Before I can install the Jacobs R755-A2 I'll need to do an overhaul on it. And since I've already worn many hats while building this biplane of mine, I might as well put on an A and P hat.
I've always wanted to dig into an engine to see how it works. What better time than now...
I kinda have an idea of where this will be going... not 100 % sure though. I can see it in my mind's eye... the engine broken down into it's components, all shiney and clean, new hoses, gaskets, everything painted up shiney and new ... we'll see. I've got a mountain of experience to climb before I get her done.
November 17, 2008
a Big Ol' Round Engine Mechanic
not quite able to grasp what learning about overhauling a
radial engine is yet. Whatever that means.
As usual... I envisioned a dream and have forced myself into
it. Or does it pull me towards it ? getting so close that
I'm sucked in withouot a choice at that point... or is that
the part where it's gray up until the moment of "truth" then
it's a black and white issue ? Either way... I have stepped
into the unknown again, forcing learning upon myself.
Spoke to Walt, the AI who has a hangar at Whitey's. He has
a few tools that are for Pratt and Whitney's that may work,
and said that I'll probably need to make a few custom tools
for pulling parts off the engine. He said to make sure that
I have the overhaul manual and parts manaul. The overhaul
manual will give me a heads up on what to be on the look out
for that is different than a normal engine; reverse threads
on certain components, etc.
I have the overhaul, parts and operating manuals. Actually
picked these up a few weeks ago. Other than being able to
read through it... Kinda stuck at a stand-still until I speak
to Walt again. He wasn't at the airport this past weekend.
Hopefully he'll be there this one coming up.
Looking over the overhaul manual, it looks like I need more
tools to do the overhaul than there are pieces to the Jacobs
engine. A little exaggeration, but not far from the truth.
Had the chance to win the complete tool set for the Jacobs
on an ebay acution but kinda didn't want to part with the
money at the time. I'll be kicking myself for that decision.
Actually... if I was around to bid on it I would have probably
paid way too much for it... probably more than the $300.oo
it went for. I was busy at the time and put in a max bid that
failed to hold in the closing minutes. DAMN !
When building a biplane there are several balls up in the
air at once. Before breaking this all down... Need to hang
the engine on the plane, or at least make a template of it,
so that I can start sizing up the fuselage for the stringers,
height of the coaming, etc. I don't want to be "stuck" with
not being able to move forward on the fusleage just because
I have the Jake in a thousand pieces.
Decisions to be made on how to make the stringer stand-offs,
tabs for what and how to make them. A lot of little stuff.
I think I'll break these up into sections... you know... cut
the tabs for one application and attach them then go onto
the next application, make the tabs and attach them, etc.
I don't want to get into the grind of making nothing but tabs
for the next 150 hours. Had enough of that back in 1994 when
I cut all those gussets and cap strips.
I'm getting ahead of myself here.
Working backwards in time from the engine hanging... looks
like I should get the landing gear made and engine mount before
wandering off making those fun things like instrument panels
and fuel tanks.
Getting back to the overhaul...
I looked at the overhaul manual more during lunch. Talk about
specifics... they have the engine overhaul broken down into
small components. Tells you what to look for/at when taking
off each component and to make notes of engine sludge and/or
metal particals before cleaning off said component. From this
reading I came up with an Excel sheet that will record the
information. Need some type of logic to it's breakdown. Can't
be having pieces strewn around Whitey's hangar.
Lots more to read. Lots more to learn...
July 4, 2014 It's been six years and it's time to...
overhaul the Jake !!!
The time has come to where I need to get this engine up and running... The time I've spent building this biplane has taken a lot more hours than I originally thought AND I'm still working at it.
Reality Check: I'm admitting that I need to have someone else do the zero-timing of the Jake. NOW, it's a matter of deciding on who to do it.
Checked with Eddie... a guy I know from when I had my Taylorcraft. Use to keep it at his dad's grass strip (Southern Cross). He's chief pilot at Downstown Airport... does a lot of water drops on forest fires in the South Jersey area... a cropduster too. He doesn't know of anyone that has experience with the Jake around here.
Checked with the guys on the biplane forum. Threw out the name of two companies that overhauled Jakes. Radial Engines Unlimted won hands down !
Sent an email out to them asking a few questions... still waiting to hear back from them. JUST sent one to them through facebook. I'm sure the holidays has slowed a response from them. (as an aside... I wonder if this post will be around long enough where facebook won't mean a DAMN thing to anyone... facebook, huh ,what ???).
June 5, 2016 It's been eight years and it's time to...
MOVE and overhaul the Jake !!!
The airport is being sold and Whitey's son isn't sure it will be kept as an airport. So, it's time to move the Jake.
I've talked to a few people and apparently there isn't room for a skid that is 40inches x 48inches. Thanks. I'll be sure to remember that. Maybe it's for the best though.
After thinking this through I've come up with the idea of bringing it to my place and storing it in the garage. This wasn't an option until I figured out how to do it... call the local trucking company who has a lift gate and pallet jack. Prior to this I had no way of getting it off a truck and rolling it into the garage. Now... that's not a problem.
The crate that was on the Jake is no more. I went to the airport today to take a few measurements for cutting a few pieces of plywood to box her back up. Size: 40inches x 48inches x 48inches high. Cut the wood this weekend and screw it all together.
I'm thinking this will be a good move, even though it's forced on me. It'll be here and I can begin to work on it. Good for me... Good for the engine... Good for the biplane project.
June 11 and 12, 2016 Time to...
crate the Jake !!!
The Jake needs to move... not to be overhauled per se... but, it needs to move 'cause the airport is being sold. And from what I hear, they're really isn't any interest from any buyers wanting to keep it as an airport.
The crate that was covering it went missing after 8 years. Not a problem... that stuff happens. I'm just happy to have had it stored there for all of 8 years. But now it needs to find a new home and I need to wrap it up before the trucking company comes to pick it up and bring it to my house. And, that my friends, is what I did on the project this weekend; crate up the Jake !
Bought the 2x4's during my lunch break on Friday. Cut those to size on Saturday. Used my brother John's truck (thank's Bro !!!) on Sunday to pick up the plywood. Had Home Depot cut it to size. Dropped the stuff off at the airport then dropped the truck off back at Bro's house. Then went back to the airport to put this thing together.
Normally would have been easy, but for some reason the Lord decided to have the winds blow 20mph all day long. That creates a problem when you're trying to attach 4ft x 4ft sheets of plywood to a skid outside IN the wind.
Despite my wind trials and tribulations I'm going along pretty nicely... getting the 2x4's screwed to the sheets of ply. Then I get ready to attach the ply to the skid and box it in (timing it between wind gusts)... and the power goes off. BAM ! What the heck ??? Some lines must have went down. I wait a few minutes to see if it will kick back on and... nuthin'. Luckily, Bob (has his 172 and ultralight in the hangar where the Jake was) is there and lets me use his battery operated drill. Now this ain't your ordinary battery operated drill. This SOB is connected to a motor cycle battery. It wasn't the strongest turning drill... but I had enough power to last me a week with that puppy (thank you, Bob !!)
Left the house at 8:30AM and finally got back at 3PM. Long day of crating up the Jake... but it's done now. Just need to call the trucking company for the pick up on Thursday.
June 16, 2016 And away we... go !!!
Took off today so that I could be there when Campbell's Express picked up the Jake. At about 1500 hours it was on its way...
June 24, 2016 Just in... Just arrived !!!
Cambpell's Trucking delivered the Jake in fine fashion today. Same guy who picked it up delivered it. Nice guy... he allowed me the time to uncrate it before pushing it into place.
I've got a fine view of the back so that I can start figuring out where holes need to go and figuring out a bunch of other stuff.