Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cam & Lifter Inspection

On Tuesday night I took the plane over to Livermore to see Chris at Maintenance Express for the Cam & Lifter inspection on the left engine and also for 3 new tires and some minor landing gear squawks I got from the ABS service clinic.  Today Chris called me and let me know that he had the engine opened up and found very slight spalling on the lifters and also on the Cam lobes.  He also found one of the lifters had a slight chip in it, which is most likely the metal I found in the oil.  I was going to replace the lifters if I found this, but apparently Continental doesn't recommend replacement of the lifters as you're not supposed to mix new and used parts in the engine that way, since apparently the parts wear together.  If I had known that at first I wouldn't have even done this inspection!  So basically I just need to keep watching the oil to see if it starts to get worse and fly it until overhaul time.  Chris also found a problem with one of the valve guides on the #4 cylinder which is leading to oil blow-by.  That explains my oil consumption issue on this engine as well.  Rather than replace this cylinder, considering the CAM/Lifter issue, I'm just going to keep flying the sucker until overhaul time, hopefully in a at least a year or so.

Tires are going on next, and then I get to pay the bill!  Chris and the shop at Maintenance Express have been great to work with.  One thing I really like about them is they are responsive on email, which is key for me since I'm always at my desk but quite busy and the phone can be difficult to grab me on.  I'm hoping to have the plane back Friday.

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