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Annual time! - Tina Marie's Ramblings
Red hair and black leather, my favorite colour scheme...
Annual time!
I did another big batch of annual stuff this weekend - compression test came out great (77/77/74/77, all out of 80). Plugs look good, although I really should have cleaned them at 50 hours. The leak in the static system is fixed, the battery is serviced, the tailpipe is replaced...

Still to do:
  • Reinstall the VSI.
  • Repack the other two wheel bearings (nosewheel is done).
  • Put primer on the fabric repairs (tomorrow night's task).
  • Lube the pulleys in the fuselage.
  • Clean, gap, and reinstall the spark plugs.
  • Degrease the engine.
  • Go over the engine compartment and check torque settings, safety wire, things like that.
  • Fix the bottom cowling - half the rivets are pulled out. I'm going to drill out and repatch the whole mess.

That's a few evenings and a weekend and I should be done.

I towed on Sunday, but only got 2 hours before the weather went bad. Severe thunderstorms everywhere. So I went home and caught up on laundry.

For the first weekend in ages, I didn't go into the office at all!

Current Mood: sleepy sleepy

6 comments or Leave a comment
From: ex_inviolet697 Date: July 26th, 2004 10:10 am (UTC) (Link)
LOL! I am envisioning this blue-and-white police Cessna, with siren and rotating police lights and everything, pulling in behind you in the air and ordering you to land. The Cessna lands behind you. This cop gets out, walks up along side your fuselage...

"Pilot's license, proof of insurance, and medical please."

"What seems to be the problem, officer?"

"Tail-light's not working."

skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: July 26th, 2004 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
the_carrot From: the_carrot Date: July 26th, 2004 11:50 am (UTC) (Link)
How come you're cleaning the plugs instead of replacing them outright?
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: July 26th, 2004 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Because they're massive-electrode plugs, and they're designed to be cleaned and regapped. A plug is good for ~500 hours, but needs to be cleaned every 50-100.

My engine was originally certified for 80 octane gas. You can't buy it anymore, and the 100 octane stuff I can get has 4 times the lead of the 80 octane...so that lead gets everywhere, but mostly all over my plugs. I could run car gas, but then I'd have to lug it to the airplane in 5 gallon cans, carry the can up a ladder, try to pour it into the tank without spilling it, and that would keep the plugs much cleaner - the only downside is that car gas makes a bunch of my seals in the fuel system swell up and leak. Some of them I can replace, but some I can't get to without pulling the fuel tanks, which involves re-fabric-ing my wings.

The FAA keeps promising us certified unleaded gas, but we haven't seen it yet.

Oh, and the other reason I clean them is that each plug costs $19, and I have 8 of them (two in each of my 4 cylinders).

the_carrot From: the_carrot Date: July 26th, 2004 01:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting; does that ~500 hours take cleaning into account?
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: July 26th, 2004 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yep. They really have to be pulled every 50-100 hours, because they don't hold a gap well. The center electrode erodes away, widening the gap. They have to be tossed when the center electrode gets too oval. Champion makes this little plastic card that they give out at trade shows - if the three electrodes fit through the hole, it's too worn.

I'm going out tomorrow - I'll snag some pictures and post them. It makes more sense if you see them. (Hey, baby, wanna see dirty pictures of my spark plugs?)
6 comments or Leave a comment