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Actual Cost Rotax 5 Year Rubber


Adam
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There has been much written already on the Rotax 5 Year Rubber Replacement in another posting on this Forum. Many thanks for all the hints, tips and sources of information which were all very helpful to me and my mechanic. The purpose of this post is to share lessons learned, techniques used and actual costs incurred so that the typical CT owner facing a 5 year changeout can gauge what the true costs are to have this repair performed. Thanks to Roger for his insight, some phone help, sharing parts sources and for this forum. Thanks to CPS and Lockwood who between the two had all hoses in stock. Thanks to Arian at FDUSA who was a great resource on getting the upgrade done without pulling the engine.

 

OK, Here are some thoughts on the process...

 

1.) Cost for Rotax Rubber Parts from CPS and Lockwood $1100.00 (I used Lockwood to supply the parts that were back ordered at CPS)

2.) Cost for needed additional parts that ultimately are required but not part of the CPS Rubber Kit (oil, filter, anti-freeze, CEET Air ducting, Oteker clamps and tool) $200.00

3.) Cost for labor (Note: First time for shop, I'm sure many of us are paying for learning curve, by next year these costs should be much lower) 30 hours @ 75.00 an hour $2250.00

 

TOTAL COST: $3550.00

 

Actual project...

 

My shop had zero trouble getting this done without pulling the engine. A call to Arian at FDUSA and they had no issues or problems with technique. They did pull the wings but there were no issues. I'm sure if you can get your plane to Roger or Tad the hours would be much less however many of us are not so blessed to have guys who have done this many times in our area. My shop is thoughtful on process and is very concerned about getting it done right. They don't milk hours. Safety is important to them. I am sure that after 3 or 4 a mechanic would shave 10 hours off the time.

 

On my Rotax 912 ULS there were 3 certified hoses that are replace "On Condition Only". (This makes a lot of sense... Rotax has you change all the other hoses which are "uncertified".) The Certified hoses are not required to be replaced at the 5 year interval, only when condition merits. On my plane the certified hoses were the silicone hose that runs between the 2 carbs that has 3 built in specialized fittings and the 2 hoses that are permanently attached to the fuel pump. To replace these certified hoses with Rotax certified parts is very expensive! (588 for the fuel pump with hoses and then 388 for the hose between the carbs).

 

As I said, I'm sure the price range to get this job done varies greatly... The only variable should be labor. In CA labor runs 75 an hour at almost every shop. A 50 per hour labor rate would have saved quite a bit. If you shaved 10 hours and had a 50 hour rate you might get this done for $1000.00 labor instead of 2250.00 I'm guessing the range for this repair should be between $2400 and $3500.

 

Don't be embarrassed guys! Share your ACTUAL pain! No matter what side of the range you are on, I bet many of us need to make an adjustment to our maintenance reserve accounts! As we learn where the best pricing is, many people may decide to make regional trips and schedule 3 or 4 days of vacation (paid for by the lower repair costs!)

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The fuel hose assembly (silicone feed hose to each carb) will last longer than plain rubber hoses. I have been ask to start taking pictures of bad rubber hose interiors. The outside of the hose and its softness is only 30% when looking for a bad hose the important part is unseen inside.

 

Here is my major issue when the engine doesn't get pulled. Keep in mind I have done a lot of these now and seen the effects and bad hidden parts.

 

It is not replacing the rubber engine mounts. They get smashed, split, cracked, hard and soft which allows the engine to sag which many have reported over the years and that was with less than 5 years on them. This allows a lot of vibration and torsional issues. Not doing this at the rubber hose change is setting yourself up for a big bill before too long down the road in which the engine absolutely has to be pulled to change these. So why not do all this at one time, one job and be finished and not have to worry again for 5 more years. I change every CT's rubber mounts that come for a hose change. Pulling the engine may sound like it would take longer, but I can cut most shop times by 50% -70% (at $50 hr) by doing it my way. So the short cut is the long way around. The rubber engine mounts just like the hose can be bad and you can't tell or see it. Unless the engine just flops in it's mount you can not tell if they are bad just by looking alone unless they are split or cracked and that's usually a late stage find. The mounts I now use are better than the original pure rubber mounts. They are firmer and more resistant to heat and chemicals where the rubber ones aren't. Anyone tells you not to pull the engine and get this job done 100% instead of 80% is doing you a dis-service.

 

Remember the old saying: "Pay now or pay later"

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Roger, pupose of this thread wasn't to debate technique. I think that if you feel engine mounts should be changed at 5 years that you should lobby FDUSA to declare it so, right now engine mounts are "on condition only". In my case, at 147 hours TTSN, none of the hoses inside or out were worn, the prop hang was as new, the engine mounts look new. I did order and receive the mounts from your source in Europe (thanks for that) they just didn't do it as Flight Design said it was "unnecessary". Purpose of this thread was to focus on cost. Lots of guys have been debating technique on the other threads here. I respect and consider you one of the pre-eminent CT mechanics in the country. If everyone adds engine mounts I need to revise up the cost a little as my 3550.00 didn't include mounts since they were not changed. No one is really talking total cost so I thought I'd start a thread to focus on cost. This is a major expense, one that adds anywhere from 500 to 700 per year in maint. reserve. (I know I didn't know about this until the forum started talking about it). If it cost me $3500 in So Cal, but it only costs $2500 in AZ than those living in a 75 per hour labor belt may want to plan a road trip! Be nice to see what the range of cost is for these all over the country. I think that for the 2007 SW's there is a definite benefit coming next year as those working on CT's will all be experienced and labor times should be reduced. I thought I'd share what I paid so those that have this repair coming in the next few years can start saving their pennies and hopefully get it done cheaper! If someone is getting this done for 2000, it would be nice to hear, the shop might become a favorite stop and vacation destination!

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Hi Adam,

I hope you know none of this is directed at you, but in the hopes of helping everyone that will need this done in the future. Money is money especially now days.

 

I didn't want to talk technique either, but the fact by doing these things a certain way and or together you can save thousands of dollars. You can only see an engine mount from the outside and if FD or anyone else says it's unnecessary then I would tell them they need to do more engine mounts and get the experience of looking at all of them on each engine. See FD USA and FD Germany don't pull these and just look all them. It's the mechanics in the field that do these on a regular basis that have seen all this. Half the mounts are on the inside so no one can see them and those are the ones I find smashed all the time. Looking at the mounts only on the outside is just like saying a hose is perfectly good because you can squeeze it. Hogwash! ( I'm saying that with a smilesmile.gif) The top Rotax people and I have had the same conversation and they agree. They have ask me to start cutting open the hoses and start taking some pictures for them.

By doing these two items together you can easily save $1000-$1500.

It also pays to shop for a shop. Some shops charge $50 hr and some $95. Some take 30 hrs and I know of at least one that can save

50% - 70% of that time. Shopping around could get you everything done for $2500 or less plus save a day or two at the shop. You could travel as far as 900 miles ($272 fuel), stay at a hotel 3 nights ($225), rent a car ($90) (food is a wash as you will eat anyway) get the engine mounts done too and still save $500-$750 and possibly more in the long run if the other guy didn't include the mounts. Before you get this procedure done ask the shop for the rates, time estimate, parts estimate. Some shops are charging $4000+ at $95 hr and not even doing the mounts. Ouch!

 

If two equal mechanics that each charged $50 hr and knew their stuff (work independently) they could pull an engine, do all the hoses inside and out, do the engine mounts, carbs, re-mount the engine and sync the carbs for as little as $2200. 10 hrs start to finish. $1000 labor, $1200 in parts. It is possible, but a lot of work.

 

I guess my whole point here is you can save yourself a lot of time, money and grief if you just get it done because sooner or later it comes down to, "Pay now or pay later" and later is twice the pocketbook hit. I'm trying to save our members from the additional cost it will entail later.

 

Sandpiper,

Not a place to bet another dinner. laugh.gif

 

 

I wasn't intending to climb up on a soapbox, but now I'm looking down at the floor so I better jump back down. blink.gif

 

 

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Here is how I do it, above and beyond the typical 5 year:

 

I pull the engine and replace the rubber engine isolators

OH carbs (with new diaphrams and viton needles)

Replace all fuel lines behind the firewall

Repitch prop

 

I do a little more than required, but now is the time to do some items while it is down for heavy MX.

 

I do the whole job for $2800.00 material and labor.

 

My shop rate is $75.00 and I am fully insured

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We have good mechanics here on this site. What would be good is if some more would post in the thread below in the maintenance section. In time we could build a good network of reliable straight forward mechanics across the country. If you know of such a mechanic make sure they get listed here and if you are one make sure you list yourself. There are enough of us here in the US to build a great network of reliable mechanics just by posting them if you like them.

 

If we all don't get involved then we all will be in the dark.

 

FIND THEM AND POST THEM!

 

LIST THEM AND WE WILL COME! wink.gif

 

 

 

Maintenance Technicians .... Anywhere in the world!

List your name, Location, Contact info for inspections and maintenance.

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Adam, what are you basing this statement on?

 

On my Rotax 912 ULS there were 3 certified hoses that are replace "On Condition Only". (This makes a lot of sense... Rotax has you change all the other hoses which are "uncertified".) The Certified hoses are not required to be replaced at the 5 year interval, only when condition merits. On my plane the certified hoses were the silicone hose that runs between the 2 carbs that has 3 built in specialized fittings and the 2 hoses that are permanently attached to the fuel pump. To replace these certified hoses with Rotax certified parts is very expensive! (588 for the fuel pump with hoses and then 388 for the hose between the carbs).

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The fuel hose assembly (silicone feed hose to each carb) will last longer than plain rubber hoses. I have been ask to start taking pictures of bad rubber hose interiors. The outside of the hose and its softness is only 30% when looking for a bad hose the important part is unseen inside.

 

Here is my major issue when the engine doesn't get pulled. Keep in mind I have done a lot of these now and seen the effects and bad hidden parts.

 

It is not replacing the rubber engine mounts. They get smashed, split, cracked, hard and soft which allows the engine to sag which many have reported over the years and that was with less than 5 years on them. This allows a lot of vibration and torsional issues. Not doing this at the rubber hose change is setting yourself up for a big bill before too long down the road in which the engine absolutely has to be pulled to change these. So why not do all this at one time, one job and be finished and not have to worry again for 5 more years. I change every CT's rubber mounts that come for a hose change. Pulling the engine may sound like it would take longer, but I can cut most shop times by 50% -70% (at $50 hr) by doing it my way. So the short cut is the long way around. The rubber engine mounts just like the hose can be bad and you can't tell or see it. Unless the engine just flops in it's mount you can not tell if they are bad just by looking alone unless they are split or cracked and that's usually a late stage find. The mounts I now use are better than the original pure rubber mounts. They are firmer and more resistant to heat and chemicals where the rubber ones aren't. Anyone tells you not to pull the engine and get this job done 100% instead of 80% is doing you a dis-service.

 

Remember the old saying: "Pay now or pay later"

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Roger,

 

What are the mounts you "now" use and where can I get them? I've seen you reference your supply point in the past and want to make sure nothing has changed. Also, how did you come to decide upon using the firmer mounts versus the rubber ones? Are they used on other aircraft?

 

Related question - have you seen any difference in mount condition in five years in cases where the prop was electronically balanced? I've always had my props balanced this way and have consistently felt smoother performance. One would think it has an impact on the mounts over time.

 

Also, what is the trade off/advantage of rebuilding the entire carb versus rubber only replacement at the five year interval?

 

Thanks,

 

Rogerck

 

PS If you have any mounts for sale, let me know.

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Adam, what are you basing this statement on?

 

On my Rotax 912 ULS there were 3 certified hoses that are replace "On Condition Only". (This makes a lot of sense... Rotax has you change all the other hoses which are "uncertified".) The Certified hoses are not required to be replaced at the 5 year interval, only when condition merits. On my plane the certified hoses were the silicone hose that runs between the 2 carbs that has 3 built in specialized fittings and the 2 hoses that are permanently attached to the fuel pump. To replace these certified hoses with Rotax certified parts is very expensive! (588 for the fuel pump with hoses and then 388 for the hose between the carbs).

 

 

Both FDUSA and CPS told me this...

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Both FDUSA and CPS told me this...

 

 

I should add that it may vary by engine manufacturer date. My engine is a December 2006 engine. The 3 hoses of which I speak had certification identification bands on them and all were a different grade of silicone rubber than the typical hose. I guess some folks may have fuel pumps with removable hoses (the parts manual shows a couple different versions of the fuel pump). I was also told that cutting off the certified hoses and reusing their fittings was a "no no" (makes them non standard parts).

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I should add that it may vary by engine manufacturer date. My engine is a December 2006 engine. The 3 hoses of which I speak had certification identification bands on them and all were a different grade of silicone rubber than the typical hose. I guess some folks may have fuel pumps with removable hoses (the parts manual shows a couple different versions of the fuel pump). I was also told that cutting off the certified hoses and reusing their fittings was a "no no" (makes them non standard parts).

 

That is different than what the manual says. It says all rubber fuel hoses, and says to replace the fuel pump if they are attached. If the hoses had been replace at a different time then it would reset the 5 year time. As a side note the hoses on the fuel pump that you say are approved are Gates automotive fuel hoses.

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Hi Guys,

 

There is a discrepancy about which hoses and I just had a chat with Rotax about what they meant and what they said in the maint. manual. I was ask to look further on the list and send them all the discrepancies I could find. You are both right at this time, but the manual does say all fuel hose, but that isn't what they meant. Go Figure. You can't say this rubber hose is needs replacement with the one right next to it being okay. Bottom line, just change them all and be done with it and don't look back or you'll have to pay again later.

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I would like to back up Roger on this by saying that it pays to shop around and find a competent mechanic because most of the differences in bills people have been getting have been due to labor. I will be the first to admit there are a lot of "Grey" areas when it comes to this matter. I just want everyone to keep in mind that legally... Rotax can not specify a maintenance interval on a part they do not sell, for example oil lines, Rotax used to sell oil lines by the meter and you used to get a length of it with a crate engine but that has since changed 8+ years ago before Light Sport came into the picture. Therefore the only person who can specify when to change them out is FD. Thankfully FD has been pretty good at backing up Rotax and togeather, pretty much anything that is rubber is recommended to be replaced by one or both of them. Same goes for fuel lines if any of you were wondering. Wing root hoses, aft of firewall hoses, all these are 100% FD supplied and 100% out of Rotax's control.

 

Personally, safety has always been a high priority for Roger and I. Sadly I have found over the years that giving the mechanic the right to run something "on condition" has led to a lot of accidents because a mechanic may be worried about giving the customer too big of a bill and losing his business the fallowing years even thou he would of felt better about changing a hose that was showing surface cracks that may or may not of made it to the fallowing years annual. Being a mechanic I appreciate the "back up" we get from our mfgs.

 

As for the engine mounts there are 3 things that cause them to wear ( Sweating of the rubber over time, heat inside the cowl which can speed up the sweating, and vibration) Personally I think rubber mounts should be replaced every 5 yrs, I will change that statement If someone can show me a picture of one plane that has 5 yrs on it with more than 100hrs flown over that 5 yrs that doesn't have at least one isolator cracked.

 

I have done a number of these updates now and do yourself a favor and pull the damn engine. Roger and I aren't the smallest guys but I now damn well that we both agree thats its "quicker and easier" to pull the engine. 1.5 hrs off, 2.5hrs on, maybe quicker if you have help.

 

One more comment on moving the needle clip. According to Rotax the needle should never be changed from its standard position, they set the engines up for 1000 MSL and they think you should keep it that way. Moving the clip dose help fuel burn and does effect EGTs but that is besides the point, there is no technical data to back up the change in positions, if you want to change them Im not going to lose any sleep of it, just keep in mind its not "recommended" The Heavy M/M specifys where the clip should be, but gives no mention of changing it in any SB, SL, or SI... unless I missed something.

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What I find most beneficial is a discussion of what maintenance is required (and how and by whom) and what constitutes acceptable condition. That helps me decide how to deal with recommendations that are not binding.

 

I'd like to see the statistics that support the claim that mechanics knowing sign off on equipment they believe is not serviceable. Until I see it, I'll reserve my right to doubt that it is widespread.

 

Mechanics shouldn't need any backup from manufacturers. An item fall under a time or condition situation or it doesn't. Manufacturers backup sounds too much like Cirrus SBs that are not binding but which the company uses to browbeat mechanics into insisting on work out of liability concerns. Who pays? The customer pays for maintenance the FAA does not deem necessary and not even necessarily beneficial. Too often, manufacturers backup to me is what a mechanic can hide behind when he doesn't really have a good basis for his preference. What starts out as, this is within limits but is getting close and should be watched, becomes, there's a chance this could fail and I won't sign it off.

 

Thanks for the tip on pulling the engine as the most expedient way of performing the maintenance.

 

My CTSW is a 2007b wth 100 hours and will be at the LSMR course with me next month. You can bet I will double check the motor mounts and rubber.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Jim,

 

I have found over the years that most mechanics do things out of ignorance which just means lack of knowledge. There may be a few odd balls out there, but like you, I think they are far and few between. A mechanic is like a Doc, Lawyer, Solider, ect... should always error on the side of safety and liability. If the mechanic lets someone slide then he will be the first one you blame and sue for not doing something or letting it slide to save a couple of bucks. Flying is inherently dangerous so why stack the odds more against you. It is in the best interest of the mechanic to keep you in the air and not have a failure because he was too lazy to read or do the work. Are there some mechanics that pad their work, probably the unscrupulous ones.

 

You pay a mechanic to be your "go to guy" and know what they are doing so this is why I say shop for a good mechanic and when you get one treat them well.

 

He has your best interest at heart as well as his own.

 

 

p.s.

After what I have seen in hose and add the fact that you want to keep your plane in one piece I don't see anyone's argument for not doing the hoses or trying to skip out of doing a few of them. Money just isn't worth the risk or loosing the plane or getting injured because of it.

 

All of my clients are my friends and I won't let them get hurt for a dollar!

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