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Technical Chat Tips and Advice, including flying the Luscombe

Moderator: HTB

 #5460  by John B
 Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:10 pm
I'm thinking about replacing the chrome cylinders on my Continental 0200 100hp engine. Question is what is the best match to the Luscombe in terms of HP (ps), torque, reliability, fuel consumption, cruise rpm/speed differential regarding 85/90/100hp engines and rate/angle of climb performance (prop pitch same for all engines?) is there a max take off weight penalty for less hp? Does the weight and balance profile remain constant between the power choices? I assume that you replace the cylinders and that the crank/block is the same (stroke) but the bore is slightly less for 85/90. Also, does the exhaust port flange size/angle and relative position remain the same for all hp derivatives?

Who manufactures the best cylinder, head piston kit sets?

I'd be grateful for any advise regarding the above, fortunately the crank has only clocked up about 400hrs since new bearings fitted and end play is well within limits so don't want to pay engineer to split the block if that can be avoided I guess the rods and gudgeon pins are the same on all hp ratings.

Thanks :wink:

 #5462  by Mike Culver
 Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:09 am
I can't quote specifics about particular cylinders; however the O-200 is a really nice engine on a Luscombe. The smaller engines don't provide a lot of weight savings, and aside from lower fuel burn there is not any reason to downsize. At least, that's my opinion.

BTW, I fly a 8E with a Lycoming O-235. Love it!

 #5465  by dmcneil
 Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:17 pm
Hi John,

I'm not completely certain I'm understanding your question correctly. If you want to retain your O-200 crankcase and lower end, then you need O-200 cylinders. The basic castings for the C-85 through O200 cylinders are the same. The differences... and there are many... come in the rods, pistons, valves, valve springs, etc. Additionally, each engine has a distinct camshaft with matching lifters.

There is a Continental Service Bulletin that details converting the C-85 to a C-90. Continental would like to forget it exists. And there is an STC here in the US for adding an O-200 crank, cylinders, rods and pistons to the C-85. However, that engine remains a C-85.

The O-200 is a very good match for the Luscombe airframe. Some say it's the best match. Best of all, it's a current production engine. It's essentially the same weight as the C-85 or C-90 with a little more horse power. You can get significant weight savings with any of the small Continentals by careful selection of accessories... starter, generator/alternator, and battery. Or leave the electrics off entirely and really save some weight! :D

New O-200 cylinder assemblies (as well as C-85/90 assemblies) are available from Continental and from ECi. Continental has been having some quality control problems with their cylinders as reported by Aviation Consumer. ECi gets better ratings. Neither has been completely problem free. Many folks will disassemble any new cylinder to check the machining and all clearances before installation. Valve seat concentricity and valve guide clearances seem to have been particular issues. Of course, disassembling a brand new cylinder will void any warranty... :wall:

 #5467  by Nige
 Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:54 am
Very interesting guys and I'd be interested to see how you get on John?

My engine, a C-85 on my 8E is approaching it's half life and within 10 years I'll be thinking of an overhaul or possible replacement, so I'll take on board what people might suggest/recommend in this field. I replaced my troublesome continental cylinders {stuck valves etc} back in 2000 with the Millenium cylinders and, apart from one exhust valve being relapped recently, they have been completely trouble free in over 800 hrs. :D I believe these cylinders are now being manufactured by another company and so I can't confirm the quality of these now compared to 10 years ago. Perhaps Dan or others may throw some light on this relatively recent change of events?

 #5469  by Pete Bush
 Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:32 am
Hi John,

Wise words from Dan as usual, as he says unless you want to split the crank cases to change the cam you will have to stick with the 0-200. The only major difference between an 0-200 and a late model C90 is the carb set up and the cam. An 0-200 is a C90 that turns faster to get the 100HP, the C85 and smaller engines have many differences. A good prop for a Luscombe with an 0-200 would be an 71/48 and a fair match for the C90 is a 71/50 or 52.

Do you have concerns with your chrome cylinders John? There is an AD out for older 0-200 cylinders, this requires the timing to be retarded to 24 degrees BTDC as opposed to the standard 28. This site explains
As I have the late model cylinders on G-BROO I have the timing at 28 degrees but I did use 24 when the cylinders were new, there is a perceivable power increase with the 28 degree timing.

 #5472  by John B
 Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:18 pm
Hello All
I believe the A/D is for cylinders manufactured before 1977 or thereabouts and the regs state on O-200-A and –B model engines that have a complete set (4 each) of P/N 641917 or subsequent (higher) part number cylinders installed are eligible to have the timing advanced to 28 degrees BTC. This may include a combination of 641917, 649543, 653246, 654377, 653816, 655483 or subsequent (higher) part number cylinders. The cylinders P/N 641917 were first produced beginning in 1977. The cylinder part number is stamped on the barrel flange. The absence of a cylinder part number usually indicates cylinders manufactured prior to P/N 641917. I believe the A/D is only applicable to TCM cylinders.
My Bolkow has just had its timing adjusted from 28 to 24 degrees under the ARC requirements and it has made a noticeable difference to takeoff performance probably due to the cruise prop fitted not letting the engine rev-on as much as before. These A/D’s are great aren’t they no doubt all aircraft performance parameters were considered before the mandatory requirement made..yeh right. Previously at 630kg I could hold 60 degrees angle of bank at 80kts with max the speed falls off in the turn. Personally I think it’s a better option to run at 28degrees at 2750 than hit the stall-warner or hug the deck coming out of a short strip. At 24 degrees the bolkow is now potentially a ball breaker at all up weight. Strange how the Germans saw fit to let it run at 28 degrees previously! Maybe because it was put together by Rolls Royce!
I need to fit three post serial number cylinders (one new already on) to get over this problem before I start eating hedge. :?

Regarding the Luscombe, it makes sense to stick with the 0200 and change the chrome cylinders as these can be problematic I am told! I have a climb prop on the luscombe and although 24 degrees will be less noticeable that on the Bolkow It would benefit from some fresh cylinders as the crank and bearings were sorted by Norvic only 400hrs or so ago thus cyl replacement would make it a worthwhile cost upgrade..I think. :scratch:

Thanks for all the sound advise guys. Really looking forward to flying the Luscombe soon.
Cheers John
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 #5485  by Nige
 Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:31 am
Always been wary of chrome cylinders John.. Good luck with the mods!

 #5492  by dmcneil
 Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:46 pm
Hey Nige,

Your Millenium cylinders are no longer available! They were made by Superior AirParts. That company went into bankruptcy a few years ago as a result of the parent company's troubles (Thielert). At the time of the bankruptcy announcement, they stopped production of those replacement cylinders. Just recently, Superior AirParts was purchased by a Chinese corporation. Whether the Millenium cylinders get back into production is an unanswered question at this time.

If your C-85 case and camshaft are in good shape at overhaul time it might be a good candidate for the STC C-85/O-200 conversion. This STC replaces the C-85 crankshaft, rods, pistons and cylinders with brand new O-200 parts. Everything bolts right on. The engine remains a C-85 in terms of both it's certification and operation. The new parts increase the stroke of the engine as well as increasing the compression ratio a bit. Folks who have flown these engines before and after conversion describe a noticeable increase in power to the point where props have to be re-pitched.

Might be one alternative to consider.

 #5498  by Nige
 Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:54 pm
Thanks Dan and , yes, I'd heard that Superior had folded. Not sure if I want to go down the Chinese route.. :? So does this mean I'm in the 'Poo' regarding spare parts? :shock:

I understand my 85 case and camshaft are in good shape so that may well be the way to go, very interesting and, as always, thanks for the accurate advice.

I'm hoping I'll get a call from Mike Culver, who's over here at the moment. Strange, him being here in the UK and not being able to see him. I know he's very busy and I'm flying when he's free, grrrr..! :roll: Typical..

Cheers Dan,

 #5502  by Nige
 Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:41 pm
Mike's just called me! He's on the ball! And jet lagged too.. :wink:

Good to chat to you today Mike! :D Hope all goes well here in Blighty. {sorry the Tubes are on strike.. :( }

 #5509  by dmcneil
 Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:56 pm
Hey Nige,

I'm convinced that no matter where in the world you are, if you wait a day or two, Mike will turn up in your neighborhood! You would expect him to be immune to jet lag by now. :mrgreen:

 #5537  by Nige
 Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:51 am
Indeed Dan! :D I t was great to catch up and I felt we could of chatted about Luscombes for a great deal longer! :shock:

Immune to jet lag? :? I wish!

 #5593  by John B
 Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:01 pm
I thought I would pass on this information for the benefit of anybody considering a Continental engine overhaul.
I've just had three cylinders changed on my 0200 RR/continental. The TCM cylinder kits complete with piston and rings etc came in at about £645 plus vat each and the cost to fit all three kits to 2,3,4 positions including oil,(straight 80) filter, inspecting hydraulic tappets and rockers, visual inspection of camshaft lobes (in situ) and ground run break-in came to £253-17 (vat not chargeable). An excellent job by a very competent licensed aircraft engineer Tim Brazier. T.G.M. aviation is based at Oaksey Park. Tel: 01666 575111. I expect to sell my old 1870hr cylinders for about £150 each which brings the total cost for the labour parts oil and materials (inc 2x intake tube hoses) to £2526.79 less value of old cylinders @£450 = £2076.79 cost to change or £692.26 per pot. I think this is very good value considering that there is considerable cowl stripping to be done in order to access the engine on the Bolkow Junior :thumright: :thumright:
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 #9167  by Richard Valler
 Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:39 pm
Nige I think the post from Noor is somewhat suspect .... it's an extract of part of the first post in this thread by John B. Posts like this seem to happen occasionally on this board, goodness only knows why.
 #9168  by Nige
 Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:19 am
Indeed Rich. But as administrator I have to give these spam threads a chance in order to guarantee authenticity.
In this case it is spam and I have removed it. Cheers chum.