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Old 09-12-2017, 07:28 PM
GalinHdz's Avatar
GalinHdz GalinHdz is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: KSGJ / TJBQ
Posts: 1,460

IMHO; at some point good enough is good enough or nobody would ever finish building anything. For the vast majority of people good enough is what they need to complete their particular mission. For others chasing perfection is how they enjoy their particular mission. That doesn't mean either one is wrong.

Most people, myself included, are not interested in the chase of perfection especially if it means an increase in complexity. Remember, by chasing perfection you can accidentally wind up with "Paralysis by analysis".

Go fly!

FCC Radiotelephone (PG) with Radar Endorsement

Last edited by GalinHdz : 09-12-2017 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:48 PM
Cayugarandy Cayugarandy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Newfield NY
Posts: 8
Default Tractor magnetos?

I bought an 8 equipped with one tractor mag,and one Lightspeed system firing auto plugs.After about 60 hours the Lightspeed got an intermittent miss.After reading many comments about various ignition systems,and how great Pmags are,I put one on.After35hours,once again there was an intermittent miss that was narrowed down to the Pmag.Sent it back,and was told it had internal screws falling out from lack of Locktite.Twice the tractor mag got me back on the ground safely when the modern electronic ignitions let me down.In 1500hours of flying properly maintained tractor mag equipped aircraft they have always gotten me home.Modern electronic ignitions? Not so much.Just how it's worked out for me.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:48 PM
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FasGlas FasGlas is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 487

There are literally 100's of posts about pmags on the Vans forums, some good and some not so good. You should do a search and get all the information available.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:37 AM
Bevan Bevan is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: BC
Posts: 1,532

Originally Posted by flytoboat View Post
For this non-tinkerer, I think p-Mags are great.
- easy installation
- auto plugs (cost less to replace all 8 every annual than replace one aviation plug)
- easy starts
- smooth idle
- better economy (about 1/2 gal per hour in my case)
- easy timing
- self powering at cruise
- coming up on 100 hours trouble free operation. (not significant yet)
- lighter weight
- great customer service

Can't think of any cons. Haven't had any CHT issues.
Just a happy customer!
My experience and saticefaction mirror the above. 160-165kts TAS at 8-12000' burning 7-7.5gph. Low CHTs. Dual pmags V40 now but no issues for all 150+hrs so far. Precision FI also contributes to the economy and easy starting. I would do the same again. Factory response to my questions have been quick and thorough. Bevan
RV7A Flying
O-360-A1F6 (parallel valve) 180HP
Dual P-mags
Precision F.I. with AP purge valve
Vinyl Wrapped Exterior
Grand Rapids EFIS
Located in western Canada
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:07 PM
tim2542 tim2542 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Redding,Ca
Posts: 594

The op was to Pmag reliability, I have not seen anyone post having problems with a Pmag, yet I know they are out there. I had 5 failures before removing them, including 3 bearing failures, two electronic failures and two in flight shut downs. The last failure was not able to be reproduced on the bench at Emagair, yet I know for certainty it quit cold and left me over the Tehachapi's on one ignition, and it was not an install or wiring issue.
These were current production 114 Pmags on a 0-360 A1A that previously flew 700 hrs on 2 Slicks, and 100 hrs with an ElectroAir Mag timing hole sensor in the RH mag hole with no problems. All the failures were on the RH side, the LH side perfect. This was on a Cozy MK IV, a pusher, and it does appear there are more failures on these airframes than on conventional airframes.
I talked with Brad many times about this, there is an issue not yet understood, possibly related to Lycoming SB 411 (Magneto drive isolation bearing), or just certain engine/prop combinations, that can fail a Pmag in short order. I never once went over 50 hrs on my RH Pmag without a fail, the last one, a loaner from Brad, lasted 4 hours. Most people have good luck with Pmag's, others for reasons not understood do not, but there is a weakness in the design that only reveals on certain installations.
I do not intend to bash Emgair, they were more than fair helping me through this, but they proved completely un-reliable in my experience.
Tim Andres
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:27 PM
tim2542 tim2542 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Redding,Ca
Posts: 594

Bill, perhaps the last time I posted a failure here was over 4 years ago, but the last failure was last fall. That's when Brad and I decided it best to not run them on this engine.
And you perhaps mis read my post, the Slicks went 700 hrs on the same engine without failure (or service), the Electroair 100 in the RH hole.
Am I being critical of Pmags? I don't mean to be, but the op was to people's experience with Pmag reliability, what I wrote is my experience with Pmag reliability, no embellishment, no agenda.
Tim Andres
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:40 PM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mojave
Posts: 3,934

Tim, was there another post between your initial one at 5:07 and this last one at 6:27? Your last post seems a bit out of context? Something was deleted?

Anyway, there has been some discussion concerning the merits of a unitized system that the Pmag product offers vs. the "distributed" systems featured on, well, pretty much every other ignition system on the planet...

The only issues I've had were self induced by using non resistor plugs, but during their trip back home to troubleshoot, Brad found some corrosion on one of my boards. This was not a causal factor in the failure (and the board was replaced with a 114 model), but it does bring up a valid caution: if you intend to degrease/clean your engine, make sure the ignitions are removed or covered very well. The case is vented to atmosphere and the brains of the system can and will injest any solvents you spray back there. just be careful.
WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI instalation in work
RV-8 - Flying
1940 Taylorcraft BL-65 -flying
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:04 PM
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N363RV N363RV is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Arlington, tx
Posts: 200
Default It is reliable for me

I installed pmag about 15 hours ago.

The install was easy and it worked the first time. I replaced the right mag.
I found that on internal power it worked as described which is to die around 850 or fewer rpms. With the external power connected, you can idle lower than that.

I choose to install it because I talked to many other folks in my local area and at osh that have used this device successfully for many years. It does seem to have become much more reliable over the last 5 years or so.

For me part of being reliable is not just that it performs well, but that the folks running the company answer the phone. I actually drover over to their facility and toured the office and their shop where the build the device.

They were frank and honest in regards to past failures and how they mitigated those issues. They also told me about corner cases that have dogged them. I do feel confident with the product. In regards to only using it on the right side, it would not matter to me what brand of EI, I simply don't trust any of them because they collectively don't have enough hours as a community be trusted. That is improving rapidly now for several brands. I also prefer to spread my airplane dollars across a few years as well.

It sucks to be an early adopter and have a failure. It shakes your confidence. That is part of the reason I waited a while before getting an EI.

The Pmag folks have been doing this long enough that I feel that they will not go out of business. I have never heard of them leaving anybody high and dry.

I didn't want screw around with custom maps. I thought about build an EI like Dan did, but ultimately I chickened out. If you want to mess around with your map, you should look else where. If you want it to just work... well, all I can say is that it is working for me.
Builders: John & Amanda
Model: RV 6A
Airworthiness issued Aug 2010
Based - GPM
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:38 PM
tim2542 tim2542 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Redding,Ca
Posts: 594

[quote=Toobuilder;1203871]Tim, was there another post between your initial one at 5:07 and this last one at 6:27? Your last post seems a bit out of context? Something was deleted?

Yes, there was a post deleted, just some confusion between me and another thread.
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:40 AM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 837

My historical experience:

.Less than 100 hours on Electroair EI on two different airplane's - both had problems and were removed, replaced with magneto.

.500 hours on Lightspeed Plasma III on one side - no problems, ran very well.

.BUT - 4200 hours with dual mags, no mag problems ever.
Scott Hersha
2001 RV-6 - sold 2005
2008 RV-8 Fastback - Sold 2016
RV-14 Wings - sold 2014
RV4 - Sold
Cessna 182RG - flying
New RV8 - Finished and flying 4/26/18
Cincinnati, OH/KHAO
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