Chapter 27 - Section 1

Aren't You Done Yet?



When your friends and peers start asking "aren't you done yet?" whenever they see you, you know they are getting impatient - regardless whether you have lost yours or not...

For us builders, at this stage, there is always a list of must do items - where you complete one and add two! So, this Chapter 27, which is not in our Plans, is dedicated to the Aren't You Done Yet? List .    In addition, its for my own documentation on various measurements and results.



At this point of time, I have completed most of the to-do list and it was time to start making noise with the engine...


Beginning Engine Start Procedure

According to many Cozy flyers, there is no 'one size fits all' procedure. You probably have to find your own starting procedure in due time. For starters, I followed the general starting procedure as follows:

- Fuel selector 'ON'

- Mixture (Full)

- Throttle (50%)

- Fuel pump 'ON' (5 seconds), then 'OFF'

- Mixture 'OFF'

- Throttle 'OFF'

- Electronic Ignition 'ON'

- Engine start.


Once the engine starts, I'll raise mixture and throttle slightly and nurse the engine to stay running. When I have a chance, I'll flip on the Slick Magneto as well. With this procedure,

I generally have to crank my engine at least 10 seconds before the wind milling starts to catch on. Then I have to nurse the mixture to keep the propeller going.


Revised Engine Start Procedure

Thinking back on my first engine start, my engine started immediately when I tried starting it with my Slick magneto on only. I decided to reduce my boost pump on to 2 seconds instead of 5. I also switched both Electronic Ignition and Slick Magneto to 'ON' for starting. Surprisingly, my engine fires up in one or two cranks. so, here's my revised starting procedure:

- Fuel selector 'ON'

- Mixture (Full)

- Throttle (50%)

- Master 'ON'

- Boost pump 'ON' (2 seconds), then 'OFF'

- Mixture (50%)

- Throttle (5%)

- Electronic Ignition 'ON';

- Slick Magneto 'ON';

- Engine start.


Engine Ground Break-In Schedule

I found this ground break-in Schedule suggested by R. Mahlon from Mattituck on the VAF forum for initial ground runs. According to Mr. Mahlon, "This is how I would do the initial runs. I have used this procedure thousands of times with complete success".


Since I do not know much about breaking-in my overhauled engine (Lycoming IO320, modified 10:1 compression, rated at 185hp), I decided to follow his guidelines (for Cylinder Run-in for steel, nitride or re-barreled cylinders). In addition, it will give me an opportunity to get some hands-on experience in starting and running my engine in a guided schedule / approach. Here's what I did...


1)    Installed mineral oil in the engine;

2)    Start engine, run at 800 RPM for three (3) minutes, shut down, check for leaks, (4/10/2016);

3)    Start engine, run at 1,000 RPM for three (3) minutes, shut down, check for leaks, (4/11/2016);

4)    Put on cowlings;

5)    Start engine, run at 1,200 RPM for three (3) minutes, shut down, park into the wind;

6)    Start engine, run at 1,400 RPM for five (5) minutes, shut down, park into the wind;

7)    Start engine, run at 1,400 RPM for ten (10) minutes, shut down, park into the wind;

8)    Start engine, run at 1,400 RPM for five (5) minutes, run up to full power, check all engine parameters, retard to 1,000 RPM for one (1) minute, shut down.

        While I was at full power, I observed my full RPM. It was at 2,420 RPM static. I have a Hertzler 2 blade propeller (65x80).   


Mahlon also provided a few words of caution:

- All runs should be made into the wind;

- At no time during these runs should CHT exceed 350 degrees F;

- Between all engine runs, allow adequate cool-off time.


Throughout this run, I started to get a bit more comfortable with starting the plane. I started to pick up the various sounds my engine puts out...For example, when the engine is about to start and that I can let my finger off the start button, when it is flooded, etc. All in all, a nice experience!


My next step is to start ground run...


Here's some more cautions from Mahlon on ground runs...

- Don't run the engine above 2,000 RPM unless you are doing a momentary full power check, high speed taxi tests or actual take off runs;

- If the CHT goes above 350oF, or the oil temp goes above 180oF at any point during the 10 minutes max. duration ground run, or at the expiration of the ten minute time limit, that run should be terminated. Then park the aircraft faced into the wind and allow the engine to cool. Continue with the run after the engine cools off.


Here's a video showing my slow taxiing around the hangar: