Q: I have a 1974 PA-32-300 and I have ordered a remanufactured Lycoming IO-540 K1A5 for it. Unfortunately, I’m learning that Lycoming has a huge cylinder manufacturing backlog and my “new” engine is delayed indefinitely pending some miracle.
My question is this: My engine is a narrow deck, but I’ve located several cylinders for the wide-deck flavor of this engine. Would it be an option to install the wide deck version in this airplane or is that a bad idea for some reason?
Thaddeus Fickel, Hermiston, Oregon
A: I understand that Lycoming is currently dealing with a cylinder backlog and they are putting every effort into getting the situation under control as quickly as possible.
That being said, if you have placed an order for a factory zero time rebuilt engine, I’d suggest you hang in there if possible.
I might also suggest that you check with the Lycoming distributor who you ordered the engine from, since they would be in a position to check for any updates from the factory regarding delivery times, and pass that information along to you. When you consider all of the benefits of having a factory rebuilt engine in your aircraft, I think a slight delay in getting the engine is well worth the wait.
In case you are not aware, the engine you’ll be receiving from Lycoming will be a wide deck configuration because Lycoming no longer has narrow deck crankcases available even though it still continues to manufacture factory new narrow deck cylinders to support those engines still being operated in the field.
So, I may have misunderstood your question, but I think you were asking if wide deck cylinders could be installed on your current engine and the answer to that would be no. Wide deck cylinders are not interchangeable with narrow deck cylinders.