At present, all information is tuned to the IO-540 installation only.
At present, I have not heard of anyone actually building an
using the Continental engine, and nearly all buyers are building
RV-10's based on the IO-540. This page, as the others, will
as time goes on. All tips from other builders are greatly appreciated.
While at Land of Enchantment Fly-In I was reminded by Vic of something
I heard regarding Aircraft cylinders. Often, or most always when
they're made, the 2 halves of the mold come together and leave a ridge
of "flashing" where the cylinder halves met. This flashing can
restrict airflow through the cylinders. The absolute worst place
is right below your upper spark plugs. Look down thru the fins
and you'll see some narrow slots. These are probably very
restricted with flashing. If you want to save your engine some
trouble, ensure you have good airflow here by filing it out.
You need a really small file: I found one for about
$3.50 (bought 2 of them) at the local farm store:
Nicholson 5 1/4" Tungsten Point File
This one is pretty tough, not too aggressive, and seems to work OK.
It will work, starting right off with the file, but I found a
to make it go faster for me...
I took one of my 12" #40 drill bits and put it in my dremel tool
with the snake extension, set to fairly low speeds. I ran
that drill into the slots and let it run horizontally back
and forth. That chewed up a lot of the flashing, but left
really jagged as it didn't smoothly cut it down in all areas.
Then I could take the file to it and clean it up better.
Originally I started off with some areas and ends of the slots
using a hacksaw blade too. That worked well also to get them
started. I need to go over the ends of the slots though to
avoid leaving square corners.
I also ran a
bead of RTV between the cylinders so prevent air from bypassing
of the fins, which was a suggestion another person at LOE, and added
some additional RTV in certain areas to ensure no airflow was lost to
For more information and photos of this cylinder work, check this link to my
What you'll find there will be very enlightening if you're
looking for help with cooling. I've done some baffling work, and
some cowl work and improved the cooling greatly.
Added 3/24/2007: One huge
improvement I got was by sealing my air ramps on the cowl inlets, as is
discussed in this thread on Van's
I did get a set of Louvers
from Alex De Dominicis, who also does transition training, that
he had with him at the LOE fly-in. I'm currently thinking I will
not install them though. Alex said his CHT's dropped
25 degrees when he put them on, which is great, but I've also done some
that has dropped my cooling significantly, so I'm not sure I want or
need them. Another RV-10 builder is
installing them this week and will report back this weekend.
If he gets 25 degrees too, then they may very well be a good way
for some people to drop their CHT's if their baffling can't be improved.
I've heard enough good about AvBlend
to consider start using it on my next oil change. For what it's
worth, it sounds like I may be able to get very similar results with
Marvels Mystery Oil, but AvBlend is FAA Approved. Microlon
is another one of those products. Vic used it on his RV-10
and he claimed significant cooling of his cylinders....to the tune of
30 degrees. According to Aircraft Spruce, you order 1 full kit
and one 1/2 kit to treat an IO-540. I'm going to try that too,
since it's also FAA Approved, but not until my next oil change.
Vic uses 2 cans of AvBlend at each oil change, so that's
encouraging to know that he feels it gives results. Be aware that
if you read online, you can find very convincing arguments both for and
against using any of these things in your engine.
Quick-Drain and Hose Kit
One of the things I added to my engine was a quick-drain and hose kit
for oil changes. It makes it easy and no mess to change my oil,
without removing the lower cowling. Before purchase, I had read
online threads regarding different quickdrains. I couldn't
believe how expensive some are, and how cheap others are, with no real
difference in quality. I decided to try this Curtis valve and
hose kit from Aircraft Spruce.
05-01872 CURTIS DRAIN VALVES
05-00138 CCB-39600-1 BLK QUK DRAIN
Total cost, just over $22.50, and it works like a charm. The hose
snaps into place with a 1/4 turn, and you're draining the oil with no
mess. The only thing is, to change the oil hot, you want to wrap
your hand in a cotton towl when working near the exhaust. Or
better yet, get an old oven mitt and keep it in the hanger.
Oil Leak Detection on the Engine
Since day 1, I had a small oil seepage from my engine on the right rear
side. I tried to find it unsuccessfully, until I finally got serious
about it and got myself a UV leak detection setup, consisting of UV Dye
and a UV penlight. Both are made by Supercool,
and I got them at the local CarQuest store. Total cost was $6/oz
the dye (2 oz required), and $24 for the UV penlight. To see more
about my leak detecting, read my maintenance post HERE.
LOP (Lean of Peak)
See my write-up HERE
of tuning injectors on the IO-540