Ask Paul: Upgrading to a wide deck engine

Q: I read your article from the Oct .7, 2009, issue of General Aviation News on Wide Deck vs. Narrow Deck Lycomings with great interest. I am trying to figure out one detail that I think your article answers, but I just want to make sure.

I have a 1960 PA-22 Tripacer that originally came with a 150-hp O-320-A2B ND engine. It is ready for a major overhaul, and my IA recommends that I upgrade to a WD O-320-B2B engine.

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Ask Paul: What is the correct timing for my engine?

PaulMcBride

Q: I have a Lycoming IO-360-A1A on a Mooney E model. My mechanic tells me that there are two timing settings for this engine: 20° and 25° BTC. The engine had been set at 20° BTC and he reset it at 25° BTC. What are the advantages or disadvantages of this timing change? The engine is running slightly warmer and appears to be a bit louder in the cockpit.

DAVID WALKER, via email

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Ask Paul: What causes this popping sound?

Q: I am test flying my new RV-9. It has a new Superior O-320, dual p-mags and an MTV11 2-blade MT prop. When it has been running at cruise power for a few minutes or more (say 2,300 rpm x 23 inches or more) and then I reduce the throttle, I get a popping/crackling sound from the engine. If I reduce the rmp before pulling the throttle, it doesn’t seem to do it so much. This typically happens when joining downwind to land, but other times too if I pull the throttle.

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AD issued on Lycoming carburetors

The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive (AD) on carburetors installed on many Lycoming engines. According to a report at EAA.org, the AD targets only 409 carburetors, but 10,700 engines must be inspected to determine if they have one of the defective carbs. Effective date for the AD is March 27, 2012.