In my previous blog entry I wrote about my engine woes. I sent the photos to Rolando Santiago at Six Chuter who took a look and informed me the piston was toast. He and Doug Maas consulted with J-Bird Engines (the engine manufacturer). J-Bird asked for the engine to be sent to them so they could take a look. To their credit, the guys as Six Chuter paid the cost to ship the engine back! Once the engine arrived, the guys at J-Bird knew exactly what happened.
You see, there are exactly two belts on this engine. Both of them are fan belts… more or less. One belt is on the rear of the engine and connects the crankshaft to the propeller. It reduces the RPM of the propeller because the prop isn’t designed to turn at 6500 RPM. The other fan belt turns an actual cooling fan at the front of the engine. Now there are sections in the engine manual that describe tightening these belts. I dutifully checked the belt tension on the prop, but missed the huge page in the manual saying how important it is to adjust the tension on the fan belt!
When J-Bird dug into the engine the first thing they noticed was how loose the fanbelt was on the cooling fan. And yep, the front piston was in the worst shape. Problem found. The engine was overheating due to poor cooling. Totally my fault. But here is where the AMAZING customer service part of the story comes in. I was told the engine would be rebuilt at NO COST to me whatsoever.
Now, gentle reader, I don’t know how much you know about aircraft companies but Six Chuter is an anomaly in aviation. Most aircraft companies would have said “Uh, user error, you need to pay the cost to fix your engine.” Six Chuter did not do this because they believe in their products. They stand behind their products and the components that go into their products. Six Chuter is run by people of integrity and truly believe they are held accountable to God for everything they do on this earth and it shows. I cannot say enough about this company.
So back to the engine. They are going to rebuilt it from the crankshaft up and it should hopefully be shipped back to me next week. I’ll post more updates on the re-install and next steps on the engine when I get it back.