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Thread: Compression tester reccomendations

  1. #1
    smcnutt's Avatar
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    Default Compression tester reccomendations

    I thought I had either asked or seen others give suggestions on their preferred compression tester. However, I searched and couldn't find it so I will ask.

    Looking to buy a compression tester for our Lycoming 0290-D2 engine and want to see if others have preferences either for or against a specific brand/model unit.
    “Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”
    ― Victor Hugo

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Compression tester reccomendations

    I like the E2M-1000 by Eastern. 2 problems I have with it. 1) The way they ship it, the hose is on the cylinder adapter, this makes it impossible to use a socket to tighten. Fix is to swap the hose with the inlet fitting and then you can use socket. 2) valves turn kinda hard. All of the ones I have used are hard to turn so don't know the fix. It is just difficult to hold the compression tester, hold the propeller and turn the valve. Kind of one man band sort of thing. Not a problem with a helper. Master orifice is for Continentals, but never now when you may get one of those.........Ross

  3. #3
    Frank Green's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compression tester reccomendations

    When I do an annual yes you have to check the compression but what if it's low, then what? I use a Vividia Ablescope (www.vividia-tech.com) to take a look every time. You can check for head cracks (had a O290 which when I pulled the cylinders 3 out of 4 were cracked) check the valve seats, cylinder rusting, top of the piston, you can even look at the build up on the valve stems and record the pics to show the owner. Just or more important than just a compression check. I also use it to look in places I can't otherwise see, wings, under floor etc. Just saying.
    -Super Stub-

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    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compression tester reccomendations

    I use the E2M-1000 as well. I have a shorter fatter hose I got from Snap On many years ago and just turn it hand tight against the o'ring. I do a lot of compression tests by myself but have not had the issues with the hard to turn air valves. I turn the prop and stop when I hear the impulse coupling pop which should be pretty close to top dead center and I don't have to fight the air pressure. The E2M has a slow fill valve. Years ago I had a foot valve from a bead blast cabinet mounted on a board so I could turn the air on with my foot freeing up both hands. It quit working and went on the "To Fix" list but has gotten done yet.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Compression tester reccomendations

    Can’t remember the brand I use, got it maybe 35 years ago. Changed the gages on it once. If I haven’t used it in a while, yes the brass valve will stick. Other that than that, it’s worked good all these years.


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  6. #6

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    Default Re: Compression tester reccomendations

    I just added a coupler to the hose that came with mine. It looks like the Aircraft Tool Supply copy comes with the hose and adapter already made up with a coupler.

    The valves seem to get stiff if they are allowed to sit idle for too long. Mine got so bad I had to disassemble and polish the valves once. I haven’t had any trouble since I quit using the shop’s instead of mine.
    "Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement." - Fred Brooks

  7. #7
    6PapaWhiskey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compression tester reccomendations

    Since you will be testing an O-290 (bore = 4.375"), you should use tester with a .040 orifice. According to the Eastern web site, the E2M-1000 has a .060 orifice, which is for cylinder bores of 5.00" and up: http://www.easterntech.com/e2m.html
    The model E2M should be the proper one for your engine.

    I've had one of their less expensive model E2A testers for 7 years and it has worked quite well. It's about $30 less than the E2M. I used it on my previous aircraft with a Rotax 912 engine. It is also fine for my Wagabond with an O-235.

    Tom P.
    Wagabond @ 08A

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Compression tester reccomendations

    There is an interesting note on the ATS website that I hadn’t seen before: https://aircraft-tool.com/shop/detail.aspx?id=2EM-60

    This differential pressure tester has a .060" orifice and is intended for use with engines whose bore diameters exceed 5" per AC43.13 REV 1B. However, Lycoming and Continental service specifications call for the use of a standard tester (with a .040" orifice) even if their engine's bore diameters exceed 5", and for those engines you must comply with the manufacturer's specifications and use a standard tester such as our 2EM instead of this unit.
    "Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement." - Fred Brooks

  9. #9
    6PapaWhiskey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compression tester reccomendations

    Interesting...... here's a link to the Lycoming Service Instruction: https://www.lycoming.com/sites/defau...ompression.pdf

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Compression tester reccomendations

    Older versions of AC43.13-1 had that testers with the .040 orifice was for engines with less than 1000 cubic inches, and the .060 was for engines over 1000 cu in. I think when Continental came out with their revised method with using the “standard” orifice to verify your gage set, they changed from cu in to bore diameter.


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