One engine, many questions

172Skyhawk

Q: I have a Cessna 172N with the Lycoming O-320-H2AD 76 series engine, serial number L-3406-76. I’m trying to sell it, and I’m getting all kinds of questions regarding the “A” suffix, the “T” mod, and others that are way too far out there to even mention. [Read more…]

What is causing bent rods and sticking valves?

Q: I am acquainted with two IO-540 engines with 1,000-plus hours that have bent rods in the #5 cylinder and stuck valves in the #2 cylinder. One aircraft was manufactured in 2007 and the other in 2009. The oil has always been changed at 50 hours using Exxon Elite 20/50. Any particular thoughts?

RICHARD WEICHMAN, via email

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Time for an overhaul or just keep flying?

Q: I have a ’69 Skyhawk with 2,500 hours on the engine. Good compression, no metal, one quart oil burn every eight hours. Should I get a top overhaul or a complete engine overhaul or just keep flying until an indication of a problem?

TED HALL, Upperco, Md.

A: Well, I must tell you that with 2,500 hours of operation since 1969, this engine certainly doesn’t owe you anything! If this is the original engine in this aircraft and after providing you reliable service for 45 years, I’d say you got your money’s worth.

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Ask Paul: The bearer of bad news

Q: I’ve been plagued with engine trouble on my Cherokee 140 for nearly three months now (O-320E2A). It began missing briefly every five seconds or so in-flight. After landing, we pulled the plugs and cleaned them. But it did no good, she still wasn’t happy.

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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: Does my engine need an oil filter?

Q: I just purchased a 1978 Citabria 7ECA with a Lycoming O-235-C1. Just had my first oil change done — it has no oil filter! Just one, maybe two, screens.  Are these screens just as effective if I change my oil every 25 hours?  Should I add an oil filter? Is that even possible?  I run Phillips X/C and CamGuard. Your thoughts?

Jimmy Schramm, Tampa, Fla.

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