Railway Preservation News

Woodward governor oil
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Author:  Stationary Engineer [ Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Woodward governor oil

Since we have been discussing journal oil, I have been told to use journal oil in the governor on a 567. Someone else says to use locomotive engine oil since it might leak into to the crankcase. But there is a big difference in viscosity. What is recommended by GM?

Author:  airforcerail [ Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodward governor oil

I have always been told and have used for years straight 30 weight non detergent oil. I would not use journal oil- oils are blended to do specific jobs. The governor parts do not have the same lubrication needs as a car journal, and visa versa.

Author:  tom moungovan [ Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodward governor oil

The Standard Oil Power Plant in Richmond, CA had a Woodward Governor on the turbine that ran 6 Boiler fan. As i remember, they provided us with a special oil for that purpose that was red in color.
You had to be very patient when filling while it was running as the level could then rise quite rapidly in the small sight glass and was prone to overfilling. When that happened, the machine would start to cycle up and down and you needed to then drain the surplus out
to get it to run smoothly again.

Author:  E.B. Levin [ Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodward governor oil

We have used Non-Synthetic SAE 10W-30 in Woodward governors for as long as I've been on the railroad. I use a Castrol product in my units.

I have never experienced a governor issue related to use of multi-grade oil and we get better governor response in cold weather with them.

The industry has also moved to multi-grade crankcase oil for years now. I use 15W-40 formulated with no zinc for all EMD applications. Makes for much easier cranking in cold weather on units with water only standby heat.


Author:  Pegasuspinto [ Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodward governor oil

what specific oil is this 10-40? Just curious.

Author:  E.B. Levin [ Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodward governor oil

I mistyped...It's 15W-40 we buy it from Brad-Penn in Bradford, PA. Its not shown on their web site and I don't have their part number off hand.

Author:  Nova55 [ Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodward governor oil

Every tug I have ever been on, we just use makeup oil for the engine in the governor.

Author:  crij [ Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodward governor oil

When I read the responses something looked odd, because recently we had to top off one of our governors, so I double checked the maintenance manuals.

According to `EMD, Model 567D3, Engine Maintenance Manual', Section 11, D2-D3, Printed June 1961, Pg 23.

Governor Oil Supply
The oil capacity of the governor is three pints. Use new oil of the type used in the engine or SAE #20 turbine type oil Having rust and oxidation protection. The oil level should be maintained between the marks of the sight glass. The vent at the top of the sight glass must be open to assure correct readings. If the turbine type oil is used, the governor oil need only be changed once a year, using care that the oil and its container are clean. Otherwise the oil should be changed twice a year.

Since I have only seen clear oil in the sight glasses my eye must have skipped over the engine oil. SAE 20 Turbine Oil is what is normally used in rotary vane and screw compressors. I would think that engine oil would be too thick especially in cold weather, as the governor only sees engine room heat, which is very minimal under an locomotive hood, so keep this in mind for your application.

Also keep in mind it is not good practice to mix oils as the base oils and the additives can react with each other and clog passages. So if the governor has only seen engine grade oil, keep it that way, but if it was filled with Turbine oil only use compatible turbine oil.

Luckily for us we still had a gallon of G-D AEON 2000 after changing the oil in one of our compressors, ISO 40 to 70 is equivalent to the viscosity of SAE #20:
http://www.doolittleoil.com/faq/viscosi ... so-or-agma

Rich C.

Author:  Stationary Engineer [ Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodward governor oil

Thank you for your replies. I forgot to ask if the zinc in some types of oil might be a bad idea, since a small amount might leak into the crankcase. There is a big difference in SAE 20 weight turbine oil and 40 weight engine oil. Maybe viscosity is not a big issue.
I don't know just how much more fluid 10W40 engine oil really is. We tried to transfer some from the tote it was delivered in, to a tote inside the oil shed. It was in the low 20's and the diaphragm pump wouldn't suck the oil out of the bottom connection of the tote. It works just fine in warmer weather, of course.
Tom Hamilton

Author:  E.B. Levin [ Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodward governor oil


We never experienced any zinc infiltration from governor oil to the base oil. Typically when the governor diaphragm fails the governor will "Make Oil". The telltale sign is that the oil level in the governor sight glass will rise and the oil color will darken. Also oil samples will indicate any increase in Zn.

For what its worth I only use Peaker Services Inc. for our governor rebuilds as they remanufacture Woodword governors to a Marine standard.


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