Builder Medical Emergency Update

Builders,

While we were at Corvair College #39, one of the builders present had a very serious sudden onset of a medical problem. We took him to Aiken (SC) Medical Center. For obvious reasons of privacy and human dignity, we asked that none of the people present at the college discuss nor reveal the man’s name or his specific condition. Because he is without family, of modest resources and 700 miles from home, three of us stayed behind at the beginning of the week to arrange his care and transport, which initially looked like it could be done on Wednesday morning.

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On Sunday night, several builders opted to stay over and assist cleaning up after the College. We ate dinner together and discussed what could be done for the man in the hospital. Peter Jhones was the first to suggest a fund drive and contributed $100 to start it. In a few hours I had Shelley Tumino, who does our College registrations set up a formal Go Fund Me account, and send a notification and the privacy request to everyone who attended the College. In a few hours this was also posed on the Corvair College Face Book page (You can read this here, you don’t need a FB account: https://www.facebook.com/CorvairCollege/ ) This was then shared with larger groups of aviators, and within a few hours, the inherent generosity of aviators came through and we had nearly $7,000 in the operational budget to get the ailing man home and give him a small start at recovery. Along with the funds came a number of private notes from Corvair builders offering services from driving to ER doctors offering to assist. It was very moving, and brought some light to a man without family, lying in a bed far from home. As it turned out this was the only good news on Wednesday.

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His doctors tentatively approved his discharge for Tuesday at 9am. They ruled out travel by air, and I doubt any airline would have accepted him. Corvair/Panther Builder Chris Michaelis, who had been incredibly good at the man’s bedside offered to take a shot at driving him the full 700 miles on Wednesday. With that plan in place, I drove back to Florida in Tuesday night. When Chris arrived in the morning to get the discharge started, he was told our man had a terrible set of related complications hit him at 8am, and that we was not going anywhere this week.

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What is needed now: Aiken is located in the corner of South Carolina between Augusta GA and Columbia SC. We need 2-3 people, willing to stop my and spend a hour visiting with this man, so we have someone there for him every day until he can be transported him. The Nursing staff in Aiken is excellent, but this isn’t the same as having another person from the outside. This person would also be able to relay messages to the group of us about what he might need. The man can communicate in person, but the nature of his issue precludes using a telephone. If you think that you could be this person, please call me on my cell phone at 386 451 3676. or send me an email to WilliamTCA@flycorvair.com  If you are far away and would like to help, consider a donation to the fund on the FB page.

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Although I have only briefly known the man in the hospital, and am glad to share that he is a kind and thoughtful person, his reputation in insider and old school homebuilding circles is well known. In 40 years of working with planes in our corner of aviation, he has long developed a first class reputation as an extraordinary builder and pilot. As I sat in his quiet hospital room and looked at a small sleeping man wired to monitors and plumbed to IV’s , it was disturbing to think of how such a once bright and vibrant life in flight was now dimed to a tiny glow. My mind offered a stream of rational defense mechanisms, ‘things happen’; ‘you can’t fix everything’; ‘some people choose to lead solitary lives’ and so on, but in person in the room, none of these offered any emotional armor. The pervasive understanding that filled the room is the simple understanding that barring a few simple twists of fate and fortune, it could be any of us lying in that bed.

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CC #39 review part 1

Builders,

Corvair College #39, is now consigned to the record books, photo albums and memories of the builders who made the pilgrimage. Here is a first look at pictures of the event. Special thanks to P.F. Beck and the Crew at Barnwell for the eighth College at their airport.

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Above, Bob Lester and his Pietenpol from Florida, the longest drisance flown in on Corvair power. He was one of six Corvair powered planes on hand.

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Above, the lovely Tracy Sheridan stands with her future Pietenpol power plant. She is displaying a thoughtful hangar warming gift.

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Above Lou Cassella, an airline pilot and Pietenpol builder of NJ, with his engine, the first to run at #39.  He is showing how a professional aviator comports himself in a photo.

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-wewjr.

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Notes on Group 2800 Heavy Duty Gold Oil Systems.

Builders:

Below are general notes and references for greater understanding on the Group 2800 Heavy Duty oil cooler group. If you have further questions, do not hesitate to call or write.

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Above are two views of the optional Gold HP Oil Cooler Bypass. Part number 2802. It is often referred to as a Sandwich Adapter because when installed, it’s sandwiched between the Gold Oil Filter Housing and the oil filter. It’s held in place by a very accurately machined, hollow mounting bolt. It can be installed on the Gold Oil Filter Housing in literally one minute. It includes a square o-ring gasket, held in place in a deep recess. The AN-6 fittings for the lines to and from the cooler can be clocked in any position. It contains an all metal cooler bypass featuring a precision spring manufactured by the nation’s foremost supplier of aerospace springs. On a normal start cycle, the cool oil in the cooler will produce a pressure drop in excess of 7 psi. Any time this is so, this bypass valve senses the pressure differential and allows the oil to bypass the cooler, greatly speeding up the elapsed time until the oil reaches 150F.

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Mounting: The side of the #2802 with the o-ring touches the Gold oil filter housing #2601.

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Torque: The hex head on the mounting nipple is 1-1/8″. This does not have a torque value. It is screwed down ( with oil on the threads ) until the o-ring contact the filter housing face, and then it is tightened 3/4 of one turn.  It has about 2 turns of thread engagement, but a 20mm steel fitting has very little chance of being overstressed.

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Clock Position: Pictured below are several common examples of clock position. Functionally it does not matter for operation, however we have carefully studied the complete cowled installation and operation of each of these, and highly recommend using the orientations shown on the specific airframes.

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Hose Orientation: Also refer to the pictures to study the hose installation. The hose sets we sell fit in a particular way.  Oil coolers do not care which direction oil flows through them, you could connect either end of the cooler to either port on the #2802, and it would work the same, but the hoses ends and lengths are set for a particular layout.

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Above, #2802, oriented straight up. This installation is on a Wagabond, however the Panther is done the same way. There is no particular advantage to any orientation, it doesn’t alter the flow in any way, it is most commonly dictated by available baffling height to the cowl. Oil cooler is not yet installed in photo.

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Above, #2801 cooler shown in Group 2800 installation. This is on a Zenith, and all Zeniths use this pair of hoses and #2802 orientation. It is clocked just slightly above horizontal. Notice that the only 90 degree hose end is on the bottom of the cooler, all the others are 120 degree. These hoses and parts are designed to work perfectly with baffle kits from J.S. Weseman.

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 Above, the ‘Zenith’ orientation of hoses and clock position of the #2802, seen from the distributor side of the engine.  Both hoses are 120 degree fittings on this end. Oil filter not yet safety wired. It needs to be wired back to the mounting bolts on the #2601 housing, as wiring it to the #2802 would not stop the rotation potential between the #2802 and the #2601.

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Below are a list of stories which can be read in 60 minutes which will provide greater understanding of the installation and operation of these systems. If you are looking at a printed version of this page, type the title of the story into the search box in the upper left hand corner of my blog, FlyCorvair.net to read the information.

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Thoughts on cold weather operation, minimum oil temps, etc. -operational information on these systems

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WARNING: 1/8-NPT thread weight limit. -A very important warning about limiting weight on threads.

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Heavy Duty Gold Oil Systems, new cooler model.– a look at the Group 2800 systems.

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Gold Oil Filter Housing, Standard and Reverse – the Group 2600 systems which support the 2800 group.

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Corvair Oil System, information on oil pressure gauges. – answering questions on instrumentation.

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Can’t read instructions? – a warning on following directions and learning that aviation has penalties for people who ignore details.

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-wewjr.

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Weekend work. 

Builders,

Vern and I spent the weekend on steady College prep work. I am departing Wednesday, and things are on track for a very good event. We made a number of parts, but also made small improvements to building tools and the run stand. Paul Salter came over to load tools into his truck, and Travis the welder from SPA helped out for most of Saturday. I appreciate the positive and thoughtful comments builders shared, they went well with a weekend rich in friends.

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Above, Ten HV-2000 oil housings going together on Sunday night.

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Conversion Manuals -building a plane and trying to save the wrong $75.

Builders,

If you were one of the people who thought the tone of my last story was a little harsh, let me share a little insight: I have been getting about one ‘special person’ a day lately, and the letter here Who is responsible for the parts we use? is just a sample of the kind of special stuff arriving lately.

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Try this: A person in El Paso who sent in the distributor with the cut wire in this story: Ignition “issues” and I-U-S-F , who claimed it was defective although it ran fine, when directly questioned about some information he was missing, said that he made the choice that he wasn’t going to buy a conversion manual from me. His plan was to only buy the parts, and save the $75. His reason was that he was just going to read stuff on line and on my website.

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Although he is building a Pietenpol he had never heard of my Corvair – Pietenpol Reference page,  Guest Writer: Pietenpol builder/flyer Kevin Purtee nor the Colleges he and Shelly put on in the same state, nor our Piet Vair discussion group update, notes on joining. So much for getting all the information needed.

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Above is a sample instruction sheet that comes with all of our parts, including all the ones the person in El Paso purchased. The lines in yellow plainly state that you can not use the parts without a manual and have it be airworthy. Ask yourself, who reads this on all the sheets, and still thinks it is a good idea not to buy a Manual? Perhaps the man objected to my lavish $10/hr life style, and felt that it justified any action he might take to save $75. Your guess is as good as mine, as I have no understanding of that approach to aviation and expecting success.

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William.

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Who is responsible for the parts we use?

Builders:

I received the following letter in the comments on my short article: 1960, A great year of American manufacturing.  I have met the writer Mike McKosky, and he is obviously concerned about the issue he brings up in the letter, so I thought I would directly address his thoughts here rather than in the comments section of the Colt story:

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Mike’s Letter:

William,
Interesting article.
With regards to stuff being made in America, in years gone by, and not wanting to buy anything Chinese or generally Asian:

I recently bought a set of crankshaft main bearings from Clark’s. I did try to buy Clevite main bearings, was able to buy only the Clevite rod bearings . The main bearings are made for, not by, Clark’s.

I spent a fair amount of time trying to find Clevite main bearings, was not successful. Did ask around as to what was available, and in particular what Corvair mechanics were using, and asking who the manufacturer was.
When I asked the person at Clark’s sales, she had no idea where the bearing were made, and did not seem too interested in finding out for me.
The only outfit that was able/willing to tell me were the Clark’s main bearings were manufactured was California Corvair, the individual (forgot his name) was very quick to tell me, even after I told him that I was just gathering information, not buying. It was as I suspected, made in Taiwan.

I have no problem generally with Taiwanese manufactured products, mostly based on gut-feelings. I have no technical or rational basis for that, just based on impressions. The Taiwanese are, according to my simple research, very well educated, highly technical, and probably very dependable.
But, I don’t really know.

I did order, and received, the set of Clark’s bearings ($93.50 not counting shipping).
The outside packaging, a box, has one statement on the end tab with the info:
C6563M10
Engineered & manufactured Exclusively for Clark’s Corvair Parts
Genuine (what looks like a stylized symbol) GN Parts D0516

Elsewhere on the outside box it states:
Premium Bearings
Original Parts
Quality Products
Engineered and Manufactured
by Original Equipment
Manufacturers

It also says, as a stylized symbol:
Quality Assured Firm
QS9000
SGS

And also:
QS-9000 Certified and Approved

On the internal package the bearings are stamped with technical data, with the stylized symbol GN.

From Wikipedia, “QS-9000 is a quality system standard that focuses on helping automotive suppliers ensure that they are meeting/exceeding automotive customer requirements”.
I have yet to read in detail, but thus far I don’t think it is an ISO standard.

So, who manufactured the part?
Where was it actually manufactured? (had it been outsourced to an outfit in mainland China?)
What is the technical relationship to the original GMC bearing for the Corvair engine?
What documentation does anyone in the Flycorvair/Sports Perfomance Aviation complex have to trace the manufacture and testing of the bearings with regards to wear, materials, life-span, and whatever else would be relevant to main bearings that are used on car/aviation engines?

Dan claims that he has used the bearings, and has flown aircraft for a long time that used these bearings and finds that these Clark’s bearings hold up okay. Although I am very much inclined to trust Dan, the comment from one of Reagan’s speech writers always occur to me in this kind of situation “trust, but verify”.

So, how does one verify that these bearings will serve the application properly?
What is your commitment to the use of these bearings?
Do you have documentation that shows source, quality control, country of origin and manufacturer in Taiwan?

I am motivated to know these things for a few reasons, amongst which are:
1. After a few years of arguing that Asian products, especially Chinese, are to be avoided, are we now to accept such products?
2. Is there now an acceptance of Asian-made tools, like torque wrenches?
3. Is there a process used by William Wynne and associates to verify such products?
4. At the core of a Corvair engine, the whole thing rests on the main bearings. This seems to be the foundation of a reliable engine, failure of main bearings means the failure of the whole engine, and possibly failure of the airframe, and maybe the failure of the pilot and co-pilot or passenger, and maybe failure of the lives of the people that the failed system descends upon.

Well, okay, maybe the foregoing is overly dramatic, but it does serve to convey my concerns. In the short term I am concerned about the possible loss of between $8000 (present parts cost) and $12000 (final costs?).

Any useful, insightful, comments?
Thanks,
Mike

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My Response:

Mike,

My words about the bearings are exactly the same as Dan’s. We have put them in engines, studied their installation, and found them to work satisfactory for us. You are correct that Clark’s as a matter of policy, does not reveal the sources of parts. It is a reasonable assumption they are imported. You have done homework, asked questions, and found what we know, which is they work.

Answering your four questions backwards:

#4- I know of no failures of these bearings. I think your claim “they are the foundation” implies they are the highest stressed part, which they are not.

#3- I do not ‘verify’ any part, other than to use them as we describe, and report the results. I am not in the certification business, nor do I offer warrantees or guarantees, expressed nor implied, on other peoples products.

#2- No. If you called and asked if you should put your engine together with a Chinese made torque wrench, I have the same evaluation process on the bearings, which is I have seen people try it, and the wrenches are not accurate, so they don’t work as I intend. Have you seen anywhere in my comments that I now suggest using Chinese tools? Perhaps you jumped to a large conclusion?

#1-I don’t know where the bearings are made. I do avoid imported parts when any good domestic option is available.

Your letter carries an implication that it is my personal responsibility to insure the quality of every nut and bolt I mention using in any of my writing. THIS IS NOT MY RESPONSIBLITY. THE CHOICE TO FOLLOW MY EXPERIENCE IS YOURS. YOU ARE 100% IN CHARGE OF BUILDING YOUR PLANE. I have never implied that I have the power or ability to ‘verify’ or materially evaluate every part any builder will use. Thus your engine is 100% your responsibility.

Mike, I trust that through simple observation, you have been able to comprehend that I do not posses the same resources as Pratt-Whitney, and hopefully you understand that it is ludicrous to express the same expectation of me that one might of Pratt-Whitney. They make certified engines, I do not. Pratt-Whitney made about 2 Billion dollars in 2014, the same year I worked about 2,600 hours and made $26,000. Now, just think how stupid your letter sounds to me, implying that I should be using all my excessive wealth to track down and monitor the output of a foreign bearing manufacturer to appease your personal need for some type of guarantee.

Here is what builders are entitled to expect for their fractional contribution to my $10/hr wage: They can expect me to tell the truth about my experience with the parts and systems I discuss. That is it, period. Anyone who really wants to build a Corvair powered plane will find that an outstanding value. People like yourself, looking for a guarantee, should get out of experimental aviation, because your letter shows that you are not willing to take 100% responsibility for your project.

I appreciate beyond words the support and patience of builders and friends during the last two years of my father’s life, when I spent as much time with him as I could. I was putting in one of those $10 hours in the shop when my sister in law called and said come right back to NJ. I bought a direct ticket, but with an hour to go, United canceled the flight. Took 14 more hours to get there, I was the only family member not present when my father passed. This leads to questioning what I have done with my life. For the most part I tell myself this mantra “I have done honest work. I have treated people fairly. I am privileged to know many good people.” Sometimes this works and I am ok, and other times I read some stupid fucking letter like yours with it’s implication that I owe you a guarantee and I have some mislead you, and implying  I am now about to endorse Chinese tools, and I think it was all a giant fucking waste of time.

William

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Starter grounding link, an important improvement.

Builders,

Learn something most people do not know: Anodizing, the surface finish seen as the Gold color on our parts, is a very effective electrical insulator. You can put a multi-meter on it and test this if you doubt it. It is really magic to me how something as conductive as aluminum, can be fully electrically isolated my a microscopically thin chemical conversion layer, but it is.

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All it takes it bolting the part down, and generally the fasteners, particularly lock washers and pipe threads will cut through the outer layer and make the part conductive. However, on our 2400-L Starters, we have been extensively anodizing the brackets, and on some of them powder coating the main plate and the nose. This has lead to some of them having difficulty getting a solid ground path, even though they are bolted directly to the motor.

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The solution is this little grounding link made from #4 wire and two copper fittings. It connects the 3/8″ starter stud directly to one of the bolts mounting the 5th bearing housing to the engine case. The standard oil cap shows how small the part is.

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Above, the link installed on a 3.0 liter Corvair. This bypasses all the anodized brackets. and lets the current flow into the case, and back to the Engine Ground Cable at the rear of the engine. Why this is important: Although the starter is tiny, it is very powerful, and it can use more than 300 amps at full load (the Corvair doesn’t typically demand this of the starter) If the motor does not find a solid ground by the time it engages, it will actually try to ground through the crankshaft, making impressive sparking where the flywheel teeth meet the starter. Heavy metal pyrotechnics aside, it is terrible for the engines bearings to do this even for a moment. The perfect small solution is the little grounding link. We are including them with all of our 2400-L starter kits now, but if you have a 2400-L series starter, we encourage you to install one.

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-wewjr.

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