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Old 04-05-2008, 11:32 AM
stevemorris stevemorris is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11
Default Starter motor problems Skytec - Lycoming 0320

I have a Lycoming 0320 with a skytec starter motor installed.
The aircraft has been hard to start over the cold winter months but does eventually fire...I have put this down to poor fuel atomisation?

Now I am grounded....the skytec starter cracked it's aluminium housing. I called Skytec and they say that the engine has kicked back and I should check things further. I replaced the starter casing wrongly thinking it was just wear and tear and after approx 10 revolutions it made a loud bang and broke the end off the new starter casing!

I have replaced the casing but now need to find the problem.

The aircraft was flying just fine until about two weeks ago. I changed the oil, filter and bottom end plugs. Since then I have had this problem.

I have double checked that leads havent been's pretty much impossible on my layout!! Plugs are the same part number as the ones replaced!

Any ideas?
I desperately want to double check the timing on my engine but have no idea where to start? Are there any websites that give this information?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:56 PM
mahlon_r mahlon_r is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 952

Sounds like the right mag is not grounded during the starting sequence. maybe you broke the p lead wire when you were doing maintenance. Anyway double check that the right mag is getting grounded during starting. also make sure the left mag impulse coupling is working properly.
Good luck,
'The opinions and information provided in this and all of my posts are hopefully helpful to you. Please use the information provided responsibly and at your own risk.
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:21 PM
Geico266's Avatar
Geico266 Geico266 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Huskerland, USA
Posts: 5,851

Are you sure you did not cross the plug wires?

Has the engine ran since you did the work?
RV-8 : Just Sold
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:28 PM
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647jc 647jc is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Ankeny, Iowa
Posts: 434

Yes, sounds like one of your two mags are firing too soon. The right mag should be off-line (grounded) during start and the left mag should have an impulse coupler that retards the spark. Possible problems are the right mag is NOT off-line during start or the left mag impulse coupler is not retarding the spark. Another possibility I have heard would be the Skytec starter turns the engine over so fast compared to old starters that the impulse coupler in the left mag thinks the engine is running and no longer retards the spark in which case you could get an early fire and a kick back during start.
Joe Condon
Ankeny, Iowa
RV9A - 647JC - 300 hrs - SOLD 6/23/15
OneX - Under Construction - For Sale
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Old 04-06-2008, 02:28 PM
stevemorris stevemorris is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11

Thanks so much for all of your input....I took the left mag out today with a help from a friend that was a little more knowledgable and found that the inpulse coupler was all "gummed" up! - A common problem I am told.
This (I am told) is certainly the reason for hard starting in cold conditions and the reason why the kickback was occouring.
A new assy is being fitted to the mag tomorrow and hopefully I will be airworthy again!

Thanks again for the input!
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