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215 buick in Bearhawk

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Toobuilder

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Just going off the cuff here, but I think you would end up with a powerplant that is closer to a Lyc 540 in weight, yet has the power output closer to a Lyc 360. Throw in the Buick's rarity, and you would be much better off going with one of the more modern all alloy V-8's.
 

whiteknight

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Thank you for your input Toolbuilder. I just missed a chance to get a running motor from a range rover for $150.00
Of course I would have rebuilt it before using it in an airplane. You suggested using a more modern V-8. Which one would you suggest. I am wanting something that will give good performance, be light weight, and be very cost friendly. If not a 215 Buick what would you suggest for a Bearhawk?
 
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Toobuilder

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Well my personal favorite is the LS/Vortec family. Common as dirt; cheap; powerful; and a strong aftermarket.
 
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ekimneirbo

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Actually there already is a Buick/Rover engined Bearhawk in existance and it has been flying for several years. The original builder sold it and started another project, but it was a well done conversion. If you decide to go with a Rover you might want to look at the tailwind site and there is also a thread on here from a fellow who has been flying one with the Buick/Olds setup and recently added a turbocharger.

If you do decide to go with this setup, you are looking at appx 300 lbs before you adapt the prop. The Rovers come with a 4.6 liter version and you can get both fuel injection and carb versions. Due to differences in the timing cover, you may be able to cobble up dual ignitions with a little mix and match.
 

Himat

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Just going off the cuff here, but I think you would end up with a powerplant that is closer to a Lyc 540 in weight, yet has the power output closer to a Lyc 360. Throw in the Buick's rarity, and you would be much better off going with one of the more modern all alloy V-8's.
The Buick 215 aliminium V8 I would say was obsolete. On the other hand, the Range Rover (Rover) V8 is still common.
 

Toobuilder

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The Buick 215 aliminium V8 I would say was obsolete. On the other hand, the Range Rover (Rover) V8 is still common.

It's common in Europe perhaps, but even the latest version is still a small engine and the aftermarket is nothing like we have here for Fords and GM products. I'm not saying a Bearhawk can't be flown with a Buick/Rover; it just doesn't seem like the best choice for someone building in the US.
 

Toobuilder

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Not even close. A block is a grand brand new from GM; You can buy an entire stroker shortblock from some custom shops for around $5 k; and the entire engine "complete" can be had from GM for under $6k.
 

Toobuilder

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Update to my prior post. The Factory LS-3/L-92 block has gone up in price from the last time I checked and now retails for $1,700, but nobody pays retail. They can be had for less than $1500 with a little digging (and sometimes a lot less). Even so, the fact that shops are puting together brand new 415 inch stroker short blocks and selling them for $5k (presumably at a profit) tells me that these are cheap engines to assemble.

One of these $5k stroker engines would be an excellent basis for an aircraft engine because it comes without a camshaft and heads - the two "aircraft unique" items that you would want to do yourself. The heads would be simple small port Vortec heads (which can be had used for about $75 bucks per pair), and the camshaft would be the only truly custom part - which can be custom ground for $500 or so. Throw a stand alone ignition unit ($275) and a Bendix fuel injection system ($500 - $3,000) at it and you are well on your way towards a 300HP direct drive aircraft engine.
 

TXFlyGuy

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Not even close. A block is a grand brand new from GM; You can buy an entire stroker shortblock from some custom shops for around $5 k; and the entire engine "complete" can be had from GM for under $6k.
Amazing! An aluminum GM 4.3 V6 short block from GM racing is about $5,000.
 

TXFlyGuy

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Update to my prior post. The Factory LS-3/L-92 block has gone up in price from the last time I checked and now retails for $1,700, but nobody pays retail. They can be had for less than $1500 with a little digging (and sometimes a lot less). Even so, the fact that shops are puting together brand new 415 inch stroker short blocks and selling them for $5k (presumably at a profit) tells me that these are cheap engines to assemble.

One of these $5k stroker engines would be an excellent basis for an aircraft engine because it comes without a camshaft and heads - the two "aircraft unique" items that you would want to do yourself. The heads would be simple small port Vortec heads (which can be had used for about $75 bucks per pair), and the camshaft would be the only truly custom part - which can be custom ground for $500 or so. Throw a stand alone ignition unit ($275) and a Bendix fuel injection system ($500 - $3,000) at it and you are well on your way towards a 300HP direct drive aircraft engine.
Direct drive? Please tell me more!
 
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ekimneirbo

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Used Rover engines can be found very cheaply. Look for the 4.2 (280) cu in. You would definitely want to
go thru the engine, but they can be found complete for under $500 and often for little more than scrap if
they have a problem. They go about 300 lbs.

The LS goes about 400 lbs and will cost more. I think Toolbuilder and I agree that if you can take an existing engine type and build it to a larger size, you negate the need for a reduction ($5k and up) drive.
In other words, a 415 cu in LS based engine will weigh no more than an LS1 346 cu in engine......but will definitely be capable of generating more power at 2700 rpms. If you can generate the desired power without a reduction drive, then why use one?

Its possible to bolt one to a prop with just an extension but I don't believe that is the best way to go. By making a direct drive housing/bearing (maybe $2-3K) to alleviate some crank issues, a direct drive seems
more feasible. Depending on airplane type (high wing/low/amphib) you need to be sure you can get a proper thrust line.
 

4trade

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Ford 3.8 V6 should weight less than 215 Buick or Rover V8, and Chevy V6 weight approx same or little more. Those ones is easy to find and reduction drive is just "bolt on" job. Power level for all those are equal, but Ford or Chevy is cheaper to build or tune for aircraft use, and easier to find information for this kind of engine build too.
 
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