Comments on Eclipse oil sep unit

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
I still haven't opened my oil separator unit but I noticed something today that kind of confirmed my suspicions about the drainplug holes. I believe the drain plug holes are weep holes for condensation. I pulled into a rest area on the way back to Iowa City today, perhaps 60 miles after leaving Des Moines, and when I returned from my walk (chiro orders) I noticed a small pool of liquid under the car with something dripping. I backed out the car and looked at the liquid, it was water, somewhat tinged with a little oilage...but not much. I lifted the hood and felt below the oil sep unit and sure enough, it was draining off water. I had wondered for some time about the holes and their purpose but never noticed drainage before. I think they're too small for oil sludge to leak out but for condensation they wouldn't bee too small.

For all those contemplating the attachment of a hose and plugging the end I would suggest that you dont do it or the unit will retain water that I believe it's designed to drain off. I'm going to install a clear drain tube so that it doesn't drain down onto the lower cover and saturate the foam but I'm not plugging the end.

My .02 on the issue

steve a

[ January 21, 2003, 00:10: Message edited by: Steve Addy ]
 

Jerry Stringer

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2002
Location
Jackson, MS
TDI
Passat, 1997, Emerald Green
Steve,
That hasn't been my experience. I installed one of these units and it never dawned on me that it would leak oil out of the drain screw that had holes in it.
Well, it does leak oil. I filled up the hole with Plumber's Goop, but will probably end up using a rubber cap of some sort. I pride myself with having common sense, but not in this instance!!

Jerry
 

John Beyer

Veteran Member
Joined
May 12, 2000
Location
Peninsula, Ohio
TDI
1998 White TDI/GT Jetta, 2003 Silver Jetta
I installed the Eclipse a few days ago and left the drain connection unattached with plans to run a hose into the downpipe from the stock separator to the crankcase( as suggested in the instructions if my car was a plane). When I got home after the 1st day of driving I left the engine running and checked to find just clean water dripping slowly from the standpipe. I also noticed that both the in and out hoses were very cool. On the 3rd day I checked again and an oil and water mix had been dripping slowly. I put a hole in the lid of a plastic bottle and used the bottle as a catch can so I can see what is collected ofer time. The bottle isn't a tight fit so the standpipe should drain normally. I'll report back later.
 

colucci

Veteran Member
Joined
May 13, 1998
Location
MPLS, MN USA
TDI
Jetta 1998 Green
My post from this fall must have been deleted in the separation of the A4 and B4/A3 forums. Anyway, I installed the eclipse separator in Sept or so. It worked beautifully - just drain the oil every 2000 miles or so.

BUT, now that it's 8 degs for a high, I've got icing. This kind of system is a water vapor magnet. I was driving along this weekend and noticed the tell-tale white smoke out the exhuast. Sure enough the hose from the crankcase to the separator was clogged with ice.


Here's a pic of the setup


I'm driving stock until Spring thaw...
D'nardo
 

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
I've been driving in sub-ten degree weather with no icing problems. The exposed portions of my hoses are covered in black pipe insulation tubes and I run with the engine cover in place. Also, my hoses are routed next to the upper radiator hose and that heat transfer helps out. It's also important to run with the engine cover in place to retain as much heat as possible.

colucci, are you running without the original ccv diaphram? What have you connected your crankcase pipe to, from here it looks like it's not attached to anything. I would bet that if you covered your hoses with insulation and surrounded he separator unit with something to insulate it you wouldn't have a problem. I'm not sure if I would run without the original ccv diaphram though.

my .02

steve a
 

colucci

Veteran Member
Joined
May 13, 1998
Location
MPLS, MN USA
TDI
Jetta 1998 Green
Good eye Steve! Actually this was the first iteration. I plugged the bottom hose because a prominent forum member (who will go nameless) also did this and claimed it worked great. Well... the pressure built up in that hose and oil would leak out at the engine block connection. I have since gone back to the stock diaphram. I run the hose to the catch-can from the output.

I'm convinced that little is going to prevent icing when the high is -5 F. Like I said, my new plan is catch-can in the spring, summer and fall, stock in the winter.

D'

[ January 22, 2003, 09:52: Message edited by: colucci ]
 

Dean_S

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2001
Location
Lawrence Kansas
TDI
BMW 535d x-drive
I justed recieved two of these yesterday. The packaging is in very good shape for being over 50 years old. Mine came with instructions of a sort. it is very obvious that these are for some kind of air pump, and yes they state that the drainage can be routed to the crankcase (of the air pump).

So the way I see it, these were never designed to be used for crankcase ventilation. So if use for that, there will be water condensation if the separator gets cold. So, expect water to accumulate. Don't route oil back to the engine sump, as accumulated water seems to be expected.

If mounted between the engine and the firewall, then less feeze issued might result. I will probably hook up a drain hose, closed at the end. That will not get damaged by water freezing. I will remove the little leaker baffle. And note when used as an oil separator in an aircraft, there would be a positive pressure and that would blow stuff out of the screw-in restrictor plug at the botton. That means one way flow. I would not count on that with this application.

So in aircraft, positive pressure when in use, dry air, not damp. In TDI, not always positive pressure, moisture in the gases.
 

Curious Chris

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Joined
Jun 11, 2001
Location
Pineview GA
TDI
Jetta Wagon 2003 RIP Rockford IL
Hi, well if I could post a picture I would, oh well.

If it warms up to +10 F, I will install my Eclipse fastened to the oil filter housing to heat it. Then I found at work, silicone tubing that is a snub fit over the outlet on the bottom. I have about 1 foot of house that I am going to make into a loop and watch the condensation and oil fill the loop as I decide on catch can.

And as the holes in the bottom plug are small, I am wondering how much air flow will be there......

Oh if anyone in MN wants a piece of this Silicone hose I can get 8-12" pieces all the time....
 

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
That's another good idea mounting it next to the oil filter housing. I didn't look too much at that location. It would be really sweet to be able to mount it behind the engine where it's even less vulnerable to the cold but I worked with it back there a little and wasn't happy with any place I tried it.

I will say though, that based on the amount of water drainage I was getting from mine I do not suggest you plug the end of it, nor is it wise to route the drain back to the crankcase. There's just too much water, at least in mine. I'm thinking drain tube, despite the fact that I know the water is tainted with oil...at least until summer. Perhaps next year I can rig up a catch tank for the drainage....complete with bilge pump.


steve a
 

John Beyer

Veteran Member
Joined
May 12, 2000
Location
Peninsula, Ohio
TDI
1998 White TDI/GT Jetta, 2003 Silver Jetta
I checked the catch can the bottom standpipe is connected to today after less than a week of driving. There was 3oz. of water and a little oil in it. Its been 10-20 deg.F during the days around here. I think we found a great water vapor condenser. Hopefully its still a good oil seperator.
 

Don Splaun

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 1999
Location
Staunton, VA, USA
TDI
None now
I have been using mine for over a 2 months now. I connected a hose to a small plastic bottle for the drain. It has collected a small amount of oil in just over 4,000 mles. Top hose still clear. I like it better than the Racor on my 98 Jetta.
 

Dean_S

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Joined
Mar 29, 2001
Location
Lawrence Kansas
TDI
BMW 535d x-drive
Yes, it is a water vapor condensor, but it is also an ice maker. I will install mine between the head and firewall if possible. Remember, these were not designed for crankcase vapors, but to remove oil from air compressor discharge. In an aircraft application with extreme cold at altitude, these would freeze up very nicely if used for crankcase venting.

What we are doing is a missapplication of these oil separators. It seems that these need to be kept warm, and insulation of the aluminum body might be a good idea. In this respect, the home built units using plastic pipe would be better in the cold.
 

zebrajeb

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Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Location
Reno, NV
TDI
Jetta, 02, Silver, AT
I've been following this discussion since I put an Eclipse oil separator on my A4 lst week. Temps have been in the 50s day and freezing at night. Anyway, after driving around today, I took the engine cover off to check the temp of the Eclipse and the hoses. I was surprised to find all were very hot to the touch! Could only keep hand on a few seconds. Seems like having the oil separator next to the oil filter and the hoses under the engine cover it was pretty warm. Of couse, might be different when it is -20F.
 

PackRat

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Location
Las Cruces, NM
TDI
1998 A3 Jetta TDI
I notice that I get a lot of water condensation with my AGS filter. It's a mixture of oil, water and various crud/sludge that I end up pouring out.

EDIT:
CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! My AGS completely froze up and blocked my ccv system!


Too much water.

[ January 26, 2003, 13:10: Message edited by: PackRat ]
 

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
Originally posted by Dean_S:
Yes, it is a water vapor condensor, but it is also an ice maker. I will install mine between the head and firewall if possible. Remember, these were not designed for crankcase vapors, but to remove oil from air compressor discharge. In an aircraft application with extreme cold at altitude, these would freeze up very nicely if used for crankcase venting.

What we are doing is a missapplication of these oil separators. It seems that these need to be kept warm, and insulation of the aluminum body might be a good idea. In this respect, the home built units using plastic pipe would be better in the cold.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Misapplication is a bit harsh, I think adaptive use would be better. Anyway, it really doesn't matter, the $30 solution is the one I picked and I'm satisfied with it. It's very cold in Iowa and I've had the car out and no freezing, so I have no complaints. I'm not interested in spending a couple hundred dollars for this, like I'm not interested in spending $1000 on one of those engine heaters.

I guess part of the adaptive use would be understanding what problems there could be in the new application and dealing with those.

steve a
 

gsj28

Active member
Joined
May 31, 2002
Location
Northern California
Amen Steve... Mine works fine with the plug in the bottom. Don't have the freezing temperatures that some others experiece, and I also haven't noticed a whole lot of water in my Eclipse unit either.
 

kiwibru

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 21, 1999
Location
Distant island in WA. state
TDI
Golf 2-door, 2k Silver. Red RTDI now gone but not forgotten!
Same here. I think getting the units next to the oil filter housing, long trips and the desirable high engine temps. will help burn off the water vapor. No symptoms of such in mine yet and that includes high mountain cold weather trips! You chaps in the frigid winter areas of the mid-west and east coast have a bit more monitoring to do...at least until you are able to adapt the setup to keep it warmer or spring comes! It certainly beats the elephant hose mod and possible freeze ups at hose end!
 

mittzlepick

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Joined
Mar 18, 2001
Location
union maine
TDI
2004 jetta wagon (365k)2001 wagon tire burner 6spd 2003 wagon(417k)
same here in r.i. water drippage mine is hose clamped to the intercooler tube above the oil filter. me thinks location does not matter it is the atmosperic humidity causing it? is any body out in the less humid areas of the country noticing it?
 

PackRat

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Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Location
Las Cruces, NM
TDI
1998 A3 Jetta TDI
We were discussing this at the little GTG that Steve set up in DSM. We were discussing the fact that there seemed to be an lot of water vapor in the CCV system. And I remembered that the Racor CCV4500 (and I assume the 3500) filter was designed to drain the CCV condensate back into the crankcase. When my AGS condensator froze up, I noticed it had at least 70-75% water in the collector bowl. Like Steve said, he didn't think it was advisable to drain the separators/filters into the crankcase. Does the Racor filter somehow strain the water before it drains the oil? If not, if you installed a Racor filter or any oil separator and drained the condensate back into the crankcase, you'd be draining a lot of water back into the crankcase. I'd hate to think of the damage that could be done with all that water going into the crankcase.

Part of the reason my AGS filter froze up was that I had the small model with the 1/2" fittings. Reducing the size created a "venturi" effect of sorts that pulled more condensation into the return outlet and that subsequently froze up, blocking the CCV system.

My theory anyways.
 
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