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Thread: Propeller Ballancing

  1. #1

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    Propeller Ballancing

    Thought that I would try and make things as smooth as possible by doing a Dynamic Prop Ballance. I am flying a 68 SC with a Lycon rebuilt O-320 (160) with about 630 Hrs on it. Borer 44/41. Many have said it was one of the smoothest Cubs they had flown in as it is, but I had planned to mount a new camera and wanted to take out all the vibration that I could. There was a little vibration in cruse (2350 - 2400), so I thought what the heck, just had an Annual in Oct. where I replaced a cracked spinner back plate, so figured now would be the time.

    Bottom Line, after changing some weight around on the propeller and adding a couple washers to the spinner, spinner (On-Off) four run ups - it vibrates worse. Not bad, just noticably worse. There is vibration in the Stick and Peddles that wasn't there before. The quick fix would be to (Put everything back the way it was), so here is the question.

    During static run-up, which was about 2370 RPM, is there any flexing going on with the prop that would cause the ballancer to give a unreliable reading? Say compared to Non-Static (flight mode) Still would like to get things as smooth as possible. I do understand that it is a Cub and should have some lee-way in my expectations.

  2. #2
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Usually dynamic balancing is performed for a certain RPM. If all you can do is 2370 static, for instance, you might expect it to be not as good at 2550 RPM.

    Still, I'd expect better after a dynamic balance.

    I smell a rat, I think. Please let us know what you find. Thanks.

  3. #3
    180Marty's Avatar
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    Is it possible to take the weights off that were used to balance. Make sure you keep track of where they went and see what nothing is like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hood River 5 View Post
    Bottom Line, after changing some weight around on the propeller and adding a couple washers to the spinner, spinner (On-Off) four run ups - it vibrates worse. Not bad, just noticably worse. There is vibration in the Stick and Peddles that wasn't there before. The quick fix would be to (Put everything back the way it was), so here is the question.
    Not sure what kind of equipment you're using to take the measurements, but make sure you (your mech) are reading the clock angles correctly. The machine will most likely tell you where the vibe is, for example 6:34 @.22 IPS...then give you a different clock angle for the "solution", ie. 18 grams @ 12:26. Then you have to read the card correctly to make sure your not putting the weight in the wrong place.

    I have done this on the ground, and in-flight. IMO its better to do it in-flight just because you can take your time, and I think it gives the equipment a more real-world environment to measure...smooth air really helps too. I've taken a prop from .25IPS down to .01IPS in 2 flights. Also, i've tried taking measurements at different RPM's on the same flight and the vibe measurements all come really close to each other...I guess that means the machine is doing its job and reading the vibe correctly.

  5. #5

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    Thanks All, The balancing insturment is Microvib. We started at .5 and after 4 test runs was able to center by moving weights down to .02 tied down. The insturment says the weights were properly distributed, but a test flight told me we were still not right. The balance guy called Microvib and they sugested to make sure nothings touching somewhere then do what Helmetfire is saying (do the reading in the air). So sometime this next week we are going to give that a try. Will let you know.

    Dave were correct in that on take off, where the RPM is nearly 2600, you really notice the vibration after relocating some weight from where is was. It was obvious that the vibrations felt was from the inbalance of the propeller. Quick and could be felt in your hands and feet. Down around 2100 things smoothed out. The vibration I am tring to get rid of (smooth out) was right at 23 - 2400 RPM.

  6. #6
    Jim 4WF's Avatar
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    I think the flywheel is a stronger spot for weights and may save spinner parts.? Mine always seemed better after a ballance at all cruse RPMs. I try to only balance after 100 hr with clean plugs, leed check, timing checked and a good tight intake.

  7. #7

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    If I was convinced I had a prop vibration I'd have that prop to a prop shop for inspection, repair, and static balancing. In the couple of times I've done that my dynamic balancer couldn't improve on things. It's nice to have good prop shops in the local area.

    To Hood River 5, I have had a minor vibration in the past in my 180 and after a dynamic balance the vibration changed and became more noticeable. I can't say it was worse from any scientific perspective but it made my instrument panel vibrate and that was impossible to ignore. A prop overhaul fixed my issue. Turns out the hub needed attention, too. Granted, that was with a constant speed but the same shop tracked and balanced my 8242 Mac on the -12 and it was smooth as silk. I favor good prop maintenance over adding screws and washers to my spinner plate. Not there's anything wrong with dynamic balancing but clearly it has limitations.

  8. #8
    Sean007mi5's Avatar
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    do you think if you have an overhaul with juggs rods pins etc you need to redo dynamic balance? I am detecting new vibration in 2350 to 2450 range. makes the compass oil wavy.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean007mi5 View Post
    do you think if you have an overhaul with juggs rods pins etc you need to redo dynamic balance? I am detecting new vibration in 2350 to 2450 range. makes the compass oil wavy.
    Yes

  10. #10
    PerryB's Avatar
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    If the dynamic balance checks out as good but the vibe persists, pull the prop and turn it 180 degrees. I had a 2500 rpm and up vibe with a freshly balanced 82-41 Borer and the 180 flip cured it completely. Don't ask how, I can't explain it but I'd heard it in the past and thought it would be worth a try. It was!
    After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says WTF !

  11. #11
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    Is the prop indexed correctly on the prop flange? If it's not, you'll never be able to get it to run smooth.

    At shut down the prop should point at the 10 o'clock and 4 o'clock position. More technically speaking.... an O-320 is indexed one position counter clockwise of the flywheel "0" mark. An O-360 is indexed over the "0" mark.

    As a rule, I index the prop, fly it. Re-mount 180 degrees, fly it, then decide how it ran best. If needed, I then Dynamic balance.

    Take care,

    Crash

  12. #12

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    I have been running a new sensenich 74DM on my 0-290 for maybe a 100 hours....it vibrates. I dropped it off at the prop shop today and they will check blades for equal pitch, track and balance. I flipped it 180 degrees, no difference.

    I have a Borer that is nice and smooth if mounted right. I reinstalled it and holy crap I thought for a second I had hung a valve on climbout. Landed flipped it 180 and almost smooth as butter.

    I asked the head prop dude at the shop and he had no idea...me neither.. Anyone???
    Steve

  13. #13
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Flange AND prop both out of whack.
    Gordon

    N4328M KTDO
    My SPOT: tinyurl.com/N4328M (case sensitive)

  14. #14
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    I put a freshly installed seaplane prop on my 180 a while back & it gave it the shakes.
    Flipped the prop 180 degrees and it was amazingly better.
    Doesn't make sense, just one of those things.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  15. #15
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Compensating errors in one position, additive errors in the other.

    Gotta catch up with you at some of the flyins this year - didn't get to chat much at Cougar Mountain last year.
    Gordon

    N4328M KTDO
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  16. #16
    Colorguns's Avatar
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    I had a 8245 overhauled prop I put on 0-360 at 2400 it had vibration, swapped 180 still. Later I found #2 cylinder had blow by and low compression , overhauled it and now smooth.
    Just a finding I had.
    Doug
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  17. #17
    mvivion's Avatar
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    One thing nobody's mentioned yet is that there are also vibrations that you can't necessarily feel. And some of those can be very destructive. That's one of the arguments for a good prop balance.

    MTV

  18. #18
    flyrite's Avatar
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    We obviously balance to get rid of vibrations, Anyone who has never tried the "Balance Masters" product is missing out on a simple solution. Have 1 on my Acro plane and have several friends who have bought it and swear by it.
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  19. #19
    cubpilot2's Avatar
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    Does anyone have contact info for the “Dynamic Prop Balancing “ guy in Anchorage?

    Thanks
    Ed

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrite View Post
    We obviously balance to get rid of vibrations, Anyone who has never tried the "Balance Masters" product is missing out on a simple solution. Have 1 on my Acro plane and have several friends who have bought it and swear by it.
    Thanks for the tip. I see Balance Masters makes a balancer for Lycomings. I’m ordering one. It makes more sense to me than screwing washers to a backing plate.
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  21. #21
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubpilot2 View Post
    Does anyone have contact info for the “Dynamic Prop Balancing “ guy in Anchorage?

    Thanks
    Rod milland in chugiak


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org mobile app

  22. #22
    PerryB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Thanks for the tip. I see Balance Masters makes a balancer for Lycomings. I’m ordering one. It makes more sense to me than screwing washers to a backing plate.
    Give us some feedback, I'm curious to know how well it works. I balanced both mine with a Dyna-vibe and they're smooth as glass, but I couldn't bring my self to attach weights to the spinner. Seems like a good way to crack and/or throw it. I made custom washers of varying thickness and diameter for the prop bolts. Of course everything has to be indexed and numbered. The balance ring would be much simpler. There was a product like this for auto/light trucks that came out in the late 70's. It was filled with fine lead shot.
    After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says WTF !
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  23. #23
    cubpilot2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Thanks for the tip. I see Balance Masters makes a balancer for Lycomings. I’m ordering one. It makes more sense to me than screwing washers to a backing plate.
    Please let us know how this works out.

    Does anyone know if any of these have been field approved yet? (On lycomings)
    The plate section must be thin as they don’t mention a need for longer bolts.
    Ed

  24. #24
    cubpilot2's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=mike mcs repair;724347]Rod milland in chugiak

    No luck finding Rods number. I used to have a business card with info but I think the “dog ate it”. (Excuse from childhood) What did he call his business?
    Thanks again
    Ed

  25. #25
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean007mi5 View Post
    do you think if you have an overhaul with juggs rods pins etc you need to redo dynamic balance? I am detecting new vibration in 2350 to 2450 range. makes the compass oil wavy.
    Yes, in fact a guy I know who does prop balancing told me that as the engine components wear, the vibrations will change.
    So the dynamic balance probably needs to be re-done on a regular basis.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  26. #26
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=cubpilot2;724367]
    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    Rod milland in chugiak

    No luck finding Rods number. I used to have a business card with info but I think the “dog ate it”. (Excuse from childhood) What did he call his business?
    Thanks again
    rm aircraft services

    https://www.whitepages.com/business/...vice/b-1g0yk0m

  27. #27

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    Due diligence done. Balance Masters Lycoming balancer ordered. Pirep in a week or two depending how long it takes to arrive.
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  28. #28
    flyrite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Due diligence done. Balance Masters Lycoming balancer ordered. Pirep in a week or two depending how long it takes to arrive.
    Give you a heads up to be aware of when you get the Balance master mounted. You might notice some chatter at start up and at shut down and even at real low RPM until the mercury finds its place.
    Thanks tedwaltman1 thanked for this post

  29. #29

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    It arrived this morning. Now to make time to install it....
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  30. #30
    kestrel's Avatar
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    Do you know the weight?
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4

  31. #31
    flyrite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kestrel View Post
    Do you know the weight?

    http://store.balancemasters.com/osCo...roducts_id=248

  32. #32
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    It arrived this morning. Now to make time to install it....
    how thick is it where the bolts go through it?? are existing prop bolts/studs long enough ???

    will it clear behind nose bowl ???

  33. #33

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    The UPS package had 2# written on it. At least half that was packaging. The product itself is quite light. The thickness isn't a concern. My prop bolts and spinner should work just fine. I can weigh it and put a mic on the flange tonight but I estimate it to be in the .062 range. But that's a guess. I haven't spent a lot of time looking at it, just out and back into the box very quickly to make sure it wasn't bent in shipping.
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  34. #34

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    Answers- Measured weight 1.2#. Flange thickness .038.
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  35. #35
    kestrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kestrel View Post
    Do you know the weight?
    I found that page. Still don't see the weight on it, but we have the answer now.
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4

  36. #36
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    I installed the Balance Masters (http://store.balancemasters.com/osCo...8890308a9f1662) product for Lycoming yesterday on my SQ-2. My prop seemed fairly well balanced to start with (at least I haven't seemed to notice any particularly bad vibration previoiusly that is). But, I figured if this product makes a good situation even better, and reduces any prop/engine wear due to even minor vibration, then it is money well spent.

    After flying for an hour+ I believe the prop is noticeably smoother. How much so--can't say. Just seems smoother. Easy to install; Works as advertised. Company good to deal with.
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  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrite View Post
    Give you a heads up to be aware of when you get the Balance master mounted. You might notice some chatter at start up and at shut down and even at real low RPM until the mercury finds its place.
    First off, due to spring weather in Idaho, I was not able to fly for 31 straight days! AFTER installing the BalanceMaster on the Rotax. One day was good, and that was the day I had to work, good craning weather is also good flying weather it turns out. So, I was rusty, and this was also going to be my first takeoff of the year on my summertime runway, though still on the wheel skis. Put these factors all together, and an approaching rain storm (but a few hours away) and it took me a moment during my runup to remember this was the first time starting since I installed the balancer, THEN I noticed the engine had a lope to it, not a miss but something was different. After checking everything out I decided to just go for it, and the takeoff was normal enough. Then I forgot about the lope for a few minutes, while I transitioned to the skis and messed with the Sirius radio, my usual post takeoff routine.

    THEN I realized the lope was gone, and it occurred to me that maybe the quicksilver needed a bit of time to do it's thing. My crane truck wheels do the same, which also have a similar product on the wheels, it takes just a bit to smooth out then it is SMOOTH. Nonetheless, it was gratifying to see flyrite's above quote stating that this was normal and to be expected. Was it smoother, yes. But I only flew for .7 hrs, but so far so good.

    I have had the current Prince prop on for 997 hours, in 5 years, mostly dirt strips and off airport, though it continues to look pristine. Point being, I have no idea if it is still balanced, or maybe a bit off and I've just gotten used to it, whatever, it is smoother now. I'm trying real hard not let the placebo effect make me think it's smoother just because I spent the money, but I am a believer in the concept, and it wasn't that much money, so I am pleased and am looking forward to more time on it, and not with another 31 day layoff which was distracting.
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  38. #38
    CamTom12's Avatar
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    I’d be interested in an experiment if you have the inclination...

    Fly a solid 2 weeks like you normally would with the thing installed. Then remove it for a week.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

    Totally understand if you don’t want to do it though.

  39. #39
    flyrite's Avatar
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    Here it is my experience with the balance master product, no affiliation with the company but I’m very pleased with my results after having mounted it on 3 of my mounts. On my RV, was already pretty smooth running prop. the master made it smoother but not noticeably to somebody without a lot of time in the seat of that plane. In my aerobatic mount with a three blade Catto,had a considerable amount of vibration through out the RPM range so it was more noticeable in smoothing out the vibration from the beginning. It had had two balance jobs with washers mounted to the backing plates . That plane was constantly suffering cracks in little small bulkhead’s, tank straps and such. That problem got solved!
    Mounted the master on my swamp monster, trying to resolve engine pulses when I tried to go to a plastic Prop to stop engine mount cracking. Helped a lot but Could not overcome the lack of dampening with the wooden Prop being removed so had to go back to one.
    Chris Gamble the man who owns the product offers a money back guarantee for 90 days. No way to go wrong ,if you don’t like the product send it back. I think he offers to even pay shipping on returns.
    Last edited by flyrite; 04-22-2019 at 11:01 AM.
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  40. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by CamTom12 View Post
    I’d be interested in an experiment if you have the inclination...

    Fly a solid 2 weeks like you normally would with the thing installed. Then remove it for a week.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

    Totally understand if you don’t want to do it though.
    Don't know if I'll do that or not, but great idea. What I WILL do is rack up time on it, starting in about 10 minutes unless the work phone rings. It looks like it's weight, 10 Oz's,, will be negated by me getting rid of the 1" hub spacer I now have and replacing it with a 3 mm spacer, all I need for cowl clearance. Not sure why I've been running that thicker and heavier spacer then needed all this time, probably because I had it, meant to replace it, and forgot about it! Shorter bolts also of course, more weight gone.
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