A series of engines had a service alert regarding to soft or incorrectly hardened lifters and it has also affected certain engines out of these ranges of built engines....the q is as to why they fail as this becomes a total loss of a engine once it has shown up on magnetic plug...are the reasons for this a quality issue /bad starting habbets/bad servicing /cold start problems/wrong oil.....anyone out there with good knowledge please help as I don't want to have the same happen again to my new engines....
  • Re: Hydraulic lifter failure/cam

    by » 11 years ago

    Hi Andy,

    It's an MFG defect with the coating on a lifter. It is a rare occurrence.
    The hardness coating on a few lifters was not good and a few failed. I know what this was like because I was flying a plane when it failed.The engine was an Oct. 2006 engine with 833 hours. The #1 exhaust lifter lost it's coating then the two metals just ground each other down and produced metal dust that gets in every bearing and orifice in the engine. When this happens to the engine it's gone and not savable because of all the metal intrusion. In the plane I was in the engine burbled for 1-2 seconds then it did it again, but longer and then again until the hole plane was shaking. The engine didn't quit, but it was definitely running on 3 cylinders. Made a nice landing and no issues except for getting a new engine. The mag plug looked like it had a beard, the oil filter element was washed with fuel and it was found to have a lot of fine metal dust. I drained the oil over 3 heavy magnets and it had fine metal dust.
    If this happens make sure you document it and send in a CSIR through your regional distributor, send a copy of your logbook, any oil analysis you have done and if you have a picture that too. Make sure to fill out all the blanks on the CSIR and if it isn't applicable write N/A. You can not send these reports in direct and sending it third party through someone else may delay it for months. Depending on a few factors it may be possible to get some "good faith" help from Rotax even if you are out of warranty. I will tell you right up front that keeping a good detailed and complete logbook can be a key factor. They are going to want to see that you followed their maintenance practices and complied to any issued SB's for your engine.

    Roger Lee
    LSRM-A & Rotax Instructor & Rotax IRC
    Tucson, AZ Ryan Airfield (KRYN)
    520-349-7056 Cell

    Thank you said by: YEN NIEN YU

  • Re: Hydraulic lifter failure/cam

    by » 11 years ago

    Hi Roger
    Tks for the detail and it sounds like an identical problem....same here ,911hrs on this machine and 4 of us on a X-country east of Johannesburg at FL085 when my engine went from perfect to bang and it also did not stop but cont'd at 2200rpm with low oil pressure....glided for 10 miles to a nearby airport and landed safely......the local agents supplied a new engine to my school asap at Rotax's prices,and we are airborne again.....the problem I have is that I was categorically told (and I have serviced well over 120 engines-912 to date and this is the first failure)that I serviced it wrong and sorry mate,your problem....there are quite a few documented cases of engines failing with this problem as was mine..no 5643554 which did not require attention as per service alerts....the pics of the lifters shows clearly how they failed and mine also has imperfections at the top which clearly shows a mnfacturing defect and I just feel that they should come this this party and show immediate interest in this...
    Anyway tks for your input and hope nobody else has to face this at altitude.....
    BR....Andy Kaspersen CFI

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