N3636H Maintenance Log

Look here for all the maitenance and modifications made to 3636H starting in April of 2004.

Log in reverse of chronologic order. In other words, latest stuff on top, go to the bottom for old stuff.

Jeez I haven't kept this up. Mainly cuz it's boring repeated annuals. Only thing new is I added a Insight G4 engine monitor.

For those keeping score: Modifications to 3636H since April 2004 (not repair or overhaul, this is new or upgraded stuff):

Maint: Sept. 23 2007. Need an oil change, the nice folks at TurboAir Boise handled it for me.

Annual: June 2007. Pretty standard annual for the airframe, just the odd heim joint (my rudder attach point has been replaced each annual). Big ticket item was a dead (20 psi) #5 cylinder. Yes, yes, I have no idea how it could be that low with no indication in the cockpit. We opted to replace #5 and #6 (they oppose each other) since #6 was the next lowest. $11,000 later, she runs fine.....

Upgrade: March 30 2007. My number came up for my WAAS upgrade for my 530, so airplane spent some time up at Lakeport, 530 upgraded to 530W. While it was there cleaned up some other things. Had a new yoke trim switch installed ($795 fer a trim switch???), old switch was intermittent. Oil change, and while they had the cowl off they tightened and re-arranged a variety of things. Lots of hardware around the cowl flaps, everything hunky-dory. About $3,000.

Annual: June 14-30 2006. Standard annual, no big suprises. Engine compressions are the same as last year.Had the Sporty's electric backup attitude indicator installed (I like it). Replaced the vacuum pump, 14 years is great service from the old one. Had a little door made in the side so I can turn off the ox valve. Had it BoSheild protected for corrosion. They changed the battery again. And a ton of little squawks. $8,000 or so.

Mid-year: Jan 6-Feb 16 2006. Mid-year, may as well spend some money. Dropped the airplane off at Lake Aero to have a Sandel 3500 installed. As you'll recall, the old King HSI was at the end of being adjustable, and was starting to get a little notchy, so went whole-hog and got the glass HSI. That meant a new remote gyro and flux gate compass, too. This cost quite a bit more than a overhaul of the existing units, but when I start flying a lot of hard IFR I was getting nervious about relying on 26 year old components. The Sandel interfaces with my 530 and 330 TIS xponder, and, well, it's cool. Took way too long to install. But it gives me a brand new moving map HSI, a bigger display.
As they messed about, they also fixed my glareshield light rehostat, made sure the FS-450 actually worked, changed the oil, replaced a heck of a lot of screws in the nose landing gear well and door. Also re-swung the compass (part of the Sandel install) and put a new compass dev. card in, this one won't get torn off. Total cost: About $25,000. But it's cool!

Maint: 23 Sept. 2005 - 10 Oct: Alternate air box parts in, took the airplane out. Real difference in feel, very positive open/close of the alt air door now. Also had the avionics relay replaced/upgraded, it was starting to stick. Vacuum switch behind panel fixed. Pilots PTT switch replaced with a newer model, soft edges, won't have this callus on my index finger from pushing the danged button. Also had a Davtron 877 digital clock installed.

Maint: 21 July 2005 -5 Aug- 27Aug: Dropped the airplane off at Advanced Aviation to have an FS-450 fuel flow and totalizer added, then went to Mexico on vacation. Not ready when I got back. Finally ready, flew up to Boise. New fuel flow indicator showed 34 gallons per hour at level cruise. D'oh! Fortunately the original FF was still operational and giving me good data. Back to the shop, cost for the fuel flow instrument and installation about $1,700. Also had Magnum aviation take out the on-board O2 regulator and have it serviced (it's been blowing all the O2 out in 5 minutes). Ops checked it on the flight to Boise and the on-board system is now ready for use. Cost about $250 for that.

Annual: 29 June 2005. Back from annual. Pretty standard. Unusual stuff, an engine baffle was loose, one fuel injector was dirty so they cleaned all, turbo coupling boot was torn, gear doors were re-rigged, wrapped some brake lines, some grommets missing, aleron push rods were rusty (repaired), tail excessive play. Replaced the original tachometer with a nice Horizon tach (part was about $600). Total cost was $6,000, though $1,000 of that was an O2 bottle I ordered but didn't in fact need. I need to get the alt air box upgraded, but the parts for that are on backorder, when that comes in we'll go back out.

Annual: 13 June 2005. Airplane flown to Top Gun for this year's annual. Only 2 things on the list below will be a clock and a digital tach. Decided to wait on avionics, still not exactly sure what I want to do. Other major thing to get new is a replacement O2 bottle.

Things to do next Annual: My list of small things to fix/add/consider, so I don't forget them.

Maint: 31 January 2005. Back from Top Gun. Many things tinkered with. Rebuilt AI installed. Full 100 hour on engine including fuel pressure setup. Left brake disk replaced. Prop and prop govenor overhauled (new paint, pretty!) Rebuilt tach installed. Right wing fuel gauge replaced. SB on gear actuator spring complied with. Various little things cleaned and touched up. Total - $10,000 ($3k for prop work and $3k for AI rebuild most of the cost).

Maint 21 December 2004. Got 70-some hours on the airplane, need 20 more for my IFR completion, which means I'd be right at 100 hours at check ride. Ick. Took the airplane over to Top Gun to have a 100 hour, get the AI overhauled, have the starting/idle looked at, etc. etc. I'll be down in Mexico for the next week and a half, they might be able to get it done in that time.

Squawk: 17 December 2004. AI took nearly 20 minutes to erect, needs to be overhauled. Engine died again when I pulled the throttle full out as I was turning off the runway.

Maint: 17 Dec 2004. Had Magnum swing the compass, updated compass card installed.

Maint: 11 December 2004. Serviced tire pressure. Removed pilots kneewell air vent. Lubricated, finally got it to break loose, opens and closes smoothly now (i.e., I don't have to stuff toliet paper in it any more). Replaced, ops ck good.

Maint: 29 November 2004. Did not start again Sunday. No amount of prop-swishing would help (which is actually good, that's not a fix). Magnum dragged it into the shop this morning. Starter motor needed to be replaced (which makes sense after a period of time with hard starts and a bad starter adaptor) and, probably more importantly, they found a broken wire leading to the primer solenoid valve, which means that the right amount of priming fuel was or was not getting to the right place more often than not.

Fixed, and Magnum's ops check good. I won't be able to fly for a few days, so I'll let you know my results then. Total cost: About $480. More than worth it if the little dear starts reliably now.

Maint: 25 November 2004. Went out to mess about. Did some prop swining, both forward and back, and at one point heard the tell-tale click that to my ex-mechanic ear lets me know that the bendix/starter adapter has retracted. Got in, and after a few pulls she started up. Guess Don had not swung the prop counter-clockwise, which is what you have to do to unload the bendix. Ground-ran the engine for about 8 minutes to get it to temperature, don't want to start cold and shut down cold, and to re-charge the battery after the drain of yesterday. Engine still is annoying hard to light off, I need to get that fixed so she starts on the first pull, not on the 4th.

Two other timings I pulled from the log books a few weeks ago: Vacuum pump was last overhauled on 10/19/89, at tach time of 1475, so I should have it overhauled at the next annual. Alternator was overhauled on 4/26/90, that should be fine.

Oh yeah, the door restrant is moving more easily again. I have not swung it out to the full locked position becuase I'm paranoid.

Cleaned windshield and side windows. Wiped down front seats and side panels.

Squawk: 24 November 2004. Went to start, one "blip" and the starter locked up. Power drain (hum and fuel gauges to zero) but motor does not turn. Don got out and moved the prop by hand, the engine does not appear to be particularly stiff. If I were a betting man (and I am) I bet the starter adapter is stuck in the extended position. Magnum will not be able to look at it until Monday. Dang it, no flying this long weekend.

Maint: 22 November 2004. Magnum went out to the plane to look at the door restraint, indicated that they lubed it and adjusted the latch sprng. I'll check it before tommorrow's flight.

Squawk: 21 November 2004. New door restraint very stiff and latch spring very tight, had to unlatch restraint with screwdriver from below.

Maint: 20 November 2004. Down to 6 quarts, added one quart of oil. Took it to a little over 7 quarts, which meant anything over 7 spewed all over the belly on the next flight, sigh.

Maint: 1 Nov-12 Nov 2004. Time to clean everything up. Magnum Aviation had time, so they dragged her in. Wanted the tires, door restraint, and alitmeter sserviced at a minimum. Wanted them to look at the engine also, since it's been getting harder to start.

As you can tell by the time, they ended up doing quite a bit. End result: 2 new Goodyear tires, new brake linings, re-seal right brake, repacked and replaced wheel bearings. New door restraint. Altimter removed and repaired by Mid-Continent (flight check good, altimeter & encoder now agreeing). Some paint on nose gear door from hot startes.

Big thing was the engine work. They pulled both mags, and overhauled the coil on the right. Replaced all spark plus. They looked at the starter, and the clutch springs and gears were worn, they did a great job of gettng the geears re-ground and the adaptor re-built.

Took it up, and it's amazing the difference in throttle response. First, I can now actuallly go to throttle full out without the engine stopping, which is Good. Also much tigher response at the low end of the throttle, much less twiddling to get it to stay at a good power setting, it just holds power where I put it. Finally, and I'll confirm this on a longer flight than the pattern circuits I took, it feels like there is more power available, we'll see if I can squeak a few more knots out at the top end. Total for all this (and there was a lot, so this was to be expected), about $5k. Very good work.

One note: I went over the logs and totalled yearly times, and it looks like the first 6 years the airplane was flow a lot, then less, and in the last 8 years only about 24 hours per year. That's not enough to keep systems in top condition.

Squawk: 30 October 2004 Door restraint broke at outer attach point in Ukiah.

Squawk: 23 Oct 2004 ATC confirms that encoder is reporting 200 ft lower than altimeter is displaying.

Sqawk: Main tires should be changed pretty soon.

Maint: 3 October 2004: Added one quart oil.

Note: 28 September 2004. I have forgotten to write down the starting times for all this stuff, and keep forgetting where I have it written down on paper, so I'll put it here after the oil change. Three different times exist: The airframe, the hobbes meter, and the engine. The airframe current total time is 2408.5. The Hobbes time is 1411.7, this hobbes meter was installed at airframe time 998, and the meter was installed with 1.2 hours already on it. So any Hobbes time needs 996.8 added to it to get airframe time.
Now the engine is a rebuild that was installed at hobbes meter time of 824.8, so the engine currently has 586.9 hours on it. So engine times are hobbes times minus 824.8. Which gives me about 1,000 hours until overhaul should raise it's head.

My zero time ownership start is Hobbes 1354.9, the hour the last annual was completed. So speedbrakes, 530, etc. are zero timed at 1354.9.

Simple, huh?

Maint: 28 September 2004. Magnum aviation done, airplane towed back to spot. 56 hour oil change, filter opened and no particulate. SOAP sample sent off. Current time 1411.7. Replaced landing lights. Replaced entire right wing strobe assembly. Left wing nav light burned out, replaced. Alt air door exercised and lubed. Total: Something a little over $700.

Maint: 21 September 2004: Magnum Aviation could fit me in, so sent the airplane over for 50 hour oil change and to get the lights repaired.

Squawk: 19 September 2004: About an hour after a period of strong turbulence, alternate air annunciator light went on. Pushing the alt air knob extinguished the light. On preflight at Salinas alt air knob would not pull out. Something in the linkage is not right,

Squawk: 18 September 2004: On preflight, Karen noticed our right strobe was inop

Maint: 18 September 2004:. Preflight oil at 6.5, added 3/4s of a quart of oil.

Maint: 29 August 2004: New interior from Buchanan Aviation is done (see here). New wieght and balance. Aircraft empty wieght is now 2008 lbs, so I lost about 30 pounds of useable with the new interior. Or did I? I don't think the airplane has actually been weighed since it was delivered, the logs and the POH do not indicte an actual weigh, just adjustments based on gear additions/subtractions, and some (like the Loran) weren't even entered. In other words, I think the wieght data has been wrong for years, and now it is actually correct. BTW, door seal switch jamnut tighted during interior overhaul.

Squawk: 18 Aug 2004:.Landed at Concord to drop off airplane for interior work, noticed door seal power switch jam nut has worked itself loose. Check and tighten when airplane is returned.

Squawk: 5 July 2004. Serviced the O2 bottle to 1800 psi at Santa Ana. Tried using it on the flight back, no flow. On landing found bottle completely empy. There is a leak somewhere, I'm assuming after the regulator since it held the fill on the ground. Fix it, or buy an external tank? And the danged landing lights are burned out already,

Maint: 17 June 2004 Added 2 quarts of oil to bring up to full 8 quarts. Note a week or so later: This very quickly became 7 quarts as the 8th quart blew itself all over the underbelly. A month later: Consumption very slow at 7 quarts, will only filll to 7 in the future.

Maint: June 5 2004

Annual sign off completion 6/04. Changes made, all 337 and POH additions complete.

Maint: May 6th 2004

Decided on the replacement avionics stack. Center it on a Garmin 530. More screen real estate, interfaces with the King HSI. Supporting that with a GMA-340 audio panel and a GTX-330 Mode S Transponder (that will also feed traffic (TIS) data to the 530. Re-using one set of King nav/comms. This replaces KMA 24 Audio Panel, KY-197 COM,KNS-80,KR-87 ADF,M1 Loran, Sigtronics SPA400 Intercom and ,KT-76A Transponder. which is a slight savings in weight, but a pretty good reduction in power usage. And the Loran system will be decommisioned (fiannly) sometime in the next few years, so I don't want to base my RNAV on that, Estimated cost: $22,000.

Maint: April 30 2004. The KNS 80 is toast.

Interior corroded. Quandry. LASAR has another one that they pulled out of a 252 in great shape that they'll sell me for $1,000. Market price for reconditioned ones is $1,500-$3,000, so that part of it is a no-brainer.

But this is a chance to upgrade, too. Rip the whole stack out and put in an IFR rated Garmin avionics stack. I don't jsut want to throw in a 430, if I'm going to do this I'm going to modernize the whole stack, new audio panel, new transponder with mode S, etc. Going to cost a lot, but it's the hold-back money I didn't spend on the downpayment since I payed on the low end of my budget for the airplane itself.

And, dang it, of the KNS 80 is corroded I don't have the same confidence as Robert at LASAR that the rest of the stack is fine, the 80 filtered out all the goop.

So they are building me an estimate on replacing the stack. I'll take a look and see.

Maint & Mod: April 26 2004. I own the plane. Authorized full annual and installation of Precise Flight speed brakes and a Merlyn wastegate.

Maint: Pre-purchase inspection results: No airworthiness issues. Three intersting things

Those things indicate to me that this airplane has not been flown a whole lot. Nothing to worry about, means mostly to me that flying it more (as I plan to) will make the airplane much happier.

Maint: April 9, 2004. Pre-purchase inspection authorized on N3636H at Lake Aero Styling, Lakeport, CA