Merry Christmas And Happy Holidays
Post College . . . Long Week In the Hangar
through Dec. 2, 2006 Part 1
For Corvair College 10 we had near perfect weather. The last day of the College, Phil Maxson of New Jersey and
Joe Horton of Pennsylvania wisely opted to return home by rental car to avoid deteriorating weather in the Northeast. They each
returned to Florida and flew their airplanes home the following week. The two weeks after the College were unseasonably cold for Florida.
Yet we just enjoyed a solid week of very mild weather. Rebounding from the College, we got a savage week of work in that started
Sunday afternoon and ended late Friday night. It was unusually long and productive, even by our standards. Kevin
is notorious for late night work sessions. I matched him and slept less than five hours every night
at the hangar. Gus, who may be called on to fly at any time of the day, paced himself with more reasonable 12-hour days. The following photos
sample what it's like to be around our shop in a productive week.
I snapped this photo of Phil Maxson just before he left for home at 7 a.m. Good weather took Phil within an hour of home on the first
day of his return trip to New Jersey.
Above is Dave Poirier's engine case in one of our assembly jigs. Installed in it is our precision case alignment tool. This 4140 steel
shaft was hardened to Rockwell C65 and ground for a zero clearance fit on the Corvair's cases without bearings. It forces the case into
perfect alignment. I developed this after studying more than a hundred case assemblies. We use it both to install ARP case studs and to
precision align cases. When doing the latter, Kevin developed a technique of machining and polishing a flat spot across the #2 and 3
main bearing webs in the case. Upon final assembly, this polished surface can be checked for alignment and the case bumped back into
alignment for final torquing. Analysis has shown that engines so aligned will hold their alignment through several hundred hours of operation.
These techniques are not a requirement for engines built in the field. We built dozens of engines in the early years that still operate
today. However, this development is part of our relentless pursuit of the better engine. Anyone considering installing ARP case studs at home
should know that we believe they do no good without precision case aligning tools or very extensive measurements.
601 builder Lynn Dingfelder of Pennsylvania stopped by after picking up his Sport Pilot ticket from Lockwood in South Florida. He volunteered
four days in the shop and was a whirlwind of activity. He's a very skilled fabricator, and I outlined the need for a new cam gear press
fixture to him. Above is what he produced. Cams are made of cast iron. They should never be subjected to compressive forces down their length.
This tool holds the cam by the first bearing when the heated cam gear is pressed in place. In our shop, we always make sure the thrust
washer is clamped tight by the cam gear. This requires holding it under pressure while it cools. I had a recent tech discussion with the
staff at Clark's Corvairs about this. They said that many car people prefer the thrust washer to be loose and rotate on the cam. I explained to
them that for every aircraft engine, I want the washer tight. I've seen engines work both ways but I have a definite preference.
Above is the shrink-on lock ring that goes over the end of a billet cam gear. The cam in the press is Dave Poirier's reverse grind
OT-10. He is building a reverse motor because his Wittman Tailwind has already flown with another engine and has significant offset built into the vertical
fin. This is the only reason I'd consider building a reverse rotation Corvair motor. It also utilizes unique distributor drive
gears, thrust bearings, and of course, the pistons must be installed backwards in the engine. Over the years, I've built about a dozen
reverse engines, but very few of the people initially attracted to them need them.
Above is a close up view of an ARP case stud, top, and a Corvair case bolt, bottom. With our case tool in place, we reem the holes with a
special reamer for a light drive fit on the ARP case stud. These function as eight more very significant dowl pins in the engine. While other
engines have five minute rpm limits and light construction necessitating low temperature limits, the Corvair is comparatively bulletproof.
Carefully installed mods like ARP case studs further enhance the Corvair's well earned bulletproof reputation. We've installed
dozens of sets of studs in engines, and I consider them only necessary on turbocharged engines. However, we install them on all the
production engines in our shop because there's no downside to having them.
Here's Dave Poirier with his assembled case. The bits and pieces on his case are paint plugs we made to fit the engine. When doing
multiple engines, these save enormous time over taping. We always paint after the case is fully assembled. Sharp eyes will notice he's holding
the shop copy of Ralph Nader's Unsafe At Any Speed. Contrary to popular belief, only the first chapter, "The Sporty Corvair," is
about our favorite car. Although there are some things I dislike about Nader, I actually respect many of his views on the abuse of power
by large corporations.
Joe Horton's beautiful 3,100cc KR-2S, above right, waited for a week in our hangar for Joe's return. He actually left one morning at
6 a.m. for the trip north. After seeing him off, I went out for coffee and returned an hour later to find Joe's airplane back in the
exact same spot in the hangar. With no one else around, I actually went over and touched the engine to ensure I hadn't daydreamed he'd been
there earlier. Joe had aborted the trip after running into questionable weather just north of us. He returned a day later and made a
perfect trip home. Patience pays. Joe's example is a sterling one on avoiding the sometimes fatal "get-there-itis."
Joe's Corvair engine installation. It served him well through many adventures this year. He plans to refine it this winter for a
full season's work next year. The rubber strips on Joe's baffling are the pure silicone variety. The fiber reinforced 3" wide baffling
strips work much better because they don't squish out around fasteners. A slight inward cant helps to keep all the rubber strips pointing toward
the center of the engine. Cowling rubber should not point backwards because at high ram air pressure, it will allow air to bypass the engine.
Dave and his son Chris installing the cylinders on their engine, above. Chris is very sharp on mechanical concepts, and proved to be
good company during a daylong visit.
Lynn Dingfelder also proved to be an awesome carpenter, ripping out this shipping box for Randy Stout's Texas bound engine. We send
most of our shipments by Pilot Air Freight. They've never damaged anything, and frequently offer better rates than ground based shipping.
The engine is sitting in this box supported by the bosses surrounding the exhaust studs.
Now At The Hangar
June 2011 At The Hangar
May 2011 At The Hangar
April 2011 At The Hangar
March 2011 At The Hangar
January 2011 At The Hangar
December 2010 At The Hangar
November 2010 At The Hangar
October 2010 At The Hangar
August 2010 At The Hangar
July 2010 At The Hangar
May 2010 At The Hangar
April 2010 At The Hangar
January 2010 At The Hangar
December 2009 At The Hangar
November 2009 At The Hangar
October 2009 At The Hangar
September 2009 At The Hangar
August 2009 At The Hangar
July 2009 At The Hangar
June 2009 At The Hangar
May 2009 At The Hangar
April 2009 At The Hangar
March 2009 At The Hangar
January 2009 At The Hangar
December 2008 At The Hangar
October 2008 At The Hangar
September 2008 At The Hangar
August 2008 At The Hangar
July 2008 At The Hangar
June 2008 At The Hangar
May 2008 At The Hangar
April 2008 At The Hangar
March 2008 At The Hangar
February 2008 At The Hangar
January 2008 At The Hangar
Christmas 2007 At The Hangar
November 2007 At The Hangar
October 2007 At The Hangar
September 2007 At The Hangar
August 2007 At The Hangar
July 2007 At The Hangar
June 2007 At The Hangar
April 2007 At The Hangar
March 2007 At The Hangar
February 2007 At The Hangar
January 2007 At The Hangar
December 2006 At The Hangar Part 2
December 2006 At The Hangar Part 3
December 2006 At The Hangar Part 4
November 2006 At The Hangar
October 2006 At The Hangar
September 2006 At The Hangar
August 2006 At The Hangar
July 2006 At The Hangar
June 2006 At The Hangar
May 2006 At The Hangar
At The Hangar In April 2006
At The Hangar In March 2006
At The Hangar In February 2006
At The Hangar In January 2006
At The Hangar In December 2005
At The Hangar In November 2005
At The Hangar In October 2005
At The Hangar In September 2005
At The Hangar In July 2005
OSH, Illinois and SAA June 13, 2005
At The Hangar June 13, 2005 Part II
At The Hangar In May 2005
At The Hangar In April 2005