Ignition “issues” and I-U-S-F

Builders,

The last few weeks have seen builders with “issues” involving getting their engines to run on our ignition systems. Both of these builders stated that their ignitions were defective, in spite of the fact I test every single one of them before they leave the shop. Jumping to the conclusion that I sell defective stuff is not a rational response, nor one that engenders the better angels of my nature, particularly when both of the units were returned to my shop and tested, and found to be fine.

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Here is a story about  how to wire a distributor, the mistakes people sometimes make, and a example of an unreasonable response: E/P Distributor wiring notes:  A link to our nine page illustrated instructions : http://shop.flycorvair.com/product/3301-epx-distributor/ notice these come with every distributor, and are on line also.

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Several Common threads appear with builders having an “Issue”:

They have a “helper” or a partner, who doesn’t understand how the system works either

They have not been to a Corvair College, even though they would learn the specific elements they are missing.

They are not using information resources we have developed listed here: Outlook 2016 – The Corvair ‘Information Network’ now in gear.

They didn’t follow rule number one of ignitions: DO NOT change the point settings, or anything else in the ignition, just install it following the directions. If you have any problem understanding them, DO NOT ask another person who doesn’t understand, just call us, before taking anything apart.

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I am developing a term called IUSF. This stands for “Insufficient Understanding for Safe Flight” I am not kidding about this, and I am going to write a story about this so when people are not reading instructions, or taking incorrect advice, or jumping to conclusions about tested parts, I am going to reference this story in a formal notice to them, and directly invite them to the next Corvair College for in person instruction. I will be meeting them ‘more than half way’, for free,  in order to offer them an opportunity to develop a better understanding, so they can safely fly their plane. Some people “Don’t know what they Don’t know.” This will be a way of telling people they are not learning practical information fast enough to understand it before their plane is done. I can’t force anyone to do this, but neither will I be responsible for the results of people who choose not to understand the proven ways to install and operate our systems. 

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Above: A General Motors engineering report on distributor advance, specifically referencing the 180HP Turbo engine. One of the builders said  an engine can not be cranked with the ignition advanced. Really? Look closely, the initial ignition advance for all turbo Corvairs was 24 degrees at idle. Before a ‘helper’ convinces you of something about Corvairs, consider that I might just know more about them than he does. All of our DFI distributors : More DFI testing are based on cranking the engine with more than 20 degrees of advance. It works just fine.

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Same report, sitting on the steps of my shop today, with a rear cover from a 180 HP corvair, notice the factory sheet metal timing mark extention, so that the idle timimg can be set to 24 degrees. I don’t make this up, many engines, including aircraft engines without impulse coupled magnetos, are all cranked with full advance.

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One builder had a buddy who said that his engine only ran when he installed the points above in place of the ones we use, because these were better, and noted we should look into using them, implying we sent him a second rate part.

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Same box as above, in front of my parts bin, showing that his helper wasn’t right, as I already use the identical points on every distributor we make. Yes, he took of the same set to replace it himself with the identical part, in spite of the fact the directions explicitly say not to touch the points.

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Distributor in my machine, returned by the builder, with the claim that I sent him a defective electronic unit. Guess what, it works perfectly. But, look at the white points wire: I pulled off a little piece of tape the helper put on, and low and behold, the wire had been cut by being carelessly pinched under the cap. Just in case anyone is wondering, a piece of tape is not an acceptable repair to any piece of wiring with damaged insulation, anywhere on your plane, and particularly not in the ignition system. The owner said he didn’t do this, meaning it was the handiwork of the helper.

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Above, a closer look at the cut wire under the tape. If any person did this on a plane I was in charge of, and hid it, I would never let them in the hangar again. Working on planes is serious business, and you have to take it more seriously than this.

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I fully understand that people are not born knowing these things. But, you have to be willing to learn them, willing to follow the directions, willing to stop taking advice or ‘help’ from people who don’t know what they are doing, willing to use our information resources, and if you still don’t get it, you have to be willing to travel to a college to learn these things in person. That is as plain as I can say it. I do not say these things to offend, I say it to prevent accidents that never have to happen.

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wewjr.

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About William Wynne
I have been continuously building, testing and flying Corvair engines since 1989. Information, parts and components that we developed and tested are now flying on several hundred Corvair powered aircraft. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and an A&P license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and have a proven 20 year track record of effectively teaching homebuilders how to create and fly their own Corvair powered planes. Much of this is chronicled at www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.

5 Responses to Ignition “issues” and I-U-S-F

  1. Sarah Ashmore says:

    The expression “Those Who Ignore History are Doomed to Repeat It” comes to mind. You have written many times about following the manual and instructions provided with the components and not to listen to local “Experts” yet people continue to do so. Either they are not reading this blog or they are just stupid beyond the point of being helped. As they say, Ignorance can be cured with education but Stupidity is terminal.

  2. David Jones says:

    Another great one. Say William, any guidance in wiring the john deer alternator to voltage regulator to coils? Thanks.

  3. As the Quality Manager for an automotive supplier of sophisticated (very software intensive) infotainment products to global automotive OE customers this is the battle my team fights daily. In the automotive world suppliers are assumed guilty until we can prove ourselves innocent which is often difficult if not impossible to do after our product with the offending condition is removed from the vehicle. Like you, when our products are returned for analysis we have a high percentage of No Trouble Found (NTF). And, like you, our customers do not hold themselves responsible or accountable for system level analysis before they fault a component. Unfortunately we have to “play nice” with the customer and waste a lot of resources attempting to prove our innocence with little or do data. We just have to bend over and say “thank you sir, may I have another.” In those cases where we can demonstrate that the customer or another supplier are clearly at fault the customer does not go back and perform a problem solving activity then report back to us on how they are going to prevent the same issue in the future, it’s quite the double standard. So, my variation on your term would be Insufficient Evidence to Fault Supplier.

    BTW, I am cut from the same cloth as you. Most day’s I feel like I’ve sold my soul to work in an industry of disposable appliances. But alas, my career path has established a lifestyle for my family from which it would be difficult to walk away from to pursue a passion. It also allows me to participate in aviation as a hobby. I was 5 years into a CH650 scratch build project with a Corvair core disassembled but had the opportunity to partner on a hangared Cherokee so went that route to expedite getting back in the air. My current project is a complete interior replacement.

    Thanks for the excellent blog posts. They are educational and thought provoking.

    Condolences on the loss of your father and congratulations for having a father who left such a legacy to you.

  4. Dan Glaze says:

    Corvair college is the best learning experience you will ever and I mean EVER have!

  5. martin andersen says:

    whens oshgosh now

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