The following snippets from the E-MAG help
desk are intended to entertain as well as educate. For the
purposes of this page, all customers are named
No, Sam is not
"real". He is an amalgam of many calls, but
the comments and queries are based on actual
...... lest we take ourselves too
seriously, and so others will learn.
Caller: "Hi there, this's Sam, and I
got a couple of your ignitions. They installed OK. I went thru the
Quick-Set timing routine just fine, but I get a Green LED no matter where
the prop is moved to. What's up with that?
Help Desk: After two or three calls to check
installation, check procedures, remove for bench check, etc. ....
"Hey Sam, did you remember to remove the impulse spacer before you
installed the ignitions?. If not, the ignition isn't engaging the accessory
gear. After you set the timing (giving you a GREEN LED), moving the engine
doesn't move the ignition, so its just sitting there at (GREEN)
Sam: "What's an impulse spacer?"
Caller: " Hi. This's Sam. I know your
manual says to install the plug adapters on the auto plugs first, and then
insert and tighten the assembly as a unit. But I can't find a socket big
enough to fit over the whole thing so I can grab the adapter.
Desk: "Sam, the whole idea behind installing (and tightening)
them as an assembly unit is so you DON'T torque on the adapter. By
tightening the spark plug you will tighten the plug and the adapter at the
same time. This avoids overstressing the adapter "
Caller: "Hi, this is Sam again. I
didn't connect the MAP tube until after I installed the ignitions on the
engine. No big deal, but I had a heck of a time getting the tube to
fit over the thingy. It's not in a visible location, so I am working
in the blind. It's on now, but I just thought you needed to know
what a hassle it was. Now I can't get the LED to change colors when
I blow. No blinking, no RED/GREEN change what so ever. I tried, my
mechanic tried, - nothing. I started seeing stars I was blowing so
Help Desk: "After the second or third call
on this topic it hit me.... "Sam, before you installed
the ignition, do you recall removing the plastic shipping cap from the MAP
nipple? If not, that would make it REALLY hard to install the tube
(over the shipping cap), and would prevent your "blow" pressure
from reaching the ignition."
Caller: "What shipping cap?"
Caller: "Hi fellas, I gotta problem.
Just put your stuff on and my engine runs ruffer'n a bronco. Timed it four
times and it ain't gett-n any better. I followed your instructions
precisely. So wassup?"
Help Desk: "After verbally reviewing all
procedures...... "Well Sam, the only thing left is to
check is the flywheel marks. Maybe they are not where they are
supposed to be. Why don't you pull a plug, rotate the engine to the
point where #1 or #2 piston is at TDC, and see if that matches the
flywheel reference mark. Check that and give me a call back."
Call-Back (version 1): "Hey, did
you know there's TDC marks on both sides of my flywheel? I was looking
at the mark on the wrong side."
Call-Back (version 2): "Hey, I was
lining up with the [case seem (vice) starter pin-hole], which is what my
last engine used. This one uses the [pin-hole (versa) case seem] as the
Call-Back (version 3): "I've been
timing magnetos for 40 years. In the manual you cautioned that old
habits are hard to break. Shur-nuff, I was setting timing on the 25
degree mark instead of the TDC mark."
Caller: "Hi this is Sam. I am not sure
if I got a problem or not. I gotta new airplane and a new engine, so
I don't have any actual history to refer to. I only have the
information that's published, and what my friends say I should expect in
terms of fuel flows-n-all. I seem to be burning about one to two
gallons per hour less that what everybody says I should. My temps
are good. . . . The engine starts easy and runs smooth . . .
but my fuel flow is way down there. Is this normal?"
"..................." - sound of the help desk
Caller: "Sam again . . . . . . I'm guessing
that one of the reasons the manual recommends customers not power up the
system (without all the wires connected) to watch the LED, or practice the
Quick-Set (timing) routine is that they risk getting one HECK of an
electrical shock. Am I right?"
Help Desk: "Yep."
Caller: "Good advise.
Caller: "This is you-know-who, again.
I have the whole thing installed. But I can't get anything to light up or
operate. I've double checked wiring four times. I have confirmed 12
volts coming from the aircraft and my ground attachment to the engine
block is solid and p-lead is grounded. Something is terribly wrong but for
the life of me, I can't find it."
Help Desk: "OK, keep me on the line while
you are looking at the engine and describe your wiring hookups. Lets
start with the GROUND terminal which is the one closest to the MAP tube
Call-Back (version 1): "Oh, I have my ground on
the other end of the plug, so I must have them all backwards."
Call-Back (version 2): "Oh, I knew that, but I was
holding the plug one way to make the post assignments, but flipped it over
when I plugged it into the ignition."
Call-Back (version 3): "Oh, I wired my left
unit just like my right side (that works fine), but it's oriented 180
degrees opposite the other. So Ground isn't always the terminal
closest to the top of the engine."
Caller: "Hi this is Sam again. Do you
realize how difficult it is to attach wires to the connector after the
ignition is installed? The screws face the engine case, which is
only a couple of inches away. Thankfully, I have a 90 degree screw driver
but it took me for ever to connect the first two wires. It just
doesn't seem well thought-out."
Help Desk: "Hi Sam. Look more closely
at the pictures and description in the manual. You'll notice the
connector head is removable, so you can attach your wires to the head, and
THEN plug the connector head into the ignition. As a last step,
secure with the head with the two (captive) anchor screws that do face
Caller: "Hi this is Sam. Today's
the big day. I'm getting ready to start my engine for the first
time. I am a bit nervous, so I asked my A&P to spend the day and
double check everything. He isn't familiar with your ignition. I
explained it as best I can, but he still has some questions."
Help Desk: "That's fine Sam. I've had this
discussion before. Put him on the line."
Caller's A&P: "Hi, this is Joe with Acme
Aviation [no association with "Acme" of Roadrunner/Coyote fame].
I've looked over Sam's installation and it all looks good. But since
I don't know much about setting timing with your system, we went thru the procedure one more time. We set the prop, blew in the
tubes, saw the red/green lights, n-all-that. Now, I just gotta
ask. . . . . . Is that all there is?
"Yep, it's Sam again." Had a couple of instances with
rough running and radio noise. Per your earlier suggestion, I've
already checked the auto plug screw-on tips, ohm checked my plug
wires, replaced spark plugs, and made sure all the wire connections are
tight. What else is there to check? . . . and by the way, you need a better
way of securing the plug wires to the coil posts. I noticed they
come off rather easily when I was doing the plug wire ohm
Help Desk: "OK, I think I see
the problem. Look closely at the plug wire terminal (coil)
tips. Pull the rubber boot back just a bit and you'll see it has a
banded spring clamp with a detent on the side. Then look down
the coil tower you can see the tip of the coil terminal post
centered in the opening. The post has ribs (that you can't see
easily - but they are there). When properly aligned, you'll
hear (and feel) the terminal "click" as it snaps over
multiple ribs on the post. This provides a positive lock for
the terminal, and will require considerable pull-force to
remove. If installed off-center the terminal will be shoved
down along side the terminal post, and will only be held (poorly) in
place by the rubber boot.
"Give-ya one guess who this
is". OK, I already know what I did wrong.
My only questions is did I screw-up big or did I only screw-up a
little. After my first run up I was chasing an oil leak. .
. and found that I had not plumbed the ignition manifold
pressure tube correctly. I connected the ignitions to the
engine oil pressure line. Aw "shoot".
So how bad did I screw up? I wanna send both ignitions in so
you can check them out. Do what ever you gotta do. Repair/replace as
necessary (my expense). [actual suggestion] And
by the way, you might want to post this on your web "Brown
Bag" page. Maybe someone can learn from my mistake.
That's a first for us so we're not sure what to expect. Just
send them in and we'll take care of it - no charge.