The latest developments in the saga of N142CD, still stuck in Hayward.
Due to serious doubts about TCM’s explanation of the problems with the engine (they said the low compression was due to fuel deposits, left by extended idling or low power running, with no sign of overheating) we elected to have the remaining three cylinders, and the three new ones provided by TCM, sent to a well-known engine shop in central CA to be checked out.
The results were rather shocking. Firstly, the cylinder kits supplied by TCM had no pistons. The new cylinders and the old ones showed no signs of valve grind problems, but the old ones did show significant evidence of overheating. Of the 6 original cylinders, only one had no exhaust valve leakage! The others had valve, seat and ring damage caused by significant overheating.
I am still waiting for the full report, but I am told that it is most likely caused by incorrect adjustment of the fuel-injection system. I am also told that the IO-360ES engine (unique to the SR20) has a fuel-injection adjustment procedure that is quite different to any other Continental engine.
The most serious issue to arise from this is the fact that TCM have apparently lied to us about the cause of the compression problems. There can be no doubt that the 3 cylinders returned to them were suffering the same overheating damage, yet they made a point of saying there was no evidence of overheating.
Unless there is some good explanation for this, their actions verge on criminal deceit, in that they placed at risk not only our aircraft, but the life of our ferry pilot. I was assured by Bill Blackwood from TCM that the engine was fit to fly the Pacific, yet it was not, and he should have known that.
I’ll post more details as they come to hand. If there does turn out to be an injector problem, this would explain the cylinder failure in the European aircraft, too.