Sunday, September 27, 2015

Continental IO-360 - Part 2

A few weeks ago my brother stopped by with a load of steel and welded up a test stand for me. I cleaned up the Cessna engine mount, painted it white and bolted it on the stand. In the picture below I have placed my Silver bullet prop on for the photo op. I will soon order a prop adapter/extension from Saber. I have a lot of work to go before I fire this thing up, but its getting close!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Continental IO-360

The Lycoming O-290 didn't work out. The crank, lifters, cam and cylinders were shot. I don't think the purchase was a mistake. It was a low risk purchase to begin with. I paid $1000 for the engine and managed to recoup my money by selling the carburetor, mags and a few other parts. I think I actually made a profit after all the parts I sold. We may make a coffee table from the remaining parts and I got to learn a lot about how these air cooled engines go together.

I was really looking for a low time O-320 when I found this continental IO-360 for sale. The engine only had 100 hours SMOH, however it had been sitting in a barn for over 20 years. It was pretty crummy looking. But the price was right, so I took a chance.

I mounted the engine nose down on the same stand my brother made for the O-290 and began to pull the cylinders. At first I thought I would be in luck, the first couple cylinders looked pretty good. Minimal corrosion. But, by the closer I got to the #5 and #6 cylinders that had been sitting at the bottom for years, the more they had corroded. The last cylinder had 1/4 cup of loose rust.

I found a set of low time cylinders and pistons. The pistons are TSIO-360 pistons. Lower compression, so there will be something like a 10-15 HP loss, however I should be able to run high octane auto fuel. Its basically a IO-360-A converted to a IO-360-AF (alternative fuel).

I purchased new rings, honed the cylinders and installed them on the engine after many hours of cleaning and prepping. I have also moved the engine to a new larger shop that I will share with fellow builder Marc Oppelt. Eventually the whole project will move to that shop, but not until the engine is ready. The shop is really cool, we have a lounge area, a beer fridge and Marc has a killer set of shop tools, including welders, hoist and others.

Here is the engine after I prepared the cylinders, cleaned and painted the case and accessories. One Cylinder is fitted for the photo op.

All six cylinders installed and intake manifold installed.

 Here is the engine as of today. New mags, harness, plugs, starter all installed. I have a few gaskets and bolts to install, rig up a air filter, bolt down the starter and alternator and then build and mount a test stand. It's been quite a process, but with any luck I'll have this thing running on the test stand this summer.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Long overdue update

Well It's been a very long time since I have posted an update. Over the last year I have been playing with different engines.

First off I found a Lycoming O-290-G conversion engine. This engine was installed on an experimental Cub and removed for an upgrade. I new nothing about the engine history other than the fact that it had a pair of nearly new magnetos. Because of the magnetos I decided it was a small risk to buy the engine. I drove up to to Port Townsend and picked it up for $1000.

Above is the O-290 mounted on an engine stand that my brother was kind enough to fabricate for me from some spare material he had around his shop.

Unfortunately after tearing down the engine I discovered a number of problems. The cylinders had a little corrosion. Probably so little corrosion that they could have been cleaned up with a hone and some elbow grease. But the real problems were further down. The camshaft was toast. One cam lobe is nearly round. The lifters were all badly spalled and pitted. There was a lot of metal imbedded in the main bearings and clogging the bearing oil ways. The crank was badly spalled and the main bearings appear to have rotated in the case.

Bottom line is that this engine wasn't worth overhaul. I was right though about the risk, I sold the carburetor and the magnetos and recovered my investment. I am still selling some misc engine parts on ebay and the rest will likely become a coffee table for Marc's shop.

Here are the nearly new magnetos and harnesses that I sold.

Spalled lifters.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

More control system

Following my last post I have been making slow progress at completing the control system.

I received my machined firewall bearing housing back from my machinist contact. I had two made. One for me and one for Marc Oppelt.

Don't mind the bearing in this photo. It was the wrong bearing. I replaced this with a sealed precision bearing.

I also ordered materials, hardware and rod end bearings for all the push rods. It was fun to fit the inserts and rivet them together.

Here are my control stick yokes. The plans call for a simple steel tube. The CG Products sells control yokes similar to these for Long-EZ and Cozy aircraft. I thought this was a good idea, I Marc and I welded up a couple of sets. I had them powder coated and they turned out great. In hindsight, I think I should have just gone with the plans tube. I can't figure out what problem was solved by making a more complex part. Still I am happy with the result.
Here is the yoke installed on the torque tube. You can also see the custom ball bearing and retainer as discussed in the previous post.

Here is a nice shot of "the office" showing the control stick and throttle quadrant.

I posted this earlier, but here again is the B-8 grip that I reconditioned.

Here is the throttle quadrant after I polished the control arms. My plan was to anodize them, but before I could get the process down, I found great success with polishing the aluminum.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Engine mount and control system

So, after not a lot of activity with this project, I have made some progress. I rearranged and cleaned up the shop, replaced the florescent tubes (what a bid difference that made).

I distracted my self for a few weeks experimenting with anodizing aluminum. A process I may use to finish off some interior control parts (canopy latches, etc.). More on that another day.

But, now on to real progress. Yesterday I glassed the main spar permanently into the fuselage. This followed some thoughts about the engine mount. I will likely install an o-320 engine and stronger engine mount hardware is probably warranted. After some discussion with other builders I settled on 1"x1"x3/16" stainless steel extrusions. Why stainless steel? Well mainly because 4130 is not available in an extruded form. I would have had to purchase the steel plate and had it bent at extra cost. The stainless is not quite as strong as 4130 steel, but much much stronger than the plans 1/4" 2024 aluminum. Here is a picture of the mount test fit:

I still need perform the final fit and installation of the steel engine mount extrusions, but in the meantime I have started some work on the control system. The CG Products (Cozy Girrrls) sell a complete Long-EZ control system for just under $700. This complete kit is very tempting and I am sure is a good value. However I think I can save some money by completing the system myself (with some help). The plans call for phenolic block for the control system bearings. The Girrrls sell a housed ball bearing to replace the phenolic for $50.00 ea. my solution was a flanged ball bearing from Mcmaster-Carr and a simple 1/8" bearing retainer. Total cost for both bearings is about $25.00 including shipping.

Here are the bearings after aloziding the retainers and bonding the bearings into the retainers with Locktite compound.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A diversion

So it has been quite a while since I last posted on my Long-EZ build progress. For the most part this is because I done very little with the project for the past 5 months or so.

After I drilled the wing/spar bolt holes I test fitted the spar wings and canard on to the fuselage. It was great to see all these major parts assembled into something that looked like an aircraft.

Unfortunately after assembling all of this I sat down in the garage to take a break and then noticed a problem. The main spar and wings were level, but the canard was not. How could this be?! The canard was level with the fuselage longerons and so was the spar. After more investigation, I found that the fuselage has some twist to it. I will now have to remount the canard to fix the problem. Not a big deal, but I hate having to do things twice.

The other problem I have is that not having two wings, a canard and a fuselage with a spar mounted, there is very little room to navigate my garage. Something had to be done to fix this, so today I dissembled my small work bench and slid the large work table up to the wall where the bench used to be. This now gives me enough room to move about. I need to re-organize the shop and upgrade the lighting.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chapter 19 - Wings - Part 19

Since my last update I have completed installation of the right wing aileron and nearly completed the left wing aileron.

Today Marc and I loaded the wings and center spar into his truck and headed down the street to my work supervisor, Pete's, house, where he has a nice 3 car garage. We proceeded to level the wings on 6 of the cheapest crappiest saw horses I have ever used. I purchased 4 of them a couple of days earlier. Coincidentally Pete also had two of them on hand as well.

Finally after dropping the center spar on the floor of the garage once, we managed to get the wings set up pretty stable and level. We used standard bubble levels, Marc's laser level and a water level to ensure the wings were set up correctly.

We then proceeded to match drill through the center spar into the wing attachment points. I started out using the spot face tool as described in the plans, however that was a very slow process and I managed to burn up my drill. We then switched to a 5/8" bi-metal hole saw that I purchased today as advised by Marc, who probably did a lot of research into the procedure than me.

In the end all went quite well and I am very happy with the results.