Engineer Ted's How to Make Your Engine Last (ground)

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Ted DuPuis, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    Ted,
    Have heard many arguments for straight weight over multi weight. Thoughts?
     
  2. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    The typical argument states that multi-weight oils are bad for planes that sit for long periods of time. The theory is that, being a thinner oil, they won't provide as thick of a film on internal components and provide less protection.

    Conversely, multi-weight oils are better for cold starts, since they will make their way through the oil system quicker, meaning that your expensive internal components aren't subjected to as much time without oil.

    Given what I've seen/read regarding varying oils and corrosive protection, it seems that multi-weight oils can do the job just fine of corrosion protection, provided you pick the right one. It doesn't take much of an oil film to protect against corrosion. You also live in Ohio where we have cold temperatures in the winter. As such, I think you're better off with the cold-start benefits of a multi-weight oil. Just pick one that is going to give you better corrosion protection, and that's a good compromise.
     
  3. tmyers

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    Would that be the oils with the corrosion protection built in and if you use one of them do you still suggest the cam guard additive?
     
  4. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Either oil that have better corrosion protection or else oils without as good protection, plus CamGuard. Since you have a Lycoming, you don't have to worry about starter adapter issues.

    Adding CamGuard to the "better" oils certainly won't hurt anything. I'm not sure if it will really help, but they claim it will (no surprise). So if you want to spend the money, go for it. It might help.
     
  5. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    Since I have a case or 40w in the hanger I will probably use it for the oil change this month. I will get some multi for the next oil change. Any problems if I use up some of the straight weight inbeteen changes? My Lyc uses about one quart per 15 hrs.
     
  6. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    No problems using straight between changes. I did that regularly in the Aztec.
     
  7. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    Do you have a personal preference on a multi?
     
  8. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    As I've said in the thread, I think for Lycomings it doesn't seem to make a huge difference. I typically used Exxon Elite in the Aztec and it seemed to perform well. Philips XC has poor corrosion protection compared to Exxon Elite, but it's cheap enough that when you pay for the CamGuard additive, it comes out to about the same price as Exxon.
     
  9. JimGibbs

    JimGibbs Filing Flight Plan

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    You mentioned NOT using the red dragon style heating method (basically cooking from the outside) What do you think about the oil heater options? The heating pads that are glued to the oil pans. There is one sold by Spruce for $75. What are your thoughts on the oil dip stick heaters? Sporty's has one for $50.
     
  10. JoeSelch

    JoeSelch Pattern Altitude

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    I'm considering the 60-watt light bulb solution - with blanket and cowl plugs.
    My hangar seldom gets below 40*. Maybe to 30* given a terrible cold spell. And, cold-weather overnight travel has yet to become part of my repertoire.

    I have an O-320-H2AD and sump heater options appear to be "limited"
     
  11. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    This is basically half of what you get with a Tanis/Reiff system. I view it as better than nothing (especially if accompanied by a sleeping bag), although not ideal. With a sleeping bag, you'll manage to get heat to stay within the engine compartment pretty well.
     
  12. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Oh my, the dreaded H2AD. Nobody could ever figure out why one would name an engine "AD." ;)

    The only real issue I have with the 60-watt bulb option is that it does create a potential fire hazard when your H2AD leaks oil. The heaters that are designed to be heaters don't get nearly as hot as the 60-watt bulb does.

    But, I know lots of people who've used the light bulb option, and I don't think any have had a fire. It's just not what I would do.
     
  13. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't think they're a great idea... Here's why:

    I started a thread about this earlier in the winter, and came to the conclusion that, while expensive, there really is no substitute for a good engine heater. So, I purchased a Reiff standard system, and it stays plugged in all the time with a nice set of cowl plugs and a blanket to help keep the heat in. Works wonderfully - Starts are way easier, oil temp is well over 100ยบ before I even crank (rather than having to wait for it to hit 100 prior to runup in accordance with the engine manual) and it's a heckuva lot cheaper than a winter's worth of FBO preheats.
     
  14. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Good points, Kent, but if you don't leave the heater on all the time, cover with a blanket, etc., you've probably mitigated most of those concerns.
     
  15. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It sounds like from the recent threads we've had about oils, that the following is roughly true:

    Phillips XC: Your basic oil.
    Aeroshell: Your basic oil, plus the Lycoming required additives.
    Exxon Elite: Your basic oil, plus CamGuard, without the Lycoming additives.

    True? If this is the case, it sounds like Continentals would be best with the Exxon Elite to avoid the problems that the Lyc additives cause with Conti starter adapters, while the Lycomings would be best with Aeroshell plus CamGuard or Exxon Elite plus the Lyc additives?
     
  16. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I had thought Exxon Elite had the Lycoming additive in it, at least last I checked. A view of Exxon's website says it does contain the anti-scuffing LW-16702 additive in it. So, seems Continentals are best served by Phillips + CamGuard.
     
  17. Alexb2000

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    In my turbo charged Lycoming 540 I use Phillips X/C 20/50. I would spring for the Exxon elite if I didn't fly so much. Right now I change my oil about 6 times a year, so not much chance of corrosion. Good or bad thinking?
     
  18. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Depends on how long your plane sits. I'm guessing if you say you're changing your oil 6 times a year, that means you're flying about 300 hours per year, or roughly an hour a day. Of course, flying the 310 200 hours a year could mean only doing one trip a month if that trip is 20 hours (and most of our trips with it have been in the range of 15 or so). From what I've seen, Philips offers about zero corrosion protection, with visible corrosion in a very high humidity environment in about 4 days.

    What's the difference in cost between using Philips and Exxon in an oil change? $10-20? How much do you spend on fuel and MX in that same time period? :)

    That said, I used pretty much every oil imaginable on the Aztec in the 4 years and 1000 hours I owned it (primarily Exxon Elite, though). I never had any corrosion issues that ever manifested as a problem, but for the first three years it was flying 300 hours a year, and pretty much every weekend.
     
  19. Alexb2000

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    I started using X/C because three different shops told me as much as I fly I don't need to use Elite. They swore that corrosion wouldn't be an issue for me. However, I see your logic, what's another $120 a year. Unless you suggest otherwise I'm going to start using Exxon Elite. I plan to take a couple more trips to the Caribbean this spring where the motor will sit for a week in that climate, so I might as well.
     
  20. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I think they may very well be right that corrosion won't be an issue for you. But, $120/yr (or figure roughly $800-$1,000 over the life of your engine) isn't much of an expense for the extra peace-of mind. I mostly put Exxon Elite in the Aztec, and when I used a different oil it was typically because Exxon wasn't available. The 310 is different because of the starter adapter question.
     
  21. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What are you using now?
     
  22. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Philips + CamGuard.
     
  23. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    I use Phillips X/C plus Camguard in the Flybaby as well.
     
  24. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, that's what I figured... I'll move to that on the next change in the Mooney too. The plane's had Aeroshell for its entire life (15-50 and 100+). No starter adapter problems yet, but no sense inviting them either.
     
  25. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Camguard is pretty much what Exxon was originally going to put in Elite but the bean counters decided it would make the oil too expensive. Instead they went with an additive package similar to what Aeroshell uses. IIRC, Elite is also part synthetic, something that the Camguard developer insists has no advantages in air cooled aircraft engines.

    FWIW, I use Phillips XC plus Camguard.
     
  26. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    That was my understanding as well. Thanks, Lance.
     
  27. Alexb2000

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    I just noticed that the Camguard site says Turbocharged engine acceptance pending. I noticed the same thing in an article on Aviation Consumer from 2008. Any idea what's going on with that?
     
  28. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I hadn't noticed that, good catch. Probably has to do with the extra heat in the turbo. Lance might know more.

    In your case, I wouldn't think there to be much benefit to CamGuard. The primary benefit seems to be for those who use oils without as good corrosion protection, and if you're switching to Exxon, you've got that taken care of.
     
  29. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    Have you started the thread yet?
     
  30. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I'm most of the way through writing it. As you might imagine, it's rather long. I'm also debating where I want to draw the line as far as how much detail I go into. I have it mostly done and will probably post it within the next week or so at an appropriate time.
     
  31. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Just a reminder that winter is coming. If you haven't looked at switching to multi-weight oil and installing a pre-heater yet, start thinking!
     
  32. AggieMike88

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    Ted,

    The club I am with has a kerosene "torpedo" heater with some added ducting and flexible silver hvac tube. Aircraft is a C182P

    What are some tips for when to use and how to properly use (placement, length of heating time, etc)?
     
  33. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yup. And since I still have the Mooney in my possession, I am REALLY glad I got the Reiff installed last winter. No worries this time around... And it's getting to be plug-in season! (As soon as she's out of the avionics shop... Sigh.)

    Also, time to pull the top cowling off and install the oil cooler restrictor plate!
     
  34. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Well, the best recommendation is to get a better heater. :)

    I'll be honest, I don't use them because I've seen too many issues, so I'm not a good person to ask about the finer points. In Dallas it doesn't get very cold, though, so it's less of a big deal.
     
  35. Alexb2000

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    The hot ticket IMO is a cellular switch box to control the heater. Worth the couple of hundred just for the reduced hassle.
     
  36. Skylane81E

    Skylane81E Final Approach

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    Makes me wonder about the practicality of using google calendar or a similar program to enter your planed flights and have the computer send the signal to activate the heater at x hours before planned departure...
     
  37. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  38. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    Not sure if this is on the list of bad heating methods as 1: it uses a timer and 2: it looks somewhat similar to a red dragon, but I use a homemade system just like the one here:
    http://www.aroundthepattern.com/aircraft-maintenance/aircraft-engine-pre-heat/

    It was dirt cheap to make with a simple space heater and some flex ducting. It warms the entire engine compartment VERY well. I schedule the timer to start hours before I intend to start the plane so the core of the motor is well warmed.

    [​IMG]
     
  39. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne En-Route

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    I think I'm going to do something lke the above, but put it on a thermostatic switch that will start it anytime it's below 50 deg in the hangar, along with a cowl blanket and prop cover. Should keep both top and bottom end warm, and keep the crank from getting cold-soaked.
     
  40. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    If the WiFi in the terminal building would reach out to my hangar (I don't think it does) I'd be interested in a WiFi one. The cellular ones require a Sim card of some sort, don't they?

    I don't see an issue with that so long as it gets several hours to warm up as far as the engine's concerned. The amount of heat it would produce would be at a much slower rate than what you'd get out of a Red Dragon or equivalent, so that's doing what you want it to. Probably not as easy when you're traveling, but if it works, there you go. I'd personally not want to leave a space heater unattended, but that's just me.

    Just don't do it this way:

    The temperature-controlled switch is a bad idea. That will end up cycling your engine's temperature up and down, and build condensation in it, leading to corrosion.