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Thread: Dose auto engine available to convert to aero using?

  1. #21

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    Viking motors

    I *so* want to believe this. The claimed numbers and the price are exceptional. But there's that weaseley word "claimed". It scares the living daylights out of me, especially when it comes to something I'm going to bet my life on.

    There's a lot to like: low-cost repairs, fuel injection, lost of power, liquid cooling making safe cabin heat a possibility, etc. But then I think of all those WWII Naval aviators who made it back despite losing major portions of their air-cooled engines and I think "what really matters to me?" That's when I get cold feet. We all complain about how conservative the aviation community is, but there's a damned good reason. With our small numbers, we don't have enough "volunteers" on the bleeding edge to get the kind of statistical sample needed to be able to reliably identify and correct the majority of the issues. I'm sure there are a few Viking customers who have 1000 trouble-free hours. What worries me is how many are going to have major issues just as the guys who bought into the Subaru conversions did a few years back. This time it may well be different. But past is prologue and, given the choice, I want a larger body of other peoples experience to refer to before I'll stake my life on certain things.
    Last edited by Bunkie; 12-02-2016 at 03:09 PM. Reason: Grammar correction

  2. #22

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    It may have been mentioned already is the heat transfer issue when a VW engine is pushed into the upper RPM numbers under load. A number of fixes are available to support this.
    I looked into this and came away with the theory that there are things a VW does really well, and things it doesn't - and in at least one case I know of I was shaking my head at the selection of a VW at all.

    For light aircraft like mine, a VW is a perfect fit. At a fully loaded (with pilot and fuel) weight of 700 pounds and a fat airfoil that makes for a really effective wing, I'm not demanding much out of my engine, climbing out quickly to around 2,500 or 3,000 ft. AGL in less than five minutes (on a hot summer day) and then cruising around at half throttle the rest of the time.

    Throw my 1915cc direct drive set up into a plane twice as heavy with a less effective airfoil and I could see trouble coming. The engine would have to be run at much higher RPM's all the time, and problems might pop up. It's a matter of not asking too much from the engine for what it's designed to do.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  3. #23
    Jim Heffelfinger's Avatar
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    Bunkie. I understand your hesitation about the Viking. I am not in anyway affiliated with Viking and am only a follower of the product and have seen a number of installations. That said the Issue with the Subaru engines Jan sold were fundamentally around the very topic we are addressing in the threads - heat - or shall I say cooling. Jan sold the engines - done....when things did not go well the engine, not the installation, was held at fault. Added to that he was financed too tightly and he went under leaving a few buyers without engines and and no relief. The community is not kind to businesses that fold up and leave them hanging. you many have read the comments. [This is not how I would chose to operate and now that the business is doing well I would pay back the offended buyers and request deletion of the webpage. But it is not my business]
    His new business/product model uses a well designed and proven engine and has released a second gen block (130) and a designed for turbo engine (160+) which is still in beta. Added value is the availability of a designed for cowling and an integrated cooling system as part of the engine package. It is truly a plug and play installation (module) that requires very little installation and no engineering. Even an EFIS system is available designed for the engine at fair market price.
    Jan has a large inventory of PSRU parts but seem to be doing very little service. It, like the VW and Corvair engines, are experimental. Unlike the VW engines the engine cores are OEM vs racing derivatives.
    So, if you (collective) feel anxious about using an experimental engine in your experimental aircraft then go ahead and get a certificated engine.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Heffelfinger View Post
    That said the Issue with the Subaru engines Jan sold were fundamentally around the very topic we are addressing in the threads - heat - or shall I say cooling.
    That was one issue, but not the only one. There have been internal problems with the PSRUs, problems with the spline shaft that connects the PSRU to the engine, problems with the valve timing setup (the original variable valve timing inside the engine was disabled and the timing gears were altered, and this alteration has been problematic), the initial engine timing map in the computer is incorrect and needs tweaking, etc. Note that these problems were not builder installation issues. There is a wonderful group of talented individuals (community members) that have worked around these issues, and today I think it is a fairly good engine package, but there was a lot of work that needed to be done after the initial purchase to get to this point for the EZ30 six cylinder engine. There are now several of these flying with hundreds of hours, and some with over a thousand. There are still some ongoing concerns with the PSRU but those are being worked on.

    Two of the engine types sold, the Sti and the EZ36, have been abysmal failures. I do not know of any that are safely flying. On the other hand, the original four cylinder packages that were sold seem to have had a good success rate.

    fyi, fwiw.

  5. #25

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    My VW has a stock core.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  6. #26

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    Jim, I'm not anxious about experimental engines in general, I'm almost certainly using a Corvair, but I'm not at the decision point yet. Jan Eggenfelter left a bad taste in a lot of peoples mouths. Just for that alone, I would be very hesitant to do business with him. As I said, I really like the premise of the Viking engine, really, I do. the difference between it and a Corvair is the large body of experience with it. The problems are, for the most part, known and addressed. Another important point is that the Corvair is frozen in time. It's a bit counter-intuitive, but automotive engines are changing rapidly and there's a chance that new versions of an engine can introduce new problems. The Corvair is a known quantity.

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