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Loco Lubrication

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Can anyone give me their thought, experience regarding lubrication for my 5" gauge Britannia.

I have a traditional mechanical lubricator but I also have two Displacement Lubricators which I thought of installing.

I have no doubt that the latter work but how reliable and efficient are they.

I have two but would it be overkill to fit both and could I replace totally the mechanical lubricator?

I really do need a wee bit of advice with this.

Either will work, but I think the displacement units you have are a touch small volume wise, and it would be nice to have a sight glass to see the oil level, otherwise you're guessing on level.

Displacement lubricators, properly built and installed are very reliable, and are dumb as a rock simple.    Getting a mechanical pump "un air bound" can be a royal pain in the  8)

That said, if you can see the level you can act pre-emptively and fill a mechanical one easily.   the displacement unit no so much unless you can isolate it.

So if you can put in units with sight glasses and isolation, i'd go with the displacement

Otherwise go with the pump.


Mechanical pumps are great to provide you with that speckled smuts effect all over the face of the driver as they normally deliver too much oil. Too much is better than too little (unless you have to wash their clothes  ::) )

The bee's knees are hydrostatic oilers with glycerine in a sight glass so you can see how much oil is (or is possibly not) flowing into the cylinders  8)

Edit: Link to an article on Hydrostatic lubricators:


john mills:
The mechanical pump can be very reliable and easy to see its working just a trace of oil at exhaust is all that is required often adjusted to give too much with you will get all over you and your passengers.
I have made LBSC design and found to work reliably .

Charles Lamont:
A displacement lubricator with no control valve will empty very quickly.


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