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Engine starts in reverse?

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Aug 21, 2010
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I flew 20+ hours in the last week, and got plenty of opportunity to start my engine while hot (which is always more challenging than when it's cold). During that period, there were two occasions when pre-ignition started driving the prop backwards and although I immediately killed the ignition it still took 2-3 revs before the prop stopped. (This is an O-360-A4A.)

Is this something that "just happens" every once in a while and is no big deal, or should I be more concerned about it? Can I do something differently in my starting technique to prevent this from happening?

My engine manual says that for hot starts, I shouldn't prime at all. However, I have never been able to get the engine to start when I try that technique. For cold starts, I prime with four shots. For hot starts, I used to start by priming with two shots, but that would almost never start. I would end up priming over and over before it would eventually start. I then tried three shots for a while, and that would usually get it started, but it would take 2-4 cranking attempts before it would catch. I eventually started using 4 shots (same as when cold), and I generally have good results...it will start on the first or second attempt. But maybe 1 out of 10 times, I'll get the "reverse" behavior...

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