Inexpensive carb testing

Builders,

Inexpensive carbs, the testing of the day. Dan Weseman had been looking at an adaptation of a specialized carb for a while. Today was the day we ran it for a long time and ran a lot of flow and hot start tests. It worked pretty good. It is made in America and costs about $400 new.

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Above, the carb feeding a 2700cc Corvair on my run stand outside the SPA/Panther factory.

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Above, The carb and adaptor to our standard Corvair manifold.  The carb is aimed at 200 cid industrial forklift engines. It is not approved for aircraft use by the manufacturer, so if you need support from their tech department, it has to asked in a way that doesn’t threaten the job and livelihood of the guy answering your questions. For people who have a hard time reading between the lines: Don’t call nor email the manufacturer.

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The 1/2″ thick aluminum adaptor was drawn by Dan at is desk, sent to his CNC machine, I tapped the holes, and it was on the run stand start to finish in 60 minutes. Note the carb mounting holes are recessed below the gasket line.As Dan said, some days it is fun to be at work.

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Above, the carb in action. On the same engine, under the same conditions, it gave up less than 40 rpm to a perfectly tuned MA3-SPA. This is the stuff you learn testing. Visually, you can see from the adaptor above, the carb has a much smaller throat diameter than the MA3.  If I show an internet discussion group the smaller carb, 90 percent of the people would state that it would be a terrible power loss. Testing proves that it isn’t. This is why talk is cheap, testing costs money, and being ignorant costs a fortune.

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-ww.

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Testing at Sensenich Propellers

Builders,

Yesterday, Dan Weseman, Paul Salter and myself drove 150 miles south with the Panther prototype to Sensenich Propellers. The task was to have their engineering staff test the combination of their Composite ground adjustable prop blades on the most powerful Corvair, Dan’s 3.3 liter stroker engine. It was a productive and interesting day. Dan had long planned this, and we wanted to squeeze it in before the end of the year. Sensenich has designed a specific prop for The Panther, but the testing paves the way for existing Composite props to be used on Corvairs. We have used Sensenich wood and wood/composite fixed pitch props on Corvairs dating back to 2003, and we extensively tested them on Zeniths, KRs, Pietenpols and even our Wagabond had one. But Yesterdays efforts were directed at Sensenich’s hollow, molded composite blades, recognized for their outstanding performance and their ability to be used in ground adjustable and constant speed hubs like the Airmaster.

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Above, Dan in the panther, while an engineer logs the data. it isn’t like a simple prop balance, this information is vastly more complex, and will require many hours of analysis.

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Above, Paul standing with one of Sensenich’s air boat blades. It is hollow composite. Three of these will effectively work on a 380hp GSIO-540. Half of their business is airboats, and they have a lot of work from it. The factory is highly automated with all types of CNC equipment, but still employs 30 craftsmen. A tour through their facility is a very effective demonstration that much of the “Conventional wisdom” spread on the internet and in hangar flying sessions is BS, modern props are doing many things ‘internet experts’ say will never happen. So much for props that are tapered to eliptical toothpicks at the tips.

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Above, to be said with a Marlin Brando accent: ” I cudda been a propella” . This is a 10 yard dumpster filled with cut offs and scraps of yellow birch, sourced from the US, mostly in New York state. It is a fairly dense wood, and what most of their fixed pitch wood props are made of. Sensenich is an actual FAA certified aircraft prop manufacturer, whos products have to meet certified standards. This isn’t a nice guy with a draw knife and a cult following, it is real American manufacturing.

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Above, The office had a super cool cut away of a Sensenich skyblade adjustable prop from the 1940s. This is not an Aeromatic, notice the diaphragm at the top. This was designed for certified aircraft.

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Above, a series of intricate strain gauges attached to the blade root, the highest stressed part of the blades. The connections were soldered to wires leading to a radio transmitter in the prop hub, so the data they read was transmitted wirelessly to the computers on the bench. If you look at the first photo, you can see the receiving antenna attached to the blue bucket in front of the plane.

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Above, opposite blade, with it’s strain gauges installed on the node lines of the blades. This is looking for resonant frequency data. The node lines were previously established on a shaker table inside. The silver writing is upside down here but it shows the fist second and third lines. These blades are incredibly stiff, and these frequencies are very high, well outside the rpm range of the prop. The testing went all the way to 3600 rpm in 50 rpm increments.

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Something funny: Earlier in the year, a guy was telling a few people that he had some combination of a Chinese crank and a bearing that would be the only way to put a complex prop on a Corvair, and the Weseman made inUSA billet crank and Gen II 5th bearing was not up for it. Here’s the joke: The cost of yesterdays run of testing on Dan’s products, and the development of parts is covered by Sensenich.  These blades are already in New Zealand at the Airmaster factory in a test prop specifically designed for Dan’s 5th bearing and our prop hub. Real propeller companies with staffs of actual engineers who have spent their entire careers looking at these specific issues, working on the combination, Yet one idiot with a keyboard and access to a discussion group can claim that he and his Chinese crank are the ‘solution’.

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Custom Corvair Motor Mounts and installation components. 

Builders;

Over the years 1996-2016 I built about 50 one of a kind motor mounts to install a Corvair in unique or limited popularity airframes.  If you look back over the old photos on my traditional site: http://flycorvair.com/ you can see pictures of mounts on airframes like the Pegzair, Eich/J-2, Buttercup, Tailwind, Jr Ace, Stitts Skycoupe, KR-1, Kitfox #4, Skylite,  and Varieze.  There were a number of designs that started as one mount, but took years for a second one to sell, these include the Dragonfly, the 701, the Flybaby and the Wagabond. 

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While just four designs, the Zenith 601/650, the Zenith 750, the Pietenpol Aircamper and the KR-2 and 2S make up 90% of the total mounts we have made over the years, I still wanted to support the airframes choices that some builders made. As a general policy, if it was a good match to the airframe, and the builder seriously wanted it, I was willing to make it.

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The plan got a number of interesting planes going and was a good way to demonstrate both the versatility of the engine, and our technical ability to support builders. But it also had several serious flaws: Although most custom mounts take four times as long to build, and a lot of planning, I typically only charged builders the same rate as the closest “big four” mount, and second, I didn’t always get builders to acknowledge that custom mounts took time, and were not the highest priority in the shop. This meant I lost money on every one of these mounts, and was often rewarded by having an impatient customer complain to on line discussion groups, without ever mentioning the price, nor the fact his was building an obscure, obsolete airframe. Let those mounts stand as “Exhibit A” that I am both dumb and a slow learner.

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Under the principle “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese” , Dan Weseman is now trying his hand at offering custom motor mounts and exhausts. Because he believes it isn’t required to repeat the mistakes of friends, he is making these mounts, but requiring the builders to understand they are going to cost more than standard mounts, and they are not in stock like the “big four” mounts. He is glad to look at doing mounts for builders as long as conversation starts with the understanding of these to points.

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Above, It looks like a number of other mounts, but this is a picture of a Savanna S mount.  It was built by Dan Weseman at SPA/Panther. Note that it has it’s own custom exhaust that fits it like a glove.  While the mount is built around the same basic “tray”  as other mounts, and the exhaust system uses our decade prove stainless steel subcomponents, they still take a lot of time to design and build. These items are shown on my dummy engine, installed on a rotting stand, because all kind of components have to be check for clearance and the ability to be routinely serviced. Additionally, calculations for both weight and balance, thrust line and stress must be done. This is why a one of a kind mount has to cost a lot more, because a popular mount can have these cost spread over many of it’s kind.  Builders interested in talking to Dan about a mount can call him at 904-626-7777.

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Zero back ordered Motor Mounts.

Builders,

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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-ww.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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Motor mounts (4200)

4201(A)- Zenith 601/650 mount, all models

Zenith 601/650 Motor mounts, P/N 4201(A)

4201(B)- Zenith 750/Cruiser mount

Zenith 750/Cruiser Mounts. P/N 4201(B)

Zenith 750 Mount Sale, only 5 avail.

4201(C)- Pietenpol mount, high thrust line

Pietenpol Mount on airframe

Pietenpol Products, Motor mounts, Gear and Instalation Components.

Pietenpol Motor Mounts, P/N 4201(C)

Three Pietenpol Motor Mounts

4201(D)- KR2/2S mount, conventional gear

4201(E)- KR2/2S mount, tricycle gear

4201(F)- Custom mounts

4202- Tray and spools


 

 

 

New Front Spinner Bulkhead 

Builders:

For the last 15 years we have made a part called the “Front Spinner Bulkhead”. In our conversion manual numbering system it is Group #4000, Part #4002.  It is just for Corvairs using Warp Drive Props and the Van’s 13″ spinner. The part has traditionally had a molded fiberglass bulkhead with an aluminum crush plate. Below are pictures of the latest version, it has been modified to be 100% Aluminum. All of the existing backorders on this part have been filled with this new design.

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Above, a look at the part from the engine side. This is the 3/8″ thick crushplate required by Warp Drive Props. It is a precision CNC part.

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Above the spinner side of the part.  The six large holes allow getting a socket on the prop mounting bolts. The spun aluminum part starts out life as a Van’s aircraft part, but it has been fed through the CNC router at SPA/Panther to produce the correct SAE#1 bolt pattern and enlarge the holes for clearance. The complete assembly is put into a lathe, and checked for trueness. These Aluminum assemblies are slightly lighter and more true than previous Aluminum/fiberglass models. The sticker on the part shows that it has passed the final assembly check.

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This improved part is another example of how builders have benefited from my collaborative work with the Wesemans. 2016 has been a year of progress on the manufacturing and distribution of a number of products, all of which adds up to builders having a better opportunity to Learn Build and fly.

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To learn more about the part, follow this link: http://shop.flycorvair.com/product/4002-front-spinner-bulk-head/

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Parts for Oshkosh 

Builders

We are 15 days away from arriving at Oshkosh.  We have a number of items on the shelf, particularly large items like motor mounts, which we will be glad to bring to the event, but if you would like to make sure we have it for you to pick one up at the show, the best idea is to buy it in advance.

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This is the link to out products page:

http://shop.flycorvair.com/shop/

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When you place an order on this site, it is directly logged with the Weseman’s at SPA/Panther, where the inventory is actually stored. Thus, it can be shipped, packed or organized for pick up right away, no matter where I am in the country. This is the system we have had in place since February 1st, and it works great, and allowed excellent service to continue even while I am doing things like Back in Florida after 7,380 miles on tour.

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If you need to ask about a specific part or check available inventory, you can call SPA at 904-626-7777.

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Above, a set of Group 1900 valve covers. We had a special run of ten sets done in Black wrinkle finish (this is powder coating not paint) , and we have 7 sets left. If you were around hot rods in high school, you will remember the very popular M/T (Mickey Thompson) valve covers for V-8s, which had this same look.

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Above, a close look at the finish on the valve covers. They can be supplied with graphics for any HP output, 100-110-120.

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Above is a high thrust line Pietenpol motor mount. There are currently two of these on the shelf, and I am going to bring them to Brodhead on Saturday, were I am giving my traditional afternoon forum.  If you wish to insure picking one up, paying for it in advance is a good idea. Shipping on motor mounts is substantial, and we save builders this cost when they pick it up in person. For more info, read this: #4201-C Pietenpol Motor mounts, now on the shelf, ready for shipping.

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Above ScoobE with Zenith mounts on our back porch. Read the 2014 story he wrote on them: 750 Mount 4201(B) for sale, Story by Scoob E  . Over the years I have made more than 100 zenith 750 mounts, and more than 250 zenith 601/650 mounts.  That is a proven product from a stable source.

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We also have 6 Zenith 750 mounts and one 650/601 mount on hand. Read Parts Production improvements- #4201 Motor Mounts. These are very popular at Oshkosh, and often sell out by the second day.  If you would like to pick one up and save the shipping, order in advance.

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Above , Sunset in the dry part of eastern Washington, 75 miles south of Spokane.  The arrangement with the Weseman’s to distribute the Corvair parts in our catalog has worked incredibly well. Crucial to my goal of teaching builders skills is being able to travel to them, and I can now do this without taxing customer service.  Six months ago, I had a very long back order list, including things like 44 E/P-X distributors and 27 Zenith and Pietenpol motor mounts. Today we have no back orders on these, but that is just part of the story. I have also done the Western tour with three colleges, continued on a high pace of R&D projects, kept up with communications , and most important, been able to spend a significant amount of time with my Father. My gratitude for the efforts of the Weseman’s this year is particularly based on this last item. When good people assist you in making the right thing happen at a critical time, perhaps the only way this can be described is as a blessing.
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#4201-C Pietenpol Motor mounts, now on the shelf, ready for shipping.

Builders:

These motor mounts are a good example of advancements in our 2016 operations.  Over many years, I developed and hand made several dozen of these mounts. They are on many well known Corvair powered Pietenpols, and the design allows the plane to be flown with larger pilots without having aft CG issues common to other engines. The only drawbacks to the mount was that it was difficult for me to meet demand for them, and second, because of builder variations in fuselage width, we ended up making them in two slightly different widths. Both of these issues have now been eliminated, we have filled all the back orders, and we now have these mounts on the shelf, ready for immediate shipping.

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To make the availability better, the solution was to advance the production from hand fitted tubing sets, to using full on CNC cut tubing sets like we do on all our Zenith mounts. There is a significant tool up charge for this and the tubing sets cost much more than the raw tubing, but it removes a lot of labor from the job and increases the quality of the finished mount. It also allows us to use SPA resources as I wrote in this related story: Parts Production improvements- #4201 Motor Mounts

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The second innovation actually came from the mind of Dan Weseman. I was explaining to him how many Piet builders miss the plans specified fuselage with of 24.00″ because they don’t put the plywood on the fuselage until later, and only then discover their finished width is 24.25″. Because of the style of the fuselage attach points, this would normally require two different mounts. After looking at this for a while, Dan offered the idea pictured below, which allows one mount to cover any fuselage between 24.00-and 24.25″ width.  This allows stocking mounts that will serve all fuselages.

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From here forward, we will build several batches a year of these mounts, with the intention of keeping the on the shelf to stay ahead of orders. Right now we have a small number on hand, extras from the first CNC batch that filled all the existing orders. If you are a Pietenpol builder, and you would like to advance your project by purchasing one of these mounts, you can order it directly from the link below to our products page. If you order it today, it can be at your location in 2 or 3 days. That is a serious improvement, and typical of the many advancement we have made in 2016.

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Above, a top view of the mount. They are all powder coated haze gray. To understand the development of the design, read this story: Three Pietenpol Motor Mounts.

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Above, the detail that makes it work on both fuselage widths: The mount is held to the airframe with four AN-5 bolts. ( The bolt illustrated is just for reference, it is not the correct length nor is it an AN bolt. ) On each of these four bolts there are two AN-960-516 washers, acting as spacers. If they are installed as above, on the inboard side of the mount, the mount fits a 24.00″ wide fuselage like a glove. If the washers are installed on the outboard side of the mount, it will fit a 24.25″ wide fuselage perfectly. This even works for the one guy who made a 24.125″ wide fuselage, as he can put one washer on each side.

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Although this seems like an obvious idea, it has actually been checked very closely on CAD drawings to make sure the tube shown doesn’t contact the ears on the fuselage attach brackets on either fuselage width. A special note to other Pietenpol builders: The 1960s revisions to the Piet plans show a much more elaborate straps and finger patched on the mount legs. If you are building your own mount, particularly if you are not a professional aircraft welder or you are using a gas welder instead of TIG, follow the plans, do not try to imitate the design shown here. What makes it work for us is the fact we are using very thick wall 5/8 tubing for the bolts to pass through, the 3/4 tubing welded to it is perfectly CNC’ed  to fit, The material is all US made tubing, it is 100% TIG welded with state of the art machines, and most critically, it is all welded by Travis, Vern or myself. This is not a particularly challenging weld, nor is it highly stressed, but I have seen a lot of guys who say “I’ll get my buddy to do this, he had been welding for 25 years, and he works cheap” and the guy isn’t capable of reliably making that weld, nor honest enough to admit he can’t. If you are not going to get the mount from me, use the style of fitting shown in the plans, not the welding style pictured here.

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Left side view of the mount. It is 100% 4130 aircraft steel, 100% TIG welded. We have never had any steel of unknown quality (Chinese) in any aircraft mount we have sold. If you are looking at tubing for sale, even in aircraft catalogs, and it doesn’t specify the country of origin, there is a fair chance it is from China. The CNC factory that supplies our tubing kits is the #1 suppler of aircraft tubing kits in the world, I know the owner personally, and he has plenty of evidence to show that Chinese tubing isn’t made to the same standards no matter what it is marked. None of the kits he supplies to any of his customers use tubing from China.

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Bottom view of the mount. The diagonal brace on the mount is required on a Pietenpol, but not all other Corvair mounts. The requirement is mostly driven by the narrow with of the from of the Pietenpol fuselage.  The diagonal tube make the mount very stiff in torsion.

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Related stories:

Current Corvair Installation in a Pietenpol, part #1

Current Corvair Installation in a Pietenpol, Part 2

Steel tube Pietenpol fuselage with landing gear and 12 x 4.8″ tires.

Pietenpol Products, Motor mounts, Gear and Instalation Components.

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If you are a Pietenpol builder, and would like more information on the Corvair/Piet combination or the life of B.H. Pietenpol, look at this link:  Corvair – Pietenpol Reference page

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Link to products page:

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http://shop.flycorvair.com/product/4201-b-engine-mount-pietenpol-high-thrust-line/

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Parts Production improvements- #4201 Motor Mounts

Builders,

Below is a snapshot taken today at SPA/Pather’s shipping department: Notice that there are 17 Powder coated Corvair motor mounts ready to be shipped. This is only part of the total, there are more still in the powder coating process.

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From L to R, the first eight mounts are #4201-B Zenith 750 mounts. The next ones are #4201-A Zenith 601/650 mounts. The ones on top of the boxes are Cleanex mounts that Dan and Rachel sell. The others on the floor are Zenith 650 mounts. You can get a look at the mounts I sell at this link:  http://shop.flycorvair.com/product-category/airframe-accessory-parts/

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Here is another advantage of working with the Wesemans: Although I have spent the last few weeks in Texas and California, progress with our parts still happens, and things are being shipped all the time.  Last year when I was wearing too many hats and trying to meet family commitments, I got slow on making motor mounts.  In addition to having Dan and Rachel handle  the sales and distribution of our parts, I can also tap into their talent resources as well. Travis is the 30 year old head of their welding department, a very talented young man. When I needed to get caught up, Dan suggested I contract with them to have Travis weld out the CNC tubing kits, and bring my fixture over to their shop. Sounded great. I returned from California to find I have no more back orders, and we now have both styles of Zenith mounts in stock ready for immediate shipment. Synergy at it’s finest.

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If you need a mount for your Zenith, you can order one directly off the catalog link above. Even though I will be back in California in 48 hours finishing the western College tour, The Weseman’s will make sure your mount arrives shortly. If you have any specific questions on ordering not covered on the site, please call 904-626-7777 and speak with Rachel.

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I have been welding since 1978 or so, and I have welded parts that are flying all over the globe. I am pretty sure I have done 400+ Corvair mounts in the last 20 years. I can’t sing, nor dance, but I can weld, and I have some pride in that…..and that is what makes the next part hard: Dan and Rachel’s chief welder Travis, has been at welding for less than five years…..and he is better than I am.  I know I am supposed to be a self actualized adult, and that competitive instincts are a sign of something, but damn, it fries me just how good Travis is. When I have welded 200 Zenith mounts, and they are damn good, but Travis’s third one looks better than any one of the ones I have ever welded, it just makes me feel old. What makes it worse is that Travis is super polite and very humble.  When he is laying down the 100th foot of perfect bead for the day, I resort to childish things like saying Travis, please explain the significance of the National Labor Relations act of 1934″ Without stopping the bead he politely says “I am not familiar with that Mr. Wynne” to which I respond “Well young Travis, you see there are more important things in life than just being a better welder than me, there is great stuff to learn like arcane trivia of American political history I know so well, so you see I still am a critical part of society, even if you can perform mundane tasks like welding slightly better than I care to.”  I am reasonably sure I am the weirdest person Travis has ever met, and that is saying something because he is from Kentucky.

-ww.

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3,000 cc engines and parts going out the door.

Builders.

In the weeks before heading our on the Western College tour, we were productively making engines and parts so that SPA could ship them directly to builders who ordered them, even long after I was out at the Colleges. Many of these parts were also sold by SPA at their booth at Sun n Fun last week. This keeps the parts getting to builders even when I am very far away. If you missed the story about having the Weseman’s distribute our parts, read this: Outlook 2016, New order page and distribution method.

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Here are a few pictures from the weeks before I departed on the current trip. I assembled and test ram three 3,000 cc engines, and made large quantizes Of HV-2000 oil cases (  http://shop.flycorvair.com/product/2000-rear-oil-case-group/  ) 1100 cam kits ( http://shop.flycorvair.com/product/1100-cam-shaft-kit/) and E/P-X distributors (http://shop.flycorvair.com/product/3301-epx-distributor/) If you have a specific question on availability, you can send a message to the contact info on the order page, or you can call the Wesemans direct at 904-626-7777.

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Above, a 3,000 cc Corvair destined for Fred Thomas’s Zenith 750, during it’s break in run in my front yard. Like the other two 3,000 cc engines, this one features a Weseman Gen II crank and 5th bearing, and their piston/rod/cylinder kit, as well as heads the make.  In 2016, we have a new engine ordering system and pricing, for a look, read this: Outlook 2016, Ordering a Completed Engine.

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Above, a different 3,000 cc engine after it break in run. This engine is now on the front of Jan Riddenour’s Tailwind in Idaho. I was able to build and test run all three engines, and make the other parts in 5 weeks because of two factors: Having the Weseman’s running the distribution of parts takes a large task off my plate, and secondly, Between our catalog of parts and theirs, we had every part needed on the shelf to build the engines, which eliminated contacting a lot of different sources or waiting for heads from the former supplier. Dan and Rachel carefully QA/QC all of their parts not just to make sure they meet spec. but also to insure that they are compatible on the finest detail with all other engine parts we offer, to eliminate any snags which crop up from suppliers who may make a good part, but don’t care if it is truly compatible with the other parts you are using.

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Above a glance at the shipping room at SPA/Panther. All of the 6x6x18 boxes in the foreground are either an 1100 cam kit, a set of valve covers, or an E/P distributor. The stacks of parts in bins or on the left are all stuff that was shipped to builders for Colleges on the western tour.  The Weseman’s have excellent ordering systems, integrated records inventory tracking, and shipping records.  While Grace and I always kept good records, it never operated anywhere near the level built into the SPA/Panther system. Distributing our parts is actually a small organizational task in comparison to organizing the 100’s of individual parts that go into perfectly complete kit like a Panther.  When I saw how well they handeled the Panther parts, it made sense to ask them to take care of our parts with the same system.

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Above,  3,000 cc engine crated and ready to be shipped from SPA/Panther’s shop.  Because of the volume of airframe parts they ship around the world, Rachel has access to the lowest rates on shipping, and can also have her crew rapidly crate up things for safe shipping. For a look at the full catalog of our parts available through the Weseman’s  get a look at this:

http://shop.flycorvair.com/shop/

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Group 2400-L Starter installation instructions.

Builders:

Our ‘ultimate’ evolution of starter systems is the 2400-L  series. It was flight tested on the SPA/Panther early in 2015, and has since become the benchmark for simple, ultra-light, efficient and powerful starters for Corvairs. We have produced several hundred, and they are now our standard starter we recommend to every builder.

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The great majority of flying Corvair powered planes utilize one of the Nippon Denso based starters we sold between 2002 and 2015. These are good systems, and they use the same basic starter design as most of the high performance aftermarket starters for Lycomings.  To justify a new generation of starters, the New 2400-L series would have to be significantly lighter, simpler to install, and be even more efficient. After a lot of R&D and testing, we met all these goals. The new starter is 3 pounds lighter, it has a very simple set up that takes only minutes, and surprisingly, it cranks the Corvair faster, while using less amps, and having a much lower voltage drop.  It meets these goals at a modest price increase over earlier systems.

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We sell the system as a complete kit which includes all the items in the 2400 starter group. This is explained in detail in the conversion manual. The included items are the Starter itself, the mounting brackets, the Gold top cover, and the ring gear.  The direct link to see the kit for sale is here: https://flycorvair.net/product/2400l-ultra-light-weight-starter-kit/

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Above, The 2400-L system atop my own personal Corvair engine. The starter is powerful enough to crank any Corvair (Dan Weseman has one on his high compression 3.3 Liter Corvair: SPA / Weseman 3.3 Liter Corvair now running) on a very light weight battery.  The view shows how compact the unit is, the starter motor itself is smaller than a 12 ounce soda can. The starter above sports black powder coating that we put on some 2400-L starters for aesthetic reasons. The 2400-L kits are specifically made to mate with Weseman Group 3000 5th bearings.

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Top view of a Corvair built in our shop, showing 2400-L starter arrangement. The black part is the starter motor, the silver part is the integral solenoid. The Top Cover, brackets, main starter plate, and the starter nose are all made on high end CNC machines here in the US, and for this reason they are very accurate and easy to set up.

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Rear view of 2400- L starter on the dipstick side (Cylinders 1-3-5) of the engine. Because this starter has a very stiff 3/8″ think billet main plate, it does not need a tail bracket like our previous designs.  The mounting bracket on this side has a 7/16″ bolt fixed in it. This is the pivot bolt for the adjustment. On installation this bolt is snugged up just enough to still allow the starter to pivots for adjustment. After it is set, the nut is tightened to 45 foot pounds.

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Above, the non-dipstick side (Cylinders 2-4-6) of the engine. This mounting bracket has a 3/8″-24 stud fixed in it. The main plate, seen in natural aluminum here, is actually sloted where the stud goes through it. This provides the adjustment for the mesh between the ring gear and the starter. Once the adjustment is set, the NAS locknut is torqued to 25 foot pounds and the unit will hold this adjustment for good.

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Instillation sequence:

1) The ring gear is mounted on the Gold prop hub using the hardware that comes with the Gold hub. Most people paint the ring gear before installing it, other wise it will rust. Powder coating is not recommended, as it tends to fill in the valleys between the teeth and affect the mesh.

2) The gold top cover is mounted on the case with the twelve 5/16″ fasteners, each with a lock washer under the head. These need a light coat of anti-seize  (like ARP lube)  on the threads. The heads of the two fasteners which go under the starter must be the “button head” style provided, for clearance. The four starter bracket mounting bolts clamp the top cover, making the total fastener count sixteen, matching the number of holes in the top cover. The top cover gasket should have a thin film of Permatex ultra grey RTV sealer applied to each side. Before putting the sealer on, match the bolt pattern on the cover and gasket to the case, it is not symmetrical.

2) Each mounting bracket is held down by two 5/16″ bolts with lock washers under the heads. These bolts should have a light coating of anti-seize (like ARP lube) on the threads where they go into the case. They are torqued to 15 foot pounds. Bolt down the dip stick side, but leave the other side off for now.

3) The starter is mounted on the 7/16″ pivot bolt, and the nut is just snugged up to take out the slack, but still allow the starter to pivot. Using a pair of pliers gripping the starter gear teeth, pull the teeth forward to their extended position. Sick a small screwdriver behind the clutch ( the round part behind the teeth) to keep the clutch/gear teeth  extended forward.

4) Install  the non-dipstick side bracket on the main plate by putting the 3/8″ stud through the slotted hole in the plate. put the nut on lightly.

5) Pivot the starter down to meet the ring gear, and when it is close, install the two 5/16″ mounting bolts in  the non-dipstick side bracket.

6) Put a 1/16″ drill bit or welding rod in the valley between the two ring gear teeth where the lowest starter gear tooth meshes. snug up both the 7/16″ pivot bolt nut and the nut on the 3/8″ stud. Push the starter down hard enough to pinch the 1/16″ drill between the ring gear teeth and the starter gear tooth, so it cant be pulled out with bare fingers. Tighten up the nuts fully, pull the small screwdriver from behind the starter clutch. Rotating the ring gear slightly should cause the 1/16″ drill to come out, and the starter gear will automatically retract. The starter is now set.

7) The small 1/4 spade terminal on the solenoid is connected to the starter switch; the outboard stud is where the 12V battery cable connects.

8) You can judge a good gear mesh by the sound. It will sound just like your car cranking if it is right. If it is too loose it will make excessive metallic grinding sounds, it it is too tight, the starter gear will hit the back of the ring gear instead of engaging it. If you want to test it, make sure you do so with the spark plugs in to provide a full cranking load. Without them, even a very loose mesh will sound good. BE VERY CAREFULL WHEN THE STARER IS HOOKED UP – EVEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE AN IGNITION OR CARB INSTALLED.  A cranking starter, even if the engine doesn’t start, will turn a prop 350 rpm, this is plenty of power to inflict a fatal blow. Even if you have no prop on, be careful, having your hand or shirt sleeve near the gear, could draw your fingers into the meshing gears. Anytime you have a battery near the system, use your brain, pay attention.

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Rear quarter view of the 2400-L starter system. It is an efficient, elegantly simple system.

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-ww.

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