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Topic-icon Air Oil Separators - Airwolf

  • james Long
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1 month 2 weeks ago #1616

I installed Airwolf air oil separators on my 1982 Seneca III a week ago. I was looking for anyone who has had experience with using Airwolf or any other brands of air oil separators. I purchased my Seneca 5 months ago. a 300 hour and 1700 hour engine on TSIO360-KB with turbo chargers. 220 hp. I was getting oil coming out of the breathers. More out of the low time engine but I cleaned the bottom of the wing almost every flight. Very annoying but the mechanic said they have a tendency of breathing out oil. I did not have much consumption but amazed the amount on the bottom of the wing. By the way compression is good on both engines and there are no leaks on either engine. So I installed Airwolf separators flew a 2.5 hr flight and on decent I started loosing oil pressure. I was shooting an approach into low overcast with plenty of ice so I did not want to shut down engine. After landing I checked and was down to 2.25 qts in high time engine and low time engine down by 1 qt. Oil all over bottom of high time engine wing and puddle of oil at the base of the scat tube of the separator. Even the low time engine had oil under wing - again. After cutting open the filter and with no metal in filter I filled up oil, disconnected the separator on the high time engine and flew 45 min legs to verify oil and all seemed OK all the way back home and is currently in shop as they are trying to figure out what happened. Does anyone have any experience with this? good or bad?
Any info would be greatly appreciated. I know they have talked to Airwolf but with the Holiday around us not a lot of info yet but they said it was hooked up properly.

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2 weeks 3 days ago #1667

It’s a great question. Air-oil separators are a bit of a mystery to me as well. I too would like to read the brain trust opinion on this device.

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1 week 5 days ago #1677

Air oil separators are subjects of some disagreement.
Cessna put very small ones on some of its twins but to my knowledge they never put one on a single.
First, realize that engines puke out oil above a certain level. If you're filling the sump to the top, there's almost a 100 percent chance the engine will blow oil out of the breather tube until is get's to a certain level. You can tell where that oil level "sweet spot" is by watching the consumption. At a certain level the usage will stabilize. That's the sweet spot. Once an engine is at its sweet spot usage should slow considerably.
One set of opinions says that air oil separators return not only oil-which is ok--but also water vapor which is definitely not OK to the engine.
It's important to realize that there will always be oil dripping out of the crankcase vent overboard hose.
Engines can have good compression yet still be leaking a lot of combustion gasses past the rings into the crankcase. When the pressure in the crankcase is elevated that blows oil out of the engine. This leakage is easy to spot--the oil gets black very soon after an oil change--talking 5 to 10 hours.
Continental motors does have a service bulletin that details a test to check for excessive crankcase pressures. This test connects an airspeed meter or a manometer to a fitting that has been installed in the oil filler cap. This test is outlined in Continental Manual M-0, page 8-24. The maximum pressure allowed in the Continental 360 series is 90 mph or 4 inches of water.
If the pressure is high this manual says to clear the crankcase breather tube and system, and if a air oil separator is installed, dis connect the separator and test again.
If the AirWolf air oil separators are not installed exactly per the instructions, they will not work as designed. Check to see that they are correctly installed.
Another thing that can cause excess crankcase pressure is a leaking prop shaft seal. If your prop shaft seal is old, that could be the cause.
Find the oil level "sweet spot." make sure the separators are correctly installed and go from there.
Let me (us) know what you find

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