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  #1  
Old 09-15-2021, 05:36 PM
Lemos Lemos is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Julian, California
Posts: 80
Default Bad oil analysis results

I received bad news in an email from Blackstone. Looks like my engine is making metal. How bad are these values?

Aluminum 18 ppm. Iron 77 ppm. Copper 30 ppm. Nickel 11 ppm. Everything else is OK.

Blackstone notes: we have found high levels of iron and nickel compared to averages. Check the compressions, and check the oil filter. Resample in ten hours.

What am I looking at here? Engine overhaul? Is there a market for an airplane with an engine with these kind of problems?
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  #2  
Old 09-15-2021, 06:17 PM
00Dan 00Dan is online now
 
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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What did you find in the filter pleats? Oil analysis is complementary to actually cutting the filter and shouldn’t be used in isolation.
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  #3  
Old 09-15-2021, 06:34 PM
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MacCool MacCool is offline
 
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I’d check the compressions, check the oil filter, maybe have it borescoped, and re-sample in 10 hours. I think I’d start making plans for an overhaul only based on a demonstrable trend, not a single oil sample.
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  #4  
Old 09-15-2021, 06:37 PM
sjhurlbut sjhurlbut is offline
 
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Default above

Well oil analysis did its job - I do it every oil change

Do as directed - check the filter and finger screen for any particles. Clean oil and resample as directed.

Have you done several oil analysis or is this the first one?

Its all about trends - chill for a bit but be safe
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  #5  
Old 09-15-2021, 06:42 PM
georgedouglas georgedouglas is offline
 
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Location: florida/tennessee
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemos View Post
I received bad news in an email from Blackstone. Looks like my engine is making metal. How bad are these values?

Aluminum 18 ppm. Iron 77 ppm. Copper 30 ppm. Nickel 11 ppm. Everything else is OK.

Blackstone notes: we have found high levels of iron and nickel compared to averages. Check the compressions, and check the oil filter. Resample in ten hours.

What am I looking at here? Engine overhaul? Is there a market for an airplane with an engine with these kind of problems?
Before you go off the deep end, you need to answer some questions like what oil and viscosity are you using, what climate are you mostly operating in, how many hours on the oil, how long has the oil been in the engine, what has been the oil temps generally, How many hours on the engine, was this the first sample, How long do you normally fly each time, what engine maintenance has been done recently. Those PPM numbers are not high enough to condemn this engine or get excited until you find out what you may be doing to push these numbers up. george
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  #6  
Old 09-16-2021, 03:07 AM
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Dan 57 Dan 57 is offline
 
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Quote:
Looks like my engine is making metal
Well, there ain't no in service engine not making metal... the term being normally used when visible metal of kind is found in either the oil itself, or/and the filter(s)

Quote:
How bad are these values?
They are high, but I've seen way worse

Quote:
Blackstone notes: Check the compressions, and check the oil filter. Resample in ten hours.
Have you checked the compressions, have you checked the oil filter, have you resampled after 10 hours, results?

Quote:
What am I looking at here? Engine overhaul?
Probably not. Too many unknowns here. The top missing clue is: How many flight hours on that engine prior to the oil analysis, in say the last year, 1/2 year, months? I have seen very hi iron contents, in engines not used for say 3 months, then flown some, and having the analysis done. Most of the time rust scraped off the cylinder walls by the piston rings...

Quote:
Is there a market for an airplane with an engine with these kind of problems?
There always is "a market"... just airplane type/state/avionics/engine/time available for sale/etc dependent...


As already stated, oil analysis is one of numerous tools used to assess an engine's health, and certainly not to be used on its own.
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  #7  
Old 09-16-2021, 02:55 PM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
 
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This is why we do engine oil analysis. You’ve discovered a possible problem, and it may be operator induced, or not. I think you should follow the recommendations given to start to figure it out. The good news is, you can still fly - following the recommendations from professionals, and you are still safe if you follow this advice. SAFE…. That’s why we do it. Good job!
You might want to give Savvy a call. They’ve helped countless aircraft owners with similar problems, and one of their goals is to not do any invasive engine maintenance if not needed. Do your due diligence, give them, or someone else the info, and let them help you.
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  #8  
Old 09-16-2021, 04:03 PM
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Walt Walt is offline
 
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This is why I think oil analysis is pretty much a waste of money, no one has ever torn down an engine based on oil analysis, so all it does is give you something to worry about. Keep flying it and follow Lycoming recommendations checking screens/filters etc., if done routinely you'll end up with the same result.
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Last edited by Walt : 09-16-2021 at 04:17 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-16-2021, 04:42 PM
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Jpm757 Jpm757 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post
This is why I think oil analysis is pretty much a waste of money, no one has ever torn down an engine based on oil analysis, so all it does is give you something to worry about. Keep flying it and follow Lycoming recommendations checking screens/filters etc., if done routinely you'll end up with the same result.
Walt makes a good point, additionally it is critical that the sample be taken at the proper time during the drain. We had a mechanic who forgot to take the sample during the drain, realized his mistake and retrieved the sample from the oil filter. Results came back extremely elevated.
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Last edited by Jpm757 : 09-16-2021 at 04:48 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-16-2021, 05:04 PM
RVDan RVDan is offline
 
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Thisis the opposite case, but it is the source of my mistrust of oil analysis, in the short run.

One time, I was starting an annual inspection, took the oil sample, sent it out and proceeded to drain oil through a paint strainer and to cut open the filter. The amount of metal present meant the engine obviously had a problem. Proceeded to engine tear down and found a spun main bearing. The engine was likely only a couple of hours from a stoppage event.
A couple of weeks after the start of the inspection, got the analysis back, slightly elevated levels, recommended checking again at 25 hrs. No sign of the imminent failure.

In essence the analysis by itself was pretty useless.
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