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  1. #1

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    Four Stroke Valve Train Lubrication

    I have a concern with the lack of oil making it to the top end of my four strokes. My little Saito .30 especially. I have done searches and basically found threads that the over all conclusion has been they seem to keep their integrity despite very little oil migration and to manually lube them occasionally if you choose to worry about the fact. I can't begin to claim more knowledge than the engineers at Saito, OS, etc. but has it been tried or even discussed here that it may serve well to maybe add some nipples to the rocker covers so the crankcase vent is routed first low on the rocker cover(s) then from a higher nipple to a vent hose? The idea obviously being that the rockers, valve guides, etc benefit from the oil expelled from the factory vent before it is ejected? I would think there is enough blow by to prevent the crank case from puddling?

  2. #2
    Moderator w8ye's Avatar
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    There's always a little puddle of oil in the crankcase.

    If I have the valve covers off, I squirt a little oil on the rockers

    Never had any trouble with the glow ones due to lack of oil.
    Attended the CutFinger Institute of DirtNap University for years but never did graduate....
    Recipient, Mangledhand award August 2008
    Club Saito Member #7
    Original AMA #31261

  3. #3
    controlliner's Avatar
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    I use Hopps gun oil with PTFE, to lube rockers and stems. I also work a little down to the lifters.
    \"Keep it clean and not too lean\" Duke Fox

  4. #4
    Hobbsy's Avatar
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    Cliff, I use power steering fluid, the stuff is tenacious and stays on the rocker pivot for months. I have never seen them dry.
    John Deere 820, 72.82 HP @ 1,125 rpm, 470.7 cu. in., bore=6.125", stroke=8.00", two cylinder. CR=16 to 1.
    Starter=V-4 pony motor.

    Club Saito member #5

  5. #5

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    I assembled it with a little Lubriplate. After a solid four or five hours of flying I expected it to be washed away when I checked the valve lash. I know W8YE and Hobbsy have done plenty of R&D. If it ain't broke don't fix it I guess. Thanks for the advise.

  6. #6
    1QwkSport2.5r's Avatar
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    I drizzle oil (castor) down the pushrod tubes and all over the rockers/rocker shafts, valve springs, etc. when I adjust or check the valve lash. There's always oil on the valve train parts but a little extra never hurts.
    GlowHead Brotherhood #3
    I don't need the Internet, my wife knows everything.


  7. #7
    jeffie8696's Avatar
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    I have to agree, I simply dribble some good synthetic motor oil on the valvetrain components every few months.
    Club Saito # 677-Team Boca Bearings-Star Collectibles Muscatine-Glowhead Brotherhood #19

  8. #8
    Moderator blw's Avatar
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    It looks like all that responded do the same thing. A little oil of some kind down the push rod tubes when we have the covers off just to do it.
    The ultimate responsibility of pilots is to fulfill the dreams of the countless millions who can only stare skyward...and wish.

    "It's a new day for Auburn" - Gus Malzahn

  9. #9
    Hobbsy's Avatar
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    I don't waste it down the pushrod tubes but make certain it gets on the rocker shaft, the pushrod pivot and especially the tip of the rocker arm where the tip moves in an arc and tries to move the valve stem back forth. Easier sliding is good there.
    John Deere 820, 72.82 HP @ 1,125 rpm, 470.7 cu. in., bore=6.125", stroke=8.00", two cylinder. CR=16 to 1.
    Starter=V-4 pony motor.

    Club Saito member #5

  10. #10
    proptop's Avatar
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    Years ago, I happened to mention that I had aquired an older High Compression Saito 80GK...(an old flying buddy gave it to me because it had a broken valve spring, and bad bearings)
    Bill Robison kindly offered to do a machining operation for me which entailed opening the spring pockets in the head, because the new springs are a bit larger O.D. than the old (and no longer available) version.

    Anyway...long story I will attempt to shorten...he and I had a rather long phone conversation about seeing dry valvetrain components on certain Saito engines, especially when mounted w/ cylinder upright. ("Inverted" , w/ cyl. hanging straight down, seems better for rocker and valve tip, pushrod end(s) lubrication)

    I don't remember now if Bill actually did the modification, I think he did, but I tried one method...it was to block off the backplate vent, and the oil and case venting would have to go up the pushrod tubes and out the rocker covers. I used a Dremel cut-off wheel (the thin, rather fragile dk. brown ones) and cut a shallow groove in each lifter...about .015" deep, approx. and that let the case gasses get past the lifters, and up the tubes...then a small hole in each rocker cover, at the rear for venting out a small nipple for fuel line drain...

    It worked...but I don't know as it was absolutely necessary....(I like to tinker, and since Bill also had seen dry top ends like I have, we figured why not try it)
    Back then, I was a "mister fixit" for a couple of LHS's and had worked on many different brands and sizes of engines...but I haven't done that since '08...
    Last edited by proptop; 03-23-2014 at 11:28 PM.
    < Wrongway Feldman's Kreider-Reisner KR-21...(on Gilligan's Island)

  11. #11
    Moderator blw's Avatar
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    I guess I thought it was understood that I meant the other stuff on top gets oil too. I don't agree about a few drops down the tube being wasted as long as some gets down and around the cam followers.
    The ultimate responsibility of pilots is to fulfill the dreams of the countless millions who can only stare skyward...and wish.

    "It's a new day for Auburn" - Gus Malzahn

  12. #12
    1QwkSport2.5r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blw View Post
    I guess I thought it was understood that I meant the other stuff on top gets oil too. I don't agree about a few drops down the tube being wasted as long as some gets down and around the cam followers.
    That area is probably the least lubricated area of a 4-stroke and thus I agree should get a dab of oil sometimes. My Enya 4-strokes have very tight cam follower (lifter) bores so the oil I drip down the tubes doesn't go very far very quickly. I'd assume Saito makes their engines with similar tolerance.
    GlowHead Brotherhood #3
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  13. #13

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    My area of greatest concern would be the valve guides.

  14. #14
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    Oil can get through an orifice that is too small for water to pass through. In my experience the cam and lifters bear the most damage .
    Club Saito # 677-Team Boca Bearings-Star Collectibles Muscatine-Glowhead Brotherhood #19

  15. #15
    Hobbsy's Avatar
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    The valve guides and stems get plenty of oil, there is oil in the fuel and in the exhaust and as mentioned, oil is hard to keep out of places you don't want it, so it will walk right up the valve stems, no problem,.Auto engines have valve stem seals to keep oil from walking down valve guides and making the engine smoke.

    I guess I need to, "state things more betterly", I don't disagree with placing oil down the pushrod tubes, it's just something I don't do because there nowhere for it to go.
    Last edited by Hobbsy; 03-25-2014 at 07:27 AM.
    John Deere 820, 72.82 HP @ 1,125 rpm, 470.7 cu. in., bore=6.125", stroke=8.00", two cylinder. CR=16 to 1.
    Starter=V-4 pony motor.

    Club Saito member #5

  16. #16

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    I hadn't considered the fact that the stems and guides would pick up oil on the exposed surfaces in the ports.

  17. #17
    Moderator blw's Avatar
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    Well I guess I don't understand how oil can walk up a valve guide but can't drain down a push tube and past a moving cam follower.
    The ultimate responsibility of pilots is to fulfill the dreams of the countless millions who can only stare skyward...and wish.

    "It's a new day for Auburn" - Gus Malzahn

  18. #18
    1QwkSport2.5r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blw View Post
    Well I guess I don't understand how oil can walk up a valve guide but can't drain down a push tube and past a moving cam follower.
    Yeah, I was wondering the same thing.
    GlowHead Brotherhood #3
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  19. #19
    SrTelemaster150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blw View Post
    Well I guess I don't understand how oil can walk up a valve guide but can't drain down a push tube and past a moving cam follower.
    Positive pressure in the exhaust port will force oil into the rocker area while negative pressure in the intake port will pull oil from the rocker area.
    Club Saito #785 - FA91S, FA150, FA180, FA180HC/BBC, FA200TI, FA300TTDP: All with CH Ignitions CDI/Glow fuel
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  20. #20
    proptop's Avatar
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    I'm just guessing, but I think the stack-up of tolerences might have something to do with why some engines are lubricated just fine...no problems...but if the stack-up of tolerences ends up on the tight side, there is inhibited oil flow?

    Some guys, myself included for the most part, report no lubrication issues...but there is the odd occasion where a tight one goes out the door, and it might run a bit dry in the rocker / cam area???
    < Wrongway Feldman's Kreider-Reisner KR-21...(on Gilligan's Island)

  21. #21
    SrTelemaster150's Avatar
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    I think valve train lubrication is less of an issue if the engine is mounted inverted or horizontal.

    Using an inlet check on the rear W/an outlet check on the front also helps. Saito claims it keeps the crankcase cleared of potentially harmfull accumulation of blowby & moisture. It is standard on the dual carburetor version of the 300T & is used to pressurize the fuel to feed the high mounted dual carbs. This is a picture of the bottom of my FA300TTDP.

    Club Saito #785 - FA91S, FA150, FA180, FA180HC/BBC, FA200TI, FA300TTDP: All with CH Ignitions CDI/Glow fuel
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  22. #22
    Hobbsy's Avatar
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    Dan, getting back to the puller, where did you get it, I use a battery puller but had to grind the bolt down to use it on Saitos with longer prop studs. Thanks
    John Deere 820, 72.82 HP @ 1,125 rpm, 470.7 cu. in., bore=6.125", stroke=8.00", two cylinder. CR=16 to 1.
    Starter=V-4 pony motor.

    Club Saito member #5

  23. #23
    SrTelemaster150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbsy View Post
    Dan, getting back to the puller, where did you get it, I use a battery puller but had to grind the bolt down to use it on Saitos with longer prop studs. Thanks
    I believe I bought it at Sears. I think it was mismarked as it was less than $20. I had an FA150 that had spent 15 years in an unheated shed & it ate the battery puller like candy. When I was looking for a puller @ Sears I snapped the bargain up.

    They are usually about $60 but they sure are handy as the cage acts like a 3rd hand to keep the jaws positioned.
    Club Saito #785 - FA91S, FA150, FA180, FA180HC/BBC, FA200TI, FA300TTDP: All with CH Ignitions CDI/Glow fuel
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  24. #24
    Hobbsy's Avatar
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    Here is the very loosely and sloppy built puller. The end of the screw used to protrude unthreaded for an additional .375", I will look into something like yours.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    John Deere 820, 72.82 HP @ 1,125 rpm, 470.7 cu. in., bore=6.125", stroke=8.00", two cylinder. CR=16 to 1.
    Starter=V-4 pony motor.

    Club Saito member #5

  25. #25
    SrTelemaster150's Avatar
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    Like most every tool I have ever purchased, the caged puller has proven to be handy in many instances. I rarely pull my 2 jaw puller out of the tool chest anymore.
    Club Saito #785 - FA91S, FA150, FA180, FA180HC/BBC, FA200TI, FA300TTDP: All with CH Ignitions CDI/Glow fuel
    SIG BH #41
    - 1/3 Spacewalker, Rascal 110
    CUB BH #231 - Wings Maker 1/5 J-3 Cub


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