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Thread: Hand Proping C-65

  1. #1

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    Hand Proping C-65

    I'm not sure whether to post this in here or in the maintained thread, so if the community thinks of a better place to put this post, please move it.

    I'm currently giving instruction in a Aeronca 11AC Chief that has no electrical system and a C-65 that's been upgraded to 75 hp. I've got a lot of experience hand propping, but most of it is on the Lycoming 0-290 and 0-320, so I have some questions.

    The C-65 as I said has been rebuild recently (about 50 hrs ago) and upgraded to 75 hp. It also has a primer and the old style "shoe box" mags with no shower of sparks or impulse coupling.

    My normal cold starting procedure has been:
    1 shot of primer
    Throttle closed
    Pull the prop through 2 times, mags cold
    Contact

    And it USUALLY starts on the 3rd or 4th blade. More about the usually later.
    With the throttle closed, the engine idles around 500-600 rpm.

    Question 1.)
    What is a good cold start procedure for this engine?

    Hot start:
    No prime
    Throttle Half
    Contact
    As soon as it fires, 800 to 1000 rpm (requires two people for sure)

    This usually takes a while, but everything else I've tried usually floods the engine.

    Question 2.)
    What is a good hot start procedure for this engine and what do you consider a "hot start."

    This morning when I tried the cold start, the engine acted like it was flooded on the 2nd or 3rd pull with the mags on, so I went to half throttle. After a few more pulls, a lot of gas started coming out of the carb, and we had a nice puddle under the cowl. Much more than I've ever seen come out of the airplane before. We tried starting it assuming it was flooded. It caught a couple times but would only run for 30 seconds or so before the engine would just quit. (Yes, the gas was on. First thing I checked.) We let it sit for 15 min, and tried again assuming it was flooded with the same result. I called it quits and assumed there was something wrong with the airplane because 1.) I had never seen that much gas under the cowl even when I've really flooded it before, and 2.) The engine wouldn't keep running after it fired which has never happened before. Someone else came out a couple hours later, and it fired up on the 3rd pull and it ran like a clock.
    Obviously I did something wrong, but I have no idea what. Any help will be greatly appreciated. What should I have done differently?

    Also, this engine has a tendency to kick back a lot. (A result of the timing being incredibly advanced with no impulse coupling) If it does that more than once, I assume that the engine is flooded, but this doesn't seem to work all the great for me, so any advice on what to do after the engine kicks back once will also be helpful.

    I love these old airplanes and most of the quirks that go along with them, but I would really like to reliably start them. After about 40 starts on this engine, I still don't have it figured out, so its time to ask the experts.

    Thank you!

  2. #2

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    If you have a lot of fuel leaking out you may have a stuck carb float, (open) which floods the carb. Try turning off the fuel and tapping on the side of the float bowl, and then turn the fuel back on and see if it leaks. Also could be a loose or cracked fitting or hose.

    I hand prop the C-90 in my J3 Cub. FIRST TIE THE TAIL DOWN! I don't care who you have sitting in the cockpit, a tie down is safer. Chocks are fine, but as a second item.
    Next, I give one shot of prime, might do two if it is real cold. Don't pull the prop through, that wastes the prime. Just barely crack the throttle and if you ignored the part about tieing down, I would emphasize the barely. Then contact, mags on and prop. Mine will start almost all the time on the first pull, if not the 2nd, but mine does have the shower of sparks mags I think, and you can hear the impulse coupling click if you pull the prop through slowly with the mags off.

    I woud never go to half throttle or anywhere more than just open unless I am in the plane. Once mine starts, it will idle about 800-900 with just that slight amount of throttle, enough to want to creep. I close the throttle and it will then idle about 500 and sit still so I can untie the tail and pull the chock.

    Mine is harder to start when the engine is warm, I think I skip the prime, can't recall for sure.
    Be dam careful, as they say a Cub or a Champ can just barely kill you.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 05-19-2012 at 06:43 PM.

  3. #3

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    We always tie the tail. I like backups. I've never had to hot start it on my own, and I'm not sure what I would do in that situation, but I definitely would not use half throttle. That's only something that we do when we have someone in the cockpit.

    Thanks for your input, but shower of sparks definitely makes things easier. I know for a fact that the mags do NOT have shower of sparks or an impulse coupling. It doesn't click when pulled through.

    Thanks!

  4. #4

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    One thing I thought of about your problem of kicking back. Try pulling it through just one time with the mags off, after you have primed it one stroke. Then mags hot and prop it. That may help, may not.
    I hope you have a wooden prop, seems safer and more comfortable.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by svanhatt View Post

    Question 1.)
    What is a good cold start procedure for this engine?

    Question 2.)
    What is a good hot start procedure for this engine and what do you consider a "hot start."
    Stromberg carburetor with back suction mixture? And if so, does it still have a SS needle valve?

  6. #6

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    All good ideas. When I had my Champ and Luscombe, I usually was alone when I hand propped. Instead of tying the tail, I used one of my tie downs and looped through what ever was available. Usually a tiedown point. I closed the loop to a seat belt or the fuselage strut attachment. After start, I got in the seat, untied and pulled the rope free and tossed it in the baggage. Yes, its lazy but I didn't need to leave the cockpit area with a running engine.

    Another thing that I always did was after the priming, etc and before contact, I turned the fuel valve off. In case everything went wrong, the engine would stop after a minute. If everything went OK, I was back at the cockpit door and turned it back on.

    I did not like the "sea plane method" because it called for wrapping fingers over the trailing edge of the prop. You could lose fingers in a kick back.

    Bob

  7. #7
    rosiejerryrosie's Avatar
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    Man - that's great idea - turning the fuel off and then back on when you're in the driver's seat!

    I guess each and every engine has its own pecularities. My Continental A65 starts best with three shots of prime, eight blades and one pull starts it. On hot starts??? Depends on how long it has set since running. I start by trying no prime, five blades and contact. If that doesn't work after three tries - one shot of prime and contact. Usually starts. A lot better than the Lycoming O145 that it replaced. I've cranked that mother as long as 45 minutes with no joy.
    Cheers,
    Jerry

    NC22375
    65LA out of 07N Pennsylvania

  8. #8

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    Hand propping with a completely closed throttle will help flash any liquid gas in the intake manifold to vapor, which is necessary for ignition. The high velocity of air past the closed throttle plate will also draw atomized fuel into the engine. Go easy on prime as it tends to cause kickbacks. It is much easier to get a restart from a starved-out engine (i. e. too lean) than from a flooded-out engine.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by svanhatt View Post
    I know for a fact that the mags do NOT have shower of sparks or an impulse coupling. It doesn't click when pulled through.

    Thanks!
    You should have an impulse on at least one or both magnetos, perhaps the impulse is sticking or something when you cannot hear it.
    What do you have, if not an impulse?

  10. #10
    rosiejerryrosie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    You should have an impulse on at least one or both magnetos, perhaps the impulse is sticking or something when you cannot hear it.
    What do you have, if not an impulse?
    Many older magnitos did not have impulse. They depended on moving the blade fast enough to generate the spark that the impulse mechanism generates by "snapping" the rotation at the proper time. That's why you see all the leg swinging gyrations - not necessary with impulse equipped mags...
    Cheers,
    Jerry

    NC22375
    65LA out of 07N Pennsylvania

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