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Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?


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  #1  
Old 10-04-2009, 05:26:00 PM
smgussey smgussey is offline
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Default Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

I'm not sure if I have big problems or not - don't know how much these old beasts can take... I just know that none of my other engines are in this kind of shape...

Picked this engine up yesterday and the breather was off and I could see sawdust in the hole. Figured I'd take things apart to clean out the crankcase before running it. Found a lot of wood shavings as the guy does a lot of woodworking in his garage...

Pulled the piston back to have a look at it as I know it's been replaced due to dropping a valve earlier... and it looks rusty and is a little rough. The bore seems OK to me. I can hear some compression leaking by, but it does have plenty of compression to bounce back and forth - and it might not be broke-in yet from the replacement rings that were installed.





And then there is the lower half of the main bearing that is broken in half:



And the dipper tray in the oil pan has some holes through it - will this be a problem?



More pictures here:
http://s8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/smgussey/engines/



Any and all help and advice appreciated!
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:57:44 PM
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David M. Lyon David M. Lyon is offline
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

It'll probably run another forty years!
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:44:47 PM
smgussey smgussey is offline
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Smile Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

Well, I got it all put back together and running!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4L_7nC39qIo



Quite the oil sprayer as it sits! How much oil should be in the crankcase? I've got a manual on the way... I probably have it a bit over-full along with that broken main allowing the oil to just run out and hit the flywheel... what a mess.

It runs nice, no rattles, no bangs, no knocks, and doesn't even really shake my creeper that it's strapped to!

At the very least I'll need to tear it down again and put some gasket goop under the mains and around the crankcase cover to stop the oil leaks.
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:42:17 PM
Nathan K. Nathan K. is offline
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

Hi,
I would probably solder the oil tray so that it holds the oil at the right level for proper lubrication, the bearing could be left if the shims hold it tight or you maybe able to carefully solder/ melt it back together. and the piston if its too rough you may want to sand it so its easier on the cylinder although since you have had it running it maybe smoother now. You seem to be missing the oil dipstick, hit/miss ent. or one of the other suppliers sould have one or i could measure mine if your making one. Also there should be a felt seal with a washer on each side that goes in the groove in the bearings that should stop your leak. Have fun there a nice running engine, mine has never been apart since the factory. Nathan.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:28:41 PM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

Make sure that your crankcase vent valve is working properly~ if its not, it'll blow oil out around the crank bearings....The valve should let the crankcase pressure blow out as the piston is coming back, and stop it from pulling in the vent so that it pulls the oil away from the main bearings on the in stroke of the piston by pulling its vent air around the bearings. It'll sure sling oil everywhere if its not working right.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:29:00 PM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

I have a bolt for a dipstick... so if you could measure how far down from the stop at the top the mark is, I'd appreciate it. I put two quarts in it, so it's about 1/2" or so above the low side of the dipper pan.

Is there supposed to be a dipper attached to the connecting rod?

I have the felts on the crankshaft - the issue I believe is the broken lower main bearing allowing oil to come to the outside instead of directing it back to the crankcase.

I'll probably sand the piston next time I have it apart - what grit would you recommend?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:31:04 PM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

David, you must have posted the same time I did!

I have the breather installed, but the spring may be too tight on it as I don't feel any air coming out of it - or perhaps even backwards so it's allowing air to suck in and not letting it out! I'll check it out next time I'm working on it.

Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:33:57 PM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

the "ZC52" engines and the "Z type C" engines hold exactly one quart of oil...Drain it, refill it, and mark your bolt so you can check the level next time.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:53:29 PM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

With only one quart, it didn't appear that any oil was going to get into the dipper tray, that's why I put more in.

There's a mark on the bolt that came with the engine, but it would take another 3 quarts to get the level that high!

I'll drain and re-fill with 1 quart and build a better dipstick and mark it, THANK YOU!
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:56:29 PM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smgussey View Post

I'll probably sand the piston next time I have it apart - what grit would you recommend?

Thanks for the help!
A scotch brite wheel for your grinder will smooth the piston without removing much metal.

http://ebay.com/3M-Abrasive-ScotchBrite-Roloc-TR-EXL-Unitized-Wheels

We use those at work for deburring parts. I've used them on my motorcycle parts to remove corrosion.

Jeff
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:34:10 AM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

Here is some usefull information for you lovers of all things Fairbanks Morse! here is a copy of the oil recomendation chart for type "ZC" engines.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:41:27 AM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

Smgussey:

First, don't worry about the roughness on the piston skirt. Any polishing you do to the piston will only increase the skirt clearance and could cause piston slap.

Second, on the dipper tray, there should be only one hole in it, somewhere below the crankcase oil level when the dipstick shows nearly empty. I don't recall the size of the hole but it is around 1/8".

The reason for the tray is that, if the big end of the rod dips directly into the oil, it will splash way too much oil; causing leaks and oil burning. The purpose of the tray is to limit the amount of oil that can be splashed. When first starting the engine, the tray is full and this gives a few big splashes of oil for initial lubrication. After that, oil is only allowed to enter the pan at a slow rate through the hole, thus reducing the amount of oil splashed.

The breather valve, located in the little compartment across from the magneto, should only allow air (blowby) to exit the engine and not enter. If the plate is installed the wrong way (with the shimstock washer facing in), pressure is allowed to build-up in the crankcase which causes oil to go all over the place.

You could try soldering the main bearing shell back together but this could be tricky. I think you can get new ones at a place like Hit-N-Miss Enterprises.

Good luck!

Take care - Elden
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:32:38 PM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

Hi,
I measured the oil dipstick and my original is marked at 3 1/2", if the dipstick plug threads in more than say 1/4" you could make it 3 3/8". Nathan.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:05:35 PM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

Any other thoughts on this? Should have some time this weekend to dis-assemble once more and try sealing up the oil leaks and repairing the dipper tray...
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:29:27 PM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

Get the correct amount of oil in the crankcase and make shure the vent valve is working correctly, and you won't HAVE any oil leaks.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:35:05 PM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

The crankcase vent was totally plugged! Whatever material was in there originally to stop the dirt looked like nothing but dirt and I couldn't blow air through it. Dug all of it out, now there's just two screens and the spring plate valve, which is somewhat bent up so air is allowed to go both ways...

I wonder if someone is reproducing these or has an example that isn't destroyed?

I'm thinking about shimming up the main bearings as there is some slack - I can lift the flywheels up and down a bit. Does a person just put flat shims under the lower mains?

Thanks again to everyone for all the help and suggestions!
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:39:05 PM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

There may be shims between the bearing cap and the block that can be removed. I don't think it is a good thing to shim the bottom bearing. Good luck.Dick
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:30:12 PM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

Took it apart again, put a little bit of sealer on the outer edges of the lower mains and then the main caps, got the breather opened up (still not working properly), filled in the holes on the dipper tray, now has only two small holes and fills slowly.

Had it running for about an hour and only had one oil drip this time (instead of the line sprayed across the driveway last time).

Here's the video, sounds like the rings have too much gap on the piston... always something!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzS1IrSlsyQ

Does anyone think that noise is a problem? I think I have the only YouTube video of a Fairbanks throttle engine hitting on EVERY power stroke!
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Old 10-10-2009, 06:05:40 PM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

Nice running engine. It sounds like it has an impulse magneto on it. The 52's weren't originally shipped with impulse mags although all of the bigger engines in the series were. The impulse will allow it to be started by swinging a flywheel and will let it idle slower. That could account for the clicking noise. Does the clicking noise go away when you speed up the engine?

Here's a video of my Hoyt-Clagwell with a ZC52 on it. Mine doesn't have a mag. I designed a solid-state ignition for it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LipLA...e=channel_page

Take care - Elden
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Old 10-10-2009, 06:19:50 PM
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Default Re: Need help with Fairbanks 3 hp ZC - piston problems?

It is a nice running engine, that's why I bought it in a heartbeat when I had the chance... if I would have known the true condition, I would have walked away...

Doesn't have an impulse magneto - the noise was there on the other video when it was running faster as well.

I wish I had your talent, Elden.
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