Lycoming Gets Tough On Exchanges...

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Expensive Chargebacks For Damaged Cranks, Cases

If Santa left a factory-rebuilt Lycoming under the tree (hey, it could happen) don't assume it's free. Company brass have decided there is no Santa clause and what used to be free, isn't anymore. In fact, it's been about a year since Lycoming began strictly enforcing its exchange core policy, which can result in chargebacks for damaged or worn-out crankcases and crankshafts. If the timed-out engine you send back for exchange has any of a number of faults that Lycoming considers unacceptable, you could be facing a bill for thousands of dollars -- and you likely won't see the bill until weeks or even months after your new engine is flying. What's more, some of the conditions that cause Lycoming to reject a crank or case are perfectly acceptable to the FAA. For instance, while the FAA approves of many types of weld repairs on cracks in the crankcase, Lycoming is much stingier and it will scrap a case that has a crack in a "stressed area." In fact, if a crankcase comes back to the Lycoming engine shop bearing the stamp of any of a number of FAA-certified engine rebuilders, the case will be automatically rejected by Lycoming on grounds that it might have previously been repaired in a way not approved by Lycoming. "We realize that FAA-approved repair stations are permitted to accept as airworthy some field-repaired parts and some parts that would not meet Lycoming tolerances," Lycoming VP Todd Stoner wrote in a letter to Lycoming distributors in October. "Lycoming, however, does not compromise the integrity of engines we warrant or the safety of those who depend on them by permitting the reuse of any part that fails to meet our own strict manufacturing specifications and standards."