Hi Experts,

I just got my latest oil analysis (attached) and it's concerning that my low-time (~100 hrs) 914 shows high Iron and lead.  I did find a couple of tiny specks of metal in the oil filter.  All engine temps/pressures are in the normal range and it's running strong.

Could this be some issue with one or more piston rings?  They don't suggest grounding the plane, but I would like to get this looked at as soon as possible.

Any thoughts on this?  Any recommendations for good Rotax service in New England?




9244_1_N722CM-220514.pdf (You do not have access to download this file.)
  • Re: High Iron & Lead in Oil for My Low-Time 914

    by » 7 months ago

    Things can influence oil samples. Just the way you collect it influences it. (i.e. collecting at the begining , middle or end of the oil drain, ect...) Low time engine's and gearbox's are breaking in. Lead can be from using 100LL. I see these type of things all the time. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it and just do another sample at the next oil change.

    Roger Lee
    LSRM-A & Rotax Instructor & Rotax IRC
    Tucson, AZ Ryan Airfield (KRYN)
    520-349-7056 Cell

  • Re: High Iron & Lead in Oil for My Low-Time 914

    by » 7 months ago

    Thanks, Rodger.  It is the 2nd sample (you can see the 1st in the report), but I'll take the advice of doing it again after 20 more hours to see if it continues.  I have a suspicion it will, but I'm not going to panic (yet.. :-)).

    I just want to keep ahead of any potential problems before they become real problems...

  • Re: High Iron & Lead in Oil for My Low-Time 914

    by » 7 months ago

    I agree with Roger... most likely initial wear in gearbox.  Did you look at magnetic plug in gearbox and check same for iron fines?

  • Re: High Iron & Lead in Oil for My Low-Time 914

    by » 7 months ago

    I second Roger & James. I would also like to add something about oil sample analysis;

    I have a little understanding of this service - predominantly in the agricultural sector (heavy machinery).

    The first thing anyone contemplating using oil analysis should be aware of is, that for it to have any significants, it requires many samples over time so that a trend may be established (its a big commitment). This allows for changes to the trend to be identified & interpreted by someone who understand the environment the engine is operating in - a one or two samples analyses, is highly unlikely to result in a meaningful result.

    Secondly; Consistency is everything. This mean that the oil changes/sampling must be taken at the same intervals. The same engine oil used. Ideally the same fuel. Same oil filter. The same procedure for obtaining the sample - just like a urine sample eg  mid (drain) stream, after a good/prolonged warm up, is probably the ideal. Ideally the engine would be managed (by all operators) in the same way eg warm up/cool down, power settings, etc. The same number of engine hours accrued over calendar time (usage rate).  You get the idea. This reduces variables that may impact on the analysis and therefore interpretation/reporting and ultimately the validity of the report(s). 

    Not all of the above is practical - fuel changes according to seasonal demands. Oil companies can & do modify their offerings (sometimes without notice). Aircraft used in the training environment are subject to the whims of the students (owner operated is much more consistent/better in this context). Known changes should be brought to the attention of the oil testing service/laboratory, so that changes in oil analysis coinciding with the input change may be adjusted for.

    In short - if you are not prepared to commit to something like the above,  over an extended (whole of engine life) time, the hit & miss sampling that so many indulge in is probably a waste of money.

  • Re: High Iron & Lead in Oil for My Low-Time 914

    by » 7 months ago

    Is that a different magnetic plug than the one near the oil filter?  I checked the one above and to the right of the oil filter and that one hardly had anything on it.  Just a bit of fine paste.

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