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PIREP - Reiff Preheat Systems



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 8th 03, 12:35 AM
Joe Young
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Default PIREP - Reiff Preheat Systems

I recently decided to install an electric engine Preheater in my 1967
Cherokee 140. After reviewing the systems from EZ Start Heat, Inc., Tanis
Aircraft Systems and Reiff Preheat Systems, I chose the Reiff standard
system. Three items made the Reiff system compelling:

1. The system is modular - I initially thought I would start with a sump
heater and add the cylinder heaters later if needed. The Tanis heater is
sold only as a complete unit, and EZ Start does not offer cylinder heaters.
As it turned out, I bought both parts of the Reiff system, but the modular
approach is a nice touch for those of us in regions where the need for a
full system may be somewhat debatable.

2. No need for dual probes - For those of us with CHT probes (used with
cylinder head gauges or engine analyzers) the Reiff system makes the
installation of the cylinder heaters very simple and significantly less
expensive than the Tanis system. Reiff cylinder heaters are based on a
placing a band around the base of each cylinder, and therefore do not need
to share space with the CHT thermocoupler (probe). The special Tanis dual
probes cost $150-$170 apiece, which is over and above the cost of their base
system.

3. Cost/Value - The Reiff system was not inexpensive, but I believe it
represented the most value. The total cost for my application for their
standard system (sump and cylinder heaters) and was $349. The components
bought separately would have totaled $448 ($289 for the cylinder heaters,
and $159 for the sump heater).

I believe the Tanis system would have cost about $595 (although the pricing
seems a bit complicated or confusing) for and installation without CHT
probes. With the probes the cost increased to somewhere above $1000 and
below $1405 depending the type of probes and the application (again, the
pricing chart is a bit confusing).

The EZ Start system (which is a sump heater only) was priced at $159.

The one significant debate between the Reiff and Tanis cylinder heaters is
which one does a better job of heating the cylinders. The Tanis elements are
probes that are inserted in the top portion of the cylinder head, while
Reiff elements are incorporated in a metal band that is clamped (much like a
large, heavy hose clamp) around the base of the cylinders. I am far from
being an engineer, but it seems the debate is without merit since both are
warming the cylinders. In actuality they are within inches of each other.

Installation:

Having chose the Reiff system I placed the order via phone and the kit was
received within a couple of days via UPS ground. The instructions were very
straightforward, easy to follow and complete. I reviewed then in advance,
and then called the company for any additional tips or hints before starting
the installation. Bob Reiff (company founder and owner) answered the phone
on a Saturday morning. He took the time to review the process and offered a
couple of tips to make the process go smoothly.

Within 4 hours (which included removing and re-installing the top and bottom
cowlings, I also worked alone and was not in a hurry) after I started the
unit was installed and plugged-in curing the epoxy that holds the sump
heater in place. All components looked to be of high quality and the design
fit my application without any modifications.

The biggest challenge, based on the instructions, would have been to
fabricate a piece of lumber to hold the sump heater in place during the
curing process. The company actually simplified this about the time I bought
my unit. They now ship a piece of metal tape with each sump unit. The metal
tape holds the unit in place during the epoxy curing process.

Summary:

Bob Reiff has designed and built a "better mousetrap" in the engine
preheating market. His systems are competitively priced, made of high
quality materials and are well designed. The two-year warranty and 30-day
money back offer are nice touches. It is a pleasure doing business with
someone that believed in a concept and took the initiative to bring a
product to the aviation marketplace at an affordable price.

bty...I am not affiliated with the Reiff company in any way, just a pleased
customer.

Joe Young
'67 P28A-140 / K34



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  #2  
Old December 8th 03, 03:29 AM
Matthew P. Cummings
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Default

On Sun, 07 Dec 2003 18:35:12 -0600, Joe Young wrote:

bty...I am not affiliated with the Reiff company in any way, just a pleased
customer.


I installed the bands on my plane a couple years back and they work very
well. The cylinder does indeed get warmed up and it's noticeably easier
to start the plane in cold weather, as in the plane thinks it's 70 degrees
outside when I start it up.

So, now it's a couple years down the road and I'm well pleased with how
they've performed and you will be as well.

  #3  
Old December 8th 03, 04:24 PM
Blanche
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Default

Joe:

You mention you did all the work. Is an A&P signoff required? Or just
your logbook entry?

  #4  
Old December 9th 03, 12:29 AM
Joe Young
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Default

"Blanche" wrote in message
...
Joe:

You mention you did all the work. Is an A&P signoff required? Or just
your logbook entry?


Blanche

Quoting from the installation instructions:

"Installation of this heater is a minor alteration and does not require a
Form 337 or STC , in accordace with FAR Part 43 Appendix B. It does not
require an A&P to install it, but the installation should be inspected and
signed off by an A&P..."

Joe


  #5  
Old December 9th 03, 03:47 AM
Blanche
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Default

Joe Young wrote:
"Blanche" wrote in message
Joe:

You mention you did all the work. Is an A&P signoff required? Or just
your logbook entry?


Blanche

Quoting from the installation instructions:

"Installation of this heater is a minor alteration and does not require a
Form 337 or STC , in accordace with FAR Part 43 Appendix B. It does not
require an A&P to install it, but the installation should be inspected and
signed off by an A&P..."


The word "should" may be misleading. US Govt. documentation uses the
word "shall" to require a mandatory sign-off. Using the word "should"
implies to me (and I'm often wrong!) that it's an option.

  #6  
Old December 9th 03, 05:37 AM
Newps
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Default



Joe Young wrote:
"Blanche" wrote in message
...

Joe:

You mention you did all the work. Is an A&P signoff required? Or just
your logbook entry?



Blanche

Quoting from the installation instructions:

"Installation of this heater is a minor alteration and does not require a
Form 337 or STC , in accordace with FAR Part 43 Appendix B. It does not
require an A&P to install it, but the installation should be inspected and
signed off by an A&P..."


Which begs the question why does someone **** away $150+ on a heater
which doesn't require a 337 or an STC when you can get the same thing
for $35.

  #7  
Old December 9th 03, 01:28 PM
Joe Young
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Default


Which begs the question why does someone **** away $150+ on a heater
which doesn't require a 337 or an STC when you can get the same thing
for $35.


Some of us "**** away" $150+ to keep our birds legal. The Reiff heaters
have a PMA and are FAA approved which means they can legally be installed on
a certified aircraft. I by no means believe all of the bureaucratic
nonsense is necessary, but gave up fighting the system some time ago. I you
don't want to abide by the rules governing certified aircraft then homebuilt
market offers some great alternatives.

Would you also use baling wire and tractor parts in your quest to save $115?

Joe


  #8  
Old December 9th 03, 02:46 PM
Blanche
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Default

Newps wrote:
Joe Young wrote:
"Blanche" wrote in message
Joe:


You mention you did all the work. Is an A&P signoff required? Or just
your logbook entry?


Blanche


Quoting from the installation instructions:
"Installation of this heater is a minor alteration and does not require a
Form 337 or STC , in accordace with FAR Part 43 Appendix B. It does not
require an A&P to install it, but the installation should be inspected and
signed off by an A&P..."


Which begs the question why does someone **** away $150+ on a heater
which doesn't require a 337 or an STC when you can get the same thing
for $35.


And the instructions are still confusing. I would expect (for liability)
them to state "installation *must* be inspected and signed off by
an A&P..." and not "should". From the non-Govt vendor, they don't
use the word "shall" (rather, use "will". Check the dictionary to
see more of this silliness! )

I'm still confused...so what else is new?




  #9  
Old December 9th 03, 08:28 PM
hlongworth
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Default

"Joe Young" wrote in message ...
Some of us "**** away" $150+ to keep our birds legal. The Reiff heaters
have a PMA and are FAA approved which means they can legally be installed on
a certified aircraft.


Joe,
After searching a number of aviation newsgroups on preheat options,
I decided to order a Reiff system to be installed on our new engine
(the Tanis heater came with the old engine could not be reused). My
recollection of various discussions was that one would not need FAA's
approval for a pre heater. I had considered cheaper alternatives:

1. E-Z heat: $160 (300w or less)- oil pan heater
http://www.e-zheat.com/index.htm
2. Safe-Heet $130 (300w) - oil pan heater
http://www.aircraftsupply.com/categories.asp?cID=133
3. ProHeat pad - Model 512 $55 (250w) - oil pan heater (not specified
for aircraft but should work the same)
http://www.engineheaters.com/

Of course, there are cheaper oil pan heating pads for less than $50
but with lower wattage (100w or so).

Our final analysis was that after spending $15K on a new engine, the
price of a more complete (and properly with better temperature
control) system such as the Reiff unit seems reasonable for our peace
of mind.
  #10  
Old December 9th 03, 08:35 PM
Greg Hopp
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Default

Quoting from the installation instructions:
"Installation of this heater is a minor alteration and does not require a
Form 337 or STC , in accordace with FAR Part 43 Appendix B. It does not
require an A&P to install it, but the installation should be inspected and
signed off by an A&P..."


Partner and I interpreted this to mean an A&P signoff was NOT
required, just recommended. Is my Reiff sump heater installation
illegal without the A&P signoff?

why does someone **** away $150+ on a heater which doesn't require
a 337 or an STC when you can get the same thing for $35.


Is there something legal and similar that costs $35? Or are you
referring to fabricating a heater using A/C duct and a blower? $35
won't buy you much in terms of a space heater.

I can't see how that would be as efficient in warming the oil as
putting 125 deg heating strips directly on the oil sump?

Greg
 




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