Bringing a sedentary engine back to life

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Pedals2Paddles, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Messages:
    1,216
    Location:
    FDK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pedals2Paddles
    Background: Lycoming O320-E2D. It has 1200 SMOH in 1999. It was flown regularly from 1999 to 2007. It has sat largely unused since 2007. It was run up once in a while and had the oil changed at some unknown interval while it was sitting collecting dust. Today, it starts up fine, runs up fine, sounds fine, idles fine, etc. It's time spent unused has been in an outdoor tiedown in the mid-atlantic, not on the ocean. Compression is unknown. It was in the low to mid 70s in 2007.

    Question: What are the best practices to help nurse this engine back to life? What oil? What additives if any? How should we treat and use it? Magnets on the filter? What compression would be considered bad on this engine if it is the rings vs the valves? Looking for any and all experienced advice.

    Note: Keep it to the engine only. Not the airframe. And "Get another engine" is not helpful :no:

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    10,996
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jonesy
    If you've already started it, not much to do. My mechanic has a process he follows before the first start for an engine that has sat for a long time. But those are moot if you've already run it.

    I'd change the oil at 20-25 hours, cut the filter and get an oil analysis done as a baseline. Not to rekindle THAT discussion, but some swear by Marvel Mystery Oil as an additive, especially if it's been sitting. I won't pass judgment either way on that one!
     
  3. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    4,327
    Location:
    Baltimore md.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim cooper
    "It can be fine or it can be dandy but it can't be fine and dandy." ( George carlin) If you've already started it and " it's fine" , plus the compression is in the 70s, why post? ( if you have not done a compression check and a bore scope, ....why haven't you?)
    Change the oil after running it for half an hour, look for leaks and after a good mechanic goes over it and thinks it's ok, have at it. Take it up to three grand over the airport, fly it around for an hour and see how it pans out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  4. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Messages:
    1,216
    Location:
    FDK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pedals2Paddles
    Well it's not just me that's started it. It's been started and taxied about recently.

    I think I'm trying to get at what we can do for the next year. What to look for, monitor, do, treat, use, etc to give use the best shot at keeping it healthy. What can we look for as a "bad sign"?
     
  5. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    4,327
    Location:
    Baltimore md.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim cooper
    Your getting ahead of yourself. Don't worry about a year from now, worry about right now. Good mechanic near the aircraft? Do what he says.
     
  6. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Messages:
    1,216
    Location:
    FDK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pedals2Paddles
    We have a great mechanic on the field that is about to do an annual inspection as a prebuy. So the mechanic hasn't told us anything yet. What kind of information can a mechanic tell us about it, besides compression testing?
     
  7. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    4,327
    Location:
    Baltimore md.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim cooper
    He will give you his opinion on wheather you should attempt to fly it! bore scope can offer additional info. He will look for metal in the oil filter, in the drain pan, on and on.
     
  8. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    19,144
    Location:
    Husker Nation, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Geico
    Hours on the mags, for one. Might not be a bad idea to have him open them up.
     
  9. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Messages:
    1,216
    Location:
    FDK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pedals2Paddles
    OK. We're planning on this being an extensive and expensive annual. And this is a very respected and thorough A&P doing it. So I'm sure we'll get all kinds of good intel.

    But admittedly, I am planning ahead. If nothing bombs the prebuy, i am thinking ahead about it. What we could and should do to have a good shot at a long life from this thing. I'm sure sitting for 7 years messes things up. I want them to get better, not worse. And know how to recognize things getting worse. Beyond today.
     
  10. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    19,144
    Location:
    Husker Nation, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Geico
    Its a crap shoot unless you look at the can for rust. I wouldn't look past the pre-buy. Never tell in love with a plane before you buy it.
     
  11. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    4,327
    Location:
    Baltimore md.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim cooper
    How about a 180 cessna that sat in an U n heated hangar, concrete floor, for over 25 years. Widow finally sold it. Mechanic carefully went over it, put some wd40 in the cylinders, fired it up. Ran great. Bores coped it, good compression , put a new cs prop on it, flew it. Now hauling jumpers! New owner paid forty grand for it. Not an everyday occurrence but one never knows!
     
  12. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Messages:
    1,216
    Location:
    FDK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pedals2Paddles
    Got it. I will curb my enthusiasm until the prebuy and mechanic's findings are in. Jim, we're hoping this turns into that miracle baby. Hoping, not planning or expecting!
     
  13. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    14,473
    Location:
    mass fla
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ron keating
    Go for a borescope on the cylinders,also compression check. Would also get an oil analysis.
     
  14. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    10,506
    Location:
    Maryland
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Check_my_Six
    even after you've paid the $7,000 annual at Landmark....it's still a crap shoot till it runs for another 30-50 hrs and an oil analysis with filter exam is done.
     
  15. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,968
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Why? we already know what he will see.

    If I were the inspector doing the annual, knowing it has sat a long period here is what I'd do.

    1 Pull all the top plugs find which cylinder is coming up on compression, and pour a 1/2 qt of stoddard solvent in the top plug hole, and replace the top plug. then gently bring that cylinder up to compress the solvent allowing it to flush the rust out of the rings and into the sump. continue to do all cylinders. Then change oil with a flushing of the sump.

    The Iron oxide that was scraped from cylinders is now trapped between the rings and is a very good abrasive, and if left there it will ruin the engine.
     
  16. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,481
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    Put fresh oil and filter on, run it hard for 10 hours, change the oil, send it in for analysis, and cut open the filter. Repeat in 20 hours and see what is happening. Not until then will you have the data to form a plan.
     
  17. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Messages:
    1,216
    Location:
    FDK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pedals2Paddles
    OK. We'll be watching the oil and compression regularly, and with great detail!



    Thank you. I will speak to our A&P about doing this... presuming we get passed the prebuy. I suspect this is why we're told starting and running it is worse than just letting it sit.
     
  18. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,968
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    What IF its got chrome cylinders?
     
  19. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,968
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    There may be nothing wrong with it, it really depends upon how long it was ran and how often.
     
  20. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,481
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    Same, reseating rings is the same whether the ring or cylinder is getting the lapping.
     
  21. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Messages:
    8,496
    Location:
    Other side of the world
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rotor&Wing
    Hey, I watch these reality TV programs where they find a car or motorbike that's been in a barn for 50-60 years, they pull it outside, put some gas in it and it starts up and runs just fine. :rolleyes:

    Nothing to it! :wink2:
     
  22. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    12,611
    Location:
    DXO124009
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Light and Sporty Guy
    This airplane last flew during the late '70s or early '80s. The owner would install the battery every spring and in the fall, fire it up, taxi around the hangars, change the oil, take the battery out and that would be it. Until last year.
     
  23. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,968
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Lapping,, as in wearing it out.

    and why would it require reseating?
     
  24. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,481
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    Because the surface will have a layer of oxide on it that needs to be worn off to provide a good seal. If those conditions don't exist, then it doesn't matter and one would still be well off to do what I said, the checks will show that you're in fine shape. Lapping isn't "wearing out", it is a controlled removal of 'worn out' material that is no longer suitable for the requirements. For the most part in our engines this is a self regulating natural wear process with oil and fuel keeping things clean, sealed, and lubricated.
     
  25. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,968
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Rust in a cylinder is pitting, to lapp the pit out, you wear the cylinder out.
     
  26. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,481
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    You don't get rid of the pit, you don't have to, you just lap off the high spots, the oil film fills in the low spots to seal the rings. Do you lose some life span? A bit, but not to a destructive fault either. As far as this goes it makes no difference to use Stoddard solvent or not. If I would do a solvent flush, I would do it after I collected the oil sample at 10hrs to flush what remaining sediment there is out of the rings and sump.
     
  27. etemplet

    etemplet Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Messages:
    141
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    etemplet
    Run away quickly. Buy a good plane with a good engine that has been flown regularly within reason.
     
  28. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,968
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    The high spots you mention is the iron oxide that the rings have already removed and trapped between each ring.

    If these cylinders had sat on a shelf and rusted, I'd be all for a hone job prior to being installed.

    But NO, these are already installed. flush them and go for it.
     
  29. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,968
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    What happens to that oil when its above the piston on the power stroke?

    It burns, leaving a hard carbon deposit in the pit to be polished by the next passing of the rings. The Pit is no problem. the grinding media made from oil and iron oxide is the danger it will ruin the piston, rings and cylinder wall.
     
  30. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,481
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    Yep, and it flushes away as the engine runs. You can rinse it with solvent first, but you'll be a lot more effective to run it first for a bit before you do.
     
  31. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,968
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    The OP's engine has already been run.
     
  32. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,968
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Not as fast as you'd like to think.