Still Keepin’ Busy (Jul 2020)

Happy to say we are still very steady in the shop considering all the new rules and regulations in the city have been slowing so many other types of business down. The last few weeks we have been working with a few aircraft owners on various (non red-tag) repairs and experimental aircraft. Both of us are getting the “flying bug” while looking at parts and doing aircraft research. It’s hard not to when you consider how young the history of flight is compared to the amazing technology that goes into keeping something in the air that is actually heavier than air. This kind of work also requires a higher level of patience, care and skill as repairs and parts still need to maintain air-worthiness and work as intended, free of failure. 

The repair side continues to keep us on our toes, especially with motorcycles and dirt bikes.  There is always the damage from an accident or part failure, but what we see the most is engine-case drain plug bungs. Yes, no one wants to admit it but for such an innocuous part on the case it causes the most problems. It goes something like this: …you’ve just finished draining the oil, replaced the filter and now winding that plug back in while trying not to wreck the threads. The way the drain port is made in the case, the threads are fine and the bung walls are thin but there shouldn’t be any reason for those threads not to hold. So you continue with the wrench until you feel it snug-up, and maybe just a little more torque and you are sure it will be good. Top up the oil and take her out for a rip and couple hours after you get home you notice a few spots of oil under the bike. Ok, get that wrench and give it another 1/8 turn, make sure it didn’t back off somehow. Two days later you find a twoonie sized slick under your bike now, what the #&%??! Back with the wrench you give that bugger drain bolt one more little snug pull and….   And now you have forced the drain bolt in so tight it has either pulled those fine threads out of the case or you have cracked the bung itself. Either way you (or the bike shop you took it to)are now sending it to us to make a costly repair. Sound horrible? Does the idea of damaging such a small and insignificant part on your bike, rendering it unreadable for the next week, case some anxiety for you? Well this ugly situation can all be avoided by doing one simple thing and it will only cost you .50 cents. Start using a new “aluminum crush washer” every time you change your oil. The aluminum crush washer has been softened and will make a perfect seal between your case and the plug-bolt, taking the torque in the seal instead of pulling your threads out or splitting the bung. Simple, save yourself the hassle. And if you still have questions give us a call and we can explain and tell you where to get them. But we are still happy to do the needed repairs on those case drains, just make sure there is no fuel in the bike and fairings and parts are off and out of the way. The more room we have to work the better the repair will be.