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Old 04-05-2019, 06:43 PM
Gisnar Gisnar is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Northern Nevada
Posts: 140

Reference is
Lycoming Service Bulletin 480F, 5/25/2107, oil servicing, metallic solid identification after oil servicing and associated corrective action.
Good luck!
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Old 04-06-2019, 08:13 AM
mahlon_r mahlon_r is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,060

Originally Posted by DanBaier View Post
Your engine's tappet face(s) probably look the photo included in post #6. It won't get better and as Mahlon indicated it could make the ultimate repair a lot more costly. Unfortunately, you'll have to pull a cyliner(s) to confirm it, but given the history you describe, that's a likely finding. That said, there could be other things going bad in the engine too. One example; if the tappet looks like the photo, very likely the cam lobes are badly worn as well.

The camguard additive did not play a role in this - it's pretty common in Lycomings that don't fly a lot.

If the lobe is really bad you can see the wear by watching the valve travel with the cylinder still installed. Normal valve travel is almost 1/2 inch up and down. When the lobe is gone it is less. If the lobe wear is small than the travel won't show it but if a lot it will.
In this situation it does look like tappet lobe material but the rate from nothing to that amount is weird. Maybe a impulse coupling self destructing?
That much metal all of a sudden with none prior is unusual and something is really going to **** really quickly.
IMHO cam guard could not have possibly caused this.

Good Luck,
"The opinions and information provided in this and all of my posts are hopefully helpful to you. Please use the information provided responsibly and at your own risk."
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:33 PM
Dan 57's Avatar
Dan 57 Dan 57 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: LSZF
Posts: 813

Lycoming O360, ~1200 Hours. ~7month and 40hours after last Oilchange.
For the first time I used CAMGUARD
Looks like this engine ain?t (or wasn?t) flying enough... Camguard has nothing to do with it.
Helped a friend on his annual a couple of days ago, albeit a C-90, but also found a sizeable amount of metal in the filter.
Fresh oil, fly 20hrs max, recheck. I would not (though barely) pull a jug (or 2 to inspect enough cams) yet...
Life's short... Enjoy!

RV-6.9 #25685, slider, O-360-A3A (carb/dual Lightspeed II), MTV-12-B, HB-YLL owner & lover
RV-4 #2062 HB-YVZ airframe builder
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:31 PM
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fl9500 fl9500 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Hannover Germany
Posts: 59

Hi, (back after 3 Month)
An Oil analysis show only little more than normal Iron in the oil. I flew 14 hours with new Oil and Filter and made an Olifilter check today. Much less metal in the Filter. I will fly 15 Hours and then make an Oil- and Filter-change and also an oil analysis. Engine runs very smooth and robust.


PH-CRJ RV6A at EDVM, Germany
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:50 PM
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DanBaier DanBaier is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 703

No one wants to be an the bearer of bad news, and I certainly don't want to say this engine absolutely needs an overhaul (or at least replacement of cam / tappets).

What I can tell you is that if the photo showing the metal from the sample after three months is your from your most recent run - if this was my airplane, I would not fly it until at least one front and one rear cylinder had come off so I could look at the cam / tappets. I would expect to see a photo similar to post #6, and if so, the engine would be grounded until repaired. If the cam & lifters were somehow in tip top shape, then there is a very serious question about where the metal is coming from, and my engine would be grounded until I knew that answer.

Mahlon is very experienced and knowledgeable about Lycoming engines. You should really take his advice.

Lastly, be careful about attributing the status based on the oil sample results. I've seen cam / lifters as in post #6 with oil samples that were perfectly normal. Wear metal concentrations in an oil sample don't always align with accumulating metal in the oil filter.

Best of luck.

RV7A (N7101) - Flying 10/2008
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:49 PM
lr172 lr172 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 6,721

I can't believe you are flying that engine! Just look at the size of that large metal chunk in your picture!!! That is not normal and not wear. Something is self-destructing and you are taking real risk flying it. Sure, it could just be a spalling lifter that won't cause your engine to stop or explode. However, it could also be your crank gear or an oil pump gear coming apart that would have a VERY unpleasant outcome

Specgtrographic oil analyssi will NOT catch metal chunks of that size. Please do not rely solely on oil analysis for troubleshooting. My 320 was rapidly eating piston pin plugs and leaving a lot of debris in the filter. Oil analysis came back with below normal levels. They even put a little smiley face on the report and indicated that everything looks great! It is not a panacea and cannot replace good judgement and component evaluation.

However, we are all adults and must make our own risk decisions.


Originally Posted by fl9500 View Post
Hi, (back after 3 Month)
An Oil analysis show only little more than normal Iron in the oil. I flew 14 hours with new Oil and Filter and made an Olifilter check today. Much less metal in the Filter. I will fly 15 Hours and then make an Oil- and Filter-change and also an oil analysis. Engine runs very smooth and robust.

N64LR - RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
N11LR - RV-10, Flying as of 12/2019

Last edited by lr172 : 06-28-2019 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 06-28-2019, 06:40 AM
AlexPeterson's Avatar
AlexPeterson AlexPeterson is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ottertail, MN
Posts: 2,461

In 2011 my filter had similar metal in it, oil analysis was nominal. Pulled a couple jugs, and the cam and lifters looked perfect. It was the crankshaft gear:

If I had kept flying it, it would have been an engine failure, only question is when.
Alex Peterson
RV6A N66AP 1750+ hours
KADC, Wadena, MN
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Old 06-28-2019, 07:45 AM
turbo's Avatar
turbo turbo is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Stuart, FL /Hartford, CT/Virgin Gorda,BVI
Posts: 3,176

When my engine started making metal from the cam it was a fine fuzz on the magnet. This looks different. Be safe out there.
TURBO YES =VAF= Payed Jan2021
Ed D'Arcy
RV6-A 5,300+ hrs, R-44 1,600 hrs, Helicycle traded for 33 FFR coupe, 300 young eagles flown
Stuart, Fl / East Hampton,Ct / Virgin Gorda, BVI - villa sold.
addicted pickle ball player
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:22 PM
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RV7 To Go RV7 To Go is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 321

I would not fly with an engine making metal like that in your photo.

At 34 hrs after a rebuild, my 2nd oil change had less metal than you show but more than there should be. A jug was pulled and it was plain to see the bad lifters and cam. The engine was pulled and stripped down. I had to replace the cam and lifters, bearings, oil pump gears and housing, pistons, rings and hone the cylinders. Managed to save the case, and crank, but if I had kept running it they would have been damaged as well.

We suspect the cause of the problem was that the reconditioned lifters were not properly done. My new cylinder assemblies required new pistons due to metal imbedded in the skirts. The nickel cylinders had minor scratches and were able to be honed. Also replaced the oil cooler as they said it could not be guaranteed to get all the metal out by flushing due to the way they are constructed.

It was an expensive lesson, but 250 hrs later and no metal found in any of the oil changes since. Glad to have the piece of mind!

Good luck with your decision.
RV4 - Bought 2013 Sold 2017 after 450 hrs
RV7 - Built in 6.5 yrs & Flying 2017
RV4 - Built 2021 Time flown and Sold
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:15 AM
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fl9500 fl9500 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Hannover Germany
Posts: 59

Foto of the Metall with a Macro Lens. A dash is a Millimeter.


Original 4K Size

2K resize
PH-CRJ RV6A at EDVM, Germany
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