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Lubrication Systems and Oil

Unit 3
Lubrication Systems and Oil

Unit Objectives:

The student will be able to:

1. Explain the function of the engine lubrication system and its

2. Identify proper oil classifications for diesel engines.
3. Explain a normal oil maintenance schedule for a Caterpillar
3406E engine.
4. Remove, inspect, and install lubrication system components
on a Caterpillar 3406B or 3406C engine.

Unit References:

3406 Lube System Presentation CD-ROM

Oil Development at Caterpillar Copy
CG-4, The Preferred Oil LEDQ7315
Oil and Your Engine SEBD0640
Oil in Your Engine LEVP9001
3406E Operation and Maintenance Manual SEBU6758
3406B Service Manual SEBR0544
3406C Service Manual SEBR0550
Unit 3 Quiz Copy


8T0461 Serviceman’s Tool Set or Equivalent

1U5750 Diesel Engine Repair Stand
1U5749 Engine Adapter Plate
Lubrication System Components
Lesson 1: Identify Lubrication System
Components and Their Operation.


The student will be able to explain the operation of the lubrication

system and identify related components.


3406 Lube System Presentation CD-ROM

Oil Development at Caterpillar Copy
CG-4, The Preferred Oil LEDQ7315
Oil and Your Engine SEBD0640
Oil in Your Engine LEVN9001
3406E Operation and Maintenance Manual SEBU6758


The lubrication system in a diesel engine is more important than ever

due to the demands of the high performance, low-emission engines
of today. Not only is the lube system required to provide clean oil to
the proper places in the engine but the oil itself must withstand
higher temperatures and extended drain intervals while maintaining a
low rate of consumption.
Unit 3 3-1-2 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

This presentation will review components and operation of a

Caterpillar 3406 lube system. This system is typical of a Caterpillar
engine, but some engines will differ. Engines that use the HEUI fuel
system will differ significantly.

Fig. 3.1.1 Caterpillar 3406 Engine


This presentation covers the lubrication system of a Caterpillar 3406B

or 3406C engine for illustrative purposes. Refer to the systems
operation manual for a particular engine of interest.

Fig. 3.1.2 Lubrication System Components

Lubrication System Components

The lubrication system contains the following components:

1. Oil pick-up tube and suction bell

2. Oil pump
3. Oil pressure relief valve
4. Oil cooler bypass valve
5. Oil cooler
6. Oil filter bypass valve
7. Oil filter
8. Oil supply to turbocharger
9. Oil supply to engine
Unit 3 3-1-3 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.3 Oil Passages

Oil Passages
The lubrication system inside the engine includes the following
1. Oil manifold (gallery) in block
2. Piston cooling jet
3. Oil passage to main and cam bearings
4. Camshaft and main bearing oil passage
5. Front oil supply for lifters
6. Rear oil supply for lifters
7. Front oil supply to rocker shaft
8. Rear oil supply to rocker shaft
9. Oil supply to fuel pump

Fig. 3.1.4 Front Gear Train Lubrication

Front Gear Train Lubrication

The lubrication for the front gear train includes the:

1. Oil supply to idler gear shaft

2. Oil supply to accessory drive

Let’s trace the flow of oil through each component.

Unit 3 3-1-4 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.5 Oil Pump Oil Flow

Oil Pump Oil Flow

Lubricating system flow begins as the pump draws oil from the oil
pan sump. The oil pump pick up tube has a suction bell at the open
end which is located low in the pan sump. The suction bell contains
a screen to prevent foreign material from entering the oil pump.

Many Caterpillar engines are designed to work in applications that

may require the engine be at a steep angle. A track type tractor for
example, typically is used in applications that require the machine
and engine be at a relatively steep angle from the horizontal. In order
to ensure that all of the engine oil does not collect in one end of the
oil pan, away from the suction bell, many engines also have a
scavenge oil pump. A scavenge oil pump is nothing more than an oil
pump that ensures that there is always oil in the main sump. This
keeps the lubrication system from being starved of oil at steep slopes.

Fig. 3.1.6 Oil Pump Description

Oil Pump Description

The oil pump is a positive displacement gear type pump, driven by
the crankshaft gear.
Unit 3 3-1-5 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1







Fig. 3.1.7 Gear Pump

The basic gear pump is the type most commonly found on Caterpillar
engines. This pump has two gears in mesh. One gear is driven by
the engine and the other is an idler gear. The two gears rotate in
opposite directions capturing the engine oil, and drawing it around
the inside of the housing. When the teeth come together in mesh the
oil is forced out of the teeth and flows through the pump outlet to the
rest of the lubrication system.



Fig. 3.1.8 Rotor Pump

Some Perkins engines use a rotor type pump. This pump has an inner
gear and a outer gear that are in mesh with one another. The inner
gear is driven by the engine. The centerline of the outer gear is offset
from the inner gear and is free to turn. As the inner gear is turned it
causes the outer gear to rotate. Engine oil is drawn into the pump
through the inlet and carried in the space between the two rotating
parts to the outlet. On the outlet side the inner gear and the outer
gear come into mesh with one another and force the oil to be pushed
out the outlet port of the pump.
Unit 3 3-1-6 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.9 Oil Pump Relief Valve

Oil Pump Relief Valve

The oil pump has an integral pressure relief valve which controls the
maximum system operating pressure. Limiting the pressure helps to
reduce leaks and prolong seal life.

Fig. 3.1.10 Oil Pump Relief Valve

Oil Pump Relief Valve

The valve will remain on its seat (closed) until the oil pressure at the
pump rises above the pressure that is exerted by the spring in the

As pressure in the system nears the maximum, it will force the valve
off its seat and allow some oil to bypass to the low pressure side of
the pump. If the pressure in the system continues to rise, the valve
plunger will move farther down allowing more flow to bypass.

When the engine oil is cold it will be thick or have a high viscosity,
and will resist flowing. During cold engine start ups the oil will
resist flowing through the engine. Pressure will build quickly,
causing the valve to open.
Unit 3 3-1-7 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.11 Oil Cooler

Oil Cooler
Many engines are equipped with an oil cooler assembly. The cooler
utilizes an engine oil to coolant heat exchanger. Hot engine oil
passing through the cooler element transfers heat to the engine
coolant. This cooling of the oil helps to maintain the lubricating
properties of the oil under heavy engine load.

Fig. 3.1.12 Oil Cooler Bypass Valve

Oil Cooler Bypass Valve

During cold start ups, the cold oil will also resist flowing through the
oil cooler. To prevent this resistance from causing oil starvation, an
oil cooler bypass valve is incorporated into the cooler assembly. This
bypass valve senses oil pressure between the inlet and outlet of the
cooler. It is designed to open and bypass oil flow around the cooler
when the oil is cold and thick.
Unit 3 3-1-8 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.13 Oil Filter

Oil Filter
The oil filter base mounts at least one filter element. Most Caterpillar
engines use spin-on style full flow filters in order to remove
damaging foreign materials from the engine oil.

Fig. 3.1.14 Oil Filter Bypass Valve

Oil Filter Bypass Valve

The engine oil flows in the outside of the filter, through the filter
media, and out the hole in the center of the filter under normal
operating conditions. However, the filter element resists cold oil
flow. It also resists oil flow when it becomes dirty. To prevent
damage to the element and possible oil starvation to the system, the
filter base is equipped with a filter bypass valve. The bypass valve
senses the pressure differential across the element and will open,
bypassing oil flow around the element if the pressure becomes
excessive. This is one reason why proper maintenance procedures are
so important. Dirty filters can lead to serious problems.
Unit 3 3-1-9 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.15 Turbocharger Lubrication

Turbocharger Lubrication
The turbocharger oil supply line is connected to the outlet of the filter
base. An adequate supply of cooled, clean oil is essential to
turbocharger life. Thus, the turbocharger receives oil flow before
other engine components. Oil cools, and lubricates the bearings of
the turbocharger. Oil flow from the turbocharger is returned to the oil
pan. This is also why hot shutdowns or high rpm shutdowns of the
engine are bad. Insufficient oil flow under these conditions could
lead to premature failure of the turbocharger. The turbocharger needs
the oil to cool and to lubricate its bearings.

Fig. 3.1.16 Piston Cooling Jets

Piston Cooling Jets

Clean, cooled oil is directed from the filter base to the oil manifold in
the engine block. The piston cooling jets are connected to the oil
manifold and direct a small stream of oil to the underneath side of the
pistons for cooling. This helps to cool the pistons to a uniform
temperature and provide a longer service life of the pistons.
Unit 3 3-1-10 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.17 Oil Supply to Bearings

Oil Supply to Bearings

Each pair of main and camshaft bearings is connected by an oil
passage that is drilled in the block. The drilled passage receives oil
through an intersecting drilled passage that is connected to the oil

Fig. 3.1.18 Oil Supply to Crankshaft Bearings

Oil Supply to Crankshaft Bearings

A groove around the inside of the upper main bearing shells supplies
oil flow to internal drilled passages in the crankshaft. The internal
crankshaft passages supply oil to the connecting rod bearings.
Unit 3 3-1-11 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.19 Valve Lifter Lubrication

Valve Lifter Lubrication

A groove around the outside of the front and rear camshaft bearings
supply oil flow to the front and the rear valve lifter passages. Each
lifter body, roller and lower push rod socket receive lubrication from
these passages.

Fig. 3.1.20 Rocker Shaft Lubrication

Rocker Shaft Lubrication

The rear rocker shaft receives oil flow from the rear valve lifter oil
passage. The front rocker shaft receives oil flow from a drilled
passage connected to the front camshaft supply passage.

Drilled passages in the rocker shafts supply the upper valve train with
oil flow. This is also used to supply oil to the compression release
brake (Jake Brake), if equipped.
Unit 3 3-1-12 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.21 Front Gear Train Lubrication

Front Gear Train Lubrication

The front gear train idler gear and the accessory drive receive oil flow
from an internal drilled passage that is connected to the front
camshaft oil passage.

Fig. 3.1.22 Air Compressor Lubrication

Air Compressor Lubrication

The air compressor receives oil from the oil passage to the accessory
drive, through passages in the timing gear housing and the accessory
drive gear.
Unit 3 3-1-13 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.23 Fuel System Lubrication

Fuel System Lubrication

In a typical Caterpillar pump and line fuel system the fuel pump,
governor and hydraulic timing advance unit receive oil flow from a
port on the side of the block. This port is connected to the number
three main and camshaft passage.

Fig. 3.1.24 Caterpillar BrakeSaver

BrakeSaver Option
Since the BrakeSaver retarder option becomes an integral part of the
lubrication system, we will review the operation of the BrakeSaver
along with the changes to the lubrication system the option requires.

As we learned earlier, the BrakeSaver retarder is a hydraulic retarder

that provides smooth, efficient vehicle breaking on long downhill
Unit 3 3-1-14 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.25 BrakeSaver Oil Pump

Brake Saver Oil Pump

Engines equipped with a BrakeSaver retarder have a two section oil
pump. The front section of the pump supplies oil for the lubrication
of the engine. The path of the oil from the front section is the same
as the standard oil pump, except the oil does not go to the oil cooler.
The oil from the front section of the pump flows directly to the oil

The rear section of the oil pump supplies oil for BrakeSaver operation
and oil cooling.

Fig. 3.1.26 Oil Pump Bypass Valve

Oil Pump Bypass Valve

When the oil is cold, the high viscosity causes the bypass valve to
open and drain the oil from the rear section of the pump back into the
oil pan.
Unit 3 3-1-15 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

BrakeSaver Control

Fig. 3.1.27 BrakeSaver Control

BrakeSaver Control
When the BrakeSaver retarder is in operation, the braking force
available is in direct relation to the amount of oil in the compartment.
The BrakeSaver control valve determines the amount of oil delivered
to the unit.
Unit 3 3-1-16 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.28 BrakeSaver Operation

BrakeSaver Operation
When the oil is warm, the oil is sent to the BrakeSaver control valve.
If the BrakeSaver control lever is in the OFF position, spring force
holds the valve spool against the cover at the air inlet end of the
control valve. With the valve spool in this position, the valve directs
the warm oil to the oil cooler. From the oil cooler the oil goes back
through the BrakeSaver control valve and returns to the oil pan.

Fig. 3.1.29 BrakeSaver Operation

BrakeSaver Operation
If the BrakeSaver control lever is in the ON position, air pressure
moves the valve spool to the right against the spring force. Engine
oil from the oil pump is sent through the control valve to the
BrakeSaver. After the oil goes through the BrakeSaver, it returns to
the BrakeSaver control valve. The valve then directs the oil to the oil
cooler. From the cooler, the oil again returns to the control valve and
is sent back to the oil pan.
Unit 3 3-1-17 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.30 BrakeSaver Lubrication

BrakeSaver Lubrication
Lubrication for the BrakeSaver retarder is provided by an outside oil
line from the engine lubrication system. This oil lubricates the piston
ring seals and the lip-type seals under all conditions of BrakeSaver
retarder operation. The drain line returns the oil to the oil pan.

Fig. 3.1.31 BrakeSaver Components

BrakeSaver Components
The BrakeSaver housing is fastened directly to the rear face of the
flywheel housing. The BrakeSaver retarder consists of the housing,
stator and rotor. The rotor is attached to the crankshaft and rotates in
a space between the stator and the housing.
Unit 3 3-1-18 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.32 BrakeSaver Rotor

BrakeSaver Rotor
The rotor has pockets on the outer circumference of both sides and
four holes to permit equal oil flow to both sides.

Fig. 3.1.33 BrakeSaver Housing

BrakeSaver Housing
The BrakeSaver housing and the stator are fastened to the flywheel
housing and cannot turn. Both the housing and the stator have
pockets on their inside surfaces in alignment with the pockets in the
Unit 3 3-1-19 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 1

Fig. 3.1.34 BrakeSaver Operation

BrakeSaver Operation
When the BrakeSaver retarder is in operation, engine oil comes into
this compartment from a passage in the bottom of the housing. The
rotor, turning with the crankshaft, throws this oil outward into the
stator and the housing compartment. The pockets or vanes on the
turning rotor, force the oil to flow in the BrakeSaver compartment.

Fig. 3.1.35 BrakeSaver Operation

BrakeSaver Operation
If the area in the stator and housing were smooth, the rotor and oil
would turn inside the compartment with little opposition. However,
both the stator and housing have vanes which are opposite the rotor.
These vanes oppose the flow of the oil in the compartment induced
by the rotor. It is this resistance of the oil flow that creates the
retarding action of the BrakeSaver retarder.

This resistance to the oil flow creates heat in the oil which is removed
by the oil cooler.

Unit 3 Engine Fundamentals

Lesson 1


In the modern diesel engine, engine oil must perform four basic tasks
without having a negative impact on engine performance and
longevity of the engine. These functions of the oil are discussed


The engine oil provides a film of protection between the moving

parts of the engine. This oil film reduces friction, wear, and heat in
the engine. In order to maintain the proper thickness of this oil film
the engine must run at the correct temperature, the engine oil pump
must produce the correct pressure, and the oil must have the correct


The combustion that takes place in the engine produces a tremendous

amount of heat, especially on the pistons. The engine oil is the
primary cooling agent for the pistons. Much of the heat is removed
by the oil that is between the cylinder wall and the piston and by
"splash" oil thrown off moving parts. Additionally, many engines
have piston cooling jets that spray oil at the underside of the pistons,
providing a tremendous cooling effect to the pistons. This is a
primary reason that engine oil is required to withstand high
temperatures without losing its properties.


As the engine operates there will be some amount of blowby. There

will also be some amount of foreign debris in the engine from one
source or another. It is the responsibility of the engine oil to carry
the contaminants out of the moving engine components, so that the
contaminants will be cleansed from the system by the engine oil
filter. This is especially important in the engines equipped with the
HEUI fuel system. The HEUI fuel system uses engine oil to operate.
The engine oil helps to keep contaminants from collecting in the


The engine oil creates a film between the piston rings and the
cylinder walls. This film not only lubricates, but also helps to seal
the combustion chamber of the engine off from the crankcase. This
helps to prevent blowby.
Unit 3 3-1-21 Engine Fundamentals
Student Handout 1


Lubricating oil used in the first Caterpillar Diesel, introduced in 1931, was straight mineral crankcase
oil. When the engines began experiencing ring sticking and cylinder liner scratching, it became
apparent that a more effective oil was needed. In 1935, the first additive crankcase oil was developed
in a cooperative effort of several U.S. oil companies and Caterpillar.

The performance standards for this and subsequent oil were established by tests performed on a single
cylinder test engine designed and built by Caterpillar specifically for oil testing. This initial crankcase
oil was named "Superior Lubricants for Caterpillar Engines" and was sold only through Caterpillar

The test, run by engine manufacturers, required that the single cylinder test engine be disassembled
after it had run for a designated period of time at a pre-determined load and speed. Pistons were
inspected, and the color change caused by lacquering was observed and recorded. Other critical factors
such as ring wear and deposits were measured. In 1958, Caterpillar established the Series 3

It wasn’t until 1970, that the API (American Petroleum Institute) recognized the need to revise its
classification system. The API, SAE, and ASTM collaborated in this effort. Their new system was
based on the same type of performance specifications which Caterpillar and others had been using.

Caterpillar was able to drop its classification system in 1972. The new API/SAE system established
CD, CC and other SAE letter designations for oil classifications. These referred to performance levels
in engine tests. A list of all brand name API-rated oils is included in the Engine Manufacturers
Association Lubricating Oils-Data Book, available from your Caterpillar Dealer, Caterpillar form
number SEBU5939.

Caterpillar recommends that you use (SOS) Fluid Sampling, a service offered by most Caterpillar
Dealers. An analysis of your engine oil can show the presence of metal wear particles which can
indicate acid attack or other abnormal wear. Before taking an oil sample, operate the engine until it is
at the normal operating temperature. A sampling valve and adapter is available to take an oil sample
while the engine is running. Fill the new sample bottle approximately 75% full. If a sample is taken
from the oil drain stream do not get the sample from the first part or the last part of the oil drain. Use
caution to prevent burns or injuries caused by the hot oil. Fill out the sample and shipment labels.
Make sure engine serial number, miles on oil, and unit number are indicated.
Lesson 2: Remove, Inspect and Install
Lesson 2: Remove, Inspect, and Install
Lubrication System Components


Using the appropriate Caterpillar 3406 Service Manual, the student

will demonstrate the ability to correctly remove, inspect, and install
lubrication system components.


3406B Service Manual SEBR0544

3406C Service Manual SEBR0550


To effectively perform diagnosis, repair, and service on a diesel

engine lubrication system, it is necessary to be able to remove,
inspect, and install the related components.


1U5750 Diesel Engine Repair Stand

1U5749 Engine Adapter Plate
8T0461 Serviceman’s Tool Set or equivalent
Unit 3 3-2-2 Engine Fundamentals
Lesson 2

Lab Exercises:

Using a lab engine, explain lubrication system and components

including oil cooler, oil filter, sump, and location of oil pump.

Install the engine onto a 1U5750 repair stand with 1U5749 adapter.

Using the appropriate 3406 Service Manual as a guide, remove the

oil filter base from the 3406 lab engine and disassemble. Take note
of the oil filter bypass valve.

Remove oil cooler taking note of core and circulation path of oil and
path of coolant.

Remove oil pan and oil pump. Disassemble oil pump taking note of
gears and relief valve. Inspect oil pump using specifications from the
Service Manual.

Install lubrication system components removed in previous

procedures using the Service Manual as a guide.