Fry

50h inspection coming up...

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Hello everyone,

half a year ago, I have purchased a 1995 M20J MSE. I have been flying for ~20 years but have no aviation mechanical background - but a willingness to learn. 25 flight hours after the annual, I have performed my first oil change, and it went "okay"  (meaning that, I now know how to avoid the mess next time :-)

Soon enough, my first 50h inspection will be coming up, and I would like to do that myself - and I'm legal to do so here in Europe. The checklist I have for that (taken from the approved maintenance manual) is the following, where I have marked in red a couple of entries that I am not fully aware of how to do them properly.

Any advice, link or hint is welcome. 

(Let's not discuss the legality of doing this. It IS legal in EASA-land, and most of the stuff below is pretty trivial. The 100h and annual inspections are done by an MSC).

Thanks,

Fry

 

ENGINE    
Drain engine oil sump
Remove and clean suction oil strainer; Reinstall strainer and plug. Safety wire strainer plug.
Remove and replace the full-flow oil filter cartridge (AA48103).
Drain and clean fuel strainer.
Remove and clean fuel injector fuel strainer.
Service engine oil sump with proper type, grade, and amount of lubricating oil.
Inspect engine intake and exhaust systems for evidence of leakage and looseness.
Check spark plugs elbows and shielding nuts for security.
Check cylinders for evidence of overheating.
Check baffles for secure anchorage, close fit around cylinders, and freedom from cracks.
Check engine controls for full travel, freedom of mouvement, and security.
Visually check fuel oil lines for security of connections and evidence of leakage or damage.
Visually inspect induction air system; check operation of alternate-air door (refer par.71-60-01).
Inspect engine mount & bolts for security and condition. Inspect engine mount tubes (bolt attach tubes) at firewall for moisture accumulation and corrosion
                    
PROP    
Check propeller and spinner for general condition, looseness, and oil leakage.
Inspect blades for nicks and cracks. Repair prior to next flight.
     
CABIN    
Check brake and parking brake control systems for proper operation and fluid level.
Check trim system and indicator for free operation and travel.
Check cabin and baggage doors for damage, proper operation and sealing.
Check cabin, instrument, position, anticollision, and landing light.
Check fuel selector valve, gascolator, and boost pump for proper operation.
     
LDG GEAR
Check tires for cuts, blisters, wear, and inflation.
Check chock discs for proper extension at aircraft static weight per section 32-81-00
Check hydraulic barkes for wear, warpage and proper installation.

     
WINGS    
Check surfaces, and tips for damage.
Check ailerons, aileron attachments, and bellcranck for damage and proper operation.
Check flaps and attachments for damage and proper operation.
Lubricate controls if necessary.

 

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@Fry just remember you said "Any advice, link or hint is welcome. :)

 

Legality has nothing to do with this. It's perfectly legal in the U. S. to pick up a hammer and hit your thumb as hard as you possibly can. It's not smart, but it's legal. I am not a mechanic, but I have done owner-assist annuals and maintenance and have come to realize how much I do not know.

If you just completed your first oil change and it went "okay", for your safety and that of your passengers I would find a mechanic familiar with Mooneys that's willing to let you learn under his/her supervision. Just over- or under- torquing something could be very expensive if not extremely dangerous, especially when it comes to fuel systems.

One example: Many, many highly experienced mechanics have a very difficult time removing the suction screen on the back of a tightly packed Lycoming engine (and on most modern Mooneys, the engines are shoe-horned in). If you get it your first time working on your engine you will be considered for a Nobel Peace Prize (most experienced mechanics are heard saying words or combinations of words that haven't even been invented yet). And now for the bad news, taking it off is supposedly a piece of cake compared to safety-wiring it back on.

You have a late model J that's worth in the neighborhood of $200,000 USD. Spend the money on an experienced Mooney professional and if you are intent on learning how to work on your airplane, see if you can quietly watch and gradually learn. Whatever you do for a living that allows you to buy an airplane makes you good at what you do, but not necessarily good at all things. Pay someone who is good at what they do to, at the very least, walk you through this. After seeing how much work this really is you may be thrilled to let them handle it.

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Also all those items are allowed under FAA AC 43-12A.  Here

Difference is that FAA only requires an annual inspection / (100 hr for commerical or a progressive mx plan for flight schools etc)

Agree with Lance - there are some items here that can make for a bad day if performed improperly.  Have your AP run you through the required items and make sure you're proficient for next time.  The oil suction screen is the most technically demanding of all the tasks on that list.  If you have an oil filter and you're inspecting it, and performing regular oil changes every 25 - 50 hrs - that oil screen can be inspected every 100 hrs at annual time and this is a reasonable approach.  If you have no oil filter and just the screen it needs to be inspected with every oil change. 

@Hyett6420 Seems to like some mx folks in ? Denmark.

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Your post was a pleasant reminder that the Continental installation requires a much smaller vocabulary while doing maintenance and repairs. (used to have a super21 so appreciate the difference)

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My suggestion- do everything on the list except for the oil strainer and fuel strainer.  Either don't worry about them, or pay someone to do them.  Then, at the next 100 hour or annual inspection, ensure they are both completed.

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YouTube has all answers:) I personally think if you can remove a spark plug or remove your oils drain plug you can remove an oil screen. The problem is that usually the last person that did it either over tighten or stripped the head. Don’t be that guy!  The oil screen is towards the end of this video.
 

 

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Hope this helps you-

Question- Are you required to do a 50 HR insp per the manual in your country?

Or, do you just want to do it?  It does make a difference in your case.

If you are required to do it and have it signed off then  you have to do it. 

On a cautionary note- we don't know anything of your experience level for doing mechanical work. It would help with responses if we knew more about your background.

If you are as limited as your posting says then please think about this- when you learned to fly you didn't just ask someone how to fly and then go solo on your first flight. Likewise, if you have very limited mechanical background then maybe you don't want to "solo" right now on aircraft maintenance.

Your interest in doing things correctly is lauded and commendable. Don't cut it short by not being trained properly. 

An A&P mechanic here in the USA can not do any maintenance procedure and sign it off that he has not been previously trained on. For instance, if he hasn't been trained on how to replenish the hydraulic system on a G5,  he "technically" can't do it unless someone who is trained shows him how to do it. 

Please let us know about your background so we can better advise. Just asking how to do something doesn't quit cover the issues. For instance, brake wear and condition. If you don't know or haven't been shown what a good brake system looks like or does how will you know what you are looking for on your inspection? 

Very glad to have you asking questions. Many here are ready to help you.

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only hint  I have is to avoid the mess:  just let the engine oil drain overnight. most oil will have drained and the oil in the filter will be thick enough to avoid spilling

    

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Most mechanics I know only clean the fuel injection screen at annual inspection and frequently don't bother with the oil suction screen unless there is a reason to be suspicious of metal contamination. This is because the suction screen is a pain to get to, and, on many Continentals, the screen isn't even accessible without disassembling the engine so the theory is that it's not really all that important on a Lycoming. But of course, if you don't look you won't know for sure.

For any work you want to do on your airplane, it's always a great idea to look up the service instructions. For the fuel injector screen, see section 8-1D of the attached manual. It's pretty straight forward, but note that it is supposed to come out from the inlet side. It's also good to have the O-ring on hand in case it needs replacing.

The oil suction screen has a few nuances. See Lycoming SB 480F attached. The first thing to note is that if you find the plug safetied with a cable instead of safety wire, it has never been removed since it came from the factory. When you reinstall it you should use a new copper crush washer. Not noted because it's considered common practice is to put the split side of the washer against the component that is not rotated during assembly -- in other words, the split side goes against the case. If you use anti-seize, the food grade called out will avoid contamination with by metallic components of common anti-seize compounds. Also note that the torque is specified as an angle of rotation. 

So, as you can see, even simple things can be complicated and that's why it's always best to look it up. I stared at my suction screen for a long time and ended up having my IA do it when we did the annual together. I was amazed at how fast he did it. But... he has done them many, many times and has all the right combinations of wrenches. By far the hardest part was safety wiring the finished job. Nothing beats experience and having all the right tools.

Skip

15-338e.pdf

SB480F Oil ServicingMetallic Solids Identification After Oil Servicing and Associated Corrective Action.pdf

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One item to think about if you decide to check the suction screen is to remove the cap from the screen first and then the screen will have enough room to be pulled out. Reassembly is the reverse BUT you need to couple the screen to its hole in the cap before it goes all the way in the sump hole so that the screen stays centered in the sump and cap and not crushed by the screwing in of the cap. 

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Hello all,

thanks for your replies. To your questions:

* I would say I am generally skillful with tools and having a Ph.D. in physics, I have a general understanding of many technical things, but I have little experience maintaining combustion engines.

* General advice of some of you that I should get professional help is probably well-intended but off-topic here. I need to make that call myself, and I am planning to make it item by item. And I guess we all agree that most items can probably be done by an average pilot/owner. E.g. "inspect propeller for nicks and cracks" - hey, I am doing that with every pre-flight, so no need to get and A&P for that now.

* The M20J has a Lycoming IO-360-A3B6D, so any comment regarding Continentals will not help me.

* AFAIK, I am required to do the 50h inspection per my maintenance manual (that I have written myself and that has been checked by an experienced mechanic and a governmental authority). By the same manual, I am permitted to conduct and sign it off myself.

Now back on-topic, I would be grateful to receive hints how to do the items that I have marked in red. E.g., how and where do I check the brake fluid level?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Fry

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30 minutes ago, Fry said:

* I would say I am generally skillful with tools and having a Ph.D. in physics, I have a general understanding of many technical things, but I have little experience maintaining combustion engines.

Welcome.   There are a number of science/tech/math nerds here, so you'll fit in fine.  ;)

Quote

* AFAIK, I am required to do the 50h inspection per my maintenance manual (that I have written myself and that has been checked by an experienced mechanic and a governmental authority). By the same manual, I am permitted to conduct and sign it off myself.

Most folks here are not familiar with German/European regs, so don't get too concerned if you get pushback on stuff like this.   What you are describing is not part of normal process in the US.

Quote

Now back on-topic, I would be grateful to receive hints how to do the items that I have marked in red. E.g., how and where do I check the brake fluid level?

I have a 1977 model and the hydraulic reservoir for the brakes is inside the rear avionics hatch just above the battery.   I don't know whether it is in the same place in an MSE.

Find a Maintenance Manual and an Illustrated Parts Catalog for your airplane.   You may be able to find them free online.   I was able to locate and download the appropriate documents for my airplane.   The Maintenance Manual will outline how to do most things and the IPC shows exploded diagrams of where all of the parts go, part numbers, etc.   You will want to be familiar with both of those documents when you are doing maintenance.   Once you get used to them they're actually pretty easy to navigate.

Edited by EricJ
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My suggestion- do everything on the list except for the oil strainer and fuel strainer.  Either don't worry about them, or pay someone to do them.  Then, at the next 100 hour or annual inspection, ensure they are both completed.


This. The rest is fairly low risk but if you screw up the fuel strainer in particular you will have a very bad day. Get someone to show you how to do this properly before you attempt to do it yourself.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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18 hours ago, Fry said:

Hello everyone,

half a year ago, I have purchased a 1995 M20J MSE. I have been flying for ~20 years but have no aviation mechanical background - but a willingness to learn. 25 flight hours after the annual, I have performed my first oil change, and it went "okay"  (meaning that, I now know how to avoid the mess next time :-)

Soon enough, my first 50h inspection will be coming up, and I would like to do that myself - and I'm legal to do so here in Europe. The checklist I have for that (taken from the approved maintenance manual) is the following, where I have marked in red a couple of entries that I am not fully aware of how to do them properly.

Any advice, link or hint is welcome. 

(Let's not discuss the legality of doing this. It IS legal in EASA-land, and most of the stuff below is pretty trivial. The 100h and annual inspections are done by an MSC).

Thanks,

Fry

 

ENGINE    
Drain engine oil sump
Remove and clean suction oil strainer; Reinstall strainer and plug. Safety wire strainer plug.
Remove and replace the full-flow oil filter cartridge (AA48103).
Drain and clean fuel strainer.
Remove and clean fuel injector fuel strainer.
Service engine oil sump with proper type, grade, and amount of lubricating oil.
Inspect engine intake and exhaust systems for evidence of leakage and looseness.
Check spark plugs elbows and shielding nuts for security.
Check cylinders for evidence of overheating.
Check baffles for secure anchorage, close fit around cylinders, and freedom from cracks.
Check engine controls for full travel, freedom of mouvement, and security.
Visually check fuel oil lines for security of connections and evidence of leakage or damage.
Visually inspect induction air system; check operation of alternate-air door (refer par.71-60-01).
Inspect engine mount & bolts for security and condition. Inspect engine mount tubes (bolt attach tubes) at firewall for moisture accumulation and corrosion
                    
PROP    
Check propeller and spinner for general condition, looseness, and oil leakage.
Inspect blades for nicks and cracks. Repair prior to next flight.
     
CABIN    
Check brake and parking brake control systems for proper operation and fluid level.
Check trim system and indicator for free operation and travel.
Check cabin and baggage doors for damage, proper operation and sealing.
Check cabin, instrument, position, anticollision, and landing light.
Check fuel selector valve, gascolator, and boost pump for proper operation.
     
LDG GEAR
Check tires for cuts, blisters, wear, and inflation.
Check chock discs for proper extension at aircraft static weight per section 32-81-00
Check hydraulic barkes for wear, warpage and proper installation.

     
WINGS    
Check surfaces, and tips for damage.
Check ailerons, aileron attachments, and bellcranck for damage and proper operation.
Check flaps and attachments for damage and proper operation.
Lubricate controls if necessary.

 

The oil suction screen is located on the back of the engine, low on the right side by the copilots foot well, new copper gasket required.

The fuel servo finger screen is located on the left side of the servo, remove the inlet hose and inlet fitting, new O rings required.

Brake fluid reservoir is located on the left side of the fuselage, inside the battery access door.

Main gear shock disc clearance is 0-.60 inches, measure the stop collar to the top plate of each main gear, there is a picture in the manual under the reference you listed.

Brake pad minimum thickness is .100 inches, disc warpage would be felt during brake application.

Maintenance manual has a lubrication chart with call outs for specific lubricants.  Do you have a manual?

Clarence

 

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Way to go Fry!

Safety of flight depends on how much you know your plane...

You are on the right track.

As for the PhD in physics... that might get in your way... too much of a good thing...  :)

If you have a training budget... there are a few workshops that may interest you...
 

Look for training run by MAPA and Don Maxwell....

Another thing that is popular amongst MSers... Owner assisted annuals...

By helping out with the annual... in a hands on sort of way... you can learn the intricacies that your are describing...

Don’t be afraid to work with your mechanic to learn the ropes...

Get the manuals... some are around here.  Maintenance and parts and POH.... all are important.

Clarence wins an award for generosity!  Supporting the MSers with deep mechanical/technical information... :)

PP thoughts only, not a mechanic.

Best regards,

-a-

 

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Thanks guys!

Well, just let you know, I agree that owner-assisted maintenance is a good thing. The two reasons I am not immediately going for this with my 50h (!) inspection are:

1. I am planning to do owner-assisted with the much more intense next 100h/annual (and hope my MSC will play along), and I assume I will then learn MUCH more there than I ever could with a meagerly 50h inspection, which seems underwhelmingly complex anyway (apart from the suction screen, of course).

2. My MSC is extremely competent, but a nightmare in driving distance. To deliver the plane on one day, and to pick it up on another day, will mean something like 8 hours drive (and just 1 hour flight) in total. It's not the distance, it's the lack of a suitable "autobahn" (yes, we have some, but apparently not enough - and there ARE speed limits outside of autobahns, in contrast to any myths that may be around :-). And that is too much effort IMO for an inspection that would not even be required in FAA-land...

Of course, should the inspection result in need of repair, e.g. brakes or tires, I will definitely not do those myself. That actually goes without saying, but I'm saying it anyway.

BTW, my oil change went surprisingly smooth. No wizardry required. Youtube helps (although I much prefer written instructions with pictures). Yes, I made something of a mess and learned how to avoid it next time, but the oil change itself, including removing and re-fixing the cowling, and exchanging the filter plus safety wiring the new one, is truly no "witch-work", as we say here in Gemany :-)

Thanks again,

Fry

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It helps to build a relationship with other pilots... nearby.

We all have the need to drop the plane off somewhere... :)

You get to learn from other pilots...

Best regards,

-a-

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Fry-

There are many here who are glad you are here. Many smart people here ready to answer your questions and help you along as you gain experience in Mooney ownership.  Many here would like to hear of your trips flying in Europe. 

Many in the maintenance world have seen new owners who are not near as perceptive or smart as you have shown to be. 

Please keep posting about your travels, many want to hear about them.

WE have speed limits every where but some treat the roads a Autobahns here too :-)

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12 hours ago, Fry said:

* General advice of some of you that I should get professional help is probably well-intended but off-topic here. I need to make that call myself, and I am planning to make it item by item. And I guess we all agree that most items can probably be done by an average pilot/owner. E.g. "inspect propeller for nicks and cracks" - hey, I am doing that with every pre-flight, so no need to get and A&P for that now.

In your first post you said, "Any advice, link or hint is welcome. ". You got advice, you can do with the advice whatever you choose. However,  many times people don't actually want advice, they want validation that the decision they have already made is a good one.

To your point about how everyone inspects the prop for nicks and cracks on pre-flight and you don't need an A&P to do that, for sure we all do that. However, you left out the next instruction on your 50 hour list, which is to repair the nicks and cracks before the next flight. Inspecting it is one thing, we all do that on a good, thorough walk-around, but some of these things on the list should be left to someone that is qualified to do them, not just legal to do them. And yes, it's you that needs to make that call.

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9 hours ago, Fry said:

Thanks guys!

Well, just let you know, I agree that owner-assisted maintenance is a good thing. The two reasons I am not immediately going for this with my 50h (!) inspection are:

1. I am planning to do owner-assisted with the much more intense next 100h/annual (and hope my MSC will play along), and I assume I will then learn MUCH more there than I ever could with a meagerly 50h inspection, which seems underwhelmingly complex anyway (apart from the suction screen, of course).

2. My MSC is extremely competent, but a nightmare in driving distance. To deliver the plane on one day, and to pick it up on another day, will mean something like 8 hours drive (and just 1 hour flight) in total. It's not the distance, it's the lack of a suitable "autobahn" (yes, we have some, but apparently not enough - and there ARE speed limits outside of autobahns, in contrast to any myths that may be around :-). And that is too much effort IMO for an inspection that would not even be required in FAA-land...

Of course, should the inspection result in need of repair, e.g. brakes or tires, I will definitely not do those myself. That actually goes without saying, but I'm saying it anyway.

BTW, my oil change went surprisingly smooth. No wizardry required. Youtube helps (although I much prefer written instructions with pictures). Yes, I made something of a mess and learned how to avoid it next time, but the oil change itself, including removing and re-fixing the cowling, and exchanging the filter plus safety wiring the new one, is truly no "witch-work", as we say here in Gemany :-)

Thanks again,

Fry

I think your approach to managing the maintenance of your airplane is a sound one. But, keep in mind that there are few items on a Mooney that really require the expertise of a MSC (control and landing gear rigging come to mind). Much Mooney service is pretty generic and can be done by any competent mechanic. (Also, I've had some pretty ham handed stuff done by MSCs -- there is a shortage of experienced mechanics and the MSCs hire from the same pool as everyone else). Many of us have found it very useful to develop a good relationship with a conveniently located mechanic who is willing to work with us. This allows complete control (which really is your responsibility as owner/operator) in managing the maintenance of your airplane. You can do what you can yourself; get help from the local mechanic as needed; go the the MSC for specialized items. I've noticed the folks that seem to have the most problems are those that just drop of the airplane at a shop (MSC or not) and say "fix it."

Skip

 

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Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a conveniently located mechanic in my case. And I know I sound differently above, with the self-written maintenance manual and such, but believe me, you US guys have it much better in every (aviation-related) respect. Gotta appreciate that!

Thanks again to all of you for the valuable advice!

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So in the USA we are required to have the Service and Maintenance manual available to work on the planes.  I would think your 50 hour list would need to reference these manuals.  Being from IT world it seems that would answer many of your questions.   There are some available for download here on Mooneyspace.    There is also a manual for the Engine and the Prop.       If you would google Mooneyspace and oil screen there were several videos posted by a MSC.

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Just a hint when you find the instructions for the Fuel Servo finger strainer you will find that most people do it wrong and take off the cap instead of the fuel hose.    The instructions say to do it from the fuel hose side.

And now you will find out that you need crows feet wrenches.

Edited by Yetti
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The one piece of advice I have is LOOK. Visually inspect everything. Spend some time on this. Look and poke at everything. In my pre-buy and annuals, there things that have been over-looked that I have seen. For example, the turbo oil line touching the hot side of the turbo. Or the oil breather line wearing a hole in my intake manifold. Wires chafing against the engine mount. It is handy to have a collection of the commonly used bolts/screws/nuts/washers from Aircraft Spruce handy so you don't have to make an order each time you find a missing screw. It's also a good idea to spray the rod ends with tri-flow more often than the annual inspection. 

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The best question you can ask of your new MSC?

Do they have the correct tools and torque wrench to check the gear over center torques?

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