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Discussion Starter #1
I got my valve covers off and I had to drill the oil spiral seperator out....The new one isn't going in very clean....how easy is it suppose to be?

Also, which end of the spiral seperator goes down? Is the flat end going into the valve cover or is the end with the "stem" on it going into the valve cover?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #2
well shoot...i think i bent up the metal pipe for where the seperator goes in.....I've heard you can run without them....

Is that recommended?

Thanks,
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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If its what i think it is, I replaced mine without removing the valve covers.

Martin
 

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You can certainly run without as many folks have, but you will be sucking oil fumes into your intake. When replacing it should slide in with little effort, but enough to hold it in place. It sounds like your "tube" is carboned up or just plain filthy.
 

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rrtoadhall said:
You can certainly run without as many folks have, but you will be sucking oil fumes into your intake.
In everyone's car it allows the sucking in of 'oil fumes' (- that's the whole point of it). What it is supposed to do, is to stop the engine sucking in 'oil droplets' (- which will show up as oil consumption over time). It does this by passing the crank-case vapours, through a very convoluted path and hopefully any oil droplets will stick to the sides of the tube and drain back down into the crank-case.

Here's a pic I took a couple of years ago, of what it should look like:
[attachment=0:2u6kvfvy]paul.adshead.oil.separator.jpg[/attachment:2u6kvfvy]
When that device is in the tube attached to the rocker-cover, the only way for vapours to move through the unit, is via the 'flats' on alternating sides, causing the gases to swirl around inside the tube.
 

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This is one of those part designs that distinguish absolutely thoughtless engineering. It should have never been in the valve cover. Even if it was in there the tube that holds it should be replaceable because it is so easy to bend it. Mine was just the slightest out of round after I drilled mine out. I very gently worked it into round with some needle nose pliers and patience until I could force the new one in there. As long as it goes in it doesn't matter if it binds up. The rest of the engine is going to fall apart before you have to replace it a second time so don't worry about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
that makes me feel better. I didn't know if it had to have free "play" in it to work properly. I bended the metal as best I could and then I hammered the piece in there.....I'll leave it alone!
 

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Mate don't leave it alone, needs to be removed and cleaned or replaced reguarly, best bet is to pull it out and toss it, if you don't hammer your baby no probs but if you do go for a small oil catch can if you are worried about a little oil loss.
As per previous posts ,the vent hose is best replaced by genuine item as some of the after market hoses seem to soft and can suck in, but i think this would more tend to the ventiation port where the seporator sits is so cloged the Plentium sucks it down shut.You will know when oil starts spuing out of every seal, chuffs out of the diff stick and you have no vaccume when you fit the oil cap while running :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I did replace it with a new one. I just had to drill the old one out and in the process I messed up the hole. I couldn't get the new one in. I had to lightly hammer the new one down in place. I was just worried that the spiral seperator had to "move" up and down to work, but I don't think that is the case from talking with people...So, at this moment, I have a new spiral seperator in place.

I should be good to go, correct?

Also, I still didn't know which end is suppose to go "down" There was one end with a "stem" on it and one end that was pretty flat. I put the seperator in with the stem facing "up" so I could yank it out with pliars next time. Is that the correct way for it to go?
 

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g00dspeed said:
Also, I still didn't know which end is suppose to go "down" There was one end with a "stem" on it and one end that was pretty flat. I put the seperator in with the stem facing "up" so I could yank it out with pliars next time. Is that the correct way for it to go?
From Paul's pic above it appears it should have a stem at each end. I haven't pulled mine out for a while so i can't remember. Yes, you want the stem uppermost.
 

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So, with 160k on my 4.0 I decided to replace the separator. Upon pulling it out it seems that the bottom piece broke off and is stuck near the bottom of the metal tube. I suspect the part was broken by the tech who changed seals for me last year. Nevertheless, is there an easy way to remove that piece? Does the metal pipe come out from the top, or does it require removing the valve cover?

Thanks.
 

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The metal pipe doesn't come out.

You may be able to make a hook with a paper clip and pop the seperatot piece upwards. If not it really is not that big of a deal to remove the valve cover. Loosen the fuel rail to remove the four cover bolts. Once off it's a handfull of phillips screws to remove the inner baffle and push the seperator out. Be sure to clean the carbon from inside of the metal tube with emory do keep this from happening again.
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
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Hi,

Yes, the metal pipe does pull out from the top.

I went to replace my oil separator, and it was stuck solid. I part drilled it out, and then screwed a wood screw in and used pliers to pull it out... in the process of this, the metal pipe pulled out the top of the rocker cover. Then I drilled the rest of the separator out, and put the metal pipe back in before putting the new separator back in. I had to tap the new one in, but it's there now, and i can actually blow through the rocker breather now!!

So in short, no, you don't need to remove the rocker cover. You may need a scrap piece of wood and a hammer to gently tap the metal pipe and/or the new separator in - just don't hit it too hard, as the metal pipe is pretty flimsy, being so thin!

Marty

Edit: Ok, Reading RRToadhalls post... maybe my situation wasn't the norm! I was afraid I'd broken the metal pipe, but it did press back in no problem, and hasn't come loose again... I have a 2001 4.6L though, so not sure if there's a difference to your 4.0L, or whether my one is just really strange!
 

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Good advice guys, thanks. I like the idea of using the screw to get a handle on the stuck piece. I'll definitely try that first.

What's frustrating about this is that I had the seals replaced a little over a year ago. The engine never burned oil before the seal replacement, but now it does. So, my suspicion is that the oil Seperator is somewhat to blame. I just wish that it were replaced when the seals were, but I suspect that it was damaged by the tech. The break doesn't look fresh.

Anyhow, the upside is that it doesn't leak anymore.

By the way, what is beyond the bottom end of the Seperator? Is there space if you drill through? What about shavings that make their way down? What a stupid design!
 

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DO NOT DRILL. If you are unable to extract it just remove the valve cover. The seals are rubber and reuseable. Once removed here are a hand full of screws that remove a inner baffle. You can do the hole removal, cleaning and install in less than an hour with zero chance of screwing something up like a skipping drill, chunks of plastic or shaving in the engine or ruining your valve cover.
 

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Loud and clear, thanks. So, what about the plenum side of things. The small hole there seems a bit gunked up. What's the best way to clean that?
 

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I agree, if you've got part of it out, then I wouldn't drill into it. When I did it, the plastic snapped off at the top of the metal tube - and it was gunked solid the whole way down. I set my drill bit so I could only drill about 10mm because I was worried about getting shavings etc. into the rocker cover, after screwing the wood screw in, is when the metal pipe came loose, so the rest of my extraction was done on the workbench. I also got the refit started on the workbench too, so there was no chance of anything untoward getting in the engine!

I was hoping I didn't need to remove the rocker cover, because on my one, that means removing the inlet manifold and it goes over the top of the rocker covers...

Marty
 
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