Tips and Tricks

   ~This page is dedicated to offering tips and tricks to get things running as they should!

1. Spark plug fouling

   ~UL Power engines have a proprietary ECU that cannot be manipulated by the user. AKA, there is no mixture knob. While this seems convenient, there are drawbacks. UL power admittadly uses a rich fuel mixture mapping when the engine is at low rpm's. Their reasoning is to keep the engine cool during ground runs and taxiing. The problem with this methodology plagues every general aviation airplane I've encountered; Spark plug fouling. I was always taught, like many others, to lean the mixture while taxiing to avoid this issue, and if not, during run-up you'll need to lean aggressively in order to clean up the plugs before takeoff. This simply isn't an option with the UL engines and can really become a hassle. Cleaning the spark plugs before every flight will drive you crazy. Instead, I've found a solution that has been working really well for me and hasn't required hiring a software  hacker ;)
   I'm a huge fan and believer of MMO or Marvel Mystery Oil. It's cheap and has worked miracles for me. I run it in every tank of fuel I have and have only seen good things come of it. And while it is a wonderful fuel and oil additive it is not a cure all so expect improvement, but not a "fix" for dirty plugs. The one thing that has really made all the difference is, yet again, ignoring the operating manual and using age-old tried and true techniques. For the issue of plug fouling, I've found that running up the engine at the end of every flight to 2000rpm for about 30 seconds really does the trick. As soon as the 30 second run is complete, I throttle down to idle and immediately kill the engine. This keeps the "rich low rpm" ECU tune from fouling the plugs before shut down. Try it out, I think you'll enjoy the results.

2. A Full synthetic ashless dispersant?

   ~Could it be true? Well don't go googling the term "full synthetic ashless dispersant aviation oil", or you'll run into an entourage of articles concerning lawsuits against Mobil 1's attempt at doing so. It's true, Mobile 1 attempted to create and market an full synthetic aviation oil for piston engines, making all kinds of claims that ended in disaster. I won't go into that debacle, but I do want to touch on the fact that UL Power recommends the use of a high quality full synthetic oil as their oil of choice. Specifically Motul 300V. I also don't want to go down the rabbit trail of the great oil debate, I just want to talk about a conversation I had with a certain "someone" at Amsoil.
   The Reno guys kept telling me that their switch to Amsoil Dominator 15w-50 was giving them lower oil temps and higher RPM, all while burning 100LL trouble free. What?! A Full synthetic able to handle the lead? I had to investigate. After quite a long chat with Amsoil, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. A fully synthetic oil considered an ashless dispersant did, in fact, exist. And at $14 a quart, the cost of chemistry becomes apparent. As of this write-up, Ray Lawrence of UL Power has put over 30hrs on his 520is filled with Amsoil Dominator oil with no issues at all. Knowing that UL engines have a difficult time with high oil temps, it sounds very promising that there may very well be a fully synthetic option for us 100LL burners.

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