Engine Delivery

January 23, 2006

This is a very special day for me.  How can someone get so excited about an engine?  Well, it represents a major expense and for me a major milestone.  I decided about a year ago to go with a Bob Barrows O-360 engine.  Back then Bob took the time to tell me about his engines.  He builds the O-360 using angle valve cylinders usually used for the fuel injected engines.  He also uses the fuel injected oil sump but modifies it to fit a carburetor.  Bob said that using the angle valve cylinder assemblies he can offer one of three options.  

  1. He can set it up to burn regular auto fuel and deliver about 170 to 180 HP.  
  2. He can set it up to burn 93 octane auto fuel and deliver about 190 HP.  
  3. He can leave the pistons as-is to burn 100LL and deliver about 200HP. 

I sent him a $200 deposit and scheduled a Jan 2006 delivery date.  I then started putting every penny I made from manual sales into an engine account.  I also started putting any money I could get into the account from bonuses at work to tax returns to items I sold on ebay that I had left over from previous projects.

The good news is that I managed to save enough to pay cash for the engine.  So far, no debt has been incurred in the building of this airplane.  My goal is to finish it without any debt, owning it free and clear when I'm finished.

I arrived in Fincastle, VA the morning of Jan. 23, 2006 to pick up my new engine.  When I got there, Bob took some time and showed me 2 cylinder assemblies. One was a parallel valve and the other an angle valve assembly.  The differences were obvious.  The angle valve cylinder uses a "Hemispherical" piston/cylinder.  "Hey, that thing got a HEMI?"  The valves on the angle valve cylinder were a little larger and the ports were a little smoother for better flow.  Now I could understand how the engine can deliver a little more horsepower using the angle valve assemblies.

Bob was able to get me a good deal on brand new chrome, angle valve cylinder assemblies, from the factory.  New is good!  All other parts had been sent to ECI and were returned after being re-worked, complete with inspection and FAA yellow tags.  Bob also included a new Carburetor, overhauled Bendix Mags, Flywheel, Starter and new plug wires.  So basically I have a bolt it on and start it up engine.  All I need is the exhaust system and an alternator.

After explaining the difference in parallel and angle valve cylinders, Bob lead me into his other shop where my engine was sitting on an engine stand with the engine lift attached. Bob spent about an hour with me going over all the details of the engine, where everything hooks up, break-in procedures, the paperwork including log book and yellow tags, etc.:

Bob then took the engine off of the stand and installed the prop bushings in the crankshaft flange:

Then it was time to roll it out to the truck.  I have a worried look on my face.

Starting to hoist it up to the pickup truck.  What am I so worried about?

Aligning the engine over the tire(no rim) in the back of the truck:

It's safely down on the tire.  Guess I can relax a little now:

Roping the engine down for the long trip home:

A quick peak at the new LSA that Bob is building.:

Well that's it for now.  I have a couple of small details to finish up on the fuselage, then I get to mount the engine and start building the firewall, boot cowl and cowling.

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