The fun of the Six’s engine started shortly after returning from Oshkosh.
#5 cylinder was not getting producing a good compression test result. After removing the cylinder and sending it out for some work, it was returned overhauled. This was back in September of 2009. The initial flight after the installation of the cylinder was interesting. The run up tests were fine, all six cylinders were behaving normally according to the JPI EDM-700 engine monitor. So, off down the runway, got to take off speed, rotate, and I started to climb. Then #2 cylinder stopped firing (the EDM-700 showed it going cold) and the engine ran rough. Too late to land back on the runway, and the plane was climbing, so a downwind turn was made, and got ready to land back at the airport. Then #2 came alive, and the engine ran smooth.
For some confidence, I continued to fly the plane around the airport for the next 45 minutes – and during the whole time, all six cylinders were firing fine – all looked normal.
Then in early 2010, after chasing an oil leak and trying to determine why cylinder #2 was running rough at low RPM, I gave the keys and a credit card to the local FBO.
The problem was found – #2 and #3 needed to be replaced as well. Michael, the mechanic, did clearly state that swapping out these two cylinders are a gamble, and that there may be additional problems and that I should consider a new overhauled engine.
After coming up with a plan to change the oil at 25 hour intervals, and use an oil analysis service, the two additional cylinders were swapped.