Late February of 2013. I took the
KR out for a nice warm up flight and was once again so pleased with the
way this plane flies, and the way this engine runs. I have a
number of updates I'd like to do to the plane, but just can't stand to
ground a plane that flies so nice. By afternoon, that tune had
I pulled the plane in to start on what should have been a quick and
easy annual inspection. First thing was to do a quick compression
differential check. Nearly perfect, 79/80, 78/80, 79/80, and
58/80. What? That can't be right! I checked a little
closer and the news was not good. It was leaking past the rings.
That does explain why the engine has been pushing a bit
more oil than expected. One of these tired old +.015
cylinders has finally given up. Surely it must be a broken ring.
I pulled the cylinder and saw nothing obviously wrong. But
measuring the cylinder, it has gone well beyond service limits and was
showing some cylinder wall distortion. It's time for new
So, I got in contact with my friends at Aircraft Specialties and
ordered a new set of Superior cylinders and a set of O-200-D
pistons (8.5:1 compression rather than the 7.0:1 compression in the
O-200-A). Wow! That was a surprise. I didn't think
Continental was going to make those pistons available. I got into
snag with the rings as Continental changed the top ring in the D
pistons, then made them pretty much unavailable. Finally resolved
it by having my friend Doug machine the top ring groove to fit the ring
set from the C-75 through O-200-A ring set.
Now that the plane is already down for major maintenance, it's time to
do all those little things I've been thinking about ever since the last
major refit in 2005.
March 28 - I tried to fit up the intersection fairing that have been
sitting in a box in the hangar for the last 4
years. Clearly, they didn't fit very well. The lower
fairings had to be extended 1 1/2".
The upper fairings had to be extended 7/8" and widened 1/2".
I question whether these fairings will be worth
Removed the wheel fairing to find a broken mount... again. Time
to do something different here.
I'm thinking this is going to work a bit better.
April 3 - New plan for the fairings. Scrap the upper fairings as
they aren't going to do much for the plane.
Rebuild the lower fairings to fit. Here you can see I have the
pieces of the fairings attached with Clecos.
Added a very dry micro slurry to build up the low spots and fill the
voids created when I cut them up.
April 4 - Sanded the fairings, then laminated with two layers of BID
April 6 - Cut the fairings into halves with the cut line matching the
line in the wheel pants. I taped over
the edge of the front half of the fairing on the inside, then taped the
on the outside and laid up
3 layers of BID over the inside of the joint. Note the masking
tape under the lay up. Once this cures I'll slide
putty knife under the tape and pull the halves apart creating a joggle
for fitting these parts together.
April 7 - After an overnight cure, I pried the pieces apart, then
trimmed the joggles back to where it all fits.
April 7 - Fairing halves bonded to the wheel pants using milled fibers
and West Epoxy.
April 8 - Sanded and filled the edges of the fairings, then filled with
micro and one more layup of glass and peel ply.
April 9 - Pulled the peel ply, sanded and applied more micro.
April 13 - Don't know what happened with the previous Micro, but it
didn't set up very well. I took it off
with some 40 grit paper and started over with the micro.
April 16 - Some final filler to properly align the two halves of the
Kind of looks like leaving your socks sticking up out of your shoes.
April 20 - Test fitting the wheel fairings with the intersection
fairings added to them. I'm really happy with this.
The other side fits just as well, so these are now ready for primer and
May 1 - Wheel fairings and intersection fairings painted white.
May 4, 2013 - Intersection fairings finished. Wheel fairings (and
plane) are still waiting for the graphics.
Feel free to email me with comments or questions at
Stay tuned. More to come...