After about 3 months of down time, first trying to
figure out what was wrong and doing substantial
testing and investigation of the problem. You may
remember... engine started to shudder of short periods
of time, oil temp 1 1/2 needle higher than before ,
weird sound when turning left and an oil analysis
showing that there was metal that should not have been
there. Had the governor rebuilt ( 1000 bucks - needed
an updated gear), had the prop rebalanced etc to
eliminate those possibilities. We then pulled a
cylinder, found bad news there, also rocker arms worn
out -after 340 hours since SMOH- . Piston, same story
and piston pin worn out too. Then looked at all the
other cylinders, same findings but no obvious reasons
why that would have happened. Also cylinder rings had
an edge to them, totally worn out after 340 hours,
although compression was between 75 and 78 for each of
the cylinders. No increase or change in oil
consumption. Go figure that!!
Result, a total top overhaul.
New cylinders are about 1800 bucks each, so we started
to look for alternatives and this takes time. My FBO /
maintenance shop did a great job in finding some
acceptable priced alternatives in the form of
overhauled 1st run cylinders, complete with new
valves, seats , the whole lot for less than half the
new price, actually WAY less. The next thing was to
find pistons. Same story here, 250 bucks per piston
new, we were able to save 70 bucks on each of them for
new pistons The story keeps on going. Searching and
finding parts takes a lot of time, knowledge and
effort AND a deep knowledge of the approved repair
shops throughout the USA in order to get reasonable
prices. As of today, we have all the parts except the
piston rings. You would believe that they would be
available everywhere. Not the case folks. The same
hunting is required for this. Amazing!!
We will be checking the oil pump impeller to make sure
that thing did not contribute to the high oil temp we
found before the tear down, we will be checking the
bottom end and of course the oil delivery / galley
system in detail.
If all is set to go, rebuilding will begin in the next
two weeks.
I also have decided to install a JPI 700 to make sure
I know what is going on in that engine. That unit will
include an oil temp sensor so I can compare and have
some accurate information around the oil temp. I
believe that if we had been able to "see" a different
behavior based on actual data we would have been able
to isolate the issue and potentially have saved the
engine from a top overhaul. Who knows.. but it surely
would have been a possibility.

Looking forward to getting the bird in the air again.



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