Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By ls8pilot
Bill McCarthy wrote:Your own first idea was the best. Scrub round anything “home made” as you may have a tough time explaining to the insurance company about the pile of ashes that was your aircraft and hangar.

Dont know how well sealed your hanger is? I dehumidifier of the desiccant type (eg EcoAir DD322 ) will keep the damp out and it blows out warm(ish) air that could be safely directed at the cowling ?
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By Pete L
Deffo the oil thermostat, although you may get the reverse problem depending how big the oil radiator is - I'm finding the Breezer overheats if the temperature is reliably above 30 deg C. Still investigating whether that's a thermostat fault, a slightly clogged radiator or a design flaw. Default is that the oil radiator is the same as the one on the 80hp Rotax and the Breezer has minimal surface exposed to fresh air.

The blanking plates are worse. I was always terrified I'd puncture a radiator fitting them and if (as happened one day on the way back from Sturgate) if you get a sudden warming there's insufficient cooling in flight.
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By Charliesixtysix
Thanks for reminding me of this - I have been meaning to order a Wolverine heater for the RV7 for ages and will do so this afternoon . :thumleft:

A Pitts S1 in our hangar has a heater on the sump and the owner swears by it - starting with oil at 20C has got to be much better for the engine, rather than trying to pump thick cold oil around for those first few minutes.
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By oldbiggincfi
TheFarmer wrote:Oi!

I’m quite up to date actually, I’ll have you know. I’ve got power steering on my Land Rover and everything. :D

Well move the Dung heap into the hangar - that's the way greenhouses were heated in times past .
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By carlmeek
My old tecnam Sierra had oil and water thermostats, and warmed up in a fraction of a time of the other rotax aircraft on the field

These days we use a low wattage greenhouse heater in the lycoming engine bay to keep the rust at bay.
By Shoestring Flyer
I understand that Rotax no longer recommend fitting a coolant thermostat. There have been quite a few issues with 'cooked' cylinder heads.
Oil thermostat is still a definite must though. It is a standard LAA Mod so just a paperwork exercise.
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By Sooty25
TheFarmer wrote:Does anyone have a suggestion for keeping the engine bay warm overnight?

Many of my flights are at dawn and the cooler temperatures now mean my 912S is taking ages to warm up. Rather than waiting for 10 minutes (+) starting from ambient temperature, I’m convinced that a 20 degree head-start with some kind of overnight heater will easily halve the time.

I could just put it in the engine bay and turn it on the night before I fly.

Does anyone use one of these? ... er-727157/

Interested in comments or suggestions.

Keeping the oil warm in the dry sump tank is certainly beneficial from a lubrication perspective, but as it is separate from the engine block, it won't transfer much heat in to that. It is the block you need the heat in.

If you are flying pretty much daily, you may find just wrapping an old duvet around the cowl once back in the hangar helps retain heat overnight. If you combine a duvet with the dry sump heater, you might find that does then retain more heat under the cowl for longer periods. I throw one over my cowl just to keep the damp out.

As mentioned previously, a small, thermostatically controlled tube heater will work, but might become a faff getting it in and out of the cowl. Does make winter maintenance more civilised if the engine is warm!
By Bill McCarthy
If it was my aircraft I’d fit up a warm air blower in addition to the stick-on patch heater. Air blown into the engine bay via flexible trunking into the cooling intakes will warm up the whole engine evenly, thus avoiding any differential expansion. The heater being a “black heater” in that the element does not glow red hot in the air flow. Add a timer to have it switch on at say 03.00 say.

When I was in the surface fleet where ships’ boats hung on davits for weeks, the important thing was to get oil round the engine before startup. A manual single stroke stirrup pump was provided in order to pump oil round the galleries and bearings. 10 or so shots was enough.
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By MikeW
Do you have the Eurofox optional cockpit controlled blanking flap over the oil cooler? If not maybe worth looking into retrofit?
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By RichJordan
I've got an oil thermostat on my 912S.

It either doesn't work, or it's rubbish. Warm up takes 10 mins or so. On a cold day during descents or even a lazy cruise my oil temps can start dropping back down to below 70 degrees C. Fitted from factory so not sure if it's stopped working, or it's just that even with the cooler out of the loop the Rotax struggles for temperature.

I've got a aluminium plate in front of 50% of my cooler.

I've got a pal with a 914. That warms up from cold in the time it takes to backtrack the runway.

I'm considering one of the cable operated shutter type blanks.
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By TheFarmer
MikeW wrote:Do you have the Eurofox optional cockpit controlled blanking flap over the oil cooler? If not maybe worth looking into retrofit?

Yep. It works brilliantly in flight, and I can easily pin the oil temp in the middle of the green band in any OAT.

It’s just the start-up temp that takes ages to come up. I’ve spoken with someone about their thermostat and have decided not to take that route.

Nick suggested to me to check the seal on my oil flap which I will do. Otherwise, it’s going to be an overnight engine bay warmer I think.

Even if I can get it to 25 degrees pre-warm-up, that’ll make the whole process much quicker, and I’ll also have less cold morning initial engine wear at start-up.