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The Field Blotter Oil Testing for Objective Analysis and CYA
Posted to Technical Tips Forum on 10/9/2013 55 Replies

This idea has been around for a long time, I believe it started in the steam shovel days of the Panama Canal. Equipment operators were given printed business cards made of blotter paper and instructed to "field test" the oil in their equipment on a daily basis. In the 1930's and this method was in wide use across the USA Vintage Blotter Tester .

There are commercially available kits available at your local parts store or online http://www.fluidtesting.com/

I started using the Fluid RX kit about 10 years ago and found it to be lacking in many respects. First off, the paper is too thin and smooth, I wanted something that was more absorbent and if chunks were present in the sample they would stick to the paper. Also they left out the idea of putting a magnet behind the paper, and the ability to send the sample along with the RO! So off to the art supply store, craft store and hardware store I went. Took a while to get it right, but here is what I came up with.

This paper works great Blotter Paper Part # Tag , cut to size Oil Test Card Dimensions , stored in a bin Bin Full of Test Cards and dished out for use on every car.

This homemade fixture is what I use to add the magnet into the test Oil Blotter Testing Fixture , it is made from a leftover 3M electrical tape roll box, with a chunk of foam cut to fit and a magnet glued into the center. I made a much more elaborate one for my buddy (Chip at Main Street Garage, Fairplay, CO.) out of an old wooden box, with the fixture and cards all in one place, maybe he will take a picture and post it up here…

Take the fixture over to the car, let a single drop of oil fall off the dipstick onto the card like this Blotter Test In Progress . With hot oil it will absorb in less than 30sec, and gives instant results for carbon chunks Oil testing for sludge , ferrous metal shavings Metal Shavings in Trans Oil , non-ferrous metal shavings Non-Ferrous Metal Flake , and water Water Contamination Frontlit , Water Contamination Backlit , and gelled oil Gelled oil blotter test . To get the soot ring to appear Soot Ring 15x Magnification takes longer, sometimes up to 8 hours.

Add a plastic baggie Zip Lock Baggie and it's ready to staple to the RO for CYA! Backlit Oil Test Sample Sealed

You might want to tool-up a bit for closer examination of the test samples. I now use a digital USB microscope Celestron USB Microscope because at a push of the button, you have a digital picture. If you buy one of these, don't let them fool you, it's NOT REALLY 10x to 150x magnification, more like 5x to 15x, but it still gets the job done nicely 1997 Honda Civic CX, Engine/Propulsion Photo

I also like the 6x lighted magnifying glass and 30X microscope Oil Testing Tools , for a quick look at the tool box.

So who's up for a little objective analysis and CYA documentation….

Objective Analysis Trans Oil Micronta 30x Magnifier Oil Test Samples Stapled Pile of oil blotter tests FluidRX Color Sheet Oil Test Sample 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i, Transmission Photo

Norris from Colorado

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