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  #1  
Old 10-28-2014, 11:56 PM
SMO's Avatar
SMO SMO is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Salmon Arm, BC
Posts: 933
Default What does the inside of YOUR oil separator look like?

I have a Christen system I removed from my 1987 RV-4. I don't know how long it was on there. I took it off soon after I got the plane in 2007, and it has been sitting around my shop ever since.

I was going to put this up for sale and thought I would remove the fittings for transport. Turned out the middle fitting on the separator had been cross threaded so that part is now junk.

I took off the bottom fitting and this is what I found:



Decided to cut the bottom off the can. This is what the bottom looks like on the inside (the silver speckles are from cutting it open):



Here is a shot of the whole thing:



Anybody want to buy my system (minus the separator and the middle fitting)?

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1987 RV-4 Sold
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2014, 07:52 AM
RKellogg RKellogg is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Newark, IL
Posts: 287
Arrow What exactly are we separating... ??

Most interesting, Mark!

I had installed a separator on my RV, but removed it before first flight, based on feedback from a respected graybeard. His theory was that the separator returns condensed water vapor to the crankcase along with the scavanged oil, creating more acids and corrosion-enhancing compounds in the oil. Tribological chemistry is beyond my paygrade, but it sounds reasonable. It would be insightful to compare oil analysis from engine with and without oil separator, maybe before and after... Maybe the amount of crud that the separator returns to the case is so small compared to the amount generated as to be a non-issue.

I like a clean belly, but also want to get to TBO. Anyone have real data that transcends hearsay?

- Roger
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2014, 08:29 AM
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DanH DanH is offline
 
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Default

Yeah, oil analysis. "Water return" is mostly BS.
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2014, 09:11 AM
Tom Martin Tom Martin is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,591
Default

I had made a separator for my rocket and ran with it for a couple of oil changes.
Rather then returning the bypass to the crankcase I collected it in a coiled tube below the separator and then drained that off occasionally to see what was there.
It was pure oil, no sediment, no water, no crud.
Currently my breather vent exists parallel to the floor of the fuselage about 2" aft of the cowling. It has been like this for a few years. At the time I installed it I had a negative 2"Hg. I have not checked the pressure/vacuum since that time but with 850 hours on the engine I have NO drips in the cowling. I do have a nice clean line of oil on the belly, that gets wiped down with each 25 hour oil change.
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2014, 10:26 AM
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SMO SMO is offline
 
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Location: Salmon Arm, BC
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Default

I was not surprised to see this. Maybe it is something specific to the Christen system. The owners manual for my Decathlon said to drain the Separator's bottom hose at each oil change.

I did this at each 25 hour oil change and always found water mixed with oil coming out the separator and hose.
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1987 RV-4 Sold
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First in line for the Sonex JSX-2T kit
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  #6  
Old 10-29-2014, 12:46 PM
Smilin' Jack Smilin' Jack is offline
 
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I have to agree with Dan,

that's one reason it is important that your oil temp is not too cool......

Smilin' Jack
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  #7  
Old 10-29-2014, 02:32 PM
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AlexPeterson AlexPeterson is offline
 
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Location: Ottertail, MN
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The system looks like it rarely, if ever, saw inverted use. I used to exercise mine frequently. I didn't re-install it after an overhaul, because it got to be that the only inverted I did was to exercise the system! It looked good inside after 10 years and 1200 hours.
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2014, 06:53 PM
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BCP Boys BCP Boys is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smilin' Jack View Post
I have to agree with Dan,

that's one reason it is important that your oil temp is not too cool......

Smilin' Jack
What is considered "too cool" ?
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2014, 07:37 PM
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BruceEicher BruceEicher is offline
 
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Location: Wilsonville/Aurora KUAO Oregon
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexPeterson View Post
The system looks like it rarely, if ever, saw inverted use. I used to exercise mine frequently. I didn't re-install it after an overhaul, because it got to be that the only inverted I did was to exercise the system! It looked good inside after 10 years and 1200 hours.
And as reported by the OP the pot sat 7 years after removed from service till cut open recently. Right?
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2014, 10:51 PM
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AK4x4 AK4x4 is offline
 
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Location: PAWS (Wasilla, Alaska)
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Default To Cool

An oil temp that does not reach 212 degrees at the hottest point in the engine is "too cool" this temp will boil the water (and assorted other bad things) into vapor so they can go out the breather. It is generally accepted that a gauge indication of 180 degrees corresponds to 212 ish degrees at the hottest point inside the engine. I recommend that the engine be setup to operate between 180 and 200 on the gauge. Good luck, Russ
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