Monday, April 21, 2014

Oil and Brake Service

I needed to take a personal day today to get 08Romeo to the doctor. Paging Dr. Roger, Dr. Keith....08Romeo was in good hands. Upon securing 08Romeo after my flight to OCMD with Vince there was a drip of oil in the hangar.  This called for rolling underneath the plane and giving it a good look along with pulling off the top cowl. On the left side lower cowl there was an oil puddle four to five inches long spreading from an inch to three inches leaving just a drip or two after shut down.   Upon further inspection the oil lines looked fine and I couldn't find a fresh run of oil, it seemed more of an accumulation.
old line
pin holes
We each gave the belly a look and there was oil residue. Now 08Romeo loves to sit at six quarts, anything more she blows it out. The belly has been clean and I burn just over a half quart every 15 hours.  I had added oil on April 12th, only needed just under half quart to make six but I moved on to something else in my preflight and came back to see she drank the full quart. Ughh.. this would blow out and be on the belly, sure enough that's where it went. Vince continued to examine 08Romeo and noticed a drip of hydraulic fluid near the gascolater. When looking a bit closer we noticed a sticky build up aft of the gascolater cover. A quick check of the master cylinder and while a tad low there was still plenty of brake fluid. I did call Roger and schedule 08Romeo in for a check that Friday (last Friday).
new line installed with extra protective shielding
Fast forward back to today. Mike helped me reposition on Saturday so I drove my SUV to the shop. With the Florida trip just around the corner I decided to get the oil changed even though she only had thirty-seven hours on it. The plan was for Florida then New Hampshire and all the beach runs in may. I'll be ready for a change at the November annual. Keith took a look at the lower cowl and concluded that the valve cover was leaking. The last time they were replaced was some 288 tach hours ago. The cork gasket was replaced and retightened, it was good to go.  The engine got a degrease so we could leak test with a run up, a clean start.
Next up the gascolater panel was removed and sure enough there was evidence of fluid. Mostly sticky so it was a slow leak but it must be investigated. Going topside on the copilot side the brake line has a tube that passes through the firewall. The next section of tube was the culprit, it had a few pinhole leaks, very tiny.  The line went from the master to feed the hand brake and a manifold type of part that the other lines fed from. Very cramped and hard to get to. Keith removed the old part and fabricated the replacement. We filled the system from each main landing gear until the master fluid level was correct.
08Romeo was ready for her run up/leak test. I called clear prop and got her started. Once the fresh oil came up to temp I did my typical run up.  I didn't see Keith give the cut the motor signal so I knew things were looking good. Once shut down and inspected there was no oil drip and no brake fluid behind the toe brakes and the master level was the same.
I drove to N57 and swapped text messages with Bob C. Bob offered to shuttle me back to Cecil Aero to pick up my plane.  This worked out great, I parked the SUV at the hangar and road right seat with Bob back to 58M. Cessna 09Lima purred along, a noticeable difference from my Lycoming, the Continental is quieter and smoother.  Thanks Bob for the rescue flight!
My doctor would not be happy with me after crawling around on my knees in the shop helping with the plane today. That cortizone shot got a work out and both knees are really sore tonight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interesting post here. I am studying mechanical engineering and one day I hope to go into either automotive or aerospace design. It has been interesting to see some of the similarities between both engine systems. Thanks for helping me to learn.