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  • Steve

RV-8 and the 2023 Condition Inspection Pt. 3

The condition inspection continues 4/1/23 and 4/2/23.


First thing Saturday I wanted to get the air filter out and get it cleaned so it could have 24 hours to dry and I could oil it and reinstall it Sunday afternoon. According to the K&N instructions, after washing the filter it has to be completely dry before oiling. They say to let it dry naturally, so I usually try to hang it somewhere there is air flow to help it dry.


The next thing to do was to get the old oil filter out and install the new Challenger reusable oil filter. The Challenger oil filter is a good bit smaller than the Champion or Tempest filters they replace. It is also a very nicely machined product. It uses a removable, cleanable stainless steel element in place of the paper filter element in one time use filters.

Champion one time use oil filter.

I had thought about buying a spare filter element, as some folks have, so that at oil change I can just swap elements and not have to take time at that moment to clean it. The element, however, is a bit over $200, so maybe cleaning it won't be that hard after all. I'm hoping to be able to put it in my ultrasonic cleaner and have it clean while I do other things. We'll see.

The Challenger filter is both shorter and a smaller diameter.

Once the new oil filter was in, it was time to start reinstalling oil, and, of course, CamGuard. I add oil slowly, letting each quart drain for 15-20 minutes. That way, they are about as empty as they can get. While waiting on that is a good time to safety all the things I disconnected. The front drain plug cap, that's easy. The oil filter, more on that in a moment, and the finger screen.

Finger screen housing. Note the piece of safety wire behind it. That goes to the useless quick drain.

I mentioned in part 2 that I goofed in cutting the safety wire for the finger screen housing and cut the piece behind it, the piece that goes to the quick drain. Of course, that meant that I had to re-safety that as well. That one is a booger to get to and I was not pleased about it. I discovered as I was trying to get a new piece of safety wire on it, the same as the one I cut, that I had actually had it safetied backwards before. Now I had to start all over and do the correct way.

The correctly safetied quick drain. The previous one had the wire on the other side of the valve, pulling in the wrong direction.

I did safety the Challenger oil filter. I had moved away from safetying the Champion filters because it takes so much force to remove them that there is certainly no way that it will come off on its own. Also, I can put a witness mark on it that is visible through the oil door and verify on preflight that it has not moved. In addition, Robinson helicopter manuals now specifically say that the oil filter does not have to be safetied. If the filter won't come loose on a helicopter trying to shake itself apart, there is no reason to do it on an airplane. Since I am not familiar with the Challenger filters, I will satiety wire them for at least the first few oil changes and see how they go.


Once that was done it was time to rotate and clean the spark plugs. Another advantage to the fine wire plugs is that they don't seem to foul very much and they are pretty easy to clean. With the plugs out it was also a good time to check the timing. I have Lasar mags and checking the timing for them is a bit different than with regular Slick mags. There is a separate timing tool that performs this function. Fortunately, these were bang on and didn't require any adjustment.


The last thing to do with the plugs out was to borescope the cylinders to make sure that all looks good. They did.

Cylinder #1 Intake valve.
Cylinder #1 Exhaust valve.
Cylinder #3 Intake valve.
Cylinder #3 Exhaust valve.
Cylinder #2 Intake valve.
Cylinder #2 Exhaust valve.
Cylinder #4 Intake valve.
Cylinder #4 Exhaust valve.

Once I had the images, I reinstalled and torqued the spark plugs. Since I was issued a calibrated elbow in the Air Force, I don't use a torque wrench on everything, but I do use one on important things, like engine bits, so I torqued the plugs to the Lycoming recommended 420 inch pounds.


The last thing that I did this weekend was to spend some quality time with a mirror and flash light doing all of the visual inspections. Fortunately, I didn't find anything of concern.


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