Oil Change by A&P vs Owner

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Mooney Fan, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I used to do all the oil changes on my Cherokee. It was easy. On the Mooney it's a downright pain, and the damn screws never seem to go back in the way they came out. The mechanics make less than me, so they can do it.
     
  2. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    You must not have a filter. It's a pain on my C model, but once you learn how to wrangle the safety wire in the tiny space, it's no big deal.
     
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  3. Geosync

    Geosync Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you can afford the A&P oil change every time then great. But I don't think it makes a difference. If you're lifestyle allows to do it all yourself then that's just fine too. I'm an A&P but fly for a company. When I started I thought I'd do all the maintenance on the aircraft assigned to our office, but I was told that since it's not why they hired me, they rather I take it to a shop instead so my time isn't wasted on that. So I do some oil changes and minor maintenance, but I found that I don't want to spend my weekends wrenching when I got young kids at home. If I didn't have kids and a wife who works weekends, I'd live in the hangar and sleep in the airplane, but i don't feel guilty at all having another shop do most of the work.
     
  4. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I have an oil filter, and yes the safety wire is a bit of a pain. Most of the pain is getting the cowlings on and off. Hundreds of screws, and like I said they don't seem to go back in the way they came out. Royal pain the six I'd rather pawn off on someone else. Life is too short.
     
  5. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Removing the side and top cowling from mine takes about 15 minutes. :confused: It's less than 30 screws, and all but 6 of them are fasteners that are held in place and you don't even have to keep track of them. A full oil change takes me less than an hour not counting letting it drain (I'm doing other stuff during drain anyway)
     
  6. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    The Cherokee just had some fasteners, you didn't even have to unscrew anything. And of course lots of room to safety wire the oil filter. I could get past the scrapped knuckles getting to the oil filter, but it takes forever to get all the damn screws in and out. I'll pay the mechanic.
     
  7. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    Maybe, but in my case that does not apply.
     
  8. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The important thing is that the log book entries are properly done.





    There is nothing like well written historical fiction...
     
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  9. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    and....and....with a sticker.....o_O
     
  10. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer En-Route

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    I'm a big fan of the Saf-Air oil drain valves. Changing oil & filter is possible on the RV-9A with only top cowling removed, but the reality is that I remove the bottom cowling at 50 hour intervals anyhow to check things over. It does reduce the mess quite a bit, and nice to not have to safety-wire a drain plug every time.

    drain.jpg
     
  11. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Drains too slow, this allow the sediments to settle, causing a cake layer to form, and any metal won't show.
     
  12. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    yup....drains like an old man. :D
     
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  13. Snowmass

    Snowmass Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Don't for get that $62.50/hour is tax free and every additional dollar you need to earn to pay someone is taxed at your top tax bracket. FICA 16% + state tax bracket + federal tax bracket. You can get close a to a combined tax bracket of almost 50%.
     
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  14. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pattern Altitude

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    In my younger day I was flying a Cessna 401 for aerial mapping. Per my cheap boss (glad he was because I learned a ton) I was changing the oil before a long trip and noticed a leak from the turbo arcing/cutting into the firewall. Directly behind the firewall was a fuel line. By the mechanics estimation, it had made it about 3/4 of the way thru. Had I not been changing the oil/looking closely without the cowling...who knows.

    I enjoy pulling my cowls twice a year, making sure the engines are just flown/hot, inspecting very closely between annuals, taking an oil sample in the middle, cutting and inspecting my own filters, etc. Not suggesting I don’t trust my shop, I do and they can have at it during annual, just nice having my own eyes on things.

    It’ll never matter how much I make or have in the bank. To each their own.
     
  15. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    yes....and some have no business with a screw driver in their hands.:D
     
  16. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I've run into more than one person that didn't know which end to pound with...
     
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  17. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    You don't pound with a screwdriver. Not how its used. It is true that every tool is a hammer, except for a screwdriver, which is a chisel.
     
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  18. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    Many years ago in high school wood shop there was a dude name Kurt who did not like using screwdrivers. It got so that whenever any of my classmates wanted a hammer we would ask for "Kurt's screwdriver".
     
  19. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It's dual purpose - one end is a chisel/pry bar, the other is a hammer. :)
     
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  20. Hunt-man

    Hunt-man Pre-Flight

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    Wouldn't metal still be present in the oil filter when it is cut open and examined?
     
  21. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Lots engines don't have filters, the largest the pieces in the oil will drop quickly
     
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  22. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer En-Route

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    The metal I'm worried about will show up in the filter and/or suction screen.

    It drains pretty quickly when you warm the engine up first...which I do. And as it's draining, I'm taking off the old filter, installing the new one, and securing it with safety wire.
     
  23. Hunt-man

    Hunt-man Pre-Flight

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    I run the Tempest filters, with the magnet. But I have a quick drain that drains slowly. I also do oil analysis that are all returning good.

    Should I pull the quick drain?
     
  24. flight2000

    flight2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Are you warming the engine oil first by flying or just going to the hangar and draining when its still cold? Warming the oil will allow the oil to flow a lot faster as has been mentioned in this thread already. Personally, I make two to three trips around the pattern and then drain the oil for the change (it flows really easily out of my O360's that way). I also have the quick drains installed and have had them on both of my previous airplanes, I certainly wouldn't vote to get rid of them. Makes life so much easier and less messy...;)

    Second question that's related to above, are you following the recommended sampling procedures. Blackstone Labs recommends running the engine to get the oil up to operating temps and then let it cool a little before pulling.

    https://www.blackstone-labs.com/information/sampling-procedures/aircraft-sampling/

    If you're doing all that, maybe the quick drain isn't opening all the way or you have a partial blockage?

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  25. Hunt-man

    Hunt-man Pre-Flight

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    Yes I fly it and warm it up first.
    It drains fine just a lot slower than pulling a large drain plug.

    IO-540. FYI
     
  26. Snowmass

    Snowmass Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Do you include income taxes at your marginal rate? 16% FICA + 4% AZ state + 30% Federal means one needs to earn two dollars here to keep one dollar for the mechanic. I did my last major OH for $14k but I would need to earn over $60k for a shop to do it.
     
  27. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    I've done many oil changes on O-360 equipped planes. I always did them at the end of the day right after engine shut down. Using a quick drain, everything would be empty in the time it took to change the filter, no more than 10 minutes typically. I tried draining the oil out of cold O-360 once. It took hours.
     
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  28. flight2000

    flight2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's odd, wonder if there isn't something blocking the port that's slowing it down. My previous IO520 would drain pretty quickly. Might be able to have a mechanic take the quick drain plug out during the next change and see if something isn't blocking the path or if it's just really slow...at least then you'll know for sure.
     
  29. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    I was getting lunch the other day, and decided I wanted a hamburger. So I got my calculator out, and all of my tax information and did some computations, then I figured out that it would be cheaper to go to a fast food place and order rather than buy and prepare myself. :rolleyes:
     
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  30. Hunt-man

    Hunt-man Pre-Flight

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    About 10 minutes for me as well.

    Yeah maybe it's worth looking at the next chang .