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Touring Motor Gliders Association (TMGA)
Eric Greenwell

Oil leak after radiator hose replacement

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Eric Greenwell

Recently, I noticed oil spatters on the under side of the fuselage, between the firewall and the landing. Eventually, I discovered the oil was coming from a tiny hole in the side of the oil filter that faces down. Note this filter is shown off the engine.

damaged filter_LI.jpg

 

The hole was caused by the upper left hose clamp on the radiator, vibrating against the filter when the engine ran.

Hose clamp touches oil filter.JPG

The hose clamp was rotated 180 degrees and retightened, so the clamp's gear housing was below the hose, which is the original, factory position for the clamp. A new oil filter was installed.

How can this happen? In my case, the clamp position was inadvertently changed during the 5 year "rubber replacement". It's a easy mistake to make, because when the cowling is off,  it allow's the radiator to hang down with about 2" of room between the clamp and filter. I suggest all owners check the clamp position, especially if they've had a rubber replacement.

 

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edwalker

I had my rubber replacement last year and decided to check on this just to be sure. I also found that my hose clamp had been replaced with the clamp adjustment bolt on the upper portion of the hose, and the oil filter was dimpled by repeated contact with the clamp bolt. It did not rupture the metal casing of the oil filter, but it was clear that the dimpling pattern demonstrated repeated contact. The clearance between the clamp and the oil filter was very tight prior to the fix, but after repositioning the clamp adjustment bolt away from the top of the hose I was able to get my fingers easily around the oil filter. The easy test, if you want to check this without removing the lower cowling, is to simply try to curl your fingers under the oil filter from above during your next preflight. If you can get them around you likely have enough clearance. If your fingertips are stopped by the clamp adjustment screw the clearance is likely too small, and you should probably pull the lower cowling to take a closer look.

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