Regardless of the weather, your 180HP Extreme Performance Cessna 172 should keep its cool when it comes to engine temperature. If it’s running hotter than normal, Air Plains Services, a global leader in extreme performance engine upgrades for Cessna aircraft, recommends a quick inspection of the engine baffle as a first step.
“Our first 180 horse power upgrades, our XP brand, go back to the 1980s so it’s normal to see signs of wear on engine baffles, and that can be the cause of higher engine temps,” said Mike Kelley, owner of Air Plains Services. “The silicon seals can lose shape and the aluminum baffle can crack – that’s just normal over time. Baffles are critical to cooling the engine and engine oil, and one of the first things we recommend checking.”
Baffle assemblies form a high-pressure chamber around the engine and channel cooler ram air through the cylinder and oil cooler. Worn or cracked baffle assemblies can cause a loss in pressure and the cooler air escapes, resulting in higher engine temperature.
“The difference in cooling efficiency from even a small baffle anomaly can be surprising, and it’s very easy to check,” Kelley said. “Our baffle assemblies are designed specifically for our 180XP STC and come complete with all the hardware and fittings your mechanic needs to replace individual baffle sections or the entire assembly.”
The standard aluminum/silicon baffle assembly from Air Plains arrives ready for installation. The aluminum fitting is powder coated – that’s a standard feature – and the orange silicon seal is attached. Other colors are available at a slightly higher cost.
“We fabricate these in our own shop which gives us better quality control throughout the process,” Kelley added. “Since we already have a robust, global distribution network for our engine upgrades and parts, we can quickly ship our baffle kits anywhere in the world.”
Air Plains has produced more 2,500 Cessna 172 180XP upgrades, based on the Lycoming O-360A, for aircraft around the world.Air Plains Services, based in Wellington, Kansas, is a global leader in XP high performance engine upgrades for most Cessna 172, 180 and 182/182RG piston aircraft. In addition to installing the 180XP and 300XP engine upgrades in its modern facility south of Wichita, Air Plains stands apart from most other companies, shipping complete, ready-to-install engine upgrade kits anywhere in the world. The company is a Cessna Authorized Service Center, providing all levels of maintenance for a variety of Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft and offers more than 500 PMA aircraft parts for a variety of aircraft. Air Plains Services, celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2017, is also the home of the InPulse ADI modification that allows high compression aircraft engines to use low-lead auto fuel. For more information, visit the Air Plains website at www.airplains.com and follow the company on the Air Plains Facebook page. For information on Air Plains’ Inpulse system for unleaded auto fuel, visit www.flyinpulse.com.