I sent the crankshaft to ECI for overhaul. They did a great job. The crank ended up being machined to an M6 dimension, 0.006 inches undersize. This was due to a few scores from the failed camshaft’s steel bits that got imbedded in the bearings. Otherwise the journals measured within new tolerances. That failed cam was an expensive failure. ECI then polished and nitrided the crank after the regrind. They applied new cad plating to the prop flange. I left the crankshaft gear on when I sent it, and they modified the gear via the service bulletin that creates larger cutouts to facilitate measurement, free of charge! The crank and counterweights look new. Not sure what they do, but it is impressive.


The crankcases were overhauled by Divco. They do a great job on every crankcase I have sent them. It is a pay one price shop. So any work needed is done for the $700 fee. In this case, they welded 2 ribs between the cylinders, a common spot needing repairs. The cases look new, with a nice alodine coating. Divco will repair the tappet bores if necessary. Here they installed steel bushings in the pushrod bores. They also machine the parting seams, then align bore + hone the cam and crank bearing surfaces. They install dowel pins to reduce crankcase fretting and reduce leaks. I was glad to see the thrust face did not need to be machined. I sent them the crankshaft just to make sure the dimensions were OK, before they sent the parts back to me. A big bag of new allen plugs were included along with strict instructions to clean the oil passages.

engine oil pump surface

The oil pump was ruined by the metal bits from the camshaft. This is a pic of the accessory housing side of the oil pump. The part has been sent out for overhaul. Before and After pics coming soon.

Drill holes

I just received my ASI camshaft and had it modified by Firewall Forward. The 'centrilube" modification consists of drilling 1 small hole in each bearing and each lobe. The lobes that have 2 lifters is drilled with 2 small holes slightly offset from each other. The rumor on the Cardinal web site is that the ASI camshaft makes it to TBO, quite unlike the Lycoming cam. Couple that with the FWF-STC for the "centrilube" modification and the hope is this camshaft will work well for a long time. By the way, Firewall Forward has approval for modification of Lycoming and ASI cams only.

New Rods

Check out the brand new connecting rods, the old ones had some corrosion, right where it hurts!

Engine on stand

I coated the engine with my favorite epoxy corrosion inhibiting primer and a very dark metallic gray paint. I was careful not to paint inside the cylinder fins. So, the engine looks great, but will still cool properly. In fact, I used the very same paint as my Lister engine. It holds up very well. Notice my freshly overhauled prop governor. Palm beach prop did a great job on the overhaul, installing all new parts. Not one old part was used.

Engine on mount

Finally, the engine is on the airframe!  Check out the new Lord engine mounts!

Baffle 1

I repaired the baffles by replacing cracked sheet metal. The airbox needed quite a bit of work. I took the time to fit parts for proper airflow through the fins on the "Cardinal critical " #2 + #3 cylinders. The airbox blocked 100% of the airflow around the lower intake side of the head, which results in a hot #2 cylinder (and #3 has a similar situation for that matter). I made sure to leave enough clearance for proper airflow. take a careful look at the pics to see how I did it.

worn lobe

This was the reason for engine removal. The lobe to the right is nearly worn completely off. It should look exactly like the other lobes! The interesting part is that this lobe affects 2 cylinders, it operates 2 opposing lifters. So the engine ran great at idle, but made less power, as 2 cylinders had minimal valve opening. The original owner had no idea. He simply thought the engine was tired. It was tired all right! Everything else internal to the engine was in fairly good condition with the exception of the lifters and the oil pump. The aircraft had a marginal rate of climb during the test flight and at low alt was slow. Interestingly enough, at cruise altitude, it actually got with the program fairly well. The cruise speed was not all that far off at 6500 feet.


The cylinders measured up just fine, with less than 1800 hours since new. However, I chose to install new intake and exhaust valve guides, as the newer high nickel exhaust guides are less prone to wear and valve sticking issues. It will get new exhaust valves for sure and possibly new intake valves.

Accessory housing

Here is the accessory housing after cleaning, etch and alodine and, of course, the machining of the oil pump surface. Divco did the machine work, and what a  fantastic job they did. If you look carefully, you can see some light marks  around the lower impeller bore, this checks that the surface is square to the bore. The checking tool touches evenly all the way around, Perfect! It's going to work properly.

Crank and Cam

Here is crankshaft and camshaft in position. I chose to install the crank without the connecting rods. It is simply easier to work with the engine this way. The rods go in easily after the crankcases are together. I used Loctite 515 and 2 silk threads to seal the crankcase halves.


I was careful to torque the new Superior (stretch type) rod bolts to the proper spec, then measure the stretch. It is a bit time consuming to get it "just right". I had one rod bolt that would not stretch to spec. I had to replace it with another new one. Aircraft Specialties Services was good enough to exchange the bad rod bolt for a good new one. Good thing, as these bolts are not cheap!

Push rods

I spent an afternoon playing the pushrod game. Each cylinder is different and each pushrod is a different length. The hydraulic lifters must be assembled dry, that way the clearance can be properly measured. I was careful to get the clearances correct. This is important! Too much clearance is risky as a failed hydraulic unit would result in much less valve lift and loss of power. It could also result in camshaft/lifter damage. Too little clearance and the valves could be held slightly open when the engine warms up. Not a good thing.


Here is my brand new SkyTec inline starter motor. It is about 8 or 9 pounds lighter than the original attempt at a starter. The SkyTec has tabs sticking out all over the place. It comes really close to the airbox, fuel elbow and baffles. But it does fit without touching.

Baffle 2

My engine has a bit less than 1800 hours since new and luckily the cylinders were in great shape. Still, the exhaust ports were not perfectly flat and they were also slightly pitted. So, I removed about 0.010 inches of material on my milling machine. It took some creative thinking to get the bits to cut just right. Believe it or not, I ended up using an apex screwdriver bit as a cutter. It remained sharp and produced a really nice smooth surface. I also installed new high nickel valve guides and cut the seats.


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