The correct supplies for engine building 

Builders,

We are less than three weeks away from the first college of 2017. Going to the college or not, well prepared builders will use the correct, specified supplies for building their engine. I write about this frequently, but here are all the major items drawn into one photo. I encourage builders to use the comments section to share additional sources for these items. They are commonly available, and there is no reason to substitute other supplies.

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Above, L to R:

Loctite 620, from McMaster-Carr.

ZDDP, comes with our Group 1100 cam kits on shelf. or from Clarks Corvairs

ARP Ultra Torque thread lubricant, from Summit Racing

Shell Rotella T-4 oil 15W-40 from Walmart

ND sparkplug, from Summit, see Critical Understanding Reference Page for your application

Permatex Ultra Grey RTV sealant, from NAPA or other auto parts stores.

Lubriplate  105 grease, used on all O-rings, from NAPA or other auto parts stores.

Champion Spark Plug Lube, from Aircraft Spruce. Read story:Spark Plug Installation.

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The item at the bottom is a tool that perfectly squeezes RTV tubes, many people have seen mine at colleges. Dan Weseman has access to more of these if you want to buy one. Not pictured is Loctite 515, for installing a 5th bearing. While you are at it, please read: List of “back to Corvair College” supplies, it is a list complied by Tim Hansen, an incredibly prepared builder who, no surprise, has a running engine.

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Learn a new idea today: About a decade ago, I invested a number of weeks and thousands of dollars in first rate anger management training. It improved my life. However, I can attest that anger is a disease that training will teach you to put into remission,but it isn’t a cure. In practical terms, this means that there are things people can do or say that challenge my ability to be polite. I am never dangerous, but I do have a sharp tongue which has previously cost me dearly. In the interest of civility, let us avoid anyone saying the following to me:

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“They didn’t have the stuff you specified, so I got this It is just as good”

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“Silver anti-seize is the same as Ultra torque”

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“My local expert says your wrong, he always slathers plugs in silver anti-seize

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“It says Loctite on the package, so the number doesn’t matter”

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“I was going to get the stuff you said, but it cost $14, so I got this and saved $3″

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“But I have always used NGK plugs in my Yogo and Kia

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“You told us exactly what to get, but you didn’t really mean ‘exactly’ did you?”

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“I was going to buy the stuff, but then I realized that I could just mooch it off everyone else at the college, because saving $40 is more important than making friends and being respected.”

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“Don’t you have supplies I can use? what did I pay all that money at sign up for?”

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Thank you, for your part in making the world a better place and lowering my blood pressure.

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-wewjr.

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World’s fastest Simplex

Builders,

I worked in the hangar today prepping a production engine for a test run tomorrow. Although it rained on an off here, it was tee shirt weather, and a good day for getting into a working groove. In the afternoon, Vern stopped by and kept me company, and we talked about all the things we would like to do this year.

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Somewhere in the conversation Vern brought up the my 1955 Simplex, which I keep as a piece of art in the living room. I have had the bike for more than 20 years, it stared as a bare chassis I found at the Turkey Rod Run. Vern asked when the last time I had it running was, and I said about 12 years.  While I was prepping the engine, Vern wheeled  the Simplex from the living room to the hangar and cleaned the carb and the gascolater.  It didn’t take much monkeying, it started on the second pull. After airing up the tires, we took it for a few laps around the airpark.

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Above a 19 second movie of Vern riding the bike. “The Worlds Fastest Indian” is Vern’s all time favorite movie, thus the story title. Original Simplex’s had modest power. Mine has 2 times the output and an asymmetric  Comet overdriven variable speed drive. The originals went about 35 mph. I clocked mine at 56mph on the taxiway at the Spruce Creek Fly-in, but since the tires are dry rotted today, neither of us did more than 30 mph or so.

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Above, the bike beside our runway at dusk. Simplexes were made in New Orleans 1935-60, at the worlds first air-conditioned assembly line. They were the brain child of Paul Treen. The bike only weighs 125 pounds. If you look at pictures all the way back to Corvair College #1, you can see it at our old hangar.

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In 1989, I was offered a running Indian “30.50” Pony Scout for $2,500, but in a decision I have regretted ever since, I chose not to buy it for the shallowest of  reasons: I only had $50 more than that in the bank. I like bikes from the 1920s and 30s, but in the 1990s, they became really unaffordable, so I caught up with the idea of making something of the same flavor. Thus the bike above. It really isn’t useful, but most art has no utility.

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Your Aviation Connection: If you are approaching home building for the best reason, because you want to lean, build your personal skills, and create something with your own hands, you will find that the skills you acquire, spill over into many other aspects of your mechanical world. This is particularly so for people who learn a lot about engines while homebuilding, a much smaller club. Vern and I knew how to start a decade dormant engine on the second pull, because we know how they work. There are a great number of people who can afford to buy any machine, but they live in dread of the moment it stops because they have chosen to know nothing about how it works. That is embarrassing on a bike, it has more serious consequences in planes. By choosing to learn all you can about planes, you are putting yourself in a small group of people….The ones who will know the rewards of homebuilding, not just the surface ones that can be bought by anyone.

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-wewjr.

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