I don’t have an exact count, but I am pretty sure we have welded and sold 400-425 motor mounts in the last 20 years. While the Zenith 601/650 leads the all time popularity contest, I have also made almost 40 one of a kind mounts for the Corvair.
Over the years there were times we made large batches of the popular mounts, but almost always the less popular or one of a kind mounts were back ordered. Most builders were ok with a reasonable wait, but in the last two years, I was getting further and further behind on mounts, and the lead times were getting unacceptably long. When I asked Dan and Rachel Weseman to take over the distribution of our products back in January, I told them that my #1 goal was to eliminate all the back ordered items, particularly the motor mounts. On February 1st the day we got started, I had almost 25 mounts on order, with new sales being made every week.
The issue could not be solved by just heading out to the shop and welding for a month; doing so would just push other items behind, and derail events like the Western College tour. The solution was a bit more complex: It involved hard work, but it also included making a careful CAD study of our Pietenpol mount design, and converting it to CNC milled tube sets. These cost more, but critically they take a lot less hours to fabricate. I also cross trained Dan and Rachel’s weldor, Travis to make many of the mount designs, so production would continue while I was on the western tour. Get a look at this story: Parts Production improvements- #4201 Motor Mounts and this one: #4201-C Pietenpol Motor mounts, now on the shelf, ready for shipping.
The Pay off comes this week: We now have reached the point where we have Zero motor mount back orders, and we have a number of the popular mount designs on the shelf. We will not get behind again because I have more hours in my day, I have Travis to weld as needed, and all of the most popular mounts we offer are now made from CNC tubing sets. Keep in mind that since February first, there have been plenty of new orders on mounts, and that Dan and Rachel have their own lines of Corvair mounts for the Panther and the Cleanex. To get caught up, I had to get production well above the existing rate that was already flowing out to builders. It didn’t happen overnight, I owe a big thank you to Dan and Rachel for their help, but it is actually now done.
I gave some thought to this today, and I actually can’t remember how long ago it was that I didn’t owe anyone a motor mount. It has been a number of years. On one hand I could easily say that builders willing to wait is strong evidence that builders understand the value of our designs, and trust me to produce items they ordered. But today, it feels a lot better to simply say we are caught up on mounts.
Above, a part number 4201(E), this is a KR2/2S mount, tricycle gear mount. Over the years I have made about 40-45 of these. This one was photographed on the shipping floor at SPA/Panther a few days ago. It is not powder coated, but it has a twin that was just finished that was. These two mounts had been the last two on the back order list. My humble apologies to the builders that waited for them. They were late, but the quality will not disappoint.
If your progress this fall includes mounting your engine, Please get a look at this page: http://shop.flycorvair.com/product-category/airframe-accessory-parts/
If you are headed to one of the upcoming events, and you would like to pick up a mount in person, contact Rachel at SPA, 904-626-7777 (extension #1) about an order, she will be glad to help.
Below is the numbering system for mounts that we use in our manual, and in the ordering system. The links in color can be clicked on to read the story about the parts:
Motor mounts (4200)
4201(A)- Zenith 601/650 mount, all models
4201(B)- Zenith 750/Cruiser mount
4201(C)- Pietenpol mount, high thrust line
4201(D)- KR2/2S mount, conventional gear
4201(E)- KR2/2S mount, tricycle gear
4201(F)- Custom mounts
4202- Tray and spools