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Metal in Filter

Category: 912 / 914 Technical Questions 3 months ago

I have had a sweet running 912uls for 900 hours, in fact it still runs sweet, but I just did a routine 900 hour service and 50 hour oil change and received a huge shock! When I cut open the oil filter as I always do, this time there was a lot of metal flakes in each filter pleat. They all seem to be shiny silver color or dark silver, not yellow or brass color. About half of them are ferrous (magnetic) and the others are non-magnetic. They are hard like metal with a very few being soft. I had an oil analysis done at 850 hours and all was normal. I did not take a sample for analysis at this oil change. 

Some recent engine history: At about 850 hours I sent the engine to a Rotax service center in Arlington, WA and had a cracked ignition housing replaced. While it was there, they also inspected the gearbox and replaced spring washers, etc., and rebuilt both carbs, and replaced coolant hoses. Since then it has been running fine for 50 hours.

I am now afraid to fly it! What should I do next? 

  • Re: Metal in Filter

    by » 3 months ago


    I just had a gearbox from the same outfit in Wa. and it wasn't correct. I had to pull it and re-do it. Found several other issues after their work. Their paperwork needs help too.


    Roger Lee
    LSRM-A & Rotax Instructor & Rotax IRC
    Tucson, AZ Ryan Airfield (KRYN)
    520-574-1080 Home (TRY HOME FIRST)
    520-349-7056 Cell

    Thank you said by: Ken Ryan

  • Re: Metal in Filter

    by » 3 months ago


    Thanks Roger. Does the metal I found sound like a gearbox? When I did the 900 hour service 4 hours ago, I checked the friction torque and all was well. No strange sounds from the gearbox. I hope your right; a gearbox rebuild would be much better than splitting the engine. Are there any tests you think I should do to help pinpoint the source of all this metal?


  • Re: Metal in Filter

    by » 3 months ago


    Some of your flakes that aren't magnetic may be the plastic thrust washer from in the gearbox? Since the gearbox was the last major item worked on before this showed up this is where I'd look first.


    Roger Lee
    LSRM-A & Rotax Instructor & Rotax IRC
    Tucson, AZ Ryan Airfield (KRYN)
    520-574-1080 Home (TRY HOME FIRST)
    520-349-7056 Cell

  • Re: Metal in Filter

    by » 3 months ago


    Pull the gearbox and send it for inspection, before it gets really expensive.


  • Re: Metal in Filter

    by » 3 months ago


    Lockwood Aviation, Sebring Fl.


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