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The Simple Facts

  • Prop balancing does not correct or mask other engine problems.
  • Prop balancing is not engine balancing, rather it is a finely tuned marriage of the prop to the engine under normal operating conditions.   
  • Pilots will grow accustomed to almost any vibration level over time.
  • 4 out of 5 pilots believe their engines are running smoothly immediately after overhaul. This is normally only a 'perceptual' improvement as new 'Lord' mounts function exceptionally well, isolating prop unbalance vibration to the engine where it can nonetheless undermine reliability.
  • 4 out of 5 props require 20-40 grams to reduce unbalance and vibration to zero after overhaul.
  • A 30 gram static unbalance becomes a 75 pound oscillating side-load at the front engine bearing at 2400 rpm.
  • A one mil 'installation error' between the centerline/interface of a perfectly balanced prop and the engine crank flange results in ~.3 ips/50 lb side-load at the front engine bearing.
  • 90% of prop/engine installations are off centerline by at least 1 Mil. The weight/gravity alone of the prop hanging on the prop bolts as they are torqued guarantees at least some interface/centerline error.            
  • Vibration causes work hardening/metal fatigue which leads to cracks over time.
  • Instruments and avionics are sensitive to vibration damage which is often expensive to repair.
  • Prop unbalance and the resulting vibration amounts to wasted energy.
  • Vibration exacerbates pilot fatigue and can cause passenger concerns.
  • Years of experience, skill and digital equipment are prerequisite to spin balancing a prop to within 1/10th gram.