The Lubricating System

Author Photo
By Staff

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(Through the courtesy of Lewis H. Cline, 603 Fremont St.,
Middleville, Michigan 49333 and with the kind permission of
International Harvester Company, 401 North Michigan Ave., Chicago,
Illinois 60611, we will be printing a series of interesting
information from the book ‘Internal Combustion Engines and

Anyone having tractors will find them very valuable and those
who do not have tractors, will find the data interesting. This
first one may be of help to anyone who has a tractor that uses this
type of lubricating system, as it contains information on the
proper adjustment of these mechanical lubricators.)


The force-feed lubricator is used in preference to crank case
systems of lubrication in International Harvester tractors. Its
purpose is to supply fresh ‘live’ oil always to cylinders
and bearings. Good, fresh oil has proved itself to be from two to
three times as durable as the ‘dead’ oil that is used in
the crank case of some types of engines.

The advantages to the tractor in having fresh oil are much
longer life, freedom from repairs, and continuous rated power.

A tractor which has the crank case system of lubrication uses
oil over and over again. After a few hours’ run, sediment and
condensed fuel collect in the crank case, mixing with the
lubricating oil. The result is invariable that tremendous wear and
loss of power occur from the action of this mixture of grinding
sediment and ‘dead’ oil.

The longer life of International Harvester tractors is partly
due to the force-feed lubricator. Fresh oil is furnished to all
bearing surfaces in just the proper quantities to maintain a
perfect oil film.

The Lubricating System

In working out this very important system of the engine, the
designer endeavors to furnish a suitable means of lubricating every
working or moving part, friction losses are wasteful, hence each
joint or part must be studied for its particular requirements. Some
parts, like the piston, rings and valves, are subjected to the high
heats noted, others, like the main bearings, crank pins and shaft
bearings, get continuous grinding friction. Still others get only
minor actions.

Methods of Lubricating

Lubrication for these groups should be ample and satisfactory
for the needs. In some of the above cases, the oil is a cooling
medium. Points under heal and pressure, such as the piston, rings,
main bearings and crank pin, should receive it with the greatest
certainty and regularity, so it should be fed by a force feed
lubricator. Parts requiring less certainty can be fed by gravity
oilers or grease cups, and the minor ones by careful use of an oil

One of the chief functions of a force feed lubricator is to
force to the cylinders and bearings fresh, clean, cool oil, which
tends to cool the bearing surfaces and reduce friction more
effectively then dirty, dead oil. This point is further discussed
on page 53.

Purpose of Lubrication

The idea in lubrication should be to maintain a constant oil
film between the working parts, an oil or grease roller or ball
bearing, the oil globules being the halls or rollers. If the parts
float on oil they cannot touch each other and wear is impossible.
The designer therefore studies these pressures and regulates the
sizes of parts, so that a film of lubricant will remain wherever
needed if oil or grease is sufficiently supplied. The quality of
the lubricant to be used will be discussed in Chapter VIII —
lubricants and Greases.

Illust. 30. Mechanically operated Force Feed Lubricator. A, oil
tubes. B, force-feed drive lever. C, filler cap. D, sight feed
hood. E, hand crank.

Illust. 31. How a film of lubricant between a bearing and a
shaft looks through a microscope. The oil globules act just as ball
bearings would.


Illust. 30 shows the force-feed mechanical lubricator with which
International Harvester tractors are equipped. From this lubricator
the main bearings for the crankshaft, the pistons, with the
connecting rod bearings inside the pistons are oiled. The
responsibility of getting the oil to the bearings is partly taken
from the operator’s mind, but the responsibility of the
operator, however, is to see that this lubricator is kept filled
with the proper kind of oil and that it actually pumps and delivers
oil regardless of weather or local conditions. See Page 88 for list
of suitable oils.


Remove filler cap at end of cover, pour in a recommended grade
of lubricating oil (see page 88) until gauge glass is filled to
within ? inch of top; replace filler cap securely and lubricator is
ready for operation. Turn hand crank 40 to 50 times before starting

Adjusted at the Factory

The mechanical lubricator is adjusted at the factory to supply
the right amount of oil to the different bearings and to the
cylinder become overheated, they may not be getting sufficient oil.
Examine the lubricator and see that it is working right.

Testing Amount of Oil Supplied

The right way to test the amount of oil supplied to the
different parts is to count the number of drops or disconnect the
ends of the pipes where they to go into the bearings or cylinder,
and measure the quantity each tube is listed in Tables on page 52.
The table of oil proportions and quantities for the Mogul 8-16,
10-20 and Titan International 15-30 is based on only 50 turns of
the hand crank because of the larger number of feeds and the
greater quantity of oil supplied. Please bear this point in mind
when testing your oiler as to the quantity of oil it is

How to Measure the Oil

A small one-ounce bottle can be obtained at any drug store if
you do not have one on hand. Use this as a check on the size of
tablespoon — a tablespoon is just half a liquid ounce.

In measuring with the average tablespoon, do not try to heap the
oil up, but be sure that the spoon is just level full.

If the proportion supplied to the different tubes is correct but
the total amount is not enough as shown by the total number of
tablespoonfuls, an adjustment should be made on the lever as shown
in Illust. 32.

Ordinarily when the oil drive rod is connected to hole 1, the
ratchet on the inside of the lubricator moves one notch at a time
(it cannot move less and operate the lubricator). When connected to
hole 2, the ratchet moves two notches at a time, which will about
double the oil supply. When connected to hole 3, the ratchet moves
three notches, which gives about three times the quantity of oil as
the first hole and about one and one-half times as much oil as the
second hole. There may be variations from this due to adjustments
on the oil drive rod and wear of joints. Because of this fact it
will be safest to turn the flywheel over by hand and count the
number of notches moved by the ratchet. For example assuming that
the oil drive rod is connected to hole 2 and that the ratchet moves
two notches, also, when it is connected to hole 3 that the ratchet
moves three notches. NOW suppose that you find on measuring that
the oil supplied by 200 turns of the hand crank is about 6?
tablespoonfuls, while it should be 10 tablespoonfuls. By changing
the oil drive rod from hole 2 to hole 3, the quantity of oil
supplied will be about 1? times as much as in hole 2 which will be
practically the required amount.

The Sight Feed Hood

The purpose of the sight feed hood is to enable you to see that
oil is being supplied to the different tubes. By knowing that
one-half the oil should go to the cylinder, one-third to the clutch
side bearing, and one-sixth to the flywheel side bearing, and by
carefully watching and estimating the amounts delivered by the
different tubes, you can tell if the oiler is radically out of
adjustment. It must be remembered that the size and number of drops
of oil vary considerably, depending on the oil, on the temperature,
etc. You cannot depend on counting the drops to determine the exact
amount of oil supplied by the different tubes. You will notice that
the drops run together in a chain and are very hard to count. The
right way is to count the drops five or six different times of one
minute each, then average the results. The number of drops supplied
per minute should be used only as an approximate check on the total
amount of oil going to the bearings.

Knowing that, as near as can be determined, there should be from
45 to 50 drops of oil going to the cylinder per minute, 30 to 35
drops to the clutch side bearing per minute, and 15 to 20 drops to
the flywheel side bearing per minute, you have a basis on which to
judge whether the lubricator is supplying sufficient oil. If, for
instance, 15 or 20 drops are being supplied to the cylinder per
minute, you will know that the lubricator is out of adjustment and
should be fixed promptly. Do not try to adjust the lubricator until
you have disconnected the tubes and made the tests as described

How To Make Inside Adjustments on 8-16 Mogul Lubricator

Let us again caution you not to make any adjustment inside the
lubricator unless absolutely necessary. It perhaps will be better
if you can have one of our experts assist you in making the inside
adjustments of the lubricator. In making inside adjustments proceed
as follows: Remove the cover of the lubricator. A feed regulator
will be found in front of each sight feed. Use a screw driver and
turn the screw clockwise, or to the right, to supply more oil, and
anti-clockwise, or to the left, to reduce the supply. Disconnect
the pipes where they enter the bearings or cylinder. Place a clean
bottle under each tube, give the hand crank 200 turns and then
measure the oil that comes from each tube. (see page 52 for
quantities). When properly adjusted, connect the tubes and turn
hand crank 40 to 50 times before starting engine. Be sure that the
quantity of oil supplied is large enough–better to have a little
too much instead of not enough oil.

Illust. 32. End view of mechanical lubricator. A, the oil drive
rod. To increase the supply of oil, use hold 3, to decrease it, use
hold 1.

Adjusting Lubricator Pumps On The Mogul 10-20, Titan 10-20,
Titan And International 15-30 Tractors.

The lubricators used on these tractors have a feed regulator
screw on top in front of each sight feed (see lllust. 30),
therefore it is not necessary to remove the cover as on the
lubricator used on the Mogul 8-1 6, because the adjustments are
made from the outside and not from the inside. Use a screw driver
and turn the screw clockwise or to the right to supply less oil,
and anti-clockwise or to the left to supply more oil, then to test
the amount of oil being supplied by each tube, proceed as outlined
in the previous paragraph.

Cleaning Lubricator

As there is apt to be some sediment and water collect in the
bottom of the lubricator, it should be cleaned occasionally. In the
back of the lubricator near the bottom a 54-inch pipe plug will be
found. Remove it and drain out all the sediment and water that has
collected. Rinse the lubricator out well with kerosene. After the
kerosene has drained out, replace the pipe plug, refill the
lubricator with oil and turn the hand crank to make sure the pipes
leading to the cylinder and bearings are full, which will insure a
sufficient quantity of oil being supplied to the bearings and to
the cylinder, before starting the engine.

Connecting Pipes

A little shellac on the joint of the lubricator cover will
prevent any leakage of oil.


I Tablespoonful equals approximately 6.3 cubic centimeter.

I Tablespoonful- is approximately 180 drops as delivered from
pipes in good condition.

30 Cubic centimeters equal I fluid ounce.

2 Tablespoonfuls equal J fluid ounce.

1 Tablespoonful equals 4 fluid drams.

Do not try to economize on oil — oil is cheaper than

Illust. 33. Oiling diagram for the Titan 10-20 showing
installation of mechanical lubricator and oil tubes.

Illust. 34 This shows the method of oiling crank pin bearings C
by means of the oil, rings B. A shows the oil collecting groove for
the piston pin bearing.

Illust. 35. Oiling diagram for the Mogul 10-20 showing
mechanical lubricator and oil tubes.

Illust. 36. Diagram showing method of oiling crank pin bearing C
by means of the oil ring B. A shows oil collecting groove for the
piston pin bearing.

Illust. 41. Grease cup not properly filled. The first few turns
will not send grease into the bearing — but will compress it in
the cup.

Illust. 42. Another careless way of using a grease cup — entire
bearing is not lubricated.

Illust. 43. The proper way to lubricate with a grease cup. Note
grease full length of bearing and oozing out at ends.

Care and Use of Grease Cups

Hard oil is used in bearings where the pressure is too great for
thin oils and in other places where only a small amount of oil is
needed. In any event, even though the grease cup is simple, it must
be given some real attention. A very common mistake is made in
filling by not squeezing the grease down in the top of the cup.
When the cup is not properly filled, the first few turns down do
not force the grease into the bearings but simply compact it in the
grease cup (Illust. 41). Because of this fact a man may think he
had done his part and greased the bearings when he really
hasn’t. Illust. 42 shows another thing that happens when the
grease cup is carelessly used. This bearing is only partly supplied
with grease. Illust. 43 shows the right way to handle the grease
cup. Screw the top down until it can be plainly seen that the
grease is oozing out at both ends of the bearing.

Keep Grease Free From Dust

The can containing your supply of grease should not be allowed
to stand open so that dust can get into it. Dust is gritty and if
carried into the bearings with the grease will cut the bearings
rapidly and often cause them to heat excessively.

When filling the grease cups it is important to wipe the dust
from the cup and especially out of the threads on the cup before
filling. Dust accumulates on the cup and in the threads, and when
the top is unscrewed this dust is carried up to the edge. When
grease is put in, the dust gets in with it and bad results are very
likely to follow.

Oilers – Oil Holes

See that all oil holes, oil or grease passages, are open and
that the oil or grease actually reaches the bearings. Frequent
inspection and cleaning of all oil holes, oil and grease passages,
may save a bearing from being seriously damaged. It often happens
that the oil passages get clogged right at the bearing so it is
best to completely clean the oil passage all the way to the

Oil Bath

Several parts of Mogul and Titan tractors operate in an oil
bath. Because of the very nature of this system of oiling it is
sometimes neglected. A man may think that because he has supplied a
certain amount of oil at a certain time that the bearings are
properly lubricated. It is always best to inspect these parts
frequently and be sure that they are supplied with a sufficient
amount of oil. By doing this you take no chances. Too much oil is
not as harmful as too little oil. At any rate, oil is cheaper and
better than delays and repair parts.

Published on Jan 1, 1970

Gas Engine Magazine

Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines