Miscellaneous ongoing maintenance
Replaced and re-glued the screens over both left and right fuel vent intakes.
There was a small weep of oil at the oil cooler / oil hose connections. I used steel fitting in the oil cooler (instead of aluminum) and did not get the oil lines tightened enough. I tried tightening them just a bit more while holding the steel fittings with another wrench. This seems to have stopped the slow weep.
I re-installed the engine air filter which had popped up from a small engine backfire during a previous start.
The alternator wire was chafing a bit. Fixed.
Changed oil. Took oil sample (was from end instead of middle of draining by accident). Changed oil filter. Did not change or check suction screen during this oil change.
Removed all 8 spark plugs. Determined 3 of 4 bottom spark plugs had lead build ups and decided to replace them (200 hours). Gapped the 4 upper plugs to < 0.020 and > 0.015 quickly but not very precisely.
Installed lower cowl heat shield material from Vans on the inside of the lower cowl to protect the fiberglass from the exhaust areas where it was starting to discolor.
Aileron travel limits: section 15, page 15-2
Max Up/Down= 32/17
Minimum Up/Down= 25/15
Elevator travel limits:
Max Up/Down= 30/25
Minimum Up/Down= 25/20
Ailerons: LU: 30, LD: 17, RU 32, RD 17
Elevator travel: 29 Up, 23 Down
max end of the range. i.e. 30* up and 25* down
SB 14-02-05 Elevator Spar Cracks – Inspected – None found
SB 14-01-31 HS Front Spar Bend Cracks – Inspected – None found
Found wet B-Nut on rear side of fuel pump
|Found loose spare AN365 nut under passenger seat pan|
|Found rivet junk in footwell area|
|Found plastic cap in footwell area|
|Removed passenger stick, cut zip ties|
|Removed left and right gear tower carpet covers|
|Found cracked engine baffle near oil cooler mount on #4 cylinder, added reinforcement|
|Each aileron trailing edge droops 3/16 when opposite aileron/flap/tip are in alignment|
|Routed GDL cable to dash top through hole|
|Added pin #15 on roll servo via spare white wire (CWS Disc) and spliced it into green CWS Disc wires for sticks under right passenger seat pan|
|Added prop leading edge tape|
|SERVICE OR REPLACE SPARK PLUGS, GAP 0.016 TO 0.021
1B: 0.018 (Original) 1T: 0.018 (Newer Tempest)
2B: 0.018 (Original) 2T: 0.018 (Newer Tempest)
3B: 0.019 (Original) 3T: 0.018 (Newer Tempest)
4B: 0.018 (Original) 4T: 0.018 (Newer Tempest)
Install bottom plugs to 360-420 inch lbs torque (30-35 foot lbs)
The connector for my plane power alternator had a wire crimp failure due to vibration. I found information on replacement connectors on VAF. Here are the links:
Checking Magneto Serial Numbers
The magnetos installed on my IO-360-M1B Lycoming engine are as follows:
Left magneto: SN: 13050795, M-2983LH, Model: 4373
Right magneto: SN: 13050824, Model: 4370
According to Lycoming operator’s manual, the left magneto should be model 4371.
Slick/Champion service bulletin SB1-12 (corrected copy) is not applicable (SNs: 11110001 thru 12030902).
Magneto gasket part number: 62224?
Slick Mag gasket part number: LW-12681 (need 2 for impulse mag side)
Current TODO List
Update checklist & laminate Add toolkit to plane Make a POH Install upper cowl air ramps Install co-pilot stick
Do best glide speed test
Do max speed test
Install spare fuses
Calibrate AoA Probe Block some of the heater air inlet to slow the heater air and keep more pressure in upper cowl
Wire fuses or fuseible link for ammeter shunt
Install prop leading edge tape Get repariman certificate
Repair passenger side canopy air seal weatherproofing
Install IFR GPS Databases
Block more of the oil cooler
Download flight 6 data
Tape over the holes in the belly that may let fumes in Get G3X Lean assist mode working/enabled
Install nutplates for 2 extra screws for upper landing gear fairing
Prime the spinner to protect from UV Mount 1.3 lb. halon fire extinguisher
Mount the PLB
Register the PLB
Check EFIS V-speeds
Add checklist to phone
Test GoPro ships power
Test GoPro aviation radio audio
Get Iphone mount Install wire booties to protect magneto P-leads Order & install aileron pushrod boots (to prevent cold air infiltration) Install autopilot roll servo Connect autopilot pitch servo actuator arm
Glue canopy fiberglass front lip split
Install dynon d6 compass Buy tire air filler extension
Left front cylinder, 1 engine bolt weeping oil (1 drop per hour)
Organize flight logs/receipts
Caulk or firedip the firesleeve ends
Buy Hoppe #9 Gun Cleaning Solvent for cleaning the injectors Buy ultrasonic cleaner Fold safety wire & cut clamp tangs Make gaskets for outside front dash access panels Get the EAA prop balancer and perform dynamic prop balance Install main gear fairings
Positively retain the pins on main gear fairings
Seal lower antennas with caulk (Comm #2 & Transponder)
Order sanding blocks
Get aircraft polished
Record control surface deflections Compute W&B for flights
Record serial numbers of all avionics
Record service bulletins on here
Document we swung the compass
Safety wire G3x harnesses
Document engine limits / color bands on here
Document fuel calibrations on here
Document fuel flow testing on here
Take screen shots of each EFIS screen and document on here
Get XM radio working Trial Install GDL39
Link to or attach Bob’s first flight test info
Buy triple-A batteries
Buy power strip
Buy an instrument cover for behind the panel
Buy Cowl Plugs Buy fuel tank drain plugs Install forward floor carpet
Lake Gaston with Mom
2nd Oil Change
6/25/16, Tach: 52.7
Drained oil, removed and replaced oil filter (nail hole in top + 1/2 turn to drain filter works well), removed oil suction screen (clean), replaced oil suction screen & new gasket. Refilled with Aeroshell 100 Straight Mineral Oil for final break-in oil. This oil was used for the oil change prior to first flight, for the replacement oil at first flying oil change, and for the replacement oil at this 2nd flying oil change. The next oil change will be to synthetic.
Purchased Aeroshell W15W-50 synthetic for next oil change.
Replacing top spark plugs
After talking with Nabil yesterday, he confirmed that the new spark plugs that I had purchased in bulk a while back were indeed OK to use in this engine. When I was removing and gapping the spark plugs a while back, I wanted to replace them just to be sure, but the new plug tips were different from the old ones, so I waited.
Today I replaced the original Champion REM38E with Tempest (formerly Unison) UREM37BY in the top 4 spark plugs. I torqued to 30-35 foot-lbs (360-420 in-lbs). I used oil instead of anti-sieze this time.
I started the engine and flew for two touch and goes. The engine started nicely…but will see if this is consistent. On the 2nd touch and go, touchdown cracked the right wheel pant fairing…same thing that happened in the past to the left wheel pant fairing. The holes in the bottom of the wheel pants were not carved out enough, so when the wheel compresses and bulges in just the right way, it catches the rear lip of the wheel pant and breaks out a chunk of fiberglass. I heard the rubbing right away after touchdown and aborted the takeoff part of the touch-and-go. I taxied back and sure enough, now I have two cracked wheel pants.
I removed all 3 wheel pants, applied fiberglass and epoxy to the two main pant rear halves to fix the cracks, and will plan to carve away more fiberglass for clearance when they dry. I also removed the wheel pant fairings, gear leg fairings, and upper intersection fairings to take home for paint or vinyl.
I also removed the left wing tip to investigate why my left landing light (HID) had stopped working. I confirmed that power was being delivered all the way to the wing tip. I removed the right wing tip bulb and connected it in the left wing tip HID ballast. No light. I connected the left wingtip bulb to the right wingtip ballast and it lit. Thus both bulbs work and the problem is in the left wing HID ballast unit. I reinstalled the right wing bulb and right wing lens cover, and removed the left wing ballast, and left wing bulb. I reinstalled the left wing tip and the left wing lens cover.
A few weeks ago while searching for a possible cause for my slightly elevated CHTs, I decided to re-check the engine timing. This was at about Tach: 91.6, Hobbs: 102.2. The timing had drifted from 25 BTC to 27 BTC on one mag (didn’t record which) and 25 to 29 BTC on the other mag. Resetting this to 25 & 25 helped cool the CHTs on subsequent flights, but the engine became more difficult to start when cold (maybe unrelated). Since removing & gapping the lower plugs to 0.016 (earlier entry) seemed to help with the subsequent cold start (may be my imagination), I also removed and gapped the upper plugs (earlier entry) to 0.016. Subsequent starts did not seem to improve in difficulty. I’ve tried various combinations of priming durations and no longer suspect it is a rich/lean mixture thing, rather a weak spark on left (starting) impulse coupled magneto.
Yesterday, a very experienced aviation maintenance technician stopped by (Nabil) for over an hour to help me trouble shoot. He wanted to confirm several things before agreeing with me that the mag spark was weak. First we removed top 4 plugs and re-checked the timing. He agreed it was correctly timed at 25 BTC on both mags. He was also suspicious of my left&right independent DPDT mag switches (since I used the 2nd poles to route my starter relay wire to prevent starter engagement with any combo other than left mag on, right mag off). He wanted to verify that the mag timing box lights didn’t change when pressing the starter switch (they shouldn’t and didn’t). Since the prop cranks with gusto when starting, and coughs several times before catching, he finally agreed with my diagnosis that it could be a weak spark from the left mag. Still seems strange since after start, all running is beautiful and mag drop checks are OK at 1800 RPM with engine slightly leaned from rich (140L drop/150R drop). I understand 175 max drop and 50 differential is the Lycoming limit.
He offered several ideas: Buy new left impulse coupled mag…he estimated $900. Send left mag out for inspection and overhaul…he estimated $300-600. I said what about buy new P-Mag EI for left mag replacement (more expensive and reputed to be much less dinosaur technology with much hotter spark and easier starting). His opinion was that was “too advanced technology” that didn’t belong in this style plane/engine…I let that one go by. He also was a fan of eventually replacing the right mag with an impulse coupled mag also since that would allow me to wire for starting with both mag switches on. I was very grateful for his help and learned a bunch. He wasn’t charging, but I figure I will buy him a six pack.