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

bsf

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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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slip knot

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Last Subscription Date
12/27/2019
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.
 

bsf

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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.
 

J.B. Castagnos

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Last Subscription Date
01/01/2006
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.
 

bsf

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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.
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.
 

ulgydog56

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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..:bonk:
 

slip knot

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Last Subscription Date
12/27/2019
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?
 

gdstew

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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.
 

bsf

Registered
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?
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?
 

gdstew

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

flat piece of steel about 3/8" wide
 

armandh

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Last Subscription Date
09/02/2010
Re: B&S L-head engine - Suggestions for oil level checking in non-OEM configuration

shorten the dipstick and tube equally
 

slip knot

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/27/2019
Re: B&S L-head engine - Suggestions for oil level checking in non-OEM configuration

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?
I've used 3/16 brass brazing rod. its rigid enough to not move around and easy enough to get a solid mount in the plug fitting. as I said earlier. drill a 3/16 thru hole and press the rod thru the hole. Make sure the engine is full with the original stick then when your fabbed stick goes in just mark the oil level with a file.
 

bsf

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

slip knot,

I believe the port is 3/8” NPT, not ½”. However, I was looking at fittings yesterday. I intend to fab one with 3/16” brass rod; either a 3/8” MIP x ¼” pneumatic male nipple or hose bare adapter; and O-ring. I think ID of ¼” pneumatic nipple or barb is a few thousands less than 3/16”, and I have or have free access to those materials. Additionally, I may be able to use the nipple or barb to make some sort of grip for tool-free tightening/loosening. Thanks for the advice. Your general idea should work.
 

Rodney Dawn

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

should be able to install a regular filler plug and just check oil every 24 hours.

Always a great idea to have spare engines around for exactly this sort of project.

that engine should have plenty of horsepower to do the job, but be sure to check oil at least every 24 hours, that model tends to consume more oil in normal use (still a small ammount normally, but more than say, a 23xxx or 32xxx series briggs would, on average). double check that your carb is adjusted properly too or it will guzzle gas worse than a tecumseh under any moderate load. properly tuned fuel consumption should be around 2.5 hours/gallon running a 2000w load. problem is the carburetor, that carb is one of the worst flo-jet carbs briggs made. VERY finnicky about adjustments almost always too rich or too lean, with a very narrow sweetspot where the mixtre is just right. just something to be aware of.

another possibility on the oil cap issue might be to consider an extended run oil tank. sears used them on a lot of old tecumseh gensets, and generac made the exact same units only with a briggs engine and the proper oil tank for it. one of those generacs would have the proper oil tank for your engine.
 

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