THE SHOP

December '18

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DECEMBER 2018 THE SHOP 31 A PEEK INSIDE Along with wear characteristics, other engine conditions and problems can be garnered from used oil analysis. Lab reports contain information on fuel dilution, water dilution, actual viscosity and unusual wear of parts other than the camshaft, including cylinder wear, contaminants, gear wear, etc. It even identifies which metals are not in normal range—copper, aluminum, iron, etc. —and includes suggestions of where the problem might be located. A testimony: My daily driver is a 1946 Chevrolet pickup street rod that (in just three years) has accumulated 35,000 miles. I was routinely testing samples at every oil change (just because I could) and every- thing was coming back as normal—until the last two samples. Time before last I received a recommen- dation from Driven Racing Oil to change the oil I was using to another of its prod- ucts to offset some slightly above-normal wear. The most recent test showed signs of increased metals (iron particles) in the oil, less-than-normal oil viscosity and fuel dilution. Never before had this happened, so I looked to find out why. A cylinder leak- down test showed "only slightly above normal" cylinder leakage, indicating the rings/cylinder wear was not the main problem. The fuel dilution was traced to a faulty fuel regulator that was always allowing too much pressure, causing internal flooding in the carburetor. This explained my recent drops in mileage, the black soot in the tail- pipes and the flooded conditions under loads at speed (bogging going uphill under load). The used oil analysis report alerted me that something was wrong. How cool is that? Continuing to drive in this condition was sure to wash some of the oil off of the cylinder walls and cause piston ring and cylinder wear. I believe the used oil analysis can show just about anything about your engine, except what color car it's in. PASS THE TEST I have often called engine oil analysis a lie detector for engine builders. When someone gets a fresh engine from you, the builder, and returns in a short time with a problem claiming it's your fault, what can you do? Well, you can tear down the engine and inspect it—or, you can determine the problem from analyzing the oil. The results will show if the problem was in your work (and you can take the responsibility of correcting it), or if the customer failed to follow your directions on which oils to use or when to change out the break-in oil, or did something dumb that hurt the engine. Many engine builders are offering oil sample test kits free to their customers (to show the customer there is a way to check for problems) and informing them this will be a required procedure to address any warranty claim. Used oil analysis test kits are available for as low as $25 online and at some auto parts stores. However, most analysis reports are just technical reports, meant for experts to interpret and not always understandable. The costs do not always cover shipping Lab reports can contain information on fuel dilution, water dilution, actual viscosity and unusual wear of parts other than the camshaft, including cylinder wear, contaminants, gear wear, etc. ANY PROJECT, ANY PROBLEM YOU'RE COVERED ROGUESERIES.COM THERMOTEC.COM HEAT CONTROL PRODUCTS THAT RESIST DISCOLORATION, EVEN IN THE TOUGHEST CONDITIONS. DEALER INQUIRIES WELCOME

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