It’s all about the choices we make—and the consequences of those choices. In this case, our choice was to build an RV-3 – an airplane that we have thoroughly enjoyed for just about 600 hours of flying now. The consequence – an RV-3 has very little room between the back of the engine and the firewall. Space is at a premium, and when you add a constant speed prop and an oil filter to an IO-320, you start working back there like a surgeon through a microscope.
With 600 hours on the engine, I felt it appropriate that this inspection cycle would be a good time to send the P-Mags back to Emagair for a look-see and firmware tune-up. They haven’t missed a beat in those 600 hours, and I’d like to keep it that way. So that means they need to be removed and packaged up for shipment.
Well, if I recall correctly, we installed the engine with the P-Mags in place, and then built up all the rest of the wiring, plumbing, and accessories around them. I spent about a half hour this afternoon removing the right unit, and that leaves the left one to go. Take a look at that picture. See that gold and black jewel buried under all that wiring and plumbing? Yup – that’s what has to come out. Disconnecting and removing it from the engine is easy.
But finding a hole to extract it? A consequence of the choices we made. – and a tough nut to crack. No regrets – but the oil filter, oil cooler line, and crankcase breather hose will have to come off for sure. Might have to move that prop governor control too. Oh well – so long as its only once every 600 hours...