I have about half a dozen Saito's to date, and held the product in the highest esteem.
A new VQ warbird build was going to be the home a brand new Saito 72, of which I already have 2.
Everything went fine on the engine test stand, bolted the motor to the plane and went to test run it before putting the cowl on (you KNOW they always change tune).
Turning over by hand to prime it had virtually no compression.
Odd I thought, I have just run this in.
But it ran OK on the stand so I put the electric starter on to draw fuel through when I noticed jets of vapour shooting out from the top of the head. ???
A closer look revealed the plug hanging out by it's last thread.
Removing it and inspecting the plug hole showed ALL the thread was gone.
Now I have about a dozen assorted brand glow engines as well as the Saito's and have used the principle of 'finger start threads, then spanner tighten' and always 'check plug tension on new motors'.
I have never stripped a glow thread, cross threaded one, and this is one of those cases where you can start to doubt yourself.
And I knew the agent was going to give standard excuse #3 as to how I had done this.
So when I returned the motor to the LHS (always helpful people and they no judgements) for them to send to the agent for repair, I purchased another brand new Saito 72 so I could get this warbird into the air.
Back to the engine stand, fit motor, CHECK PLUG and tighten (they are always only finger tight straight from the box), fuel up, and turn motor over by hand to prime...
NO... the motor would not turn but rather hit a definite object inside, preventing it from going any further.
Strange, so rotate the prop backwards, carefully, got 360deg and clunk, dead stop again.
F&%^K, what is going on here. There is definitely something loose inside preventing rotation.
Lucky I didn't just whack the electric starter on.
Took motor off stand and you could actually rattle it. Turn it upside down and hear the 'object' inside drop, and you could rotate the engine.
Now the agent, far from being sympathetic, tells me that both motors will be repaired only, and there is no guarantee that it will be covered by warranty.
Not only that, but it will be 2 to 4 weeks wait.
Sorry Saito, this is not the product/service that I had come to expect.
So I guess I have posted this as a heads up to all Australian modellers if they are considering Saito.
It might be wise these days to look further afield.
The ASP's I run are cheaper, now more reliable, and I get good service on them.
Anyone else being shafted by the Australian Saito agents?