My kit included a rebuilt O-200 with all the best FWF accessories.  The engine was rebuilt by a previous owner who died before installation.  The wife disposed of all his flying stuff including the engine log.  As an amateur experimental builder of a light sport STOL CH750... what should I do to have this engine checked out and a log restarted?  What improvements should I consider at this point?

Glad to have a o-200 forum!  Thanks,


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This recently came up on the 650 forum in regard to a lycoming engine:

As far as evaluating what you have, you can start with a leak down compression test which I'm pretty sure can be done without starting it....other than that I'm not sure unless you can find receipts etc and it doesn't sound like that is possible.  Lastly you can probably do a teardown as for a prop strike and have the mechanic check all tolerances of inside components bu that's probably going to cost 5k or so unless you know someone who can do it.

No docs what so ever.  I'll do the leak down test as a starter.



As Don mentioned, a leak down test would be a good start, but some engines (esp larger continentals) can have big diffs in results based on whether the engine was run or not immediately before the test. In fact, the Continental manual says that if you have a low cylinder, go fly it, then come back and check again.

While there are no logs, you have some information available to you without the logs.  If he built it without installing, how long has it been sitting there in an assembled state? Was it properly pickled before storing it? (it *should* have a tag stating that it's been pickled so the installer will know to drain the oil, remove any dessicant, etc.)  Anything that's sat awhile (>several months to several years), you probably have some internal combustion.

I'd spring for one of those iphone based borescope kits and stick the camera in one of the sparkplug holes before you turn the engine over at all.  Keep checking until all 4 have been checked. *Then* you can rotate it by hand to a) make sure it turns and b) do a compression check. But, if the rings are dry, you're not going to really get any reliable results.

Does it have oil in it? While the Continental has a kind of dry sump (that kidney tank holds the oil; there really isn't much in the bottom of the crankcase...), it'd be nice to know if there was anything in there that might have sloshed around to help coat the innards.

Bottom line is that if, every time you fly it, you're thinking about *it* and not flying the plane, it's better to just tear it down so that you *know* what you've got.  If they're not corroded and a reputable shop like Aircraft Specialties or AEA says the major internals are good, and everything is almost new, put it back together with fresh assembly lube and treat it like a fresh assembly.

After installation a careful pullthrough by hand listening for the scraping of any corrosion in the cylinders. This happens often when O-200s are left in situ for 6 weeks or so. You only hear it on the first rotation. If it was preserved sufficiently you may be OK, but its not the end of the world if some surface rust has occured.

I ran a C150 for 10 years after putting new top end on and still got the scraping if not flown regularly.

It will need some break-in anyway, I'd suggest just flying off the test period and then do the leakdowns. Even if you had the logs it wouldnt make the condition any different - until its run there is no confirmation that everything is working to spec.

Go to and enter....rebuild continental 0-200....for some interesting information that may or may not fit your situation...


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