N9405V

M20E has gotten hard to start/won’t start...

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My M20E has been going through a pretty long annual this year and all of a sudden has become very hard to start to won’t start. I have an IO-360-A1A with the shower of sparks system. Mags, wiring harness, and plugs were all over hauled/replaced about 3 years ago and about 200 hours. The shower of sparks sounds like it did a when the engine would start easily with 3-5 blades. Here’s the kicker, when the engine starts, it runs smooth and develops 2700 rpm, and sounds great. Timing is at 25 BTDC....

The engine started fine going into the annual, we’ve replaced the fuel line from the throttle body to the gauge cluster, gas looks and smells right, no wires are missing that we can see...
 
Any ideas or things to look for?
 
 
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 Advance throttle 1/4 total travel  -   I was told 1" of throttle lever open
-    Turn the fuel pump on - Start counting to 6 seconds
-    Advance the mixture and watch for a good rise on FF
-    Pull mixture back to cut off - After reaching 6 second count
-    Fuel pump off
-    Engage starter
-    When engine fires steadily advance mixture - to about 1/3 in summer, 1/2 in winter.   Adjust down to minimum idle
Doing the two handed dance bring the RPMs to between 1100-1200   When sitting always be between 1100 and 1200-  reduce for taxi to save the brakes.

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2 hours ago, N9405V said:

Any ideas or things to look for?

My IA (80+ years old, knew Al Mooney) would say spark, fuel, air. My E starts in two blades or less, he's rarely wrong.

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Similar issues. In summer it isn't as bad, but in winter she has become nearly impossible to start. Replaced the mags, SoS, wiring, etc. Now looking at the carb. It is likely the boost in the carb that is fouled. It is critical for starting and fast throttle advancement.

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Could still be the SoS.  The contacts may be buzzing, but they could be burned or corroded.  Having them cleaned and gapped could help....but as others have said, first check what may have been changed at annual.

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1 hour ago, Boilermonkey said:

Similar issues. In summer it isn't as bad, but in winter she has become nearly impossible to start. Replaced the mags, SoS, wiring, etc. Now looking at the carb. It is likely the boost in the carb that is fouled. It is critical for starting and fast throttle advancement.
 

Winter starts in a C are easy! You will want to preheat if below 40°F or so.

  • You may turn the prop 2 or 3 revolutions before getting in the plane
  • Begin your normal Prestart and Engine Start checklists
  • Run your fuel pump until fuel pressure reaches peak and stabilizes, then turn it off.
  • Mixture Rich, pump the throttle full stroke 4 or 5 times, then set open ~1/2"
  • Wind and set your clock
  • Put on and adjust your headset
  • Rub your hands to get them warm
  • Do anything else to kill time, at least 60 seconds since pumping the throttle (cold avgas vaporizes slowly)
  • Now turn the key and push to start. It will take a few more blades than in the summer, but should start right up. I don't bother to count them since I have 3 blades

Of course, this may not help with an E model; I'm not up on the details of your fuel injection system, but it works great on my C.

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I'm certainly no maintenance expert, but my 66 E model was a bear to start. Then I flew in to Aspen, CO and when we tried to get out, she wouldn't start up at all. They came out and replaced the starter with a lightweight (gained about 5 lbs usable) SkyTec (if I remember right) starter. After that, starts were extremely easy. 

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I had an E for 7 years.   Cold it was quick to start.  Hot, not.  

Here’s what helped:

  • Strong battery on battery minder
  • new faster-spinning starter
  • SOS overhaul
  • Factory new engine 

But it was still a gamble hot starting.  Given a couple of hours to cool it generally would start perfectly.   

The only time it was easy to restart quickly after a shutdown:   I was at 8500’ and after about 2 minutes of glide tests it started right up.  The prop was being turned by airflow at 2400 rpm, which probably helped.  

Maurader will tell you his -A1A is easy to start.   He’s been practicing 23 years, tho.  

Best luck.  

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I am going through this right now.  My mags are fine.  LOP, High power mag checks show that the ignition system is performing well at cruise settings. Until recently, My F has been easy to start hot or cold.  Recently, I was delayed due to a starting issue.  I finally go it started, I needed to pause and charge the battery before setting off. I disassembled my ignition switch, cleaned the contacts and reinstalled. That seems to have helped but I still don't feel it's as good as it was. I likely focus on the SOS at annual.

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I had an E for 7 years.   Cold it was quick to start.  Hot, not.  
Here’s what helped:
  • Strong battery on battery minder
  • new faster-spinning starter
  • SOS overhaul
  • Factory new engine 
But it was still a gamble hot starting.  Given a couple of hours to cool it generally would start perfectly.   
The only time it was easy to restart quickly after a shutdown:   I was at 8500’ and after about 2 minutes of glide tests it started right up.  The prop was being turned by airflow at 2400 rpm, which probably helped.  
Maurader will tell you his -A1A is easy to start.   He’s been practicing 23 years, tho.  
Best luck.  


Actually 28 years of practice 🤣 OP - if it started fine before the annual, likely something was changed during the annual. Look at the list of items worked on. See if they wrote anything about mag timing, mag work or any other “adjustments” that were made. It’s possible they introduced the problem.

If you have been using a consistent starting process for cold and hot starts that worked, it is unlikely that changed.


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4 hours ago, Jerry 5TJ said:

 

Maurader will tell you his -A1A is easy to start.   He’s been practicing 23 years, tho.  

Best luck.  

I've had my A1D for only 10 months now, and I find it easy to start... almost always catches on the second blade.  4-5 blades if starting from a hot engine.

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35 minutes ago, ShuRugal said:

I've had my A1D for only 10 months now, and I find it easy to start... almost always catches on the second blade.  4-5 blades if starting from a hot engine.

That's the nice thing about the M20C's carbureted engine.  The fuel injected IO-360 A1A on the M20E is a very different animal, though.

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11 minutes ago, Andy95W said:

That's the nice thing about the M20C's carbureted engine.  The fuel injected IO-360 A1A on the M20E is a very different animal, though.

I thought fuel injection was supposed to make engines run easier, not harder?

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4 minutes ago, ShuRugal said:

I thought fuel injection was supposed to make engines run easier, not harder?

They run great.   Once started.  

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I guess everyone gives you their method.  I will give you what has worked for me without fail so far:

Cold,

full rich, throttle open about 1/8”, fuel pump on for about one second, turn starter abou 5 revolutions and it is running

Hot,

mixture pulled out, fuel pump off, throttle cracked open about 1/8”, turn starter until catchers and smoothly push mixture forward.  Full mixture travel in about one second.

Hope this helps

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Stay tuned, but it looks like the left mag might have a messed up terminal p lead terminal.


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On 9/8/2018 at 10:38 AM, N9405V said:

My M20E has been going through a pretty long annual this year and all of a sudden has become very hard to start to won’t start.

If it has gone from easy to start to hard to start, there's probably nothing wrong with your starting sequence/technique.

My C which is extremely easy to start became difficult to start hot, or cold.  The SOS was buzzing, the starter was spinning the engine, but it just wouldn't fire until it would...

It was a bad capacitor in the SOS which also caused the points to burn.  Simple/easy/relatively cheap fix....once I found the parts.

Try Aviall.

Capacitor:  10-400575

Contact point:  10-176470

Pt:  10-176489

 

https://www.aviall.com/medias/0696.pdf?context=bWFzdGVyfHBkZnw5OTQzNTV8YXBwbGljYXRpb24vcGRmfHBkZi9oYjkvaDhhLzg4MTQwOTg3MTA1NTgucGRmfDFlYWZiOTg5MjU0NGNkMjI3M2EzMDQ1NjgyODg4NTFlNjgzMTRmM2E1MjQzMjE2ZTY1MDAxYThhMTExYjk2ZmY&attachment=true

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On 9/9/2018 at 2:18 PM, ShuRugal said:

I thought fuel injection was supposed to make engines run easier, not harder?

It does and they start beautifuly hot or cold unless they there is an issue with the ignition or the fuel servo. There is no reason for an IO engine to be hard to start. Having more precisely metered fuel, dispersed in a more even manner does not make for harder starting. Ignition and fuel delivery problems do. Anyone that has an IO that is a “bear” to hot start likely has an ignition issue or was taught poor technique. Many SOS systems are >50years old with little to no MX. A lot of starting issues could likely be solved by renewing them. Same with original ignition switches. These systems don’t always fail out right, their performance gradually degrades over time. 

Edited by Shadrach
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2 hours ago, N9405V said:

Stay tuned, but it looks like the left mag might have a messed up terminal p lead terminal.

HAH! Spark.

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On 9/9/2018 at 2:24 PM, Jerry 5TJ said:

They run great.   Once started.  

This just fuels the misinformation with regard to difficult hot starts on injected engines. They are super easy to start and the process is repeatable.

If you can’t do what Don is doing below with your injected Lycoming, you have an ignition/fuel system that is in need of service. That is it...there is no mystery to starting these things. It’s fuel, air and properly timed spark. If one of the three is not properly showing up to the party, it won’t start.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Shadrach said:

They are super easy to start and the process is repeatable.

OK, I’m just another of the dolts who could not always start his IO-360s, either well-used or factory new ones, when they were hot.  

I find it interesting how many “sure-fire” hot start procedures have been offered for injected Lycomings.  

By contrast there’s just one start process for the PT6A & it always concludes with the engine running.  

Same dolt, different engine, different outcome. 

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3 hours ago, Shadrach said:

This just fuels the misinformation with regard to difficult hot starts on injected engines. They are super easy to start and the process is repeatable.

If you can’t do what Don is doing below with your injected Lycoming, you have an ignition/fuel system that is in need of service. That is it...there is no mystery to starting these things. It’s fuel, air and properly timed spark. If one of the three is not properly showing up to the party, it won’t start.

 

 

30 seconds between starts is hardly a real Hot Start.  Even my IO720 will start that easily.  Leave it for 30-40 minutes and see if it starts as well.

Clarence

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47 minutes ago, Jerry 5TJ said:

OK, I’m just another of the dolts who could not always start his IO-360s, either well-used or factory new ones, when they were hot.  

I find it interesting how many “sure-fire” hot start procedures have been offered for injected Lycomings.  

By contrast there’s just one start process for the PT6A & it always concludes with the engine running.  

Same dolt, different engine, different outcome. 

Not calling anyone a dolt. The “tribal knowledge” that gets passed on is sometimes as much superstition as science. These are simple engines. There really is just one correct hot start procedure for injected lycomings. Shut it down by going idle cut- off at 1000-1100rpm. To start, crank the engine until it fires and gentley but directly enrichen the mixture. If it fires off and quits you will need to prime it but just a touch. 

Thats it. Never had a problem.

If it’s been over an hour, the engine may not fire off and require a prime, but I always crank first to see if it will fire before going down that road.

The injector lines have to go somewhere... in the case of these engines the lines are right on top of cylinders where they heat up after shutdown. The fuel boils into the manifold essentially pre-priming the engine for the next start. Wait too long and the fuel dissipates so you’ll need to add a bit.

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