Parts List, Pt. #3, 2,700 cc, basic engine

Builders:

Below is a look at the Conversion parts cost for a 2,700 engine with a standard oil cooling system based on a stock 12 plate cooler.  Below on the chart I have highlighted in blue the parts used.  This engine layout has been used on countless Corvair powered planes.  Although we have a lot of stories about 2,850 and 3,000 cc engines, there are still more 2,700 cc engine built than the other two displacements combined.  Some people call the 2,700 the ‘small’ Corvair, but describing it that way is misleading. It still has 25% more displacement than the largest commonly available type one VW the 2180cc.

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Above, Becky Shipman’s 2,700 cc engine on my test stand getting ready for its break in run. The engine is equipped with a Weseman bearing  and our Gold Conversion parts. This engine is intentionally built on the light combination of 1964 heads and 1960 full fin cylinders bored out to 3.437.” It is about 8 pounds lighter than a standard Corvair. Read the story at this link: Shipman Engine at CC#22.

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If a 25% difference doesn’t sound like a lot, let me share a story. Years ago, when new Corvair powered planes were just beginning to show up in numbers, KR-2S builder Mark Jones brought his to a KR gathering were they had a timed performance run. Most of the planes entered had a VW engine. Common talk at the time said that the Corvair’s 45 extra pounds of weight made it a ‘boat anchor.’ Some of the same people said Mark’s airplane wasn’t slick because he had a taller wider cabin and tri gear. They didn’t say it to his face because he is a very burly guy. Expectation was almost all of the VW planes would beat Mark over the long course.

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It didn’t work out that way. When the dust settled, Mark had a higher average speed than the VW powered planes there. There was some major ego correction in process. Two of the VW planes had listed “175 mph” as their cruise speed on their prop card. In the race they had logged 15 mph under this going flat out, losing handily to Mark’s ‘boat anchor.’  Because I am a smart ass at times, I offered to loan one of these guys a Sharpie pen so he could ‘correct’ his prop card.  He tried to save face by saying that his cruise speed was higher at altitude. That might have worked in another setting, but I know enough about aerodynamics and performance to explain to the people present that all naturally aspirated aircraft have their highest speed at sea level. Mark was gracious about his performance that afternoon, but later in a smaller group he said it felt pretty damn good to clean up in the air after reading a lot of talk on the internet.

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Other simple examples: There have been almost 100 Pietenpols built with a Corvair engine over the years. I have seen more than 45 of these in person. Overall I have personally seen maybe 250 different Piets of all types in the last 25 years. They had all kinds of power plants, but not a single one of them had a VW installation. This isn’t just a weight and balance issue, it is confirmation of the 2,700 cc power output. As I sit here and type this, I am pretty sure that every single Corvair powered Pietenpol flying is using a 2,700 cc displacement.

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For a single example of a power and performance difference between traditional 65hp engines and a 2,700 cc Corvair get a look at this link: Pietenpol Power: 100 hp Corvair vs 65 hp Lycoming it also had a good explanation of how a 50% increase in power can yield three times the rate of climb.

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Part description         Part Number              Pricing          Notes

Drive end

Hybrid Studs                2502                              $79

Safety Shaft                    2503                              $79

Short Gold Hub            2501(B)                       $579 

Front Starter kit          2400                             $566  

Ft Alter. Brackets         2901                              $99

Oil Systems

Gold Oil Filter housing   2601(S)                  $239 

Gold Sandwich                 2802                        $169

Hi-volume Oil case          2000HV                   $289

Billet Oil Pan                      2201(B)                    $289

Deep oil pick up kit         2202(A)                     $59

Ignition

E/P Distributor                  3301E/P                   $349 

External items

Valve Covers                       1900PC                    $149

Pushrod tubes                    1602PC                     $60

Piston, Rod, Cyl. Kits

2,850 cc Kit                           2850CC                 $1,800

3,000  cc kit                          3000CC                 $2,200

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The stock 12 plate oil system uses the parts listed. It is based on the ‘Group 2700’ in our numbering system. Many aircraft are flying on this arrangement. Our design is modular, and if a builder later wants to go to a HD ‘Group 2800’ Oil System as an upgrade, he can do so economically without a lot of back tracking. For more info look at this link: Heavy Duty Gold Oil Systems, new cooler model.

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The Welded oil pans are slightly lighter and $40 less expensive, but the Gold Billet Pans are more popular.

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Our standard ignition is the E/P  distributor. We will still make D/P distributors on request, but I would prefer than have people use the modern ones.  Almost all builders use our Valve Covers. They look good, but they have important mechanical features like being able to see TDC on the engine by removing the oil cap and looking at the #1 rocker arm instead of pulling a plug out. Zenith installations must also have the oil fill in the valve cover.( the stock filler neck hits the cowling.)

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Price totals:

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If you add up all the parts above, you are looking at $2,547.   Keep in mind that most builders buy the components slowly over time, but I have the total here because we have had a number of requests for a total price from people who wish to buy the parts at one time.

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Obviously this isn’t the total price for a 100 HP /2,700 cc engine. This number does reflect the Conversion parts cost, and a big part of the internal engine parts. The list above is the part of the budget that builders spend with us on their project. As I have pointed out many times, we try not to resell anything we can simply direct builders to acquire for themselves, such as the Weseman parts and Falcon heads.

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There are a lot of different options on building the rest of the engine, and if you would like to look at them, read this link,Getting Started Reference page. Specifically look at the links to parts #5 through #9 at the bottom, it gives every specific examples of the cost of different levels of bottom ends on the Corvair. -ww.

Parts List, Pt #2, Example: Zenith 750

Builders:

OK, lets look at an example. I am just calling this a 750, but in reality it is also a potential Panther, Waiex or Cleanex engine also. What I am getting at; this is a big bore engine (3,000 cc) with a Heavy Duty Group 2800 oil system. The Conversion parts going into the engine are highlighted in blue in the chart below.

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Above, Greg Crouchley and I stand with his 3,000 cc engine in my hangar, after it’s break in run. Note the reverse oil filter housing. We do not install the HD oil system for the test run because we want to have the oil temp come up early. The engine is now in Greg’s Waiex.

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We have written stories about engines like this. For 750s look at: 3,000cc Engine Running for a Panther look at:Panther Prototype Engine 3,000 cc/120 hp to OSH and for a Waiex look at:World’s Strongest 3,000cc Corvair, built by Greg Crouchley. Between the there engines above, the only difference in the Conversion parts sets is that the Waiex uses a 2601(R) Reverse Gold oil filter housing instead of a standard one.

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Note that the Conversion parts set doesn’t change with either a GM or a Weseman Billet Crank, or even if the engine has a Gen 1 or a Gen 2 bearing. Listed below are the conversion parts that a common to all 3,000 cc engine with Heavy Duty oil cooling systems. Each engine still has some custom choices in the rebuild parts that each builder can make. Below the part number we have some discussion and a look at budget totals. In part #3 of this series we will look at a 2,700 engine with a standard oil system.

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Part description         Part Number              Pricing          Notes

Drive end

Hybrid Studs                2502                              $79

Safety Shaft                    2503                              $79

Short Gold Hub            2501(B)                       $579 

Front Starter kit          2400                             $566  

Ft Alter. Brackets         2901                              $99

Oil Systems

Gold Oil Filter housing   2601(S)                  $239 

Gold Sandwich                 2802                        $169 

Hi-volume Oil case          2000HV                   $289 

Billet Oil Pan                      2201(B)                    $289 

Deep oil pick up kit         2202(A)                     $59

Ignition

E/P Distributor                  3301E/P                   $349 

External items

Valve Covers                       1900PC                    $149

Pushrod tubes                    1602PC                     $60

Piston, Rod, Cyl. Kits

2,850 cc Kit                           2850CC                 $1,800   

3,000  cc kit                          3000CC                 $2,200 

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In the front end category, I left out the 2901 front alternator brackets because many of these engines going in 750s and all of the ones going in Panthers use the Weseman’s rear alternator bracket, which is Group number 2950 in my numbering system ( but you get these direct from Dan and Rachel).

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In the oil systems, The Heavy Duty system uses all the parts listed. Additionally many people use a block off plate part number 2805 it is $20. The Welded pans are slightly lighter and $40 less expensive, but on 3,000 cc Corvairs the Gold Billet Pans out sell them 5 to 1.

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Every Flying 3,000 cc Corvair I can think of has an E/P style distributor. Only a few of them, like the Panther prototype are E/P-X models, a $40 upgrade. Almost all builders use our Valve Covers. They look good, but they have important mechanical features like being able to see TDC on the engine by removing the oil cap and looking at the #1 rocker arm instead of pulling a plug out. Zenith installations must also have the oil fill in the valve cover.( the stock filler neck hits the cowling.)

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The price of the 3,000 cc Kit includes the machine work to the case and heads to fit the larger cylinders. The 3,000 cc pistons are specifically designed and made for Corvair flight engines. They work with both 100LL and auto fuel.

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Price totals:

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If you add up all the parts above, except for the 3,000 cc kit, you are looking at $2,906. If you add the 3,000 cc kit, you are up to $5,106. Make the distributor an X model, add the block off plate and the total is $5,166. Keep in mind that most builders buy the components slowly over time, but I have the total here because we have lately had a number of requests for a total price from people who wish to buy the parts at one time.

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Obviously this isn’t the total price for a 120 HP /3,000 cc engine. This number does reflect the Conversion parts cost, and a big part of the internal engine parts. The list above is the part of the budget that builders spend with us on their project. As I have pointed out many times, we try not to resell anything we can simply direct builders to acquire for themselves, such as the Weseman parts and Falcon heads.

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There are a lot of different options on building the rest of the engine, and if you would like to look at them, read this link,Getting Started Reference page. Specifically look at the links to parts #5 through #9 at the bottom, it gives every specific examples of the cost of different levels of bottom ends on the Corvair. -ww.