Changing the Routing of the Prop Control Cable

Written by Steven Ells
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December 2015

Q: Hi Steve,

I’m the proud second owner of a 1978 Cessna R182. I bought it from the guy in the next hangar. He was very proud of his airplane and had spent many an hour down at the airport washing and polishing it.

Unfortunately for him—but fortunately for me—he only flew it on days with perfect weather. The sky had to be absolutely cloud-free and the wind speeds had to be below five knots. Total time on the airframe and engine is 1,322 hours which averages out to 36 hours a year.

During my first annual, my mechanic suggested that I install a mod that changes the routing of the prop governor control cable. He said the original routing is dangerous.

I took a look, but can’t figure out what he’s concerned about. Can you explain?

—Retractable Rob

A: Hi Rob,

Your mechanic is correct. Cessna routed the prop control cable on the 1978 and 1979 R and TR 182s under the cylinders on the left side of the engine before securing the outer housing to the forward side of the cylinder baffle on number-two cylinder.

That baffle has a tendency to crack. If the cracks progress, the possibility exists for the housing to become unanchored. When that happens, the housing will drop down due to its weight—and the prop control cable attached to governor arm that controls engine rpm will also drop down.

These changes to the housing and prop control cable cause the engine rpm to change dramatically and the engine will immediately slow way down. This will immediately drive up the manifold pressure and scare the bejesus out of you and your passengers.

Cessna service kit SK182-75A is available for around $2,500 to change the routing of the prop control cable so it runs above the cylinders. A search of the internet shows that Air Power, Inc., Broadie’s Aircraft Parts and Yingling Aviation all stock this service kit.

The revised routing increases the smoothness of prop rpm control and extends the life of the cable. The prop governor has to be reconfigured to accommodate the cable rerouting.

Happy flying.

 

Know your FAR/AIM and check with your mechanic before starting any work.

Steve Ells has been an A&P/IA for 43 years and is a commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings. Ells also loves utility and bush-style airplanes and operations. He’s a former tech rep and editor for Cessna Pilots Association and served as associate editor for AOPA Pilot until 2008. Ells is the owner of Ells Aviation (EllsAviation.com) and lives in Templeton, Calif. with his wife Audrey. Send questions and comments to .