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Thread: Mag & plugs

  1. #1
    sharp's Avatar
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    Mag & plugs

    While I am waiting on my Lycoming operating manual, thought ya'll could help.
    0-320-A2B 160hp 900 SMOH, 20 hrs since annual and rotating plugs, but get larger rpm drop on right mag test. Run-up, lean, improves some but still not correct. From 250 to 150 rpm loss. Fly around for couple hrs, check when back and both test good with less than 50 loss. So seems to be fouling.
    I have just had the plane for a month, so just stepping in slowly. Thinking about hand cleaning (instead of sand blasting) and maybe running auto (I have STC) or maybe buying Iridium plugs in the future. Just would rather buy VG's instead of plugs...
    Thanks
    Sharp

  2. #2

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    maybe try a little mmo.

  3. #3
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Lean it all the time except on take-off especially on the ground. Auto gas will also work or TCP in the fuel.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  4. #4

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    Flying it a lot will help, too. When they sit, strange tlhings start happening.

  5. #5

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    I suggest leaning aggressively in all applicable phases of flight and exercising that Auto Gas STC. Also, since the plane is new to you I would check the gap/condition of your plugs.

    Bill

  6. #6
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    My last plane with a 0-320 liked the fine wire plugs on the bottom and the solid cores on top. When I ran 100LL I had to clean the lead chunks out all the time with a dental tool and recheck the gaps.
    I changed oil every 20 to 25 hours and cleaned the plugs while I was at it.
    With Auto gas and MMO I did not have that problem.
    That engine 3700 hours on it, with new jugs, when I sold it. It is still running strong with the new owner.
    Float and Tailwheel CFI,
    Dragonfly Aero
    Homer, Alaska
    dragonfly@alaska.net

    http://www.floatplanealaska.com

    or http://www.dragonflyaero.net

  7. #7
    sharp's Avatar
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    Thanks for the ideas. Now I have more things to play with :P I have been leaning aggressively. Leaning til drop in rpm. I see MMO referenced quite abit for both oil and gas additive for both auto & 100LL.
    But how much MMO? 1/2 oz per gal fuel? how much to oil?

  8. #8
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    I use a shot glass full in the tank every time I fill up with auto gas.
    I have been doing about 25% 100LL mixed with auto gas and MMO and it seems to work great.

    I only put MMO in the oil for the run prior to oil change. It seems to make all sorts of extra stuff drain out with the oil.

    But I talked with Tim up at Big Lake years ago and he said he did that with an old engine and TOO MUCH junk came loose and clogged up the works.

    It seems to have solvent like qualities in the oil and maybe I was lucky because I always cleaned it that way, and the guy I bought her from did the same thing.

    Plus we both always ran straight weight oil. Except for once this last winter. A sin I am still paying for.
    Float and Tailwheel CFI,
    Dragonfly Aero
    Homer, Alaska
    dragonfly@alaska.net

    http://www.floatplanealaska.com

    or http://www.dragonflyaero.net

  9. #9
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Sharp, your problem is not uncommon.

    If it truly is fouling, leaning during warm-up and taxi will often solve the problem. Sometimes it could even take a couple of minutes of high RPM running while leaning back, to clear the fouling.

    One way I've cured this problem on the 0-360's in the Husky and a few in Cessna 170's and 175's retrofitted with the 0-360, the 0-360 seems to be sensitive to this issue, is to run iridium plugs. Or some call them "fine-wires". The iridium/finewire plugs tend not to foul as easily as a "massive electrode" style plug seems to. Lots of guys run finewires in their round engines for this very reason. Some run them only in the back of round engines, some only in the bottom plugs on flat motors, simply because the finewire plugs are expensive, and the bottom plugs are more susceptible, and the back row of round engines is harder to get to.

    Anyone looking for cheaper finewires or good prices on any plug should check out: "PlugGuy" 1-800-PLU-GGUY

    Word is that he sells finewires for about the "list" price of regular massive plugs. I've not used him yet, but he comes recommended by a guy I respect. Next time I need a new set, I'll call him before I call Aviall.

    With MMO, I put a half a pint in at oil change with 4cylinder Lycomings to alleviate stuck valves. Some guys put it in the fuel too. I've heard it will knock loose all kinds of debris in an engine, but haven't had any problems like Alex's friend Tim.

    However, I use MMO to help alleviate sticking valves in the Lyc.s and also round engines, so I'm not sure I see a reason to mention it while we're talking about a likely fouled plug issue.

    If Sharp had a stuck valve, his magneto check wouldn't show a drop-differential from right to left.

    I could see how some might be thinking the problem comes from a stuck valve because, like Sharps' issue, it goes away after the engine warms up, but it's not likely Sharps' problem.

    Also, anyone running Slick Magnetos, do yourself a favor and perform the "500 hour" inspection. Getting the Mag's tuned up goes a long ways toward making your engine both MUCH smoother and much easier starting, in my experience.

    Sorry for the long post and for flogging this dead horse.

    PS, It's really cool to see how this site has matured. So many of you (us) are more willing to offer opinions and ideas to help a guy with a problem, and the advice offered has become much more mature (informed mechanically) and intelligent than it once was.

    DAVE

  10. #10
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Ditto what David said about the 500 hr inspection on Slicks. Makes them easier to start and I found one that it was surprising that it ran. I always adjust the e-gap when I'm in there.

    David glad to see you are still around. You will love the tungsten bars. US Tool has them but they are $150-400. I have a small piece and is working great on .020" Luscombe tail feathers.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  11. #11
    Crash's Avatar
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    Dave & Steve; You both mention a 500 hour inspection for Slick mags. I thought that only Slick could work on these mags. Dave, can someone in Alaska service them? Is there a parts replacment kit at 500 hours? Thanks! Crash

  12. #12
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Crash, the old Slick mags were that way but they changed that because they got so much negitive feedback. It takes a few inexpensive special tools and a timing light. Mainly it is an inspection but the is adjusting the e-gap. As the points wear the internal timing of the mag changes thus the adjustment in timing at annual. After about 500 hrs. that internal timing has changed enough to make a difference in engine operation and I have seen improvements in engine operation when the 500 hr. inspection is done. Any good mechanic with the e-gap tool can do the inspection. If you can't find someone close by I can send you the instructions and the part number for the tool.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  13. #13
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Steve has covered the reason why you want to do the 500 hour.

    It's a Slick "recommendation", but since on these Robinson heli's I've been dealing with, everything (maintenance) is done by each manufacturers' recomendations, so the 500 hour MUST be complied with.

    Crash, I've had Alsworth do the 500 hour and I've had AeroRecip do it, too.

    I'd recommend for you to get together with your IA and both of you do the 500 hour together. You'll definitely get some satisfaction out of knowing what makes your mag's go, and what could stop 'em from working well.

    Parts for them are available locally, so no worries there.

    Were you out with the 180 last night?? I was at Fire Lake or on the highway near Mirror Lake and saw a 180 with Bushwheels go over on their way into Hilltop.

    Hope your summer has been good. Wish we could get toghether for somemore of that ski-flying work in the mountains.

    DAVE

  14. #14

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    Thanks for the tip on Slick "inspections". I had assumed they just quit after a thousand hours, and I invested in some Bendix mags that must be pulled each 500 hrs. I'm starting to like Slicks better - less radio noise; quieter impulses; smaller and lighter. I am running three of them and one Bendix, and actually rarely have problems with any of them.

  15. #15
    Crash's Avatar
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    Thanks Dave and Steve. I have had Bendix mags forever and was disappointed when I got the crate off my factory new O-360 from Penn Yan and it had Slick mags on it. I had always heard Slick mags caused hard starting in cold weather. I also knew Bendix mags and all the available parts for them. I was told Slicks were disposable mags and were not rebuildable.

    I started the new engine down to -30 below last winter and the "NEW" Slick mags seem to start as good or better then my old Bendix mags. I am starting to like the new Slick mags. Now even more so because they can be worked on. I also heard they are 2 lbs lighter each then Bendix mags. Take care. Crash

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