Lycoming Piston Rings

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Question How safe is an engine break-in period?
My flight school just called and told me that they just put a brand new engine in one of their 172’s. They said that before they put it back into normal service, it needed to be run at cruise power for a few hours. Now, since I’m trying to get my instrument rating and need some more cross country hours, they asked me if I wanted to take it. They even offered me a discounted rate. My question is how safe is doing this? I mean what are the chances that something might go wrong? I just feel a little uneasy about this whole thing because it seems to me that they can’t find anyone else to do it and want me to be the guinea pig.

Best Answer Further to what other people have already stated, the main point of contention among engine break-in instructions is whether to run the engine slowly or quickly to initiate the process. Those who promote raising the power settings steadily will recommend changing the engine setting from low to high powers so as not to work the engine too hard and create excessive glazing on the cylinder wall (which would require the pistons to be removed and wall fixed). Other experts disagree and believe that to start the engine at a high power is the best way to effectively set in the pistons. The following are examples of how the two processes can be carried out: STARTING AT HIGH POWER: You may initially run the engine from 1700 to 2500 RPM, and run it for about 15 minutes while watching so that the oil pressure does not get too high, which is dangerous. Check for proper oil pressure indicator within 30 seconds. After checking that the engine functions normally, carry on using lower power settings. STARTING AT LOWER POWER: Lower power setting is around 1500 rpm. Run the eng. for about half an hour while checking oil pressure and begin again should there be any indication of high temp. Observe the temperature instrument gauge, and see if the temperature stays within the parameters for that engine. The time it takes to complete an engine break-in procedure has decreased significantly from a number of days to a few hours since modern engines have become more efficient. Besides the Flight School would have done the initial break in time. But just the same, ask them how they would want the average eng. RPM ought to be, since people have their own ways of breaking in engines. Their licensed A&P mech. shoudl be able to tell you that. The factories in which the engines are produced are also capable of better assembly nowadays. For example, older engines had larger ridges in their cylinder walls which made it harder and longer to secure the piston rings within them. So basically, the goal of modern engine break-ins is the settling of piston rings into an engine's cylinder wall. A cylinder wall is not perfectly smooth but has a deliberate slight roughness to help oil adhesion. As the engine is powered up, the piston rings between the pistons and cylinder wall will begin to seal against the wall's small ridges. If the engine is powered up too quickly or not enough (depending on engine), the rings may grind against the ridges and wear them down. The tighter the piston rings are set in, the longer an engine is expected to last. This is the reason for the discount, since the Flight School trust you enough to observe the power settings for the engine break-in. Since you will be doing cross country flying, it seemed the ideal condition for the break in. The focus of breaking-in an engine is, as you know, to sit the piston rings of the engine properly against the cylinder wall. There is no universal preparation or set of instructions for breaking in an engine, as I've already stated above. I've had experienced breaking-in an engine before on a 152 Aerobat and everything went smoothly. (I was 17 years old then, and looking back on my log-book notes, it was a Lycoming O-235-L2C flat-4 engine). On the 172 Skyhawk, the most likely engine you will encounter would be the Lycoming IO-360-L2A flat-4 engine, rated at 160 hp at 2,400 rpm. Since the Flight School has already stated that it's break-in time, the only other thing for you to do (which is among the other important things you should do) is to make sure of the right quantity of oil is in place, and watch the oil pressure gauge after you fire up the engine and just before take off (you know that you should do this anyway, break-in or no break-in). And of course you would check particularly also the Magneto drops at 1700 RPM (should not exceed 125 RPM for the 172). Enjoy your flight.
Question Where can I find info on Lycombing HO 360 engine?
I'm doing a little research and need to find some sort of information on a helicopter Lycombing HO 360 engine but I can't find anything. Does anybody know where I can find any sort of information on this engine?

Best Answer The Lycoming 0-360 engine is a cery reliable piston aircraft engine. It powers the Robinson R-22 helicopter and also Cessna 172's among many other aircraft. Lycoming 0-360 series engines VERSIONS There are no less than 86 different versions of Lycoming’s highly successful 0-360-series four cylinder engines. Of these, 27 are carburetted models of 180hp; there are seven low compression carburetted versions of 168 hp; one fuel injected model of 177hp, 10 fuel injected versions of the 180 hp engine; 22 fuel injected models of 200 hp, including five aerobatic versions; three turbocharged models of 200 hp, and 16 helicopter configurations with ratings of 180, 190, 205, 225 and 230 hp. The list of current production aircraft powered with these engines is too long to include here. CONFIGURATION The 0-360s evolved from the 0-235 and 0-320 engines and are similar in basic design and layout. The cylinders are made with two major components, head and barrel, screwed and shrunk together. The heads are made from an aluminium alloy casting with a machined combustion chamber. Rocker shaft bearing supports are cast integral with the head along with housings to form the rocker boxes. A convention type camshaft is located above and parallel to the crankshaft. The camshaft actuates hydraulic tappets, which operate the valves through pushrods and valve rockers. The valve rockers are supported on fully floating steel shafts. The valve springs bear against hardened steel seats and are retained on the valve stems by means of split keys. The crankcase assembly consists of two reinforced aluminium alloy castings, fastened together at the crankshaft centreline in the vertical plane. The mating surfaces of the two castings are joined without a gasket and the main bearing bores are machined for use of precision main bearing inserts. The crankshaft is made from a chrome nickel molybdenum steel forging. All bearing journal surfaces are nitrided. The connecting rods are made in the form of H sections from alloy steel forgings. They have replaceable bearing inserts in the crankshaft ends and bronze bushings in the piston ends. The bearing caps on the crankshaft ends are retained by two bolts and nuts through each cap. The pistons are machines from aluminium alloy. The piston pin is of the fully-floating type with a soft alloy plug located at each end of the pin to prevent scoring of the cylinder wall. Depending of the cylinder assembly, pistons may be machined for either three or four rings, and may employ half wedge or full wedge rings. Consult the latest revision of Service Instruction #1037 for proper piston and ring combinations. The oil sump contains an oil drain plug, oil suction screen, mounting pad for carburettor or fuel injector, the intake riser and intake pipe connections. Crankcase covers are employed on the fuel-injected aerobatic engines (AI0-360's). INDUCTION SYSTEMS The 0-360 series engines are equipped with either a float type or pressure type carburettor. Distribution of the fuel-air mixture to each cylinder is obtained through the induction system which is integral with the oil sump. The 10-360 and AIO-360 series engines are equipped with a Bendix RSA fuel injector (except for the 10-360-BiA which has a Simmonds 530 fuel injector). The fuel injection system schedules fuel flow in proportion to air flow, and fuel vaporization takes place at the intake ports. On the TIO-360 series, the turbocharger is mounted as an integral part of the engine. Automatic waste gate control of the turbocharger provides constant air density to the fuel injector inlet from sea level to critical altitude. The float type carburettors used are the Marvel-Schebler MA-4-5 and IIA-6, which are single barrel with manual mixture control, and the Marvel-Schebler MA-4-5AA, also single barrel, but with automatic pressure altitude mixture control. The -5AA carb does not have a manual mixture control. The Bendix-Stromberg PSH-5BD carburettor is pressure-operated, with a single horizontal barrel, incorporating an airflow-operated power enrichment valve and an automatic mixture control unit. It also has a manual mixture control which works independently of, and in parallel with, the automatic mixture control. FUEL All models of the 180hp 0-360s and IO-360s use 100/130 octane fuel. All 200hp IO-360s and AIO-360s use 100/130 octane fuel. The 168hp 0-360s are supposed to use 80/87 octane fuel. DRY WEIGHTS Dry weight of the 0-360s, including carburettor, mags., ignition harness, engine baffles, spark plugs, tach. drive, starter and generator or alternator, ranges from 282lbs to 290 lbs, The IO-360s range in weight from 296lbs to 332 lbs., while the TI)-360 weights 386 lbs. AI0-360s weigh 325lbs with accessories; are 30.8 ins in length, 20.76 ins in height and 34.25 ins wide. The 0-360s range in length from 29.56 ins to 30.70 ins; are 24.59 ins in height and 33.37 ins wide. The I0-360s range in length from 30.37 to 33.65 ins in length; from 20.47 to 22.47 ins in height and are 33.37 ins wide.

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