Re-Manufactured Lycoming Engine

I recently purchased a re-manufactured Lycoming engine for my Piper Archer. It took 11 months to be delivered to my installer and another month to install it. With under 25 hours on the engine, I must replace a mag, harness, and fuel pump. The advertising implies as if these are like new engines that are plug-n-play. It has a two-year warranty; however, the warranty dictates that I must call Lycoming distributors to purchase parts and have them shipped to my repair center. My airplane has been down for almost a month. When its finally repaired, I then have to pay for the labor, ship the used parts back to the distributor, file a paper claim and then wait to get reimbursed for parts andy labor. Thank God the US automotive industry does not work like this! Is anyone else having this kind of problem with their Lycoming re-manufactured engines?


  • edited May 2023

    Actually, Yes, the automotive industry does work like this for vehicles that are out of OEM warranty. Example, replace transmission which comes with a 24 month / 24K mile warranty good at any dealer or location with a SAE certified mechanic. Thing breaks in 5K and sends fine shrapnel through the entire system. So, then the exact scenario described with the recent plane experience actually happens where you might have to pay for things up-front and maybe get reimbursement. And on top, the transmission's warranty does not always pay for ancillary items like the cooler or lines which are trash due to the particulates.

    And then there is at least one car manufacturer which (last I checked) forces owners to sign binding arbitration agreements to get warranty work on the vehicle while it is still under original warranty. No signature, no fix. Not looking to name names or start any battles, but am just pointing out another example where a car warranty is not necessarily as simple in all cases.

  • I blame it on Toyota....allow me to explain.

    My wife's Prius made it to 275K miles with only brakes, tires, oil changes, and her husband banging out the occasional pilot-induced road rash. It started every day reliably and got some insane gas mileage. At 275K I listed it on Craiglist, and by mid-morning, someone stopped by the house with a shoebox full of 10K cash, and drove it away, no questions asked.

    I contrast that with my father's experience through the late 70s and 80s. His cars couldn't make it to their next oil change without starters, alternators, distributors, transmissions, and anything else you can get a wrench on. Our planes were all designed during the same period as my dad's cars, using the same parts, the same practices and often the same engineers. A brand new engine today from either L or C is designed to the same fit and finish as the engines in my dad's cars, and that includes anything you'll find in a new Cirrus or Diamond. I often daydream what our planes would be like if GA hadn't tanked just when cars started to get so much more reliable, and were likewise rooted in a millions-per-year volume industry. Or for that matter, imagine if the parts in your iPad failed at the same ppm rate as your airplane....Apple would be long gone.

    BTW, there is one area where our plane experience far outshines our automotive experience, and that is access. I know of no airplane, or airplane component that you can't readily get a service manual for. Even the very innovative avionics companies have them available. And when I need something major done, and my A&P is swamped, he'll usually offer me a spot in his shop, and teach me how to do it properly and safely. Then I look at my cars. Although Massachusetts has a "right to repair law," there is absolutely no chance you'll ever get a factory service manual. I even have a letter from BMW USA that when you unravel the legalese, says "we have no intention to honor the RTR law until the damages from a lawsuit force us to." That might not be so bad, except that the dealers around here are not supportive, they are all owned by one individual, and he has no interest in providing good repair service to his buyers.


  • edited May 2023

    I am curious to know what symptoms led you to replacement of a mag, harness, and fuel pump? I have a factory reman in my Cherokee 180 and some initial issues with the carb were quickly resolved with Lycoming through a local shop, under warranty, and with no paperwork or advance payments from me.

  • Mike, my fuel pump started to slowly fail after about 4-5 hours. In level flight, the needle would slowly drop to zero. I would then hit my aux pump to get the pressure up. As I started to put more hours flying, I found that I had to turn on the auxiliary pump several times during the flight to get the needle off the zero (ie. end of green arch). My old engine failed similarly at around 1600 hours the same way until the needle would not stay off the zero pressure until the aux pump was on full time. This mag issue seem to start around my 10-11th hour of flight with just my engine running rough with a 100rpm drop when checking the right mag during run-up. I would lean the engine out, RPMs would jump back up and the roughness would stop. That worked until recently when I tested the right mag, the RPMs dropped 150rpm, EDM showed cylinder #1 CHT drop to zero and leaning the engine had no impact on taking out the roughness. Again, it was like the mag slowly failed. Let me tell you its been an experience cause this is my third Lycoming engine. My two others were a lot less problematic and never had any issues under 1500 hours. My last engine, I had to replace the fuel pump, and compression got low on one cylinder so I had it replaced. Both engines were 2002 models. I am deeply concerned about the quality control of these new remanufactured engines. 23 hour engines should not be acting like this.

  • Bob and Jacob, I guess comparing autos to airplane warrantees was like comparing apples to oranges. I had never bought a re-manufactured engine for either automobile or airplane until I reached TBO and decided to go with a remanufactured engine over an overhaul. I want to do it again. 23 hours with this kind of problem is nuts when these remanufactured engines are promoted to be like a new zero-time engine. Next time I hit a TBO, I am going to find an overhaul shop where I can have some control over the quality control of the parts that go into it. I was naive to believe that engines built in 2002 would be as good as the ones built today.

  • Pdefranco,

    Was the fuel pump pressure tested independent of the gauge? Unless the Aux pump also failed there will be pressure in the line or a massive leak. Since it happened with the prior engine too I suspect the issue is with the pressure gauge on the panel.

    For mags, did they go thru basic timing on them? For the plugs, how rich was it running at idle? It is possible the idle circuit is too rich loading up the plugs and causing a big drop in rpm + fouling. Idle mixture should be adjusted so that you get a brief rise in rpm when pulling slowly to cutoff (at idle rpm). The transition between the idle circuit and the main jets is around 1000 rpm. I just helped an experimental RV-6 with similar. New carb and ran poorly at idle. He was pulling plugs, thinking about overhauling mags and almost ordered a harness. We made 5 small adjustments in the idle mixture setting and now it idles well and is very smooth in transition from idle to main jets. Bad to great is as subtle as 1 turn on the mixture. From the symptoms I would suspect you are too rich at idle and it is fouling the plugs causing big mag drops during the run up.

    There has been a bad run of mag issues and expertise on making a well running mag seems scarce. The part that seems to fail is the nylon ring that causes catastrophic mis-fire when the teeth are damaged.

    I am thinking of building a device to assess ignition/combustion performance for airplanes that could help troubleshoot things like this. Would be for ground use only.

    Eric Panning
    1981 Seneca III
    Hillsboro, OR (KHIO)

  • A couple of additional comments toward your original questions.

    Both major factory overhaul shops are running at something like 30% below certified headcount. In order to continue to operate, they now send out all the fuel systems for overhaul at a fuel subcontractor, the mags to a mag subcontractor, and so forth. Like the system integrator, the subs are understaffed too, and the few remaining senior staff are struggling to hire, train, and most importantly supervise our next generation of mechanics. And if that’s not bad enough, did you see the AOPA article this week about the mechanic crisis?

    i recently saw an example of how this all plays out. Someone I know also purchased a factory reman, and waited well over a year for it. During the ground run the A&P noticed it absolutely hemorrhaging fuel, leaking around the faceplate of the pump. He reviewed the “bag of tickets,” found the 8130 for the pump, called the sub, and was assured it had been overhauled and fully pressure tested on the flow loop. After sending the pump back overnight he got a call from the shop owner apologizing, and saying somehow they forgot to replace the cover oring when they did the overhaul. There was no explanation why the pressure test didn’t catch this.

    So….any suggestions for living in todays reality?

    : - )

  • Collect as many shop manuals as you can for your plane / engine.

  • Eric, we tried and adjusted idle mixture settings and it did not impact or change anything. We have replaced the bad mag, adjusted the timing and its working properly now.

  • Seneca, I am not surprised at your experience. After my installer took my money and installed the engine then he started conveying to me experiences others are having with remanufactured engines. I don't want to get political, but the labor shortage in this country is a real problem impacting every segment of business from farming to engineers. I wish I would have kept my 2100-hour engine.

  • Incorrect, the fuel pump is working properly. Replacing the mag and harness did nothing to stop the 150 rpm drop when testing the right mag. I am still getting CHT temp dropping to zero and the engine running rough. So a new harness and mag did not solve the problem. I sure wish I had my 2100 hr engine back over this Lycoming remanufactured one.

  • edited May 2023

    It would be VERY difficult for a cylinder head temperature to “drop to zero.” Thermodynamics makes that highly unlikely. Based on that statement, you probably have more than one issue going on, one of which is most certainly electrical and has nothing to do with Lycoming’s engine. You mentioned a new harness and mag but did you ever replace the spark plugs? I had a period of unexplained periodic roughness in cruise and after reading an article about earlier Champion plugs and their unstable internal resistance. I changed them for Tempest plugs and have not had a problem since.

    You could swap your right mag plugs with your left mag plugs to see if the problem moves to the other side.

  • Mike, we replaced the spark plugs in the beginning. It came with champion spark plugs and they put in Tempest. You would think they would put the best plugs in their engines but obviously, they don't. Certainly fired up the engine better but unfortunately did not solve the problem. I wish I could send you the video to watch cylinder one drop to one or two bars above zero. So not completely to zero but a lot lower than other cylinders. I got more bad news today, the engine has two small oil leaks. One at the oil pan and the other my mechanic is still trying to determine the source. I honestly would never purchase another Lycoming remanufactured engine. I bought into their marketing and so far am regretting it.

  • edited May 2023

    A suggestion. Contact Lycoming, personally, yourself. Tell them you are having issues with the engine that has now cost you additional expense. Explain the situation and request a discussion with a field service rep for your region who can participate in helping you find a solution to this problem.

    NO ONE, really knows that engine better than the people who design, build, test, and assume a portion of liability for those engines EVERY DAY. Take a deep breath, be calm, and contact Lycoming directly.:

    Lycoming Product Support Hotline


    New Product Support Hours

    Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST

  • Mike, thanks for your advice. I have been in contact with Lycoming the entire time. They are aware of problems with the third-party mags they are installing in these engines. It's just very unfortunate. At $2500/mag, you would think they would at least last longer than 23 hours. I am now at $6,500.00 in parts. At this point, my confidence in Lycoming's remanufactured engines and/or components is extremely low. I have no idea how long these mags are going to last. My recommendation to them has been to start manufacturing their own mags or change the source. I never experienced a single mag issue with previous lycoming engines that were manufactured in 2002. My last one went all the way to 2100 without a single mag issue. Maybe I was just lucky, but having these kinds of issues is a new and unpleasant experience, one that I will never repeat.

  • pdefranco,

    so if you're paying for replacement parts, does that mean Lycoming is not honoring the 24 month warranty that comes with their remanufactured engines?


  • Bob, the way lycoming 2 year warranty works is I have to purchase the parts, pay for the labor and submit a claim. They give you a list of Lycoming distributors across the US. Here in Alabama, there are none. The closest are Georgia, Texas, South Florida and NC. Lots of phone work chasing down parts.

  • Thanks. I didn't really appreciate the mechanics of exercising the warranty, and how they effectively push most of the time, expense and risk back on you, when it comes to getting problems solved.

    BTW, I was watching a clip from "Jay Leno's Garage" at lunch today, as he described his experience getting his McLaren serviced. I gather the process is to (a) send them a text message, (b) they send out two technicians in a service van within 24 hours, (c) the techs don't leave your home or garage until the car is running right!

    We definitely need more products like this!!


  • Magnuson Moss governs written limited warranties. Aircraft engines are not excluded. Perhaps you'd like to spend one hours worth of time with a lawyer who specializes in that area. In fact, I think the piper owner society ought to engage somebody. They're definitely issues with magnetos and early time failures. A MAG drop on one magneto will not cause CHT to go to 0. Either a valve is sticking, an injector is clogged, or you have an issue with a probe or its wiring. The failing fuel pump pressure is sometimes indicative of trash holding a valve open in the fuel pump. If the trash moves from that point to an injector you'll have a miss on one cylinder. This sometimes happens from the manufacturing of fuel lines and not flushing them completely prior to installation.

    John Schreiber
    A&P, IA, CMEL

  • Experiences like this are the reason I'm going to listen to Mike Busch and completely ignore TBO on my engine as long as it's running well and periodic maintenance checks don't show anything alarming! Thanks for the cautionary tale. I hope things work out for you in the end.

  • I am the owner of an Arrow with a 10 SMOH at time of purchase, done by an artisan engine builder. After reading this I think having the engine rebuilt, unless it is broken, is the way to go.

    The previous owner had this engine redone with very good parts. It runs cool and very powerfully. The only issue I have is alternator belts fail often but I have the micro belt for planes with AC and I have a lovely undercoating of oil from someplace above the pan and below the cylinders.

    My friend built a 1000+ HP engine for my truck, I am sure he and my A&P can rebuild an over sized lawnmower engine.

    This is not the first time I have heard of issues arising from factory reman engines. I foresee a cottage industry arising rebuilding engines to go back in the same airplane, from which they came. I have heard them referred to as field rebuilt engines and I think that is how I will handle any future problems. I will be able to select the cylinders, the pistons, the rings and the crack. We will be able to test fit and ensure that everything is perfect before we allow it to fly.

    I think it is also helpful at least in my case with those who would be building my engine that they know who will be in the aircraft and it maybe their families flying behind that engine. Something by A&P really likes dealing with me is I don’t care if the repair takes longer than anticipated. I am only interested in it being done correctly and to the highest degree of safety.

    I have been thinking about this issue for several months now and this kinda of pushed me over the edge that I will handle any rebuild in house and not gamble on a commercially remanufactured high volume output, engine.

    1973 Arrow II factory AC removed

    G5’S, G275, GNX375 Still can get lost.

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