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Old 06-03-2020, 07:23 PM
Lizard Lips Lizard Lips is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Longview, Texas
Posts: 81

Passed my Airworthiness inspection Monday and plan to make the first flight of my RV-14A Saturday. Installed is a factory new Lycoming IO-390. The first few flights will consist of exploring the envelope of the airplane and getting the feel of it's flight characteristics. What power settings would you guys suggest for a new engine during the first few hours? I had thought maybe 2300 rpm/23 "Hg manifold pressure or maybe 2400/24. During this break-in period should the engine be run "hard" or should it be run at low power settings? Your opinions are appreciated.

Longview, Texas

RV-14A Certified Airworthy and ready to go
Arion Lightning LS-1 Flown regularly
2020 dues paid
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:45 PM
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1001001 1001001 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Just Minutes from KBVI!
Posts: 1,138

At a minimum, refer to Lycoming's engine break-in procedures:

Definitely seek more advice than what I can give.
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:46 PM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,095
Default Congratulations

Originally Posted by Lizard Lips View Post
Passed my Airworthiness inspection Monday and plan to make the first flight of my RV-14A Saturday.
Longview, Texas

RV-14A Certified Airworthy and ready to go
Arion Lightning LS-1 Flown regularly
2020 dues paid
Joe----congrats on the pink
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:17 PM
Tom023 Tom023 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Cypress, TX
Posts: 475


In addition to the referenced doc become familiar with the operating manual which includes break in. The process is more than the first few hours and can take up to 50 or even 100 hours. Be sure to use mineral oil until oil consumption stabilizes. Keep it below 5000 MSL during break in. All in the book
RV14A #140083
Flying! 8/12/19
2020 Donation
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:24 PM
cajunwings cajunwings is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: new iberia la
Posts: 867
Default Break in

I would run it exactly as the warranty provider recommends. General and time tested way is run it hard without getting it too hot.

Don Broussard
RV9 Rebuild in Progress
57 Pacer
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Old 06-04-2020, 04:11 PM
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Dan 57 Dan 57 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: LSZF
Posts: 796

Good one Magnus. Pity your EAA fly-in had to be CoVied, I’d love to have visited and met you again. Though the wx was **** last year...

all the above are good tips.

... to the OP, no need to capitalize us, we read you 5, don’t shout, thanks
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

Last edited by Dan 57 : 06-04-2020 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 06-04-2020, 07:49 PM
titanhank titanhank is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Friendswood, Tx
Posts: 476

I have broken in two engines in rv6’s recently. Both were ground run 5 mins and leaked checked. Ground run 5 mins at max power and leaked checked. I then cowl them up, takeoff at WOT and never pull the power back for the first hour. Land, change oil and leak check. I then takeoff and run WOT for 2.5 hr flights until hitting 5 hrs total at WOT. I then run at least 75% power till 10 hrs and change the oil again. The cht’s will normally drop at 2-3 hrs for steel cylinders and 6-7 hrs for chrome cylinders. The oil use normally stabilize around the 5 hr mark. My engine is running 1 qt in 15 hrs and my buddies engine is running 1qt in 12 hrs on chrome cylinders. I am very happy with how they are performing. Run a new engine at WOT and full rich as long as the cht’s are under control and don’t do pattern work for the first 10 hrs. I keep them on mineral oil for the first 50 hrs and then aeroshell 100w.
Harmon Rocket #1
10-1 pistons

1959 Piper PA22-150 Tri-Pacer

Rv7a sold
Rv6 sold
Rv4 sold
Rv3 sold

Last edited by titanhank : 06-05-2020 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 06-05-2020, 11:14 AM
444TX 444TX is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 168

For engine break in I would recommend climbing to where you reach 25 inches, full throttle, manifold pressure (5000 to 5500 feet), then pull RPM back to 2500-2600 (watch if any RPM prop restrictions) and leave it there while circling the field. Run it full rich or slightly pull back to 1300 +/- EGT. Closely monitor CHT and richen mixture or pull back power if unable to keep under 400-425 degrees. The EGTs should slowly drop.

Run that way for 10 to 15 minutes then, if a first flight, slow down for a quick slow flight/stall check. Go land, uncowl, and inspect.

Next flight run hard again for 10 to 15 minutes before doing some moderate slow flight testing. Again, uncowl and inspect.

This recommendation is for break-in. There are many other important items to be considered on a first flight. Might check some flight test cards and see what others have done. Have fun, but take things seriously.

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Old 06-05-2020, 02:43 PM
esco esco is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: SoCal
Posts: 407
Default Do you like your warranty?

Originally Posted by cajunwings View Post
I would run it exactly as the warranty provider recommends.
Best advice I've seen...
VAF dues paid though exempt
RV-9A sold (I miss that bird!)
RV10 sold (miss that one too!)
RV-14A build underway
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:58 AM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,474

Do a search on this forum for Mahlon Russell's break in procedures. His posts on the topic are pure gold.

Be aware there are TWO different procedures - one should be very careful not to confuse them.

1) RUN IN - this is done with a brand new engine, just assembled. The procedure for run-in includes some very specific instructions on X RPM for Y minutes. If your engine has been built by a reputable shop, this run-in procedure has almost certainly been done for you in a test cell. New factory Lycoming engines have the run in procedure done at the factory.

2) BREAK IN - this is the next stage in the engine's life where we break in the piston rings against the cylinder walls. This is the one where we want to be running either mineral oil or Phillips XC multi-grade (no other multi-grade oil, no Aeroshell multi-grade, no Cam Guard or similar). We're trying to get the friction between piston rings and cylinder walls to wear the two surfaces to the point of making a good seal. Once this is accomplished, temperatures will drop and oil consumption will stabilize. The best way to achieve this break-in seems to be to run at high power settings (nothing below 75%) while keeping the engine as cool as possible. That means FULL RICH mixture, low climb angles for good cooling airflow and staying over the airport in case something in that new engine isn't quite right. Keep your altitude low as climbing to higher altitude will both prolong low cooling airflow and raise density altitude to the point where getting the desired high power setting may not be possible.

With respect to ground runs, Mahlon's advice on that topic is excellent. In a nutshell, perform ground runs as often as is necessary to ensure all systems are functioning properly. Monitor CHT. NEVER let CHT get above 300 degrees F. Do a ground run, shut down before hitting 300F, let the engine cool to the point where you can comfortably rest your hand on the cylinders for 30 seconds. Only when the engine is this cool is it safe to start up and do another ground run, again to a CHT limit of 300F. This advice is critical for preventing glazing of cylinder walls.

I followed Mahlon's recommendations for ground running and breaking in our factory-new O-360. Temperatures stabilized in the second hour of flight and I could feel the engine was running more freely - it just felt smoother. Oil consumption was very low, less than a quart in the first 10 hours. I cut open the filter after the first flight and was surprised at how little metal was in it. At 10 hours I changed the oil, cut open the filter and again was surprised by the small amount of metal in it. Now, at nearly 200 hours I'm getting 22-23 hours per quart of oil. I'm using Phillips XC oil and am adding Cam Guard in the recommended quantity. I didn't start using Cam Guard until the 50 hour mark.
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