Cracked Oil Sump

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1 year 4 weeks ago #1544 by STEVE ELLS
Replied by STEVE ELLS on topic Cracked Oil Sump
Hey Kent;
This photo shows the crack. Very unusual. I don't believe I've ever seen that. Since you're under warranty with Western Skyways, I expect you to have zero cost out of pocket.
Check the oil filter first, if it's clean I don't see the need to pull the prop governor, but I would propose that to Western Skyways just to make absolutely sure that there has been no engine damage.
It is possible (I believe) to change oil sumps without pulling the engine. Check with Western Skyways and your mechanic.
Thanks for sending in this story.
Very unusual.

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1 year 4 weeks ago #1543 by KENT VANDENBERG
Replied by KENT VANDENBERG on topic Cracked Oil Sump
Thank you Steve and Jen. The failure looks like at crack but the engine is still in the airframe. Will get removing that in a week or so. A&P is very overbooked. My initial thought was it was the oil quick drain but that's not the case. Great suggestion to check the governor screen, will do that, in addition to already planning on opening the oil filter to look for metal. The overhaul has 6 months left on a 3 year warranty so it will be sent to Western Skyways in Montrose, CO, and I plan to go there when it gets opened to see what's going on inside. I'll try to upload a picture of the crack in the oil pan.
Kent.


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1 year 1 month ago #1541 by STEVE ELLS
Replied by STEVE ELLS on topic Cracked Oil Sump
Some of the early Continental engines has oil sumps cast of magnesium, if I remember correctly. And there have been reports of those sumps corroding through.
The sumps on the IO and O-470 series are stamped steel so aren't prey to the type of corrosion that attacks the magnesium cases.
Are you sure that the oil quick drain valve didn't leak|?
If you want to know if your engine has been contaminated by metal, pull the prop governor and look at the screen that's part of the governor gasket.
You'll also want to pull the oil filter and cut it apart to see if it contains any metal.
And, if your mechanic has a borescope, he can inspect the inside of the oil pan (after the oil is drained) for metal.
If you still had 4 quarts of oil remaining and the OP and OT were in the green, I doubt that any oil-related damage occurred.
I will query engine builders to see if IO and O 470 sump failures are anything they've seen.
Please take pictures of the failure, and include the pictures with a description of what you find.

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1 year 1 month ago #1540 by Jen D
Replied by Jen D on topic Cracked Oil Sump
Yikes! Glad you are ok, Kent.

Jen

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1 year 1 month ago #1536 by KENT VANDENBERG
Yesterday, I joined the ranks of those who survived an engine failure. It was a 2.5 hour flight to my home base (KMPI) and upon landing, taxiing to the hanger and shutting down, I got out of the airplane to see oil pouring out of the engine. It was draining out of the bottom middle of the oil sump near cylinders 5 and 6. Leading up to this, all engine indications were normal. Oil pressure and oil temperature were right where they always are. I heard or felt no bangs or vibration. Once in the hanger, there was 4 quarts of oil in the sump so luckily I doubt the engine got run dry. I believe this problem started about 10 miles out from landing because I remember a slight smell of oil. If it would have been 20 miles out, the engine would have probably seized with an off airport landing in a rural, rolling foothills area. I'm so fortunate it played out this way. The engine has 165 hour SMOH and is still under warranty so working with the engine shop to determine cause and repair.

Now, to my question: While the engine has not yet been pulled and opened up so see if something came apart to strike the oil sump from within, is a failure of the sump itself a plausible failure mode, and what might cause a sump to fail? Metal fatigue, vibration, corrosion, an undetected crack that grew, non-flat surfaces between the case and the sump and thus torque forces when the bolts are tightened down, etc? The engine is an IO-470-S. I did some preliminary searching of SDR's but have found nothing yet. I have not heard of an oil sump failing. Any thoughts appreciated.

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