Category: Engine

Dec 13 2012

Engine reassembly

Today starts the big day! Engine reassembly. The only issue which was found with the engine was the crank journal and rod bearing were ground down a few thousands of an inch. The engine had 770 hrs on it since the last time I overhauled it, so a little work was to be expected.

The crank was put on the stand for assembly.


By the end of the day, most of the hard work had been done. I am working slow and easy trying to pay attention to everything I should be doing and not rushing the experience.


Nov 21 2012

Engine Case Stripping

The process was repeated for the engine case.


Case stripped in about 1.5 hrs work




Finally painted! Moving along!


Nov 19 2012

Engine Plentum Box Upgrade

I took the the opportunity while I had the engine apart to upgrade the DD cooling box.

When I originally made the Down Draft cooling box years ago, it was completely made of fiberglass/carbon with small Al inserts to reinforce holes. This approach didn’t work so well as you can see because the heads would get up to 400-450f and was destroying the glass/Alum attachment points. I could never properly torque the bolts and they were always loosening up on me.


The fiberglass is just disintegrating!


I have been an advocate lately that one should use Al where appropriate and easy to incorporate, and not use glass in high temp areas. The decision was made to make a hybrid DD cooling box to smartly use Al on the heads and glass everywhere else.

The DD cooling box was cleaned in my dish washer. A couple of wash cycles sure cleaned things up!!


template was made to cut out the Al replacements for the head area.


The parts were cut out in Al.


Here you can see the old and new head attachment areas. I really like the new style head attachments as the bolts can be properly torqued and the Al can handle the high heat of the heads.


New paint and the rebuilt DD box looks good and will now work for the life of the plane with no issues.



Nov 17 2012

Painting the oil pan

Today was spent taping and paint the oil pan. I love the look of Zinc Chromate primer. It has a wonderful yellow green color. You can easily pick it up at the local West Boating Store.


After the spray painting was done, I just brushed on the enamel engine paint. The color is almost exactly the same color of the valve covers. It will really look good when fully assembled!




Nov 16 2012

Accessory Case Stripping

Today was spent stripping the paint off the cases. Actually it turned out to be very easy to do with some Rustoleum Aircraft Paint stripper I purchased from the local auto parts store.

The oil pan



The accessory case.



Nov 16 2012

Paint stripping

Today was spent stripping the paint off the cases. Actually it turned out to be very easy to do with some Rustoleum Aircraft Paint stripper I purchased from the local auto parts store.

The oil pan



The accessory case.



Nov 13 2012

Engine Removal day 2

Today I got the engine hoist and prepared for the pulling the engine from the plane. Finally it is off.


Next step is disassembly.

I started off going to the metal shop to pick up the material to make a case splitter. An aircraft engine does not use a gasket between the case halves. It uses a sealant which essentially glues the cases together. You MUST use a splitter to get the case apart.


I had come up with a workable design and made a case splitter years ago and after using it, was loaned it out to a buddy. Unfortunately, he lost half which required me to have to make a replacement.

Surprisingly, when I googled “lycoming case splitter” I only came up with one hit on how to make one. It was my OWN website! I had completely forgotten that I had posted pictures and details on the web. Making a new one was easy and only took a few hours to complete.

After building the splitter it was off to the airport to begin disassembly of the engine. I made a quick engine stand to to hold the engine up vertically, and got to work.


By the end of the day, the engine was torn down and ready to be split. I’ll do that tomorrow.


I think I am going to strip off the blue color and repaint the engine in red. I need a change.

Nov 12 2012

Engine removal day 1

I spent all day just taking the accessories and wires off the engine. If I could ever make a worth while recommendation to someone doing an engine installation, it would be to focus on future engine removal when you are doing the installation. How can you make it as easy as possible to remove the engine because eventually it will happen so plan ahead.

My plane is not the easiest to work on. I really didn’t know much at the time I built it so the way I layered the wiring, hoses, accessories, baffling, etc is not as well planned out as I would like. When I upgraded N123LE, I made sure removing the engine would be as easy as possible and could easily do so in about 2-3 hours. On my plane It took me most of the day to prepare it for removal.


Lots of parts for sure.


Nov 11 2012

Fuel Servo Install

As soon as I returned from Myrtle Beach, I installed the rebuilt fuel servo on the plane and took her up for a test run.

Tweedy started better than ever and I now have plenty of power and can easily get 2700 rpm. I did a full power run and got up to 182 kts true at 1500 ft. Sweet.


The only problem is the vibration issue hasn’t changed. Still got it.

I have been fighting this issue since my return from my “western” tour trip. I have rebuilt the the electronic ignition systems (overhaul of the Pmag, replacement of wires and coils), replaced the Lightspeed coils, replaced the plugs, replaced one of the cylinders, replaced the engine mount, overhauled/replaced the hydraulic lifters, did compression tests, wobble test, checked everything I could think of, had the engine off the airplane twice, and nothing has made a difference.

The engine went from running great to having a noticeable vibration in one night. When I landed in Santa Fe, it was running great. When I took off the next mooring, I had a vibration which I instantly noticed. After almost 3 months of trouble shooting, I have finally made the decision to just take the engine off and rip it apart to have all the internal components inspected and rebuild the lower end.

If after rebuilding the engine if I still have a vibration, I will know there is absolutely nothing wrong with the engine, it will not self destruct on me and I will just have to live with the vibration.

Tomorrow let the fun begin.

Nov 06 2012

Trip to Airflow Performance

Todays objective is to take my fuel injection system to Spartanburg, SC (about 200 miles away) to have they equipment tested. I think there is something wrong with it and some sort of fuel restriction caused my fuel emergency landing on Friday.

The trip started with a trip to do my civic duty…. Vote. I vote at the entrance to my subdivision which make the process quick (normally). Arriving at 6:45 I thought the line would be short, but alas it was quite long with a bit of rain.


Part of the reason for the long line was they only had 4 freaking voting machines in the building! It took an hour for the voting process, and I left Charleston at 7:45 for the 200 mile drive.


I arrived at Airflow Performance about 11 am for my meeting with Kyle.


The guys at Performance are terrific. Kyle loves to talk to customers and let them observe the testing process and explain what is going on with the tests and the results. Instant feedback on the problem and an opportunity to learn about my equipment. I LIKE it!


The shop always takes lots of pictures (before/after) of the equipment to ensure there is no question on the material condition of the items.


Here is the fuel servo mounted in the air flow box to test fuel output at different power levels.


Hum, the fuel servo passed all it’s tests perfectly, but the little fuel divider “the spider” failed.

When Kyle took the flow divider apart, he found the filter to be clogged and needed to be rebuilt. The little filter in the divider is what is restricting the fuel to the engine not allowing fuel flow at the normal max fuel flow of 12-13 gph . Currently, I could only get about 8 gph and can not get the rpm above 2480 rpm. During my flight on friday, I could only get 7 gph which is why I had to land in a hurry. NO fuel, NO power!


After talking with Kyle about my options and finding out that the normal service life of the unit is 10 years before overhaul (mine is 8 years old) the decision was made to just do a complete overhaul/rebuild of the equipment. It would have been due in another 2 years anyway. An overhaul is the most prudent and safest coarse of action.

I left Airflow at 12:30 pm, drove about 25 miles to Greenville for lunch at my favorite restaurant in SC. The Pita House. They make the best Mediterranean food in SC.


Mediterranean plate with gyro. It was SO good I order the same dinner to go. I’ll make some humus and have it dinner tonight!


After another 200 mile drive home, I passed my voting place at 4:30 pm and there NO freaking line at all. None! It would have taken me 5 minutes to vote. Next time I will wait until later in the day to vote when everyone is at work.

I won’t get my fuel servo and divider back until late next week, so I can now work on the house instead of spending my days at the airport. Yahoo!