Should I buy a Canadian engine on eBay for my 152?

QUESTION: I have a chance to buy an engine on eBay that is a good deal for me. I have a Cessna 152 with a Lycoming O-235-L2C and am looking for a replacement.

Problem is, the eBay engine was overhauled in Canada for installation in a Canadian experiment aircraft. It’s zero time since a major by a Canadian company. There are no yellow tags as none of the parts were sent to the U.S. to be certified under U.S. rules. Can this engine be installed in a U.S. standard catagory aircraft?

Don Eikenberry
Spokane, Wash.

ANSWER: I guess you can buy just about anything on eBay these days, but I never thought I’d receive a letter discussing an aircraft engine. What I’m about to say is my personal opinion on this situation, so if there is any feedback, it should come to me.

I cannot recommend strongly enough to avoid this opportunity. First of all, since the engine was overhauled in Canada — and assuming it was done properly — it must have proper paperwork to be installed in a certified aircraft here in the U.S.

The only document that I can think of that would make this legal would be an FAA Certificate of Airworthiness or its equivalent from Transport Canada.

You mentioned that there were no yellow tags, so I suspect there is no other paper trail regarding the parts. If this is the situation, about the only use for this engine would be in an experimental aircraft installation.

My advice is to just pass on this one and wait for one that has the proper records. Remember, sometimes a “”good deal”” ends up costing you more than going out and buying a new engine.

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