July 2009 Issue
Tempest Dehydrator: Inexpensive, Effective
It definitely reduces humidity in the crankcase. Logically, that should reduce corrosion, but we don’t have the data to prove that.
Think of Florida on a warm afternoon in July and you’ve got a good grasp of what your engine crankcase is like after you shut down after a flight. Throw in a little acid rain to season the heat and humidity to complete the picture. In short, the inside of an engine can be the perfect Petri dish for corrosion. Engine dehydrators or preservers are designed to address this by either pumping dry air into the engine, or sucking the humid miasma out of the crankcase and replacing it with moisture-free air. The idea has enough credence for three companies to have introduced dehydrator products. The latest comes from Tempest/Aero group, which adds a dehydrator to its well-regarded line of dry vacuum pumps and oil filters. The AA1000 Engine Preservation Systems retails for $235. Like the other engine preservers, the Tempest dehydrator pumps dry air into the engine after first passing it through a silica gel desiccant. The device consists of a small plastic enclosure about the size of small fishing tackle box—it may actually be a tackle box, by the looks of it—divided into two compartments. One compartment serves as a cell to contain the desiccant, which consists of about a pound of tiny blue beads. You just pour them in the box, making sure that the filtered pickup tube is near the bottom of the desiccant. The other two thirds of the box houses a small, continuous duty low-volume air pump powered by line voltage. A clear plastic tube exits the pump to be inserted into the crankcase oil filler.
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