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Old Feb 10, 2013, 07:49 AM
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Old new engine question

Hi, all. I've been reading and posting in the electric heli forums for a few weeks. I got a few of them for Christmas, and I'm hooked. It's also brought me back to a project from years ago; probably 15 or 20 years ago, actually....

Way back then, my wife bought me a Great Planes trainer airplane kit. Building it was a joy. After it was built, for the next gift-giving holiday she bought me a Futaba 4NBF tx/rx/servo set which I installed, and an O.S. Max FP-40 engine. I installed the servos and the engine, fuel tank, and exhaust, charged the batteries, and tested all the linkages. All worked correctly and freely. However, I knew nothing about flying, and we lived out in the middle of nowhere; no one was around to help me learn. I got chicken, didn't want to wreck my beautiful plane, and never flew it... never even fired up the engine.

Fast forward 20 years...

In that time I've got my actual private pilot's license and a couple hundred hours under my belt. I've flown enough R/C helis to be comfortable with the orientation aspects of the control sticks. There's an R/C airplane club and field less than a mile from our current home. It's TIME TO FLY THIS DARN THING! <grin>

Sooo.. I dug out my radio. The 9.6v battery pack had corroded/bled a bit. I cleaned it up, resoldered the leads, and it seems to be charging fine. Initial tests showed that the radio, receiver, and servos still operate as they should, but I don't have much faith in the longevity or reliability of NiCads that old. Time for new batteries?

Now, the main question. The engine has never had fuel in it, and has never been run. I did not do anything to it prior to storage other than cover it to keep dust out. When I turn the prop, I don't feel any compression, but the glow plug is only in finger tight; could that be it? Is there anything special I should do when initially starting an engine that sat that long unused? Anything that could have deteriorated over that time that should be replaced first?

Thanks, everyone. Any hints or tips are welcome. I see that most Tx's are 2.4ghz now and fully digital. Any issues with using my old-school equipment?

Best to all,

Barry
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 08:34 AM
Fueled by Arabica Beans
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United States, NY, Syracuse
Joined Oct 2008
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Yes you will get little to no compression without the glow plug tightened. You can pop the head off if you want a look inside, but I'd say pretty much guaranteed that it will be fine if it is spinning freely. You definitely need to replace those batteries, you should never fly on a pack that has visibly bled out, and typically after 20 years, NiCds are well past their prime... they'll last 10+ years if taken care of, but there's just no reason to trust the ones you speak of. The radio thing is a touchy subject. If it has been more than 20 years then you need to be careful. Due to a change right around that time, in FCC regulations, if your radio shows that it was manufactured in 1991 or before, it will need a gold sticker on the back to be allowed to fly at an AMA club or event. If it was manufactured after 1991 then just the silver sticker on the back is just fine. The gold sticker says that it conforms with narrow band regulations I believe.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 09:15 AM
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Good news!

Chill,

Thanks for the quick and helpful reply. The sticker on the TX is gold, dated 6/94, so it sounds like there's no problem there. Replacing the battery back seemed like a good idea, even if it hadn't leaked; thanks for the push to do so. I'll use the old one for indoor testing of the servos and TX, but not for flight.

A few days ago I ordered a Turnigy 9x for my helicopters (which are all micros with integrated rx/servos on one pc board). It'll come with a compatible RX.. can I use that in my plane with the Futaba servos currently in it? That would be nice...

Syracuse, eh? Small world.. I'm in Pompey, near the OMAC!

Thanks, again!

Barry
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 09:52 AM
Zor
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[
Hello Barry,

I will not tell you what to do but I may be helpful by telling you what I would do.

I would use all new batteries and make sure they are fully charged.

i would get the control system in operation and cycle all the surfaces (servo exercise) at least 100 times using both fast and slow surfaces rotation. Reason is to make sure they are responding reliably and have no slop.
I would then check that the control surfaces are responding to very small Tx stick motions. Now you can rely on the servos response.

Engine _ _ _
I would open the head if independently removable and have a good look at the cylinder wall before putting any oil in. I would also remove the crankcase back cover making sure I do not damage the gasket if possible. If the gasket get split I would manage to make a new one with suitable material and thickness.

While opened I would turn the crankshaft (put a prop on) many times feeling for any roughness of the bearings. It should be absolutely smooth.

Now is time to put in a few drops of oil on around the top of the piston and hand turn the crankshaft to circulate the oil all around the cylinder walls. Also add many drops of oil via the open rear case cover to lubricate the crankshaft bearings. A few more drops of oil into the caburetor both carb closed and carb fully open. Logically move the components many times to assure proper initial lubrication.

I would then run the engine on a static assembly (outdoor bench or picnic table) using the commonly known "breakin procedure".

Voila _ _ _ Put the whole model airplane together again and fly it.

If you disagree with what I would do then just disregard this posting.

Wishing you good success. I think you will get a great satisfaction of seeing this old model in the air.

Best to you from Zor

P.S.: When posting I see that I am late but I will leave this posting on for a couple of days.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 10:24 AM
Fueled by Arabica Beans
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United States, NY, Syracuse
Joined Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musechaserpilot View Post
Chill,

Thanks for the quick and helpful reply. The sticker on the TX is gold, dated 6/94, so it sounds like there's no problem there. Replacing the battery back seemed like a good idea, even if it hadn't leaked; thanks for the push to do so. I'll use the old one for indoor testing of the servos and TX, but not for flight.

A few days ago I ordered a Turnigy 9x for my helicopters (which are all micros with integrated rx/servos on one pc board). It'll come with a compatible RX.. can I use that in my plane with the Futaba servos currently in it? That would be nice...

Syracuse, eh? Small world.. I'm in Pompey, near the OMAC!

Thanks, again!

Barry
Yeah, those servos should work, you'll just have to cut off the tab on the servo plugs to get them to fit in the RX. I'm in Lafayette actually, Syracuse is just a lot better known so I put that up... been through Pompey a couple times, I need to find myself a new club to fly at this summer, might end up out there, I hear it's a good club.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 10:33 AM
Fueled by Arabica Beans
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United States, NY, Syracuse
Joined Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zor View Post
[

Engine _ _ _
I would open the head if independently removable and have a good look at the cylinder wall before putting any oil in. I would also remove the crankcase back cover making sure I do not damage the gasket if possible. If the gasket get split I would manage to make a new one with suitable material and thickness.

While opened I would turn the crankshaft (put a prop on) many times feeling for any roughness of the bearings. It should be absolutely smooth.

Now is time to put in a few drops of oil on around the top of the piston and hand turn the crankshaft to circulate the oil all around the cylinder walls. Also add many drops of oil via the open rear case cover to lubricate the crankshaft bearings. A few more drops of oil into the caburetor both carb closed and carb fully open. Logically move the components many times to assure proper initial lubrication.

I would then run the engine on a static assembly (outdoor bench or picnic table) using the commonly known "breakin procedure".

Voila _ _ _ Put the whole model airplane together again and fly it.
There are no bearings in that engine Zor, it's a bushing engine, but yeah it's good to drop some 3 in 1 oil (or equivalent) into the carb at least and maybe through the exhaust port if you don't want to open the engine. Seriously though it should basically be brand new since it was never run.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 10:59 AM
Zor
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Originally Posted by ChillPhatCat View Post

There are no bearings in that engine Zor, it's a bushing engine, but yeah it's good to drop some 3 in 1 oil (or equivalent) into the carb at least and maybe through the exhaust port if you don't want to open the engine. Seriously though it should basically be brand new since it was never run.
Thanks for the correction ChillPhatCat .

I will continue to call "a bearing" anything that supports a rotary device such as a crankshaft.

Since I do not know the construction details of this engines, I would like to see the condition of the surface of the cylinder wall.

Zor
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 02:59 PM
supreme being of leisure
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Tel Aviv, Israel
Joined Jul 2004
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correct me if i'm wrong but didn't the FP line have a lapped iron/steel cylinder/piston construction? if so then take that into account when getting fuel for it and breaking it in....lots of castor!

and yes, the turnigy radio should be just fine as long as the receiver you're getting is full range and not just for indoor/park fliers. i don't know which features it has but i'll just assume that dual rates and adjustable endpoints are on the list, this will make setting up the model much easier. that being said, your old futaba with new batteries will work just fine and i doubt there are any clubs over there that are 100% 2.4GHz and don't allow older narrow band equipment.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 03:56 PM
The Prez....... again
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United States, IA, Rockwell
Joined Jul 2011
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Welcome back to the RC world

If you decide to remove the back cover of your engine and tear the gasket. Take engine and make a photo copy of the engine where the back plate attaches to. Then cut out the photo copy of your gasket. i find it best to cut the inside out first.

Good luck with you new found passion.

OH, Good on you for seeking out a club to receive some help from!!

Ken
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 05:57 PM
Fueled by Arabica Beans
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Originally Posted by ZAGNUT View Post
correct me if i'm wrong but didn't the FP line have a lapped iron/steel cylinder/piston construction? if so then take that into account when getting fuel for it and breaking it in....lots of castor!
.
Nope, it was an ABC engine.

http://www.osengines.com/engines/eng...continued.html
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 06:13 PM
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Thanks for all the replies and good advice, folks... much appreciated.

OK, here's an update on today's activities..

Good news, maybe already mentioned.. the tx, rx, and servos all work fine, the old batteries worked great and held a charge for almost an hour of being turned on and intermittent stick wigglin'. Don't worry, I'll still get new batteries.

Bad news... I can't get the engine started. Here's what I did..

I have one of those nifty Hobbico "HotShot" glow plug starters that I had been charging since this morning, but that's "vintage," too. I did a brief test of the glow plug with the HotShot prior to mounting the glow plug in the engine and it did heat up instantly. I also have a Hobbico 12v starter motor and a good motorcycle battery.

I pulled the engine from the plane, built a bench mount, and mounted it. Filled up the 8 oz tank with fuel I had bought when I bought the engine. I know that's REALLY old fuel, but it was in a sealed, unopened gallon container so I was hoping for the best. Followed the needle valve adjustment, priming, and choking procedures in the engine's manual. The engine drew fuel from the tank into the carb (and spilled some out from the carb in the process) no problem. I didn't see any excess fuel being pumped into the relief tube going to the exhaust; the manual mentioned that would be a sign of flooding. I made sure the needle valve was adjusted two full turns open from the fully closed position and the throttle was cracked 1/3 open, per the manual. I attached the Hot-Shot glowstarter. Then.. crossed my fingers, put the starter on the spinner, pressed the button and..... sigh... the starter spun rapidly but the prop didn't, and ended up eating a big gouge in my plastic spinner. I guess some of the fuel that spilled out the carb got on the spinner and softened it. After degreasing the spinner, I tried again. There's so much compression that the starter had trouble turning the prop. Sometimes it'd spin rapidly for a couple revolutions, but sometimes it would freeze at the compression point. I know that sounds like a weak battery, but it's not.. it's a freshly charged strong bike battery from my bike which I'm religious about trickle charging on a schedule in the winter. I tried using a chicken stick... at least 50 times. Went back to the starter motor... then the stick again. Tried wide open throttle, closed, different settings of the needle valve... nothing.. not even a cough. Took the hotshot off, figuring maybe it just didn't have enough oomph after all these years, and used a new alkaline D-cell with two leads to heat the plug. Nothin'.

The fuel is a "Byron Fuels" 15% nitro, 16% synthetic/castor oil blend. Based on some of the advice in previous posts, I should probably be using 20% pure castor on this engine, yes? The fuel is what the fellow in the hobby store recommended for my engine years ago.

Soo.. what's everyone best guess, besides I'm an idiot. Bad fuel? Not enough patience? Not enough juice to the glow plug? Too cold outside (best guess, upper 30s/low 40s)?I need a new spinner now; this one's pretty chewed up. What else should I get?

Thanks for reading. Sorry to write so much, but I wanted to make sure I gave enough info on what I tried.

Best to all...

Barry
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 06:32 PM
Fueled by Arabica Beans
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20 years might be too old for the fuel... but you never know.

For the first run, I always take the needle valve out two turns, prime it, open the carb up just a little, then hit it with the starter. Always turn the prop back as far as it will go before you hit it with the starter because even good batteries can have trouble turning over the engine if it doesn't get a running start. It might take 10-20 seconds on the starter before it starts to kick. My recollection from using a few FP engines back in the day, they aren't the biggest fans of a chicken stick, but will do it with some patience after they are broken in. Whatever you do, don't doubt the needle valve before you get it running, just set it at the recommended initial position and get it started first. If all this still doesn't work, you should probably get some new glow fuel and maybe seek out that club for help. I'm sure somebody is crazy enough to be flying their glow planes this time of year (I'm over that "fun" adventure myself )
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:18 AM
supreme being of leisure
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fuel should be OK even after 20 years unless you can see any "cloudiness" in it.

and since the engine is an "ABC" synthetic/castor mix should be OK, BUT, byron, at least back then, was mixing fuel by weight which means it has even less than 16% oil by volume and IMO that's not enough, especially for a ringless engine with a bushed crank.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:20 AM
supreme being of leisure
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Originally Posted by ChillPhatCat View Post
thanks, i see that even the little .10FP was ABC and that i do kind of remember as i had a .10FSR which must have been the last lapped iron engine OS made.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 07:06 AM
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it sounds to me like you flooded your engine! and when that happens, it dosn't matter how much power you put to the plug!

pull the glow plug out, spin the engine around, make shure the plug glows, then re-install, and the engine should fire up, with above settings on the needles!
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