No oil on the dipstick

Boy, another strip about an oil change! Not yet enough data points to call it a trend, but we’ll see what next week brings.

Boy did I put my foot in it with last week’s strip. For those of you who didn’t notice, Chuck calls the engine on Alex’s Pitts Special a Lycoming O-540, but the engine I drew had only four cylinders. I know, I know! I almost got fired over this. When I told my 6 year old son, he laughed at me and said, “but daddy, everybody knows that an O-540 has six cylinders!” When I told my wife, she was so disappointed that she didn’t talk to me for three weeks. And that’s although the mistake was only one week ago!

So, I learned my lesson! Next time my brother says that I made a mistake during drawing, I won’t counter with “well … I’m too lazy to fix it. Who’ll notice, really?”

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6 comments on “No oil on the dipstick
  1. Fbs says:

    I love the « we need a longer dipstick ». Almost surprised it didn’t came from Chuck.

  2. ThisGuy says:

    As to the whole O-540 debacle, keep in mind it’s chuck we’re talking about it. Did YOU make a mistake drawing only 4 cylinders or is Chuck, Chuck and does the Pitts actually have an O-360? Since it’s a single seater Pitts S1, the default engine for that seems to be the 4 cylinder O-360.

    So the story I would stick to is that actually Chuck was being Chuck, doesn’t know his engines and grabbed the wrong and much smaller bucket. So he’ll be equally surprised when the last 4 quarts of oil pour over his shoes instead of into the sump. (There’s a free comic idea for you 😉

  3. Bernd says:

    I guess an AEIO-360 (dry-sump inverted oil system, which seems likely on a Pitts if you want to do prolonged negative-G manoeuvres) would hold quite a bit more oil than a regular O-360. That would make it plausible that Chuck is just confused.

  4. Dix says:

    Which mistake are you talking about?

    That the oil-bucket ist standing aft of the Nose Landing Gear?


  5. ThisGuy says:

    @Bernd: According to the maintenance manual both Lycoming IO-360 versions hold 8 quarts. The installation instructions for the inverted flight oil system don’t mention anything about requiring an additional oil quantity. I could imagine it would increase the volume of the oil system slightly, but apparently this engine works with anything between 4 to 8 quarts, and judging from comments of owners and “spanner monkeys” they seem to usually operate best on about 6 and a bit quarts. (Disclaimer: none of this constitutes professional advice. The systems I usually work on are firmly bolted to the ground.)

    @Dix, Julio probably just moved it out of the way after the system was drained.

  6. Joshua says:

    The only single hole Pitts with the 540 would be a S1-11B, S-2S or S-2SE which Alex does not have, so that was Chuck’s mistake. I wouldn’t trust him to know what bucket to grab anyway,so problem solved. And you couldn’t shoe horn the bigger engine in anyway in a normal Pitts anyway so the drawing is not the problem.

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