Bellanca Engine Overhaul:
Painting and Installation
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I must admit to getting a bit out of control during my overhaul in that I
decided to detail paint the engine and all of the various baffles, brackets, and
fittings. I don't think this is worth it in most cases, but as I like to
exhibit my plane and I had time to spend I did it anyway.
Here's the engine being painted. The Superior cylinders came from the factory with black paint on the barrels, so I left that as-is and just painted the core engine case. This took quite a bit of masking. If you have a Lycoming, or if you're using overhauled cylinders without paint, I'd recommend just painting everything one color and save yourself the masking effort.
The baffles and air scoops got repaired, acid-etched, Alodined, epoxy primed, and then topcoated with grey Imron for maximum corrosion protection and shine. I have a fetish about corrosion protection so I gave them the full treatment. It is debatable whether this is worth it given that baffles are effectively consumable. Here's the priming step for one load of pieces.
After all the engine work, there's the re-installation on the airplane. This process is a lot cleaner after overhaul, but takes a lot of time due to the many fiddledy brackets, clamps, wires, hoses, and controls to route and secure.
Once the prop is reinstalled you need to set up the engine's internal timing by measuring angles from top-dead center piston stroke on the #1 cylinder. A timing disk attached to the spinner and a piston stopper plug is the most accurate way to perform this task on an O-470. The magnetos are then installed and timed to the engine and to each other so that they fire at the right position for the engine to make power.
Lastly there's finishing details such as the spark plugs, spark leads, P-leads for controlling the ignition, exhaust manifold, baffle sealing strips, carb heat and intake air hoses, and the engine cowling.
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