Monday, March 5, 2012

Oil Change System - Part II

One of the things I don't like about most of the hoses in an engine room isn't the hoses themselves - it's the clamps. There is always a little tail sticking out, and it is constantly facing in just the right direction to catch on your clothes, skin, tools, etc. Then they get bent up, so next time, you're even more likely to snag them. So, for the oil change system , I decided to go with Aeroquip Socketless hose and fittings (Fragola makes a similar product). These are one-way barbed fittings that mate exclusively with purpose designed hose, and don't require clamps under lower pressure applications. Clamps can be added for additional pressure rating, if required. The fittings have to be pre-oiled, and the hose heated in hot or boiling water for installation. Once the hose is slipped over the fitting, the only way to get it off is with a sharp knife. The hose itself has a rugged outer braid, for increased burst strength and abrasion resistance. The finished oil change system, without the cover, looks like this:

 Each hose is secured to the bulkhead just below the connection point. They are then routed to each transmission, each engine, and the generator. At the generator, I had previously machined an aluminum block to act as an access point for oil changes, so I kept this block in place, and connected the oil change system hose to it:

I have to remember to open this valve when I change the generator oil, but I like having an additional valve at the generator, for redundancy.

For the engine oil pans, I had two choices. I could have changed the elbows at the oil pan, where the dipsticks attach, to tees, and then added my oil change lines. But, the potential for sucking air through the dipsticks exists, and then all the oil is not extracted form the pan (not that last little bit, anyway). So, I removed the drain plug from the other side of the engine oil pans, and, using them as a guide, machined my own drain fittings. These are a metric thread on one side, with an O-ring seat that seals to the pan, and a -8 AN male fitting on the other side, to mate with my new oil lines. And no, you won't find these in a hardware store. The finished engine lines look like this:

The transmissions were the simplest to change over, since they already use a 1/2" NPT pipe thread. I just removed the existing plugs, and threaded in some 90 degree pipe to AN adapters:

Once all the lines were secured every 8 inches, I just had to add the pump cover, and make up a discharge line. I built a small hanger, and mounted it to the bottom of the deck, so when the hose is not in use, it has a secure storage place. I also made up an aluminum plug for this hose, so when I'm done using it, I can plug it to prevent any drips from getting into the engine room. It looks nice too...

I'll make up some labels for the valves, and it's done.

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