So.....would you pay extra for Nikasil cylinders?

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Checkout_my_Six, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    I'm in the process of having some cylinders reworked and have the option of having my cylinders brought back to standard dimensions.....and can either have Channel Chrome or a Nikasil coating.

    For about what amounts to a $400 total cost.....to have a Nikasil coating applied to all the cylinders.

    Is it worth it?......I'm thinking not.

    Performance-wise the Nikasil's are easier to break in and perform more like conventional steel cylinders. Chrome takes longer to break in and can use more oil.....which can be a negative for some who don't understand "where" the oil is going.

    Also, CermiNil is the ECi brand name for a similar coating. Nikasil coatings are very common in the racing world and the air-cooled aluminum Porsche engines love em.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  2. charlie

    charlie Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Chrome is history! Is the $400 worth the risk when you are spending $7K or more. What engine/airplane do you have. Chrome works better on some installations than others. Charlie Melot
     
  3. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    $400 maybe a low cost investment....if they hold up more than a few hundred hours and has good resale sparkle should I need to sell.

    This is going into my Bo...TSIO-520D. I see where a guy on the Beechtalk board had some issues....but everyone seemed to think it was detonation and not the materials.

    I'm not spending $7K....since this is a DIY job, But, bout half that. :D
     
  4. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    Is it worth it to replace the cylinders with "reworked" rather than new? the admittedly limited experience I had with reworked convinced me to buy new the next go around.
     
  5. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    Lessee.....$450 per cylinder to replate cylinder walls, port polish, new piston & rings, and redo valves....vs....$2,000 for new?

    depends.....I'm an A&P/IA...so, yes it's very worth it to me. ;)
     
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  6. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    So you're doing all the machine work yourself and just subbing out the plating? Seems like a pretty low cost to rework each cylinder or there really wasn't much wrong with them to begin with. Most of the cylinders I've sent in are so far gone and new cylinder kits are so cheap it doesn't make a cylinder repair economically viable.

    Back to the original question. As far as I know, the motorcycle/ATV industry shifted away from chrome plating back in the '70s or early '80s toward nikasil. The claim I always heard there was that the chrome really wouldn't hold oil and the nikasil was better at keeping the oil where it needed to be. That tracks with what the aviation industry seems to have observed with the old chrome cylinders (oil consumption, blowby, etc.) vs. the newer cylinder finishes. If it were me I'd go for the nikasil, hoping that it cuts down on the problems normally associated with chrome bores.

    As a side note, if you go this direction you might consider doing some investigation into proper cylinder and ring prep to promote good break in. I know that what Suzuki recommends for preparation and break in for my current motorcycle is quite different than the generally accepted practices used in the aviation industry. I'm not advocating a deviation from the aviation practices but it is something worth noting, investigating, and making an educated decision on.
     
  7. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    All I've gathered on the Nikasil break in is .....it's very easy and fast. The last process of the plating involves a special "hone" which is a diamond cross hatch cut. This cut assures a fast ring break in.

    It all sounds positive so far....
     
  8. BiffJ

    BiffJ Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I put nikasil ECI cylinders in my O-320 and break in time was really fast. On the first or second time around the pattern I'd see the cyl head temp climbing, plateau and then drop down to what I'm used to seeing in my plane. Oil consumption was much lower than I'd ever seen in chrome cylinders and compared to the cylinders I replaced (chromed) the consumption dropped to about what I'd expect of a broken in engine. This occurred in the first hour of running compared to 15-30 hours with chrome. I think the nikasil is worth it though in real life I think you'll have more issues with guides, valves, seats and heads then you will wearing out the cylinder bore so nitrided may not be a bad thing either.

    Frank
     
  9. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    I've seen Chrome cylinders take 3 sets of iron rings to break in and stop using oil.
    YMMV
     
  10. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Cleared for Takeoff

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    These days when motorcycles can get 100K miles on a set of cylinders/pistons/rings with nikasil, I see no reason why anyone would use chrome.
     
  11. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    that does it.....I'm goin with the Nikasil. ;)
     
  12. CMongoose

    CMongoose Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have an aversion to the name because of Jaguars failure with it in the late 90s, but I think that was down to high sulphur level in the fuel. Curious to know how it goes.
     
  13. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    well....I'm just gonna call em....Nickel coated.

    not CermiNil, not Nikasil, or not any of the other trade names associated with the similar Nickel coating. :D
     
  14. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    Don't be fooled by the inferior coatings NiC3, CermiNil, or Nikasil, instead use VAGasil!
     
  15. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    now....that sounds like one of those LOP....lean forward solutions. ;)
     
  16. arnoha

    arnoha Cleared for Takeoff

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    Well, call 'em silicon carbide. The nickel is gone after break-in. ;)
     
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  17. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Line Up and Wait

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    Good choice!
     
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  18. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    Nikarama label.jpg so Tom....how would you log this? :eek:
     
  19. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    I replaced all six of the original TCM cylinders on my O-300 with ECi Titan CermiNil cylinders, and have been very pleased with them for over 700 hours. The decision was made after two stuck exhaust valves in two different cylinders causing some loss of power and teeth rattling vibration while in cruise, and because the airplane (a 1963 127D) sat for weeks at a time when I was traveling internationally for work. The CermiNil provides superior protection against wear and rusty cylinder walls, and unlike the TCM O-300 cylinders the ECi cylinders rotate the exhaust valve stems a few degrees every time the valve opens and closes, preventing the carbon buildup in the valve guides that causes the valve sticking.
     
  20. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    So....here is the final project. Gonna fly her tomorrow.

    I did the Nikasil and the project cost almost $7k with me doing most of the work. But, as you can see much of what was done is now new. :D
     

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    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
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  21. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    here's the before....that got this whole thing going.
     

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  22. maj75

    maj75 Filing Flight Plan

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    Nice work! Shows real pride of ownership. I love how clean that engine compartment is. I try to clean anything I touch during a repair. I hate working on messy/oily parts and refuse to put dirty parts back on.
     
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  23. weirdjim

    weirdjim En-Route

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    I'll bet your wife appreciates that. {;-)

    Jim
     
  24. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    Thanks!!
    It took a bit extra to get things cleaned and painted but figured I’ll never have it out again so might as well. I’m happy with the results.
     
  25. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Whoa buddy, that's not the same airplane; can't fool us!

    Nice job.
     
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  26. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Looks good.
     
  27. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Looking nice, good luck on the test flight. What was the total downtime?
     
  28. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    meh....I putz'd around. Looks like I started pulling jugs around June last year....so, almost a year. It's been a cold spring....and I wasn't in a hurry to work in the cold hangar. I also wanted to do the engine bay nice....so, that took some time. I'm one that can do one thing at a time...so, It's all good.
     
  29. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    When ever I say that I'm back in there in a week. So I tend to leave a bit of grime for luck