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Thread: Potential starter issues on IO-520 powered 185

  1. #1
    Tom3holer's Avatar
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    Potential starter issues on IO-520 powered 185

    Just flew home my newly acquired 185 with my IA.

    Right off the bat we noticed an odd issue with the starter.
    The engine,IO-520, was new in 2009 and has about 145hrs on it.
    When cranking it seems to crank, not steady but in pulses, like fast,slower,fast,slower. Almost like on each compression stroke it slows down a bit then speeds up. The IA/Instructor thought it was a starter or clutch problem.
    It cranks relatively fast just nor steady. I fly with and give dual to a pilot at our field that has a 185 on anfibs and his definitely cranks much more constant.

    Any thoughts?

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom3holer; 07-17-2016 at 01:45 PM.

  2. #2
    pzinck's Avatar
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    Starter adapter is fairly common problem with these. Ours was acting similar and installed a reman a few years ago from niagra,solved problem.

  3. #3
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    if starter/batery is weak it will cause clutch not to grab well, and it will slip & cause wear on shaft that clutch is trying to grip... the wear will show up as long slivers in oil screen...

    lesson is: don't use a worn battery or starter or you get the joy and cost $$ of changing clutch....

    first thing to do is remove and clean all starter wire/connections all the way from battery.... also test bypass the starter switch and see if it cranks faster, common problems is starter switch(or keyswitch) contacts being burn and not engaging starter solenoid as well as it could..

    welcome to airplane ownership! $$$$

  4. #4
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Lotsa discussions about starters & adapters- esp when combined with a lightweight (MT) prop..
    FWIW my 180 has an 88" Mac & the (heavy) Energizer starter & it works great.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    Aeroshell 15-50 can make an otherwise happy starter clutch act oddly. If you're using 15-50 try switching to straight weight or X/C oil.

  6. #6

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    How old is the battery, I chased this a bit till the battery tested bad and solved it with a new battery, then the starter started acting up so I put a Sky-tec and between that and a big new battery and you could taxi it on the starter.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  7. #7
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    also, the starter may be "binding" where center rotating part is out of round, and rubs on it's outer "windings?"

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Check your engine to airframe ground strap. There was an AD or S/B to install one. The original grounds were aluminum plates which wrapped around the lord mounts. Over time these break.

    Also a tired starter solenoid can create this type of situation. I installed a Cole-Hersey which is made in South Boston. Haven't got the P/N off the top of my head.
    N1PA

  9. #9
    Tom3holer's Avatar
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    That would be nice to taxi out on the starter, gave me a laugh.
    Going to do an oil change Tuesday and the shop will get good look at the starter, associated wiring, and battery.

    I noticed something else today also. I taxied over to the fuel pumps and noticed the engine stopped as though the starter was engaged. Turning the prop reverse you could feel the starter engaged, something that had not happened before or I didn't notice it.

    Anybody have an approx cost of a rebuilt exchange or a new one?
    My mech has had issues with the Skytec and id leary of using them.
    Last edited by Tom3holer; 07-17-2016 at 01:52 PM.

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    Count me in! Trying to get Lisa to join this year. Dave

  11. #11
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom3holer View Post
    The engine,IO-520, was new in 2009 and has about 145hrs on it.
    It is unlikely to be the starter or the drive itself.
    N1PA

  12. #12
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    You'll have to start eliminating issues as you trouble shoot. Clean all big electrical connections. At the master solenoid, starter solenoid, starter, and battery. No one with any electrical sense relies on the aluminum wrap around plates, on the engine mounts, to ground the starter circuit. Put a ground strap from the crank case to the air frame. Make it the same size as your starter cable as it has to carry the same amount of current. Check for voltage drops across the master and starter solenoids, by placing a digital voltmeter across the large terminals, of each one, and cranking the engine for about ten seconds. There should be very little, if any voltage recorded. Anything more than a couple of tens of a volt and I would change the solenoid. Make sure battery voltage stays above about 9 volts while cranking. Anything lower than that means the battery may be reaching the end of it's life. Where is the battery located? Back in the baggage area or up front? If in the rear, remember that it's a LONG way up that cable to reach the starter, so make sure that run of cable is the correct size (2 gauge) and it's in good condition. And Skytech starters are good starters. Every time I've had to troubleshoot a 'bad' one out of the box, there have been grounding/connection issues.
    I'll let you engine types comment on the Continental starter drive issues. But if it turns out you need a new one, you make sure to have fun with it, lol.

    Web

  13. #13
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom3holer View Post
    Turning the prop reverse you could feel the starter engaged, something that had not happened before or I didn't notice it.

    DON"T do that.... there is one? version of the clutch that can ruin the clutch spring going backwards... been long time ago, someone else will have to say which...

  14. #14
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    a number 8 wire is plenty for the ground... Web failed electrical school

  15. #15
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    I may not have been valedictorian but I didn't fail. Just standard electrical logic, if 100 amps goes in on the hot lead, 100 amps will come out on the ground. Also, when you calculate the size of wire for a circuit, you need to consider the ground wire as p[art of total length when consulting the 43.13.

    Web

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    DON"T do that.... there is one? version of the clutch that can ruin the clutch spring going backwards... been long time ago, someone else will have to say which...
    Amen
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  17. #17
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    I may not have been valedictorian but I didn't fail. Just standard electrical logic, if 100 amps goes in on the hot lead, 100 amps will come out on the ground. Also, when you calculate the size of wire for a circuit, you need to consider the ground wire as p[art of total length when consulting the 43.13.

    Web
    the wire is shorter.... less than a foot.... simple math...

    but, I can't teach you
    but, I CAN PREVENT you from misleading the others that are here to learn....

  18. #18
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Well we both agree on that last statement, lol

    Web

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Wait a minute Tom, First thing to do is to put a charger on the battery overnight. That airplane has sat idle for months with very little if any use. It also has an electric clock which runs off the battery. Unless the clock fuse (mounted next to the battery box) was pulled during the inactivity, the battery will be run down. Charge it before you do anything else. Go ahead ask me how many batteries I threw away before I discovered this.
    N1PA

  20. #20
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Fully charge the battery with a smart charger. Then test it witha battery tester. If it is 12 volts, Harbor Freight makes a good, inexpensive one.

    Lacking a tester, attach a digital voltmeter to the starter leads and watch the voltage during start. It shouldnt drop below 9 volts or so.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

  21. #21
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Well we both agree on that last statement, lol

    Web
    I was taught to view electrical wiring like plumbing. Pressure is volts and flow is amps. When I studied fluid flow a million years ago, the circuit can only flow what the most restrictive element allows.

    Sorry Mike, but i am with Webb.

    During my rebuild I installed a ground from the starter to the airframe the same size as the Starter power lead. Whether it was needed is debateable but it was easy and gives me peace of mind. I didnt use the Piper braided strap from the engine to the mount. Partially because it was in bad shape. That method has worked for a long time, but I think mine is better.

    IMHO! YMMV!
    Last edited by Eddie Foy; 07-17-2016 at 06:05 PM.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

  22. #22
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom3holer View Post
    That would be nice to taxi out on the starter, gave me a laugh.
    Going to do an oil change Tuesday and the shop will get good look at the starter, associated wiring, and battery.

    I noticed something else today also. I taxied over to the fuel pumps and noticed the engine stopped as though the starter was engaged. Turning the prop reverse you could feel the starter engaged, something that had not happened before or I didn't notice it.

    Anybody have an approx cost of a rebuilt exchange or a new one?
    My mech has had issues with the Skytec and id leary of using them.
    In my IO-520 I had a similar experience - only somebody had put the wrong parts in the mag so the impulse was binding. Modified rebuilt my starter adapter, about $800 - http://modifiedaircraftaccessories.com/

  23. #23
    Tom3holer's Avatar
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    Thank you all for all the suggestions.

    Tuesday its coming in for a oil change and the starter/battery inspection.

    True, it had not had much use for a couple of months but the 50 some odd minutes home should have charged it up plenty.
    I am hoping for a weak battery but will see.

    T

  24. #24
    Bill.Brine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom3holer View Post
    Thank you all for all the suggestions.

    Tuesday its coming in for a oil change and the starter/battery inspection.

    True, it had not had much use for a couple of months but the 50 some odd minutes home should have charged it up plenty.
    I am hoping for a weak battery but will see.

    T
    More like 4 hours to get a full charge. 50 minutes may get you from 65% to 85%.

  25. #25
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefoy84 View Post
    ...
    Sorry Mike, but i am with Webb.
    ...
    thankfully for all of humanity, those who design electronic stuff understand this BASIC thing..... or else we would not have circuit boards, mosfets or other SMALL high power things....

    it's not the distance to the end use that determine the trace size, its the distance of the trace being able to move the magic with the required voltage drop and heat.....

    must be in the books you learned from???

    crank case =~ big amp wire, fuselage =~ big amp wire... to connect those 2 for ONLY a few inches ONLY TAKES THE APPROPRIATELY SIZE WIRE TO CARRY THE AMPS THAT DISTANCE OF THAT WIRE!

  26. #26
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    but, I CAN PREVENT you from misleading the others that are here to learn....
    I thought we were he to be mislead,

    Hmm, maybe I need to learn electrical, because all I hear is: Charge your battery, clean your terminals then consider other items.

    Those two take away about 98% of all my electrical issues of the past!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  27. #27

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    I agree with Bill and the others. Do a long slow charge on the battery. Night and day difference in battery performance.
    DENNY

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    algonquin's Avatar
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    Tom, been there on two diferent SkyWagons. Start simple, borrow a good battery from someone, put it in only takes a couple of min. And it's easy. If that doesn't work check the voltage at the starter, as said above. If the volts are good: pull the starter and have it rebuilt, because if the starter adopt. Is bad you have to rebuild the starter anyway , part of the repair. Now if the starter adopt. Still slips as my buddy always said " you are f...ed . " I don't use Niagra air parts as they seem to alway fail all the parts, only my experience. Now the good news is on 180's the engine needs to slide forward and the 185 you can pull the top mount bolts and rock it forward. Good luck.

  29. #29
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom3holer View Post
    True, it had not had much use for a couple of months but the 50 some odd minutes home should have charged it up plenty.
    I am hoping for a weak battery but will see.

    T
    You might think that this would be true, but it isn't. That battery needs a good charge before you look at anything else. Please believe me, I have been there.
    N1PA

  30. #30
    180Marty's Avatar
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    I agree with Bill and the others. Do a long slow charge on the battery. Night and day difference in battery performance.
    I've found that a de sulfate charger is the best. My 4430 John Deere tractor has two 12 volt batteries and wasn't doing the best for holding a charge. One caused the yellow light(not good) to come on my Battery Minder ODY de sulfate charger. It took a day or two but it brought the battery back and has been good for quite awhile. Really sold on the de sulfate charger. Been doing it to all my 12 volt batteries just because.

  31. #31

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    I have no experience with big Continentals but the drag and hang up when turning backwards are normal with a Prestolite starter on an O200. It's even worse if it tried to crank but didn't start. Then it seems like the starter is really hung up until the engine actually starts. Just the nature of Prestolite's clutch I think.
    As to rotating engines backwards, do you guys avoid that as much as you can when you have a dry vacuum pump? I read somewhere that the angle of the carbon vanes in a dry pump makes them more susceptible to fracture when turned backwards. Just another reason to not rotate backwards any more than you have to. jrh
    Last edited by N86250; 07-18-2016 at 08:47 AM. Reason: still thinking, I think?
    You can't get there from here. You have to go over yonder and start from there.

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by N86250 View Post
    I have no experience with big Continentals but the drag and hang up when turning backwards are normal with a Prestolite starter on an O200. It's even worse if it tried to crank but didn't start. Then it seems like the starter is really hung up until the engine actually starts. Just the nature of Prestolite's clutch I think.
    As to rotating engines backwards, do you guys avoid that as much as you can when you have a dry vacuum pump? I read somewhere that the angle of the carbon vanes in a dry pump makes them more susceptible to fracture when turned backwards. Just another reason to not rotate backwards any more than you have to. jrh
    Yes to the dry pump woes.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  33. #33

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    For several years I had an intermittent alternator problem that had my battery run down often. Even a short flight would restore it to full charge and with a healthy battery it would store that charge normally. If the battery is sick you can charge it til the cows come home and it'll still be sick.

    Find the problem but before you spend a nickel on an "airplane" battery? Toss it and strip the battery cables. Put an Odyssey on the firewall. Save 17# and get a far better battery that uses shorter cables. Never worry about a trickle charger again.

  34. #34
    Tom3holer's Avatar
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    Again thanks everyone for all the advice.

    I am not positive but it seems that the starter did not hang up on all of the 4-5 starts we have done so far.
    What botheres me was when it does and the prop tries to go backwards a bit like they do on some shutdowns it just only move a bit then abruptly stops because of the starter. Just seems that can't be good.
    Tuesday it comes in for its oil change and Camguard, and we will begin the starter issue diagnosis.

    If indeed the starter is bad what seems to be the "recommended" best replacement.
    My IA has not had good experience with Skytech so thats kinda out of the question. Actually I don't know off hand whats on it. Its a 2009 FREM.
    A 182 they maintain had a newly installed 75hr FREM starter break a clutch spring?; anyway it falls into the oil pomp and made quite a mess.

    T

  35. #35
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Mine 180 has the Energizer starter.
    Kinda heavy but that's about the only gripe I've ever heard about them.
    Not fancy or lightweight but works, period.
    http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...erstarters.php

    BTW this topic must have pushed a button with a lot of people- 35 posts in just one day.
    Last edited by hotrod180; 07-18-2016 at 09:57 AM.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  36. #36
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom3holer View Post
    Again thanks everyone for all the advice.

    I am not positive but it seems that the starter did not hang up on all of the 4-5 starts we have done so far.
    What botheres me was when it does and the prop tries to go backwards a bit like they do on some shutdowns it just only move a bit then abruptly stops because of the starter. Just seems that can't be good.
    Tuesday it comes in for its oil change and Camguard, and we will begin the starter issue diagnosis.
    T
    That too sounds like a wimpy battery.

    MTV

  37. #37
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post

    Hmm, maybe I need to learn electrical, because all I hear is: Charge your battery, clean your terminals then consider other items.

    Those two take away about 98% of all my electrical issues of the past!
    You'd be amazed at how often that works. I always try to get people to go through the most basic steps like that. Cleaning terminals, charging batteries, good grounds, are issues most can do themselves. No need to pay shop rate for the simple stuff. And it helps to troubleshoot for the root of the problem.

    Web

  38. #38
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom3holer View Post
    ..
    What botheres me was when it does and the prop tries to go backwards a bit like they do on
    T

    thats a MAGNETO IMPULSE coupler/pawl on mag issue.. it's not catching and retarding the spark always or broken impulse spring...

  39. #39
    Tom3holer's Avatar
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    Mike,

    The kickback is not a magneto thing its during shutdown and its coming up on a compression stroke just before it stops and doesn't quite make it so it turns backwards a bit. In my case it catches the starter and comes to an abrupt stop unlike what I have seen befors on other Continental powered aircraft.

    Tom

  40. #40
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    You initially said that this happened on start up. What makes you certain that it is the starter which is being "caught"? Perhaps you are just not used to having such a low time engine direct from the factory? It just may be excellent compression which stops and "kicks" back the end of that last stroke on shut down. Then when you turn it backwards by hand and hear the starter turning, which it can do, you are blaming the starter?

    It's beginning to sound as though you are looking for a trouble which doesn't exist. Run a few hundred gallons of 100LL through it. Give it some exercise.
    N1PA

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