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oil level in the De Dion

Discussion in 'Suspension / Steering' started by Richard Zahra, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. Richard Zahra

    Richard Zahra Member

    Is there anyway how to check the oil level in the De Dion tube?

  2. Demetris

    Demetris Well-Known Member

    As far as i know there isn't. The plug is there to add some oil for lubrication, but doesn't serve as a level gauge. Also the correct amount should be mentioned somewhere, but this is usefull only if you are dismantling the tube and filling it up from empty.
    At the end of the day, the exact amount is not that critical, you just need to be sure that you have some oil in there so that the tube doesn't run dry.
  3. colnerov

    colnerov Well-Known Member

    1/3rd of a pint.
  4. harveyp6

    harveyp6 Well-Known Member

    That's from empty. Quite how your supposed to know what's in there already I have no idea. If the boot's split, probably nothing, and if so 1/3pt as a starting point once the boot is replaced isn't going to do any harm, then a few shots every service.
  5. Richard Zahra

    Richard Zahra Member

    That is where my question is originating from. I recently overhauled the De Dion after having removed all the rear suspension and final drive mainly to replace the drive shaft oil seals in the final drive. One oil seal had started to leak and was dribbling down the brake disk. I replaced all the oils seals in the De Dion and refilled with the amount required (1/3 of a pint as Colnerov pointed out in the next rely). I haven't had any leaks to date but was wondering if there was enough oil. I shall assume there is.
  6. j_radcliffe

    j_radcliffe Member

    Later DeDion tubes were greased for life, with felt seals. I have experienced in the past, the oil migrating out past the new seal into the boot, which then degrades. So when I replaced that one on my white Rover in Australia, I put new seals in. I found the inner tube to be somewhat pitted, which explains the oil leaking, and then greased the bronze bushings and reassembled. Five years later the boot is still good, the grease seems to have stayed where it should be, despite not having the later felt seals, rather the earlier oil quad seals.

    Then replacing the boot last night on my Rover 2000 TC, in America, I spotted the jar of Castrol rubber grease. I thought that would be the perfect way to grease it, and if a little grease migrates out onto the rubber boot, it will not matter at all as it is rubber compatible. I thought that the rubber grease did not feel quite as slippery as petroleum grease, but I think it should work okay. I will see if it makes any difference to the way the car rides in the spring time.

    Has anyone else tried this?
  7. seven7

    seven7 New Member

    wouldnt be an idea to drill a hole inside the tube or inside the blanking / filler-screw and screw in a grease-mipple?
  8. Phil Robson

    Phil Robson Well-Known Member

    I've just refurbished a de-Dion tube & filled the oil up to the filler neck. It took ages & has a habit of flowing out if you do it too fast! Definitely more than 1/3rd pint....

    IMHO I would have thought that Rover placed the filler in its place to use as a guide (like the diff), otherwise they could have put it at the top which would have been easier to top up when on the car.
  9. seven7

    seven7 New Member

    this was alos my idea, but it seems that some companies offering (refiurbished?) de-dions have assebled them in the wrong way, so the filler-plug has a random position?
  10. Phil Robson

    Phil Robson Well-Known Member

    To get the filler plug in a different place, I think the moving joint will have to be on the n/s. The spacing of the elbow-tube bolts means you can only fit an elbow in one orientation.
  11. harveyp6

    harveyp6 Well-Known Member

    It's not supposed to be filled to the hole, if you're adding oil after a refurbishment, you're supposed to add 1/3rd of a pint.
  12. harveyp6

    harveyp6 Well-Known Member

    The filler plug is always supposed to be in the same position
  13. sdibbers

    sdibbers Well-Known Member

    The stud pattern on the tube flanges are irregular so in theory its impossible to fit the tube with the filler at the wrong angle.
  14. Phil Robson

    Phil Robson Well-Known Member

    Thanks Harvey - I may have to tip some out then before I put the tube back on the car :)
  15. harveyp6

    harveyp6 Well-Known Member

    If the tube's not fitted to the car yet you should be able to remove the plug and invert the tube to get most of what you've put in, out, and then add your 1/3rd of a pint.
  16. Phil Robson

    Phil Robson Well-Known Member


    I’ve now emptied the tube & measured 1/4 pint came out in about half an hour. I suspect if I left it overnight this would be close to 1/3 pint, but the key is that it must be around 1/3 pint to filler neck level from dry :)

    This is after the 1/4 pint had been put back in:-


    and here is the de-Dion tube ready to be refitted:-


    I took the precaution of thoroughly waxoyling the insides of both elbows:-


    Hopefully they'll now last a few years :rolleyes:
  17. seven7

    seven7 New Member

    today i was under my car...changing shocks...recognized that my de-dion tube does NOT have a filler plug....how comes that?
  18. harveyp6

    harveyp6 Well-Known Member

    Later cars were greased instead of being oiled, and so don't have the plug.

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