Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Cub Engine

I have been thinking of a new engine for my Cub for a while. It is an 85hp Continental that was field overhauled about 700 hours ago. That 700 hours is over 24 years. The planes leaps off the ground, like all Cubs do, but then it crawls into the air. In the pattern, with a passenger, I am lucky to get to pattern altitude on a reasonalby cool day. In the summer I am lucky if I can get to 2000 feet in cruise. It is not so bad if I am solo. Don's Dream Machines has an STC to put 0-200 parts on the C-85 Continental thus raising its power a bit. I don't pretend that my old 85hp engine is really putting out 85hp any more. So I am hoping for a dramatic improvement.

Don Swords, owner of Don's Dream Machines, http://www.donsdreammachines.com/ came highly recomended by some of my cub friends and was very helpful on the phone. He already had an engine being built that would be ready in 3 weeks. I would not have to take down my airplane until the new engine was built. I would have to send him my mags, carburator, and oil sump to put on the new engine, and the old engine as a core. My down time should be minimal.

I am really looking forward to the new engine. I have owned the plane for 3 years, so there is 21 years worth of unknown. How was it treated? Did it sit for long periods of time? It is not obvious from the logs. It is obvious due to its relatively low time 500 hrs over 20+ years that the plane did not fly very regularly. I put 200 hours on it in the 3 years that I have owned it. The first couple of flights on the new engine will be tenuous. I will circle the airport for an hour and follow the break in procedures which go on for a number of hours after the first.

Still, I ran the old engine one last time before I started taking it apart. It has been running exceptionally well, ever since the new one was ordered. I just had to hear it one more time and let it take a few last breathes of air. It came off and was loaded into my truck in a little over 2 hours. I drove it to a trucking company for its final trip to Georgia and I was a little melancholy when I drove away. It has served me well with only a small bit of stress once in the pattern when a mag died on me. I landed safely and easily at the airport. The rest of the time it has generally started easily and run smoothly, giving me hours of Cub flying pleasure.

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