SureFly Electronic Ignition

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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by DavidS »

Steve wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:44 am
Rich wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:05 pm
I'm curious if anyone else has experienced any problems? Response to my experience has been lacking here.
Rich, you may be the only DA40 owner on this Forum who has a SureFly installed.
He's.... not. It sounds like we have the same problem right now. I'm guessing you're the "composite plane having grounding problems" that was mentioned to me by their support folks the other day.

Rich - if you want to chat and coordinate efforts, PM me your phone # and a time to call.
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by saramse »

In late February 2020, in preparation for a planned trip to Alaska in June 2020 (now likely delayed/deferred), I decided to go ahead with my planned Magneto Inspection & SureFly (SIM4N) installation. Note that I used the improved power lead/fuse holder from SureFly after issues were identified early on with it (like the one's Rich mentioned in this thread) and my mechanic also put a boot over the hot terminal as Rich also suggested.

Based on everything I read here and discussion with my A&P, I decided it would be best to retain the Slick Start system, so I replaced the Right Magneto with the SureFly. I was at a total of 543 trouble-free hrs since my last rebuild by QAA in Tulsa, OK in April 2018 (Savvy recommends IRAN between 500-600 hrs), so I had QAA in Tulsa do the 500 hr Inspection (IRAN) on my Left Mag. There really were no issues with replacing the Right Mag, since it was easy to move the RPM sensor to the Left Mag as already discussed in this thread and the connection to Cyl #3 intake manifold (to take advantage of the timing advance at altitude) was also close by (note that I found the correct size 90 deg fitting at a nearby Ace Hardware).

My plane (N905PA - bought from Antoine in 2017) is an '08 XLS with PowerFlow exhaust, so at 12 yrs old I also decided to replace the spark plug wiring harness, however I retained my Tempest Fine Wire spark plugs (cleaned).

Due to the Pandemic, I have only been able to put ~14 hrs on the SureFly to date, with no long cross-countries, so I have only limited observations:
1. Starting - has always been easy, so no real difference observed.
2. My first 8 hrs on the SureFly were all at <5000' and were trouble-free. After seeing Rich's note re intermittent "stumbles" at higher altitudes, I decided to climb to 7000' on a recent flight. As I approached 7000' my engine also stumbled but for ~20 sec (EGT's were erratic, up and then down), then returned to normal with no other issues. We subsequently checked all the SureFly connections, as well as, the conventional magneto and did not find any issues. I have not observed the brief intermittent "stumble" issues highlighted by Rich and with an additional 4 hrs (including a climb to 9000') since we checked everything, I have had no issues. At this point, we have no idea what caused my engine to stumble that one time.
3. Power/Speed/Smoothness - no discernible difference yet.
4. Fuel consumption - need more data, but perhaps 0.2-0.3 GPH savings.
5. CHT's - are definitely higher, by ~10F and appear less sensitive to fuel flow / power settings than before (I need to look back and find more comparative data to better assess the impact).
6. LOP operation - I am now able to operate LOP ~25-65F with a smooth engine (versus only 5-30F previously). I completed the Savvy Test Profile at 9000', which if you are familiar with that, ends with a test of your magneto/wiring harness by running on 1 Mag at a time while operating LOP at the onset of noticeable engine vibration. In my case, this was with the last cylinder to peak at ~25F LOP (other cylinders were ~40-65F LOP). I observed the usual increase in EGT's (~125-150F) when switching to the Left (conventional magneto), but observed a smaller increase (<100F) in EGT's when running only on the SureFly (is this a side effect of the timing advance on the SureFly?). Note that prior to this Mag IRAN/SureFly installation I could never operate more than 5-10F LOP on the last cylinder to peak without excessive roughness, so this is a definite improvement.

I'll share any additional learning when able.
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by Rich »

DavidS wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:24 am
Steve wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:44 am
Rich wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:05 pm
I'm curious if anyone else has experienced any problems? Response to my experience has been lacking here.
Rich, you may be the only DA40 owner on this Forum who has a SureFly installed.
He's.... not. It sounds like we have the same problem right now. I'm guessing you're the "composite plane having grounding problems" that was mentioned to me by their support folks the other day.

Rich - if you want to chat and coordinate efforts, PM me your phone # and a time to call.
PM sent.

While I've had several incidents since working over the fuse holder, the longest interruption was roughly 2 seconds. Almost all were less than 1 second. So I've been unable to observe/record any other details about the incidents. I've shared my latest tweak with Surefly and am waiting to see what they say. If this happens again, I'll be revisiting the power feed issue - up to and including fashioning a completely new feed wire assembly.
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by Rich »

I got to wondering what sort of output the SF puts onto the p-lead to detect when it's grounded, so I asked. FWIW, here's the reply:

The P-lead puts out a 60V spike on top of a +10V offset. Standard mags produce about a 300V spike.
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by saramse »

Rich, if you mean you sent me a PM, I have not received anything.
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by Rich »

saramse wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:38 pm
Rich, if you mean you sent me a PM, I have not received anything.
Sent to the wrong recipient :oops: . Should be there now.
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by Rich »

Ultrapilot1 wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:16 pm
MarkA wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:02 am
Steven, do you have any performance data that you can share since installing the Surefly ignition?

Also, were you able to activate the variable timing option since it appears to be available in Surefly’s application guide for the IO360-M1A, but a previous post indicated it might not yet be ready? I was wondering if the variable timing produced any significant changes to your cruise performance.

Thanks!
I have not had a chance to document any changes. I did connect the variable timing as Surefly has received permission to use it. All of my recent flights have been local. No cross country flights as yet so I can only report that I don't feel any significant change (seat of pants). I should see some fuel savings on a cross country but my priority was to eliminate the 500 hr. overhaul of at least one of my Mags. Any other benefit was just the whipped cream on the cake.
Steven, Have you seen any of the anomalies some of the rest of us have experienced with the SF?
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by saramse »

After further analysis and discussion with Savvy, we have concluded that the event I described above (20 sec rough running engine) was most likely NOT due to the SureFly Magneto that I installed 14 tach hrs earlier. A review of the data from the flight showed that during the event, the RPM varied from 2700 down to 2500. As we all know, the RPM does not drop inflight at high RPM’s when a Mag is switched off (as is done at the end of the Savvy Test Profile). This suggests possible fuel contamination. I had just refueled and conducted the usual tank/sump checks, which were OK. But with our multi-tank system, it can take some time for water introduced with fuel to make its way to the engine.

We also observed during the Savvy Test Profile that I completed immediately after the engine roughness, it showed a GAMI spread (fuel flow range over which each cylinder’s EGT peaks) of ~0.8 GPH. My engine has historically shown a GAMI spread of only 0.3 GPH, so clearly something was amiss with the fuel flow.....possibly contamination.

Also, following discussion with Rich yesterday, it is clear that my event was very different from the 1-2 sec “stumbles” that he has experienced. I also reviewed my flight logs since the SureFly install and I don’t see any data indicative of any momentary drop out of the SureFly.

I’ll keep an eye on it, but for now will assume that the SureFly is operating normally and not the cause of issue I described above.

If anyone else has any experience with the SureFly, please let us all know......there are many folks hoping to avoid on-going Magneto Inspections/Rebuilds and the SureFly looks like the route.
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by MarkA »

Rich wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:38 pm
MarkA wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:27 pm
I'm curious about how (or if) the recommended "Engine Power at % of Max Take-Off Power" settings in the POH (attached) should be adjusted to account for the SureFly advancing the timing during cruise flight. Any thoughts?
I haven't done much detailed investigating in that area. I don't take those charts as gospel, though. They were never adjusted for the Powerflow, for one thing. I think at the same power settings and EGTs I've long used that fuel consumption may be down by about 1/2 GPH. In any case, I tend to not worry too much about what the book says, ever since I added the Powerflow a number of years ago. Most of us have that system. As one who converted from the original, I can say that the POH was pretty spot-on before, but not after.

I posed the same question about the power settings in the POH to Mike Busch at Savvyaviator.com and his response was that in general the Surefly's timing advance will increase CHT and lower the absolute value of EGTs. Therefore, if you follow his leaning advice (e.g., lean to always keep the CHTs below 380), you'll automatically go leaner (if LOP) or richer (if ROP) than you would have done without the SureFly timing advance.

He also indicated the advanced timing should have a noticeable effect on cruise fuel efficiency. The higher CHT indicates more energy is being extracted from the fuel during the power stroke, and the lower EGT indicates that less energy is being wasted out the exhaust. These are indirect indications of the increased fuel efficiency; the direct indication will obviously be be NM/gal read from the G1000.
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by Rich »

MarkA wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 6:16 am

I posed the same question about the power settings in the POH to Mike Busch at Savvyaviator.com and his response was that in general the Surefly's timing advance will increase CHT and lower the absolute value of EGTs. Therefore, if you follow his leaning advice (e.g., lean to always keep the CHTs below 380), you'll automatically go leaner (if LOP) or richer (if ROP) than you would have done without the SureFly timing advance.

He also indicated the advanced timing should have a noticeable effect on cruise fuel efficiency. The higher CHT indicates more energy is being extracted from the fuel during the power stroke, and the lower EGT indicates that less energy is being wasted out the exhaust. These are indirect indications of the increased fuel efficiency; the direct indication will obviously be be NM/gal read from the G1000.
This jives with my observations, objective though they may be. I haven't yet done much investigating LOP with Surefly, but the other day I was a bit sloppy and went well lean of peak inadvertently - far deeper than I have been able to go prior.
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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