Went and picked up my engine today from Command Aircraft at Flagler County
Airport (XFL). These guys were great to work with and if you are in need of
something you really should give them an email, trust me, email is better than
It's an IO-320-B1A model with 1700 hours on it. I'm really intent on running Precision Airmotive's Eagle EMS system. So I don't need the Bendix system, but since it's already setup as an IO I have the fuel pump. It can support a constant speed prop, but I plan to convert to ground adjustable. I may go back to a CS someday, this way I have the flexibility if I want to.
|There were some parts that they didn't have time to remove from the engine and I wanted to start stripping down things I didn't need. So I took off the engine mount, govenor (it's for a twin, full feathering) and exhaust. I haven't decided exactly what I want to do to spruce up the engine. This will probably be all I do until much further down the road.|
|Spent the day building my own engine stand out of some left over wood and bought a few casters. I figure the cost is about $50 in material if you don't have it laying around, but a lot cheaper than the expensive metal ones with shipping. Next weekend I hope to get the engine on the stand and start tearing it apart so I can send it off for overhaul.|
Kim and I mounted the engine to my "el cheapo" engine stand I made last weekend.
It worked like a champ, a little creaking from the wood but it held and was
easy to roll around.
After that I couldn't wait to tear it apart, so that's what I did. Kim took pictures and wrote down notes for future reference. I got all the accessories off, the oil pan, the rear accessory case and the mag gears. I've got more than a few things to Ebay that I know I won't be putting back on.
I have serveral reference images if you are interested. These are mainly for when I have to put everything back together.
Today I pulled the cylinders off, not much to it, but I forgot to remove the
spark plug on the first one. Even after 10 years sitting, this thing still
has a good seal. Everything that came off looked in excellent shape, so I'm
really thinking that I can reuse just about everything.
The pistons have some scoring on the skirts, most likely they will need to be replaced.
Tonight Kim helped me work on removing the pistons themselves. The plugs and
wrist pins were pretty well varnished on there. I got a wood dowel that I
could hit with a rubber mallet to finally knock them free, they put up a good
fight. After that I removed the piston rods as well.
Kim helped me bag and tag all the parts so I know which went with what cyclinder if I can just clean and reuse them.
This morning Kim helped me crack the case apart. It took a bit of whacking
with a rubber mallet and a wooden wedge, but we got it apart. I looked at the
crank and cam, both look in suprisingly good shape, so hopefully they will both
Once we had it all apart, I got to soaking the parts in degreaser and cleaning them up.
|More cleaning of parts.|
|Guess what, more cleaning!|
|Today I contacted both Zephyr Engines and Don George about cleaning and inspecting my parts. Zephyr was extremely prompt and I had a reply in an hour. I still haven't heard from Don George.|
It's been awhile since I've updated the page. I've been taking a bit of a break
to let the financials build back up. However, I've been working on the engine.
I ended up sending the case to Divco to be converted from a Dynafocal-2 to -1 and to be yellow tagged. I couldn't be more happy with the results. The people at Divco were simply the nicest and easiest people to work with. Unfortunately I found out that I have a very rare case, turns out Lycoming made a limited set of engines for the Piper Commanche that used narrow deck cylinders but is actually a wide deck case. That confused us all and according to Divco, it's one of only a handful of cases like this they have ever seen.
I was recommended a company called D&S Cams for the inspection work on the remainder of the parts. They were able to put a performance grind on my cam which is a two piece and hard to find replacements for. All my gears and other small parts were ok, but the crank and rods had significant pitting on it, so they are going to have to be replaced.
I was able to get a set of yellow tagged rods from Ebay and are in good shape. I also bought a set of new wrist pins that were in cosmoline.
I've also started on my parts list with a company called J & J Airparts for all the ECi or Superior replacements. Now I'm looking for a yellow tagged crank, because paying $4,000 for a new one is more than I would like.
The cylinders I had reconditioned by CE Biter Aircraft Service of Sebring, FL. He did a great job on the cylinders and the price was outstanding at $125 per cylinder plus parts. In the end I have 4 servicable cylinders for the price of a single new one.
|Today I sent half payment to G&N Aircraft.
I think I forgot to update this, but I decided to let them assemble the engine
and they will also run it in for me. They gave a great deal on the assembly
and run-in, so I really couldn't argue. This way I don't have to deal with
breaking-in the engine while trying to fly the Phase 1 hours off.
I went with the Precision Airmotive Eagle EMS system. G&N is a dealer and they will fit the system and tune it all as part of the run-in. I also added a Superior Air, cold air induction sump.
Can't say enough good things about the G&N guys, they are just super to deal with.