Shop Support Not Ruled Out On Lycoming Bushing SB

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Lycoming says it’s not ruling out labor charge allowances for engine shops and customers affected by the mandatory rod bushing service bulletin announced earlier this month. In this podcast recorded at AirVenture on Friday, Lycoming general manager Michael Kraft told AVweb that shops need to first do the inspections, then contact Lycoming about support.

As we reported two weeks ago, Lycoming issued the service bulletin calling for inspections of an unknown number of small-end connecting rod bushings that are incorrectly manufactured. The off-spec bushings allow connecting rods to move side to side and the resulting loss of tolerance has caused several partial or catastrophic engine failures. Lycoming says about 1300 factory engines are affected and an unknown number of engines overhauled by field shops. Owners with new engines or factory overhauls will be covered under warranty.

However, Lycoming previously said field shops who used the company’s rod bushings would not be reimbursed for labor charges to inspect and/or replace the bushings. Lycoming said it would provide parts. “They really need to call us on that and get that dialogue going. I think there’s going to be a lot of … what were the circumstances on that. But I really encourage the shops to take care of the consumer and make sure we do these inspections,” Kraft said.

The bushings are a bulk item and not every shop would have received or used them, Kraft added. The factory has limited traceability on specific bushings. The service bulletin identifies a serial range of factory engines affected by the suspect bushings and some complete rod assemblies are also impacted. The bushings were manufactured in a one-year period between November 2015 and November 2016.

“The reason we put a 10-hour limit on this is that usually these things are detectable in a filter check. In this case, sometimes those particles off the bushings are so fine you can’t see them with the naked eye. We just want to get ahead of it and take care of it,” Kraft said.

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