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DLE 20 with #4 ignition issues

Old 05-30-2017, 11:30 AM
  #1  
Fletch88
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Default DLE 20 with #4 ignition issues

So after pulling my hair out for 2 weeks with an almost nib dle I purchased a few weeks ago I ran across a thread on this site about the "dreaded" # 4 ignition module. I have tweaked, tuned, replaced spark plugs, pulled fuel tank and lines, removed voltage regulator, and everything in between only to never make it off the ground with my 60 size Great Planes Stick I modded to use this dle 20 on. The engine cranks and idles perfectly. If I can ever get it through mid range it runs top end somewhat ok but not great. Then when I chop throttle it will come down, up, sputter and go all over the place without butterfly ever moving on the carb. The 30 year veteran I bought it from says he never ran it but should be fine and that I am the problem with me and my screwdrivers! Finally he and another gas "expert" tried to help me get it going Saturday and saw first hand what it was and wasn't doing. They concluded it was the reed valves since it ran good on low and high end but not the middle. I took that apart, honed the seats with an Arkansas stone and that did not make any difference.
I have a brand new ignition in my doorstep that I will be trying this afternoon then a new carb coming just in case. I have been trying to get this bird up in the air for over 2 weeks now and have all but given up on this particular DLE. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:15 PM
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:23 PM
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As the DLE 20 is a well known, veteran performer, I'd say a little patience is in order. With the addition of some of that, and the parts you already have on order, I'm curious regarding how you make out.

Best of luck.
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Old 05-30-2017, 05:35 PM
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The higher voltage A-02 #4 ignition is very different creature than the earlier A-01 #4 version. Though they share the same #4 designation, the later version has a very acceptable advance curve. Look on the label to see which version you gave.
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Truckracer View Post
The higher voltage A-02 #4 ignition is very different creature than the earlier A-01 #4 version. Though they share the same #4 designation, the later version has a very acceptable advance curve. Look on the label to see which version you gave.

I received the new #4 ignition yesterday. I installed it along with the optokill I had removed based on advice from another flyer. The engine started and with minimal tuning on HS screw I felt I was ready to maiden. I put kill switch on spring loaded bind button. It tested well so without further adue I decided to maiden.

Had a wonderful, hands off maiden flight going right up until I had no elevator! I have been through the process with 8-10 electrics and this was my first gasser. I don't think I have ever had a better flying plane on first flight. I was not having to give any up elevator or doing anything but big, lazy figure 8's when elevator servo crapped out. I honestly am not sure how I got it inverted, but once at crash scene, I still had aileron(s) but no elevator or rudder. Pretty bummed since I have been pulling my hair out for 2 weeks just trying to get engine to run right. I wish I had put the high torque, metal geared servos I have in the cabinet while I was waiting on ignition to be delivered.
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Last edited by Fletch88; 05-31-2017 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:01 AM
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Sorry it happened, but that is very repairable. Save all the pieces, and put it all away out of sight. Wait 2 weeks or so for your anger, frustration, and shock to wear off, then get it out and fix it. (This works every time for me.)

I once crashed my Giant Stik far worse than this, hitting a high power line while trying to dead stick into the field after running out of fuel. Plane hung on the wires for a second, then fell straight down on its nose from 60 feet. It was a real mess, but after calming down, I rebuilt it, and it's better than new even though a touch heavier. That was 5 years ago, and I love flying my rebuilt Stik.

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Old 05-31-2017, 01:36 PM
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Very true on the comment above.
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:28 PM
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Agree 100% Av8tor! We've all been there before. At least the engine wasn't the cause of the crash.
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Old 05-31-2017, 04:33 PM
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Thanks for the words of encouragement! I have actually started the repair process. I stuck tail back to fuse and it lined up very well and hit it with thin CA. I needed tail weight anyways so I will be adding boxed in patch over section that broke off and moving servos to rear of tail. I had 5 oz of lead added to horizontal stabilizer to get it balanced out with heavy DLE 20 in the front of it. Beefing up the tail section and removing some of that lead should so the trick. She will fly again someday soon.
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Old 05-31-2017, 04:49 PM
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There ya go. Great attitude.

I rounded up some pics on the computer of my crash and subsequent rebuild. If anyone would like to see them I will post them.

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Old 06-16-2017, 06:49 AM
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I have found some of my nicest flying planes at Joe Nall from the trash can.
It's amazing how nice a plane can fly after its been rebuilt from a crash . Patience , balsa and some glue .
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Old 06-16-2017, 02:06 PM
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Yeah, I've been known to "dumpster dive" for some cool finds and repair them too. People sometimes throw away some easily repaired planes in the heat/anger/frustration/disgust and disappointment of the moment after a crash. I sometimes feel guilty taking the planes out of the trash! It almost feels like stealing!

Even with pretty ugly crashes, it is almost always easier to rebuild than build from scratch in the first place. I once bought a lot of airplanes from an experienced modeler that included a few fairly badly crashed ships. A few weeks later when he stopped by my shop and saw the repaired planes, his eyebrows shot up in surprise, and he was sorry he had sold them to me.

Anyone care to see the pics of my Giant Stik rebuild?

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Old 06-16-2017, 02:53 PM
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Some of my alltime best airplanes have been ones that were rebuilt. I seem to appreciate them more the second time around and fly them much harder than I would virgin ones. Its all part of the hobby for me.
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Old 06-16-2017, 03:26 PM
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Yep, me too. We certainly seem to have a lot in common Truckracer. Too bad we don't live closer to one another...

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Old 06-16-2017, 04:18 PM
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Likewise! Maybe I can encourage the wife to visit your area in the colder months. I'm in northern MN right now rebuilding / remodeling an old family cabin built in 1924. Bringing it into this century while keeping it as an old cabin. Airplanes are hundreds of miles away and I'm suffering from withdrawal!
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Old 06-16-2017, 05:15 PM
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Ok, I am way jealous. I love mountain cabins and have done exactly what you are doing myself numerous times. Meanwhile here I am in this dam desert where it is supposed to approach 120 degrees over the next week in a deadly heat wave. It's not safe for man nor beast outside, and the a/c units are bustin' a gut trying to keep up. I went out to the car earlier, turned on the key and the engine was overheated before I even started it up! ;-) No flying here....

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Old 06-18-2017, 07:08 PM
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