First Flights after Lycoming Install

Keith Spreuer

It was 5 months and 5 days from Subaru dead stick at Fullerton airport to first flight with my Lycoming O-360. WOW it was a pretty intensive project. My cowl had been oversized for the Subaru and the radiator had a huge exit in the lower cowl. SO it is large for a O-360 but was usable. I filled the lower hole and opened the rear for the upper air exit. And in the process cut off 6" for prop clearance. It entailed a new engine mount (thanks Cozy Girrls), new exhaust, starter, alternator, propeller (thanks Gary H Silver Bullet), SDS Ign/Inj system. I weighed everything I took off Subaru related at 540 lbs! And everything Lycoming related going on at 380 lbs. Then did a weight and balance that came out to 1327lb and 107". So in the end it was 174 lbs lighter and 2.5" forward shift in CG. My battery is still up front so that may be moved to give me more front seat capacity but solo now with no ballast is 101.6 so not bad. It turned out to be a very clean install and looks pretty. The baffling turned out to be the biggest part of it. And that was with a huge head start using the Vans O-360 kit. I highly recommend that for builders. hat did almost with out mod for the forward 3/4 of it. The rear piece is another story. I got a local sheet metal guy to do that and he is a bit OCD but it came out fabulous after 6 weeks and numerous remakes. It is not finalized yet as there are still holes.

This engine has 590 hr since OH but has been sitting like 20 yrs. But the prior owner started it prior to sale once a week for a month and it ran good. It was very dirty and weathered. So I sand blasted and painted it. Last week I started it in the Cozy and ran an hour on the ground adjusting and checking. I had an oil leak from the cover that replaced the Prop Gov but other wise no squawks. Last Sat I made my first flight with it, just in the pattern but up to 5000ft. Oil pressure is great. CHTs climbed to 434 on climb out (75 OAT). So I pulled power some and continued the climb. Eyes glued to the CHTs and forgetting to raise the gear for like 15 min. Despite that the CHTs steadily decreased to 380 and I added power back in. They stayed down. Then ready to head home I realized the gear was down. After retracting the speed build up and my first cut at WOT was 2700 and 172 ktas. Still below 400 on CHTs. BTW the static on the ground was 2450. So Gary nailed the prop pitch at 66x78. Good for a climb prop. After landing FIRST NO Radiator leak :). Actually the only squawk was that the tip forward baffling blew rearward letting a lot of air out. That was an easy fix. Otherwise a loose nut washer and Camlock snap ring in the lower cowl. The nut turned out to be an unused one left behind. Fortunately trapped in the lower cowl and the prop safe.

Made a second flight yesterday over the Phase I area that I negotiated with the FAA. I now have 1.5 of my 5 hrs done. No squawks at all on second flight. CHTs in cruise 2500, 7500', 70 oat (I figure that's comparable to 92 at sea level) topped at 409 with leaning to lean of peak. Rich of peak they dropped to the 380s. So I think the baffling still needs tightening up. 

I ought to have the phase I done next week end. I still have a lot of clean up and paint to do but extremely glad to have it flying again.
Cozy IV SN 018

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