Jump Start Engine project – Part #1

Builders;

Here is a new series on engine building. It will be a detailed look at getting started that will serve many builders. The focal point of this are 10 “Jump Start” engines that we will have in the works for the next months, but the info will apply to anyone building a Corvair.

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What is a “Jump Start” Engine? Basically it is a complete core engine, that has some of the difficult parts done for the builder, but still needs work from the builder and replacement and conversion parts to be completed.

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Picture a builder who wants to build an engine, but is having a bit of a time finding a good core. He wants to do some prep work, reading and learning at home, but his goal is to bring his project to a single college and finish and run the engine in 3 days. He is a candidate for a jump start motor.

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Here is the idea:

1) The engine starts as a complete core motor at my shop. From it I send the 8409 crank to Dan Weseman for processing and the installation of a Gen II 5th bearing. The case is cleaned, checked and assembled with a new set of main bearings, an OT-10 cam, and a new gear. We assemble the Weseman 5th bearing onto the case here. We also install a set of Hybrid Studs (2502), Safety Shaft (2503), a  starter ring gear (2408), and a Short gold hub on the engine (2501B), and a High volume rear oil case. (2000HV)

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This would effectively cover most of the parts in Groups 1000, 1100, 1200, 2000, 2500 and 3,000. (see http://www.flycorvair.com/products.html)

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2) I take the heads while they are here, machine the carb pads off and weld on a set of the aluminum intake tubes.  This is done after the heads get a rough cleaning and have all the old parts like valves and springs removed.

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3) the remaining engine parts are rough cleaned and inspected, inventoried and bagged. We also have a comprehensive list using our numbering system of all the other parts the builder will need to finish the engine

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4) We can crate and ship this to the builder. He can then get familiar with all the parts, and at his own pace complete the engine. We can send him the heads, or we can forward them to Falcon Machine for rebuild. After getting everything organized and prepped, the builder can bring the completed case, plus all the prepped parts to a college, and with steady work he can go home with a completed running engine.

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Above is a close up of a 2nd Gen Dan bearing journal on a re worked GM crank. This is a 2700/2850 ready case we put together we sold at CC#24.

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Potential Questions:

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“Is this a Kit Engine?” No. It is called a Jump Start engine to differentiate it. Kit implies that every single part in the box. This has all the core parts, but still needs many items like pistons, the rods to be rebuilt, gaskets, rod bearings etc. Part of the goal here is to keep the thing affordable. If it was a kit with everything in the box, it would be a lot of money all at once. This will cost some money, but getting started with this is going to be less than 50% of the cost of building a motor.

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“Can I just get you to make me a kit motor, you know, with every single part in the box, carefully cleaned, and prepped and painted?” Sorry we don’t offer that. Here is why: If I did all that, and it had an assembled case, It would actually take me about the same man hours to assemble the engine as it would to carefully pack the individual parts in boxes to ship. The time in building an engine is the prep work, not the assembly. If I sold a kit engine it would have to be nearly the same price as a completed engine from us. Contrary to what some people think at first glance, engines like our $10,750 running 2,850 cc engine are mostly parts cost and only some labor.

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Why do many VW engines come as kits? How are they different? With Corvairs, we are investing sweat equity in the engines in order to rebuild a very high quality American engine with new parts that are also made in America. The great preponderance  of VW engines are made of all new parts….that come from the Peoples’ Republic of Red China.  Yes, they once came from Germany and Brazil, but that was long ago. Today, most VW parts, cranks, cases. heads, all come right from mainland China. My goal is to teach people how to build and operate a high quality American engine, not to compete with $2/hr. workers in a police state without civil rights.

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“What if I wanted a 3,000 cc engine?” In this series I am going to give sample builds of  2,700, 2,850 and 3,000 cc Jump Start engines, and I will give an exact break down of the costs for each.

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“Hey, I already have a core motor.” My first though is just follow along in the series and process your own stuff in parallel with the series. If you wanted to get in on the engine because you liked the closed case idea, or wanted to move up to a 3,000 cc engine (which requires the case to be bored out before any assembly work starts) we could always take your core as a trade in, but most likely we would just help you find another builder who wanted to buy your core from you.

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How much is this going to cost? I don’t have the exact number, because we have a few variables here like if the case needs to be bored for 3,000 cc cylinders, if a builder wants all new studs etc.  In this series we will look at a number of different variations and put exact numbers to each one

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“How quick could I get one?” The crank process takes time., as Dan sends the crank to several different shops for magna-fluxing, heat treating and grinding.  There is some calendar time involved here. Right now we are 100 days or so away from the next college. If we take 10 days to write up the series, and a builder wants in, there should be plenty of time to get the work ready for the college.

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You are a busy guy, isn’t this a big influx of work? No, not really. I already have the engines here. I picked up the 10 cores at the Corvair Ranch in PA on our trip last month. They are already disassembled and partially clean. The crank and 5th bearing part of this will be done by Dan’s experts, I am going to send the cases out for cleaning and boring, I have Vern to assist with welding the head pipes, and the small parts bagging is not a lot of work. What is left is the case assembly, building the rear oil case, and putting the gen II 5th bearing on.  That is work, but not an enormous amount. Again, if I was building “Kit” motors, and doing all the work on every part, this would take until the end of the year.

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What is the budget time line on this? Part of the idea here is to get to the exact numbers though this series. Once we know this, if a builder wants to get in, my idea was they directly pay for the crank processing and Gen II bearing to Dan and Rachel Weseman, which is $2,200. This would function as ‘the deposit’, the rest would not need to be paid until we were going to ship it of bring it to a college. If the builder wanted to get the heads for it sooner so he could get them in the works, we could arrange that they would leave before the case was done.

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That is all the preliminary questions I could think of. If you have more, tune in for part #2 tomorrow, or feel free to ask them in the comments section, I will address them in the next part. -ww.

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About William Wynne
I have been continuously building, testing and flying Corvair engines since 1989. Information, parts and components that we developed and tested are now flying on several hundred Corvair powered aircraft. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and an A&P license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and have a proven 20 year track record of effectively teaching homebuilders how to create and fly their own Corvair powered planes. Much of this is chronicled at www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.

One Response to Jump Start Engine project – Part #1

  1. James Slover says:

    Count me in. I plan on attending CC in Mexico, MO.

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