Hoisting and Mounting the Aircraft Engine for Installation

When the new or overhauled engine is ready to be hoisted for installation, move the engine stand as close as possible to the nacelle in which the replacement is to be installed. Then, attach the sling to the engine and hook the hoist to the sling. Take up the slack until the hoist is supporting most of the engine weight. Next, remove the engine attaching bolts from the stand and hoist the engine clear.

The engine stand may be moved and the hoist frame positioned so the engine can be hoisted easily into the nacelle. To prevent injury to the crew or damage to the aircraft or engine, be sure that the engine is steadied when moving the hoist frame.

Engine nacelles are rarely designed for the engine to be fitted and bolted into place as though it were being mounted on a bare wall. The engine must be guided into position and mated with its various connections, such as the mounting bolt holes and the exhaust tailpipe. This must be done despite such obstacles as the nacelle framework, ducts, or firewall connections and without leaving a trail of broken and bent parts, scratched paint, or crushed fingers.

When the engine has been aligned correctly in the nacelle, insert the mounting bolts into their holes and start all of the nuts on them. Always use the type of bolt and nut recommended by the manufacturer. Never use an unauthorized substitution of a different type or specification of nut and bolt than that prescribed.

The nuts on the engine mount bolts must be tightened to the torque recommended by the aircraft manufacturer. While the nuts are being tightened, the hoist should support the engine weight sufficiently to allow alignment of the mounting bolts. If the engine is permitted to exert upward or downward pressure on the bolts, it is necessary for the nuts to pull the engine into proper alignment. This results in nuts being tightened to the proper torque value without actually holding the engine securely to the aircraft.

The applicable manufacturer’s instructions outline the sequence for tightening the mounting bolts to ensure security of fastening. After the nuts are safetied and the engine sling and hoist are removed, bonding strips should be connected across each engine mount to provide an electrical path from the mount to the airframe.

Mounting the engine in the nacelle is, of course, only the beginning. All the ducts, electrical leads, controls, tubes, and conduits must be connected before the engine can be operated.

Connections and Adjustments

There are no hard-and-fast rules that direct the order in which units or systems should be connected to the engine. Each maintenance organization normally supplies a worksheet or checklist to be followed during this procedure. This list is based upon past engine installations on each particular aircraft. If this is followed carefully, it serves as a guide for an efficient installation. The following instructions are not a sequence of procedures but a discussion of correct methods for completing an engine installation.

The system of ducts for routing air to the engine varies with all types of aircraft. In connecting them, the goal is to fit the ducts closely at all points of disconnect so that the air they route does not escape its intended path. The duct systems of some aircraft must be pressure checked for leaks. This is done by blocking the system at one end, supplying compressed air at a specified pressure at the other end, and then checking the rate of leakage.

The filters in the air induction system must be cleaned to ensure an unrestricted flow of clean air to the engine and its units. Because methods for cleaning air filters vary with the materials used in the filtering element, clean them in accordance with the technical instructions for the aircraft being serviced.

The exhaust system should also be carefully connected to prevent the escape of hot gases into the nacelle. When assembling the exhaust system, check all clamps, nuts, and bolts, and replace any in doubtful condition. During assembly, the nuts should be gradually and progressively tightened to the correct torque. The clamps should be tapped with a rawhide mallet as they are being tightened to prevent binding at any point. On some systems, a ball joint connects the stationary portion of the exhaust system to the portion that is attached to the engine. This ball joint absorbs the normal engine movement caused by the unbalanced forces of the engine operation. Ball joints must be installed with the specified clearance to prevent binding when expanded by hot exhaust gases.

Hoses used inside low-pressure systems are generally fastened into place with clamps. Before using a hose clamp, inspect it for security of welding or riveting and for smooth operation of the adjusting screw. A clamp that is badly distorted or materially defective should be rejected. Material defects include extremely brittle or soft areas that may easily break or stretch when the clamp is tightened. After a hose is installed in a system, it should be supported with rubber-lined supporting clamps at regular intervals.

Before installing metal tubing with threaded fittings, ensure the threads are clean and in good condition. Apply sealing compound, of the correct specification for the system, to the threads of the fittings before installing them. While connecting metal tubing, follow the same careful procedure for connecting hose fittings to prevent cross-threading and to ensure correct torque.

When connecting the starter, generator, or various other electrical units within the nacelle, make sure that all lead connections are clean and properly secured. On leads that are fastened to a threaded terminal with a nut, a lock washer is usually inserted under the nut to prevent the lead from working loose. When required, connector plugs can be safetied with steel wire to hold the knurled nut in the full-tight position.

Electrical leads within the engine nacelle are usually passed through either flexible or rigid conduit. The conduit must be anchored, as necessary, to provide a secure installation and bonded when required.

All engine controls must be accurately adjusted to ensure instantaneous response to the control setting. For flexibility, the engine controls are usually a combination of rods and cables. Since these controls are tailored to the model of aircraft in which they are installed, their adjustment must follow exactly the step-by-step procedure outlined in the manufacturer’s instructions for each particular model of aircraft.

Figure illustrates a simplified schematic drawing of a throttle control system for a reciprocating aircraft engine. Follow a general procedure for adjusting throttle controls. First, loosen the serrated throttle control arm at the carburetor and back off the throttle stop until the throttle valve is in the fully closed position. After locking the cable drum into position with the locking pin, adjust the control rod to a specified length. Then, attach one end of the control rod to the locked cable drum, and reinstall the throttle control arm on the carburetor in the serrations that allow the other end of the control rod to be attached to it. This correctly connects the control arm to the cable drum.

Hoisting and Mounting the Aircraft Engine for Installation
Schematic drawing of throttle control system

Now, loosen the cable turnbuckles until the throttle control can be locked at the quadrant with the locking pin. Then, with both locking pins in place, adjust the cables to the correct tension as measured with a tensiometer. Remove the locking pins from the cable drum and quadrant.

Next, adjust the throttle control so that it has a slight cushion action at two positions on the throttle quadrant: one when the carburetor throttle valve is in the full-open position and the other when it is closed to the idle position (stop to stop).

Adjust the cushion by turning the cable turnbuckles equally in opposite directions until the throttle control cushion is correct at the full-open position of the throttle valve. Then, when the throttle arm stop is adjusted to the correct idle speed setting, the amount of cushion should be within tolerance at the idle speed position of the throttle valve. The presence of this cushion ensures that the travel of the throttle valve is not limited by the stops on the throttle control quadrant, but that they are opening fully and closing to the correct idle speed as determined by the throttle arm stop.

Adjustment of the engine controls is basically the same on all aircraft regarding the linkage adjustment to a predetermined length for a specific setting of the unit to be controlled. Then adjust cables, if used in the control system, to a specific tension with the control system locked. Finally, the full travel of the unit to be controlled is ensured by establishing the correct cushion in the controls. In general, the same basic procedure is used to connect the linkage of the remaining engine controls. After rigging the engine controls, safety the turnbuckles and castle nuts, and make certain the jam nuts on all control rods are tightened.

On multiengine aircraft, the amount of cushion of all engine controls on each quadrant must be equal so that all are aligned at any specific setting chosen. This eliminates the necessity of setting each control individually to synchronize engine operations.

After the engine has been installed, it is necessary to adjust the cowl flaps, if installed, so that the passage of the cooling air over the engine can be regulated accurately. Operate the system and recheck for opening and closing to the specified limits. Also, check the cowl flap position indicators, if installed, to ensure that they indicate the true position of the cowl flaps. Cowl flaps are doors at the bottom of the rear cowling that are used to control air flow through the cowling.

The oil cooler doors are adjusted in a manner similar to that used to adjust the cowl flaps. In some cases, the procedure is reversed in so far as the door is first adjusted to retract to a specified point, and the limit switch on the motor is set to cut out at this point. Then, the jackscrew is adjusted to permit the door to open only a specified distance, and the open limit switch is set to stop the motor when this point is reached.

After the engine has been completely installed and connected, install the propeller on the aircraft. Before doing so, the thrust bearing retaining nut should be checked for correct torque. If required, the propeller shaft must be coated with light engine oil before the propeller is installed; the propeller governor and anti-icing system must be connected according to applicable manufacturer’s instructions.