Running an Engine at a College, required items. #1


Several builders headed to Corvair College #24 next month have asked what their engines need to get a run in on the stand. Here is a quick list of the things that the stand comes equipped with, and a second list of the things your engine needs. Below are several photos of running engines on the stand from past colleges. There are photos of more than 100 different engines running on our stand on our main website, Decide today that your engine is going to be one of them, and head to the college to make progress like these builders have.

Above, at College #21, Delton Perry just after the first run of his 2700cc engine. Delton is also pictured in our Zenith open house post recently. This is a good photo illustrating that building your engine feels a little different that buying one….

Items that the run stand is equipped with:

A full exhaust system An air box that covers any front starter engine an ignition system that has everything but a distributor. (the stand has its own cap and plug wires) Instrumentation for oil pressure and temp and rpm, A battery and starter switch, engine mounting bushings and bolts. An intake that works with both stock heads and one that works with welded on pipes. The stand has its own MA3 carb, fuel tank, air cleaner and throttle. The stand has its own propeller and mounting bolts.

Things which your engine needs to run: (beyond the obvious stuff)

A distributor, (either e/p or dual points), valve covers with a breather arrangement, a starter with ring gear, etc, (the stand has run engines with rear starters, but it requires a lot of additional parts, you must call me in advance if you want to try this. We have not run a rear start engine since college 9 or 10). If you have a bolt on intake pipe joint at the head which is not a stock GM casting, you need to call me in advance so we can have you make a set of adaptors. Builders all need an oil filter, 5 quarts of Shell Rotella T 15W-40, and a bottle od ZDDP additive from Clark’s or other source.  (We have all the oil priming tools for the test stand, you don’t need a drill nor a dummy shaft.) If your engine has a 5th bearing, you need an oil line for it, I bring parts to make these hoses, if you have your own parts, I will make it on the spot with you. Engines running on the stand typically do not use an oil cooler. If you have a system that uses a stock 12 plate, we are going to run it with the cooler in place. If you have a HD oil system with one of our sandwich adaptors,  we have a bypass hose to eliminate the cooler for the first run. ( We want the oil to come to temp quickly. The engine in the prop blast without a cowl does not heat up the oil to the point of having to have a cooler. If you have one of our Pre-gold oil systems, oil top covers, call me before the college, I can make arrangements to run this also. (It is out of date, but we still support it)


 Above, Steve Sims lies in “Superman” position on the back of my truck in the 125 mph prop blast of his newly running engine at CC#17 in FL in 2010. Building and flying planes is good fun to be had in the middle of learning and enjoying the company of fellow builders. Many aviation tech seminars are little more than power point presentations in the Holiday in Banquet room, hosted by salesmen in clip on ties. Corvair Colleges are a little more fun than that.

Ron Lendon, First run at CC#17. He flew this engine in his 601 to Oshkosh this year. Getting your engine running is an important milestone on the path to success.

Bob Lester at CC#17, he ran his engine at night, when it was good and chilly in the prop wash. This engine is now flying on Bob’s Pietenpol, and he is already registered to fly into CC#24.

Steve Makish at CC#17, learned from Bob’s night run and ran his engine during the warmth of the day.  Steves engine is now flying on his KR-2.

One Reply to “Running an Engine at a College, required items. #1”

  1. William, is it possible to thread a crank for a safety shaft in the block? See you at Barnwell.

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