The correct supplies for engine building 


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.



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.


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.


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:


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


“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.”


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


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




13 Replies to “The correct supplies for engine building ”

  1. Hey, a very useful piece! I appreciate the photograph, as opposed to a lotta words.
    Okay, maybe I am slow, and should read and retain the information, but I have limits as I age (a fairly nice excuse, eh?).
    We can slog through the manuals and all of the technical and philosophical stuff (which I really enjoy, it conjures up a lot of thoughts), but it does take some effort to extract the important and meaningful material. For those of us with a lot of other aviation-unrelated tasks, and/or not having a matrix of prior ideas and experiences on which to hang the info, a lot falls by the wayside. THIS piece really helps.
    Now, we shall see if the foregoing was a lot of lip service, or if I will arrive at Barnwell with the proper materials.

  2. Before I went to the CC to build my engine I went through the manual and video’s making a list of every product and part specified for the build. When I arrived I had them all at hand so no problems. A little planning ahead to be sure you have all the materials and all the correct parts goes a long way to getting the work done in the few days you have when you are at the CC and going home with a running engine.

    1. Ah, you made a list! Is it available for others to use?
      But yes, I am going through the manuals to make a list of items and parts yet to be purchased.

      I talked to Dan W. a short while ago, about the size of Loctite 620 bottles etc. He suggests that if one is short it would be possible to go to a local auto supply store for commonly available stuff. But, Loctite products are not so readily available, for example.

      Thanks for the suggestion, Sarah,

      1. I built a spreadsheet in Excel to list all parts and materials I needed to have on hand to do the engine build and it was a detailed list. As I bought the items on the list I indicated that by changing the text color from red to green and adding the price paid so I would know at the end how much I had spent. I found it to be a lot of help with getting organized along with getting a bunch of reusable plastic storage boxes to sort the various categories of items into. You can check my project website “” to see the collection of boxed materials I had set aside to load when I went to the CC. Look for the entry on 4-01-2014 to see my materials collection. I found all of this to be a very organized approach and I was in good shape when I got there to start the build. The only thing I did not have was the carriage bolts and nuts that WW recommends as feet for the engine to sit on after it is completed. That was handled by a quick trip to Home Depot by a helper while we were getting the engine set up to run. The carriage bolts were a new concept to me and they make a great and inexpensive engine stand so you do not end up setting the engine down on the oil pan. They are not well documented anywhere I have seen but worth a few words and a picture to illustrate their simple function.

  3. Another good place to copy this list to is your Condition Inspection Checklist, so it can be referenced when maintenance is performed. Dedicate a shelf in the hangar so these supplies can be found all in one place, along with spares for distributor cap, rotor, spark plugs, inner tubes, etc.

  4. A bit off topic but i recently came across one of your alumni thomas siminski crah report, being its the same plane a ch750 and engine corvair i intend to build, and he being an alumni, I expected i would find one of your posts describing how despite explicit instructions to the contrary he went and did this stupid thing you have repeatedly warned against. Instead i only found one post about him where you seemed to praise his efforts. Since the crash as far as I could tell may have something to do with one of the plugs blasting out of it socket that was stripped before or during, I expected you would have written something post crash. Have I missed a post, or do you have any further info on that crash?

    1. Collen, I will write a separate story later, but some accidents I can’t comment on because I have spoken to the FAA or NTSB, and you are not to comment until the final report is issued. Tom is a good guy, but made what I consider serious judgement errors in operations, starting with damaging his plane on the first flight. I have testing that shows a Zenith will fly on 5 cylinders just fine, as the dyno shows the engine makes 78% of it’s power dragging a dead cylinder, it would be even higher with a plug blown out, which BTW is not a normal occurrence, it had to be provoked.

  5. out of curiosity what is ultra torque is like a molybdenum assembly paste similar to LPS moly G ,or is it a dry graphite type thread lubricant. and I take it the lubriplate is a lithium based paste with zinc additives, which is used to lubricate all orings correct? Lastly , it is correct to say that no antiseize compound is used on this aircraft conversion engine, only ultra torque correct? (except for the spark dry lube compound)

  6. It might be worth adding a supply of copper washers (14mm) to use with the spark plugs in place of the stock washers that come with them. I am assuming that is still the standard recommendation even with the new Denso plugs recently discussed. Those are not something you can run out to the local parts store for and you do need them.

  7. I have a couple questions: In the EIB assembly manual from SPA, I see that Lubriplate 105 is not on the list of included or “not included but recommended” sealants/lubricants. I have a tube of it, but it seems plain white lithium is used in many places – not sure if that is what the 105 was for. Also listed is Sta-Lube Assembly lube (as optional instead of the Rotella 15W40 used in a number of assembly operations) and EZ Turn lube is on the list of not included. In my initial reading of the manual, I didn’t see where the EZ Turn was used – oil or fuel fittings?

    1. Ok, I see that EZ Turn is used on all NPT oil fitting threads. Still wondering though about the 105 that I don’t see mentioned in the SPA assembly manual.

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