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Thread: Asking advice on continental engine at annual?

  1. #1

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    Asking advice on continental engine at annual?

    My 1988 Be 36 TC is in for annual. The engine is Cont TSIO 520 UB, about 800 hours on it.

    In the oil change we found some metal in the filter, not much, but more than a trace. It is all the same, about 10 small iron or steel spikes or slivers, they are perhaps 1/32 of an inch long and half that wide. They taper from a bigger base to a point, like a spike. They are sort of sharp sided, not round, and are magnetic, and just dark in color like the oil. There is no aluminum flakes or bearing metal or bronze,no polished or chrome, just these things. We did an oil analysis but don't have the results back yet. I don't expect the analysis to show much as these are too large to make it through the oil filter.

    My A & P has 40 years experience and is not sure what they are. It could be a tappet or a gear, he doesn't think it is from a camshaft.

    The standby backup generator is worn out, even though it still works, but there no evidence of the gear of where it mounts missing any metal.

    Any good advice or educated guess? A full overhaul is $42,000, and I don't want to do it just on guess work. He suggests flying another 20 hours and then checking the filter again.

    I may also try sending some of the metal itself into be checked by Cont or the oli analysis people, neither of which do I have complete beliefe in.

    Compression is good, he did find ignition timing was about 2 * off. It starts and runs well.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 09-11-2012 at 02:42 PM.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    My 1988 Be 36 TC is in for annual. The engine is Cont TSIO 520 UB, about 800 hours on it.

    In the oil change we found some metal in the filter, not much, but more than a trace. It is all the same, about 10 small iron or steel spikes or slivers, they are perhaps 1/32 of an inch long and half that wide. They taper from a bigger base to a point, like a spike. They are sort of sharp sided, not round, and are magnetic, and just dark in color like the oil. There is no aluminum flakes or bearing metal or bronze,no polished or chrome, just these things. We did an oil analysis but don't have the results back yet. I don't expect the analysis to show much as these are too large to make it through the oil filter.

    My A & P has 30 years experience and is not sure what they are. It could be a tappet or a gear, he doesn't think it is from a camshaft.

    The standby backup generator is worn out, even though it still works, but there no evidence of the gear of where it mounts missing any metal.

    Any good advice or educated guess? A full overhaul is $42,000, and I don't want to do it just on guess work. He suggests flying another 20 hours and then checking the filter again.

    I may also try sending some of the metal itself into be checked by Cont or the oli analysis people, neither of which do I have complete beliefe in.

    Compression is good, he did find ignition timing was about 2 * off. It starts and runs well.

    Thanks
    It sounds like the cam or lifter(s) to me. Pull a a few lifters on one side to check the cam and lifter surfaces. Refer to Continental SID 05-1 before doing anything expensive.

    Ed

  3. #3

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    Thanks, Ed. I asked the A&P about looking at the cam and lifters and he says it is not easy to get access to them on this engine.

    I phoned the factory, got a nice guy who also owns a Bonanza,, and he says tappet wear usually shows more as a shaving, and I wouldn't say that is what these look like. He thinks is could be starter drive or an accessory.

  4. #4

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    Lifters bits look like coffee grounds, cam & starter adapter spring bits like needles. It could be your adapter. I hope it is!

    Ed
    Last edited by 1TJ; 09-11-2012 at 05:24 PM.

  5. #5

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    I pulled the particles off the magnet and took a better look. They look more like flakes and are smaller and shiny than my first impression.
    Oil analysis found slightly high iron and a little nickel.

    The lifters are not readily accessable on this engine.

    I think I will fly another 10 hours or so, and recheck.

    But, if there is more metal then, I'll still be considering an overhaul. Ouch $$$$$$$$!

  6. #6

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    Can you attach a picture?

    Have you recently changed your starter?
    Have you changed to Aeroshell 15W-50 or PLUS in the last year?
    You may want to pull your starter adapter and have a peak.

    One exhaust lifter should be 2-3 hours on and off. Fortunately with Continentals you don't have to remove the cylinder.

    You may want to try a high dose of Camguard if you are going to run it.
    Ed
    Last edited by 1TJ; 09-11-2012 at 05:26 PM.

  7. #7

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    I am not good with Iphone computer stuff ,but will try to get a photo. I actually used to be a commercial photographer,but that was in the film days .

    I used Exxon Elite 20w-50 oil up until about 25 hours ago when we replaced a cylinder and changed to mostly Phillips mineral oil. I have not used Shell 15-50 in a number of years.
    Do you consider 15-50 to be bad, and if so why?

    I have not changed the starter adapter, I think it was pulled and inspected about 2 years ago as part of replacing a plugged oil hose.

    I may try Camguard. I thought it was mainly to prevent corrosion and it is very dry here in Colorado.It probably can't hurt except being expensive.
    Thanks
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 09-11-2012 at 06:08 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    I am not good with Iphone computer stuff ,but will try to get a photo. I actually used to be a commercial photographer,but that was in the film days .

    I used Exxon Elite 20w-50 oil up until about 25 hours ago when we replaced a cylinder and changed to mostly Phillips mineral oil. I have not used Shell 15-50 in a number of years.
    Do you consider 15-50 to be bad, and if so why?

    I have not changed the starter adapter, I think it was pulled and inspected about 2 years ago as part of replacing a plugged oil hose.

    I may try Camguard. I thought it was mainly to prevent corrosion and it is very dry here in Colorado.It probably can't hurt except being expensive.
    Thanks
    25 hours after you had cylinder work done a mid time engine is making metal???????

  9. #9

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    One cylinder was replaced with a rebuilt one due to a crack near the exhaust port. Engine time is about 700 hours.

    I took a look at the SIB, thanks for that info. I am considering asking the A&P to open it up enough to check a lifter. But it's too much to check all 12 lifters. So what it the chance that the one we check is going to be the one that shows wear? I doubt if all of them are worn.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 09-12-2012 at 08:41 AM.

  10. #10

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    From the description, this is the first oil change after replacing the cylinder. Depending on how long the cylinder was off and the case was open to the dirty shop environment, and how sanitary the mechanic was when installing the cylinder, there was likely plenty of opportunity for "stuff" to get into the case. Most shops are not sterile clean rooms. Your note also suggests that neither the mechanic nor the tech support rep was excited about your particles. The issue that you are concerned about is a wear issue, not a sudden failure issue. So the best advice is to fly another 25 hours and look at the oil filter and screens again. If the cam is failing it will slowly wear down and your next examination will show more metal.

    I know of a Bonanza owner who had a cam lobe wear almost entirely away. Engine ran fine until they opened it up for other reasons and saw the wear.

    Or you could pull the starter drive to look for a problem in that area.

    Best of luck,

    Wes
    N78PS

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