182S Oil Leak

182S Oil Leak

Hello,

I own a 2000 182S that recently (6 months ago) underwent a crankshaft replacement. I have had the following issues since the work was done, and if anyone can give me any insight as to whether any of these issues are related or not, and more importantly, if anyone can point me in the right direction as to what might be causing my last problem, I would greatly appreciate it.

First Issue: Top plugs were being shorted out by what appeared to be small carbon deposits between the electrode and ground on the affected plugs. The cylinders affected were always number 1 or number 5. This problem continued for the first ~20 hours of flight subsequent to the replacement of the crankshaft.

I had the break in oil replaced with my regular oil, Exxon Elite 20-50, after the ~20 hour period, and the carbon deposits in the plugs haven't appeared since the oil change.

Second issue: When the cowling came off for the oil change, my mechanic told me that the crankshaft seal needed replacement, and both the crankshaft seal and the prop seal were replaced at this time.

Third issue: Since the crankshaft seal and prop seal were replaced, I have a small oil leak that appears on my top cowling, and spatters onto the windshield during flight. The oil seems to seep up through the top and forward-most cowling fastener on the right side (viewed from inside the airplane, so right over cylinder number one) of the airplane.

The crankshaft seal and prop seal have both been replaced again, and the problem persists. The front top part of the engine was "painted" with developer, and no discoloration is evident anywhere. In fact, the engine is bone dry after an hour of flight, even thought the top of the cowling has the small stream of oil seeming to come from the aforementioned cowling fastener, which spatters onto the windshield. My mechanic and I can't seem to find a "wet spot" on the engine anywhere.

Pull the spinner, and it is bone dry inside.

Crankshaft seal and prop seal have been replaced, and upon inspection prior to the second replacement, not a drop of oil found in the area of either.

If I seal the area where I think that the oil is coming from, i.e. the top front cowling fastener, with aircraft tape, the leak does not appear on the windshield, or the cowling. But again, nothing on the engine either, to indicate where the leak might be coming from. As soon as the tape is removed the leak is evident again, which makes us think that the oil is coming from the engine and there must be some kind of "vortex" being created around the front top cowling fastener sucking the oil out onto the top of the cowling.

It takes about 20 minutes of flying time for the leak to appear. It is not evident when just ground running the plane, no matter for how long.

The inside of the cowling is dry everywhere, except for around the top and frontmost cowling fastener, as I mentioned before. The engine is dry as a bone. The maximum flight time in a single flight since this problem was discovered has been a 1.3 hour flight, and again, the engine is dry as a bone, but the leak is evident on the top of the cowling, and the windshield.

I'm at my wits end here. The shop that did the original rework is top notch, and is standing behind their work, and trying their best to come up with a solution. They are not located in the city where I live and keep the airplane. My local mechanic is working with them and has had a friend who is also a mechanic inspect the plane, (between them they have to have over 50 years of piston experience) and ideas of what to try to next are running out.

If anyone has an idea of what I might try to diagnose the problem, I would be greatly appreciate it. I'm pulling the last few strand of my hair out, trying to think of what to do next. All of my flying is limited to the immediate area, as I'm concerned about this leak getting worse, fast, and having to put down off-field.

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Re: 182S Oil Leak

I just re-read my original post, and realize that I made a mistake about issue number one. Once the break-in oil was changed out, the carbon deposits on the spark plugs have not appeared again. Sorry about that.

My main reason for writing the original post is the oil leak problem, and the other issues were only mentioned as background info in case they might be related in anyway possible.

I'm looking for any type of diagnostic advice I can find to try to find the cause of the leak. As it only shows up after about 20 minutes of flying, I'm convinced that it must have something to do with the engine/oil temperature, and as it only shows up during flight, and not ground operations, I am convinced that air movement over the engine will have to be used to diagnose it as well.

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Re: 182S Oil Leak

Why was there break in (mineral) oil in the engine after the crank was replaced? Unless the cylinders were re-ringed I do not see a need for mineral oil. A lot of times when meineral oil is used there is a more frequent chance of plug fouling as this is usually associated with cylinder break in. From your oil leak synopsis, sounds very much like a crankshaft or nose seal. These are difficult , at best, to diagnose as there is so much turbulence inside the cowl during flight. TWO questions, I know that the shop is reputable, did the shop ensure that the spring was installed inside the nose seal? This assures tension on the sealing lip of the seal to the crankshaft. Is the breather tube adjusted correctly, it is supposed to hang into the airstream a predetermined distance. If it is either too far out or not far enough out this can creat excessive back pressure which will force oil out of the nose seal. The only other thing that can cause excessive crankcase back pressure is a vacuum pump seal. Hope this helps a little.

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Re: 182S Oil Leak

Tom

Thanks for your response. You are correct. Cylinder number one received a new piston, as there was some slight scuffing on the original piston. That is why break-in oil was used.

Breather tube appears to be adjusted correctly.

I am on the third crankshaft seal since the rebuild. The first being installed at the time of the rebuld, and 2 since then. The second time it was replaced was when I had the oil changed from break-in oil to "regular" oil, and once since then. On the last seal replacement, there was no oil residue on the front of the engine ,leading me (perhaps incorrectly) to believe that the crankshaft seal (the second seal since the rebuild) was just fine, but we replaced it anyway, as the problem seemed to crop up after the first seal was replaced. I don't know if the nose seal has been inspected, or the vacuum pump seal has been inspected. I will talk to my mechanic about these.

Thanks again for your response and insight.

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Re: 182S Oil Leak

Don
Sorry but I must clarif that the Crankshaft seal and the "nose" seal are one in the same. The procedure that I use for diagnosis is to uncowl the engine, clean w/ mineral spirits and let dry. Run the engine at two minute intervals (with the cowl off) and inspect as required. ( Usually 1500 to max rpm observing cht) It takes some time to get the oil temp up but it is the only way I have found to pinpoint the leak. After rereading the post I would verify that the oil drain back tubes (at the bottom of the cylinders forward) are tight, and the rocker covers are not leaking. Oil leaks are a PITA, best of luck...

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Re: 182S Oil Leak

Don
Have you checked the rocker arm push rod tube seals on each end, I had a leak that was showing oil out the cowl but not on eng and we found 2 of the tubes were leaking out the seal buy the rockers and the air would clean it off, adomize it and it was showing up at the edge of the cowl & oil filler door. good luck

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Re: 182S Oil Leak

I Used to fly 200 series Cessnas in Alaska. And this exact thing would happen when our crankcase breathers would freeze-up. Probably not the problem with your airplane but you might want to check your crankcase breather system. Like take it apart and make sure no one left a plug in or taped over the opening. Even quality shops can make misteakes!

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Re: 182S Oil Leak

I had a poormans rebuild/repair done a few months ago. simillar oil leaks showed up. turned out the engine shop did not locktite the oil galley plugs at the front of the engine. re&re the two plugs and all is dry now
ed.

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Re: 182S Oil Leak

I've just noticed a similar leak on my Cessna 172.  Same scenario with a little oil appearing on the top of the cowling after about an hour of flight and on the windshield.  A few drops also appear on the engine but it's tough to tell where they originated from.  Guess I'll clean off the engine, take it for a test flight and see if I can tell where the oil leak starts from.  Does anyone know if there's a better way to find the leak perhaps using a dye that would better show where the oil comes from?

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Re: 182S Oil Leak

The oil leak showing up on my cowling on my Cessna 172 was apparently coming from the magnetos. The mechanic noticed that the seal was bad, replaced it and all is good.

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