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  #1  
Old 01-30-2019, 07:25 PM
Jbon Jbon is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: DFW
Posts: 56
Default First Start After Sitting A Year. . . Ideas?

My Lycoming O-360 has been sitting for a year while the airplane has undergone a complete panel and electrical system upgrade. Soon I?ll be starting the engine, and I have concerns about scuffing the cam lobes while waiting for oil to make its way to the top of the engine. I?ve always been told that this startup wear, particularly on what is probably a very dry cam, is responsible for a tremendious amount of overall engine wear.

In trying to come up with a way to mitigate the problem, my friend wondered out loud why I couldn?t just fill the case to the top with oil (through the breather), submerging the cam. Then drain it all out, pull the engine through by hand to insure no hydro lock issues, refill the case to the normal level and start?r up.

It sounded kind of crazy at first, but after giving it some thought, I can?t see why it wouldn?t work. I figure I must be missing something, and thought I?d run it by you guys. What do you think?

If you think its a good idea, I wonder how many gallons of oil it would take to make it to the top. Also, couldn?t you use cheaper automotive oil, since it?s going to be drained out anyway?

Thanks in advance for your input!
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2019, 07:59 PM
judoka5051 judoka5051 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McAlpin, FL
Posts: 262
Default Something like that...

When I bought my engine for my last Rv, I did exactly that for storage. I bought a case of cheap auto oil and filled it to the top. Keep in mind that oil will come out of every hole. I had the carb and both mags off and made covers to seal the holes, don't forget the exhaust ports... Also, plan on pulling and cleaning the plugs too.
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2019, 12:48 AM
Jbon Jbon is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: DFW
Posts: 56
Default

Interesting that the Lycoming service bulletin has you do all this cranking of the engine to purge the lines and build the oil pressure up. Great idea, but it seems like that could cause scuffing of the cam. On the other hand, perhaps. There will always be enough of an oil film to protect it during the relative low speed cranking.
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2019, 07:19 AM
jeffw@sc47's Avatar
jeffw@sc47 jeffw@sc47 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Simpsonville, SC (SC47)
Posts: 408
Default Here's a slightly different procedure

I have a IO-390 mounted on my build and I've had the engine for almost two years. I have turned over the crank by hand a few times mounting the prop, working on the cowling, moving things around.

I had the same concern that I may have scraped the preservative oil off the cam lobes.

Lycoming suggested this to me (new engine):

1 Leave the preservative oil in the engine.
2 Remove the fuel injector throttle body from the from of the warm air sump and plug the hole. This to avoid oil getting into it and making a mess - reason: if there is oil above the level of the bottom edge of the cylinders, when the engine is turned over oil can get past the cylinders and through the intake valves and down to the warm air sump.
I opted to remove the sniffle valve and let any oil drain from the sump. Some oil will get by the pistons and down to the intake manifold, just don't want it to get into the throttle body.
3 Fill the engine with oil.
4 Remove all of the top spark plugs.
5 Turn the engine over with the starter. I am guessing it may turn about 150-200 rpm.
6 Lycoming said that should get the crank to splash oil up onto the cam shaft enough to add protection.

Sounds feasible. ?
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2019, 08:36 AM
lr172 lr172 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 6,681
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbon View Post
Interesting that the Lycoming service bulletin has you do all this cranking of the engine to purge the lines and build the oil pressure up. Great idea, but it seems like that could cause scuffing of the cam. On the other hand, perhaps. There will always be enough of an oil film to protect it during the relative low speed cranking.
At overhaul, all bearings and cam lobes are coated with something closer to grease than oil. It doesn't drip off from gravity and is designed to lube for a much longer period than oil to survive the initial oil starvation issues seen at first start.

To the O/P, I would not bother putting several gallons of oil in the engine to lube the cam. The amount of oil left on the cam at one year is not much different than the amount of oil left on the cam at one month. The wear from this type of start is not what kills cams on lycomings; It is the corrossion that causes the problems and if you have it, there is no longer anything you can do about it.

Larry
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Last edited by lr172 : 01-31-2019 at 08:40 AM.
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2019, 02:45 PM
Robin8er Robin8er is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Socal
Posts: 524
Default

My engine sat for at longer than yours. I just followed lycomings pre oil procedure. It worked fine.

Ideally I would have put oil in it then rolled the engine upside down to oil the cam, then mount it on the plane. I thought about it, but couldn't find an easy/safe way to do it.

If you just follow Lycomings oil procedure you will be fine. It doesnt take long at all for oil pressure to build if you follow their procedure.
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2019, 03:26 PM
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pjc pjc is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Tampa, FL
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RV8JD View Post
Lycoming SI No. 1241C "Pre-Oiling Engine Prior to Initial Start"
"Prior to initial start after engine change, overhaul, oil cooler replacement or draining or any prolonged period of inactivity."
*This* worked for me after 4+ years sitting idle. At starter speeds the cam will be fine with what little oil remains for the few seconds until more arrives. I have 30+ hours now and no issues and (so far) nominal oil analysis with clean filters. As stated above the spalling damage that kills cams (and engines) has its root cause in corrosion (which you may or may not have) not a few seconds of running “dry” at startup (while preoliling).

I strongly recommend you start with fresh oil, change at no more than 25 hours (10 probably better), cut the filter and inspect closely, and run an oil analysis. Perhaps overkill, but these actions made me much more comfortable that the unseen cam lobes were doing ok. YMMV.
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Last edited by pjc : 01-31-2019 at 03:28 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-31-2019, 07:28 PM
Jbon Jbon is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: DFW
Posts: 56
Default

Thanks everyone for your input. I really appreciate it!
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2019, 08:55 PM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 2,012
Default

I pre-oiled mine using a pump sprayer from the garden dept at Home Depot. Cut the spray want off the pump sprayer output line and connect it to a short piece of aluminum tubing with an AN coupling sleeve and nut to hook up to your oil pressure sender fitting on the back of the engine. Remove the oil pressure sender line from the back of your engine and connect the pump sprayer line. Put about a quart of oil in the sprayer and pump it up. Oil will flow into the engine near the top. It may go quite slowly if you have a restriction fitting in the engine (which you should). Once the oil has pumped in mostly, remove the sprayer, reconnect the oil pressure sense line and start the engine. Don?t wait a long time for this engine start. When I?ve done this, I had oil pressure indication right away, and it didn?t fluctuate - which would indicate that you only pre-oiled the oil pressure sender..... Pressure indication was steady, and remained that way. I?ve done this on all three of my builds. The first one sat for over a year before first engine start. That engine now has 1500 hours on it and its running strong.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2019, 10:18 PM
lr172 lr172 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjc View Post
*This* worked for me after 4+ years sitting idle. At starter speeds the cam will be fine with what little oil remains for the few seconds until more arrives. I have 30+ hours now and no issues and (so far) nominal oil analysis with clean filters. As stated above the spalling damage that kills cams (and engines) has its root cause in corrosion (which you may or may not have) not a few seconds of running “dry” at startup (while preoliling).

I strongly recommend you start with fresh oil, change at no more than 25 hours (10 probably better), cut the filter and inspect closely, and run an oil analysis. Perhaps overkill, but these actions made me much more comfortable that the unseen cam lobes were doing ok. YMMV.
+1

An engine assembled with the proper assembly lubricants should be able to spin on the starter for 10 minutes, on it's first start, or more without any wear to anything, except for the rings/cyl walls, which are designed to wear.

for an engine that sat for a year, I would probably pre-oil per lycoming SI. Much rather have the "dry time" at low RPMs. It will take x number of crank rotations to prime the system, so there is no short cutting, but low RPM should be slightly less wear potential. Externally pre-oiling, as described above, will greatly reduce or eliminate the number or rotations necessary for priming. I don't know the lyc's as well as chevy's, but it is quite possible the pump is tight enough to not lose it's prime over a year.

For new engines, don't forget the oil filter. The first quart delivered after the pump is primed goes to the filter, if it is empty.

Larry
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Last edited by lr172 : 01-31-2019 at 10:28 PM.
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