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Old 04-21-2017, 12:32 PM
erich weaver's Avatar
erich weaver erich weaver is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa barbara, CA
Posts: 1,498
Default Dropped Pmag retaining bracket into accessory case

Bad day. As i was reinstalling one of my pmags I dropped the aluminum retaining bracket and it disappeared through the mag hole I nto the accessory case. My heart sunk as I realized what I had just done. Reached my fingers as far in as I can to retrieve it but I can't feel it and I don't see it with a lighted mirror. Thinking it has likely dropped down into the oil sump and I will have to remove that to get it out. Does that sound like the right course of action?


Thanks for any words of wisdom you may have

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Old 04-21-2017, 12:44 PM
jabarr jabarr is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fayetteville, Georgia
Posts: 168

Are you sure it's aluminum? Most of those blocks are steel I thought. Hopefully a magnet on a string will get it.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:45 PM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 3,154

How about an inspection camera and a "grabbing device" - one of the plunger operated ones with 3 wire fingers?
Kyle Boatright
Atlanta, GA
2001 RV-6 N46KB
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:17 PM
climberrn climberrn is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Carson City, NV
Posts: 279

Mine are steel I'd look around with a magnet for a while before pulling the sump.

RV-7A at CXP
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:21 PM
erich weaver's Avatar
erich weaver erich weaver is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa barbara, CA
Posts: 1,498

The retaining brackets are definitely aluminum so no go on magnet. I have a grabber tool but there is very little maneuvering room and obviously it's fishing around blind. Tried for awhile without luck.

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Old 04-21-2017, 01:51 PM
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bkervaski bkervaski is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 658

That sucks. I did that with a Harley engine I was rebuilding. Had to take the whole freaking thing apart to get it. From that day forward, I stuff paper towls in *any* openings before I go near it. Good luck on your search and that sucks
#140376 RV-14A QB IO-390 Thunderbolt
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Progress: Engine and Fuel System Testing
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Old 04-21-2017, 02:00 PM
lr172 lr172 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 2,657

If I remember correctly, there are 2 or 3 inlets for the oil screen cavity spaced pretty far apart. Take a look at a picture or diagram of the oil pan. If there is enough inlet volume remaining once blocked by the piece floating in there, you should have no major issues. There is a screen to keep that piece from being sucked in and your only risk is that part blocking the inlet and reducing oil flow. I believe the oil inlet channel running up the sump is 3/8"-1/2" diameter. That is the minimum area that you need for flow into the oil screen cavity, after accounting for current part blockage plus additional margin for other parts creating blockage.

The best answer is to pull the sum and get it out. I wouldn't expect it to take but a few hours to pull the sump and replace it. Don't forget to buy a new gasket before starting.

I would create a bendable rod with a 1" X 1" plate attached and start dragging the bottom of the sump with it. You should be able to find it and drag it to a corner where you can pick it up with a "grabber." The part can't bounce in the oil, therefore it should be within 3" of the aft wall of the sump.

RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
RV-10 in progress

Last edited by lr172 : 04-21-2017 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 04-21-2017, 02:13 PM
Skyflyer Skyflyer is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 139
Default Learned this lesson the hard way too.

I approached the removal of my P-mags with the knowledge that a slip up might result in loss of something into the case. Then I made my first mistake. I removed the bottom clamp first. While removing the top clamp the mag suddenly dropped and the clamp was lost into the great oily void.

I was able to retrieve it with only modest effort. Drain the oil then inspect the case with a flexible inspection scope borrowed from a friend. I spotted the clamp partially obscured in the bottom of the pan nearly straight down. Using a spring fingered grabber I positioned the clamp so that I could stick the grabber with prongs held together through the hole for the mounting stud. I released the grabber opening the prongs and the clamp was mine!

Try this before considering any disassembly. I now religiously leave the bottom clamp tight until the top clamp, washer and nut are safely on the work table. Of course when reassembling, attach the bottom clamp first.

Good luck
Chuck McCluggage
Sugar Land, TX
RV-8 IO-375 WW 200RV
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Old 04-21-2017, 02:31 PM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mojave
Posts: 3,923

Ive done something similar. Best bet is to drain the oil and see if you can shake the piece down to a lower sump plug. If you can do that, grab it with a loop of safety wire (not a hook, a loop, so it cant come off). Next step is to work a piece of stiff wire from under the engine, through the drain plug and out the mag hole. Attach the free end of the safety wire to the stiff wire securely, then withdraw the whole mess from the mag hole.
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.

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Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI instalation in work
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:02 PM
David-aviator David-aviator is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Chesterfield, Missouri
Posts: 4,477

Not sure of the shape of the bracket but if it has flat side I would try sucking it out with 1/4" rubber or plastic hose. Hook the hose up to a shop vacuum and fish it down, you may just luck out and have it land on flat side of piece and maybe carefully lift it out.

Maybe a dumb idea but I'd try it depending on shape of piece.
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