Gas Engine Magazine

Pressed Steel Oiler

By Staff

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.

  • Published on Jul 1, 2001
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