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B&S L-head engine - Suggestions for oil level checking in non-OEM configuration


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Old 02-12-2019, 06:00:31 PM
bsf bsf is offline
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Default B&S L-head engine - Suggestions for oil level checking in non-OEM configuration

I am in the process of fitting an Ag-Tronic 5kW generator with a B&S L-head engine (Model 252417) into a later Coleman Powermate generator tube frame with 5 gallon gas tank.

This engine’s OEM configuration has a dipstick, oil fill tube, and seal stuffed into a threaded hole in the top of the crankcase cover. A $2.70 B&S 281658S Oil Fill Cap fits this oil fill port. The tube and dipstick are extremely stout. The tube has consistent diameter except for the bell at top and the narrowed, bottom ~1”. There is an oil drain plug in the following locations: both sides of the crankcase and the back of the crankcase cover. There is neither an oil level switch nor a provision for one in this cylinder assembly (engine block). There is no angled oil check/fill port cast into side of this crankcase cover as there is with some, other L-head engines.

I cannot use the fill/check tube in OEM configuration after installing the generator into the frame/tank due to lack of clearance. I would be appreciative for suggested solutions.

Thank you.

Note. Photos show Ag-Tronic only temporarily set in frame for layout. After final installation, there will be ~1” more clearance between the top of the engine and the heat shield than shown in this photos.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:18:29 PM
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Default Re: B&S L-head engine - Suggestions for oil level checking in non-OEM configuration

make a dipstick to fit the threaded hole that the original goes in. pipe plug with a stout wire thru it. Fill the oil level with the original dipstick then mark the new stick where the oil comes to.

I use brass brazing rod and drill the pipe fitting thru at the same diameter as the brazing rod. Push the rod thru the fitting then braze the rod to the top of the fitting.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:49:37 PM
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Default Re: B&S L-head engine - Suggestions for oil level checking in non-OEM configuration

Thanks. I am not experience w/ brazing, but not unwilling to learn. However, the general solution you propose sounds good, and relatively inexpensive. I do have plumbing and silver soldering materials on hand. Alternatively, I could just thread a rod into a plug and stake it. Or some combination of the above.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:52:26 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is online now
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Default Re: B&S L-head engine - Suggestions for oil level checking in non-OEM configuration

You could put a nipple and a T in the drain pipe, a nipple with a cap rising out of the T to the proper level. You could also put a hand hole in the cover above the dipstick, a pivoting cap on the cover to close the hole.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:15:15 PM
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Default Re: B&S L-head engine - Suggestions for oil level checking in non-OEM configuration

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.B. Castagnos View Post
You could put a nipple and a T in the drain pipe, a nipple with a cap rising out of the T to the proper level. You could also put a hand hole in the cover above the dipstick, a pivoting cap on the cover to close the hole.
Thought about re-purposing a drain hole. That is why I mentioned them. Want to know what others think, though. A gas tank goes directly above the large heat shield mounted to the frame; no access from above.

Wonder if there are any B&S OEM plastic plug/dipstick combos that fit the OEM fill hole (1/2" NPT?) and would be long enough for my application.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:40:41 PM
ulgydog56 ulgydog56 is offline
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Default Re: B&S L-head engine - Suggestions for oil level checking in non-OEM configuration

im with jb, keep it simple, come off the drain plug with a ntp 90 then a nipple and tee with a plug in it for draining, and go vert with a nipple and cap, fill oil to engine block level and mark it on the vert nipple...good to go..
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:46:01 PM
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Default Re: B&S L-head engine - Suggestions for oil level checking in non-OEM configuration

once you get the oil level figured out you need to think about filling it too. The original dipstick tube was also the fill location. how you gonna top off the oil while in use?
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:00:33 AM
gdstew gdstew is offline
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Default Re: B&S L-head engine - Suggestions for oil level checking in non-OEM configuration

Tecumseh had some dipsticks that were secured to the filler plug with a screw. You could use their plug and make your own dipstick.

While the fitting in the drain plug set-up would work, I like to look at the dipstick and see how low the oil is and what it looks like.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:58:38 AM
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Default Re: B&S L-head engine - Suggestions for oil level checking in non-OEM configuration

Quote:
Originally Posted by slip knot View Post
once you get the oil level figured out you need to think about filling it too. The original dipstick tube was also the fill location. how you gonna top off the oil while in use?
Funnel w/ extension tube into original fill port.

If I made my own dipstick/plug, what diameter rod should I use? Material? Any concerns with a 6” – 7” dipstick not mostly surrounded by a tube or tubular passage?
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:06:02 AM
gdstew gdstew is offline
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Default Re: B&S L-head engine - Suggestions for oil level checking in non-OEM configuration

flat piece of steel about 3/8" wide
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