On top of the crankshaft problems that Teledyne Continental Motors are dealing with (which has already seen an SR20 with a broken crank) and the bad magnetos on at least 3 SR20s, there seems to be another problem with the Continental IO-360-ES engine.
N142CD is still sitting at Hayward, CA - it’s all tanked up and ready to go, but its brand-new engine (25 hours flight time) has low compression on four cylinders. The cause is yet unknown, but definitely involves leaking exhaust valves (and is thus not a break-in issue).
Another SR20 in Europe has had an engine failure with low compression on at least one cylinder, no details on that yet.
The worst news is that TCM are apparently either unwilling or unable to effectively deal with these problems. Cirrus Design have an engine that they are willing to overnight to California, but TCM are passing the buck. They won’t authorize the engine replacement, saying they want to remove cylinders and inspect them before deciding what to do.
The person at TCM who apparently has the authority to ok the replacement is uncontactable, will not return phone calls, and everyone else says they can’t make a decision. In the meantime we have a ferry pilot sitting idle, which he can’t do for ever.
So not only do TCM seem to have trouble building engines properly, but they don’t seem to be willing to accept responsibility for delivering faulty product.
Needless to say, my partners and I, and our ferry pilot Rob Leach, are most unhappy, and facing the prospect of substantial costs if the ferry does not proceed soon. TCM’s suggestions so far have been to 1) replace 3 cylinders, 2) replace 6(!) cylinders, and 3) pull the cylinders off and send the to TCM to be looked at. None of which are, in our view, acceptable given that the plane is about to set off on a very long over-water ferry trip.