Enots semi-automatic oil pump
Pioneer motorcyclists had many things to think about while riding their ‘bikes. One of them was the flow of oil into the motor. They didn’t have to think about the flow of oil OUT of the motor, as the breathers and the lack of oil rings on the piston did that for them.
The first oil pumps were very simple, devoid even of check valves. They required the rider to pump in a measure of oil every so often; maybe a full pump every 5 miles, depending on the oil type, the riding conditions, etc. If the pumping action was forgotten by the rider, the motor would overheat, and possibly stick the piston in the bore, or maybe lock up the big end bearing, or main bearings, etc. So it was a big deal when semi-automatic oilers came on the market a few years before WWI. They still required a hand pump to fill the pump chamber. But a coil spring would press the piston pump back upwards, and force out the oil to the motor. An adjustable needle valve could be set to give just the right number of oil drops per minute, and many units used a sight glass so that rider could count the number of drops, if they weren’t busy keeping the bike between the hedgerows.
The 1913 Veloce needed a new petrol tank, as the original one was destroyed by rust. I asked the tinsmith to leave out the oil pump features, as I planned to fit a semi-automatic type. Enots made a nice one, although it wasn’t as popular as the Best and Lloyd type, but I did find one on eBayUK. The name “Enots” is STONE spelled backward, as the company who made them was Benton and Stone. They also offered other accessories, and the little brass sump screw on the bottom of the old Velo motor is stamped B&S.
Disassembled for inspection:
The old leather cup washer had perished at some point, and the rubber replacement had hardened. So I cut and formed a new one from some rubber that is resilient to oil.
To mount the oil pump, the first step was to measure and cut a hole. Then I used PEM nuts to give a female thread on the inside of the tank top. Welding or brazing of some bungs or welding of nuts would have worked. But since the tank was already closed up when I got it, PEMs worked really well. They are press fit into drilled holes, typically with a hydraulic press, where they lock into place and will not spin. In order to reach into the tank, I used a small C clamp, and made a cylindrical tool to contact the PEM nut and locate it.
This Enots type pump has a hemispherical glass cover that allows the rider to see the oil dripping, while the Best and Lloyd type have a cylindrical glass barrel. Oil pumps were not trusted in the early years, and even in the 1920s is was common to see them fitted with sight glasses so that the oil flow could be verified.
On the bottom end of the pump, I used a simple bulkhead fitting to pass the copper oil line through the tank, with a thread on the bulkhead to mount the tap. Some 1/4” copper tubing down to the motor and the job was done.
This earlier Enots type had the oil output pipe on the exterior of the petrol tank.
In this photo from the Veloce 1914 catalog, Mr. Ingram has a Veloce 500cc like mine. The oil pump and its external line can be seen on the side of the petrol tank, just in front of the exhaust pipe. The standard drawing of the bike in the catalog shows a manual pump that is internal to the tank, but it was common for people to change them to the semi-auto types. There are only two period photos of the Veloce 500s and both bikes are fitted with these oil pumps.
And this is a notice of a new design for 1913 from Davison.