Guest Editorial, Pietenpol builder Terry Hand.

Builders;

Tonight’s Guest editorial is from Pietenpol builder Terry Hand. Terry was motivated to write this by attending several Corvair events and watching many of the builders present share their expertise with other builders. Previously I have written about different entry points into experimental aviation. Terry is arriving from a long professional background of a USMC/ATP experience. As he relates, some of this directly applies to experimental building and flying, and some does not. In a story last week I commented on arrivals from other branches of aviation already understanding the ‘rules.’ The following piece is Terry’s contribution to his fellow builders, bringing some perspectives from his other lives in aviation.

Like our other editorials, I encourage builders to cover their thoughts in 2 or 3 thousand words. In most communication places on the web, this would be a titanically long piece. However, I am not running this site so that we see how brief exchanges can be. important topics should be covered in more than bumper sticker  slogan depth. This is not the trend in our industry. For 10 years there has been a move toward the 400 word story. Even EAA publications had an in-house memo stating that they would never publish a story that was 1,500 words again, even on-line. This was a concession to data that showed the new marketing target was a generation of people bred by tv and the internet to have very short attention spans, and they “didn’t like reading about concepts nor details.” Does that sound like the kind of people we need more of in flying? Have no worries, people like that don’t get far in flying and they are easy to steer clear of.

In the Corvair movement we are blessed to have many thinking people with long diverse experience to share. I will confess to shamelessly welcoming people who are inclined to learn, think and consider. Most of my waking hours are spent on the subject of aviation, there is no reward, monetary or otherwise that would make me want to share those hours with people who blindly wandered though aviation, treating it as another consumer experience, unaware of, or not interested in any of the things that go into becoming a better aviator. Send those people to the shopping malls, airports are for people who are alive and awake.-ww

.Above, Terry Hand with his steel tube Pietenpol at CC#24

.

 “Common Logic and Philosophy in Aviation”

 

It may be useful to introduce myself and my background in aviation at the beginning so that anyone reading this can see the path I have traveled in my flying. I began my flying career where thousands of pilots have done both before and after me – NAS Whiting Field, Florida, and Navy Flight School. I was in the better part of Naval Aviation – Marine Aviation! I went through fixed wing Primary Flight Training followed by Advanced Helicopter Training. I went to my first squadron as a UH-1N (Huey) pilot in Hawaii for 3 years and flew off of Helicopter Assault Ships in the Western Pacific for 14 months. I followed that tour by eventually returning to Pensacola as an instructor in Primary Flight Training, instructing in T-34C’s. I left the Marine Corps and went to work for a major airline and worked my way through my career as an engineer on 727’s and L1011’s, and First Officer and Captain on 727’s, 737’s 757’s 767’s and MD-88’s. During my career at my airline I spent almost five years as an instructor in 757’s and 767’s. I currently fly as a Captain on 757’s and 767’s both domestically and internationally. I am a CFI and CFII, and have instructed in everything from Cessna 172’s to Boeing 767’s. SO what does all of that mean? It means I have seen good principles, and bad principles, good decisions and bad decisions in aviation, and I have seen the positive and negative results. I have seen near misses, and I have squadron mates that I will never see again that were killed over the Pacific due to bad decisions. So here are a few principles that I have learned over the years in my flying career that I think carry over into the construction of my aircraft of choice (a steel-tube fuselage Pietenpol), and my engine of choice (a 2700cc “Bob Baker” Corvair). In no particular order-

 

 

  1. When planning and decision making, always plan for the worst to occur. If bad things don’t happen – you sleep well at night. If bad things do happen – you were ready. Let me give you an example. When I flew helicopters, I learned very early on not to fly from Point A to Point B. Rather, I learned to fly from Point A to a farmer’s field (one I could autorotate to and land on in the event of a catastrophic failure of some kind) to another field, to a parking lot, to a football field, and then to another field, on my way to Point B. It was the philosophy that, if a catastrophic failure occurred, I had choices and had a good chance of surviving. How does this apply to building my airplane? If the plans call for aviation quality plywood for building gussets, and you find a good price on some plywood at the local big-box store, stop building and go get the right material. Do not assume that it is probably okay to use that plywood.Plan for the worst. In another example, that is why I won’t route any fuel lines through the cockpit area and I won’t use plastic fish tank tubing for my fuel system. If I spend a few extra bucks and buy quality fuel line materials and fittings and never make an off-field landing – I sleep well at night. If It does happen, and my gear collapses, or the aircraft suddenly comes to a crashing halt – I am much more likely to avoid fuel leaking and causing a catastrophic fire.

  2. Skills may be similar, but they are not always equal. In my commercial aviation career I have flown everything from the 737-200 to the large 767-400ER. In the course of my career I flew for several years as a co-pilot on the Boeing 727. What a great airplane! We use to jokingly say that you could probably hit the Outer Marker on an ILS approach at 250 knots and still be able to slow down and configure the airplane for landing by the time you got to the runway. I am not sure it was a true statement, but it wasn’t far off. Pull the power off, and man could that airplane slow down! Contrast that with the 757/767 series of aircraft that are extremely clean aerodynamically. Especially the updated 757‘s with winglets. We often tell the controllers when they request a steep descent along with a speed reduction, “I can slow down, or I can go down, but I can’t do both.” If you tried to fly the 757 in the same manner as you flew the 727, you would always be high and fast on approaches. Yes, they are both airplanes (and Boeing products at that), but the skills required to fly them are different. The same is true with skills we bring to building our aircraft. You may be a gear head from your teenage years (I certainly wish I was), but the ability to tear down a rebuild an auto engine is nowhere near equal to building a Corvair. To equate the two and the knowledge and decision-making required is to run the risk of hurting yourself or someone else by building an engine that may be roadworthy, but not airworthy. The skills may be similar but not equal.

  3. Listen to experience, and don’t try to blaze new trails. Trust me, you are not the first guy to come up with that idea. When I was an instructor in Pensacola, we taught from an extremely standardized syllabus, one that allowed us to evaluate all students against a known training standard. Every once in a while a new instructor would arrive, and he just KNEW that his way of teaching a skidded turn stall recovery or an emergency landing was just a little bit better than “the Navy way.” While it was admirable that he wanted to improve the syllabus, usually his way was a way that had been studied, evaluated, and found to not work as well as the approved method. And usually his way didn’t teach the student as well as the approved method and the students training actually suffered as a result. So how does that apply to building an airplane? Are you using AC 43.13 as your road map of acceptable construction methods? Or have you decided that it only applies to certificated aircraft, and you don’t need it. In reading The Corvair Manual, do you find things that you are doing to be at odds with what the manual has told you is the tried and tested method of doing things? Blazing a new trail usually isn’t new, and don’t be surprised if you get stuck by some thorns while blazing that “new” trail.

  4. Footnotes and warnings are often written in blood. Don’t add yours. In the world of Naval Aviation, our POH was referred to as ‘“the NATOPS Manual” (short for Naval Aviation Training and Operations Procedures Standardization, a real mouth full, so NATOPS was just easier to say). All through the NATOPS manual were highlighted cautions, warnings and footnotes. When I was a student, I had an Instructor in Pensacola teach me early on when he said, “Read and heed those warnings. Most of them are written in blood.” What he meant was most of those warnings were added after some pilot had done something wrong in operating the aircraft that either damaged the aircraft, injured or killed someone, or had done both. How does this apply to our discussion? I look at my Corvair Manual as the “NATOPS manual” of building and maintaining my engine. If it tells me not to do something, there is most likely a story behind that warning. Maybe it is the story of an engine being built incorrectly and causing undue expense or delays in the building process, or worse, damage to the aircraft or pilot.

  5. Standardization does not inhibit freedom. It enhances it safety. I have spent the lion’s share of my flying career in jobs with numbers of checklists and standardized procedures. I used to think that checklists were sometimes excessive and prevented me from “being an individual” (whatever that means). Real men don’t need checklists, do they? I felt that they made me just a robot pilot like all other robot pilots. Then I came to this revelation when I was a 767 instructor many years into my flying career. The purpose of checklists was not to make you a robot or take away your freedom. Rather, it was to identify the big stuff – the stuff that would kill you. The checklist helped you to take care of those items, then gave you the freedom to fly within those boundaries set by the checklists. Think of it this way in your own flying. Look at the checklist you use in flying any airplane. Read the checklist and leave an item out and ask yourself, “If this step was not part of the checklist and I forgot to do it, what is the worst thing that could happen?” Refer back to Point 1 above. So how does this apply to building? Again, I refer to the instruction provided by the Corvair Manual, fly corvair.com and flycorvair.net. Those documents and writings may not be formal checklists of how to build and maintain your engine, but they are pretty darn close. Use those checklists to avoid that things that can hurt you, thus leaving you the freedom to build your engine your way in the areas left to your discretion.

  6. Practice, Practice, Practice. I have been in a training environment for a large portion of my flying career. I can remember as a student in Pensacola spending time in cockpit procedures trainers (non-moving simulators) as well as full motion simulators practicing my checklists, start procedures, maneuvers, and emergency procedures long before I ever set foot in an airplane. The practice made my flying better, and the end product (me, as a pilot) was better than if I had just tried to learn as I went along. That training has continued through today. I go in a simulator twice a year to practice procedures. What does that have to do with building? As an example, if you are a non-welder (like me), don’t let your first welds be your landing gear! Practice welding, or gluing wing ribs, or making connectors for your electrical system, or any of a host of other skills necessary in building your airplane until you are satisfied with the quality of the work before you ever do the same work on your actual airplane. Don’t be in a hurry to build. Many times people jump into a new phase of construction and try and learn “on the fly” (no pun intended). Aviation will kill you if your work is not quality work. Look at every joint, every weld, and every part of construction as if your life depended on it, because it does.

 

I hope that some of these principles may cause you to think, or even rethink the way that you are planning or building your aircraft. I am sure someone (or maybe many people) are thinking, “What is this guy talking about? This is not military aviation or commercial aviation, or even general aviation. This is experimental aviation. I can do as I see fit.” Did you notice the same one word used four times? Aviation. It is all aviation, and the same principles carry across all of aviation (refer to the quote at the beginning of this writing). These principles can help you or hurt you, depending on how you respond.

.

Semper Fidelis, Terry Hand

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

Builders,

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 : http://www.mykitlog.com/kringle/

 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

Mail Sack, 1/23/13, “the rules”

Builders;

A sample of the mail on the topic of “the Rules”

Zenith Builder/flyer Andy Elliott ( a.s.elliott@cox.net )writes:

“I liked very much this particular part of your last posting, and am working on a rewording for posterity. Please review and provide editorial comment if you like, since it’s going to be attributed to you, unless you tell me otherwise! Airfield Entry Sign:

“WARNING: You are now leaving the regular world, where score is not kept and it is always someone else’s or society’s fault. Here, score is kept, by the impartial judges of Gravity, Physics, Chemistry and Weather. Regardless of your good intentions, civil laws, or religious beliefs, here the death penalty is in effect. It is still considered cruel here, but it is not that unusual. Outside you may be important or protected, but here you will only find security and success by your own efforts to learn and abide by The Rules. You are now on the property; the game is in play.”

Andy, I actually like your version better. It would be nice to see it posted at an airport to see if anyone got it.-ww

Texas Builder Dan Haynes ( bossracer@sbcglobal.net ) writes:

“hmmm, an ex -38 driver building a Corvair powered Midget Mustang…..sounds eerily familiar. Have your agent contact my agent. We should talk.”

3,000cc Waiex builder Greg Crouchley writes:

“Amen. And thanks for continually striving to point this out. The life you save next might be mine. Best regards, Greg”

Front and Rear alternators, their part in numbering system

Builders,

I am going to jump ahead in the numbering system to alternator choices. As you will see, The standard charging system, the front alternator system we have used for 9 years is Standard charging system group (2900).  This is the system that we sell on our Flycorvair.com website at the link below. It is the working system on about 150 aircraft.

http://flycorvair.com/altbrackets.html

Above, the Hangar Gang Wagabond in it original configuration that it had from 2005-2012. This is made of early parts and has a black hub and a modified alternator pulley. This system evolved to a much cleaner configuration when the Gold hub came in 2006. The photo also shows an early FRA-235 ring gear that has been superseded by a solid model. The Alternator is used with its stock pulley on a Gold hub system. The photo is a good representation of how the current systems evolved over time and have long been flight proven.

.

In the last year I worked with Dan Weseman to develop a direct drive rear alternator set up for the engine. Dan was looking for a system that he could use as a very compact arrangement for his new Panther aircraft. After much development, Dan took the lead on the project and worked out the details and manufacturing on it. I wrote it into the numbering system as Rear charging system group (2950). Although it is ground tested, Dan wants to hold off sending any out until we have it on an in-house test bed aircraft, either the Wagabond or his Panther. The target date for having them available pending flight tests is Sun n Fun. Dan and Rachel have had some notes on the rear system on their website, linked below. When the system is up and tested, it will be available from them as an alternative to our front system. More updates will be on their site as it develops.

http://flypanther.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/corvair-rear-alternator-project/

Above is a high thrust line Pietenpol mount bolted on a Corvair with our standard intake an MA3 carb and the prototype rear alternator. All of our components are integrated to work together on this. The rear alternator makes its amperage output at a higher engine rpm because it doesn’t have the ratio advantage of the pulley. In ground tests, the rear set made good output, plenty for most simple aircraft. For single seat or tandem seated aircraft, a sleeker cowl may be possible. On side by side aircraft like the Zeniths and the Cleanexes, the front system fits inside the cowl nicely.

.

One of the first questions builders ask about the rear system is if we think it will allow more cooling air into the cowling. This is to be determined, but I don’t think that the front system is a choke point like some people eyeball it to be. Further down the road we can have some type of before and after test on the same airframe, but for now I would like to have people interested in cooling to review the four articles I wrote on the topic here last year. The links are below:

Corvair Cooling, Three 2007 examples from our hangar.

Corvair Cooling, something of a human issue…..

Corvair Cooling

Engine Cooling Factory Sheet Metal

.

Getting back to the numbering system, Below are how the two groups are laid out in my system. After both outlines, I give an example of my full notebook entry on the 2900 group, not just its outline form. It is lengthy, too long for the overview we are working on here, but I wanted to show builders the full depth of the information on this one topic. After this I am going to go back to the Rod and Piston group (1300) and the Cylinder group (1400). The full set of notes on those two groups is about 7,000 words. A lot of detail, but too long for keeping people focused on the big picture. I want builders to see enough to picture which engine they want to build in 2013. After that decision, we can go back and look at any component in the kind of detail seen below.

.

Standard charging system group (2900)

2900- Front alternator bracket

2901- Mounting hardware

2902- Permanent magnet alternator

2903- Altermator mounting hardware

2904- Drive belt

NOTE: If you opt for group 2900, then delete group 2950.

.

Rear charging system group (2950)

2950- Rear alternator bracket

2951- Mounting hardware

2952- Permanent magnet alternator

2953- Alternator mounting hardware

2954- Drive coupling

NOTE: If you opt for group 2950, then delete group 2900.

.

Below is a sample of the full write up on the 2900 group from the build note book, -ww

.

Standard charging system group (2900)

 

Commentary:

The standard charging system that we utilize on Corvair flight engines mounts a 20 amp belt drive alternator on the front of the engine. The system has a perfect reliability record while meeting the needs of Corvair builders in an economical manner that does not compromise any other system on the engine.

Over the years I have used many different charging systems on flight engines we have built. These include the stock Corvair alternators on blower fan engines on Pietenpols, one wire alternators, 60 amp teacup ND alternators, and several different models of the current AC dynamo mounted in several different places on the engine. The designs we recommend are based on this experience. Many people jump to the incorrect conclusion that we recommend 20 amp alternators because I have not tried more powerful ones or explored other ideas. A quick look at our FlyCorvair.com Web page will show several Zeniths we built engines for in 2009 with 60 amp alternators.

The first question that most builders have is whether or not 20 amps is enough output for their aircraft. The most common mistake builders make when adding up the electrical power usage of their aircraft is assuming that they are going to be utilizing all systems at once. This would make the assumption that all of the loads would be full-time rather than intermittent. Looking at the most basic version of this concept, cranking the starter pulls about 250 amps. Does this mean that you need a 250 amp charging system? Of course not because cranking the starter is an intermittent load, and the reserve energy for it is stored in the battery. On a smaller scale, transmitting on the radio is the same concept. To an extent, operating a landing light is the same idea. Any time the electrical system demands are briefly higher than the output of the charging system, the battery is there to make up for the excess demand.

We frequently have builders tell us that they’re going to put a glass cockpit in their airplane, and they erroneously feel that they would need a much larger alternator to run this. In reality, glass cockpits use almost no energy as they are modern electronics and they run with significantly lower power consumption requirements than other types of instrumentation. The same goes for modern LED strobes and lighting, which consume a tiny fraction of the power required by traditional systems. Even modern radios transmit much more efficiently. Any realistic analysis of the power requirements of 99% of Corvair powered airplanes will show that they can run on 20 amps or less. To have a larger charging system is to be carrying excess weight on every flight. New builders are often attracted to unproven or unreliable modifications to the engine in order to reduce its weight. The same green builders will often be interested in charging systems that weigh more than double the 20 amp system that we use. In time, these builders will learn by studying successful installations to prize proven reliability above all else and learn why aircraft have charging systems sized as they are.

There is a second temptation among new builders to want to see the alternator moved to the rear of the engine because they imagine that it somehow interferes with cooling. The best proof that it does not are the dozens of airplanes flying with it up front. The Wicked Cleanex flew hard aerobatics at wide open throttle on a 120 hp Corvair, as you can see on our Corvair Flyer #1 DVD. It never overheated, and of course, its alternator is up front. There’s a serious liability to having a belt driven alternator on the back of the engine. The Corvair’s ignition system is on the back of the engine and is vulnerable to the belt being thrown off. This is not an imaginary scenario. My friend John Blackburn was killed in a Ford V-6 powered Mustang II from this exact scenario. On the handful of engines that I put a belt driven rear alternator on, I always had a belt guard that would prevent a frayed or thrown belt from getting to the ignition wires, and I always mounted the alternator on the opposite side of the distributor.

The only airframe that has a layout for a belt driven rear alternator that makes sense is a Pro-Composites Corvair Personal Cruiser. I built the engine and the rear alternator prototype, which is tucked in the place where the oil cooler normally is. It is well away from the ignition on the opposite side of the engine.  Over the years, we have sold several hundred front alternator brackets to builders who were choosing to make their installation a duplicate of the flight proven ones we promote.

 

2900- Front alternator bracket

Our front alternator bracket is a two-piece assembly that is CNC machined out of quarter-inch aluminum plate and then gold anodized. The two-piece nature of the bracket allows the inboard piece to be mounted on two of the 3/8” bolts going to the front of the case. The outboard section is bolted to the inboard with three AN-3 bolts. These two plates can be shimmed in relation to each other to allow perfect alignment of the belt groove with the alternator pulley. The outboard section forms a complete ring around the alternator to support it. It has a single mounting hole for bolting the outboard bracket to the cylinder head to stabilize it. The bracket set comes complete with full instructions.

 

2901- Mounting hardware

The inside of the alternator mounting bracket has holes for three AN-3 bolts to mount the two halves of the bracket together. We do not send these with the bracket because the length varies with the installation, depending on how the bracket is shimmed for alignment. These bolts should be finished with aircraft grade all metal lock nuts.

The outboard side of the bracket is stabilized by one bolt to the head. Depending on what year the head is, this bolt is either ¼”-20 or 5/6”-18. The length of this bolt varies depending on whether the engine has a 5th bearing or not. It is held off the head with a simple tubular spacer. The alternator bracket comes with detailed instruction on how to mount and align it.

 

2902- Permanent magnet alternator

The alternator we use is technically a permanent magnet AC generator. It has no brushes, has sealed bearings, can take over 10,000 rpm, weighs a shade over 3 pounds, is totally reliable, and costs under $150.  The only other thing I could ask for is that it be made in America, but it isn’t. It is made by Kokosan Denki in Japan. It is one of the few imported parts we use in the conversion.

You can’t buy direct from KD, they only sell to giant manufacturers. For a long time, we got these from John Deere dealers because they came on Deere tractors as original equipment. In the past 10 years, Deere has capitalized on the good name of their industrial equipment and moved into the homeowner lawn care market. Their dealers look like Harley Davidson showrooms. Over the years, they have been marking up their parts prices ever higher. The list price of the alternator is now well over $400, and retailers, with their green and yellow polo shirt clad sales staff, expect to get this kind of money from their upscale clientele who are their major customers.

Here is reality: John Deer tractors below 100hp all have had Yanmar tractor engines for decades. Once prices got high enough, I went over and found out that the part cost 1/3 as much if you buy it in a Yanmar box. The part number is 124190-77201. When we announced this on our website, an engineer for Deere got on the Web and stated that Yanmar parts are poor, and that the 300% mark up was justified by Deere’s quality program to make sure that they had a superior product. A very nice story for the members of the green tractor cult, but made of pure marketing B.S. I have bought dozens of both brands, and they are identical other than the box. Several years ago I met one of the chief engineers for Deere at Oshkosh, and he shared the entire history of Deere and Yanmar and confirmed that the parts are identical.

The best place to buy the unit is from Mike Schwab, a Yanmar marine parts distributor in Largo, Florida. He is building his own Corvair powered plane, so it is good to shop with friends. You can contact him through his website SeaFarerMarineSupply.com or by calling (727) 595-8813.

If you have a builder’s page online, avoid directly spelling out the exact source of your airplane alternator, as the legal team from the manufacturer might have something to say to their dealer about entering the airplane market.

As a back up source you can call or order from HoyeTractor.com or (940) 592-0181. They have a website you can order from. If you call them make sure you do not mention that it is going on an aircraft, they have a note on their page about not selling aircraft parts. To my perspective, they are selling a part, your money is good, end of transaction, they are in charge of their business, you are in charge of your life.

 

2903- Alternator mounting hardware

The alternator is mounted to the bracket with a pivot bolt and a pinch bolt in the top slot.  The pivot bolt is set up as a AN6 (3/8″), the pinch bolt in the slot is an AN-5 (5/16″). Because there is a number of variables on type of front cover, Gold or Black hub, which 5th bearing, etc, it is best if each builder supply his own bolt length. The AN6 bolt does not fit the alternator housing exactly. The hole in the alternator housing varies depending on date of manufacture. If a builder would like a snug fit, a thin wall bushing can be used to bush the size down to the 3/8″ size of the pivot bolt. Both of these bolts should be finished with aircraft grade all metal lock nuts. The alternator brackets include detailed instruction on how to mount and align it.

.

 2904- Drive belt

For engines using a gold hub and a standard 20 amp alternator the correct belt is a Continental Conti-tech SF- AVX10 x 710. This particular belt provides several times the service life of more common belts. It is well worth getting one. For older arrangements with black hubs and previous alternators, we advise builders to measure each installation individually, as there are a lot of variables. Taking an old belt that is too long and cutting it into a form-fitting measuring tape is the best approach.

We have had a number of builders ask about using garden equipment belts, because they heard that one of the most common applications for the alternator is a John Deere tractor. This is true, but it isn’t the kind of tractor that homeowners or lawn service people use. Our airport has two of them for mowers; they have 5-foot-tall rear tires and they cut an 80” pass. The original equipment belts for the alternators are automotive style, not lawn service cross sections.

Getting started in 2013, Part #11, Comment of the day

Builders,

601XL TD 3,100 Corvair Builder/pilot, MIT Aerospace engineering PhD and USAF T-38 instructor Andy Elliott wrote in with the following Comment about the Getting started Series:

“I really like your comments about allowable range specifications. This is something that is applicable to many parts of aviation, not only maintenance. Way back when I was a USAF T-38 instructor, the expression we used was “If it wasn’t good enough, it wouldn’t be the minimum. If it was too much, it wouldn’t be the maximum.”
Most of the training maneuvers had performance specifications like “A loop can be entered between 400-500 knots, depending on power setting, and starts with a 4-5 G pull up.” One of the things pounded into the heads of instructors is that anything within those ranges is acceptable, as long as the student does not stall out at the top, overstress the airframe at the bottom, or bust any airspace limits.- Andy”

I typed out the footnotes in front of Andy’s name because it’s pretty safe to say he worked his ass off for many years in aviation to achieve the things he knows and has done. I tease him every chance I get, whenever he asks me a question I like to say “Jeeze Andy, every dumb grease monkey mechanic knows that, what did they teach you Phd’s at MIT anyway?” It hardly works, we both know that the size and scope of my expertise in aviation is about an acre and his is the size of Texas. The sole thing I have on him is that when we got started, none of my expertise acre was in his Texas. Over time Andy has gone after learning about Corvairs with the same thirst for information that he did with the rest of aviation he encountered. So far he has annexed about 1/3 of my acre into the boundaries of his Texas sized skill set. Thats OK, it was the goal all along, even if it erodes my ability to tease him.

The thing that Andy’s letter points out is that there is a lot of commonality to the logic of the disciplines within aviation. The individual tasks are not the same, but the logic and philosophy are. This is often missed by people who are just arriving in aviation. The fact that you will never see a big sign outside an airport that says:

“Warning: You have just left the regular world were score is not kept and it is always some one elses or societies fault. Score is kept here by the impartial judging panel of Gravity, Physics and Chemistry. Regardless of your good intention or state law, death penalty is in effect here, still considered cruel, but is not that unusual. Perfect protection and achievement is afforded by learning and exercising the Rules. You are on the property, the contest has already started, Get your “A” game on right now.”

You will not see that sign, but it is there. All of the things I write on philosophy is so builders just Getting Started can understand that there is a set of rules, and as a homebuilder working in your shop, you have plenty of time to learn them before your plane is done.

A guy with Andy’s background moving into building a Corvair is actually got a leg up on most people who have been a car mechanic for 20 years. Here is why: Andy knows the logic and philosophy of aviation very well, and just learning the parts that apply to Corvair flight engines does not require him to change his approach, perspective, values nor philosophy. He is just adding on. When he goes to the airport, he can see the warning sign as if it was in neon, the same sign that is invisible to new people yet to have a friend point it out.

There are people who arrive in aviation, who reject the very concept that there are ‘rules’ at all. A lot of these people achieved something outside of aviation, and they don’t like hearing that their previous work may be useful, but they crossed a philosophical border at the airport, and they have to start on some points beside novices they perceive to be beneath them. In the land of automotive conversions, I have seen a new crop of these people arrive every year. Their calling card is referring to certified engines as “Lycosaurs.” The mindset that you have nothing to learn from 100 years of existing aircraft powerplants is what is dangerous.

If being a great ASE auto mechanic of 20 years experience qualified your you work on aircraft engines, then it would be OK for these people to do annuals on certified planes, But the FAA does not allow it for good reason. In reality, a Lycoming 0-540 is a vastly simpler engine than any modern car motor. The FAA’s objection isn’t based on the concept that car mechanics are not capable of turning the wrenches. It is solely based on knowing that most car mechanics have little or no understanding of whats at stake in aviation, and therefore they don’t understand the value of the rules.

Think I am speaking theoretically? For several years a guy who promoted an alternative engine and gave forums on it, started every forum he gave by writing on the board “If Lycoming made car engines would you bother to drive one?” He promoted, and absolutely believed in contempt for existing certified engines. I spoke to him a number of times, and I would rate him as one of the most closed-minded people I ever met. He already knew and understood everything. He stood in my booth at Oshkosh and actually said to me that he had done some work with Corvairs 20 years before, knew all about them, and if I had questions I could call him. Where is he today? Well he had two crashes in planes with his modern car engine, both caused by fires. The second one killed him. Tragically it killed someone else also. To people who can’t see the sign outside of the airport, the mans end seems like something of a mystery. To people who can read the sign clearly, his death was a mathematical forgone conclusion. He was not killed by aviation, he was done in by his own willful decision not to respect the work of anyone who came before him. It’s that simple.

Keep in mind that the powers that be, who want to increase the numbers of people in aviation and membership organizations, have long sought to tear down the warning sign because they think it’s bad for marketing. They are joined by all the people who are in aviation to make a quick buck, and keep people in a ‘happy consumer’ mindset. These groups have often replaced the sign with one of their own that says: “Welcome! your safe, driving to the airport was more dangerous than flying here today, turn your mind off and open your wallet.” I personally think that message puts people on low alert and at risk, leads to tolerance of unsafe people and practices, leads to new guys getting a glimpse later that they have not been taught ‘the rules’ and then quitting, and it leads to a culture that elevates the man who has the expensive plane being regarded above the Aviator that possesses skill and knowledge. A big part of aviation has succumbed to this, but you don’t have to go there, hang out with it or absorb its corrosive message. You are a homebuilder, your better than that.-ww

To learn more about Andy’s adventures and perspectives follow this link:

Zenith 601XL-3100cc Dr. Andy Elliott

Getting Started in 2013, Part #10, Piston and Cylinder options.

Builders;

Reviewing the options to this point, I want to bring the comparison up to the point where every engine has a 5th bearing on it.  These 5 paths present proven options for builders to follow, Again, there are options for each of the five, but this is easier to keep track of with the numbering system. Right now, Phil Maxson has worked out a spread sheet and is keeping up with the series, but at this point I would still like to keep builders focused on the discussion here. We can resort to a spread sheet when we get a lot more information to juggle.

The Traditional terms we use to describe stages of completion are “Closed case”, where the 5 engines are to this point. “Short Block”, which is a closed case with pistons rods and cylinders installed, and “Long Block”, which is taking it one step further by putting the heads on. In the articles so far I have used the term “short block”  because I intend to take each of the five through that stage of completion in the discussion. Our DVD series aligns with these stages. Engine build #1 is the case closed, #2 is the pistons and cylinders, #3 is getting the heads on.

Engine options with 5th bearings:

Allan Able = $2,062

Bob Baker = $2,516

Chas, Charlie = $2,770

Davie Dog = $4,270

Eddie Easy = $3,157 

.

We are going to look at three piston and cylinder options and then apply each of them to each of the Closed Case systems above. That will give us 15 basic engine build paths.

Notice how the options expand geometrically as we get a little further along. 15 is actually something of a simplification, as I am not going to get into outdated displacements like 88mm, 90.5mm and 94mm bores. Don’t let the expanding possibilities overwhelm you. First and foremost, remember that it is the Corvair being adjustable to fit your exact needs. I am going to use the numbering system to make an easy to see, logical decision path, and I am going to highlight some common combinations like Allan Able building a .030″ over engine and Davie Dog  opting for a 3,000cc displacement.

Yes, other engines come with options, The Rotax 912 comes in the 80hp 100hp and Fuel injected models. In Industry slang, these very expensive engines have nick names. 80hp = “Trust fund kid”, 100hp “Hedge fund Mgr.” and the Injected motor is “MMG” (more money than God). Obviously Rotax’s pricing isn’t really aimed at keeping homebuilding within reach of working Americans.

If you think their pricing is steep, you need to get a look at the typical cost of maintenance repair and overhaul to really understand why I refer to these things as ‘disposable appliances.’ There will be a Rotax ower who reads this, who will write in to tell me that I am all wrong about this, that he is very happy with his 912 engine on his $134,000 imported European S-LSA plane. To him and his budget, it is a great motor because all he wants out of it is that it is an acceptable appliance. He isn’t interested in learning anything about it nor working on it. It is a good match for his shallow needs, and he has the required bank roll. On the other hand, a typical homebuilder, a guy who wants to learn build and fly, a guy who got into homebuilding to get his hands dirty, will find the exact same 912 and the ‘support’ system for it aimed at pleasing wealthy appliance owners, a very frustrating proposition.-ww

Here is the number system for the next stage of engine building:

.

Piston and rod group (1300)

1300- Piston set with wrist pins

1301- Ring set

1302- Connecting rods  -6-

.

 Cylinder group (1400)

1400- Cylinders -6-

1401- Base gaskets -6-

1402- Head gasket set

 

Getting Started in 2013, Part #9, ‘Eddie Easy’ short block.

Builders;

Builder ‘Eddie Easy’ is going to work with Roy of Roy’sgarage.com. Roy has his own 5th bearing design, and it is now flying on about a dozen aircraft. The bearing design requires builders to send their case and crank to Roy so that he can line bore his bearing to the case and he has to process the crank to install his 5th bearing journal on it.

Builders selecting Roy’s bearing design almost always have Roy assemble their bottom end for them. Also, Roy’s bearing design requires a special safety shaft and custom-made hybrid studs. (Dans 5th bearing uses parts straight from our catalog) For these reasons, an exact head to head price comparison isn’t possible, but we can come up with a reasonable comparison for builders. Since Roy’s set up utilizes a Moldex processed 8409 GM crank, It isn’t a fair match to compare it to ‘Davie Dog’s’ engine with a Billet crank. It is a better comparison with ‘Chas. Charlie’s’ short block. After we go through the numbers I will do some notes and comparisons at the end.

( CC stands for Clarks Corvair parts, SR stands for Summit Racing, ELS stands for Ebay Larry’s Corvair parts, and ECA stands for Ebay California Corvair parts.)

.

Crank group (1000)

1000- 8409 crank, no gear ($500 )

1001- Crank gear (new, $150, installed in crank processing)

1002- Crank gear key (Included in crank prep)

1003- Crank gear gasket (Included in crank prep)

1004- Rear keys -2-(CC-#5858, $1.50, $3)

1005- Fuel pump eccentric (used, from core engine)

1006- Spacer (used, from core engine)

1007- Bronze distributor drive gear (used, from core engine)

1008- Oil slinger (used, from core engine)

1009- Main bearings (From Roy, $120)

1010- Connecting rod bearings (ELS-$59)

 

Cam group (1100)

1100- Cam ( CC, part 8800, $235 )

1101- Thrust washer (new installed by Clarks, $12.60)

1102- Key (CC-#5858, $1.50)

1103- ‘Fail safe’ Cam gear (CC- $94 + $25 assembly)

1104- Hydraulic lifter set -12 total- (Summitracing.com $2.99each, $36)

1105- Cam lubricant (comes with OT-10 cam)

1106- ZDDP oil additive (SR,$16)

.

Case Group (1200)

1200- Case -2 halves with studs- (used, from core engine)

1201- Main case bolts -8- (used, from core engine)

1202- Pipe plugs for oil galleries -2- (used, from core engine)

.

Special Items required in a Roy bearing  closed case: The bearing itself; $1695, Hub modification $60, Difference in price for custom HS and SS; $30. Roy needs the case to be very clean, and he charges $120 for this service. It is not required, but Roy will assemble the lower end for the low price of $100. (during the bearing installation process he has to bolt the case together several times.)

The total of Eddie Easy’s engine parts on the chart above are $1252.10. To this must be added the bearing price, $1252.10 + $1695 = $2,947.10 . Add in the typical $120 case cleaning, and $90 for modified parts and the total comes out to $3,157.10. (Raise this to $3,257.10 and you get it back assembled.) 

Chas. Charlie’s engine is identical, except it has a Dan Gen 2 bearing and it comes in at $2,770.10.  $387 difference in the un-assembled form. There is some cost for shipping things back and forth, but it isn’t a deal breaker. For a builder who is looking for an assembled case, it isn’t the least expensive method, but it isn’t astronomically expensive either.  There isn’t really a low-cost do it yourself option, nor a pay as you go approach that a guy like Allan Able can employ, but Roy’s product isn’t aimed at those builders. 

Two things to frankly discuss: Roy has a very long waiting list, It has run over one year. Because of the hand done nature of the bearing, he can’t just phone up the CNC shop and order up another dozen bearings, and this leads to a long order time. Second, Roy has a background in working on things like Mercedes cars. To his perspective, applying the mercedes standard to the main bearing bores on a Corvair case means that 1/3 of cases are out of tolerance. This means you could need a whole new core case if he ‘rejects’ it.

To my perspective as an aircraft mechanic of 22 years, the GM tolerance is fine, and there is no need to arbitrarily cut it in half. Aluminum case opposed motors are traditional built a lot looser that Cast iron car blocks. Roy works with .0005″ as the limit of out of round on the bores. I have my doubts that all Corvairs passed this on the day they were made. The Gm new spec is .001″, twice as much. I have built many flight motors that were .0015″, They worked great.

For a reality check, Kevin and I once had about 20 140hp Corvair engines between us. These are Chevys high rpm/ high output engine. Inspecting many of these cases coming from 6,500 rpm engines which had 100,000 miles of beating on them, revealed that the main bores were often .0035, or seven times Roys tolerance. Yet none of these engines spun a main bearing. Thus I don’t agree that a Corvair between .001 and .0015 is in any danger of spinning a bearing or wearing out. You can ask any builder who has attended a number of colleges and seen 100 different engines that were torn down if he has ever seen one with a spun bearing, he hasn’t. In 20 years of working with Corvairs, I have seen two or three spun bearings, but they were all in engines that were literally run without oil.

At Embry-Riddle it was drilled into our heads that if the book said the allowable torque range determined by engineering was from 50 ft/lbs to 75 ft/lbs, then putting the item anywhere in that range made it air worthy. Mechanics that spent a lot of time trying to hit 62.5 ft/lbs were wasting effort and trying to prove something about their ego. If they would only be happy if it was between 55 and 70 because they were not sure about the torque wrench, then they were to get a new wrench. Guys who though they were making something ‘better’ by torquing it to 75 every time, were living under some illusion. In short, any mental justification that the mechanic used to put his own ‘custom’ touch on tolerance was to be frowned upon, because it probably indicated that the mechanic thought of himself as smarter than the engineer, or he did not trust the book. arbitrarily applying standards from one machine to another was really frowned upon. Less clearance isn’t always better, Closer fit in aircraft engine components isn’t always better, and neither is any arbitrarily set standard. The real issue with that kind of thinking is that you end up believing that you have a system that is ‘better’, and you stop looking at the field data that might suggest otherwise. No one gets smarter that way.-ww.

 

Mail Sack, 1/21/13, Getting started and various topics.

Builders,

Here is a sample of from the mail:

A letter From Jeff Moores, Merlin/Corvair builder and flyer from Newfoundland Canada. Jeffs story of building and flying is in this link:

“Hi William, I flew my Corvair/Merlin today from our frozen pond on Full lotus floats. Everything worked perfectly. The temperature here today was -10C so I preheated the engine for an hour with the heat gun and scat tubing setup. It started immediately as usual. Taxi on the snow was easy as there is lots of power available only needed about 1200 RPM to get it moving. The takeoff run was only about half the run required on water. From the pond to the hangar is uphill, but I was easily able to taxi right up to the door!!! I’m so pleased! -Jeff “

On the topic of the “Getting Started” series, Pietenpol builder/flyer Gary Boothe writes:

“I love this stuff! Even though I have one plane and engine under my belt (engine was closed up 8 years ago!), this is a great review as I prepare for #2. I now have 3 cores, all able to make use of one of the options…Gary”

 (The story of Garys plane is here: New Pietenpol, Gary Boothe, Cool, Calif.)

On the topic of the “Getting Started” series, Builder Robert Sceppa writes:

“I have just had my crank reground, safety shaft made and its in the shop for nitriding, ala Pramod. The front gear was removed before it is nitrided. Its an 8409 crank and I suppose I have to have that gear put back on, but its no problem I have some one that can do it.”

Robert, sounds like you are working on an ‘Allan Able’ format engine. It is good to have resources and skills available at that level-ww

On the topic of the “Getting Started” series, 750 builder and CC#24 grad Charlie Redditt writes:

“I love the numbering system, and since you obviously don’t have enough to do ;-) I might suggest an accompanying list of specialized tools (like the gear puller you mention above) that go along with each group. I’m sure that such would be mentioned in any instructions or videos for each group, but a tool list is really useful for tyros like myself.”

On the topic of the “Getting Started” series, Builder Dan Branstrom writes:

“This is an obscure point, but I think I remember asking about the original GM nitrided cranks, because a bunch of original Corvair engine parts still in the cosmoline were sold from the cache of a former mechanic in San Diego, and I met someone who had scored one at a Chapter 1 open house. As I remember your comment at the time was that the ion nitriding used today was superior to the nitriding used by GM when they manufactured them. Of course, since it’s a new crank, and a 5th bearing would be added, I imagine that the difference in nitriding wouldn’t make any difference.-Dan”

Dan either of the two processes, done correctly, work well in our application. Cranks from GM, Moldex, and Weseman’s 8409 process are Gas nitrided. Cranks that are from Nitron and Wesemans new cranks are Ion nitrided.  Nitriding by either method involves keeping the crank at very elevated temperatures for many hours. After this process, the cranks need to be checked for straightness. A good number of them will require the work of a skilled crank shop with either a brass drift or a press. After either  of these operations, that spot needs to be rechecked with a magnaflux test. Moldex does this when processing cranks. Dan’s 8409 process has an additional step: the cranks are all stress relieved for many hours in an oven before any work is done to them. When they are later gas nitrided, they never warp nor require straightening. The process is a little more expensive because of the two heat treatment cycles. Where many people speak of nitriding ‘warping’ cranks, in reality the heat of it is just stress relieving them. If this is done first in a separate operation, the nitriding, by either method, has no detrimental effect on straightness.-ww

Building a Metal Experimental, the Panther building bolg.

Builders:

If you are new to experimental aircraft building, it is often hard to visualize the exact techniques that are used to build airframes in the major groups, Steel tube, wood, composite and sheet metal. Companies spend a lot of time showing you how cool their planes are, but until you buy the kit, you don’t see a lot about construction. Wood is an easier visualization for most people, and Steel tube aircraft are often seen and photographed before they are covered. Sheet metal aircraft are a bit more of a mystery to new builders because it is much harder to look at the finished airframe and visualize how it went together in detail without first seeing detailed information, particularly in photos. If you are interested in learning more about how sheet metal aircraft are built, particularly how things like wet wings and control systems are done, I highly suggest following Dan’s Panther Building Blog listed below:

http://flypanther.wordpress.com/

Rachel updates it every few days as the aircraft progresses, and there is a lot of good understanding to be had by following it. Dan is working late into the night every day on the plane and it is at the stage of construction were many components are coming together in their final configuration, a good place for new builders to look, read and understand.-ww

Above, Dan stands beside the Panther prototype at Sun n fun 2012, With 601 builder/flyer Greg Jannaokos. Although the plane Has a steel tube fuselage in the cockpit area that protects the pilot and ties together all the major loads in the plane like the landing gear, motor mount and wing spars, the airframe is otherwise all aluminum construction. Dan’s plan is to teach builders the construction techniques and have them make the sheet metal components from plans or kits, and then have them tie all of the sub components together on the steel tube section that he will supply fully welded and powder coated. Dan’s design is named for the Florida Panther, a rare and beautiful wild cat, a relative of the cougar/mountain lion/puma family.

Two F9F-2Bs of VF-721 over Korea.

Above, Grumman’s version of a Panther. It also has folding wings, is made out of aluminum and started out life with an engine made by General Motors (Allison J-33) This aircraft was used by some OK pilots like Ted Williams, John Glenn and a guy named Neil Armstrong.

If you have this day off from work, and would like to invest a little time in reading, check out the story behind the making of one of the most moving aviation films:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bridges_at_Toko-Ri  Although I love Waldo Pepper, Spirit of St Louis, and the Blue Max, I still find The Bridges at Toko-Ri my favorite flight film. Todays consumer driven Hollywood requires that every film have 2 or 3 pointless sequels, sold on 30 second tv spots, the story manipulated to tie it into fast food distribution and theme park rides. Todays aviation films like Pearl Harbor barely escape this formula. fortunately you can go back 60 years to a film like Bridges of Toko-Ri and see a real masterpiece that was very closely based in reality. It is not a kind nor uplifting film. it provides no easy answers nor settled feelings. It has a tremendous amount of flying done in Grumman Panthers, long before some thing  called computer graphics made everything we see today fake.

Part of my connection to the film is that it was my Fathers era of Naval aviation. My Father spent many years in Vietnam and two long tours in Korea.  While these both broke his heart and simultaneously hardened him, he has always said that his years at the Naval Academy after being an enlisted man in WWII are what formed him and prepared him for later trials. On his floor in Bancroft hall, among midshipmen, were three other men the were also being formed, Hudner, Stockdale and Lopez. Even at a very young age, in the company very good men, my Father said that these three stood apart from others. Take a few minutes today to read their stories. The links to Hudner and Lopez are from Wikipedia, read the award citation sections closely, they are moving. The link to Stockdale is a story I wrote last year for the Philosophy section of this blog.-ww

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_J._Hudner,_Jr.

( follow the second link to Thomas_J._Hudner,_Jr.)

James Stockdale – Philosophy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldomero_Lopez

Getting Started in 2013, Part #8, ‘Davie Dog’ Short Block

Builders;

Builder ‘Davie Dog’ is going to up the ante on Chas. Charlie by going for one of Dan Weseman’s new billet cranks with a Gen 2 bearing hub installed. He is going to choose to have a new gear on his crank. He is going to get a Clarks failsafe gear, installed by Clarks on a new cam, just as Chas. did. Deciding on a new Crank isn’t an impulse buy, so builders should study the information on it closely by reading the page for it on Dan’s site at the link below:

http://flywithspa.com/corvaircomponents/newcorvaircrankshaft.html

 Although I have the price info here, Dan would like builders choosing a new crank to look at the package he has put together for the cranks. The primary structural strength increase in these cranks comes from having radiuses that are very large by Corvair standards. These radius need the bearings to be inspected for fit and the connecting rods to be clearanced to match. Dan is offering to take care of both of these tasks for builders selecting a new crank for a modest charge. If you look at his webpage there is a package listed at $3,100, but that price includes bearings and connecting rods and labor. To keep with the comparative format we are using here I am going to break down Dan’s price because we want to see the comparison without involving the rods yet. The information here will provide a fairly accurate cost comparison for builders. 

Also to be noted is that the crank price of $2,450 with the new gear on is to allow the crank to be utilized in several different types of engines. In reality, Every Billet crank Dan has done has been delivered with the Gen 2 bearing hub installed. Dan pictures that almost every billet crank he delivers will go to the builder this way. Although the crank could have a Gen 1 bearing put on it, or be put in a car for that matter, I will give the price comparison at the end assuming the builder is going to have Dan install a Gen 2 hub so that it is a more direct comparison to the engine built by ‘Chas. Charlie.’

( CC stands for Clarks Corvair parts, SR stands for Summit Racing, ELS stands for Ebay Larry’s Corvair parts, and ECA stands for Ebay California Corvair parts.)

.

Crank group (1000)

1000-  Dan Weseman Billet crank. ( $2,250)

1001- Crank gear (new, $200, installed in crank processing)

1002- Crank gear key (Included in crank prep)

1003- Crank gear gasket (Included in crank prep)

1004- Rear keys -2-(CC-#5858, $1.50, $3)

1005- Fuel pump eccentric (used, from core engine)

1006- Spacer (used, from core engine)

1007- Bronze distributor drive gear (used, from core engine)

1008- Oil slinger (used, from core engine)

1009- Main bearings (ELS-$88)

1010- Connecting rod bearings (ELS-$59)

 

Cam group (1100)

1100- Cam ( CC, part 8800, $235 )

1101- Thrust washer (new installed by Clarks, $12.60)

1102- Key (CC-#5858, $1.50)

1103- ‘Fail safe’ Cam gear (CC- $94 + $25 assembly)

1104- Hydraulic lifter set -12 total- (Summitracing.com $2.99each, $36)

1105- Cam lubricant (comes with OT-10 cam)

1106- ZDDP oil additive (SR,$16)

.

Case Group (1200)

1200- Case -2 halves with studs- (used, from core engine)

1201- Main case bolts -8- (used, from core engine)

1202- Pipe plugs for oil galleries -2- (used, from core engine)

.

The total of  Davie Dogs engine parts above are $3,020.10. For a more effective comparison, look at the price after installing a Gen 2 5th bearing system: $4,270.10. Chas. Charlie’s engine is identical, except that it has a processed GM 8409 crank, and it comes in at $2,770.10.  This the price increase for going with a new billet crank is $1,500.

Is this a lot of money? Well, like most things, it depends on your perspective. Lets say you are going to build an absolutely magnificent Corvair with an overhauled MA-3, etc. and the total looks like $10K spent over 24 months. Deciding that you are going to build the engine around a billet crank instead is only a 15% price increase. For another comparison, my neighbor just had to buy a new crank for his 4 cylinder Lycoming. After careful shopping he found one on sale for $3,990. That’s the crank by itself. At Oshkosh I had a guy tell me that he had gone through an 0-200 bottom end from a 1959 C-150 for his homebuilt. He spent more than $5,000 on it to make it right. He said to me that he liked it more than a ‘car’ engine because he “didn’t want to use old stuff and he wanted an engine with big bearings,” Because I am a jackass at heart, I took the time to explain that his 1959 crank is older than any Corvair crank ever made and the main bearings on an O-200 are smaller in diameter than those in a Corvair. I restrained myself from pointing out that his top end will likely cost another $4K, his mags and carb overhaul another $3K. Maybe I am maturing and gaining a sensitive side….

Again, if any builder would like to have this assembled as a running start, we are glad to pick up the parts at The Weseman’s and take care of it for a modest charge. -ww