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Home made soft start module for Rotax 914

 
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trevord



Joined: 10 Jul 2018
Posts: 6
Location: Auckland

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:55 am    Post subject: Home made soft start module for Rotax 914 Reply with quote

Hello all,

My first posting on Matronics.

I have purchased a Europa kit which was started 19 years ago of wonderful quality workmanship but has an un-started, still inhibited 19 year old Rotax 914 engine. From my research, it would seem the soft-start option is critical to the sprag clutch lasting for any length of time. I have read about the Bullyhawk modules, but they are no longer available and new Rotax ignition modules are expensive.

I read on the Rotax forum about a circuit that was home made that retarded the ignition on start-up by a user called Turbo-Tom but I cannot find enough information to work out how to replicate this and Turbo-Tom seems to have moved-on.

Do any folks out there know of a reliable home-made solution to the defect that was built-in to the original Rotax engines in the form of inadequate time before the timing switched to fully advanced, which is known to destroy the clutch in short order.

My local Rotax importer of course suggests I buy a new engine.

Regards
Trevor


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:11 pm    Post subject: Home made soft start module for Rotax 914 Reply with quote

Trevor,

FWIW, YMMV. I have been flying behind a 914 that is about 15 years old now. The only change I have made to my 914 regarding starting was to install the newer, high-torque starter. My engine starts quickly and easily. I see no need for any soft-start module, ignition retarding software or any other such stuff. I suggest you finish your kit following the factory instructions and evaluate how the engine start goes before you get into any changes to the 914.

Blue skies & tailwinds,
Bob Borger
Europa XS Tri, Rotax 914, Airmaster C/S Prop (130 hrs).
Little Toot Sport Biplane, Lycoming Thunderbolt AEIO-320 EXP, Hercules Prop.
3705 Lynchburg Dr.
Corinth, TX 76208-5331
Cel: 817-992-1117
rlborger(at)mac.com
On Jul 11, 2018, at 2:55 PM, trevord <trevord(at)orcon.net.nz> wrote:



Hello all,

My first posting on Matronics.

I have purchased a Europa kit which was started 19 years ago of wonderful quality workmanship but has an un-started, still inhibited 19 year old Rotax 914 engine. From my research, it would seem the soft-start option is critical to the sprag clutch lasting for any length of time. I have read about the Bullyhawk modules, but they are no longer available and new Rotax ignition modules are expensive.

I read on the Rotax forum about a circuit that was home made that retarded the ignition on start-up by a user called Turbo-Tom but I cannot find enough information to work out how to replicate this and Turbo-Tom seems to have moved-on.

Do any folks out there know of a reliable home-made solution to the defect that was built-in to the original Rotax engines in the form of inadequate time before the timing switched to fully advanced, which is known to destroy the clutch in short order.

My local Rotax importer of course suggests I buy a new engine.

Regards
Trevor


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Ivor



Joined: 23 Jul 2015
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:14 am    Post subject: Re: Home made soft start module for Rotax 914 Reply with quote

I concur with Robert on this, My 10year old 914 hasn’t been a problem
starting using the standard starter motor,
remember it’s basically a low compression 912 with a turbo, the soft start
was more for the 912s with the higher compression to stop kick backs,
some start using just the A mag then switch on the B mag when she starts
to fire, i personally haven’t bothered because it’s never been a problem,
spend your money elsewhere IMO
Ivor


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:27 am    Post subject: Home made soft start module for Rotax 914 Reply with quote

Me too. It has always been my impression that the soft start is only applicable to the 912S. My 914 which must be of a similar vintage has been starting effortlessly on both mags since 2002 In standard format as supplied by Europa.
Regards, David Joyce, GXSDJ


On 2018-07-12 10:14, Ivor wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
--> Europa-List message posted by: "Ivor" <g-iver(at)live.co.uk (g-iver(at)live.co.uk)>

I concur with Robert on this, My 10year old 914 hasn&euro;&trade;t been a problem
starting using the standard starter motor,
remember it&euro;&trade;s basically a low compression 912 with a turbo, the soft start
was more for the 912s with the higher compression to stop kick backs,
some start using just the A mag then switch on the B mag when she starts
to fire, i personally haven&euro;&trade;t bothered because it&euro;&trade;s never been a problem,
spend your money elsewhere IMO
Ivor


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trevord



Joined: 10 Jul 2018
Posts: 6
Location: Auckland

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Home made soft start module for Rotax 914 Reply with quote

Thanks Ivor and Bob,

All the stuff I have read and watched relates to the 912 including some scary videos of the damage the kickback does. I assumed that the 914 was equally affected but your experience is interesting and with the lower compression of the 914 is logical.

The lead acid batteries of course arrived dead, so I am upgrading to Earthx lithium iron phosphate batteries are a fraction of the weight of the old ones and put out more AMPs I am told, when required for starting. This should help also to avoid the damage which apparently is compounded when the battery is low and can cause it to kick back repeatedly without starting.

Thanks again gentlemen for your advice, is there anything else I should consider changing ? I am told the older style crankcase can cause crankcase fretting issues but clearly this is a big job so would prefer to avoid this and the sprag clutch has been improved to make it stronger.

It has also been mentioned that the carburettor jets on the early type could be upgraded and perhaps some other things - all advice welcome as I am a newbie to the Europa (one hour type training so far) and the Rotax, but have owned a GA aircraft for many years.

Kind regards
Trevor


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:59 pm    Post subject: Home made soft start module for Rotax 914 Reply with quote

Trevor, The gas recombinant Odyssey battery works extremely well with the 914 has incredible torquing power and is relatively light, maintenance free and not expensive.
Regards, David Joyce, GXSDJ

On 2018-07-12 21:22, trevord wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
--> Europa-List message posted by: "trevord" <trevord(at)orcon.net.nz (trevord(at)orcon.net.nz)>

Thanks Ivor and Bob,

All the stuff I have read and watched relates to the 912 including some scary videos of the damage the kickback does. I assumed that the 914 was equally affected but your experience is interesting and with the lower compression of the 914 is logical.

The lead acid batteries of course arrived dead, so I am upgrading to Earthx lithium iron phosphate batteries are a fraction of the weight of the old ones and put out more AMPs I am told, when required for starting. This should help also to avoid the damage which apparently is compounded when the battery is low and can cause it to kick back repeatedly without starting.

Thanks again gentlemen for your advice, is there anything else I should consider changing ? I am told the older style crankcase can cause crankcase fretting issues but clearly this is a big job so would prefer to avoid this and the sprag clutch has been improved to make it stronger.

It has also been mentioned that the carburettor jets on the early type could be upgraded and perhaps some other things - all advice welcome as I am a newbie to the Europa (one hour type training so far) and the Rotax, but have owned a GA aircraft for many years.

Kind regards
Trevor

--------
Trevor


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JonathanMilbank



Joined: 14 Apr 2012
Posts: 248
Location: Aberdeen area

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Home made soft start module for Rotax 914 Reply with quote

Trevor, I learned the hard way that having a separate starter cranking button can be very useful. My present engine's an 'S' with high compression and I agree totally with what the other respondents have stated. My original engine was a 912UL and never gave starting difficulties, having the same/similar compression to the 914.

However if you opt for a heavier propeller such as the Airmaster and some day find that your battery has low charge, then "kick-back" is a possibility because the propeller inertia needs to be overcome before giving the engine sparks. First press the separate starter button for 1 or 2 seconds before either flicking the "mag" switches to ON or turning the ACS key to BOTH.

This technique is used by many/most pilots who have the 100hp 'S' engines with heavy propellers, or so I'm told. The "hard way" mentioned above involved having to replace the sprag clutch after repeated "kick-backs". A separate starter cranking button is a simple and cheap option.


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trevord



Joined: 10 Jul 2018
Posts: 6
Location: Auckland

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Home made soft start module for Rotax 914 Reply with quote

Thanks Johnathan,

Separate starter and mags makes sense - this is a bit like starting the Stearman or YAK52 - Ha - you have to get the thing moving first before engaging the ignition coils.

I will do this with the wiring then.

All feedback much appreciated

Regards
Trevor


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:38 am    Post subject: Home made soft start module for Rotax 914 Reply with quote

​I agree with Bob​ for what its worth.
the 914 has the same compression ration as the 912.  I hav e a 912 turbo and Ive never had a problem with kick back.
Will

William Daniell

LONGPORT
+57 310 295 0744


On Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 4:10 PM, Robert Borger <rlborger(at)mac.com (rlborger(at)mac.com)> wrote:
Quote:
--> Europa-List message posted by: Robert Borger <rlborger(at)mac.com (rlborger(at)mac.com)>

Trevor,

FWIW, YMMV.  I have been flying behind a 914 that is about 15 years old now.  The only change I have made to my 914 regarding starting was to install the newer, high-torque starter.  My engine starts quickly and easily.  I see no need for any soft-start module, ignition retarding software or any other such stuff.  I suggest you finish your kit following the factory instructions and evaluate how the engine start goes before you get into any changes to the 914.

Blue skies & tailwinds,
Bob Borger
Europa XS Tri, Rotax 914, Airmaster C/S Prop (130 hrs).
Little Toot Sport Biplane, Lycoming Thunderbolt AEIO-320 EXP, Hercules Prop.
3705 Lynchburg Dr.
Corinth, TX  76208-5331
Cel: 817-992-1117
rlborger(at)mac.com (rlborger(at)mac.com)


On Jul 11, 2018, at 2:55 PM, trevord <trevord(at)orcon.net.nz (trevord(at)orcon.net.nz)> wrote:

--> Europa-List message posted by: "trevord" <trevord(at)orcon.net.nz (trevord(at)orcon.net.nz)>

Hello all,

My first posting on Matronics.

I have purchased a Europa kit which was started 19 years ago of wonderful quality workmanship but has an un-started, still inhibited 19 year old Rotax 914 engine. From my research, it would seem the soft-start option is critical to the sprag clutch lasting for any length of time. I have read about the Bullyhawk modules, but they are no longer available and new Rotax ignition modules are expensive.

I read on the Rotax forum about a circuit that was home made that retarded the ignition on start-up by a user called Turbo-Tom but I cannot find enough information to work out how to replicate this and Turbo-Tom seems to have moved-on.

Do any folks out there know of a reliable home-made solution to the defect that was built-in to the original Rotax engines in the form of inadequate time before the timing switched to fully advanced, which is known to destroy the clutch in short order.

My local Rotax importer of course suggests I buy a new engine.

Regards
Trevor
====================================
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====================================
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eferrer" target="_blank">http://forums.matronics.com
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errer" target="_blank">http://wiki.matronics.com
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====================================





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budyerly(at)msn.com
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:49 pm    Post subject: Home made soft start module for Rotax 914 Reply with quote

Trevor and to All:
Kickback of the Rotax was primarily the 912S. The 912 80 HP and 914 were normally immune from this.
Rotax screwed the pooch on the 912S a bit.

The high compression taxed the old starter, and ignition timing was a bit too advanced for the compression and the slow starter rotation during initial start. Bob Berube had one of the early 2000 time frame 912S engines and it would rather run backwards on start than forward even with a light prop. Initially these early 912S engines even had the issue with the Prince P tip which is a very low inertia prop.

Prop inertia was not the problem, the starter just couldn’t hack it. It barely got a 912S up to 200 RPM with a 12 volt battery. The planes with slipper clutches also had a unique issue when the prop spun initially and hit the first compression stroke, the slipper clutch would snap the prop back and forth during the initial start.

That extra snap was hard on the sprag clutch but not as hard as a reverse start when the ignition sparked and caused the detonation prior to TDC and the engine would immediately stop if you were lucky or if one other cylinder fired at just the right time, backwards she’d go possibly running in reverse. If you study the ignition system you can see one of the modules is slightly more advanced than the other so killing the higher advanced ignition on start reduced kickback or reverse start.

Todays 912S is a much better engine. Starting in about 2006 significant 912S changes were started. A better crankcase, a higher torque starter which spins faster, and a properly adjusted sprag clutch, and a slightly improved cam shaft means no start issues any longer, smoother running and a higher TBO.

To live with the older engines, folks learned to have a well charged battery to help the starter.
So keep the starter serviced. Keep the brushes and commutator clean of grease and dust.
(Consider the high torque starter. A non Rotax Sky-tec starter is $400 . Not too bad.)
Many purchased a soft start module which cut back the ignition timing during the first six or so seconds of start on the old 4 pin ignition modules. (Today Rotax wants to sell you a whole new ignition module set (six pins and a yellow tag is the new one which has the soft start built in.))
Others just started on one ignition if they installed separate ignition switches.
Others opened the throttle to get the engine to spin faster, then turned on the ignition, but that meant a separate start and ignition switch. Then they had to pull the throttle back and choke at the same time while cranking…It took 4 hands.

The Rotax factory never admitted they had a problem with the 912S. But they have made significant improvements since 2008.

Props:
Rotax admits that if the prop inertia is below 6K it cannot damage the sprag clutch. No reputable manufacturer produces a prop for a Rotax over the limit. Of course there are those that put too large a prop on the Rotax then blame the prop. You can’t fix stupid.

Warning:
If you have kickback on your old 912S engine or new engine, fix it NOW.
Check your starter, battery, and ignition modules and invest in the electrical gear to fix it. Expect it to cost a pretty penny, but it is worth it.

I’m afraid I am not a fan of the older 912S and avoided them when I could for years. After 2008 I found the newer 912S engines seemed to be fairly free of kickback, and I have installed a couple since 2010 and those clients with the newer engines are pretty much trouble free mechanically. Of course I’m not a huge fan of the 914 either as it has issues but frankly I still prefer it over the 912S. But then again I have a love hate relationship with every engine in an airplane. I’m not prejudice, I hate them all.

Best Regards,
Bud Yerly

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: owner-europa-list-server(at)matronics.com <owner-europa-list-server(at)matronics.com> on behalf of William Daniell <wdaniell.longport(at)gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2018 8:35:59 AM
To: europa-list(at)matronics.com
Subject: Re: Europa-List: Home made soft start module for Rotax 914

​I agree with Bob​ for what its worth.
the 914 has the same compression ration as the 912. I hav e a 912 turbo and Ive never had a problem with kick back.
Will



William Daniell

LONGPORT
+57 310 295 0744




On Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 4:10 PM, Robert Borger <rlborger(at)mac.com (rlborger(at)mac.com)> wrote:
Quote:
--> Europa-List message posted by: Robert Borger <rlborger(at)mac.com (rlborger(at)mac.com)>

Trevor,

FWIW, YMMV. I have been flying behind a 914 that is about 15 years old now. The only change I have made to my 914 regarding starting was to install the newer, high-torque starter. My engine starts quickly and easily. I see no need for any soft-start module, ignition retarding software or any other such stuff. I suggest you finish your kit following the factory instructions and evaluate how the engine start goes before you get into any changes to the 914.

Blue skies & tailwinds,
Bob Borger
Europa XS Tri, Rotax 914, Airmaster C/S Prop (130 hrs).
Little Toot Sport Biplane, Lycoming Thunderbolt AEIO-320 EXP, Hercules Prop.
3705 Lynchburg Dr.
Corinth, TX 76208-5331
Cel: 817-992-1117
rlborger(at)mac.com (rlborger(at)mac.com)


On Jul 11, 2018, at 2:55 PM, trevord <trevord(at)orcon.net.nz (trevord(at)orcon.net.nz)> wrote:

--> Europa-List message posted by: "trevord" <trevord(at)orcon.net.nz (trevord(at)orcon.net.nz)>

Hello all,

My first posting on Matronics.

I have purchased a Europa kit which was started 19 years ago of wonderful quality workmanship but has an un-started, still inhibited 19 year old Rotax 914 engine. From my research, it would seem the soft-start option is critical to the sprag clutch lasting for any length of time. I have read about the Bullyhawk modules, but they are no longer available and new Rotax ignition modules are expensive.

I read on the Rotax forum about a circuit that was home made that retarded the ignition on start-up by a user called Turbo-Tom but I cannot find enough information to work out how to replicate this and Turbo-Tom seems to have moved-on.

Do any folks out there know of a reliable home-made solution to the defect that was built-in to the original Rotax engines in the form of inadequate time before the timing switched to fully advanced, which is known to destroy the clutch in short order.

My local Rotax importer of course suggests I buy a new engine.

Regards
Trevor
====================================
pa-List" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">http://www.matronics.com/Navigator?Europa-List
====================================
FORUMS -
eferrer" target="_blank">http://forums.matronics.com
====================================
WIKI -
errer" target="_blank">http://wiki.matronics.com
====================================
b Site -
-Matt Dralle, List Admin.
rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">http://www.matronics.com/contribution
====================================





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trevord



Joined: 10 Jul 2018
Posts: 6
Location: Auckland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:52 pm    Post subject: Home made soft start module for Rotax 914 Reply with quote

Thanks Bud,
This is amazingly detailed information and exactly what I wanted to know – thanks again.
You mention "I’m not a huge fan of the 914 either as it has issues”
Would you suggestI bear in mind any upgrades in particular once I have done the first start of the 914 ?
Bob Borger mentioned considering the high-tourque starter, so will bear this in mind.
I am planning to use the newer Lithium Iron aviation batteries which should have more power and lighter, any thoughts on that ?
All help appreciated – many thanks
Regards
Trevor

From: <owner-europa-list-server(at)matronics.com (owner-europa-list-server(at)matronics.com)> on behalf of Bud Yerly <budyerly(at)msn.com (budyerly(at)msn.com)>
Reply-To: <europa-list(at)matronics.com (europa-list(at)matronics.com)>
Date: Sunday, 15 July 2018 at 1:48 PM
To: "europa-list(at)matronics.com (europa-list(at)matronics.com)" <europa-list(at)matronics.com (europa-list(at)matronics.com)>
Subject: RE: Home made soft start module for Rotax 914


Trevor and to All:
Kickback of the Rotax was primarily the 912S. The 912 80 HP and 914 were normally immune from this.
Rotax screwed the pooch on the 912S a bit.

The high compression taxed the old starter, and ignition timing was a bit too advanced for the compression and the slow starter rotation during initial start. Bob Berube had one of the early 2000 time frame 912S engines and it would rather run backwards on start than forward even with a light prop. Initially these early 912S engines even had the issue with the Prince P tip which is a very low inertia prop.

Prop inertia was not the problem, the starter just couldn’t hack it. It barely got a 912S up to 200 RPM with a 12 volt battery. The planes with slipper clutches also had a unique issue when the prop spun initially and hit the first compression stroke, the slipper clutch would snap the prop back and forth during the initial start.

That extra snap was hard on the sprag clutch but not as hard as a reverse start when the ignition sparked and caused the detonation prior to TDC and the engine would immediately stop if you were lucky or if one other cylinder fired at just the right time, backwards she’d go possibly running in reverse. If you study the ignition system you can see one of the modules is slightly more advanced than the other so killing the higher advanced ignition on start reduced kickback or reverse start.

Todays 912S is a much better engine. Starting in about 2006 significant 912S changes were started. A better crankcase, a higher torque starter which spins faster, and a properly adjusted sprag clutch, and a slightly improved cam shaft means no start issues any longer, smoother running and a higher TBO.

To live with the older engines, folks learned to have a well charged battery to help the starter.
So keep the starter serviced. Keep the brushes and commutator clean of grease and dust.
(Consider the high torque starter. A non Rotax Sky-tec starter is $400 . Not too bad.)
Many purchased a soft start module which cut back the ignition timing during the first six or so seconds of start on the old 4 pin ignition modules. (Today Rotax wants to sell you a whole new ignition module set (six pins and a yellow tag is the new one which has the soft start built in.))
Others just started on one ignition if they installed separate ignition switches.
Others opened the throttle to get the engine to spin faster, then turned on the ignition, but that meant a separate start and ignition switch. Then they had to pull the throttle back and choke at the same time while cranking…It took 4 hands.

The Rotax factory never admitted they had a problem with the 912S. But they have made significant improvements since 2008.

Props:
Rotax admits that if the prop inertia is below 6K it cannot damage the sprag clutch. No reputable manufacturer produces a prop for a Rotax over the limit. Of course there are those that put too large a prop on the Rotax then blame the prop. You can’t fix stupid.

Warning:
If you have kickback on your old 912S engine or new engine, fix it NOW.
Check your starter, battery, and ignition modules and invest in the electrical gear to fix it. Expect it to cost a pretty penny, but it is worth it.

I’m afraid I am not a fan of the older 912S and avoided them when I could for years. After 2008 I found the newer 912S engines seemed to be fairly free of kickback, and I have installed a couple since 2010 and those clients with the newer engines are pretty much trouble free mechanically. Of course I’m not a huge fan of the 914 either as it has issues but frankly I still prefer it over the 912S. But then again I have a love hate relationship with every engine in an airplane. I’m not prejudice, I hate them all.

Best Regards,
Bud Yerly

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: owner-europa-list-server(at)matronics.com (owner-europa-list-server(at)matronics.com) <owner-europa-list-server(at)matronics.com (owner-europa-list-server(at)matronics.com)> on behalf of William Daniell <wdaniell.longport(at)gmail.com (wdaniell.longport(at)gmail.com)>
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2018 8:35:59 AM
To: europa-list(at)matronics.com (europa-list(at)matronics.com)
Subject: Re: Home made soft start module for Rotax 914

​I agree with Bob​ for what its worth.
the 914 has the same compression ration as the 912. I hav e a 912 turbo and Ive never had a problem with kick back.
Will

William Daniell

LONGPORT
+57 310 295 0744


On Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 4:10 PM, Robert Borger <rlborger(at)mac.com (rlborger(at)mac.com)> wrote:
Quote:
--> Europa-List message posted by: Robert Borger <rlborger(at)mac.com (rlborger(at)mac.com)>

Trevor,

FWIW, YMMV. I have been flying behind a 914 that is about 15 years old now. The only change I have made to my 914 regarding starting was to install the newer, high-torque starter. My engine starts quickly and easily. I see no need for any soft-start module, ignition retarding software or any other such stuff. I suggest you finish your kit following the factory instructions and evaluate how the engine start goes before you get into any changes to the 914.

Blue skies & tailwinds,
Bob Borger
Europa XS Tri, Rotax 914, Airmaster C/S Prop (130 hrs).
Little Toot Sport Biplane, Lycoming Thunderbolt AEIO-320 EXP, Hercules Prop.
3705 Lynchburg Dr.
Corinth, TX 76208-5331
Cel: 817-992-1117
rlborger(at)mac.com (rlborger(at)mac.com)
On Jul 11, 2018, at 2:55 PM, trevord <trevord(at)orcon.net.nz (trevord(at)orcon.net.nz)> wrote:

--> Europa-List message posted by: "trevord" <trevord(at)orcon.net.nz (trevord(at)orcon.net.nz)>

Hello all,

My first posting on Matronics.

I have purchased a Europa kit which was started 19 years ago of wonderful quality workmanship but has an un-started, still inhibited 19 year old Rotax 914 engine. From my research, it would seem the soft-start option is critical to the sprag clutch lasting for any length of time. I have read about the Bullyhawk modules, but they are no longer available and new Rotax ignition modules are expensive.

I read on the Rotax forum about a circuit that was home made that retarded the ignition on start-up by a user called Turbo-Tom but I cannot find enough information to work out how to replicate this and Turbo-Tom seems to have moved-on.

Do any folks out there know of a reliable home-made solution to the defect that was built-in to the original Rotax engines in the form of inadequate time before the timing switched to fully advanced, which is known to destroy the clutch in short order.

My local Rotax importer of course suggests I buy a new engine.

Regards
Trevor
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