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  #1  
Old 03-24-2013, 04:01 PM
rvbuilder2002's Avatar
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 9,666
Default Engine Maintenance Safety Concern

I am getting concerned by a maint. practice that I have been hearing more and more RV owners mention they are doing. Most recently by a couple of people in the RV-12 forum.

My concern is regarding the use of oil quick drain valves as a means of short cutting around the it being necessary to remove the bottom cowl to complete an oil change.

Doing a good inspection of the entire FWF ever 50 hrs or so is a very good idea.

I am sure many experienced RV owners can chime in about problems they have discovered during oil changes that could have quickly become a serious problem if not discovered when they were.

Please reconsider this practice if you are doing it now.

I am not at all against oil quick drains. I have them on all of the RV's that I maintain. They help to reduce the mess involved with draining the oil by allowing a hose to be used to direct the oil into a container. And there is no plug to replace each time and the challenge of getting it sealed well, etc. But I never use them to do an oil change with the bottom cowl still installed.

If someone was doing oil changes every 25 hrs for some reason, I could see doing the cowl removal every other oil change, but please don't pass up this opportunity to look things over real well.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2013, 04:49 PM
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Walt Walt is offline
 
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Default Agree 100%

I couldn't agree more. Perfoming routine maintenance gives you an "opportunity" to inspect the entire area. A simple thing like cleaning your aircraft after each flight is a good example of using a routine item as an opportunity to inspect the exterior of the airframe.

Even a simple thing like putting air in the tires, many folks would prefer to drill a big hole in their wheel pants so they don't have to remove the front half of the pant (which takes all of 5 minutes) to air up the tires. Taking off the front wheel pant gives you an opportunity to inspect the tires (very important item), brakes, brackets, check for hyd leaks, etc..

Changing the oil means removing cowling and inspecting FWF, if you are too lazy to do this, then hire someone to do it for you.

Building an airplane is a lot of work... so is keeping it properly maintained.
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  #3  
Old 03-24-2013, 06:57 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Location: North Alabama
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rvbuilder2002 View Post
I am sure many experienced RV owners can chime in about problems they have discovered during oil changes that could have quickly become a serious problem if not discovered when they were.
Some I've either seen or heard about:

cracked exhaust stack
broken exhaust hanger
leaking exhaust gasket (are we seeing a trend, here?)
valve cover screws not completely tight
fuel pump screws loose
all sorts of stuff chafing where they shouldn't be chafing
broken cowl hinge eyes/smoking rivets
cracked baffle

That should be enough to convince most of us that a firewall forward inspection is imperative every oil change. I use a quick drain valve but would never consider an oil change without the inspection.

Thread moved to General Discussion for wider circulation
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 03-24-2013 at 09:10 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-24-2013, 07:50 PM
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I've never considered for a moment of doing a 20min oil (only) change. Our logbook entries for an oil change always include a full firewall forward inspection. My "condition inspection" happens every 25-30hrs. Don't worry, many of us don't need the reminder to get off our lazy butt to maintain a half way decent airplane.
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2013, 08:11 PM
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Russ McCutcheon Russ McCutcheon is offline
 
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Most all the problems I have found under the hood where found during oil changes. One more useful tool during an oil change is when your hanger neighbor/s come by during an oil change put them to work putting their eyes on it, it’s amazing what a fresh eye can catch, I tend to concentrate looking where things have broken before, they look everywhere, last fellow, 172 pilot and -9 builder said is that exhaust pipe broken, I’m like where? I always look at the stacks; it was broken almost clean off on the straight part of the #1 pipe aft of the heat muff, that was a new one!
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2013, 08:16 PM
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Location: Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scard View Post
I've never considered for a moment of doing a 20min oil (only) change. Our logbook entries for an oil change always include a full firewall forward inspection. My "condition inspection" happens every 25-30hrs. Don't worry, many of us don't need the reminder to get off our lazy butt to maintain a half way decent airplane.

The same here.
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  #7  
Old 03-24-2013, 08:39 PM
gasman gasman is offline
 
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I walked into a neighbors hangar just as he put me to work helping to install the lower cowl. They were heading out for a vacation from CA to OH. As I held the left side of the cowl I noticed blue dye near the primer tube by the firewall.

It was BROKEN just above the fitting..............
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