Pressed Steel Oiler

Pressed Steel Oiler

Content Tools

1108 Emery Lane Clarksville, Indiana 47129

This is a close-up view of the pressed steel oiler used on the Fairbanks-Morse engines that were shipped from the factory painted red and not the traditional green. Oilers of this type are extremely scarce and command a premium price on today's market. Keep in mind, these oilers were used only for a short period of time, and were installed only on the Z's that were painted red. One of the main complaints, in regards to this particular oiler, was the fact that it was impossible to estimate the amount of oil that was contained in the round storage compartment. The only method to check the contents was to slide open the small lid located on the top of the oiler. Even this system was somewhat 'iffy,' because without a clear glass cylinder, it was very dark inside the oiler storage cylinder. This made it difficult for the operator to estimate the amount of oil available to lubricate the piston and rings. This was a minute problem, but nonetheless a problem. No doubt most of these oilers were replaced with the more conventional type with glass cylinders, thus solving the problem. Oilers manufactured with the glass cylinder always revealed the amount of oil available for lubrication. This also eliminated any guess work on the part of the operator. The pressed steel oiler was no doubt discarded after replacement, thus today's shortage. I am fortunate (or unfortunate, you decide), all of my engines have the original pressed steel oilers. However, let me say this, when I take these two Fairbanks to an engine show and run them for any length of time, I always replace the 'pressed steel oiler' with the glass cylinder type. This saves me a lot of worry and additional steps needed to check and make sure the engine is properly lubricated.