cnoe

One reason routine Oil Analysis is worth the $12.95.

24 posts in this topic

I just got my latest analysis results. It looked good but...

... from the last 3 reports my Silicon (contaminants) went from 7 to 5 to 46. What? 46?!!

Upon further investigation I discovered two factors that caused the high reading. There was a small opening in the induction ducting (J model) that was previously sealed with silicone sealant which had come loose (outside the ducting) leaving a small leak about the size of an advil tablet. Add to that a couple of really long conga-line taxiing episodes with the Mooney Caravan on the dirt at Oshkosh. I'm certain that we all kicked up a lot of dirt/dust for each other on our way to the North 40. So if you're just now changing oil post-Oshkosh you may see an increase in silicon in your next oil report, particularly if you have a little leak somewhere.

If I didn't get routine oil analysis it would have likely been a good long while before I discovered the leak. I believe it's money well-spent. I now turn the forum back over to the naysayers.:)

 

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Who does your analysis?

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Blackstone gets more than $12.95!

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Who does your analysis?

AOA is $12.95 thru Aircraft Spruce. They're not as good as Blackstone but they provide the basics at a good price. Here's what a typical report looks like.

3db838e9293b880ad2502cc7d1e2bbcf.jpg

P.S. Hmmm, looking back at late 2015/early 2016 I may have had a small leak even then.

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Yeah I think Blackstone is up to 30-ish now?  $12.95 sounds closer to the real value - and catching dirt coming through an intake leak seems to be an area of undeniable usefulness. If I ever go back to doing it, it will likely be through this service.

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46 minutes ago, DXB said:

Yeah I think Blackstone is up to 30-ish now?  $12.95 sounds closer to the real value - and catching dirt coming through an intake leak seems to be an area of undeniable usefulness. If I ever go back to doing it, it will likely be through this service.

I could check, but I think BS went from $25 to $30 recently.

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Do you get the personal narrative that Blackstone provides? I use them for my cars and boat occasionally too. 

-Robert

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6 hours ago, RobertGary1 said:

Do you get the personal narrative that Blackstone provides? I use them for my cars and boat occasionally too. 

-Robert

Yes. I feel satisfied that someone looked at the numbers, compared them to prior samples, etc. And when I asked if a jump in calcium could be due to using CamGuard I got a quick reply confirming.

The last report is typical: (I had 42 hours on the oil which included trips to KOSH and New England)
ROBERT:  Everything looks fine in this sample. Metals are nice and low compared to averages and trends 
are steady enough that we're not seeing anything that looks like trouble in the works. This oil run was longer 
than most of the others on the page, yet you'd never really know it from looking at metals. We might say 
that oil consumption is a little high, but looking at trends it seems fairly steady -- 6 quarts were added last 
October on a similar interval, so that seems okay. Too much oil consumption might dilute metals a little, so 
we'll watch that. Looks good!

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I pay my shop 35 for blackstone and they get the sample for me and mail it at each oil change.... the reports are much more detailed than the avlabs in Lousisiana that I have also used prior. For me it is an easy way to trend monitor and make sure I have consistency in the wear. Sure, oil analysis doesn't catch all but I can show you a nice trend and give a heads up to a potential issue. 

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22 hours ago, cnoe said:

AOA is $12.95 thru Aircraft Spruce. They're not as good as Blackstone but they provide the basics at a good price. Here's what a typical report looks like.

P.S. Hmmm, looking back at late 2015/early 2016 I may have had a small leak even then.

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   Hmmmm....I assumed AOA was out of business.   The last sample that I sent them ( about a year ago or so)  , I never got a report or response.

 Sample was never returned to me , so I always wondered who got my little bottle of oil ??

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I had to call AOA for mine, and the re-sent them to me.???

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cnoe,

For what it is worth I am in TOTAL agreement with you on the value of oil analysis. Unfortunately there seems to be a knowledge vacuum in the GA community on what each test (TAN/TBN, Spectral wear metal analysis, particle count, viscosity, ect..) measures and tells us about the condition of our engines (as that is the main component we pull samples on).

I've put this out there before and I will again. This is one on the things (oil analysis) I am very passionate about as it is how I got my start in the RCM/PdM field. If anyone has questions or wants to better understand how the lab derives what you see on your report please ask. If you have enough GOOD data I will even show you how to build custom alarms for YOUR engine that are based on excepted practices from STLE, ICML, US Government JOAP.

For whatever reason, in case you are wondering what my motives are or do I have an agenda, My agenda is to share something I am passionate about and my motives are it is time for me to give back to this community as I have learned more about Mooney's and aviation in general from you guys than I could have ever learned on my our.

Ok, I'll step off the soap box,

Cheers and congratulations on saving your engine from an ugly death.

Alan

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Thanks for your input Alan. I imagine I'm somewhere the middle of the bell curve with regards to understanding what goes on inside my engine. With a strong mechanical background and a hands-on approach to aircraft maintenance I'm very interested in the details. Chemistry isn't my strong suit but I did take a course on metallurgy some years ago. As others have correctly stated AOA doesn't offer the same degree of detail or personal attention as Blackstone but they do graph trends on every report and will notify you of anomalies. I've identified variances that correlate with seasons, environment, and usage patterns but it sounds like you could add more to my understanding. I now have 10 consecutive reports, none of which cause me much concern other than this last one with the anomalous silicon level (and associated small rise in wear metals).

As I best understand it with the Lycomings there are valid concerns with a period of possible poor metallurgy in cams and lifters with the high cam position in the block exacerbating the issue. There is also an issue with insufficient flow of oil through the valve train which can be remedied by occasionally checking guide clearance via the wobble test. My personal approach to extending engine life is to fly weekly or more, keep it cool (CHTs less than 380 F) by usually flying LOP, change oil when it darkens, and take a peek at the exhaust valves anytime the plugs are out. I also use Camguard as I figure "what's it gonna hurt". And as previously mentioned I also look closely at the oil analysis numbers.

If you have wisdom to share by looking at my stack of reports I'd be pleased to let you take a look and offer your thoughts. I'm here to learn and appreciate all information.


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cnoe,

I have attached a couple Lycoming documents If you have seen or they are posted elsewhere on the forum feel free to ignore them. I am starting to apply my fixed plant on mobile equipment maintenance experience to the GA aviation world and sometimes what I find confuses me (but that is another conversation). So as part of this transition I would have no issue taking a look at your sample results. So I you want to send them I can put together a quick presentation around them to discuss proper sampling technique, the testing suite which derives the numeric values the lab present, limitations on the tests, and interpretation, general alarms and custom alarm generation.

I don't have any specific info on metallurgy (other than what's in the attachments) of the lycomings in our planes but "I know a guy" who might be able to help who I plan on calling this coming week on another matter. I'll see what he has squirrelled away.

 

Cheers,

 

Piston Pin Plug Wear Inspection.pdf

SL171_SL_171_General_Aspects_of_Spectrometric_Oil_Analysis_11261971.pdf

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On 1/4/2017 at 8:57 PM, astravierso said:

cnoe,

For what it is worth I am in TOTAL agreement with you on the value of oil analysis. Unfortunately there seems to be a knowledge vacuum in the GA community on what each test (TAN/TBN, Spectral wear metal analysis, particle count, viscosity, ect..) measures and tells us about the condition of our engines (as that is the main component we pull samples on).

I've put this out there before and I will again. This is one on the things (oil analysis) I am very passionate about as it is how I got my start in the RCM/PdM field. If anyone has questions or wants to better understand how the lab derives what you see on your report please ask. If you have enough GOOD data I will even show you how to build custom alarms for YOUR engine that are based on excepted practices from STLE, ICML, US Government JOAP.

For whatever reason, in case you are wondering what my motives are or do I have an agenda, My agenda is to share something I am passionate about and my motives are it is time for me to give back to this community as I have learned more about Mooney's and aviation in general from you guys than I could have ever learned on my our.

Ok, I'll step off the soap box,

Cheers and congratulations on saving your engine from an ugly death.

Alan

No question  oil analysis offers a plethora of interesting data.  It is pretty sensitive for early problems but seems of  poor specificity, other than detecting dirt through an induction leak. But otherwise I have as yet to grasp how routine oil analysis contributes to cost savings or  safety, assuming one does the other standard monitoring.  This is all that matters to the end user -  the technical sophistication of the test alone has no intrinsic value.  

Are there any other concrete examples of such benefit out there?

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Astra,

It would be interesting to get your ideas on oil sampling...

Typically our oil drains are at the bottom of the oil pan where sludge and dirt tend to settle.  There is probably a lot of variation in sampling that picks up things in the first few drops compared to the last few drops or the few drops in the middle.

Ever find things in your experience like plastic bits related to the bottles or packaging for oil, falling into the engine?

We have an MS member that got a small plastic bit stuck in the quick drain which became more noticeable during flight... the locking ring from the bottle cap fell in.

Best regards,

-a-

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Ok guys, 

Just got in from Montreal  flying plan "D" as in Delta. I am definitely interested in what Dev has said and will respond later this evening. 

Cheers

 

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Ok guys, 

Just got in from Montreal  flying plan "D" as in Delta. I am definitely interested in what Dev has said and will respond later this evening. 

Cheers

 

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On 1/7/2017 at 8:38 AM, DXB said:

No question  oil analysis offers a plethora of interesting data.  It is pretty sensitive for early problems but seems of  poor specificity, other than detecting dirt through an induction leak. But otherwise I have as yet to grasp how routine oil analysis contributes to cost savings or  safety, assuming one does the other standard monitoring.  This is all that matters to the end user -  the technical sophistication of the test alone has no intrinsic value.  

Are there any other concrete examples of such benefit out there?

First off I am not an A&P, AI, PE, or school training Mechanical or Chemical Engineer, nor Chemist or Metallurgist (with that said it is up to the end user to verify any information presented here before use and the end user takes sole responsibility for the use of this information). Legal Crap as I no longer carry E&O insurance.

Dev,

Great question/statement.I agree with your thought that doing something just to do it is dumb. There must be some value to it. To illustrate how the end user can get value from their oil analysis program I have attached a copy of a case study I wrote on a diesel engines for an industry publication and presented at a conference as an example of how oil analysis can be used to maximize engine life without increasing overhaul costs or reducing safety. Please read it and then come back to the post.

 

In the article you saw how specifics about the engines metallurgy were used "tell" what component was generating wear metals outside of there normal parameters. The ability to understand what was going on inside the engine took almost a year to get (over 240 oil samples, plus detailed analysis of the engines as they were torn down and rebuilt.). So then the question is how does a guy or gal who is pulling a sample 2 to 3 times a year on their one lil' old 0-360 gain the understanding to make actionable decisions based on their sample results?

Attached are copies of wear metal thresholds(w/some narrative information) for a Contential IO-360 C/D used in the US Governments O-2 and O-3 planes This is just an example.The information is out there we just have to know where to look or be willing to build and share the knowledge base as a community if it doesn't exist. As a matter of fact that's how people like Mike Busch make a living (just felt like mentioning his name since people here seem to like to talk about him).

This is a high level view on how you can use oil analysis to gain a better understand of what's going on in your engine. The specifics should be the topic of a tread of their own if not a full blown presentation. The fact that you are using other technologies and testing to isolate an issue is exactly what you should be doing as no one test can cover all of the possible failure modes our engines might have.

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

 

Practicing_Oil_Analysis__Increasing_Engine_life.pdf

io306_2.JPG

io360_1.JPG

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On 1/7/2017 at 8:56 AM, carusoam said:

Astra,

It would be interesting to get your ideas on oil sampling...

Typically our oil drains are at the bottom of the oil pan where sludge and dirt tend to settle.  There is probably a lot of variation in sampling that picks up things in the first few drops compared to the last few drops or the few drops in the middle.

Ever find things in your experience like plastic bits related to the bottles or packaging for oil, falling into the engine?

We have an MS member that got a small plastic bit stuck in the quick drain which became more noticeable during flight... the locking ring from the bottle cap fell in.

Best regards,

-a-

carusoam,

Interesting questions and my response to them are probably going to be things you already know.

As far as pulling the sample, given the limitations of how we can get a good consistent sample the bottom drain is pretty much it even though it is the sample point of last resort in the oil analysis world (Not to mention it is what Lycoming recommends). So to limit the variables if we make sure the engine has been flown for a time to allow all of the condensation to be boiled off and we take the sample within 15min of shutting off the engine and we keep the timing of when we put the sample bottle in the drain stream the same ( 1 miss, 2 miss, 3 miss) we should get pretty consistent data back.

My experience with GA engines is very limited (to my own engine) so I haven't seen nor do I hope I ever see stuff like that in my crankcase. In larger equipment we normally don't fill them with quart or gallon bottles due to the volume of oil needed. I could only imagine (giving what the fill tube on my engine looks like) that stuff like that could happen if the person doing the work is in a rush or not paying attention to detail, but would be just a guess.

Again I don't think anything I said here is ground breaking as all of the people in this group are pretty sharp (I mean we all fly Mooney's right...)

 

Cheers,

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We all fly Moonies and the collective experience is getting larger by the day....

We have some business owners that are responsible for many engines in a similar fashion as your previous experience.

Some business owners where their Mooney is one of a small collection of planes. 

Other guys may want to track the performance of their one engine in a similar way as they may track a patient's health.

healthcare tests are probably more developed and have tighter tolerances than typical engine analysis.

The effect of hours flown and calendar time between oil changes adds so much variation to the results...

Lots of challenges...  Good to have people with this type of experience on board.

We are going to find a way for Mooney owners to be able to use it better...

Best regards,

-a-

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All,

cnoe has been nice enough to provide all of the sample data he has on his AC. For those of you who want to go a little deeper into this oil analysis thing I have built a spreadsheet using cnoe's data with some narrative on what I did and why. This analysis is only for wear metals as provided by his lab. There are a few other tests I would (and do) look at doing.

All are free to use this spreadsheet but you, the end user are responsible for it's application and validating the information it contains. If there are any questions please feel free to ask.

Final note, in speaking with cnoe as he reviewed and gave his approval to release his data. He stated that he was informed by an oil Rep. that the Shell 15W/50 causes an increase in copper (Cu) in oil samples and is not the result of break-in wear as I orginally thought. My analysis was based on a conversation cnoe and I had about the history of the engine. Please note this as you read the document.

Cheers,

Alan

cnoe Oil Analysis.xlsx

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Thanks for your work on this Alan. I'm always looking for more data and ways to use it to my advantage. Your research-based system will nicely augment my seat-of-the pants approach to reading analysis reports. I'll see if I can rustle up some more info regarding the effect of the Aeroshell on copper readings and post it here (it may already be documented on MS).


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Gentlemen, nice work!

Thanks for sharing the data and the insight.

Best regards,

-a-

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