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Last Corvair Engine of 2004
R. David Stephens of Belpre, Ohio, above right, stopped by on Dec. 29, 2004. He came and observed the test run of the last engine we built in 2004. He liked it enough to buy the engine on the spot. It will be powering his Pietenpol in 2005. The engine is a very nice conversion with a number of our custom options.
First House Call of 2005
New Year's Day 2005, Grace and I visited Phil Maxson and his family in Washington, N.J. We made a couple of comments about how I have to be the only engine manufacturer in aviation who makes house calls. Phil built his engine in our shop in 2004. Since we were visiting family in New Jersey for the holidays, we took the time to stop by Phil's and check on his progress. In the photo above, Phil and I are replacing his stock oil filter housing with one of our new Oil Top Covers. The stock guide was pulled out using the threaded rod trick and a propane torch.
Here's a view of the development of Phil's 601XL tri gear. This is one of our standard mounts. The carburetor is an Ellison EFS-3A. Phil's airframe is largely done, with the exception of the canopy. Flying this plane to Oshkosh is well within the range of possibility.
A Very Sophisticated KR-2S
Above is a photo of KR/Corvair builder Stanislaw Jaglowski and Grace Ellen. A few days after visitng Phil, we drove over to see Stanley's project. He built it in a single car garage in Hackensack, N.J. We'd never met Stanley in person, just spoke to him on the phone and via e-mail. From his technical nature, I expected an outstanding project. These photos don't do it justice. It is simply the most sophisticated and detailed KR I have ever seen. Stanley is a mechanic and an engineer for a company that produces instrumentation and panels for airliners. He is a highly experienced commercial pilot from Poland who emigrated to the United States many years ago. His aviation background shows in every detail of his plane.
A quick glance shows that his plane is about 85-90% done. The woodwork is very clean. The plane is equipped with a sliding canopy with very smooth and positive operation. The empannage on the airplane is made of Kevlar skins. The engine is a Corvair, absolutely no expense spared, based on 88mm cylinders. The panel for the plane, shock mounted to be removed with four screws, is elegantly done to a very high standard. It includes a sophisticated GPS and auto pilot system. The fuselage is widened to about 40". Whereas some airplanes with a lot of modifications often strike me as just a collection of ideas, this one was notable because all of the work was extremely well integrated, making for one very impressive project.
We'll post more Bonus Photos from time to time to keep everybody in touch with developments in Corvair powered flight. If you have a photo you'd like to have appear here, e-mail us and let us know.
What is the part or serial # on the MA3-SPA carburetor that shows it came off an O-200 engine. There are a whole lot of MA3s out there and I believe you stated that the O-200 carb works best on the Corvair.
Thanks, Ralph Young, Zenair 601, Emmet, ID
|Reply from WW:|
|The part no. of an MA3-SPA from an O-200 is 10-4894. It is by far the most common MA3-SPA. Although there are many other numbers, their production was small compared with the 4894. We've run other MA3-SPAs on the dynamometer and they don't run as cleanly as the one from the O-200. The one on our own airplane has absolutely no rejetting or resetting of any kind. We jsut took it off the O-200, cleaned it up and put it on the 601.|
|Subj: Thrust loads|
Can't tell you how excited I am about the prospect of a smooth, reliable, and affordable 100hp range aviation engine!!!! Have yet to purchase any products, am curious about one subject area I didn't see covered anywhere on your Web site:
How are the thrust loads absorbed by the engine? Are there modifications to the main bearing assemblies? Or has it proved to simply not be a problem with lightweight propellers? I'm somewhat familiar with some VW conversions that go to great lengths to address this issue. Any enlightenment would be greatly appreciated. Don't know if this is covered in your Manual.
|Reply from WW:|
|It is covered in great detail in the Conversion Manual. But in a nutshell, the Corvair has an excellent double-sided thrust bearing from the factory. It has been flight proven over the past 45 years both in tractor and pusher configuration. In all my years of experimentation, flight and reasearch into the Corvair, I have not found a single case of an engine damaged by a bad thrust bearing. The bearing is actually on the opposite end of the crankshaft from the propeller. Although it is important to use either carbon fiber or wood props on Corvairs, and not metal ones, the thrust bearing would not be affected by the weight of the prop because of its opposite end of the engine location. Your question highlights one of the Corvair's advantages: Its long history allows great perspective, and means that no one using the engine today need be a test pilot or a guinea pig. Through our testing and information, you can follow a proven set of parameters and have an excellent expectation of success.|
|Subj: Head Studs, Paint|
I have a set of case halves that came to me with two missing studs. The threads in the case *look* intact. Do I:
a) follow Clark's advice (pg 173) and try a stock, 0.003- or 0.006-over stud? If yes, which LocTite would you use: none, #262, #242, #243?
b) assume the worse and repair with Clark's 1 inch-long Time-Serts (#C8767L)? If yes, which LocTite would you use: none, #262, #242, #243?
I have another set of case halves where some of the studs turned less than an 1/8 of a turn when I removed the head nuts. Are the "turned" ones safe? Others came out "clean" (no visible aluminum). Do I need to Time-Sert the "clean" holes?
Looking through the description of your rebuilding of accessory cases I am guessing that mine will come back in your "standard royal blue color." What paint do you use (and from what vendor)? I want to match it on the case halves and the cut-down bell housing.
So many questions :-)
|Craig Payne, Utah, Manual #6154|
|Reply from WW:|
|If you did not personally unscrew the studs and observe whether or not they took metal, then you need to do a
first class inspection. You could use a .003 over stud if you like, but we have had excellent test results with standard studs
and Loctite 620 with proper surface prep. There's a lot of information on this in the previous
Open E-mail. PLease note that when I say Loctite 620, I mean it. As good and useful as the other Loctite products are,
they do not hold a candle to nor do they have the proper qualities to act as a replacement for 620. My comments on using
stock size studs are only applicable if the proper Loctite is used, and used properly. You could use a time sert or a long
helicoil as long as you re-form the thread on the stock stud. If you do not wish to reform the thread on the stock stud,
you could always get an ARP head stud from Jeff Ballard at SC Performance. Our previous open e-mail details the thread patterns
on these studs and why it is crucial that the correct thread pattern be used with the stock hole or a threaded repair.
On your second set of cases, again you can read a detailed explanation on the previous Open E-mail about how to deal with ones that unscrew cleanly. In my experience, a stud that turns 1/16 to 1/8 of a turn will not be a problem. Attempting to unscrew such a stud will result in a stripped hole about 25% of the time. If the stud looks good and is not damaged by corrosion or mechanical marks, I'd leave it alone. You could always double nut it and tighten it to 35 foot pounds of torque to see if it tightens into the case again the 1/8 turn that it backed off.
The color is Ford Dark Blue Part No. DE1606 by Plasticoat.
|Subj: Tri Gear KR Mount|
I'm in Gettysburg, PA and building a KR-2. I do have your Manual, but it's in the hangar with the plane. I'm getting ready to construct my engine mount and was told that since I'm installing the diel tri gear I must make some changes to it for the nose gear. I couldn't find anything in the Manual covering this. Can you assist me?
|Thanks, Tim Boyer, KR2, Gettysburg, PA|
|Reply from WW:|
|Over the years, I've built 15 or 30 KR mounts to the design that Mark Langford and I worked out at
Corvair College #3. About 1/3 of these were for tricycle geared KRs. These tricycle gear aircraft were set up for the
Diehl nosegear. The Dehil nosegear has its own socket. The socket consists of a large diameter tube coming off a firewall
plate at a 45 degree angle. It's stabilized by two smaller tubes, which in the VW application, are bolted onto the back of
the engine mount. In our conversion, I cut off these two tubes and remove them from the main tube. They're replaced
by two 3/4" .049 wall tubes that run from the same location on the main tube back into the clusters, where the upper tubes
meet the back corners of the tray. There are good photos of this motor mount bolted onto a KR-2 without the engine
in place on Mark Jones' Corvair/KR Web site. I built Mark's motor mount a few years ago. It was one of the first tricycle
gear ones we did.
|Subj: Moroso Blue Max Wires|
Hi William, just a quicky. What is the part number on the Moroso Blue Max spiral wires you reccommend ? I'm gonna splurge on the good ones. Thanks
|Terry Calderwood, 6419, Kitfox 7, Missoula, MT|
|Reply from WW:|
|The Moroso Part No. is 73225 if you want them in blue; it's 73217 if you want them in yellow; 73219 in red;
and 73231 in black. Summit Racing is an excellent source of Moroso products. You can find them on the Web. Notice that
these are eight-cylinder plug wire sets. The two extra wires provide you with enough material to make the leads for the
coil switcher and two coils.