I read that one should periodically check the oil level in the SP-15 motor gear box. I removed the plug and can see the oil is at a level below what I believe is the worm-gear shaft. What is the appropriate level that should be maintained and what specification of oil should be used? Is this the same oil that would be used in the gear box of a Vandercook #4?
Paul, You mentioned that 40 wt oil is recommended for the #4 speed reducer. I presume you are talking gear oil rather than motor oil. I have not found a source for 40 wt gear oil, but I can get 75/80 wt. Would that present a problem? Alternatively, would 30/40 wt compressor oil work?
No recommendation is stated in the SP15 manual, but since has a 1/12 HP Motor SAE 20 wt. should suffice. Depending on the make of the motor (there were at least three) you may fine a lower plug that serves to indicate the oil level. Slowly unscrew, but do not remove, to see it any oil seeps out.
I have a manual for an early No. 4 that recommends 40 wt. for the speed reducer, and 20 wt for plain bearing motors, while a later manual says to add 20 wt.
This question has inspired me to contact Reliance and Bodine two of the companies that built motors for Vandercook to get original specs. Perhaps I can get a copy of a motor manual and post it as a PDF. In any event I will add a table listing model, motor hp and oil recommendations in the near future. All readers are welcome to comment or contact me with their motor specs (HP, manufacturer + model name and serial number).