Used Engine?

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Arnold, Mar 4, 2021.

  1. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    This painful. Lady Luscombe's powerplant sprung an oil leak last labor day. I got her on the ground at an airport before she seized and was hoping that the engine was salvageable. Once again demonstrating the futility of hope.

    The cylinders seem to have escaped unscathed - which is good since they were 27 hour old milleniums. The crank is trash. After more than a month I've not heard from the shop on the other steel parts. The case needs work which will cost me $800.

    I found a 627 hour engine at a reasonable price. But no logs to show overhaul (if any) history. Cylinders have not been bored, so this may be first run. History, it came out of a cub that was upgraded to bigger engine. Pics look pretty good to me and a mechanic. Maybe one cam lobe anomaly but that could be photo noise.

    Engine 1.jpg Engine 2.jpg Engine 3..jpg Engine 1.jpg Engine 2.jpg Engine 3..jpg Engine 4.jpg Engine 5.jpg Engine 6.jpg

    The engine rebuilder is pushing back, wants to rebuild the old engine. Doesn't like the idea of putting the new cylinders on the old case. And suggests 10.5K to 12K for the work (including parts) but won't provide a written estimate.

    So three questions: A) If I do a visual inspection of the engine including wiggling rods and turning the turny things, why not buy if the price is right? 2) Should I tell the rebuild shop to give me my parts back and find another shop? iii) If I find another shop - who? where? I am aware that I only need a Powerplant mechanic to sign off the engine re-assembly.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I'm glad I don't look at the insides of aircraft engines often. Is that level of dirt and grunginess par for the course? I'm so used to working on my motorcycles, with good quality synthetic oil the insides of my bike engines are always super clean. This is the 24,000mi valve check on the BMW:

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Are those photos of the “good” engine you are thinking about buying?
     
  4. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    That’s not normal, which is why I asked the question above. That thing looks like it sat open in the back of a garage for 3 years after running for 20 years.
     
  5. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yep the engine is grungy. But if it's not corroded then should it not clean up okay?
     
  6. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne Final Approach

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    I wouldn't stake my life on that engine as is without ccomplete disassembly and checking limits. Nor do I like what your rebuilder is saying.
    Is the price low enough to make it economic to build one good one out of two bad ones?
     
  7. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    I find that photo impressive mostly because it seems to be taken in the house, on the carpet. A bold move!
     
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  8. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    It is quite common to find aircraft engines varnished like that when you open them. Some are better than others though. Oil change interval seems to play a role in what things look like.
     
  9. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Ah, the carpet.

    We moved into a new house about 6 years ago, and this carpet was in our old dining room. A cat we had at one time peed on that carpet once, and we couldn't even tell where the cat did it's thing all those years ago. No matter, my wife said THAT carpet wasn't going into HER new house. So, I kept it for the garage, and park the bike on the carpet. I don't have a bike lift, so wrenching on the bike is so much nicer to do on carpet than on bare concrete floors. Added bonus, when you drop a fastener it pretty much stays in place instead of bounding off into the darkest spider web infested corner of the garage!
     
  10. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    I agree on all points.

    I’d consider buying the thing as a core and possibly seek out a different engine shop.
     
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  11. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    That thing is pretty nasty... personally I'd want to tear it down, and then you're spending more money than just rebuilding your original engine. Resetting the "smoh" clock has some value as well.

    Do you know what caused the engine failure? Was the crank trashed because of the loss of oil or did the shop dislodge the bearings when they had the cylinders off? I'd want to have a cause before I'd send it back to the same guy.
     
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  12. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    The oil tank cracked and leaked all the oil out. I'm guessing that one of the two shops that had the engine was less than nice to it. No proof though. It has been rewelded in three places.

    Edit: I've had oil loss due to a crack opening in turbine engine once, but that is a story that begins:
    "There I was at 13,000' over the North Sea, with #1 feathered, a "bit" overweight, drifting down at 2000 fpm."

    Fortunately I landed that one (a Nomad N-24A) at an airport as well. 'Gotta love NDB approaches in actual with a crippled ship.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
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  13. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    ahhh already welded case... yeah finding a good core is probably worthwhile then.

    I suppose that makes an engine out in the luscombe seem less exciting :eek:
     
  14. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That engine in the pictures looks like a big nope to me. The lobes on the oil pump look like there are wear marks, the one cam lobe you can see looks like it has wear through the surface hardening. It looks like it was full of sludge and dirt. That's my take on it.
     
  15. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    If the pictures are of the engine you are considering buying I would run the other direction. I’ve never seen that much grime in an engine that was well cared for. As for your engine, talk to the mechanic and find out what the hold up is. A lot of times it’s the case work that drives the lead time up. Call around and find out who else can do it and what their lead times are. Everyone defaults to Divco which results in 10-15 week delays. Lots of other places that can do case repairs.
     
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  16. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    My engine hadn't been overhauled in 52 years and it didn't have that much grunge on / in it.
     
  17. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    Not sure if I would go forward with the original engine. Most likely not. As far as the other engine with no logs. I guess you could do a field overhaul and start a new logbook. Or send it in as a core for a new reman. Depends on your budget.
     
  18. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Like Salty’s... My 33 yo engine is being overhauled by Pinnacle AIrcraft Engines, and it’s only 20% of the sludge/varnish of that replacement engine.

    I could have saved $10K by using a local A&P/IA to overhaul the engine, who does about an engine a week.

    Decided to go with an engine shop that’s a repair station for all the proper NDT testing, SB compliance, testing, and warranty. Pinnacle is 3 years or TBO.

    For me the MOST important item was an engine run and tested on a formal test stand with proper cooling set-up for an hour plus run with full instrumentation. I did not want to deal with issues when it’s already mounted or long run-ups on the ramp with cowl off. The first flight is white knuckle enough already.
     
  19. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    I don't see much damage in there except for the oil pump gears, which probably sucked up bearing trash. Even the oil pump bore doesn't look too bad, but the picture would need to be a lot closer to see better. The cam wear is normal; they're ground to run like that so the lifter will turn. The grunge tells me that someone ran that engine on straight mineral oil for many, many hours, and if one now ran AD oil in it, that grunge could come off and get pumped through the engine and do damage like plugging the screen and the hydraulic lifters.

    A used engine? Why was it removed? Was it using oil? Or did someone have a propstrike, in which case all bets are off. Those cranks crack far back between the #1 and #2 throws, for some reason. You might spend money buying such an engine and end up with a bunch of unserviceable parts.
     
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  20. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Completely can appreciate how tight money could be for an unexpected major. Get a factory reman and partially finance if needed.

    The difference is exceed in the improved value to the aircraft with proper logs since new of factory reman. “Some guys old engine”, without logs, and overhauled by a guy not widely known would make a lot of buyers passover the aircraft.

    You will make back the difference on resale, plus it will sell faster as well.
     
  21. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    The case isn't cracked. The oil tank is. It's a formed sheet-metal thing that attaches to the crankcase. Common on the small Continentals.

    upload_2021-3-4_10-46-27.png

    The engine viewed from the right rear. That big balloon thing hanging under the aft end is the oil tank. It has the oil filler and dipstick/cap on it.
     
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  22. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have not found a "big" shop who will overhaul an A-65. It was in fact the oil tank that sprang a leak. The used engine has logs just not logs prior to being put on that particular cub.

    My case can be repaired, no cracks I'm told just general reconditioning.
    The crank is shot $2400 for one the NDT shop has on hand with a yellow tag.
    Not sure what else is shot.

    I would clean the engine before assembling it.
     
  23. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    Pretty engine. Those cam lobes are much flatter than the aircraft engine.
     
  24. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    Removed for upgrade, no known prop strike, running well when removed. I'm thinking all the gunk kept it from rusting.
     
  25. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    I know Poplar Grove has done them before, not sure if they still do or not. I’d consider them a “larger” shop but your definition might be different.
     
  26. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    After reviewing your thoughts. Discussing this with others. Consulting with my plane partner. We will not be buying this engine. Thanks to all.
     
  27. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Arnold, sorry about your engine, but good on you for running it to make the best possible outcome versus shutting it down in air. Very smart decision in my opinion and you deserve kudos for it.
     
  28. AeroLudite

    AeroLudite Pre-Flight

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    Is Don Sword of “Don’s Dream Machines” still in business? He’s located near Griffin, Ga. He also holds some STC’s for upgrades.
    He specializes in C65’s,85’s, 0200’s.
    He would be my choice. He used to advertise in Trade-A-Plane.

    Seems he sold out in 2017. Now located in Bessemer, Al.
     
  29. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks Paul. In a single engine airplane I have always maintained that shutting down a running engine that is not on fire just makes an abnormal into an emergency. The cost of the engine is painful to my wallet. The cost of an off airport landing is probably physically painful.
     
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  30. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    IIRC, Continental stopped producing the A-65 in the early 1960s, and probably stopped making parts for them in the 1970s. That makes overhaul a big hassle, looking for serviceable parts like crankshafts. Those cranks were never nitrided, so they wear easily if there's any grit in the oil, pretty much guaranteed since the filter is only a screen. That crank can only be undersized once, to 010" under. There are after market cylinders available. Magnetos for them cost considerably more, since they're an uncommon part number. Parts for the Stromberg carb are obscenely expensive, like the neoprene-tipped float needle. There are steel and Delrin needles, but none seal as well as the neoprene tip. I can't find one at a retailer to get a current price, but I've seen them for sale for nearly $400 a few years ago. The oil pump is part of the accessory housing casting, and its bore gets scored up by dirty oil and oil pressure falls off. There's nothing you can do about it. The walls of that cavity are thin and so machining it would be a hairy deal. One might be able to make a new pair of pump gears that are maybe .015" oversize, and mill the cavity out a bit less than that to close up the clearances. Lots of time and money, and hassles with approvals. What price will we go to in saving these things?
     
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  31. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    It's grungy for a reason. Deferred oil changes and/or high heat can coke that oil up.
     
  32. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    Well it looks like about $4K in refurbished parts plus $450 for a new oil pump gear. I'm guessing about another $1K in gaskets/ misc. parts about $1K in various shipping charges + about $4k in labor. We end up with about $10.5 K for the bottom end. Add the top overhaul last year ran about $8K using new millennium cylinders. Plus removal and replace engine twice. About $20k in less than a year. I'm closing in on about $40K including purchase to today. She's not completely refurbished but she is in excellent shape. Maybe $28K value in today's market. Airplanes are not investments.
     
  33. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    From Shell: https://www.shell.com/business-cust...centre/technical-talk/techart08-30071255.html

    Long Term Operation on Straight Mineral Oils.

    It is perfectly possible to run engines permanently on straight mineral oils but, as straight mineral oils do not contain any additives, they tend to cause deposits to form in the engine. The "W" ashless dispersant oils contain an additive that is designed to keep particles separated so that they do not congregate to form a large mass.

    If these particles are kept separated then they are less likely to block an oil passage and deposit inside the engine. If the filter is of the relatively efficient cartridge type then the small, dispersed debris will be removed by the filter element. It is these particles in suspension that makes an oil appear black.

    If straight mineral oils are used, then the oil tends to appear relatively clean but carbon and other particulates deposit inside the engine on casings etc. This is not too much of a problem unless you later encourage these deposits to loosen.

    Changing onto an ashless dispersant oil after a significant build up of this deposit has occurred can cause this to happen. The dispersant additive can act like a detergent and clean out the inside of the engine. This normally results in an abnormally high level of filter deposits after the period of change over, so care should be taken to monitor this.

    The critical time period for a significant deposit to occur inside an engine running on straight mineral oil depends on the individual engine type, operating temperature, flight profiles etc. but is normally around the 300 - 400 hour mark.

    If your engine has run for this length of time on straight oil and you convert onto "W" (or ashless dispersant) oil, then take care to monitor your filter more frequently for signs of blockage. If your has not done this number of hours then you are reasonably free to choose whichever oil you see fit and don't worry too much.

    Any engine I've opened up that has been operated on AD oils doesn't have that black scum everywhere, even in engines worked really hard. The "D" in AD means "dispersant" and keeps that stuff from adhering.
     
  34. bluerooster

    bluerooster Pattern Altitude

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    Bein's how 65s are getting pretty scarce, I would be tempted to buy the engine if there are any salvageable parts there, and the price is right.
     
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