LW starter issue

aftCG

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I had posted up a topic on the older, quieter Citabria forum about an issue discovered during annual. The nose of the starter was rubbing on the cooling find on the back of the LED landing light, and the starter was losing the battle.
IMG_20180120_130438.jpg
You can see the contact point in the lower left corner of the S in SkyTec.
IMG_20180120_130350.jpg
And where it touches above the GND on the label.
The approved SkyTec lightweight starter for the Citabria is the 122-NL which has been installed as part of my annual. It required making a new positive cable from the firewall. The 122-NL has kickback protection and weighs about six ounces more according to the aircraft spruce catalog
 

Bartman

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I guess the new starter resolved the interference issue? Sucks that the one that was in there wasn't the correct one in the first place. :mad:
 

aftCG

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I wish I could tell you definitively but the cowl hasn't gone back on yet. However the inline starter doesn't have the staggered solenoid housing, so there should be clearance. I'll post up a picture when it's back together if I can get a good angle.

I'm actually glad to have uncovered that it is the wrong starter. It would be bad to have a legal STC for a light and a another for a starter but they are not compatible when installed at the same time (which could happen). At least I know there's a clear resolution using approved parts.

Hopefully the incorrect starter will be of use to someone. If not it will go in my pile of parts for when I get tired of certificated aircraft and go experimental.
 

Bill Martin

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I am interested in how the Sky-tek compares to the factory Prestolite when it comes to cranking. Even with a new Prestolite, my 1973 Decathlon requires a fully charged 35 series battery to spin the prop on the first push of the button. I have actually gone to the Concorde RG35AXC. New ACA aircraft use the 25 amp/hour battery.
 

Big Ed

N50247 - '79 Super D
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I am interested in how the Sky-tek compares to the factory Prestolite when it comes to cranking. Even with a new Prestolite, my 1973 Decathlon requires a fully charged 35 series battery to spin the prop on the first push of the button. I have actually gone to the Concorde RG35AXC. New ACA aircraft use the 25 amp/hour battery.
My '78 Super Decathlon spins just fine with RG-25 and factory starter. A couple of times after a refuel, I have tried to start with the mags off and spun the prop for at least 60 seconds total before realizing I was an idiot. I would suspect other issues if 25 amps were not sufficient for your aircraft.

Where are you based? I fly into the Nashville area a few times a year for work.
 
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aftCG

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My Sky-tek starter (both the incorrect one and the 122-NL) cranked great, even with the battery in the back and cables of undetermined age.
 

Bob Turner

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Still learning how to do a hot start. Concorde RG 35 A XC, original starter. When it quits, I am going B&C.
 

aftCG

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Still learning how to do a hot start. Concorde RG 35 A XC, original starter. When it quits, I am going B&C.
A 200hp Lycoming is a real hooker and this method works every time, and works on many other injected engines.

Hot start is anything less than 2 hours after reaching operating temperature.

Throttle cracked
Mixture to idle cutoff
Boost pump on.

This next part happens quick so chair fly this until you've got it down.

Watching the fuel flow meter, mixture goes to full rich, then quickly back to idle cutoff the instant the fuel flow needle comes up. No fuel flow? Just give it about one second.

Boost pump off.
Crank the engine. (Yes mixture still idle cutoff)
The instant it coughs, mixture to full rich then get your hand back on that throttle to modulate rpm.

I've done this on many different planes and it almost always (95%) works.

When it doesn't, you're flooded.
So.
Full throttle
mixture at idle cutoff.
Crank the engine. It may take a few seconds, but:
The instant it coughs you go full rich and get your damn hand back to the throttle. Don't be that guy.
 

Bill Martin

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My '78 Super Decathlon spins just fine with RG-25 and factory starter. A couple of times after a refuel, I have tried to start with the mags off and spun the prop for at least 60 seconds total before realizing I was an idiot. I would suspect other issues if 25 amps were not sufficient for your aircraft.

Where are you based? I fly into the Nashville area a few times a year for work.
That's very interesting. I've owned this plane for 36 years (first owner was Dick Smothers of the famous Smothers Brothers) and it has been this way consistently throughout its life. Years ago, I used a standard Gill G 35 in the flexible battery cover with the vent manifold. A fresh Gill, with a full charge, would sometimes spin the prop thru on the first try but more often than not, would stall on the first prop, requiring a second button push to spin the constant speed prop. I use Aeroshell W100 which is 50 weight oil. The plane had a new starter on it when I bought it, so I would guess I was not the first to experience the problem.

When the Concorde sealed batteries came out, I was interested to try one to stop any possibility of acid leaks on the control cables so I bought one. I even went with the RG 35 AXC expecting the extra capacity would help my starting problem. That was the end of my cranking problems. The Concorde spun the prop like it should, first time every time, even when it had not been flown or charged for an extended time. I have used the Concorde ever since. They last me 10 years. The Gill was good for maybe 3 or 4.

I really wonder if a standard Concord RG25A would work for me. I kinda think it might. The weight reduction would be nice. I would need to go with the new metal battery box kit or otherwise modify the original to support the smaller battery. I would like to know what brand battery and starter the new ACA's use on the Lycomings. I am assuming they are still 12 volt and haven't gone to 24 volt systems. I have a couple of parts manuals, one that covers 1990 and up, which says battery is Deka U31 which I have never seen. I have never heard of Deka. Now Delco maybe. The Lycoming manual I have list Prestolite for a starter but this may have changed in later models. My engine is a IO-320, not the later AEIO and yes I have the Bellanca inverted oil system and STC for same done by Bellanca at the factory. I also have the maintenance instructions provided. It is very reliable and I would not trade it for the Christen inverted oil system. Oil pressure is constant and dependable upside or down.
 
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Big Ed

N50247 - '79 Super D
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Wow, 36 years, that is amazing! And great to hear, especially after seeing Bob's pics of the Decathlon sitting outside unflown at his airfield. I sure hope I can one day say I owned mine 36 years. I just got it last year and I am 56, so perhaps I will settle for my sons saying it has been in the family for 36 years.

I just checked my 72-79 parts manual and you are correct, the OEM spec is 35 Amp, part number PS6-11 (Gill) or R-35 (Rebat). Concord references RG35 as the replacement.

However, when you look up the type aircraft on various battery references such as Concord or Aircraft Spruce, RG-25 is listed as the correct battery. Mine had an RG25 when I bought it last year, and I replaced with same. According to my research the RG25XC was unnecessary so I did not get that.

Like I said, mine has no problem turning over. However, mine is also very hard to start when cold. I usually have to prime, turn over for 10-15 seconds, then prime again to start. When I get the mixture right on the send or third try, it usually fires right up within 2 or 3 blade rotations. But I have tried every possible combination of priming technique and cannot get it to fire on the first attempt.

Also, several times I have forgotten to turn on the mags, usually at a refueling point where I skipped the checklist. That left me attempting to start 6 or 8 times, each time turning over for 10-15 seconds and then resting for 30 seconds while swearing at the top of my lungs and wondering where I could get a jump start. Each time I eventually realized my mistake, turned on the mags, and started it right up. All with a 25A battery.
 

Bob Turner

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Aft - thank you. That is my technique - along with gritting my teeth and shouting at it. I am well above 98% success, but still worry about it.

I may go to Odyssey or Earth-X next time. My Cub buddies all went to the PC-680 with good results, and I am using the PC-545 in the small Cubs. We are trying an Earth-X in the J4 with stunning results - seven hours on the radio and it still shows 13.2 volts.
 

Big Ed

N50247 - '79 Super D
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The battery thing has me a bit intrigued now. I searched by type on the Concorde website and it returned RG25. However, it also included this comment:

If your aircraft was built before 1980, please contact Concorde Battery Corporation or American Champion for application information.
Now I'm wondering if I am the guy with the wrong battery installed. Anyone have any insight on this?
 

Bob Turner

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I know I posted this elsewhere - I am getting 8-10 years out of the Concorde 35 series. I recommend the RG-35-XC.

The jury is still out on the Odyssey longevity. Earth-X is too new, scary, and expensive for me - it will be charged carefully, and way far away from the aircraft.
 

Big Ed

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I posted the question on FB and Dale Gauger answered. He said the RG25 was authorized by the TC, but you have to have the new metal box.
 

Hiperbiper

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The Hiperbipe has an IO-360 C1C angle valve with HC pistons. I always have to "rock" the engine thru the first rotation after which it spins like crazy. It has an Odyssey 680 battery located about 6 feet from the Plane Power LW starter.
Due to the design of the Bendix RSA injection system on Lycomings they always hot-start rich (as opposed to FI Continentals that start lean)..my go-to hot start is the same as aftCG except I don't use the boost pump; throttle cracked, mixture IC, mags on and crank. When she gets enough air and starts popping mixture forward.
Chris
 
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Bill Martin

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I had posted up a topic on the older, quieter Citabria forum about an issue discovered during annual. The nose of the starter was rubbing on the cooling find on the back of the LED landing light, and the starter was losing the battle.
View attachment 704
You can see the contact point in the lower left corner of the S in SkyTec.
View attachment 705
And where it touches above the GND on the label.
The approved SkyTec lightweight starter for the Citabria is the 122-NL which has been installed as part of my annual. It required making a new positive cable from the firewall. The 122-NL has kickback protection and weighs about six ounces more according to the aircraft spruce catalog
I had a similiar problem years ago with a 1973 Decathlon with the original Citabria style nose bowl. I would get at cracked landing light (old incadescent style, not LED) after a flight. What fixed it for me was new engine mount with Lord engine mount bushings. The old rubber shock mounts had hardened and deformed and allowed the engine to sag when pulling positive G's. It was so bad the spinner would some times scuff the cowling. I changed to the new style (then) engine mount with the Dynafocal ring which used the Lord engine mount bushings. That changed everything. No more problems and a lot less engine vibration. It was expensive to replace the engine mount and bushings but necessary in my view. I suppose new bushings in the old mount would have worked for a time but I wanted a permanent fix and I liked the idea of the ring mount.
 

Bob Turner

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Might not be permanent. Rubber engine mounts die slowly - even the $200 each Lord bushings disintegrate after a couple decades - and they are difficult to replace.
 

Big Ed

N50247 - '79 Super D
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Might not be permanent. Rubber engine mounts die slowly - even the $200 each Lord bushings disintegrate after a couple decades - and they are difficult to replace.
Getting cowling rubbing myself, on the top side, so I suspect new bushings are in my near future. How difficult is the job?
 

Bill Martin

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Bob, you are right of course. Permanent was a bad choice of words. But at my age two decades seems like forever. I don't even buy green bannanas anymore. Of course the aerobatic time would affect the service life. Less G's, more life. I would suggest you allow about half a work day to change the Lord mounts. Less for the rubber conical shock mount type mounts. The lower mounts are a bit hard to access. You will need a torque wrench to properly secure the nuts. Check your manual for the correct ft-lbs. By the way, there is a service letter for installing Lord mounts to replace the old rubber shock mount bushing. It requires a drawing and drilling each of the mount flanges to properly position the Lord mount pins.