Last week’s engine start, while exciting, wasn’t without issues. The one I thought was going to be most difficult to fix turned out not to be. The governor operation was reversed, and the fix turned out to be pretty simple. I just flipped the governor bracket over and mounted it so the cable operates the arm from below. All I had to do was put a small piece of angle on the side of the arm to secure the #2 fuel injector line. We’ll have to see about conflict with the cowl. I put the top cowl on and it looks like there might be about 1/8″ of clearance between the new governor cable arc and the underside of the cowl. That’s not a huge deal though, and I’d rather put a blister on there than go through the hassle of dismounting the governor and sending it back to American Propeller to see if maybe, just maybe, they can reverse the operation. Either way, that would cost me in time, in shipping, in ability to test the engine in other ways and debug the two sensor squawks from last time. The hardest part was the firewall-penetration eyeball. It’s almost impossible to get to and I still need to torque it down, because it’s not laying flat like it’s supposed to. I had to take it out so I could get the extra half inch of cable slack necessary for the flipped bracket.
On the others, I had no luck. No RPM reading, no oil temperature reading, although I have no idea how long it takes the oil to warm up to a minimum of 72 degrees. The rpm thing is a little scarier because i don’t know if it’s the wiring, the sensor, or the magneto the sensor is attached to. I’m going to have to break down the wiring of those two pieces and go through it piece by piece. I really hope the senders aren’t bad, because those things are not cheap. Replacing both is about a taildragger lesson’s worth.
Speaking of which, I have replaced the ON/ON/(ON) magneto switches with ON/ON DPST switches. One side of the switch handles the start circuit and the other handles the mags. When the start circuit is enabled, the magnetos are ungrounded. Since I have two impulse-coupled mags, I can get away with this. At this point, the starter button on the stick is the only way to kick the engine over now, which is OK, but I plan to install a pushbutton to forcibly engage the starter should the relay the stick button actuates takes a dive.
The magneto timing still needs work. Even after the switch replacement, the right magneto still makes the engine backfire like mad when it’s on its own. I’ll need to retime it anyway when I install the new gaskets, but it’s still a royal pain and I’m not keen on doing too many more runs with it in that condition.
Oh, and joy of joys, there’s a small crack in my canopy, in the aft right corner, coming up from the last screw hole on the canopy frame. I didn’t catch it until now, because it has been covered with masking tape, which I removed yesterday. I removed all the protective plastic from the canopy, except for a swatch between the rear canopy and the roll bar brace. Now the fun is going to be getting that last piece of plastic out from there. I’ll probably have to dismount the rear canopy, which I would have had to do anyway to get some kind of seal in there.