Some time ago, I posted a note re: some low RPM vibration problems with a Rotax 582. I thought that the Usenet community would be interested in knowing the cause.
I took the engine in for repair this winter. The mechanic informed me that one of the gears in the gear box had lost 4 teeth; those teeth were
floating around in the gear box and it is something of a minor miracle that they did not get enmeshed in the gears and destroy the engine. The low RPM vibration caused by the resultant slippage of the gears was so severe that
it almost destroyed the crankshaft. Fortunately, the rest of the engine survived (and so did I and my plane) and I should be up in the air again soon.
The lesson? Be very, very suspicious when the engine behaviour changes radically. I put a few hours on the engine with this problem and consider myself luck not to have destroyed the engine, the plane, or myself.
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