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I got back out to the hangar on Saturday, and finished off 99.99% of the engine reinstallation. I had Dale, a very experienced builder, aircraft maintenance engineer, and retired official amateur-built aircraft inspector inspect things for me. There was no regulatory requirement for this inspection, but it was the smart thing to do, as I have had pretty much everything ahead of the firewall off and then back on. He found a short list of things, none of which would likely have caused an accident, but several of which would have eventually caused me some maintenance problems. Some of the problems had been there since day one, and had been missed by a whole bunch of people.

I took today off work, and spent the day at the hangar. First, I juggled the order of aircraft in the hangar to move the RV-8 from the back corner to a spot next to the door. I had planned to do this next weekend, but the weather forecast was for a lot of freezing rain this afternoon, which would leave a big sheet of ice on the ramp, and make it hard to push the two Mooneys outside so I could get the RV-8 in front. So I did the job this morning. In the end, the weather guys were completely wrong, and there was only about 60 seconds of freezing rain after lunch, rather than the 2 to 4 mm of ice they had predicted.

I fixed the last of the snags that Dale had found, then attacked the prop mounting. The MT prop has the same style of nuts attached to studs by roll pins as the Hartzell, and it was just as fiddly to mount. I had it mounted, torqued and safetied by noon.


After lunch, I installed the spinner, and then put the cowling on to see how the spinner matched the cowling. I didn’t bother putting the upper cowl pins in, as I would be taking if off immediately. I found that the spinner was exactly the correct length and diameter - MT had custom made it to my specs. The gap between the spinner and cowling is about 1/32” more than it was before, which is what I wanted.

I adjusted the alternator belt tension, checked the ignition timing, and installed the spark plugs. Next time I go to the hangar, I will do a quick engine run, then drain the fuel and do another weight and balance. I’ll need to track down someone to stand fire guard and look for leaks during the engine run.


The aircraft looks quite different with the three bladed prop. I’m looking forward to seeing how it performs with this prop.

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