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air cleaners for engines

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Old 06-07-2009, 01:10 PM
  #1
Poffit
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Default air cleaners for engines

I am new to this wonderful hobby of RC planes, and am wondering why I never see air cleaners on engines. I have looked on Tower Hobbies but all I see are filters for smaller scale engines, probably for cars and trucks. Any engine would last longer if it wasn,t ingesting fine dust particles. I have always heard its the fine dirt you can,t see that ruins internal combustion engines. Anyone have experience with filters, do they cause more trouble than they are worth.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:36 PM
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines

I don,t feel the need for them and never have used them, ever. Quite sure that is going to be an unpopular position here but fact is at my current field for the last 13 years is hard pan earth and no one uses them. Sometimes new folks will come along and use them for a while but they soon disappear off the airplanes.

There just does not seem to be any evidence of increased service life at all.

John
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:04 PM
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines

I don't use them and have had no problems. I have a Saito 72 that has over 4 gallons through it and except for adjusting the valves and replacing a glow plug occasionally it runs beautifully.

I can understand and would use an air cleaner if I was doing RC cars since they do raise a lot of dust, but I see no need for them on aircraft or boats.

This is just my opinion.
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:09 PM
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines

Ihave used them on my smaller planes when I was flying off of a weed field, not grass but weeds plus an old crop duster field. Istarted using them after I had to break down an engine and found weed seeds and little bits of asphalt inside my case. These were .46 to .60 glow engines. Then Istarted using the heel part of my wifes old stockings over the carb and held them on with O-rings, that worked just as well as the little filters I could buy.
Not all engines like to run correctly with a filter on them butt they did need to be replaced quite often so they do work.
Ifly off of a dry lake bed now and have just started using my home made filters again. Several guys are running the small K&N filters on there gassers and they need to be cleaned once in a while so they are doing there job.
Most the guys don't bother with them and I have been flying forseveral years now withoutthem without problems butwith money being so tightthese days I have decidedit doesn't hurt anything to use one. Ican't affordthem for my gassers but Ican make them for my glowengines. If Ihad the extra money I would have themon all my planes right now. A gas engine is runningover 500 bucks these daysso a bit of protection would be a good investment for me.
They work.
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:52 PM
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines

I've torn engines apart just to see. I know very well what dust ingestion looks like and I see absolutely none in the airplane engines I've had a part. Maybe it is the lack of dust up higher or maybe the prop has something to do with it, I'm not sure. Definitely no need for a filter though unless you are in some sort of extreme environment.
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:41 PM
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines

Unless you fly in extremely dusty, weed in fested, crappy environmental conditions, you are most likely above the crud well before it can cause any problems with your engine. 

RC Cars are a different situation.  They are in the crud all the time.  But, we fly well above all that. 

CGr.
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:17 PM
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines

Quote:
a Saito 72 that has over 4 gallons through it
4 gallons? That's an engine break-in period, not a life test.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:35 PM
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines

I fly off of a dirt runway and don't use air filters.   I have never had an issue with then eating dust.  Now when they do the figure 9, try to dig a post hole.  That is another question.  Even the engines I have buried, as log as I did not try to turn them over before cleaning, they too were fine.


Dru.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:09 PM
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines

There are a couple of good reasons to use an air filter like the one in the photo. The engine is running for maybe a few minutes with the model on the ground what with engine starting, tuning, taxiing to and from the takeoff strip. Not to mention the occasional nose over that stops the engine. The air itself is full of dust and insects too. Another reason is that the filter traps any fuel that tends to spit back through the carb at lower revs so that helps keep the outside of the engine cleaner too. At about $4 and a few seconds to fit it's cheap insurance.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:33 PM
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines

Lubrication of the lower end is not a traditional closed oil pan system.  Lubrication is constantly replenished with the fuel,and debris sucked in the carb finds it's way out well enough to not be a factor.

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Old 06-07-2009, 10:51 PM
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines


Quote:
ORIGINAL: ChuckW

I've torn engines apart just to see. I know very well what dust ingestion looks like and I see absolutely none in the airplane engines I've had a part. Maybe it is the lack of dust up higher or maybe the prop has something to do with it, I'm not sure. Definitely no need for a filter though unless you are in some sort of extreme environment.
Chuck, Mariposa, Planada, Dry Lake Bed.
Extreme but I'm still pretty bad about not using them and haven't ever hurt an engine due to dirt but stuff does get in there.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:50 AM
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines

I tried using them years ago and couldn't keep them on the carb.  Gave up and have never had any problems due to ingesting junk.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:49 AM
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Poffit

Anyone have experience with filters, do they cause more trouble than they are worth.
I use them; too much sand here in Florida, and I fly off scarce grass most of the time.
I do not know how much they help, but they have caused me no trouble at all.
I have kept them securely in place with a little plastic tie-on.

I have noted less engine noise (yes, the carburetor aspiration causes noise), and much less oil deposits over the cylinder and cylinder head (which are bad for cylinder cooling).
I have not noted any loss of power.

I use the less fine mesh, which remains saturated with oil.
They have prevented dirt to get into the engine during more than one nose over that have broken the propeller, but have not knocked the screen off.

As fuel filters, air filters are a very personal choice, since nobody can really have strong negative or possitive reasons on them.
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:12 PM
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines


Quote:
ORIGINAL: downunder

The air itself is full of dust and insects too.
I can attest to that.

Even during bug free days, all of my planes seem to land with scores of insects stuck to the leading edges of all of the surfaces.

I've found bugs in the carb intake.
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:21 PM
  #15
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines

Ever notice all the grass seeds sitting on top of the filter?? Ihad one engine full of them, didn't hurt anything but that's when Ifirst started using them. {{sometimes}}
Quote:
ORIGINAL: lnewqban


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Poffit

Anyone have experience with filters, do they cause more trouble than they are worth.
I use them; too much sand here in Florida, and I fly off scarce grass most of the time.
I do not know how much they help, but they have caused me no trouble at all.
I have kept them securely in place with a little plastic tie-on.

I have noted less engine noise (yes, the carburetor aspiration causes noise), and much less oil deposits over the cylinder and cylinder head (which are bad for cylinder cooling).
I have not noted any loss of power.

I use the less fine mesh, which remains saturated with oil.
They have prevented dirt to get into the engine during more than one nose over that have broken the propeller, but have not knocked the screen off.

As fuel filters, air filters are a very personal choice, since nobody can really have strong negative or possitive reasons on them.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:14 PM
  #16
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines


[quote]ORIGINAL: Gray Beard

Ever notice all the grass seeds sitting on top of the filter?? Ihad one engine full of them, didn't hurt anything but that's when Ifirst started using them. {{sometimes}}
[quote]




Hmmm grass seeds in Las Vegas Ya Sure I,ve flown all your lakes up there and and don,t recall much Grass

Aw heck cheap shot I know GBI apologise.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:34 PM
  #17
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North Las Vegas.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:47 PM
  #18
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Default RE: air cleaners for engines

  After reading the posts probably wont worry to much about filters with the engines I am running now, small 46's and such.  But bigger and more expensive engines are on the horizon, I can fill it in my bones.  Been looking at the 60 and giant kits and a couple have my name written all over them. Maybe with the more expensive motors I will give the air filter thing a little more thought.  Thank for the replies.
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