Thoughts on a cracked case

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by ItsACardinalRG, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. ItsACardinalRG

    ItsACardinalRG Filing Flight Plan

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    My Cessna Cardinal started leaking oil. I had it checked and they found a crack about 3 - 4 inches long on the right side of the case below the front cylinder. I'm getting an estimate of $15k - $18k--remove the engine, strip it down, weld the case if they can (around $15k plus tax), otherwise replace the case (around $18k plus tax), reassemble and remount the engine. I'm choking on $20K with tax for a cracked case that will still leave me with a 1100 hour engine. The compressions are stellar and it runs well other than the crack. This is the Seattle area and everything is always more expensive but this sounds really high to me. Thoughts?
     
  2. SbestCFII

    SbestCFII Line Up and Wait

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    Get a reman. You're spending 18k for the repair and still have an engine with X hours SMOH. Just gat a reman or factory overhaul. It'll cost a little more but will increase the value of your plane.
     
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  3. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    No way I'd go for the repaired case at $15K - too high, and very close to the replacement case (I presume that is used, yellow tagged)
    And, yes we need to know
    -what run is the current engine on
    -price of a reman
     
  4. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Seattle, where?
     
  5. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    By the time you disassemble all of that stuff, you might as well send it out to get it inspected, ground, whatever, and reassemble as an overhauled bottom end. The only thing left to do at that point is install 4 new cylinders and you have a major OH.
     
  6. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    Once you split the case you have to seriously consider biting the bullet and just making it a MOH. What sent me over the edge was a spalling cam with 1600+ hours, discovered when pulling a cylinder with step wear on the cylinder wall. Once the case was split, I discovered the crank was not so hot, either, so there was little reason not to just do the whole thing and go to 0 hours SMOH. Painful, but a good decision in retrospect. Just a little earlier than I planned, and a blessing, I suppose, to find out the bottom end was past its expiration date.
     
  7. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    sounds high for a case. id do some more shopping. if thats the market rate for case repair, case cracks are automatic major overhauls then. my engine went thru a case repair, it wasnt overhauled. they took the opportunity to refresh and upgrade certain bottom end components, but in the end it was an IRAN. i didnt see the invoices (previous owner) but i assume it clearly wasnt higher than a MOH. So i remain skeptical of the competitivenes of this pricing quote. good luck OP.
     
  8. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well, YMMV, but I successfully repaired the cracked block on the Chevy 350 in my boat last year with JB Weld. Cost me about $5 said and done.
     
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  9. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    yup. facetiousness aside, EAB FTW. you can slap an experimental lycoming clone for less than the repair quote.
     
  10. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    You forgot the $3 for the rattle can of gold paint to cover up the JB Weld if your doing it on an airplane. :)
     
  11. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    You know, I would be suspicious of the detective who first found it, they crack cases all the time...
     
  12. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    New case, screw that welded crap.

    They won't fix or replace any of the parts that get damaged at the next event.
     
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  13. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Whoa!!, had to stop and think about this post for a little while, nicely done.
     
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  14. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I repaired a cracked transaxle case on a 1984 Honda with JB Weld as well. It is amazing stuff.
     
  15. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Been there done that. I think we cracked a case maybe 3-4 years ago on an engine that had something like 14-1500 hours - I don't remember the exact numbers but it was below TBO. Not sure what caused it but you do NOT want to keep flying it and I'd probably go for the reman from a reputable shop...
     
  16. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    You might check with AirPower, but I believe Lycoming will accept your core as exchange on an overhauled engine without penalty.
     
  17. ItsACardinalRG

    ItsACardinalRG Filing Flight Plan

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    Lots of great replies. I was leaning toward a reman. At the least, It'll add $15k to the value of the plane which will take the edge off of the total cost.
     
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  18. ItsACardinalRG

    ItsACardinalRG Filing Flight Plan

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    My plane is hangared at Harvey Airfield, S43. That's where I got the quote. I've also used Ace Aviation in Renton, although they were pretty expensive. Anybody got thoughts on a shop that can handle the overhaul north or east of Seattle? The folks at Harvey have a backlog of overhauls in front of me. If I wait for them, I could be down until mid-summer and that's not going to work.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  19. ItsACardinalRG

    ItsACardinalRG Filing Flight Plan

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    Harvey Airfield.
     
  20. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    long drive for me.
    Would you fly it to OKH?
    Plan would be swap it out with another engine (new or used)
     
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  21. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Another option,, Fly it to Bayview and use Vertex Aviation. I don't know how busy Lynn is but he's a good wrench. And he will work with ya.
     
  22. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Welding is fine for cars and boats, and sealing oil leaks, but for structural integrity on a plane engine, screw that. For some good reason, that part of the case was weak enough and the force of something was great enough, and the conditions right enough, to cause a crack. Given a choice, I’m paying more for greater assurance that stuff will stay together.

    Oh, and by the way, I don’t care that the weld is stronger than the case...In case somebody was going to tell me that, LOL.:D
     
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  23. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    In the 1980s I did a lot of welding on cast iron and aluminum. The weld metal doesn't fail; it's the transition zone where the new metal meets the old that is the critical place, and it fails easily if it's not done right.

    Better to replace the case or get an overhauled engine. Many years ago they used to weld cracks in Lycoming cylinder heads, too; didn't work so well.
     
  24. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I'll agree with going with a reman, and would highly suggest talking to Lycoming to see what they offer in such a case (pun intended) compared to other shops. They normally don't care if your case is cracked, whereas most shops will upcharge you if it is.

    Cracked cases happen quite a bit. It's just the nature of how the engines are designed (to be as light as possible) and the stresses that are put on them. Cases have been beefed up from the factory over time to reduce the number of cracks that occur, but they still happen. Nothing you can do besides replace the case. It happens on Continentals, too.
     
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  25. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    I had this happen, it was by the alternator, never realized it until I did the overhaul, I put about 700 hours on it, I was told leaks are just the norm for aviation engines. 3 different shops inspected the engine and never found the crack.


    Tom
     
  26. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    Hush your dirty mouth!
     
  27. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne Final Approach

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    Quit with the negative waves, man.
    I think Tom has it. Scour the classifieds and network for a good used replacement would be the least expensive way out. Maybe consider a low time prop strike that dials out good, do an IRAN with your known good crank and sell off the surplus parts. May not be economical unless you can steal the thing.
     
  28. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Those of you who don't like welded cases, never buy a factory rebuilt, or any other rebuilt engine. a large portion are welded in the overhaul process.
     
  29. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Wentworth has an IO360-A1B6 ready to go. I didn't call to get price, or history of the engine, but they guarantee all the engines they sell,
     
  30. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne Final Approach

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    Quit with the negative waves, man.
    Proper pre-heat and cool down goes a long way toward mitigating a lot of that sort of thing. The technology has changed a lot over the years, not as big a problem as it once was.
     
  31. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    Jugs > Cams
     
  32. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    A Cardinal RG with a factory reman would be a wonderful thing. Considering the health of the used aircraft market, in the coming years the amount of money the engine adds to the value of the plane will almost certainly increase.
     
  33. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Only counts when you have the money to do it now.
     
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  34. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Ya just have ta know, it is the new cases that are cracking. Welding relieves the problem.
     
  35. weirdjim

    weirdjim Ejection Handle Pulled

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    No sir, I'm not going to tell you that. I'm simply going to tell you that whatever the minute stresses were on the case from the manufacturer, the case metal settled out those differences as a crack(s). Now that you have an unstressed case, my opinion is that if you gently weld the case, you have a much less stressed case than you did before. Much less likely to crack in the future. I only had two semesters of metallurgy in my college curriculum, but I do remember stress relief expressing itself as cracks over time.

    Also, I am not an engine expert, but as i recall, a case weld can be done in situ ... that is, without removing the engine from the airframe. i don't care for unlearned opinions, but I will listen to anybody that can quote me chapter and verse about the legalities (and even more the practicalities) of welding cases without removing them from the airframe.

    Thanks,

    Jim
     
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  36. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    You're mixing reman and overhaul. They aren't the same thing. If you go reman remember your core value will be reduced because of the cracked case.

    There's no reason to fear a properly welded case. If Divco is willing to repair a case by welding? I have no problem with it. Been there, done that.
     
  37. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Something you gotta know, welding a case is a major repair, you must have approved data to do it...
     
  38. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  39. weirdjim

    weirdjim Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I don't see that in the regs. Perhaps I missed it. For my education, point me to chapter and verse as to where this is a major repair. And then point me to where there is a requirement for approved data/procedures to do so.

    Thanks,

    Jim
     
  40. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    It starts in 43-A, welding on any engine structure isa major repair. You must have some approval to do the repair, unless you are a Certified repair Station with a FAA approved repair procedure you'll not get a Field approval.

    FAR 43-A
    (2) Powerplant major repairs. Repairs of the following parts of an engine and repairs of the following types, are powerplant major repairs:


    (iii) Special repairs to structural engine parts by welding, plating, metalizing, or other methods.