Chapter 13/23/25 – Engine off the bird

Today I received the new oil level tube.  It’s a beautiful piece of machining, but right out of the gate I found an issue: my dipstick threads don’t fit this tube!  Ugh… two steps forward, one step back.  So there may very well be some machining in my future because I’m not paying a small fortune for a dipstick!

Although I didn’t mention it in yesterday’s blog post, I had a good conversation with Clinton from Custom Aircraft Parts.  I had sent him a bunch of pics and he requested even more specific pics, which I sent out this morning.  He sounded very amenable in our discussion to tweaking the left exhaust pipes given how close they are to the cowling.

Part of our plan is to mimic what is in my cowling and on my engine when he connects up my pipes to an -320 motor he has.  To do this I needed to lock in the configuration of the two left exhaust pipes and essentially immobilize them… as you can see I did this with zip ties, hot glue and pieces of wood glued in place.

Moreover, I received an email back from Clinton late this afternoon stating we would plan on me shipping these out to him next week, so fingers crossed!

To take these pipes off —and the right side too— I took the bottom cowling off.

I then pulled the 90° sniffle valve and replaced it with the original design I tried out which keeps it off the SCEET tubing beneath it.

I also assessed the SCAT tubing coming up from the NACA scoop on the bottom side of the RAM air scoop.  This tube feeds cooling air that splits off to the 1) PMag and 2) the mechanical fuel pump.  I decided that for future engine removals I would have the tube disconnect between firewall and engine at about the spot where I’m pointing at with the screwdriver.

I also wanted to ensure that I had enough clearance between the PMag spark plug wire connectors (going into the main unit) and the firewall.  I taped a piece of the 1/4″ thick Birch plywood that is actually used for the firewall onto the firewall to check the clearance… as you can see there is plenty of room (tight, but in this bird that is PLENTY of room!).

I then cleared out a bunch of stuff on the bottom of the engine in prep for removing it.

I then connected up the engine hoist and removed all the engine mount bolts.

After a good 10 minutes of slowly and carefully easing the engine off the firewall, it came off without much hoopla (good!).

I then grabbed this shot of the accessory case, which was hard to see when the engine was on the floor stand.

I had already cracked the mounting bolts slightly loose on the PMag while the engine was secured on the firewall, which then allowed me to quickly remove the PMag in short order.  I plan on sending it back to EMag Air tomorrow for them to give it a firmware update and thorough check-over before I mount it back onto the engine.

Here’s the rather large hole remaining on the right side of the accessory case (the right “mag” hole) where the PMag was extracted from . . .

I looked around the shop and found the cap to the large cylindrical zip tie container and grabbed that to temporarily seal up the hole… it fit perfectly!

I grabbed one more shot of the engine off the bird.  Pardon the mess, I’m building an airplane!

And another shot showing the front side of the engine as well.

Although I sanded down and repainted red the aft nose/avionics cover “window” area prior to prepping and pulling the engine, I finally grabbed a shot of it before closing up the shop.  As you can see it turned out much, much nicer this go around.

The last noteworthy item to report is that I spoke with the ever-knowledgeable Mike Toomey yesterday about my hershey kiss spinner woes.  I got a lot of good info from him which enabled me to figure out a plan to modify the Catto “lamp shade” flow guide that will allow me to mount the original spinner I got from them. In short I’ll be turning my lamp shade flow guide into a flow guide much closer to what Klaus Xavier designed.

I even called Catto and will be getting the same carbon fiber they used on the spinner setup so that my mod will match the original.

Ok, very, very late here so I’m calling it a night!

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