Pre-lube system

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by burnandreturn, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. burnandreturn

    burnandreturn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Germany
    Messages: 303

    One of the things I really hate to do is change the oil on the mowers. So I designed and installed a pre-lube system on the mowers. It's really nice to be able to change the oil and filter in under 3 minutes.

    I decided to make it a pre-lube system as well. I push a button for 5 seconds and the oil presure is up before I turn the key. No dry starts. Everything I've read say's that's when 60% of the wear takes place on any engine.

    I put a hydraulic quick disconnect on and a ball valve to redirect the oil out a hose into a milk jug. Just turn the ball valve and connect my short 3 foot hose, press the button and all the oil is pumped out of the engine. Screw on a new oil filter, done. Oh yeah, put new oil in!!

    Took me some time to get it just right but now it works perfectly.

    It has been use on boats for years, just adapted the system.
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    You're going to have to go into way more detail than simply saying you attached a valve and a hose. You speak of pressing a button. What button and where does it attach? Are you pressurizing the crankcase? If you are what precautions are you taking to make sure you don't blow out a seal or the base (crankcase) gasket? Where does the prelube come in? Simply pressurizing the crankcase doesn't bring up oil pressure in a wet sump system. It may work on a dry sump if you close off the return to the tank and pressurize the tank.
  3. LawnCrafters

    LawnCrafters LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    I like the idea and I get the part about the disconnect and ball valve for draining, but I'm also trying to figure out how the pressure button works.
    Is it a button specificly for this application or is it something you adapted? Could you possibly give us more deetail or some pictures?
    Thanks alot, great idea.
  4. burnandreturn

    burnandreturn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Germany
    Messages: 303

    It is something I adapted from large diesel, marine and aviation applications. I bought special pumps and configured the system myself.

    I'm sending oil to be tested pre pre-lube and post pre-lube to see how much actual metal contamination is in the oil. If non pre-lubed starts actually cause engine damage there should be particles of metal in the oil or filter. If pre-lubed starts work there should be less contamination. Actual statistics might take some time. These tests have been done on large engines but to my knowledge not on small engines. We'll see............
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Sounds expensive. Could a street lackie like me buy the parts and what do they cost for the average Joe?
  6. burnandreturn

    burnandreturn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Germany
    Messages: 303

    I'm still working on the details, but I will be able to offer in the near future a very affordable package.
  7. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    Don't give the idea careful you have a good one IF the costs are reasonable.

    The system you talk about, like you said, has been used in aero and marine engines. Also, railroad engines. But those engines cost a little more than a Kohler 25.

    If you can produce it reasonably priced, you have an ace in the hole.

    BUT don't look to sell to very many OEM's. Look at Dyna-Mow, they made the world's best mowers, indestructible. But for $20,000 for a ZTR they became Dyna-Soar....EXTINCT!

    For example, my Gravely 260Z has no hydraulic oil cooler. IF a manufacturer can get the sticker price down $150, they will, even if it lops 500 hours off the service life of the machine.

    The economy sorts things out that way. Nobody wants to spend a lot preserving the life of a mower just so Joe Punk employee can trash it.

  8. burnandreturn

    burnandreturn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Germany
    Messages: 303

    The pump sucks the oil from a hose connected to the crankcase drain hole. I removed the oil sending unit installed a tee fitting and and put the oil sending unit on the tee. A hose connects from this tee to the output side of the pump. The pump is a twelve volt pump capable of withstanding the temperatures of the hot oil.
    I wired the pump to a switch powered off the positive cable on the starter. I also took a spin on oil filter drilled a hole through the outside metal canister and brazed a fitting to it to facilitate connecting a mechanical oil pressure gauge to the filter.

    I press the button and in under five seconds the oil pressure is up to 40 psi.

    Although I was sure that I was pressurising the oil system on the engine I wanted concrete proof I that it was happening and wanted to know how long it took.

    I'm not pressurizing the crankcase.

    I then installed a ball valve between the output of the pump and the input to the engine at the oil sending unit. Between this ball valve and the output of the pump I installed a hydraulic quick disconnect coupling. When a hydraulic quick disconnect coupling is disconnected they are shut off. No oil will flow out. So if I want to change the oil I close the ball valve, connect a short hose via the hydraulic quick disconnet coupling, put the end of the hose in a milk jug or bucket, press the switch to turn on the pump and it pumps the oil out of the engine into the jug. Works great!!!

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