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Unread 06-11-2011, 08:40 PM   #1
magellan
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CRD Questions: Swirl Motor, PVC Valve, and Glow plugs

I installed a diy oil separate on my 08 CRD shortly after I purchased it.
At about 26k miles I took it in to have a glow plug replaced. I forgot to take off my oil separator, and when I picked up the car, the service tech told me that I should remove it and replace my pvc valve and the hose from it to the intake. The routing of the hoses put some pressure on the crappy seal at the intake end and damaged the seal. Can't just replace the seal, but have to get a new hose. Apparently, the seal has been improved.

I explained my concerns regarding the swirl motor based on what I've read here. Now, I don't know what a swirl motor is, but I know enough about engines and turbos in general to know that oil in the intake is a bad thing.

Their response was that my oil separator worked by spinning the oil which would cuase a pressure drop resulting in more oil, not less, being sucked into the intake. Not sure I buy that, but an interesting physics problem I'll think about later. He also stated that he works on Sprinters all the time and has never seen problems related to oil in the intake, and that it was a good thing for these engines.

I took the car home to inspect the seal. It was indeed damaged, so for now, I remove my oil separator and made the seal work by adding some vinyl tape to it. I checked it after a few days and then a few weeks later and it's fine.

The PVC valve flows free, I can blow air through it easily both directions. If anything it is stuck open. My understanding is that it should normally be closed and then open under vacuum. I'm having a hard time understanding how an oil separater could result in a stuck PVC valve and don't have a lot of faith in the dealer.


Now, I need to replace another glow plug (first time was #3, now it's number 6). I plan to take it take it back to the dealer since I have an extended warranty. Is there anyway a faulty PVC valve could ruin a glow plug?

Now my bigger concern is with the swirl motor. From what I've read here, getting oil on it is a bad thing. The oil gets there because the crappy seal in between the hose from the PVC valve and the intake tube. In my case, I think I made that worse and probably got more oil leaking then if I had left things alone.

Since I'm freaking out a bit at the idea of spending thousands I don't have in the near future, I would like to understand the whole Swirl motor issue better.

First of all, what is a swirl motor and what is it's function?
Is the problem caused because oil in the intake gets into the motor, or because oil that leaks from the intake drips on the motor somehow. If this is the case, can I just clean it somehow?

I'm pretty sure that if my Swirl motor goes out the dealer is going to try to deny my claim because of the oil separator. Maybe they have a case, I don't know. I think my best bet is to take whatever preventative measures I can.

Looking for info and recommendations. I tried to read what I could find in the forum, but I couldn't find a succint description of the problem.


Thanks.

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Unread 06-11-2011, 08:55 PM   #2
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I think it has been confirmed by several people who have done swirl motor replacements that oil is not the cause of the swirl motor failure...it is just a poor design and it fails.

I have 65,000 miles on my CRD and have not had any issues. My local Jeep dealer has replaced some swirl motors on Sprinters.

In regards to your oil separator it may have been a good idea to had removed it before you went to the dealer
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Unread 06-11-2011, 09:36 PM   #3
magellan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scootr29 View Post
In regards to your oil separator it may have been a good idea to had removed it before you went to the dealer
Agreed, and usually do, but just sort of forgot about it this time. It wouldn't be an issue except that I have an extended warranty (I'm out of the original warranty now).

Also, I think I found the thread that explains all this. In short, there are two problems. Oil in the intake and oil leaking onto the Swirl motor.
I'm going to do a closer inspection tomorrow as to how much oil I have on top of th engine and see if I can clean it up.

I'll order the new intake tube as well.

Not sure what to do about the PCV valve though. It looks like for the elephant hose mod, the PCV valve is still used, which means it must flow with very little vacuum on it. I like the idea of that mod. Guarantees no oil gets to the intake.

If someone knows, I'd appreciate a quick description of the PVC valve operation. How can I tell if it's stuck?
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Unread 06-13-2011, 02:47 PM   #4
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the dealer would have to prove that the separator caused the failure. I think that would be hard for them to do.

There are tons of swirl motor threads with the information you are looking for.

If your pvc was plugged or closed, you would know it because oil would be pushed out the dipstick or anywhere else it can find a path.

You can do the elephant hose mod, it will keep the oil out and is easy to reverse. It does puff out vapor and smoke a little but isnt noticeable when driving.
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Unread 06-13-2011, 08:30 PM   #5
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Thanks Tuco.
I did find and work my way through the threads that explained this and now understand that the Swirl motor is an electircal component that actuates some flaps in the intake.
I also studied up on PCV valves and have convinced myself that mine works fine. I think the dealer recommended replacement without actually checking the part.
This weekend I disassembled everything and cleaned up any oil I could find. There was no pooling I could see, but definitely a bit grungy under the intake tube. All clean now and will inspect again soon.
I will do the elephant mod as I can avoid replacing the hose from the pcv valve to the intake that way.

By the way, with my diy separater, I would collect about 2 ounces of oil every oil change. The container is about 1-1/8 inches in diameter, and I would have about 2 inches of height of oil in it at oil change time. I'm pretty sure that's close to 4 tablespoons.
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Unread 06-14-2011, 09:13 PM   #6
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Well... I can confirm that OIL IS the problem with the swirl motor. At least it seems that way to me. I took mine off today after spending all day yesterday learning how, thanks to Tuco and his encouragement, photos, and comments. I'm actually learning how to work on this thing. For an "old world" backyard mechanic its all very complicated to me.

In the process of removing my swirl motor, I drilled some holes in it. After removing it, I wiped it off pretty clean and placed it on the driveway. When I picked it up about 15 minutes later, I noted that it was sitting in a little pool of oil that wasn't there before. Hours later, I took it into the shop, wiped clean and started fiddling with it to see how it worked. As I was watching the gears twirl around, out dropped more OIL. The oil came from INSIDE. I had to ask myself. How does that much oil get inside of a sealed motor? I really don't know but there was NO denying that it was there and in sufficient quantity to cause trouble. Looking inside with a light, I noticed that the circuit board was coated with a film of oil.
swirl.jpg  
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Unread 06-15-2011, 06:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chirpz View Post
Well... I can confirm that OIL IS the problem with the swirl motor. At least it seems that way to me. I took mine off today after spending all day yesterday learning how, thanks to Tuco and his encouragement, photos, and comments. I'm actually learning how to work on this thing. For an "old world" backyard mechanic its all very complicated to me.

In the process of removing my swirl motor, I drilled some holes in it. After removing it, I wiped it off pretty clean and placed it on the driveway. When I picked it up about 15 minutes later, I noted that it was sitting in a little pool of oil that wasn't there before. Hours later, I took it into the shop, wiped clean and started fiddling with it to see how it worked. As I was watching the gears twirl around, out dropped more OIL. The oil came from INSIDE. I had to ask myself. How does that much oil get inside of a sealed motor? I really don't know but there was NO denying that it was there and in sufficient quantity to cause trouble. Looking inside with a light, I noticed that the circuit board was coated with a film of oil.
Good info...thanks for the update.
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Unread 06-15-2011, 06:21 AM   #8
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Chirpz, keep the pictures and observations coming! Now I finally know what the Swirl Motor looks like. Do you think the biggest issue is just the failure of the motor due to oil contamination, or are the gummed up swirl flaps still a legitimate problem as well? I remember the pics of filthy swirl flaps Merlin posted way back make it look like keeping them clean (by way of a Racor/Provent or the EHM), is also important...
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Unread 06-15-2011, 06:29 AM   #9
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By the way, the swirl motor looks like a perfectly sealed unit. How in the world is the interior getting completely saturated with oil? Was there really that much pooled oil in between the cylinder banks????
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Unread 06-15-2011, 01:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRD Dawg View Post
By the way, the swirl motor looks like a perfectly sealed unit. How in the world is the interior getting completely saturated with oil? Was there really that much pooled oil in between the cylinder banks????
I am convinced it is oil contamination that causes swirl motor failure.

Just to show how much oil can pool when the inlet seal leaks.After gaining usefull info from this forum I took these photos to show the dealer when my swirl motor packed up.2007 model with 29k on the clock and a right mess.
Luckily all covered under warranty.
Swirl motor failure is common in the UK due to 99% of WK's being CRD's
My dealer says every swirl they have had to change has failed due to oil contamination.
I have now carried out the EHM.

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Unread 06-15-2011, 03:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRD Dawg View Post
By the way, the swirl motor looks like a perfectly sealed unit. How in the world is the interior getting completely saturated with oil? Was there really that much pooled oil in between the cylinder banks????
Its been over 24 hours since I removed my swirl motor and it is STILL seeping oil onto my work bench. There is a thin puddle right now about 3" in diameter and remember, I already cleaned up a puddle mess twice. Oh you don't SEE any oil in there, but it just sort of coats the entire inside of the motor.

How does it get in there?? I have a theory. The actual leakage is small but persistent. I did not have any pools of oil in my engine, just a thin coating, sort of a black slime. But all of that oil dripped right onto the swirl motor and it was hot.

No matter how tight you seal up a sealed motor or whatever, stuff is going to find a way to seep in. Example:

I am a geocacher. That means that I use multi-million dollar satellites to find Tupperware containers in the woods. Look it up. Tupperware is suppose to seal air tight and water tight, right? Wrong. No matter how good you seal it, if you leave a Tupperware container out in the woods, under a log, in the rain for several months, when you come back, you will find that it is soaking wet inside. Even though it is not exposed directly to the rain. How does the water get past the seal? I don't know, but the log book and contents of the cache will be wet.

FYI, the inside of the swirl motor looks and works very much like a servo from a radio controlled model airplane, only giant size. That is all it really is, just a fancy servo. RC servos are also "sealed" but somehow, no matter how you protect them inside the plane, oil from the hot exhaust manages to find its way into the plane and onto the servos and I have seen it work its way into a servo causing the servo to fail.
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Unread 06-15-2011, 09:00 PM   #12
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Why Swirl motors fail....

I examined my air intake hose today while putting my Jeep back together. Take a look at the gasket where the intake hose connects to the turbo. That's a factory defect as far as I can tell, I don't think it has ever been removed. As you can see, the V pattern at the bottom edge would allow oil to drip right out and right on top of the swirl motor.

Now take a look at the busted open swirl motor. I have already clean up 3 oil spills. This 3" circle of oil drained out of the motor this afternoon as it rested on my bench. Somehow oil get into that "sealed" motor.
r0013884.jpg   r0013887.jpg  
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Unread 06-15-2011, 09:18 PM   #13
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Swirl Quick Fix....

If your swirl motor is still kicking and you don't want to mod your intake with a Provent or an elephant hose etc, here is an idea that I had today that MAY work, or may not. But I don't think it could hurt.

Go to the hardware and buy a galvanized tin shingle, they are usually about 4x6. Remove your fuel filter and filter frame so you can see the swirl motor.

Cut and shape the tin shingle so that it looks sort of like this illustration. The vertical legs should be about 1/4" to 3/8" long and should extend downward on THREE sides, not just two as shown. Make the tin channel wide enough to cover your swirl motor so that it will slip neatly between the wiring harness and the top of the motor. Seal the corners of the turned down drip edges so that no oil can creep in the crack, use high temp silicone maybe? Bend the open end of the channel UP a small amount so that it will be difficult for oil to spill over that open end and onto the motor. Notch around bolts etc.

Slip the tin shingle roof over the top of the swirl motor and under the wiring harness and attach it with high temp silicone. Your swirl motor now has its own little roof with a drip edge to guide some of the oil away from the motor.

If you do this procedure on a Sunday, you could call it a "Swirling Tin Roof Sunday."

I'm not sure it would cure the problem but I think it would help. I didn't actually try this.... just an idea. The MOD is the better fix.
channel.gif  
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Unread 06-15-2011, 09:58 PM   #14
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Well, my glow plugs aren't covered by me extended warranty, so I'll do the EHM next weekend (busy this one).
I think I'll put my oil separator back on to reduce how much oil exits the hose.
Nice part is that I won't need to replace the seal where the hose from the PCV attaches to the intake.
I'll probably go ahead and get the improved intake seal and tube as well, but feel that's not a "do it now" upgrade if I do the EHM.
Great pics Chirpz . Really helps to illustrate the problem. I also thought about build a shield for the swirl motor from some ducting I have lying around.
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Unread 06-16-2011, 07:05 AM   #15
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Chirpz the orange seal is the entire problem...I thought you were aware of that issue. You need to go and get the new air intake tube immediately or you will be doing another swirl motor in the near future. This will eliminate the need for your covering. The black seal holds up well as I got over 30,000 miles on the black seal.

There have been numerous threads on here about changing out the orange for the new black seal.

Here are pics of my orange seal...New air intake part # is 53013672AE




Take a look at this thread and you will see the new air intake pipe has the black seal. Get the new tube asap especially with the work you just did on the swirl motor.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f67/c...tures-1006737/
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