Oil in the air filter housing

laserfixr

Member
I have oil pooling in the bottom of the air cleaner housing. It is coming from the valve cover breather hose going into the air filter housing. This oil is saturating the air filter and I think causing it to run rich. Is this normal for these Triumph engines? Does it hurt anything? Has anyone installed a PCV valve inline with the hose? The engine was rebuilt a few months ago and has very few miles on it. I don't think I have blow by causing high crankcase pressure. I am using a Mann C1530 filter in the air cleaner housing. Any suggestions? Thanks.
 

Ed Price

Member
_____

From: laserfixr [mailto:]
Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 10:02 PM
To: edprice@cox.net
Subject: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20445] Oil in the air filter housing



I have oil pooling in the bottom of the air cleaner housing. It is coming
from the valve cover breather hose going into the air filter housing. This
oil is saturating the air filter and I think causing it to run rich. Is this
normal for these Triumph engines? Does it hurt anything? Has anyone
installed a PCV valve inline with the hose? The engine was rebuilt a few
months ago and has very few miles on it. I don't think I have blow by
causing high crankcase pressure. I am using a Mann C1530 filter in the air
cleaner housing. Any suggestions? Thanks.


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Best Regards,

Steve Sell
West Palm Beach, Florida
'66 Red/White


Steve:

A PCV valve means Positive Crankcase Ventilation. It's a one-way valve that
normally allows the crankcase vapors to be routed to the carb intake. In the
event of a carb backfire, the valve slaps shut to prevent the flame front
from moving back into the oil vapors inside the valve cover and crankcase.
If the valve sticks shut, then you simply get no crankcase ventilation, and
the vapors find a way of leaking out into the bilge area.

OTOH, you must be sucking a whole lot of oil vapor in order to see a puddle
in the air cleaner housing. That's a whole lot more than normal. So, what's
causing the excess vapor inside the engine. Sounds like a classic case of
piston ring blow-by, so I would check the compression on all cylinders. It's
also possible to get vapor from severe oil sloshing and foaming, possibly
caused by over-filling the engine oil. Far out possibilities are something
odd whipping around with the crankshaft, or a severely dented oil pan that
no longer holds the normal fill of oil. Also, the dipstick might be wrong
for the engine, or not sticking down all the way. Either way, you might be
over-filling the engine oil. Does the engine oil still look clean, or does
it look like a chocolate malt? Maybe you have coolant leaking into the oil
pan, thus raising the oil level. All of these last items are rare, but
errors during the recent engine rebuild can cause these weird problems.

Have a talk with the engine rebuilder, show him the puddle (also look at the
spark plugs for evidence of oil fouling), and have him re-check the
compression. Suggest you drain the engine oil completely, looking for
contamination. Measure how much comes out too. Have you noticed a loss of
coolant or oil?

Ed Price
El Cajon, CA USA
WB6WSN
61 Rust Guppy
1987 MB 420SEL
 

Bilgemaster

Member
Ed,

I've had the same "problem" with my '67 OLD BUOY since I got it in 1995,
but I just wipe out the air filter housing now and then (whenever I
check the oil, which is at most fillups), and there's actually been no
real problem: it keeps running happily enough, with no plug fouling or
other issues you'd associate with a really worn out engine. I just
chalk it up to one of its many eccentric "quirks", like needing to tap
the brake pedal to turn off the windshield wipers.

You will note that some earlier models have a different type of larger
oil filler hole cap with a metal mesh "breather" built into it, but no
breather tube from the top of the valve cover to the air filter housing
like ours. It was explained to me (rightly or wrongly) that this tube
was a later development designed half-assedly to reduce engine vapor
emissions in advance of new Federal vehicle emissions standards that
were due to begin coming into effect (in 1968?).

I guess one could just put some kind of tiny reservoir either in-line
somewhere along the tube or tapped into the base of the air cleaner to
collect the excess oil so that it won't oil up the filter, but it's
been 15 years and I, for one, have yet to get around to it.
Alternatively, I suppose one could also just get one of those
older-style breather-type oil caps and just seal off the breather tube
attachment on the top of the valve cover.

Then again, if you've only just had your engine rebuilt, rebored, honed
or re-ringed, you might just be getting a little blow-by in the
cylinders until the whole plot breaks in, and it might well lessen over
time.

Regards,
Bilgey


On Wed, 3 Jun 2009 4:33 am, Ed Price wrote:

> _____
>
> From: laserfixr [mailto:]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 10:02 PM
> To: edprice@cox.net
> Subject: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20445] Oil in the air filter
> housing
>
> I have oil pooling in the bottom of the air cleaner housing. It is
> coming
> from the valve cover breather hose going into the air filter housing.
> This
> oil is saturating the air filter and I think causing it to run rich. Is
> this
> normal for these Triumph engines? Does it hurt anything? Has anyone
> installed a PCV valve inline with the hose? The engine was rebuilt a
> few
> months ago and has very few miles on it. I don't think I have blow by
> causing high crankcase pressure. I am using a Mann C1530 filter in the
> air
> cleaner housing. Any suggestions? Thanks.
>
>
 

CapnJohn

Amphi Guru & Former IAOC President
Steve - What type of oil are you using? Synthetic or conventional? Did you use a "break-in" (non-synthetic) oil for the 1st 500+ miles?

If you put synthetic or blends in your new engine you won't allow the rings to seat allowing blow by as Bilgy suggests. Its often the simple things and nothing else. Look to the cheap simple fixes 1st before jumping to expensive (and probably incorrect) conclutions.

The PCV is there ONLY to control the crancase pressure. It is NOT an open or closed valve. It does not prevent flames entering the crankcase nor is it intended to. "The valve is simple, but actually performs a complicated control function. An internal restrictor (generally a cone or ball) is held in "normal" (engine off, zero vacuum) position with a light spring, exposing the full size of the PCV opening to the intake manifold. With the engine running, the tapered end of the cone is drawn towards the opening in the PCV valve, restricting the opening proportionate to the level of engine vacuum vs. spring tension. At idle, the intake manifold vacuum is near maximum. It is at this time the least amount of blow by is actually occurring, so the PCV valve provides the largest amount of (but not complete) restriction. As engine load increases, vacuum on the valve decreases proportionally and blow by increases proportionally. Sensing a lower level of vacuum, the spring returns the cone to the "open" position to allow more air flow. At full throttle, there is nearly zero vacuum. At this point the PCV valve is nearly useless, and most combustion gases escape via the "breather tube" where they are then drawn in to the engine's intake manifold anyway."
 

Canadian four amphs

Amphicar Expert
Dip stick wrong is a common problem.
Should hold no more than 5 quarts with a oil filter change.
Best to use a diesel type oil to keep lifters from wear on lobes, been much write up of this lately too,
The valve cover has a deflector sheild on the inside over the hole, take cover off and make sure its there.
My cars(many) do not get oil up this line.
GORD
 

Ed Price

Member
Since I was talking about the PCV system, it would have been appropriate for
John to also quote an earlier paragraph from the Wikipedia article that he
used for his authority:

The PCV system consists of the breather tube and the PCV valve. The breather
tube connects the crankcase to a clean source of fresh air, such as the air
cleaner body. Usually, clean air from the air cleaner flows in to this tube
and in to the engine after passing through a screen, baffle, or other simple
system to arrest a flame front, to prevent a potentially explosive
atmosphere within the engine crank case from being ignited from a back-fire
in to the intake manifold.

It would also have been ethical for John to cite the source of his quote;
you can read the full article on the PCV system at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCV_valve .

Despite our desires to operate efficient and non-polluting vehicles, we
should also remember that an Amphi is a boat with an enclosed engine. As
such, safety is even more important than efficiency. Without a PCV system,
the 1147 cc engine exhausts an oily mist from the valve cover breather cap
and/or the engine crankcase breather pipe. Either way, the fumes go into our
bilge. At best, we get engine smells in the passenger compartment. At worst,
we get oil crud and fumes in the bilge, with increased fire / explosion
hazards.

Getting back to the original question of an oil puddle in the air cleaner,
there's no way that you should be seeing that with just a few hundred miles
on the engine. Since you just had it rebuilt, take the many suggestions that
have been brought up and discuss them with your engine rebuilder.


Ed Price
El Cajon, CA USA
WB6WSN
61 Rust Guppy
1987 MB 420SEL






_____

From: CapnJohn [mailto:]
Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 8:53 AM
To: edprice@cox.net
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20445] Re: Oil in the air filter
housing



The PCV is there ONLY to control the crancase pressure. It is NOT an open or
closed valve. It does not prevent flames entering the crankcase nor is it
intended to. "The valve is simple, but actually performs a complicated
control function. An internal restrictor (generally a cone or ball) is held
in "normal" (engine off, zero vacuum) position with a light spring, exposing
the full size of the PCV opening to the intake manifold. With the engine
running, the tapered end of the cone is drawn towards the opening in the PCV
valve, restricting the opening proportionate to the level of engine vacuum
vs. spring tension. At idle, the intake manifold vacuum is near maximum. It
is at this time the least amount of blow by is actually occurring, so the
PCV valve provides the largest amount of (but not complete) restriction. As
engine load increases, vacuum on the valve decreases proportionally and blow
by increases proportionally. Sensing a lower level of vacuum, the spring
returns the cone to the "open" position to allow more air flow. At full
throttle, there is nearly zero vacuum. At this point the PCV valve is nearly
useless, and most combustion gases escape via the "breather tube" where they
are then drawn in to the engine's intake manifold anyway."
 

jfriese

Active Member
Hello,

This problem is more prevalent in Amphicars that are run hard. As someone who runs two late model Amphicars, I have experienced this problem with both the 1147 engine and the rebuilt 1296 engines that I now run. I drive my Amphicars on California freeways frequently at 70 MPH and occasionally at up to 85 MPH. I found pooling of oil in the air cleaner to be a problem (mainly for the air cleaner) and looked into ways to fix this. As John implied, installing a PCV valve is a tricky thing that I didn't want to get into. Instead, I found that race drivers sometimes use what's called an oil catch can to filter out the oil mist from the blow by gases. I found some on Ebay that I liked and installed them on both my cars. They have a site gauge on the side and a drain spigot on the bottom that makes occasionally draining them easy to do. I made up brackets for them from aluminum and mount them on one of the radiator mounting bolts. I also added a piece of plastic hose on the inlet side (inside the can) that I cut slots into. This hose slows down the gases and produces a cleaner output so that now my air filters get virtually no blow by oil in them. Photos included.

BTW: The photos show a Lucas alternator installed and it works perfectly on negative ground converted cars. Such a conversion is easy to do, except for the fuel gauge conversion, and I can do that conversion for you. This is the same alternator that later Triumphs used and you can get the mounts for them at a junk yard or Victoria British. The alternator came from Kragen auto parts and even the plug connectors are the same as Amphicar used so it's pretty much a "plug and play" installation the looks factory correct.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red





 

CapnJohn

Amphi Guru & Former IAOC President
John - Your installation is as always... beautiful and sanitary! I just got back from a Goodguys car show with 2000+ cars. Nice to see several cars I worked on there. (all non-Amphi)

That may be another solution for my 59 Skyliner (352) which has a road draft tube. What mfg is it? What about your coolant overflow tank?
 

jfriese

Active Member
Hello,

I found the overflow tank on Ebay. Do an Ebay search under "coolant tank" and you'll find a bunch of them. I think this particular model was made in Italy or France, but that was several years ago. The odd thing is that it didn't have any vent hole in it so I had to drill one in the cap. The mount for that was of my fabrication since I try to never add holes in my Amphicars but come up with some way to use existing bolts. In this case I'm using a rear bumper bolt and a rather tall aluminum strap for the mount. It is so tall that the tank would wiggle side to side so I put another smaller bracket on the radiator mount and padded the side of it so that it put some force against the side of the tank and this stabilized it. A bit weird but it worked and doesn't show. Stant or Prestone caps will work on Amphicars if you cut away a small piece of the lower tabs. The tabs on modern caps are a bit too wide to fit without that simple modification. The mod doesn't show at all either. I use 7 lb caps on my cars, which was the the pressure of the original cap. I've enclosed another photo and if you look closely you can see the mounts.

I've done a lot of negative ground fuel gauge conversions/calibrations. I do them for Hugh and Dave Derer too.

Enjoy,

John Friese
67 White
67 Red

 

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