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Old 05-02-2019, 07:50 AM
Warden Warden is offline
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Mid Michigan
Posts: 18

If you have the opportunity, look at the pistons, especially the skirts. They will tell a story.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:46 AM
007 007 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: VanAire, Co
Posts: 25
Default Lycoming

I have had great longivity with 0-320.
3,500 hours on a PA23 (Apache).

I am currently at 3000 hours on the engine in my RV4.

This engine began its life in a Piper, in 1969.
It was removed in 1975 with 2000 hours.
It is believed to have been topped at that time, but no records could be found.

The engine then sat for many years, in unheated garages and hangers in the Denver,CO area.
In 2010, (after sitting for 35 years) I hung it on my RV4, with hopes it would run for 40 hours to fly off testing time.
It is now 2019, it has 3000 hours, and the old thing is still purring along.
The engine compression has, always been high, (78 for the lowest),
Oil pressure steady, and oil consumption zero. I never have to add oil and do changes between 30 and 50 hours.
I use Phillips X/C and Camguard. Oil analysis is done on all oil changes.
Oil filter is always opened and scoped.
If temp is below 40F, I pre-heat.
I plan on running this engine until it shows some sign of weakening.

I have also run an 0-235 L2C to 3500 hours without any replacements.

If I were running your engine, I would treat it as I have described, use Camguard, have the oil analysed and always cut open the filter.

Happy flying.

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Old 05-02-2019, 06:20 PM
jeffsvan jeffsvan is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: detroit, michigan
Posts: 180

Originally Posted by Warden View Post
If you have the opportunity, look at the pistons, especially the skirts. They will tell a story.
Can you please elaborate?
Dues paid for 2022. "The information and help I received from Vans Forum members was priceless!"
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:44 PM
gmcjetpilot's Avatar
gmcjetpilot gmcjetpilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,708

Originally Posted by jeffsvan View Post
Just trying to get the feel of a normal life of engine operation of Lycoming O-320 E2D.

Engine was overhauled in 1981 0-SMOH with not much else.
I am trying to get a 'feel' for what is normal and what is not on these engines. And considering how long ago mine was originally overhauled (1981) perhaps I am lucky to even go this long before needing a complete overhaul?

I had 2300 hours on two O-320's on my Piper PA 23 - 160 Apache. I bought it with 1800 hours on it and flew it a lot. Compression was good when I sold it. I'd recommend doing oil sample checks just to make sure it's not making metal. But there's nothing keeping you from going past 2000 hours.
Raleigh, NC Area
RV-4, RV-7, ATP, CFII, MEI, 737/757/767

2021 Dues Paid
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:27 AM
Low Pass's Avatar
Low Pass Low Pass is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,132

Originally Posted by jeffsvan View Post
Can you please elaborate?
I'm not trying to answer for the original poster and I'm no expert, but I have overhauled and topped several engines. To me, scuffed or damaged piston skirts might indicate a poor general condition of the rest of the engine. Perhaps run too hard or too hot. Maybe inadequate oil change cycles or contamination. Fortunately, pistons are reasonably easy to replace, but the bottom of the engine might be in just as poor a condition. This might be the intended point of the comment.

As for the longevity of a -320 or similar engine, I had an E2A that began with an unknown number of hours. Guessing 1000-1500 (no logs). I put another 1200, 1400 on it with two tops. It had good cam and lifters the entire time. Oil pressure was good. What took it out finally was a crack in the case.


Last edited by Low Pass : 05-15-2019 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 05-10-2022, 04:54 PM
932WT 932WT is offline
Join Date: Mar 2022
Location: Western Ohio
Posts: 4

I just bought a 9A with 250 SMOH that was not flown enough over the last 6-7 years. In some years it had only 5 hours and worse yet the prior owner chose not even to replace the oil - at annual because it ďonly had 5 hours on itĒ or some such nonsense. I bought it anyway. The price was okay, for this market, even if I do have to rebuild the engine. I put a filter on, camguard, running it every week at least and changing oil every 25. Very little metal in the filter. Analysis shows iron but getting better with use. Borescope shows some scoring on the cylinder walls but not terrible. Didnít pull a cylinder to check the camshaft because it doesnít matter. Iím going to run it until I see decreased performance or some other sign of worn cams. If I get 1000 hours out of the engine Iíll be thrilled. So far Iíve flown it 50 hours in 6 months. Fingers crossed. Some will say Iím risking engine loss in flight but in my experience worn camshafts donít cause sudden failure. We shall see. Iíll update with any news.
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