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Thread: Return to the sky

  1. #1
    cozzmo81's Avatar
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    Default Return to the sky

    In August 2015 I purchased my 1950 PA-20 Pacer. During the first annual inspection we found 3 cracked cylinders and an exhaust valve guide half missing, what was left of the guide was loosely floating in the cylinder head. At this point I decided to upgrade to an O-320. I found a good core and went to work on the overhaul. While working on the engine overhaul as time and money would allow I also replaced the wing struts with sealed airframes Alaska struts. I replaced the gascolator, fuel selector valve, moved the oil cooler to the rear baffle. I changed the generator out for an alternator and a whole bunch of other little things. Iím happy to say that today for the first time since August 2015 N7645K lifted off at 8:40 am est. for the first hour of flight. I am pleased with the performance of the engine so far. The oil temperature settled out at about 190į with an oat of 80į. The CHTís were between 345-385 with#4 being the hottest. We spent an hour at 3k ft running at 75% power. Indicated airspeed was 127 mph in level flight. Some items that need attention are the left wing was very slightly heavier than the right. I suspect a half turn of the strut fork will fix this. The airplane also required quite a bit of right rudder pressure so some adjustments need to be made there also. After we shut down at the pumps I noticed a fuel stain on the right tank cover and both fuel caps were now flush with the tank covers from suction. I just installed new atlee dodge caps so Iím not sure why the tanks are not venting? I have some items to address but Iím happy to finally be back in the air. I want to thank everyone on this site for answers to questions over the years. I also have to thank my wife for putting up with everything that came with this adventure. This site is an incredible resource. I didnít get any pictures of the flight but here are some taken along the way.IMG_2333.jpgIMG_5558.jpgIMG_8054.jpg


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    Adam Rhoads

  2. #2
    smcnutt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Return to the sky

    Glad to hear that you're back in the air. Sounds like a lot of "might as well's" along the way but I'm sure you will be glad you did them. Any chance that you might be flying into Noblesville (I80) Sat for their pancake breakfast? Here's a news story about it.
    ďCommon sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.Ē
    ― Victor Hugo

  3. #3
    cozzmo81's Avatar
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    Default Re: Return to the sky

    Quote Originally Posted by smcnutt View Post
    Glad to hear that you're back in the air. Sounds like a lot of "might as well's" along the way but I'm sure you will be glad you did them. Any chance that you might be flying into Noblesville (I80) Sat for their pancake breakfast? Here's a news story about it.
    There were plenty of while Iím here I might as well moments as well as a fair share of errors from past maintainers to fix. The flyin is on my calendar however the family is headed out on vacation Saturday morning so Iíll have to wait for the next one. I do plan on being at Hagerstown in July


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    Adam Rhoads

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Return to the sky

    The fuel venting sounds strange, wonder if you got bad gas caps from dodge? you could try these $7.35 caps from wagaero to troubleshoot the problem, https://www.wagaero.com/fuel-systems...-fuel-cap.html

    They are vented caps identical to piper oem caps, the vent is on the bottom inside of the cap so make sure your rubber tank to cover gasket is NOT touching the bottom of the cap when you tighten it, thats the reason for the AD to drill the holes thru to the outside like the atlee dodge cap. Can you both blow and suck air thru your dodge cap vent holes? They need to breath both ways not just in.
    Last edited by SMO22; 06-08-2018 at 01:33 PM.

  5. #5
    Jim Hann's Avatar
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    Default Re: Return to the sky

    Quote Originally Posted by cozzmo81 View Post
    There were plenty of while I’m here I might as well moments as well as a fair share of errors from past maintainers to fix.

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    Oh, I know both of these quite well! The past maintainers one is particularly aggravating at times!

    Good to see you have her flying again, hopefully it won't be too long for me to finish my "Annual" (which is more like an annual upgrade session!)
    1957 PA-22/20 "Super Pacer" based 1H0
    Lifetime EAA member
    Vintage Aircraft Association member
    Lifetime EAA Chapter 32 member


  6. #6
    Pacer42Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Return to the sky

    Adam, nice to have another short wing back in the air. Nice looking plane. I have been flying my Pacer for almost 19 years and about two years ago I had the same issue starting with my fuel tanks getting sucked in. Not on every flight, but quite often. I still had what I believe the original caps. I tried to fix it by making the vent holes a little larger. At first I thought it did the trick, but then it started again. I finally broke down and purchased the Atlee Dodge fuel caps. The problem went away and then started again. I went back to the original caps and the problem was there on and off. Then I purchased fuel caps from Univair for about $73 each (by no I have probably almost $400 in fuel caps and seals). So far, for the last six to seven month, the problem has not resurfaced again. I better knock on wood, because it drove me nuts.

    I wonder if anyone else had this issue before.


    Juergen

    Pacer N3342Z

  7. #7
    cozzmo81's Avatar
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    Default Re: Return to the sky

    Quote Originally Posted by SMO22 View Post
    The fuel venting sounds strange, wonder if you got bad gas caps from dodge? you could try these $7.35 caps from wagaero to troubleshoot the problem, https://www.wagaero.com/fuel-systems...-fuel-cap.html

    They are vented caps identical to piper oem caps, the vent is on the bottom inside of the cap so make sure your rubber tank to cover gasket is NOT touching the bottom of the cap when you tighten it, thats the reason for the AD to drill the holes thru to the outside like the atlee dodge cap. Can you both blow and suck air thru your dodge cap vent holes? They need to breath both ways not just in.
    I have a set of caps that were on the plane when I got it that are not the correct caps, but are vented. I might try those next time out. The dodge caps fit super tight as in itís about all I can do to turn them tight. I wonder if that could somehow restrict the vent? I didnít have time to investigate today.


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    Adam Rhoads

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Return to the sky

    Quote Originally Posted by cozzmo81 View Post
    I have a set of caps that were on the plane when I got it that are not the correct caps, but are vented. I might try those next time out. The dodge caps fit super tight as in it’s about all I can do to turn them tight. I wonder if that could somehow restrict the vent? I didn’t have time to investigate today.


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    I use the old caps, like the ones I linked at wag, they worked for the last 65 years, I see no reason to spend good money on new caps. A little fuel lube ez turn whatever its being called now, a very little on the gasket makes them turn on and off easy. I dont have experience with any of the new expensive caps, but I think as long as your caps are vented in and out they should work fine. Take your dodge caps off and try blowing thru the inside vent and than sucking air thru from out to in, as long as air free flows both ways they should be good.
    Last edited by SMO22; 06-08-2018 at 06:29 PM.

  9. #9
    cozzmo81's Avatar
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    Default Re: Return to the sky

    Quote Originally Posted by SMO22 View Post
    I use the old caps, like the ones I linked at wag, they worked for the last 65 years, I see no reason to spend good money on new caps. A little fuel lube ez turn whatever its being called now, a very little on the gasket makes them turn on and off easy. I dont have experience with any of the new expensive caps, but I think as long as your caps are vented in and out they should work fine. Take your dodge caps off and try blowing thru the inside vent and than sucking air thru from out to in, as long as air free flows both ways they should be good.
    I will test them out when I get back to the hangar tomorrow. I have already put fuel lube on the gaskets and they are still super tight. Iíll investigate more tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestions


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    Adam Rhoads

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Return to the sky

    One thing I am wondering, if the low pressure over the top of the wing and the position of the vents on the cap could be causing your problem of the tank collapsing. Those expensive new caps have vent holes drilled high outside that are in that area of low pressure on top of the wing, could that cause the higher pressure in the tank to be drawn sucked out to the low pressure area that the cap vents out to causing the tank to be sucked in and collapse?

    I have the original caps that vent out on the underside of the cap and the cap sits down under the tank cover and are not introduced strait into that low pressure area above the wing like the new caps drilled with the out vents high on the outside of the cap. I have never had an issue with my tanks collapsing.

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