Is a factory rebuilt engine reliable?

I probably will buy a C-172 with a new — actually rebuilt — O-310-H2AD engine. Do you know if this engine is reliable? Does it meet the latest factory changes?

The seller is asking a lot for this aircraft, but it has a “”new”” engine.


The Netherlands

From the information you provided I am able to tell you that the engine is a Lycoming “”factory rebuilt”” engine that was signed off for release on May 10, 2006, at the factory. The O-320-H2AD, Serial Number RL-2938-76T, is the latest configuration of this engine model and incorporates the latest factory improvements available at the time the engine went through the factory rebuild process.

That, in itself, is a plus because this engine, like all factory rebuilt engines, started all over with a “”Zero Time”” logbook, just like a new engine, rather than time continued as do the engines overhauled by the factory or by a field maintenance facility.

Of course, this also relates to a higher price compared to an overhauled engine, which may be one reason the asking price is higher than you would expect. This is not necessarily a negative thing. If you should sell this aircraft within a few years, you have the advantage of stating it has a factory rebuilt engine rather than an overhauled engine.

Your comment regarding the price does not come as a surprise. If the aircraft has been well maintained and now has the recently factory rebuilt engine installed, the owner realizes he can ask a premium price, which I’m certain is still well below any new aircraft on the market today. The important issue here is whether the aircraft has been well maintained. If so, it very well may be worth the asking price. I would recommend you review as much information as you can in the aircraft and engine logbooks and any other maintenance facility work orders that may be available from the current owner.

Michel, regardless of what you may have read or heard regarding the O-320-H2AD in the past, I believe this engine is now as reliable as any other engine in the Lycoming family.

Paul McBride, recognized worldwide as an expert on engines, retired after almost 40 years with Lycoming. Send your questions to:

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