Let's Get Technical
What about oil
July 1, 2020
If you are in the process of building or restoring your own aircraft you can now send in a question to be answered in a future issue of the Minnesota Flyer by Technical Advisor Mark Manning.
Please submit your questions along with a photo whenever possible to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Technical Advisor, Mark Manning brings with him over 38 years of aviation experience. He has performed maintenance on over 35 different types of aircraft and has flown more than 25 different models of aircraft.
Hope you are all having a good and safe start to the summer flying season.
I get a lot of questions about oil usage and what type should you use in your engine. Well that has many opinions like any other depending on who you talk to so, here is my take on the subject. Use whatever oil is approved for your engine or ask around what has worked best for a particular engine.
It would also depend what time of year or temps you are operating in. My best luck with the small continentals is the Philips X/C and I can use this oil year round with varying temps. I also think if you don't fly much using cam guard is a good protection against corrosion inside of the engine. You can also find lots of good information on this on Harry Fenton's Hints and Tips page: http://www.bowersflybaby.com/tech/fenton.html. He has a lot of other good information also.
On the subject of oil usage well, I think a quart an hour is a bit much but, if it is not causing the plugs to foul out and you only fly a few hours in the summer and can't afford the top overhaul, you may be able get by with that. Keep an eye on it as not to run the engine too low on oil. However I have been told that they will run OK on just one quart of oil, but not something I would personally try or recommend.
Usually a quart somewhere around 8 to 10 hours or less is a good engine. The main thing to remember is to follow manufacturers recommendations, even though they sometimes don't have much information on oil usage. So it leaves it up to good judgment and what others have experienced.
Just be safe, have fun and keep the fan turning. Pilots don't like it when the fan stops.
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