Running an Engine at a College, required items. #2


This letter came in from Pietenpol builder John Francis:

“William, I attended CC #20 and was happy to have my case checked out by Roy and get it assembled. I am slowly gathering the parts I need to complete the engine. What engine components are necessary to have my engine running at a Corvair College? Or, perhaps it would be easier to list those I don’t need ie carb, alternator, prop, etc? Perhaps as you publish the numbered groups you could put an asterisk by those that are needed to get an engine running at a CC college.”

Above 49 of the 70 Corvair builders at CC#20 in Hillsdale MI June 2011.

John, Thanks for your note. Looking at the photo of the builders at CC#20 brought back a lot of memories and made me think of all the things we will get done at Colleges this year.

Corvair College #20 

John has a very good on line builders log with lots of pictures of his project. I borrowed this one of John at CC#20 from his site at :

 Fifth Bearing installed on engine 

I borrowed this one also, it shows Johns ‘closed case’ with an original Dan Gen 1 bearing installed. This is one of Dan’s original housings, the first 120 or so were heat-treated castings. Today they are made from CNC billets of  6061. Dan made the switch to take out a lot of the different steps in the manufacturing process like working with a foundry and heat treater.  They cost more to make as a billet, but he kept the same price to builders.

Above, Spenser Gould, designer and Builder of the SP-500, with his first engine run at CC#23 in Palatka Florida, June 2012.

…..You are correct, it is easier to list the things that live on our run stand that a builder doesn’t need to bring. Looking at the above photo from#23 for reference, the test stand comes with:

Full exhaust system.

intake and carb and throttle connections, and hardware.

its own self-contained fuel system.

All the ignition components except the distributor.

It has its own bushings and mounting hardware.

the stand uses the cooling baffle on all the test runs.

Propeller and mounting hardware.


To run, engines don’t need a charging system. However, you will see a lot of them running in pictures with the Front alternator bracket (2900) in place, because the inboard bracket for this item fits behind the ring gear, and it is much easier to mount it before the ring gear and hub are on.

The only part of the ignition you need is an E/P distributor or a dual points one.

The intake on the stand is designed to mate with welded on head pipes that match the pattern I developed in 2004. I also have a set of adaptor pipes that mate the stands intake to stock Corvair heads, but this takes a bit of time, and I often try to run these engines last at the Colleges. If a builder is using his own custom intake pipes on the heads, he needs to make a set of pipes that will mate to his heads and to our intake. I will put in a good try to run such engines, but they go last and we don’t guarantee that we can do it. We have succeeded in about 4 out of 5 tries in past colleges.

Virtually all engines run at the last few colleges had Gold oil systems. One or two had stock GM ones. If you have an old remote oil filter system, you need to bring your own filer, housing and hoses. Six or seven  years ago the run stand had these items mounted on it, but they are no longer there. If you have questions on this call or write. I would like to run a lot of engines at Colleges this year, it is a very big mile stone in a builders progress that is always a special event.-ww

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