ENGINE WORK September, 2009
I'm also working on getting the brakes installed and bled, so I can safely run the engine and prop with brakes.
Sep 1 - looked into MT prop controller wiring. It turns out that the blue wires from the MT tach don't need to go all the way back to the controller - they only need to connect to one of the two sets of MT prop controller wires I already have running through the firewall. 0.25 hr
Sep 11 - reinstalled MT controller. Worked on MT controller wiring, securing LT wiring harness. Completed wiring & securing MT wiring. 4.5 hr
Here is the MT prop controller wiring, all done and secured. I probably didn't need the service loop for anything, but I was concerned about making it a bit too short & being screwed. Also, because of the short wires coming out of the brushes block and the required splice there, I was concerned that I'd lose a bit of length every time I had to cut out the splice and put in a new one when changing brushes. The brush leads are only a few inches long.
Sep 18 - I've been slacking off on RV work. Spent half an hour securing RT side engine wiring harness. Should be ready to try running it with the prop very soon. 0.5 hr
Sep 24 - finished securing RT side engine wiring harness, removed prop blade covers, ran engine awhile, tested prop pitch changes. Boy, that prop sure blasts a lot of air, even at idle! The prop controller seemed to work ok, although it does change pitch very slowly. I need to get the plane outside tomorrow, where I can rev it up some. I didn't dare do more than idle in the hangar, as I was afraid I'd suck something off the workbench or one of the shelves and into the prop. 0.5 hr
On the top of the RT radiator, I seem to have yet another leak when the plane sits for awhile. I circled where the drop appears, but I don't see anything there that could be leaking. I suspect the leak is at the visible pinhole above it, and the coolant collects where you see the drop. Could Mac's Radiator suck any more? They are the Eggenfellner of the custom radiator world. Absolute crap for quality and workmanship, combined with complete management indifference. Fortunately, this is a very accessible spot, so it shouldn't be too difficult to fix. This is about the 5th leak I've had to repair on their crap radiators. Never buy anything from Mac's Radiator!
Sep 25 - got the RV moved out of the hangar and ran the engine. After warmup, I ran it from idle to 3000 rpm in 250 rpm increments, cranking in some prop pitch and noting at each step what the fuel mixture was. It was 5-10% rich at most steps. I also need to up the fuel pressure before more testing, which will make it richer. Without a canopy, the prop really blasts back a lot of air into my face. I guess I need to get cracking on the panel wiring so I can get the canopy on for more testing like this. Also, at 3000 rpm, it blew over my gas can beside the plane, although it didn't spill much and the engine kept running, so I really need to get the wings on or put the gas can inside the fuselage for runs over 3000 rpm. OAT was about 60 degrees. The coolant temp never got over 180 degrees during the half hour I was running the engine. Before I start configuring my SDS AFR, I need to increase my fuel pressure, though. I'm still using the 28 Jan had recommended as a kluge back when the STi engines came out. Ross recommended 40 with engine off, so I also need to get that done before the next run. 1.0 hr
Here is the RV with installed prop, moved out in front of the hangar and ready to run. My trusty steed, the Challenger II, is in the background. On the RT side of the pic is the new concrete apron I had installed in front of the hangar, so that I can push the RV in and out. I could push the CH2 in and out over the grass and the hangar concrete and ramp pavement transitions OK, but I knew it would be a bear to do it with the much heavier RV, so I got the concrete put in last week, in preparation for this day.
Here's the RV, chocked in place and ready to run with the prop. When I hit 3000 rpm, it blew over the gas can sitting on the milk crate. It also blew off the F-774 skin panel I had clamped and roped in place on the back. Unfortunately, I forgot to remove that before running the engine. It's now got a few dings in it and a crease in the middle from striking the vertical stabilizer, although no harm to the VS. That sucks. Not sure right now if I will replace it or salvage it. A couple lessons learned for the next run.
Sep 26 - set fuel pressure regulator to 39 psi with engine off. 0.25 hr
with cold weather moving in fast, I'm not sure I'll be taking the RV out for another run, at least not without a canopy installed. So, I'm moving on for now, back to the AVIONICS WIRING
or go to November engine page
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