Well, I had some bad luck with the Lycoming IO-360 I bought (used). When I first started working on it I took the paint off of the case and near the #2 cylinder there was something gray that did not want to come off of the case…now looking back it was probably JB weld disguising a crack. That is also probably why it had a fresh coat of Lycoming gray covering everything!
So, from my first flight on I was chasing an oil leak…at about 15 hours I found the crack coming off the #2 cylinder going down about an inch and then back about 5”. A buddy and I figured that we should experiment and try welding the case from the outside and monitor it closely. It worked for a couple of hours, but then the oil started leaking again, and a crack appeared right in the middle of the weld!
Now the only option was to tear apart the engine and get a new case. I did exactly that. I used DIVCO in Tulsa, OK to send me an overhauled case, and they did a fantastic job!
At this point I have the case together and the cylinders on it. I should have it back together this next week, and I will hang it back on the plane.
It was costly and it was time consuming, but it beats a cylinder separating from the case as I’m flying over mountainous terrain!
Well, I had the Super Bee pulled apart for it’s 50 hour inspection and decided to address some avionics issues I had experienced.
I originally equipped the Bee with an iLevil AW 2 that received ADS-B, displayed engine info through the GRT-4000 EIS, and gave real time flight data via the iLevil’s pitot static hook ups. All of this info was fed via WiFi to two iPads, with one utilizing the iLevil AHRS app and the other using WingX Pro 7 to display map and ADS-B information.
I also had originally installed a Navworx ADS-B 600 EXP which gave me ADS-B In and Out capability, or so I thought! Recently the FAA discovered that the Navworks ADS-B 600 was not actually complying with the 2020 rule and issued an AD that proved to be too expensive for Navworx to fix retroactively and they consequently closed up shop…so I am the proud owner of a $1300 paper weight!
My anger toward Navworx quickly turned into curiosity of what new gadget is out there?
The iLevil product has been great so I went to their website to see what they had, and I’m glad I did! They have a wonderful ADS-B out solution for Experimental Aircraft called the “Beacon.” It looks much like a comm antenna, but it is a self contained ads-b out unit. You mount it to the bottom of your Aircraft with three studs protruding from the antenna. An aluminum plate is provided to use as a template for drilling the three holes for the studs, one large hole for a canon plug and one hole for a sma coaxial connector. The Aluminum plate is then used on the inside of the aircraft to sandwich the aircraft skin between the antenna and the plate.
The SMA connector is for a gps antenna. You can purchase a RAMI external antenna from iLevil when purchasing the beacon. You will need to mount it on top of your aircraft and have enough coaxial cable to connect the gps antenna to the Beacon.
The cannon plug comes attached to a 9’ wiring harness. The harness has two bundles of wire, the first contains a 12 volt power cable and a ground wire, the second has several wires that terminate in a DB 9 pin connector. The 9 pin connector is connected to a 1.75” LCD display that can be panel mounted.
The LCD is used for initial setup of the device and inflight will display your squawk code that has been sniffed…
What is being sniffed, you ask? The Beacon will pick up the squawk code your transponder is emitting without having wires running from the transponder. Magic!!!
I found the installation to be pretty easy. The only complaints I have are that the canon plug and DB 9 pin connector are installed on the harness on opposite ends, so fishing the harness through tight spots is impossible without cutting off a plug. Another dislike is cutting another hole in the dash for an instrument that is really only used for initial setup and fault warning…a setup app and no lcd in the Panel would be nice.
Overall it is an easy install and the only wiring you have to do is the 12 volt power wire and ground wire. I give it my approval!
There is talk that the Beacon will be available soon for certified aircraft soon, but contact iLevil for the real story.
Also checkout the iLevil “Bom”…it is a small device that is mounted externally and is completely self contained (No external wiring). It is self powered with a wind propelled fan on the back. It turns on when it senses engine vibration, then it provides ads-b in information and flight performance data all via WiFi to any iOS or Android device or multiple devices…again, no wires!!! Very cool!
Anyway, here are some pics of the Beacon and my install…
I have included three pictures that show my routing of pitot line, wiring and the wing tanks that I am installing.
Takes a lot of planning to get the holes in the wing bottom and top to line up with the tank drain, vent and filler cap. I had to make a mock-up of the tank to locate the holes in the skin. A nose rib had to be replaced (supplied in the kit) as it had to be moved inboard to make space for the tank.
The wiring was not complete and was not done correctly. It was laying on the bottom of the wing and routed through lighting hoes and not secured. The wires are now routed to protect them from vibration. The wiring is for navigation lights, strobes and fuel sending unit. The pitot tube had not been installed. That was another reason to open up the wing.