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Looking for input re: an inspection opportunity during overhaul


Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Mar 29, 2020
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Northeast Kingdom, VT
1973 Starduster Too acquired Q3 2022, now registered as N321VT, located in Newport, VT. The engine (O-320 E1A) is being completely overhauled (will go from 150hp to 160hp) and so the plane is really well exposed at the moment. We're looking for suggestions on what to inspect in detail at this time because we can do a very detailed inspection of the plane now.

Thus far we've removed a lot of extraneous wiring, added a complete set of engine monitoring (EDM350), overhauled the governor, replaced the carburetor, replaced the exhaust system, added new oil filter system, replaced one cylinder (cracked exhaust port, re-worked 3 others to ".010 over", crank and cam overhauled, and everything else needed to "0" time the engine. We've looked at all the metal frame tubing for cracks and rust and the results are quite good. Peering into the inspection holes to see the spars, stitching, ribs, etc. looks very good. We're using a Vividia 400 borescope to get photos in there. Fabric already tested to aerobatic standards with a Maule tester (ouch) during the pre-buy last year. We had a chance to rehab the tailwheel last fall. We'll look carefully at both mains including the brakes during this overhaul. We're planning for a new panel, but the flight instruments will wait until next winter. This winter's upgrades are focused on engine instrumentation, so we removed a bunch of older gauges in favor of the nice JPI EDM350.

My question for the brain trust is, are there some more specific things (and techniques we should use to do so) that you'd suggest we do or look at very closely during this opportunity? We don't want to miss anything while the plane is so exposed. I'm planning on "light aerobatics" use for this plane this coming summer.


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