The real Colonel Sanders?

Builders;

When photos of me at Sun n Fun 2018 with short hair and whiskers showed up on the internet, a few of my ‘friends’ who are born smart asses couldn’t resist calling me “Colonel Sanders” , as if they never made fun of me with a long hair also. It was all in good fun, for them anyways. But now the last heckle belongs to me…..

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Above, taken in my tent at Oshkosh 2018. So who looks like Colonel sanders? Pictured with me is Billy Kerchner, a Corvair/Sonex builder from PA. His Harland David Sanders look beats mine by a mile. Move over Norm Macdonald, Rob Lowe and Darrel Hammond, you have met your match.

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OK, Get this: I spoke with Billy on the phone today. He just called SPA today and purchased a Corvair motor mount for his airframe. He is also signed up for Corvair College #43 at Barnwell SC in November. One of the topics we covered in the call was his selection of a 3.3 liter displacement Corvair for his bird. We also covered some college prep details. So it looks like the guys with goatees and white hair had a stellar day of productivity and planning. Maybe you guys who made fun of me will get with the program, grow some facial hair and make some ass kicking progress. 

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All in fun, wewjr.

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Pressing Cam Gears

Builders,

One of the other tasks today was pressing new cam gears on our cams for Group 1100 cam kits. T learn more, get a coffee and read this link: 1100-WW Camshaft Group. This is a really good look at the issue of thrust washers being correctly installed, you can look at the dated photos and see I have been beating this drum for 12 years. This is why you don’t just go to anyone to instal a cam gear. I also wrote this update in 2017: Update notes to 2014 manual, 1100 – Camshaft group

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There are a lot of small elements to get right with the camshaft group, but almost all builders just get the full group 1100 kit from us. http://shop.flycorvair.com/product/1100-cam-shaft-kit/ is the link to the products page.

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“The press that launched a thousand cam gears”. The cam fits through the 1.5″ hole in the steel plate. if you want to have a new respect for Lennox bi-metal hole saws, the hole in the inch thick plate was bored by one in less than 5 minutes. 250 rpm in a drill press and lots of oil, and the hole saw wasn’t even dulled. The aluminum horse shoe is a 7/8 inch thick slab of 7075 alloy. It supports the cam just behind the first journal. I carefully cut it so the cam will gimbal under the press and self align under the press. The press itself has a cup shaped head because the very end of a Corvair cam protrudes 3/32″ past the gear when fully seated, and you can’t send it ‘home’ with a flat pressing face. I heat the gear very carefully on a glass grill for 30 minutes to saturate it at 300F.  It goes on with mounting pressure, once it bottoms I actually drive it to 6 tons. If you give it 10 minutes to cool, the pressure will drop off to 4.5-5 tons. If you don’t do this the thrust washer will not be tight when it cools. If the cam gear is too cool, it will gall, if it is too hot it is soft and will distort under pressure. Typing the 3 sentences above cost about 40 cam gears to learn and perfect my technique 20 years ago, when I could ill afford the $1,600 learning curve, but I spent it anyway.

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The sticker is a 2003 graphic designed by Gus Warren to express how well our Corvairs work on Zenith aircraft. We has hats and shirts also, today they are collectors items. Last year Sebastien Heintz had a photo of a very attractive passenger  wearing a tee shirt, airborne in the factory Zenith Cruiser on his FB page. They turn up every now and then in nice settings.

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Above, the Craftsman screwdriver (classic, not a made in China one) is pointing to the cam’s thrust washer. It is part of the design, because the Corvair uses a sophisticated angled gear tooth design that smooths the operation of the valve train.  The gears I use are made in the USA billets from California Corvairs. they are about $70 by themselves, a very well made part. The little green square on the face of the gear is a small patch of zinc chromate primer I apply before heating the gears. I check the temperature with an infa-red meter, which will not read accurately on any glossy or shiny surface like the cam gear. I just aim it at the flat paint mark and it works like a charm. I have verified this method many times with very accurate Fluke contact thermometers I have.

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Turn off the TV and Computer, now go have a productive night.

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Wewjr.