2,700 cc / 100 hp Zenith engine of Jim Barber 


Another running Corvair, test run outside the SPA/ Panther factory. Jim came down for Finishing School #2, but his progress was halted buy the failure of Chinese head studs, which were installed in his case by another Corvair shop, when he was torquing his heads.



Above, Jim’s engine running today on my stand in Florida.


The shop that installed the Chinese head studs didn’t test them, because they would have known they were less than 50% of required strength. I have been called everything from xenophobic to racist for speaking out against Chinese products, but the material doesn’t lie, these studs were expensive garbage without heat treatment.


The manufacturer didn’t replace them for Jim, The importer didn’t, and neither did the person who installed them. They just made their buck and washed their hands. Who fixed this? Dan and I did, and it required a lot of work, but we happen to be in the business of solving problems, not creating them.


We asked Jim to leave the engine and pick it up when he came back to Florida on vacation, next week. One more engine done right. If you are getting started on Corvairs this year, learn two lessons; pick the right people to work with the first time, and if the right people don’t use parts from Chairman Mao’s workers paradise, it isn’t because their racist, it just because your engine has to work.






Short video of the engine running.

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.

6 Responses to 2,700 cc / 100 hp Zenith engine of Jim Barber 

  1. dan glaze says:

    its sad to say but when I buy replacement blower motors for furnaces now, made in Mexico is my choice, the Chinese motors suck. ( no pun intended ) I cannot find any replacement motors made in the USA anymore. dan-o

  2. Dennis McGuire says:

    Thank you for another valuable lesson Sir. Your the best. You have given me a perspective on engines. Starting from scratch instead of just buying will bring me to hear and feel the heartbeat of my engine along with being one with the Aeroplane.
    Bobby Paulk sent you some info and photos of Sam Garvin’s Pietenpol project that sits in Pat Green’s hanger.
    I want to buy it but I don’t have the cash right now due to my wife’s medical problems. I offered him my gun collection but he needs cash not rifles and pistols or ammo.
    I hate to see that get away because it is worth more than what Sam Garvin is asking.

  3. Sarah Ashmore says:

    This may have already been answered by it’s absence but can you divulge who is selling Chinese head studs for Corvair engines so that others will not fall into that trap. My own engine is safely completed so I just ask this for those who are still building and buying parts and services. I assume that Clark’s remains the safe source for such parts with the exception of rocker arms (original only).

  4. Pj Jacobsen says:

    How do you test those? Do you hang a boulder off one or do you look it up somewhere?

  5. David Swann says:

    Hi William,
    I remember Jim from the finishing school and he is a super nice guy im glad you got him going. PJ the procedure for testing studs are on the web site.

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