250hr. Report

Well well well... I made it to the 250hr mark in only 4 months. The plane is flying terrific but not without some issues to deal with along the way.

Air in the right brake line.

At about the 150 hour mark I was noticing a spongy right brake. The clear brake line showed obvious air in it between the dual brake cylinders. Problem was fixed by replacing the seals in the master cylinder on the pilots side.

Water in fuel caused me to burn up a $400 starter

One morning after a recent fuel up, and after sumping the tanks, I could not get her fired up. She would spit and cough and almost get started, but not quite. I preceded to burn up a perfectly good starter in the process. I sumped the tanks again and found a major pilot error. When I sumped the first time I looked for the little water bubbles, and didnt see any. Why? Cause the who tube was water. UGGHH!! I proceed to pull about a quart out of the 2 tanks. New rule... pay more attention to color and smell when sumping tanks and dont just wiz bang through this very important process.

After getting the new starter a few days later, she still would not start and i found the the water in the system had froze up the fuel flow divider (spider) in the fuel inj. system. A simple cleaning of this delicate little gizmo cured this problem.

Toasted the volt. regulator

I had the vans adj. volt regulator. It died for some reason. Probably didn't help from jumpstarting from my truck during the water in the fuel problem. After reading the rv lists, I opted for the VA166 volt. regulator from NAPA. Problem solved.

Rotated tires

At about 200hrs., I was seeing significant outside tire wear. After looking at the cost of these things, I decided to flip them over to wear out the other side. I believe I can get another 100hrs. out of em.

Blew a caliper brake seal

I was getting a small leak from the brake caliper for a while. About 4 drops a week would end up on the floor.  One day, during run-up in front of the hanger, I mashed the brakes to set the parking brake and blew the seal right out of the caliper. Made a huge mess,  but it did cause me to replace the seal in the caliper. Cheap and easy to do and lucky for me it happened while parked.

Alternator bracket broke

The aluminum alt. upper bracket broke on my way back from Sun-n-Fun. That is not a big deal, except that when the bracket broke, it left the alt. hanging from the big charge battery wire and that too broke the stud off the alt.. I took it to a local alt. repair shop who said it would be $50 to replace the BATT stud, or I could just buy a new one for $50. Hmmm... Uhh I guess a new one it is.  So with a new alt. I proceeded to have a steel bracket made at a local machine shop to replace the alum. one that gave way. Cost $10. Problem solved



Noisy groaning right brake

This is really pissin me off. You know that groan the brakes make when you stop in a 757. You know the kind that makes the whole plane shake? Well this is happening to me. I have relined the brakes twice for good measure, scuffed and cleaned the rotor, replaced the fluid in that line, used that blue goopy stuff for cars, repacked the bearings twice, with no luck. Van's says they don't know and have only heard of this once, Cleveland actually told me this is VERY common in all rv models.  I am still workin this problem. I have some of the e-mails below for your reading pleasure.

Hi There.

Serial # 25708. RV-6A. First flight dec 2001 a few months ago.

The right brake is moaning and vibrating the whole plane in all

conditions and all speeds below 40mph, always, when brakes are


There is no dragging, and I have replaced the pads, scuffed the

rotor, rebuilt the master cylinder, replaced the seal in the

caliper, replaced the fluid, with absolutely no change.

The caliper appears to my novice self to be a bit loose on the pins.

I have felt others and I believe mine has more slack than others.

I have repacked the bearings.

Any ideas? Mike


From: Scott Risan [mailto:scottr@vansaircraft.com]

> Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2002 12:05 PM

> To: Michael Stewart

> Subject: Re: noisy groaning brake


> Mike, saw this on one other plane and it turned out to be the flex

> lines that the builder used to run down the gear leg. these lines

> started a 'harmonic' (for lack of a better word) when the brakes were

> applied due to the expansion/contraction of the hose. the lines

> themselves made a 'horendous' noise. If you have flex lines running

> down to your callipers, check this out. even if you have solid lines,

> it might be installed just right to set up this kind of harmonic

> vibration. try changing the lines or taping them to the gear legs in

> a few extra spots and see if things change. let me know if this is

> the case...i would be interested to know.



Well I have hard lines, and well taped. Cleveland says replace the rotor. That's my next step.


End of report