All about Dipsticks, Part #2206

Builders,

Here is a topic that I have covered before, and it is covered in some depth in the 2014 conversion manual. The part number we assign to the dipstick is #2206, in the #2200 oil pan group.

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The dipstick itself is an after market model for a 289-302 Ford V-8. You can get it in the Mr. Gasket brand from most auto parts stores or SummitRacing .com. Discard the stock mounting clamp that comes with it.

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Before I put the two case halves together, I run a .375″ drill down through the hole in the case. This makes it from a hard drive fit to a light tap in place item. The bottom part of the dip stick tube below the shoulder is 1″ long. If you rough this part up with 40 grit paper, you can then bond the dip stick tube in the case with Ultra Gray Permatex RTV. This is a better sealed installation than a dry driven in tube in the stock case hole size.

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The stock overall length of the tube is about 12″. Use a tubing cutter to neatly reduce the overall length to 8″. This is 1″ below the shoulder and 7″ above it. After using the cutter, run a Unibit stepped hole saw into the tube to clean out the crimping left from the tubing cutter. Test fit the dip stick.

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Put the tube in the case, with the RTV smeared over the last 1″. Put it in the case so the bend in the tube brings the tube closest to the top cover on the case. It should be about 1/2″ away. Later if you wish to make a small tab to stabilize the tube to the top cover bolt, you can, and it will be short and neat. We call this part #2207, it is just a light tab with a 3/8′ hole on one side and a 5/16″ on the other.

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Before putting the oil pan on, after the lifters are adjusted and the oil pick up #2202 is in place, test the dip stick in the engine. YES, it is aligned with the top of the pick up, so the dip stick must be trimmed off not to strike the top of the pick up.

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YES, this will preclude having the dip stick long enough to tell when the engine is down to the last quart in the pan. Have a cup of coffee and think this through: When will you need to know the difference between having one quart or two in the pan? Never. The only thing you will need to know is when the engine has 5 quarts in it and when it has four. That is the operating range. A well built engine will use none between 25 hour oil changes. No one needs to know when their engine is down to 3 quarts.  Having the pick up where it is better for oil suction to the pump. Dip stick location to tell when the oil is down to one quart does not take design precedence over having the pickup in the best location.

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Do not mark the dip stick! Test run your engine with 4-5 quarts in it. If you are on a level test stand and have no cooler for the test run, use 4 quarts. If you are running it with a cooler or on a tail wheel airframe, use 5 quarts.

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After the test run, drain the oil. With the airframe in the position it will sit in on the ramp, ie  tail wheel on the ground, or tri gear normally loaded, pour in  4 quarts of oil. put the dip stick in, note the oil level and mark it. I generally drill a 3/64″ hole. Then, add one more quart, recheck, and make the top mark. This defines the operating range of the engine.

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Number of running engines that I have personally done this to, and had it work perfectly with no leaks; About 80.

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The total length of time to cut the stick, de-bur the end, sand, drill the case hole, bond it in, cut the stick and later mark it: About 10 minutes. 

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Total expense involved for this system: About $13

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Alternatives: People can go on the internet, pose the question to discussion groups, get 8 ideas, all of which take longer, cost more, and have not flown. One can then read 26 responses in favor of/ totally against the 8 ideas, all written by people who have never built a flying Corvair engine. Spend a week fretting over which idea is the best. Pick the one that involves driving the oversized tube in place on the assembled motor. This pulls off a tiny sliver that falls in the pan. It fits through the screen size, gets drawn into the pump, stuck to the tooth, and gouges the walls of the WW-2000HV oil pump housing, causing low idling oil pressure. Get back on same discussion group and ask about the low pressure. Same guy named “Flyboy26”, who suggested driving in the dip stick tube like it was The Golden Spike at Promontory Point comes back and has a long diatribe about how ww sells defective oil pump housings, and he learned a much better way when he was a factory-trained, Renault Le-car lug nut service specialist in Canada the 1970s. (complete with a side bar on why wheels only need 3 lug nuts.) This starts a long discussion on why 1969-73  4WD Ford F-250s has left handed threads on the right front hub only. Guy chimes in to say this isn’t true, and BTW, Elvis is alive, Oswald was acting on orders from Hoover, men never landed on the moon and orange marmalade cures cancer. Two people write back to say that is preposterous, it is actually raspberry jam that cures cancer. Guy from Ghana writes into say that trucks built by Holden in Australia had left handed lug nuts on every hub except the right front, because they were used in the southern hemisphere. Another guy writes in to say that the safety shaft threads should be left handed. Ghana guy writes back to say Yes, but only in the northern hemisphere. Third guy writes in to agree, but points out that some engines will be used in pushers. Fourth guy offers to write a giant Excel spread sheet covering all the possibilities. Guy from Equador writes in, but it takes a day for someone to translate it: Says that when he drives is car over the equator, he has noticed the lug nuts get looser going north, tighter headed south. At which point it turn out that he is actually driving the last Renault Le-Car in south America. He should be great friends with guy in Canada, but they have an argument because guy in Equador innocently asks why the queen of England is on Canadian money. Last post on the story is about using an MGA carb on a Corvair, but the heading on the post is still “Dip stick tube alternatives.”

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1981 Renault LeCar [5]

1981 Le Car in movie “Totally Awesome

Dec. 7th

img005Above, My Father as a 17 year old enlisted man in WWII. He stands between his beloved pony Bob,  and his own father. My grandfather served in every station on the Passaic NJ police department from patrolman, Chief of Detectives to assistant Chief. Passaic was a very large tough working city with a significant organized crime problem.  Recognized as incorruptible, he was targeted by the mob, but would not be intimidated.  The only years he took off from law enforcement in his adult life were 1917-1919 when he was a Sargent in the 78th division in France where he saw savage combat in the trenches. His only real wish in life was that his own son would not have the same experience. It didn’t come true, as my father went to both Korea and Vietnam.

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Dec. 7, 1941; On that Sunday, my father was just about to turn 16 and was attending a Passaic (N.J.) High School football practice. With the news of Pearl Harbor, the game was called off. All 23 seniors on the team decided to enlist in the Navy as a group the following morning. They were early graduated in January 1942 and sent to boot camp with the best wishes and pride of their home town. It was their fate to be assigned to the cruiser the U.S.S. Juneau. For shipmates, they happened to have five brothers from one Iowa family whose name would become tragically well known, the Sullivans.  The Juneau was sunk on 13 November 1942 off Guadalcanal.

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Because of censored news, the sinking was not known for several weeks. My Fathers’ adopted older brother was a Chief Petty Officer named Frank Ryan who was on the Cruiser Vincennes in the same area,  it was not unusual to have long breaks in mail. Everyone just assumed they were on a long patrol out in the South Pacific. While walking home after work just before Christmas of 1942, my father was stunned to see Frank Ryan, standing in front of him in Passaic. He was emaciated and ill, his uniform hanging on him. He could only say to my father “Billy, they got the Vincennes.” Although it was sunk in August, this was the first word. It was the first moment that my fathers simple pride in the Navy had to confront that the fleet was not invincible. With growing foreboding, my father realized the lack of contact from friends on the Juneau might be for the same reason. In another week this was confirmed on the eve of Christmas. All 23 of the teammates and the 5 Sullivans had gone down with the ship. Of 697 crew on board, there were only 10 survivors. This event led my father to Join the Navy when he turned  17. He eventually spent 33 years on active duty.

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From the Past:  Sun N Fun 2005

 The man in the photo is Jim Giles. Out of thousands of people whom we spoke to, Grace noticed he was wearing a U.S.S. Vincennes hat, and suggested I introduce myself. The Vincennes was a heavy cruiser in WWII. It was a modern fast ship. It was one of the escorts that took the Doolittle Raiders close to Japan.

It was sunk on August 9, 1942 in a ferocious night action that was later known as the Battle of Savo Island. Technically, it was a severe defeat for the U.S. Navy, who lost several ships that night. But, they blocked the Japanese forces from descending on the Marine foothold on Guadalcanal. Among the plank owners on the Vincennes was a 35-year-old U.S. Navy chief named Frank Ryan. He was an adopted as a orphan by my grandparents in the 1920’s. Frank joined the navy in the late 1920s , and was the largest influence in my father’s choice to devote his own life to the U.S. Navy. Upon seeing Jim Giles’ hat, I mentioned Frank Ryan’s name to him, and he instantly replied “He was a chief in the Black Gang. Built like a fireplug. I remember him well.” An impressive memory reaching back 63 years.

 Frank Ryan survived days in the water to be rescued, he was one of the very few of his shipmates who lived. He returned to combat as a plank owner on the Missouri. He survied the was but was haunted by tragedy. He died before he was 50.

  When we got home from the airshow, the first phone call I made was to my father to tell him that I had personally met a sailor who had served with the hero of my father’s youth. He was very surprised and it brought back a stream of strong memories.”

 

2014 Conversion Manual Notes

Builders,

Some quick notes on 2014 manuals:

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If you are the original owner of an earlier manual, and you would like an upgrade, Send a check for $50 to 5000-18 Highway #17, suite #247 Fleming Island FL, 32003. If you are outside the US, sorry, the additional postage is $20. I am ending this upgrade period on Dec. 15th, after that, all manuals will be regular price.

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A while back we asked anyone who wished to upgrade to the new manual to send in their address. We sent out a notice of the $50 reduced price of manual for upgrades. Because of the increased cost of the size and color printing of the manual, and the low rate that builders sent in the payment, we didn’t even cover the cost of sending out the first 200 manuals. I am not going to try to “make up for it on volume,” so we are just going to send out manual upgrades we are paid for .

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We goofed up about 10-20 of the several hundred requests ourselves. This fall, we have had two large colleges and both Grace and I have been caring for parents. We have staggered our time to try to have one of us here to deal with orders, but we have had less than 15 days out of the last 120 where both of us were here together in the office at the same time. This is not an issue on any regular order through our normal system, but the “on request” idea with manual upgrades, led a handful of requests getting missed.  If you are one of these builders, and you sent in a request before this week, we are still glad to send you one, just let us know, you can send a direct email to me at: WilliamTCA@aol.com.

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In our house, the walls are lined with book shelves. On the sun porch, I have about 40′ of shelving holding nearly every technical textbook and notebook from my 5 years at Embry-Riddle. Even 25 years ago my tuition alone was about $60K. With this and my hours, the $4-5K in textbooks seemed a very small, but vital part of my investment. There were people who were there just there for the diploma, they didn’t keep a single book. I was just there for the education, and kept all of them.

 

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In order to graduate from Riddle without student debt, a vital requirement to allow me to pursue any part of aviation I wanted, regardless of it’s pay, and to stay focused on education, I intentionally lived a very Spartan life in my college years. I lived in a 1907 house without heat nor a/c; I rode a bicycle most places; we cooked everything at home. Rent was $87.50 a month; I lived on $3,500 a year, total. This said, I never was reluctant to buy any book that expanded what I knew about aviation. My copy of Brun’s Analysis of Flight Vehicle Structures cost more money than I spent on food in two months. 24 years later the book is sitting on the shelf 8′ from me.

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I wrote the new manual over 18 months of countless late nights. Ignoring the time it took to learn the data it is based on, it took about 2,500 hours to write and edit. At the last College, I had one person who told me he didn’t want to spend $50 because he “just wanted to get his motor done.”

He actually said he would only get one after his engine was finished. Another person with an eight year old manual, of which he was not the original owner, told me he felt “entitled” to a free new manual. These two people do not represent the majority perspective, but I have to acknowledge that many people who wish to be a homebuilder do not place the same value on printed information that I do.

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Blast From The Past. I stand next to my 1967 Monza, above, in Monument Valley in the four-corners region during the summer of 1992 8,000 mile circumnavigation of America. This was between my junior and senior years at Riddle. Look at the car and understand that I lived very frugally in those years, intentionally, to stay focused on my education.

The 110 hp engine in this car was remanufactured into our original 2,700 cc engine installed in our 601XL in 2004. Today the same engine is the 3,000cc engine in our Wagabond.

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Blast From The Past circa Winter 1993: Look closely at the photo: It’s Corvair builder and Northrop Grumman E2D expert Chris Welsh with much longer hair. At the time, his daily driver was a ’67 Beetle. He’s holding its hood ornament in this photo. In the foreground, a corrosion damaged Corvair case roasts in a roaring fire. I shot this photo in the backyard of 1235 International Speedway Blvd., a 1907 two-story coquina stone house that a number of us rented during our five years at Embry Riddle. It was the end of a semester, and we were blowing off steam with a backyard party highlighted by a bonfire fueled by Corvair magnesium blower fans. The case and a pile of heads ended up as a little puddle by daylight.

People often hear me speak with pride of our years at Embry Riddle. I had a previous history degree that was a more typical college experience. Embry Riddle was far more challenging and was an immersion environment shared with other very serious students. Consider what our other friends who shared the house with us are doing today: Kurt Fabragass, A&P and aeronautical engineer, is a production engineer on the 787 Dreamliner. Chris Benweigh and Ed Hemmy are both ATPs and captains with Continental Airlines. Andy Mel has a PhD in physics and works for the Naval Weapons Lab. Jennifer Kimbell has a masters in physics, is fluent in Russian, and is a Mission Controller on the International Space Station out of both Houston and Star City, Russia. Not bad for a bunch of college kids in the backyard drinking beer.