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#4759738 - 05/17/18 10:56 AM Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles.
PimTac Online   content


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 3838
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/17/haw...-oblivious.html


Seeing the picture in that article reminded me of Mt. St. Helens erupting in 1980. The ash is basically fine abrasive that gets into everything including engines, transmissions, differentials and so on. Many thousands of vehicles were ruined by the WA state eruption and even more widespread was the ruining of windshields. Paint coats get abraded right down to bare metal. Human health of course is a major concern.

Back then panty hose over the air inlet was common. Air filters became scarce as the demand was so high.


Anyone here from Hawaii? It would be curious to know what steps the locals are taking.
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#4759781 - 05/17/18 11:30 AM Re: Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles. [Re: PimTac]
Olas Offline


Registered: 12/11/13
Posts: 3920
Loc: Manchester, England
With a good air filter (not a k&n or other rock catcher) anything that passes the air filter should be smaller than the oil film thickness and so not cause any damage, however a pantyhose pre filter is cheap insurance and will cause no harm.

Also, an intake positioned within the engine bay should see less dust than a vent in the bumper or grille.
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#4759816 - 05/17/18 12:19 PM Re: Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles. [Re: PimTac]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20359
Loc: Upstate NY
The ash made for nice sunsets seen in Hawaii and was good for farmer's fields.
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#4759817 - 05/17/18 12:19 PM Re: Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles. [Re: Olas]
PimTac Online   content


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 3838
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
Originally Posted By: Olas
With a good air filter (not a k&n or other rock catcher) anything that passes the air filter should be smaller than the oil film thickness and so not cause any damage, however a pantyhose pre filter is cheap insurance and will cause no harm.

Also, an intake positioned within the engine bay should see less dust than a vent in the bumper or grille.




The ash is very fine, almost like talcum powder. If it accumulated on the paint surface and someone used their finger to wipe it , it left scratches instantly. Itís like powdered glass. Iíd suspect the ash itself will puncture the filter media if the velocity is enough.

Back in those days the usual air intake was a horizontal snorkel right off the filter holder. Todayís cars have the intake right up front and in such a way that a homemade prefilter would be very hard to place.
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#4759843 - 05/17/18 12:42 PM Re: Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles. [Re: PimTac]
maxdustington Offline


Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 392
Loc: Toronna
Originally Posted By: PimTac
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/17/haw...-oblivious.html


Seeing the picture in that article reminded me of Mt. St. Helens erupting in 1980. The ash is basically fine abrasive that gets into everything including engines, transmissions, differentials and so on. Many thousands of vehicles were ruined by the WA state eruption and even more widespread was the ruining of windshields. Paint coats get abraded right down to bare metal. Human health of course is a major concern.

Back then panty hose over the air inlet was common. Air filters became scarce as the demand was so high.


Anyone here from Hawaii? It would be curious to know what steps the locals are taking.



How could get it get into a differential? Multi-speed axles on commercial vehicles perhaps but a normal rwd pumpkin?

A sealed transmission which I assume a lot of new cars have nowadays?

Man, it would be awful to have a car you wanted to keep forever there. You would have to vacuum seal it! and for how long until the dust is gone? I assume it would be blowing around playing old harry for weeks.

crush
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#4759862 - 05/17/18 01:01 PM Re: Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles. [Re: maxdustington]
compratio10_5 Offline


Registered: 12/07/15
Posts: 79
Loc: Pocatello, Idaho
Fine particulate (ash) can get into differentials and transmissions through the breather. As far as I know, all gear cases have a breather to allow internal pressure to equalize when the lubricant expands or contracts as it is heated or cooled. Industrial facilities frequently install filters with desiccants on these breathers to keep dust and water out of the gear boxes. I have never seen a manufacturer install a filter on a vehicle breather but there are internet sites that show you how. I have filters on my Jeep differential breathers because it sees more dust and mud than my other vehicles. I agree that volcanic ash is a severe hazard to mechanical equipment and people. Filters do not stop all sizes of particles and even the action of replacing an air filter is likely to introduce some dust into the air intake system. A frequently changed prefilter upstream of the final filter seems like the most effective remedy.
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#4760096 - 05/17/18 04:05 PM Re: Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles. [Re: compratio10_5]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5051
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
Has anyone ever seen the "sandstorm" filters the military uses on helicopters?

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#4760198 - 05/17/18 05:58 PM Re: Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles. [Re: PimTac]
bdcardinal Offline


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 10880
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
If it is anything like ash from wildfires I am unfortunately a somewhat expert on it. You will want to change cabin and air filters as well as wash the ash off the car as soon as possible.
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#4760231 - 05/17/18 06:40 PM Re: Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles. [Re: compratio10_5]
CR94 Offline


Registered: 03/20/16
Posts: 1058
Loc: Western S.C. since 1996
Originally Posted By: compratio10_5
Fine particulate (ash) can get into differentials and transmissions through the breather. As far as I know, all gear cases have a breather to allow internal pressure to equalize when the lubricant expands or contracts as it is heated or cooled. ... I have never seen a manufacturer install a filter on a vehicle breather but there are internet sites that show you how. ...
Yes. I installed a filter on the breather pipe of my Mazda's transaxle, but primarily for a different reason. I successfully used fuel hose and a fuel filter to act as an oil separator to stop the transmission belching oil out its breather pipe. Coincidentally, that set-up probably reduced dust intrusion through the breather.
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#4760440 - 05/17/18 09:58 PM Re: Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles. [Re: Olas]
OilFilters Online   content


Registered: 10/07/15
Posts: 68
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Olas
With a good air filter (not a k&n or other rock catcher) anything that passes the air filter should be smaller than the oil film thickness and so not cause any damage, however a pantyhose pre filter is cheap insurance and will cause no harm.


The finer the filter...the quicker it's going to be plugged. I can imagine there are only so many air filters in stock in Hawaii...

It's got to be about as bad for a car as flood waters. Sure, it looks fine when you hose it down, but it's probably totaled.

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#4760447 - 05/17/18 10:12 PM Re: Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles. [Re: PimTac]
PimTac Online   content


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 3838
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
We had a neighbor that was camping about 50 miles north when the mountain blew. His Explorer which was about 3-4 years old ended up i with a ruined engine (no compression) and a transmission full of ash. Insurance didnít cover it due to the Act of God clause. After a rebuilt motor and junkyard transmission plus a repaint and new windshield it still was problematic and was gotten rid of. I never found out where it went.

A lot of ash stricken vehicles went South and East.
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#4760450 - 05/17/18 10:17 PM Re: Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles. [Re: PimTac]
TheLawnRanger Online   content


Registered: 03/18/18
Posts: 209
Loc: Mississippi
Originally Posted By: PimTac
We had a neighbor that was camping about 50 miles north when the mountain blew. His Explorer which was about 3-4 years old ended up i with a ruined engine (no compression) and a transmission full of ash. Insurance didnít cover it due to the Act of God clause. After a rebuilt motor and junkyard transmission plus a repaint and new windshield it still was problematic and was gotten rid of. I never found out where it went.

A lot of ash stricken vehicles went South and East.


I bet some Amsoil or Deep Purple would have fixed that engine right up. Wiping either on the paint would have fixed that too.
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#4760452 - 05/17/18 10:20 PM Re: Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles. [Re: PimTac]
spackard Offline


Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 1678
Loc: CA
A Dyson will filter it all out LOL.

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#4760583 - 05/18/18 06:12 AM Re: Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles. [Re: PimTac]
SilverSnake Offline


Registered: 05/29/13
Posts: 576
Loc: Florida
Was stationed at McChord AFB in WA when Mt St Helens erupted (lived about 60 miles from the volcano). Did not get much except dusting of ash. If the ash gets wet, it turns into an acidic liquid that will etch a paint job very quickly. Had the same thing happen when stationed at Hickam AFB in Hawaii. Every so often we would get a dusting of ash from the volcano. Had an Olds 98 at the time. The ash on the car got wet from the never ending afternoon drizzles and ruined the paint job.


Edited by SilverSnake (05/18/18 06:13 AM)
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#4760593 - 05/18/18 06:29 AM Re: Volcanic Ash Effects on Vehicles. [Re: PimTac]
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 39400
Loc: 'Stralia
Volcanic ash is close to power station fly ash...it's WAY more horrid than wood ash can be. Think of ground glass mixed with ground spark plug insulator.

Moon dust is all that PLUS jagged edges.

Wood burning cars don't live a long life, but aren't ground out by the ash.

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