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Thread: Cylinder Head Separations, Cause And Prevention

  1. #1

    Article: Cylinder Head Separations, Cause And Prevention

  2. #2

    Thanks for the post. Very informative and well-written. I have 2 exhange cylinders on the IO-360 and with the major coming up, you gave me something to consider.


  3. #3
    Echo that. What Mike has said is also what we tell our customers. In my 10 years as a mechanic, I've only seen 1 cracked head, and as you might guess, its on an old Lycoming with a field overhaul and unknown cylinder time. In fact, it has a mixture of different aged cylinders on it.

  4. #4
    Right-on, Mike. Wish I had the benefits of this information a few years ago..

    Three weeks ago, in cruise flight at 7500 feet in my A23-24 (IO 360 with chromed cylinders) over the Adirondack Tongue Mts, A very loud BANG was heard and felt. The JPI said #3 was gone..oil all over the right fuselage.
    4B6 was off the nose about 12 miles but I couldn't see it due to haze. Did the whole Mayday routine, kept it running on the remaining cylinders but couldn't hold altitude and set the Super III up for gliding. After a few minutes I had the airport made and hastily and perhaps too eagerly got that puppy on the ground safely. The runway had been removed in preparation for strengthening and widening sometime this summer. It was rolled wet clay but there were no other reasonable options. My son and I were happy it was there-- in any condition.

    #3 head had succumed to 'hoop stress' and separated totally from the cylinder, pulled the push rods tubes out and yanking off the return line. I hope that down below there is no problem and don't anticipate there will be anything found, but we're tearing it down and will do whtever to make it right. There had not been the slightest indication that
    such an event was possible. Bright light inspection only a dozen flight hours ago was normal.
    New Lycoming cylinders are on the way. And whatever else it takes to hopefully never have to do that again.


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