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  #1  
Old 04-25-2022, 06:07 PM
Tankerpilot75's Avatar
Tankerpilot75 Tankerpilot75 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 755
Default SkyTech Starter question

Background: Iíve got a Superior XPIO-360 B1AA2 engine with I believe a SkyTech 149-12LS starter. This engine has always (since I purchased the RV in 2015) been a little slow to ďinitiallyĒ turn over. Thinking it was a battery power issue I replaced the battery (PC680 to ETX900), then the starter relay on the firewall, and then the cable going from firewall relay to the starter. Everything I did made an initial improvement but overtime the slow to initially crank problem returned. Itís always cranks quicker after the first few start attempts.

On this yearís CI my A&P and I noticed the starter solenoid on the starter will rotates approximately 10 degrees inside itís housing on the starter. After moving it several times inside itís housing I subsequently went to start the engine and it immediately spun up - quicker than Iíve ever seen it. This made us both think the solenoid is loose in its housing and not making positive electrical contact with its ground.

Questions: Have others experienced this issue with SkyTech starters? Can the solenoid be R&Rd or should I just replace the starter before it totally fails? If the solenoid can be R&Rd how big a job is it. My A&P is not familiar with SkyTech starters so he suggested contacting Hartzell and query VAF to explore my options.
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Jim Harris, ATP, T38, EC/KC-135A/E/R, 2008 RV7A, 2nd owner, N523RM (2015)
Superior XPIO-360 B1AA2, Hartzel CS prop, Dual GRT Horizon EX with ARINC, EIS, Garmin 340, 335 w/WAAS gps, Dual 430s (non-WAAS), TruTrak 385 A/P with auto-level & auto-trim, Tosten 6 button Military Grips, FlightBox wired to EX, Dynon D10A w/battery backup, 406 MHz ELT. Mountain High O2 system, CO2 monitor, Custom Interior, TS Flightline hoses, ETX900 Battery, Great POH!
Retired - Living the dream - going broke!
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  #2  
Old 04-25-2022, 09:36 PM
Bavafa Bavafa is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 3,908
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tankerpilot75 View Post
Background: Iíve got a Superior XPIO-360 B1AA2 engine with I believe a SkyTech 149-12LS starter. This engine has always (since I purchased the RV in 2015) been a little slow to ďinitiallyĒ turn over. Thinking it was a battery power issue I replaced the battery (PC680 to ETX900), then the starter relay on the firewall, and then the cable going from firewall relay to the starter. Everything I did made an initial improvement but overtime the slow to initially crank problem returned. Itís always cranks quicker after the first few start attempts.

On this yearís CI my A&P and I noticed the starter solenoid on the starter will rotates approximately 10 degrees inside itís housing on the starter. After moving it several times inside itís housing I subsequently went to start the engine and it immediately spun up - quicker than Iíve ever seen it. This made us both think the solenoid is loose in its housing and not making positive electrical contact with its ground.

Questions: Have others experienced this issue with SkyTech starters? Can the solenoid be R&Rd or should I just replace the starter before it totally fails? If the solenoid can be R&Rd how big a job is it. My A&P is not familiar with SkyTech starters so he suggested contacting Hartzell and query VAF to explore my options.
Those solenoids on this model starter has been the weakest part and many have failed. You can buy the solenoid from the auto store (Ford Crown victoria) and it is very easy to replace. If you do a search, you will find many reports about this.
__________________
Mehrdad
N825SM RV7A - IO360M1B - SOLD
N825MS RV14A - IO390 - SOLD
N258SM RV14A - IO390EXP119 - Out of Paint shop & flying
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2022, 08:43 AM
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Tankerpilot75 Tankerpilot75 is offline
 
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Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 755
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bavafa View Post
Those solenoids on this model starter has been the weakest part and many have failed. You can buy the solenoid from the auto store (Ford Crown victoria) and it is very easy to replace. If you do a search, you will find many reports about this.
Mehrdad,
While Iím not sure, I thought the ďFord Crown Vic solenoidĒ part you referenced is the ďstarter relayĒ on the firewall - not the starter solenoid attached to the starter itself. It is that starter solenoid on the starter Iím talking about.

If Iím wrong in my understanding please clarify.
__________________
Jim Harris, ATP, T38, EC/KC-135A/E/R, 2008 RV7A, 2nd owner, N523RM (2015)
Superior XPIO-360 B1AA2, Hartzel CS prop, Dual GRT Horizon EX with ARINC, EIS, Garmin 340, 335 w/WAAS gps, Dual 430s (non-WAAS), TruTrak 385 A/P with auto-level & auto-trim, Tosten 6 button Military Grips, FlightBox wired to EX, Dynon D10A w/battery backup, 406 MHz ELT. Mountain High O2 system, CO2 monitor, Custom Interior, TS Flightline hoses, ETX900 Battery, Great POH!
Retired - Living the dream - going broke!
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  #4  
Old 04-26-2022, 08:56 AM
Bavafa Bavafa is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tankerpilot75 View Post
Mehrdad,
While Iím not sure, I thought the ďFord Crown Vic solenoidĒ part you referenced is the ďstarter relayĒ on the firewall - not the starter solenoid attached to the starter itself. It is that starter solenoid on the starter Iím talking about.

If Iím wrong in my understanding please clarify.
Hi Jim,
This part is the solenoid that is on mounted on the side of the starter LS, if that is causing trouble and the common part that has been failing on this model starter.

You can get it from Amazon or auto stores.

Standard Motor Products SS754 Starter Solenoid
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001O7D0HS...roduct_details
__________________
Mehrdad
N825SM RV7A - IO360M1B - SOLD
N825MS RV14A - IO390 - SOLD
N258SM RV14A - IO390EXP119 - Out of Paint shop & flying
Dues paid
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2022, 11:14 AM
Nova RV Nova RV is offline
 
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Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 597
Default

Search any auto parts place for S5613, that is the starter solenoid that replaces the one on the Skytec LS. NAPA has a separate PN cross reference for theirs but you can search S5613 and it will come up.
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Leesburg, VA

CFI-I ASMEL, ATP

RV-14A kit # 140243 (flying as of 11/18)

www.mykitlog.com/chrismoon/
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2022, 11:19 AM
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Tankerpilot75 Tankerpilot75 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 755
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Mehrdad,

Thanks for yours reply.

FYI, I called Hartzell/SkyTech this morning and they kindly had a technician call me back. He said based on the age of my starter and issue description he also thought it likely the solenoid was the problem. Unfortunately he.said this is a certified starter and they donít sell parts nor publish an overhaul manual therefore he couldnít advise me on any repairs - only replacement.

However, he did say since itís on an experimental engine in an experimental aircraft that I was free to experiment on any repairs myself. He further said itís a real simple design and basically I could drop the starter, remove the two large Phillips screws that hold the solenoid housing in place and that heíd heard of folks using an automotive solenoid as a replacement - but he couldnít (or wouldnít) say which one.

I also asked him about an alternative to to 149-12LS starter since there was some concerns expressed on this forum about the starterís long term reliability. He mentioned that the 149-12NL starter might be an alternative choice but because itís longer and a little bigger that I would need to confirm there was at least 4Ē of additional space at the back and around the starter before considering this as an alternate choice to the 149-12LS. The 149-12LS, he said, was a solid starter with a good history of reliability and durability but that all things eventually wear out.

I discussed this with my A&P friend and he suggested I leave it alone until it starts to act up again and then weíll pull it and replace the solenoid. I truly appreciate your help and will go ahead and get this solenoid in my parts stock since Iím sure it will start acting up soon based on my own history with this issue.

Again, thanks a bunch!
__________________
Jim Harris, ATP, T38, EC/KC-135A/E/R, 2008 RV7A, 2nd owner, N523RM (2015)
Superior XPIO-360 B1AA2, Hartzel CS prop, Dual GRT Horizon EX with ARINC, EIS, Garmin 340, 335 w/WAAS gps, Dual 430s (non-WAAS), TruTrak 385 A/P with auto-level & auto-trim, Tosten 6 button Military Grips, FlightBox wired to EX, Dynon D10A w/battery backup, 406 MHz ELT. Mountain High O2 system, CO2 monitor, Custom Interior, TS Flightline hoses, ETX900 Battery, Great POH!
Retired - Living the dream - going broke!
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2022, 11:58 AM
RV8JD RV8JD is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 418
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Now that it is acting up, you'd be well advised to replace the starter solenoid as preventative maintenance. It won't get any better and at some point you may get stuck away from your home airport.

As others have mentioned, the starter solenoid problem on these starters is well known, and a much discussed issue on the forum. I had this issue with two different Sky-Tec 149-12LS starters on two different RV-8s. On my previous RV-8 I was away from home, but was finally able to get it to engage and start. On my current RV-8 I was away from home and it would not engage at all. Luckily, I was able to easily hand prop my -8 with an IO-360-M1B (with an experienced friend in the cockpit who also has a FI RV-8).

If you do get stuck somewhere and don't have the proper training to hand prop your airplane (or can't or don't want to), you can take the cowl off and tap the starter/solenoid with something to get the solenoid unstuck. It may or may not work.
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RV-8
KAWO

Last edited by RV8JD : 04-26-2022 at 12:29 PM.
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  #8  
Old 04-26-2022, 01:17 PM
Bavafa Bavafa is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 3,908
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tankerpilot75 View Post
Mehrdad,

Thanks for yours reply.

FYI, I called Hartzell/SkyTech this morning and they kindly had a technician call me back. He said based on the age of my starter and issue description he also thought it likely the solenoid was the problem. Unfortunately he.said this is a certified starter and they donít sell parts nor publish an overhaul manual therefore he couldnít advise me on any repairs - only replacement.

However, he did say since itís on an experimental engine in an experimental aircraft that I was free to experiment on any repairs myself. He further said itís a real simple design and basically I could drop the starter, remove the two large Phillips screws that hold the solenoid housing in place and that heíd heard of folks using an automotive solenoid as a replacement - but he couldnít (or wouldnít) say which one.

I also asked him about an alternative to to 149-12LS starter since there was some concerns expressed on this forum about the starterís long term reliability. He mentioned that the 149-12NL starter might be an alternative choice but because itís longer and a little bigger that I would need to confirm there was at least 4Ē of additional space at the back and around the starter before considering this as an alternate choice to the 149-12LS. The 149-12LS, he said, was a solid starter with a good history of reliability and durability but that all things eventually wear out.

I discussed this with my A&P friend and he suggested I leave it alone until it starts to act up again and then weíll pull it and replace the solenoid. I truly appreciate your help and will go ahead and get this solenoid in my parts stock since Iím sure it will start acting up soon based on my own history with this issue.

Again, thanks a bunch!
Jim,
The tech is correct on all account and specifically about the experimental part.
The NL model has been far more reliable and if you can fit it, it would be wise to go with that model if you are to replace it.
But considering you already see some issues with the starter, at the minimum, I would have one of these solenoid as a spare part in your plane so you don't get stranded away from home. Replacing it should be an easy task.

Good luck
__________________
Mehrdad
N825SM RV7A - IO360M1B - SOLD
N825MS RV14A - IO390 - SOLD
N258SM RV14A - IO390EXP119 - Out of Paint shop & flying
Dues paid
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  #9  
Old 04-26-2022, 01:20 PM
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hgerhardt hgerhardt is offline
 
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Location: torrance, ca
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When my solenoid got stuck in Death Valley, I was able to use a cowl hinge pin to pry the pinion gear out of the starter into the ring gear, which worked well. Banging on the solenoid did nothing.

I ran the engine for a minute, shut down, started again, shut down and then inspected to ensure the pinion gear properly retracted into the starter. Good enough to get home!
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  #10  
Old 06-10-2022, 01:46 PM
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Tankerpilot75 Tankerpilot75 is offline
 
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Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 755
Default Thanks VAF Members

This last week I went ahead and replaced my starter solenoid with the Standard Products SS754 solenoid you folks recommended. Initially I tried to just remove the solenoid without removing the starter because I didn’t want to first remove the plenum. Bad idea! Couldn’t get the replacement solenoid secured back in the starter correctly.

So I went ahead and removed the plenum and the the starter. Together that took about one hour. Once the starter was off it was real easy to correctly install the new solenoid. Installation took about twice as long as removal because of “one” starter bolt which was extremely hard to reinstall. There’s always one! Of course safety wiring is something of a challenge for me because I always seem to stick myself.

However, it was definitely worth the pain and effort because the difference in starting with my EarthX ETX900 battery is absolutely amazing! Hit the starter and does it ever spin fast! Wish I’d done this five years ago.
__________________
Jim Harris, ATP, T38, EC/KC-135A/E/R, 2008 RV7A, 2nd owner, N523RM (2015)
Superior XPIO-360 B1AA2, Hartzel CS prop, Dual GRT Horizon EX with ARINC, EIS, Garmin 340, 335 w/WAAS gps, Dual 430s (non-WAAS), TruTrak 385 A/P with auto-level & auto-trim, Tosten 6 button Military Grips, FlightBox wired to EX, Dynon D10A w/battery backup, 406 MHz ELT. Mountain High O2 system, CO2 monitor, Custom Interior, TS Flightline hoses, ETX900 Battery, Great POH!
Retired - Living the dream - going broke!

Last edited by Tankerpilot75 : 06-10-2022 at 01:48 PM.
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