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Corky's engine choice



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 23rd 03, 06:34 PM
Corky Scott
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Corky's engine choice

Someone expressed surprise that I was now working on a Ford 3.8L V-6
for my engine. Last they'd heard, I was trying to find a certified
type.

I thought I'd bring everyone up to date. It's true that I had
basically given up on using an auto conversion as I was having trouble
justifying the cost of the PSRU. I'd started with a Buick/Olds 215
cid aluminum block V-8 and then switched to the Mazda 13B. I disliked
all the problems associated with the 13B so I sold that too.

I then actively searched for an aircooled aircraft engine. I mean I
really looked hard. But every single engine I looked at was really
tough to examine. I'd basically have to be an expert engine examiner
(which I wasn't) and be ready to travel all over the country to look
at it. Some had logs, most didn't. I eventually ended up with a
brand new piclkled 0-470-15. This turned out to be a military version
of the 0-470 and there was a LOT missing. I forget now what I paid
for it but it was too much and it would have cost me more than twice
that to get the thing running with all the parts missing. And
besides, it was REALLY heavy.

So I resold it.

I kept looking for a good low priced aircraft engine and just could
not find one close enough to get or I was unwilling to risk paying $7K
to $8K for someone to ship me an engine that had not been inspected.

I am an ex auto mechanic and have built several engines, but I am
totally unfamiliar with aircraft engines other than to understand from
a mechanical point of few. It's just that there is SO MUCH that can
be wrong with them and you don't know it until you've completely
dismantled them and zygloed them or x-rayed them or whatever to fully
inspect them. Then if anything is actually wrong, your bargain engine
is suddenly a financial black hole.

So I finally decided that I had to turn back to the auto coversion
again. At this point, things began to go right. Bruce Frank pointed
out why the Ford V-6 makes sense: millions of them out there, hundreds
of PSRU's and a lot of running time with a good record and it's a
light weight engine.

I found an engine salvager who was willing to ship any number of Ford
V-6's to me for $150 each. At that price, I took two, thinking that
if I found a problem part, I could just yank it from the other engine.

I also found a local machine shop who's owner had been building Fords
and just about everything else for half his life. He was willing to
take the block, crank, heads etc and clean them up and bring them to
specification. I needed all six intake valves, it turned out,
couldn't save them, they were pitted from water damage. I would have
used them in a street car but not my aircraft engine. They cost about
$16 each. The exhaust valves were fine.

At this point I found other parts suppliers. I found Morana racing in
Canada. They cater to the Ford V-6 and had all kinds of parts I
needed like new valve springs, keepers and caps. They also had roller
rockers. I bought a set of them too.

I found ARP which stands for Automobile Racing Parts. They make high
strength studs for engine assembly. They are used in a majority of
the racing world's engines. A set of studs for the cylinder heads and
main bearings cost me $145. I also bought new lifters, a new oil pump
kit and machined the intake manifold to accept the two barrel Holley
carb. Then I bought the carb and the McNeilly leaning block so the
mixture can be leaned.

All this was made possible because Bruce contacted me telling me that
he'd heard about a PSRU that was for sale at a good price. It was
less than half price.

I will be reporting the total bill for the engine and peripherals and
how things are working when I get there.

But for now, the process will be to assemble the engine and PSRU and
hang it off the firewall so I can get the rest of the airplane
finished. I already fabricated the engine mount, I used the second
block to mock that up. I also welded the Piper Tripacer landing gear
to the engine mount. That went well.

Corky Scott
  #2  
Old July 24th 03, 12:17 AM
BRUCE FRANK
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Uh-oh, duck!!! Here comes BOb!

Bruce A. Frank


"Corky Scott" wrote in message
...
Someone expressed surprise that I was now working on a Ford 3.8L V-6
for my engine. Last they'd heard, I was trying to find a certified
type.

I thought I'd bring everyone up to date. It's true that I had
basically given up on using an auto conversion as I was having trouble
justifying the cost of the PSRU. I'd started with a Buick/Olds 215
cid aluminum block V-8 and then switched to the Mazda 13B. I disliked
all the problems associated with the 13B so I sold that too.

I then actively searched for an aircooled aircraft engine. I mean I
really looked hard. But every single engine I looked at was really
tough to examine. I'd basically have to be an expert engine examiner
(which I wasn't) and be ready to travel all over the country to look
at it. Some had logs, most didn't. I eventually ended up with a
brand new piclkled 0-470-15. This turned out to be a military version
of the 0-470 and there was a LOT missing. I forget now what I paid
for it but it was too much and it would have cost me more than twice
that to get the thing running with all the parts missing. And
besides, it was REALLY heavy.

So I resold it.

I kept looking for a good low priced aircraft engine and just could
not find one close enough to get or I was unwilling to risk paying $7K
to $8K for someone to ship me an engine that had not been inspected.

I am an ex auto mechanic and have built several engines, but I am
totally unfamiliar with aircraft engines other than to understand from
a mechanical point of few. It's just that there is SO MUCH that can
be wrong with them and you don't know it until you've completely
dismantled them and zygloed them or x-rayed them or whatever to fully
inspect them. Then if anything is actually wrong, your bargain engine
is suddenly a financial black hole.

So I finally decided that I had to turn back to the auto coversion
again. At this point, things began to go right. Bruce Frank pointed
out why the Ford V-6 makes sense: millions of them out there, hundreds
of PSRU's and a lot of running time with a good record and it's a
light weight engine.

I found an engine salvager who was willing to ship any number of Ford
V-6's to me for $150 each. At that price, I took two, thinking that
if I found a problem part, I could just yank it from the other engine.

I also found a local machine shop who's owner had been building Fords
and just about everything else for half his life. He was willing to
take the block, crank, heads etc and clean them up and bring them to
specification. I needed all six intake valves, it turned out,
couldn't save them, they were pitted from water damage. I would have
used them in a street car but not my aircraft engine. They cost about
$16 each. The exhaust valves were fine.

At this point I found other parts suppliers. I found Morana racing in
Canada. They cater to the Ford V-6 and had all kinds of parts I
needed like new valve springs, keepers and caps. They also had roller
rockers. I bought a set of them too.

I found ARP which stands for Automobile Racing Parts. They make high
strength studs for engine assembly. They are used in a majority of
the racing world's engines. A set of studs for the cylinder heads and
main bearings cost me $145. I also bought new lifters, a new oil pump
kit and machined the intake manifold to accept the two barrel Holley
carb. Then I bought the carb and the McNeilly leaning block so the
mixture can be leaned.

All this was made possible because Bruce contacted me telling me that
he'd heard about a PSRU that was for sale at a good price. It was
less than half price.

I will be reporting the total bill for the engine and peripherals and
how things are working when I get there.

But for now, the process will be to assemble the engine and PSRU and
hang it off the firewall so I can get the rest of the airplane
finished. I already fabricated the engine mount, I used the second
block to mock that up. I also welded the Piper Tripacer landing gear
to the engine mount. That went well.

Corky Scott



  #3  
Old July 24th 03, 02:38 AM
Barnyard BOb --
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Uh-oh, duck!!! Here comes BOb!

Bruce A. Frank

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Nah.
I'm reasonably up to date on Corky's misadventures.

FWIW --
When it comes to car engines, I will never, ever own another Ford
with a V-6 as they currently make 'em.... much less be soooo nuts
as to shoehorn such a POS into a perfectly useable airframe.

Barnyard BOb -- don't 'axe' me what I really think )





  #4  
Old July 24th 03, 02:43 AM
Barnyard BOb --
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Uh-oh, duck!!! Here comes BOb!

Bruce A. Frank

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Nah.
I'm reasonably up to date on Corky's misadventures.

FWIW --
When it comes to car engines, I will never, ever own another Ford
with a V-6 as they currently make 'em.... much less be soooo nuts
as to shoehorn such a POS into a perfectly useable airframe.

Barnyard BOb -- don't 'axe' me what I really think )


P.S.
At $150 per copy, the Ford V-6 is waaaay overpriced.


  #5  
Old July 24th 03, 03:33 AM
clare @ snyder.on .ca
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Wed, 23 Jul 2003 20:43:46 -0500, Barnyard BOb --
wrote:


Uh-oh, duck!!! Here comes BOb!

Bruce A. Frank

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Nah.
I'm reasonably up to date on Corky's misadventures.

FWIW --
When it comes to car engines, I will never, ever own another Ford
with a V-6 as they currently make 'em.... much less be soooo nuts
as to shoehorn such a POS into a perfectly useable airframe.

Barnyard BOb -- don't 'axe' me what I really think )


P.S.
At $150 per copy, the Ford V-6 is waaaay overpriced.

Apparently it IS possible to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear -
and the 3.8 as supplied by Ford IS a sow's ear. The current crop, from
198? on is leak prone and fragile. The commonly supplied antifreeze,
when it gets into today's oil, makes short work of the factory
supplied bearings.
There are gaskets and build procedures that can make a relatively
leak-proof 3.8. Is there a combination of oil, antifreeze, and bearing
that will not result in instant death when they are combined????
For this reason I have reservations about the 3.8.
  #6  
Old July 24th 03, 04:39 AM
Ben Haas
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Hey Corky, can ya email me the dimension from the pad of your Holley
where it mounts on the intake manifold to the top of the carb. If ya
want send it straight to my email address and I will send you some
pics of the all aluminum beast..
Ben Haas N801BH..
(Corky Scott) wrote in message ...
Someone expressed surprise that I was now working on a Ford 3.8L V-6
for my engine. Last they'd heard, I was trying to find a certified
type.

I thought I'd bring everyone up to date. It's true that I had
basically given up on using an auto conversion as I was having trouble
justifying the cost of the PSRU. I'd started with a Buick/Olds 215
cid aluminum block V-8 and then switched to the Mazda 13B. I disliked
all the problems associated with the 13B so I sold that too.

I then actively searched for an aircooled aircraft engine. I mean I
really looked hard. But every single engine I looked at was really
tough to examine. I'd basically have to be an expert engine examiner
(which I wasn't) and be ready to travel all over the country to look
at it. Some had logs, most didn't. I eventually ended up with a
brand new piclkled 0-470-15. This turned out to be a military version
of the 0-470 and there was a LOT missing. I forget now what I paid
for it but it was too much and it would have cost me more than twice
that to get the thing running with all the parts missing. And
besides, it was REALLY heavy.

So I resold it.

I kept looking for a good low priced aircraft engine and just could
not find one close enough to get or I was unwilling to risk paying $7K
to $8K for someone to ship me an engine that had not been inspected.

I am an ex auto mechanic and have built several engines, but I am
totally unfamiliar with aircraft engines other than to understand from
a mechanical point of few. It's just that there is SO MUCH that can
be wrong with them and you don't know it until you've completely
dismantled them and zygloed them or x-rayed them or whatever to fully
inspect them. Then if anything is actually wrong, your bargain engine
is suddenly a financial black hole.

So I finally decided that I had to turn back to the auto coversion
again. At this point, things began to go right. Bruce Frank pointed
out why the Ford V-6 makes sense: millions of them out there, hundreds
of PSRU's and a lot of running time with a good record and it's a
light weight engine.

I found an engine salvager who was willing to ship any number of Ford
V-6's to me for $150 each. At that price, I took two, thinking that
if I found a problem part, I could just yank it from the other engine.

I also found a local machine shop who's owner had been building Fords
and just about everything else for half his life. He was willing to
take the block, crank, heads etc and clean them up and bring them to
specification. I needed all six intake valves, it turned out,
couldn't save them, they were pitted from water damage. I would have
used them in a street car but not my aircraft engine. They cost about
$16 each. The exhaust valves were fine.

At this point I found other parts suppliers. I found Morana racing in
Canada. They cater to the Ford V-6 and had all kinds of parts I
needed like new valve springs, keepers and caps. They also had roller
rockers. I bought a set of them too.

I found ARP which stands for Automobile Racing Parts. They make high
strength studs for engine assembly. They are used in a majority of
the racing world's engines. A set of studs for the cylinder heads and
main bearings cost me $145. I also bought new lifters, a new oil pump
kit and machined the intake manifold to accept the two barrel Holley
carb. Then I bought the carb and the McNeilly leaning block so the
mixture can be leaned.

All this was made possible because Bruce contacted me telling me that
he'd heard about a PSRU that was for sale at a good price. It was
less than half price.

I will be reporting the total bill for the engine and peripherals and
how things are working when I get there.

But for now, the process will be to assemble the engine and PSRU and
hang it off the firewall so I can get the rest of the airplane
finished. I already fabricated the engine mount, I used the second
block to mock that up. I also welded the Piper Tripacer landing gear
to the engine mount. That went well.

Corky Scott

  #7  
Old July 24th 03, 01:46 PM
Corky Scott
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Thu, 24 Jul 2003 02:33:33 GMT, clare @ snyder.on .ca wrote:

Apparently it IS possible to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear -
and the 3.8 as supplied by Ford IS a sow's ear. The current crop, from
198? on is leak prone and fragile. The commonly supplied antifreeze,
when it gets into today's oil, makes short work of the factory
supplied bearings.
There are gaskets and build procedures that can make a relatively
leak-proof 3.8. Is there a combination of oil, antifreeze, and bearing
that will not result in instant death when they are combined????
For this reason I have reservations about the 3.8.


I'm well aware of the problems Ford has had with leaking cylinderhead
gaskets with this engine. That's why I bought the ARP cylinderhead
studs instead of replacement cylinderhead bolts from Ford.

Studs allow a more accurate torque setting because the only thing
turning is the nut against the washer, not the entire bolt. ARP
recommends that you use either their lubricant between the nut and
washer or oil. If you use their lubricant, the torque value is a LOT
less than if you use oil. In addition, you get to use all the threads
available to hold the stud in: you thread it down till it bottoms.
The nice thing about having a cast steel block is you don't have to
worry about stripping the threads out of the block.

ARP also recommends that you install "throw away" head gaskets for the
first torque of the cylinderhead, then fire up the engine, bring it to
temperature and then shut it down and let it cool to room temperature.

Once it's completely cooled, remove the heads, replace the head
gaskets with new, reinstall the heads, retorque and you're good to go
for the rest of the life of the engine.

What this does, they said, is get the studs initially stretched, after
which they will hold constant pressure.

They were suggesting I use the old head gaskets for the initial
startup as it really didn't matter what you used. Cardboard would
work (they said) since you are just running it to temperature then
shutting it down again. Of course, I did not save the original
gaskets when I dismantled the two engines so I'll have to buy an extra
two.

Just another one of those tricks to remember when building engines.
I'm sure Lycoming and Continental engine rebuilders have their own
tricks.

By the way, the block was decked to true the surface, and the
cylinderheads were planed. I know that at least initially, I'll have
two flat surfaces to mate together.

The great majority of the Ford auto conversions have run reliably IF
(the big IF) the builder followed the conversion manual and
information that has accumulated.

Corky Scott
  #8  
Old July 24th 03, 06:13 PM
Corky Scott
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Thu, 24 Jul 2003 10:58:15 -0500, John Thompson
wrote:

Corky,
I think one of the biggest roadblocks in autoconversions is the lack of
"cookbooks". Instructions that cover things like that "stud stretching"
tip, why you might want to use this camshaft, or replace this part or
other, lifter bearing replacement, etc. and where to get them.

I'm mechanically competent, but I've never done serious work on a auto
engine beyong the shade tree stuff or replacing plugs, oil, hoses, etc.
I can tear down and rebuild a small gas engine no problem, but there are
a lot of little things that make big differences between a Briggs and
Stratton, and a ford V-6.

John

You are actually echoing something I've been saying in this newsgroup
for a long time: Building up your own auto conversion isn't for
everyone and one of the biggest problems is the lack of compiled
information.

There actually are some published manuals for the Ford. One of them
is written by Richard Finch. There was also a group of newsletters
written by David Blanton while the engine was in the early use stage.
These were important because there was a period of discovery going on
after the actual plans for the engine and PSRU were maketed. Things
were still happening to the engine that had not been anticipated and
everyone sort of dealt with them in different ways.

However, David Blanton was his own worst enemy. He was combative in
the extreme, very defensive, obdurate and sometimes ***wrong***. He
for instance misscalculated how much horsepower the engine would
develop, and refused to listen to anyone about the situation. This,
even when properly calculated dyno runs produced very respectible
power readings. But he became the butt of many jokes when he insisted
that his engines routinely put out over 240 horsepower and much more
at only 4,800 rpm. They weren't. A well built 3.8L engine will
usually make at least 180 hp, with many getting another 10 with minor
modifications. One guy got 235 hp but he was willing to rev it to
5300 rpm to do that. He'd put racing connecting rods and pistons in
it to withstand that rpm, which isn't high compared to racing
standards.

But I digress, there is also much useful information to be gleaned
from Bruce Frank's Ford 3.8L STOL newsletter, but the specific engine
information is spread out over a number of years and issues.

Part of the problem is that there remain a LOT of solutions for
various issues. For instance ignition: dual or single? How do you
trigger it? Many are going with dual ignition with the second
ignition running off an isolated battery. Some rig their ignitions to
run dual all the time, others want to switch from one to the other.
Still others trust one single source. You can trigger the ignition
either using a distributer with dual pickups, a distributer with a
single pickup and another pickup off the flywheel or crankshaft
damper, or have both pickups sensed remotely off the crank somewhere.

Then there's the engine itself. It's been modified by Ford over the
years since it's intruduction. It's grown to 4.2 liters now and
doesn't have a manifold that works for carburation anymo it's
strickly an air manifold, not fuel/air. Also the lifters have gone
from simple standard type lifters to roller lifters. The latest
castings do not have a provision for a distributer.

Some of the engines have the dual balance shafts, some don't.

Then there's Jerry Schweitzer who used to build these engines for the
homebuilt community, for all I know, he still may. He put out a video
of what he thought was important and a lot of the information is
really good stuff.

For instance, he talked about drilling and tapping a hole through the
intake manifold into the block where a coolant passage is. This is
done on both sides. Then a pipe fitting is threaded in and the tubing
routed back to another pipe fitting on the suction side of the water
pump housing. What this does, he says, is draw off the "bubble" of
air that always seems to form in the block/cylinderhead and tends to
stay there causing the cylinderhead to improperly flow coolant.

There are other things like an air/antifreeze seperator that needs to
sit above the engine on the firewall that is pretty much standard on
all auto conversions.

Then there's the issue of a heater for the cockpit. One of the
blessings of using a liquid cooled engine is that it can give you LOTS
of heat with absolutely no danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. But
the manner in which it is installed is different in just about every
conversion.

Some guys use it in such a manner that it helps the engine cool by
routing coolant through it and dumping the airflow outside the
cockpit. If heat is desired, they shut off the flow to the outside
and the air blows into the cockpit. An awful lot of this depends on
how you've built your airplane and how much room you have.

For a look at how to build an auto conversion REALLY cheaply, you
should get the Reverend Ron Van der Hart videos. The guy's kick and
FAR more entertaining than Schweitzer and he's very talented to boot.


Corky Scott
  #9  
Old July 24th 03, 06:51 PM
baltobernie
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


clare @ snyder.on .ca wrote in message
...
On Wed, 23 Jul 2003 20:43:46 -0500, Barnyard BOb --
wrote:


Uh-oh, duck!!! Here comes BOb!

Bruce A. Frank
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Nah.
I'm reasonably up to date on Corky's misadventures.

FWIW --
When it comes to car engines, I will never, ever own another Ford
with a V-6 as they currently make 'em.... much less be soooo nuts
as to shoehorn such a POS into a perfectly useable airframe.

Barnyard BOb -- don't 'axe' me what I really think )


P.S.
At $150 per copy, the Ford V-6 is waaaay overpriced.

Apparently it IS possible to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear -
and the 3.8 as supplied by Ford IS a sow's ear. The current crop, from
198? on is leak prone and fragile. The commonly supplied antifreeze,
when it gets into today's oil, makes short work of the factory
supplied bearings.
There are gaskets and build procedures that can make a relatively
leak-proof 3.8. Is there a combination of oil, antifreeze, and bearing
that will not result in instant death when they are combined????
For this reason I have reservations about the 3.8.


1988 Sable
1993 Thunderbird
nearly half a million miles between them using petroleum engine oil changed
@ 5k
zero reliability and maintenance issues
just one man's experience; YMMV

baltobernie


  #10  
Old July 24th 03, 08:01 PM
clare @ snyder.on .ca
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Thu, 24 Jul 2003 13:51:27 -0400, "baltobernie"
wrote:



1988 Sable
1993 Thunderbird
nearly half a million miles between them using petroleum engine oil changed
@ 5k
zero reliability and maintenance issues
just one man's experience; YMMV

baltobernie

At my brother's shop, (he is an ex Ford Dealership mechanic) he
replaces more 3.8 ford engines than any other 2 combined. Head gaskets
are the major culprit, but timing cover gaskets take down their share
as well.
Don't know if it is the silicates in the anti-freeze or what, but a
very MINOR coolant leak into the oil makes a noisy engine in a hurry.
Replacing rod and main bearings does NOT solve it, so he has stopped
even trying to patch them. Antifreeze in the oil? Pull the engine and
replace. Not out of the ordinary for them to let go under 85000km
Windstars and Taurus/sable from 1995 up appear to be worst.
We had some bad luck with an older T-Bird 3.8 (brother -in-law's car)
as well. It went through 3 cranks before it got traded back to the
selling Ford dealer. One under Ford warranty, one a year later, and
another required by the time it got to the dealer's lot less than a
year later. Interestingly, the brother-in-law works in the Windsor
engine plant - and he says it's no wonder Ford engine quality is so
variable, as there are test and calibration fixtures that have not
been functional for several years - and Ford won't spend the money to
repair/replace them
 




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