A year has come and gone – amazing! Time for the annual Condition Inspection for my Vans RV-3B aircraft.
Believe it or not, I was really looking forward to this inspection as there were several areas that I had not really dug into on this airplane and I wanted to see them.
The bulk of the inspection went just fine. However; there were a couple unexpected items.
The first was the outboard aileron hinge on the right wing. It felt normal until I applied a fore-aft pressure. This revealed a loose hinge. After disassembly of this hinge, I found that the two holes in WD-309 were elongated and two grooves were worn into the AN-3 hinge bolt. The right way to fix this was a new WD-309 and bolt. Thanks to Van’s Aircraft, the new part arrived in short order. The raw part requires an easy modification and the mounting bolts must be match drilled which is always a challenge. From there, the hinge bolt holes must be drilled and reamed. Once all fit, cleaning and painting completes the effort. Very simple. Nice!
My Lycoming O-320 has been leaking a bit of oil as long as I have owned it. I was growing tired of having a dirty belly so decided to give it some attention. I’m glad I did. The main culprit appeared to be the inboard end of the intake pushrod tube/shroud of the #2 cylinder. I removed the shroud and was planning to replace the inboard seal. After removing the pushrod, I could not help but notice that it was bent!! Additionally, the shroud was also bent and rubbing against the cylinder. I assume this happened when a valve stuck before I purchased the airplane. The pushrod was easy enough to straighten but not the shroud. It had a ding in it which I try to “push” back out which caused the shroud to crack. Ok, new pushrod shroud ordered. An A&P friend was looking over my shoulder and suggested that I update the old style Shroud Tube Springs that retain the pushrod shroud in position as they provide more force on the seals which then helps to prevent leaks. Ok, new springs ordered (part number LW-14995). While digging into this, I found that the outer seal on the exhaust pushrod shroud on the same cylinder also appeared to be leaking. Once the parts arrived, I installed new seals on both of the pushrod shrouds of the #2 cylinder and the new shroud springs on all four cylinders.
Next, I found that my canopy hinge was taking a beating. The hinge itself had a small crack and a couple rivets were lose. I replaced a couple rivets and added a couple more to add some strength at each end.
A very small crack in the elevator skin near the trim tab was found and stop drilled.
While waiting for the engine parts to arrive, I decided to paint my valve covers. I really hate that old, rusty, ugly valve cover look. Yes, I had a muscle car when I was young, yes it had chrome valve covers!! 🙂 A pass thru the solvent bath and media blaster had them ready for paint. They look so much better now. Also painted the pushrod shrouds a nice gloss black. Always amazes me what a difference a little paint makes.
The condition inspection went just swimingly. I wasn’t down for all that long, didn’t find any major issues, and best of all; my little Daisy is back in the air!!
I should note that I ordered my Lycoming engine parts from Aircraft Specialties Services in Tulsa, OK and they did a fantastic job communicating and getting my order out very quickly. Thanks guys!