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Winter operations / lowest temperature for starting / preheating methods (merged)

Aircraft parked outside. Aeroshell 15W50. Once its cold and regardless of how cold I just jump in pump a few primes, turn the master on and fire up. 1200 rpm is set and I don’t do anything till the oil temp gauge moves. I then fly the aircraft for a minimum of 20 minutes.

Last 6 engines never made TBO. Well apart from my Rotax which has done double its TBO and gets operated in the same way. Just swap prime for choke and 15W50 for cheaper supermarket 10/40.

The S2 doesn’t burn gas (of any kind) but the B4 burns unleaded. Not quite sure how the innards of it would react to LL which is why I got the S2.

The upgrade will be hooking two of them to the controller and heating the inside at the same time. Probably overkill, but fun.

An inverter is not needed since they are 12v.

T28
Switzerland

Bathman wrote:

Last 6 engines never made TBO

Because I’m afraid you were using bad starting/warm up technique.
1200RPM on cold day/not warmed engine is way too much. You should set it to max 800-900 for first 2-3 minutes. As low as the engine is able to work without vibrations.
And never allow the engine to “roar” above that value during startup.
Acc to some experienced engineers – 80% of engine wear happens during starting/warming up.
Rotax for sure will be much more resistant to high rpm/improper starting technique as its pistons/cylinders are much smaller and therefore clearance changes are much lower comparing to “classical” Lyco/Conti engines during warmup.

Poland

Gentlemen,
I wrote about it some time ago. I made a humidity tests inside my engines before/during/after preheating.
Don’t do your preheating for more than 2-3 hours. Humidity level rises violently during this process. Sound not logical but it’s the fact.
The mechanism of this is that the oil in the sump contains quite a lot of trapped moisture which was produced during combustion process.
During winter time it’s quite regular that your oil temp. will not be enough to make that moisture evaporate completely (that is my case even in the summer).
During preheating process the oil warms up and the moisture is being released to the engine block. Not a problem for 2-3 hours but definitely bad if lasts for 12 hours or more.
There is somewhere a warning in operating manual of Conti or Lyco engine that preheating for more than 24 hours may cause severe corrosion attack – so this is confirmed even by factory.

Poland

Raven wrote:

I wrote about it some time ago. I made a humidity tests inside my engines before/during/after preheating.
Don’t do your preheating for more than 2-3 hours. Humidity level rises violently during this process. Sound not logical but it’s the fact.
The mechanism of this is that the oil in the sump contains quite a lot of trapped moisture which was produced during combustion process.
During winter time it’s quite regular that your oil temp. will not be enough to make that moisture evaporate completely (that is my case even in the summer).
During preheating process the oil warms up and the moisture is being released to the engine block. Not a problem for 2-3 hours but definitely bad if lasts for 12 hours or more.
There is somewhere a warning in operating manual of Conti or Lyco engine that preheating for more than 24 hours may cause severe corrosion attack – so this is confirmed even by factory.

Hmmmm. My club have oil heaters connected H24 during winter (well, not when the aircraft is flying, obviously) and we have never had problems with corrosion at overhaul.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Airborne_Again wrote:

My club have oil heaters connected H24 during winter

If it’s club’s plane then it’s probably used quite often and in that case the inside humidity doesn’t matter as the internals are still covered by oil film.
In my case – the plane can sit for 3 weeks without flying and after 7-10 days internal parts become exposed to the air as the oil film disappears.

Poland
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