Ask Paul: What spark plug is best for my airplane?

Q: Can the Champion 37BY plug (either REM or RHM) be used on a Lycoming O-360 A1A engine? My concern is that the piston may hit the plug tip. Is this a valid concern?

DAVID M. GITELMAN, via email

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Ask Paul: The oil filter debate continues

In the July 5 print issue of General Aviation News, reader Dennis Reiley offered his thoughts in Letters to the Editor about my column, “Does my engine need an oil filter?”

Here’s a bit of what he had to say: “I have to disagree with Paul. Every internal combustion engine needs an oil filter — even those that have frequent oil changes. An oil filter can mean the difference between getting to your destination safely and experiencing a catastrophic engine failure.”

First, I wouldn’t say Dennis is disagreeing with me, because I understand exactly where he’s coming from. Besides that, I agree with him, but there are other factors that come into play as to whether an engine is equipped with a full flow oil filter or not.
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Ask Paul: Tips to troubleshoot high oil temps

Q: I have a 1998 Maule with an O-360 engine. I have the original needle oil temperature gauge, as well as a JPI-730 engine analyzer, and they both read the same temperature during all phases of flight.
My annual was completed a few days ago and the first thing I noticed was that the original oil temperature needle would initially fluctuate (never happened before) and then settle down, and when airborne it was at least 45° higher than the JPI-730.

I brought the plane back to the IA and he tightened the probe connection on the engine, but the temperature split is the same. Is the original oil temperature gauge adjustable?

ROBERT BLAKE, via email

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Ask Paul: How should I handle chromed cylinder removal?

Q: When an engine with chromed cylinders comes into a shop with oil leaks and the source has been identified as thru bolts and cylinder base o-rings, how should the cylinder removal and reinstallation be handled? Also, is there any wisdom in turning the oil scraper ring upside down in chromed cylinder to help control oil consumption?

JAMES FINLAYSON, via email

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Ask Paul: What is causing mag drop?

Q: I work on a IO-360-MIA Lycoming engine. My problem is that the right mag has a drop of 220 rpm. I have done internal timings, engine to mag timings, ignition leads check and cleaned the plugs. I have done nothing to the left mag, and now the left mag is dropping to 210 rpm.

ANGI LISA CHAMBERS, via email

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Is there an STC for a primer system for my engine?

Q: I have been looking for a possible STC to install a primer system on a O-320-A2D. Would you know of one?

JERRY BARNHILL, Longville, La.

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Ask Paul: Why is my engine oil creamy?

Q: I am doing a 100-hour inspection on a Piper Aztec with TSIO 540 Lycomings using Shell 15/50 oil with 50 hours on the oil. They are both midtime engines on this photo plane. They fly six hours a day at low power settings. The left engine oil is black like it should be after 50 hours. The right engine oil is a light creamy color. Something is not right.

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Ask Paul: What’s causing vibration?

Q: I recently installed a new three-blade propeller in my Comanche 250 with an O-540 engine. After the first flight I noticed a vibration when I decrease the rpm to 2400 or below, so I had the prop dynamically balanced. This did not change anything. The engine still vibrated.

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Ask Paul: What’s the TBO on my engine?

Q: I have obtained a 1978 Bellanca 7GCBC with a Lycoming 0-320-A2B engine manufactured in 1977. I am attempting to learn more about this engine, including why the log book contains an entry at the 1,200 hour mark showing the engine as being “on condition” but I have been unable to determine why.

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Ask Paul: Fly more, get longer TBO?

Q: I bought my first plane, a 1981 Cessna T182RG, in May 2012. I have been flying this plane frequently and have put over 300 hours on it in the last calendar year. I can tell you that in 2005 it received a factory remanufactured engine from Lycoming and at the 1,000 hour mark got a complete top end overhaul. Now Lycoming shows the TBO at 2,000 hours, but I have found documentation from Lycoming that put the TBO at 2,200 hours providing you are running at 40 hours a month. For me that translates to the more you run the engine the more hours you can squeeze out of it.

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