Today’s question comes from a Mr. R. Burger of South Africa. He has a V-8 auto engine in what, I assume, is a homebuilt aircraft. He was wondering if he can use 100LL in his plane without any negative effects on tanks and other fuel system components, spark plug life, engine timing and oil selection.
Many times I am surprised by the feedback I get from these columns. Most is positive and greatly appreciated.
One of the highlights of the aviation year is EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. The week-long gathering is great for many reasons, but mostly I enjoy seeing old friends and finding out what is new in the technical end of the business.
What’s the best way to start a cold engine? I’ve recently received several questions about this, with some asking about pre-oiling, hand propping or even squirting a small amount of oil into each cylinder before cranking.
Today’s question comes from Verd Erickson, who asked “”Are there any synthetic oils available for aircraft engines?”" His letter was actually sent to Paul McBride, GAN’s engines expert, but ended up with me.
I’ve received a number of comments concerning the use of additives in the fuel or oil of aircraft. They range from “”I’ve seen #2 diesel fuel gel at cold temperatures even with an additive”" to “”I’ve added such and such an additive to my oil and now I get over 50% better mileage and my engine will last forever.”"
Judging by the number of questions I receive in the mail and at air shows, the No. 1 lubricant related question is: “”What is the best thing to do to prevent rust and corrosion during prolonged storage or during very low usage times?”"
Dr. Jason Gislason from ConocoPhillips points out that one of the problems with aircraft diesel engines using Jet A is that there is not a minimum cetane rating in the ASTM D-1655 specification (the spec for all Jet A sold in the U.S.).
Dennis Corsi recently sent a note, detailing his problem: “”We operate a 1980 Cessna 182 RG with a Lycoming O-540. Recently, the number one exhaust valve push rod bent. We have been adding Marvel Mystery Oil ever since, but I sense that we are not quite solving the problem.”" He went on to state that the engine runs rough on startup and then runs normal after warming up. His main question was what is TCP and would adding TCP to the fuel cure the problem?