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  • Steve

RV-8 and the 2024 Condition Inspection Part 4

With the brakes finished, it was time to start on the next worst part, firewall forward. On the one hand, I like having the opportunity to look things over carefully, but I'm not a fan of changing oil, or any of the other messy things that need to be done.

The first thing to do is a compression check and change the oil. In order to do that, the engine needs to be warm, preferably all the way to full operating temperature. What better way to do that than to fly it around for a while. Since Friday 3/15/24 was the beginning of a very nice early spring weekend, one that would have me on the ground for most of it, I wanted to do more than just run around the patch a few times.

Since it was the very end of winter, I wanted to look at the local mountains and see how much snow there was as this is usually the peak for the year. Unfortunately, there wasn't nearly as much as I would have liked to see. Some photos are posted here, and a video is here.

I took off and headed east towards Three Fingers, looped around those peaks and headed to Mt. Baker. From there I continued west to the sound and headed south toward home. One thing I noticed was that it was very warm. At 7,500' nearing Three Fingers, it was 53 degrees outside. Later, up near Mt. Baker it was 43 degrees at 9,500'. The snow isn't going to last up there for very long.

By the time I got back, the engine was well and truly warmed up. Carl stopped by just in time to help me remove the bottom cowl and help me with the compression check. I had one cylinder at 74 and the other three were all at 80. I think that's pretty good for an engine with almost 2,400 hours on it.

Next I drained the oil, really glad I added that drain point last year. After getting the oil out, I pulled the finger screen. Since I bought the airplane I have been pulling it every oil change because I had been finding a lot of carbon chunks in it and I didn't want to let it go very long. This time, there were very few carbon pieces at all, and I didn't pull it at last oil change, so it had been almost 70 hours sine the last time I had it out. In fact, when I first pulled it out, I thought it was totally clean, but after I got more of the oil out of it, I found some carbon.

That is an incredibly small amount of carbon compared to what I used to see.

With the finger screen back in, it was time to remove the filter and clean it. One nice thing about the cleanable filter is that it is smaller in diameter and shorter than the paper element filters and is easier to get in and out.

When I got the filter to the bench and removed the element, I noticed that the seal on the front of the can was damaged.

Damaged seal.

I don't know what caused that deformation, but it didn't leak. I wonder of I overtightened it when I put it back on last time. I followed the manufacturer's instructions, which are rather vague, but it shouldn't have been too tight.

I did reuse the seal, I flipped it over before installing. I had read of many people successfully using the seal several times before replacing it. Since the seal is about $14, I thought I could save a little, but I used a new one when I put it back on.

I used my ultrasonic cleaner to clean the filter element and that seemed to work well. I gently dried it with compressed air and then put it back together and mounted it back on the engine. By the time I got the engine full of oil and Camguard, it was time to call it a day. Unfortunately, that is about all I got done, but I still hope to finish firewall foreword next weekend.

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