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Oil, oil, and more oil !

Subject: Oil, oil, and more oil !
From: "Ira M. Weinstein" <>
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 23:13:31 +0000
>Recently, Mike wrote ...

> This thread is beginning to scare me. I can't believe this theory. First, 
> there baffles etc. to keep the oil from splashing and going to one side in 
> pan when going around curves? How much oil is being pumped and not in the 
> at any given moment regardless of revs. I have no idea as to the exact 
> but I would assume that only a quart or less is in the engine at any one 
>time. I 
> was always taught that only microns are necessary on the moving parts, 
> etc. A quart is a lot of oil . If a quart is in the engine, and a quart is in 
> the filter, the pick up must need very little to still work. I have seen 
> down over two and a half quarts still running with plenty of pressure. If the 
> pump starts to suck air, I can't conceive that the system doesn't break down 
> seconds.
>    In early T types the pumps aren't self priming. Yet I have never seen an 
> engine low in oil lose prime. Maybe I'm wrong. I have been on a 7500 mile 
> with 50 T types (NEMGT REG Ocean to Ocean run in 1986) and we had every kind 
> problem imaginable, but not this. One car was loosing oil so fast on this 
> that the owner had strapped two 5 quart containers onto the running boards. 
>    As to rod bearing replacement, I have, along with every person I have 
> converted to MGB ownership ( MGs are a religion)  insisted on having the oil 
> pump and rod bearings changed before they do anything else regardless of how 
> engine ran . None of my converts have ever had a loss of pressure or engine 
> failure. The bearings are changed with the head on I think because the cost 
> fairly reasonable. I'm anxious to resolve this question of low oil as it does 
> concern me. 
> Mike (where is the dip stick) Leckstein. 

Well, let's try to clear out the air a bit.  Number one ... the dipstick 
only shows full when all of the oil has had a chance to drain back 
into the oil pan.  That is the way the system is designed.  That is 
why one has to wait after driving the car before checking your oil.  
Checking the oil immediately will read a low level and filling will 
lead to overfill (and other problems we don't need).  This happens 
typically at a gas station where they want to sell you a 50 cent 
quart of oil for $2.50.  They check your oil as soon as they can and 
know that this will generate a low reading on the dipstick.

Now the next bit of info.  Most engines hold only 1 or 1.5 quarts of 
oil (at least the ones I have seen).  The rest of the oil is living 
in the oil filter and hanging out in the oil pan.  Going around turns 
doesn't really affect the situation since the oil has a tendency to 
remain on the metal for a bit of time.  In theory, if we were to make 
a 10 minute continious turn, the oil might be sheered off the metal 
surface.  However, our 10 - 30 second turns should have no effect.

Basically - this means that being a bit low on oil most likely won't 
have a major effect ...  unless, of course, there is another problem 
(extremely low pressure, very old / low quality oil, severe blowby, etc.).
I would just keep checking your oil as needed (judge that by your
knowledge of your car), check your oil pressure guage, change your
oil and filter often, and don't really worry about it too much.

Ira M. Weinstein, Matawan NJ

'77 MGB
'88 Toyota Celica
'87 Nissan Sentra
'81 Honda CB650 Custom

Today's saying :
(An MG in pieces is better than no MG at all !)

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