Monday, November 29, 2010
I wish I had taken more pictures at the start of this process but I didn't. I knew it was going to be a little more than just a usual run of the mill Annual Inspection. I was going to have to get into this aircraft pretty deep which is why I enlisted some help.
Flying or driving up to Lakeland from Punta Gorda was something I was willing to do to have the help with the project. The first order of business was to pull the motor. So with everything unhooked, it came off with ease and we had it on the trailer to be dropped off at Zephyr Engines for a teardown and inspection.
I had been flying behind this motor for about a year now with no vibrations or particularities of any kind. I had flown from ID, where I purchased it in '09, over to WY and then down to UT, AZ, NM, TX and clear around the Gulf Coast back home to FL in the following weeks. I had then taken her from FL to OH with a side-trip to DC and the Eastern Shore. All with never having had any engine issues. According the logs and the seller the engine had had a complete OH and had less the 100 hrs on the rebuild when sold to me. So I felt confident in the motor and in making the long trips.
If I had known then what I was about to learn from the engine shop, I probably would have never made the trip back to FL with the plane from where I bought it in Mountain Home, ID! *Get a Prebuy! In the words of the engine shop, " the motor looks as if the parts had been left sitting in a bucket of water". They told me there was "pretty sever pitting" on many of the components and quoted about 15k to put it all back together with a fresh rebuild. *Also probably a pretty good deal in retrospect.
Well I was and still am pretty peeved about how I feel I got snookered on the logs and engine but when I didn't get a prebuy I guess I can only blame myself. Still, I'm not sure that a prebuy would have caught what I think was a falsification of the Engine and possibly the A/F Logs. Zephyr did go on to explain to me that there are overhauls and then there are "overhauls". -and that the seller could have done a "field overhaul", albeit not a very good one. None of which made me feel any better about the situation.