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Winter Ops and Preheating

To start the Champs and Cubs in the winter you first have to get yourself in the right frame of mind.  Champs and Cubs do not like to start when it's cold.  Not only that but they don't like to stay running even after they start.  Once you accept that fact then we can learn how to start them and keep them running.  I can tell you this....  once you do get them started it can be a really fun adventure and you'll even be able to brag about the performance...  a little!

So, here's the procedure step by step:


  1. PREHEAT:  No preheat then forget it.  For best results electric style heaters need to be on for 1 hour prior to flight.  Gas heaters 20-30 mins and do not leave gas heaters unattended.
  3. Pull prop through 8 times with throttle CLOSED.  This sucks fuel into the cylinders.  When you see fuel drip out the bottom of the cowl you should stop pulling the prop.... you've effectively primed the engine. 
  4. Carb Heat on.  Leave on until just before take-off.
  5. 2 strokes on primer and leave out, ready to add more as it's running.
  6. Ignition on Left Mag Only.
  7. Throttle still closed, carb heat still on, pull prop to start. Do not pump throttle!  Do not push throttle foward!  Keep throttle closed!Use primer as necessary to keep running.  Once started mags on both.
  8. If you go to taxi and the engine starts to quit then DO NOT ADD THROTTLE.  Matter of fact just the opposite, if engine starts to quit then pull throttle back to the stop.

Very seldom will this technique not work.  If it doesn't work then either it's too cold to fly or the airplane needs some work.

Sometimes you can flood an engine but quite frankly it's highly unlikely in the winter time with these 65hp Continental engines.  Remember the primer runs directly to the carb (not the cylinders) and fuel dripping on the ground after you operate with the primer does not necessarily mean that you're flooded!  However, if you are convinced that it's flooded then simply open the throttle to the full open position and turn the prop BACKWARDS several times (probably 8-12 times) in order to clear out the cylinders.  Once completed you can start over using the above procedure.