters and conversations with tree huggers as well.
                 
                Good Luck
                BJ Coombes
                1909 LD
                Eagle Point, Oregon



                eowners@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Mon, Nov 2, 2009 5:22 am
                Subject: [maxwellbriscoeowners] How much oil do I use

                 
                My name is Jan Arnett and I need help with a 1909 Maxwell, 2 cyc that Laurella and Royce spoke of. She now runs great except you are surround in smoke once you get started. How much oil goes in the engine pan to start and how do you put it in. What is the proper way to set the oilers. We are throwing a lot of oil out the front seal. Can this be corrected with out pulling the engine. Satuday we drained the pan (not the transmission) and put in a pint of oil. Still looked like my boy scouts camp fire with green wood. We are open to all offers of help. I will post some pictures.
                Thanks Jan

              • JanA
                One of the things I have always liked about antique automobile people is that they do not let their ego s get in the way and they are always willing to help.
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 2, 2009
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                  One of the things I have always liked about antique automobile people is that they do not let their ego's get in the way and they are always willing to help. As BJ said a lot of my background is in cars of the twenties as I currently have a 1923 Moon, 1923 Dodge, 1924 Star, 1916 Ford but in my forty years I have also restored two high wheelers, 1910 Buick and a 1913 Grant and worked for Harrods during my college years.

                  I really appreciate the information and based upon what has been said we will open the cyc. petcocks to see if we are over loaded in the cyc. We do not have a petcock in the sump only a 1/4 inch pipe plug. I will have to check and see if there is a standpipe there also.

                  The flywheel appears to have an application of tape or leather covering the nose of the engine which may have been put on to try and deflect the oil slinging. If some one has picture of how they have reduced the problem I would love to see them.

                  I will post picture of the car so you can see how nice it is.
                  Have a great evening.
                  Jan

                  --- In maxwellbriscoeowners@yahoogroups.com, RLtandem@... wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Hello Jan
                  > You have made several assumptions about your horseless carriage that I am sure are based on your experiences with later era automobiles; assumptions that show some results of the evolution of automotive engine design and accumulated engineering knowledge since 1909. The Maxwell Motto was, "Perfectly simple, simply perfect" and keeping the car simple and affordable was the makers goal.
                  >
                  > Two-cylinder Maxwell's are examples of good attempts containing many advances in the manufacturing and engineering of self-propelled vehicles along with some unique efforts to solve some of the problems with earlier designs as they were understood by J D Maxwell and Ben Brisco. Please keep in mind this era was full of newly patented intellectual property and only some solutions to the problems of automobile design and operation were available to Maxwell manufacturing (The patent interchange and licensing agreements of the SAE were unheard of yet). Among the problems was the variability of oil & gas quality. This was a very real issue in this era and since oil was literally often taken as found in natural pools and lakes (in addition to rendered animal fats as well as simple distillation residues & products) and "Non-fluid oil" (we call it grease) was still under patent by Stoffer Company of Switzerland --the inventors of the grease cup in the 1870's-- so when JD designed this car (1903-4) proper oil control was perceived very differently than it is today.
                  >
                  > The fuels and oils of the day had many undesirable side effects such as sulfuric acid chemical corrosion, sludge formation and hard dry film formation on ageing (called shellac formation) Everyone understood that it came from the earth and it did a good job of keeping down the dust and weeds when spread back on the ground after a short use in keeping metal parts from over heating, galling and wearing excessively.
                  >
                  > For example the Maxwell engine is designed with large areas of it's combustion chambers without any close connection to the water cooling passages. The intent here was to cause the iron surfaces to obtain operating tempetures high enough to completely burn off the accumulated oil film and carbon deposits as they formed from the oil used to lube the pistons and rings that is constantly passing into the combustion chambers. That is why after a long hard hill climb run taken after dusk you can see the top of your engine cylinders glowing red under the frame rails! There are many other effects of this design we can go into in the future.
                  >
                  > By 1905 effective high-speed oil control scraper piston rings had not yet been invented and they would not have been very effective in a flat twin engine design-- because of the high crankcase pumping volumes present. But Maxwell recognized these crankcase pumping effects of the design and attempted to harness them to force the oil into the engine with out going to the additional expense of a pressure oil pump. So the oil reservoir is connected to the crankcase thru a tube what contains a ball check valve. Now this system while far cheaper and simpler then an independent pump has several undesirable side effects, among them is that the the pressure provided to the reservoir varies inversely to the RPM of the engine and the needs of the engine for fresh oil. What this means is that when the engine is turning over slowly at idle the amount of oil that is shown dripping in the sight glasses is at it's maximum and we we drive the car flat out at 40 MPH attempting to keep up with modern traffic the amount of oil provided is too small to properly feed the engine! One other troublesome feature of the system was that it would continue to feed oil into the engine when not running until the pressure in the tank equalized; over filling the engine crankcase with oil. JD's solution to keeping things simple and affordable was not to install a shut off valve between the oil tank and the engine --after all if the driver ever forgot to turn it on before starting the engine disaster would be the first result. So he engineered a small passage past the check ball's seat in the pressure line to allow the air pressure in the oil tank to equalize quickly after the engine is turned off back to the crankase. But over time the score in the check valve seat is closed down by the pounding of the check ball. Additionally modern multi-viscosity oils flow more easily and have different capillery actions then the old oils had so as a result it is common for the oil reservoir to continue to drain into the crankcase while the car sits between uses. The safest fix for this is to make opening and draining the forward petcock to the crankcase a part of your starting routine. First remove this drain valve and make sure there is an attached standpipe present on the valve --my car has one about and inch & one-quarter tall-- so that there is a known reserve of oil in the engine. The fix for the low oil delivery on long fast highway runs is to open up the drip rate control screws above the center and passenger side sight glasses during those times and then close them back down when back to slow engine speeds. Typically only a 1/4 to 1/2 turn each is all that is necessary. Now to make this easier many owners have soldered period pennies to the screws so no tools are needed while driving.
                  >
                  > The solution to the build up of road grit, abrasive particles of carbon --as well as the formation of acids and shellac on the bearings of the engine was to allow the oil to exit the bearings and move on to it's natural resting place keeping the dust down and improving the roads! One proof of this concept is that the builders installed a splash shield under the floorboards of the passenger's compartment to redirect the oil flow leaving the engine downward to reduce the amount of exiting oil from coating the driver's and passenger's shoes and clothes. I and several other owner's have followed this design lead and installed a ring shaped oil catchers around the front crankshaft as it exits the case before the oil can climb the spokes of the flywheel and be delivered over the entire undersides of the hood. There are no engine seals present in the design and installing them is an exercise in futility as the crankcase gases displacement equals the engine piston displacement and a modern PVC type of crankcase pressure reducing & breather system required to make seals viable defeats the oiling system. So get used to oil under the car and invest in lots of rags and drip pans. I would avoid encounters and conversations with tree huggers as well.
                  >
                  > Good Luck
                  > BJ Coombes
                  > 1909 LD
                  > Eagle Point, Oregon
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > eowners@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Mon, Nov 2, 2009 5:22 am
                  > Subject: [maxwellbriscoeowners] How much oil do I use
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > My name is Jan Arnett and I need help with a 1909 Maxwell, 2 cyc that Laurella and Royce spoke of. She now runs great except you are surround in smoke once you get started. How much oil goes in the engine pan to start and how do you put it in. What is the proper way to set the oilers. We are throwing a lot of oil out the front seal. Can this be corrected with out pulling the engine. Satuday we drained the pan (not the transmission) and put in a pint of oil. Still looked like my boy scouts camp fire with green wood. We are open to all offers of help. I will post some pictures.
                  > Thanks Jan
                  >
                • RLtandem@aol.com
                  Jan Thank you for the kind words & and I promise in the future I will endeavor to do a better job of proof reading my writing. Your background with antique
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 3, 2009
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                    Jan
                    Thank you for the kind words & and I promise in the future I will endeavor to do a better job of proof reading my writing. Your background with antique autos is an inspiration to those of us who love the history of the mechanical revolution -- one that is so berated & has been destroyed by today's establishment here in the states.
                     
                    I have often said that one fascination to me of the horseless carriage era is that it is full of products created by individual men in wood, iron, leather and brass. And that one person can study, learn, understand, so as to share and repair with others these beautiful primitive freedom machines.
                     
                    With regards to the haze of a green-wood fire left by your Maxwell I would like to quote from an automobile review published  Augest 13, 1897 In Engineering --written by one New York correspondent, (Mark Twain), "There is one advantage in the writer's mind incident to the possession of a petroleum motor, and that is the absence of any danger of losing it. You can always find it if within the radius of a few miles, unless you have chronic catarrh or a severe cold in your head. Indeed, sometimes in passing through a street through which this form of motor has gone a week previously, a man with a keen scent might be able to mark out the route." Mr Twain was reporting on the Columbia motor carriage, an electric driven product of the Pope company.
                     
                    I have found that in driving my Maxwell over a course of a day I can judge the adequacy of the oil supply rate set during the drive by stopping for a few moments --while allowing the engine to idle-- and opening the center crankcase petcock (the one with the stand pipe). If no oil is ejected; and inadequate supply was provided, If a stream is ejected in several pluses; excessive oil is present and if a few light sprays are present I've selected the correct feed rate for the conditions undertaken. By 1907 the model F Buick's were equiped with an automatic stand pipe & check valve in their crancase and I suppose one could replicate that for his Maxwell --if he cannot find an original Maxwell style petcock.
                     
                    BJ Coombes
                    Eagle Point, OR


                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: JanA <modelt1916@...>
                    To: maxwellbriscoeowners@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Mon, Nov 2, 2009 7:03 pm
                    Subject: [maxwellbriscoeowners] Re: How much oil do I use

                     
                    One of the things I have always liked about antique automobile people is that they do not let their ego's get in the way and they are always willing to help. As BJ said a lot of my background is in cars of the twenties as I currently have a 1923 Moon, 1923 Dodge, 1924 Star, 1916 Ford but in my forty years I have also restored two high wheelers, 1910 Buick and a 1913 Grant and worked for Harrods during my college years.

                    I really appreciate the information and based upon what has been said we will open the cyc. petcocks to see if we are over loaded in the cyc. We do not have a petcock in the sump only a 1/4 inch pipe plug. I will have to check and see if there is a standpipe there also.

                    The flywheel appears to have an application of tape or leather covering the nose of the engine which may have been put on to try and deflect the oil slinging. If some one has picture of how they have reduced the problem I would love to see them.

                    I will post picture of the car so you can see how nice it is.
                    Have a great evening.
                    Jan

                    --- In maxwellbriscoeowner s@yahoogroups. com, RLtandem@... wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Hello Jan
                    > You have made several assumptions about your horseless carriage that I am sure are based on your experiences with later era automobiles; assumptions that show some results of the evolution of automotive engine design and accumulated engineering knowledge since 1909. The Maxwell Motto was, "Perfectly simple, simply perfect" and keeping the car simple and affordable was the makers goal.
                    >
                    > Two-cylinder Maxwell's are examples of good attempts containing many advances in the manufacturing and engineering of self-propelled vehicles along with some unique efforts to solve some of the problems with earlier designs as they were understood by J D Maxwell and Ben Brisco. Please keep in mind this era was full of newly patented intellectual property and only some solutions to the problems of automobile design and operation were available to Maxwell manufacturing (The patent interchange and licensing agreements of the SAE were unheard of yet). Among the problems was the variability of oil & gas quality. This was a very real issue in this era and since oil was literally often taken as found in natural pools and lakes (in addition to rendered animal fats as well as simple distillation residues & products) and "Non-fluid oil" (we call it grease) was still under patent by Stoffer Company of Switzerland --the inventors of the grease cup in the 1870's-- so when JD designed this car (1903-4) proper oil control was perceived very differently than it is today.
                    >
                    > The fuels and oils of the day had many undesirable side effects such as sulfuric acid chemical corrosion, sludge formation and hard dry film formation on ageing (called shellac formation) Everyone understood that it came from the earth and it did a good job of keeping down the dust and weeds when spread back on the ground after a short use in keeping metal parts from over heating, galling and wearing excessively.
                    >
                    > For example the Maxwell engine is designed with large areas of it's combustion chambers without any close connection to the water cooling passages. The intent here was to cause the iron surfaces to obtain operating tempetures high enough to completely burn off the accumulated oil film and carbon deposits as they formed from the oil used to lube the pistons and rings that is constantly passing into the combustion chambers. That is why after a long hard hill climb run taken after dusk you can see the top of your engine cylinders glowing red under the frame rails! There are many other effects of this design we can go into in the future.
                    >
                    > By 1905 effective high-speed oil control scraper piston rings had not yet been invented and they would not have been very effective in a flat twin engine design-- because of the high crankcase pumping volumes present. But Maxwell recognized these crankcase pumping effects of the design and attempted to harness them to force the oil into the engine with out going to the additional expense of a pressure oil pump. So the oil reservoir is connected to the crankcase thru a tube what contains a ball check valve. Now this system while far cheaper and simpler then an independent pump has several undesirable side effects, among them is that the the pressure provided to the reservoir varies inversely to the RPM of the engine and the needs of the engine for fresh oil. What this means is that when the engine is turning over slowly at idle the amount of oil that is shown dripping in the sight glasses is at it's maximum and we we drive the car flat out at 40 MPH attempting to keep up with modern traffic the amount of oil provided is too small to properly feed the engine! One other troublesome feature of the system was that it would continue to feed oil into the engine when not running until the pressure in the tank equalized; over filling the engine crankcase with oil. JD's solution to keeping things simple and affordable was not to install a shut off valve between the oil tank and the engine --after all if the driver ever forgot to turn it on before starting the engine disaster would be the first result. So he engineered a small passage past the check ball's seat in the pressure line to allow the air pressure in the oil tank to equalize quickly after the engine is turned off back to the crankase. But over time the score in the check valve seat is closed down by the pounding of the check ball. Additionally modern multi-viscosity oils flow more easily and have different capillery actions then the old oils had so as a result it is common for the oil reservoir to continue to drain into the crankcase while the car sits betwe en uses. The safest fix for this is to make opening and draining the forward petcock to the crankcase a part of your starting routine. First remove this drain valve and make sure there is an attached standpipe present on the valve --my car has one about and inch & one-quarter tall-- so that there is a known reserve of oil in the engine. The fix for the low oil delivery on long fast highway runs is to open up the drip rate control screws above the center and passenger side sight glasses during those times and then close them back down when back to slow engine speeds. Typically only a 1/4 to 1/2 turn each is all that is necessary. Now to make this easier many owners have soldered period pennies to the screws so no tools are needed while driving.
                    >
                    > The solution to the build up of road grit, abrasive particles of carbon --as well as the formation of acids and shellac on the bearings of the engine was to allow the oil to exit the bearings and move on to it's natural resting place keeping the dust down and improving the roads! One proof of this concept is that the builders installed a splash shield under the floorboards of the passenger's compartment to redirect the oil flow leaving the engine downward to reduce the amount of exiting oil from coating the driver's and passenger's shoes and clothes. I and several other owner's have followed this design lead and installed a ring shaped oil catchers around the front crankshaft as it exits the case before the oil can climb the spokes of the flywheel and be delivered over the entire undersides of the hood. There are no engine seals present in the design and installing them is an exercise in futility as the crankcase gases displacement equals the engine piston displacement and a modern PVC type of crankcase pressure reducing & breather system required to make seals viable defeats the oiling system. So get used to oil under the car and invest in lots of rags and drip pans. I would avoid encounters and conversations with tree huggers as well.
                    >
                    > Good Luck
                    > BJ Coombes
                    > 1909 LD
                    > Eagle Point, Oregon
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > eowners@yahoogroups .com
                    > Sent: Mon, Nov 2, 2009 5:22 am
                    > Subject: [maxwellbriscoeowne rs] How much oil do I use
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > My name is Jan Arnett and I need help with a 1909 Maxwell, 2 cyc that Laurella and Royce spoke of. She now runs great except you are surround in smoke once you get started. How much oil goes in the engine pan to start and how do you put it in. What is the proper way to set the oilers. We are throwing a lot of oil out the front seal. Can this be corrected with out pulling the engine. Satuday we drained the pan (not the transmission) and put in a pint of oil. Still looked like my boy scouts camp fire with green wood. We are open to all offers of help. I will post some pictures.
                    > Thanks Jan
                    >

                  • JanA
                    BJ: I think we could live with the blue haze but this car puts out some much smoke that you lose sight of the drivers. I am going to hope that opening the
                    Message 9 of 9 , Nov 3, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      BJ: I think we could live with the blue haze but this car puts out some much smoke that you lose sight of the drivers. I am going to hope that opening the petcocks will drain the cyc. of excess oil and we can get to the slight haze. When you mention the center petcok you are not talking about the front. I believe that there are four plugs in the pan on this engine. What are the differences. We have been draining the front one.

                      The one thing I remember about working at Harrahs was that tomorrow you would see something that you hadn't seen before. I was a young pup of 18 and was in hog heaven. I got the summer job because I had sold them a grant roadster which I had pulled out of a junk yard in 1960.

                      On the other hand I am the technical editor for the Durant club and I get half my article from other clubs and most cars were very similar in the twenties. Oh how the automobile had come. I posted a picture of the car with the owners pictured next to it.
                      Have a fantastic day.
                      Jan

                      --- In maxwellbriscoeowners@yahoogroups.com, RLtandem@... wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Jan
                      > Thank you for the kind words & and I promise in the future I will endeavor to do a better job of proof reading my writing. Your background with antique autos is an inspiration to those of us who love the history of the mechanical revolution -- one that is so berated & has been destroyed by today's establishment here in the states.
                      >
                      > I have often said that one fascination to me of the horseless carriage era is that it is full of products created by individual men in wood, iron, leather and brass. And that one person can study, learn, understand, so as to share and repair with others these beautiful primitive freedom machines.
                      >
                      > With regards to the haze of a green-wood fire left by your Maxwell I would like to quote from an automobile review published Augest 13, 1897 In Engineering --written by one New York correspondent, (Mark Twain), "There is one advantage in the writer's mind incident to the possession of a petroleum motor, and that is the absence of any danger of losing it. You can always find it if within the radius of a few miles, unless you have chronic catarrh or a severe cold in your head. Indeed, sometimes in passing through a street through which this form of motor has gone a week previously, a man with a keen scent might be able to mark out the route." Mr Twain was reporting on the Columbia motor carriage, an electric driven product of the Pope company.
                      >
                      > I have found that in driving my Maxwell over a course of a day I can judge the adequacy of the oil supply rate set during the drive by stopping for a few moments --while allowing the engine to idle-- and opening the center crankcase petcock (the one with the stand pipe). If no oil is ejected; and inadequate supply was provided, If a stream is ejected in several pluses; excessive oil is present and if a few light sprays are present I've selected the correct feed rate for the conditions undertaken. By 1907 the model F Buick's were equiped with an automatic stand pipe & check valve in their crancase and I suppose one could replicate that for his Maxwell --if he cannot find an original Maxwell style petcock.
                      >
                      > BJ Coombes
                      > Eagle Point, OR
                      >
                      >
                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: JanA <modelt1916@...>
                      > To: maxwellbriscoeowners@yahoogroups.com
                      > Sent: Mon, Nov 2, 2009 7:03 pm
                      > Subject: [maxwellbriscoeowners] Re: How much oil do I use
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > One of the things I have always liked about antique automobile people is that they do not let their ego's get in the way and they are always willing to help. As BJ said a lot of my background is in cars of the twenties as I currently have a 1923 Moon, 1923 Dodge, 1924 Star, 1916 Ford but in my forty years I have also restored two high wheelers, 1910 Buick and a 1913 Grant and worked for Harrods during my college years.
                      >
                      > I really appreciate the information and based upon what has been said we will open the cyc. petcocks to see if we are over loaded in the cyc. We do not have a petcock in the sump only a 1/4 inch pipe plug. I will have to check and see if there is a standpipe there also.
                      >
                      > The flywheel appears to have an application of tape or leather covering the nose of the engine which may have been put on to try and deflect the oil slinging. If some one has picture of how they have reduced the problem I would love to see them.
                      >
                      > I will post picture of the car so you can see how nice it is.
                      > Have a great evening.
                      > Jan
                      >
                      > --- In maxwellbriscoeowners@yahoogroups.com, RLtandem@ wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Hello Jan
                      > > You have made several assumptions about your horseless carriage that I am sure are based on your experiences with later era automobiles; assumptions that show some results of the evolution of automotive engine design and accumulated engineering knowledge since 1909. The Maxwell Motto was, "Perfectly simple, simply perfect" and keeping the car simple and affordable was the makers goal.
                      > >
                      > > Two-cylinder Maxwell's are examples of good attempts containing many advances in the manufacturing and engineering of self-propelled vehicles along with some unique efforts to solve some of the problems with earlier designs as they were understood by J D Maxwell and Ben Brisco. Please keep in mind this era was full of newly patented intellectual property and only some solutions to the problems of automobile design and operation were available to Maxwell manufacturing (The patent interchange and licensing agreements of the SAE were unheard of yet). Among the problems was the variability of oil & gas quality. This was a very real issue in this era and since oil was literally often taken as found in natural pools and lakes (in addition to rendered animal fats as well as simple distillation residues & products) and "Non-fluid oil" (we call it grease) was still under patent by Stoffer Company of Switzerland --the inventors of the grease cup in the 1870's-- so when JD designed this car (1903-4) proper oil control was perceived very differently than it is today.
                      > >
                      > > The fuels and oils of the day had many undesirable side effects such as sulfuric acid chemical corrosion, sludge formation and hard dry film formation on ageing (called shellac formation) Everyone understood that it came from the earth and it did a good job of keeping down the dust and weeds when spread back on the ground after a short use in keeping metal parts from over heating, galling and wearing excessively.
                      > >
                      > > For example the Maxwell engine is designed with large areas of it's combustion chambers without any close connection to the water cooling passages. The intent here was to cause the iron surfaces to obtain operating tempetures high enough to completely burn off the accumulated oil film and carbon deposits as they formed from the oil used to lube the pistons and rings that is constantly passing into the combustion chambers. That is why after a long hard hill climb run taken after dusk you can see the top of your engine cylinders glowing red under the frame rails! There are many other effects of this design we can go into in the future.
                      > >
                      > > By 1905 effective high-speed oil control scraper piston rings had not yet been invented and they would not have been very effective in a flat twin engine design-- because of the high crankcase pumping volumes present. But Maxwell recognized these crankcase pumping effects of the design and attempted to harness them to force the oil into the engine with out going to the additional expense of a pressure oil pump. So the oil reservoir is connected to the crankcase thru a tube what contains a ball check valve. Now this system while far cheaper and simpler then an independent pump has several undesirable side effects, among them is that the the pressure provided to the reservoir varies inversely to the RPM of the engine and the needs of the engine for fresh oil. What this means is that when the engine is turning over slowly at idle the amount of oil that is shown dripping in the sight glasses is at it's maximum and we we drive the car flat out at 40 MPH attempting to keep up with modern traffic the amount of oil provided is too small to properly feed the engine! One other troublesome feature of the system was that it would continue to feed oil into the engine when not running until the pressure in the tank equalized; over filling the engine crankcase with oil. JD's solution to keeping things simple and affordable was not to install a shut off valve between the oil tank and the engine --after all if the driver ever forgot to turn it on before starting the engine disaster would be the first result. So he engineered a small passage past the check ball's seat in the pressure line to allow the air pressure in the oil tank to equalize quickly after the engine is turned off back to the crankase. But over time the score in the check valve seat is closed down by the pounding of the check ball. Additionally modern multi-viscosity oils flow more easily and have different capillery actions then the old oils had so as a result it is common for the oil reservoir to continue to drain into the crankcase while the car sits betwe en uses. The safest fix for this is to make opening and draining the forward petcock to the crankcase a part of your starting routine. First remove this drain valve and make sure there is an attached standpipe present on the valve --my car has one about and inch & one-quarter tall-- so that there is a known reserve of oil in the engine. The fix for the low oil delivery on long fast highway runs is to open up the drip rate control screws above the center and passenger side sight glasses during those times and then close them back down when back to slow engine speeds. Typically only a 1/4 to 1/2 turn each is all that is necessary. Now to make this easier many owners have soldered period pennies to the screws so no tools are needed while driving.
                      > >
                      > > The solution to the build up of road grit, abrasive particles of carbon --as well as the formation of acids and shellac on the bearings of the engine was to allow the oil to exit the bearings and move on to it's natural resting place keeping the dust down and improving the roads! One proof of this concept is that the builders installed a splash shield under the floorboards of the passenger's compartment to redirect the oil flow leaving the engine downward to reduce the amount of exiting oil from coating the driver's and passenger's shoes and clothes. I and several other owner's have followed this design lead and installed a ring shaped oil catchers around the front crankshaft as it exits the case before the oil can climb the spokes of the flywheel and be delivered over the entire undersides of the hood. There are no engine seals present in the design and installing them is an exercise in futility as the crankcase gases displacement equals the engine piston displacement and a modern PVC type of crankcase pressure reducing & breather system required to make seals viable defeats the oiling system. So get used to oil under the car and invest in lots of rags and drip pans. I would avoid encounters and conversations with tree huggers as well.
                      > >
                      > > Good Luck
                      > > BJ Coombes
                      > > 1909 LD
                      > > Eagle Point, Oregon
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > eowners@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Sent: Mon, Nov 2, 2009 5:22 am
                      > > Subject: [maxwellbriscoeowners] How much oil do I use
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > My name is Jan Arnett and I need help with a 1909 Maxwell, 2 cyc that Laurella and Royce spoke of. She now runs great except you are surround in smoke once you get started. How much oil goes in the engine pan to start and how do you put it in. What is the proper way to set the oilers. We are throwing a lot of oil out the front seal. Can this be corrected with out pulling the engine. Satuday we drained the pan (not the transmission) and put in a pint of oil. Still looked like my boy scouts camp fire with green wood. We are open to all offers of help. I will post some pictures.
                      > > Thanks Jan
                      > >
                      >
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