# LS3 FWF prices

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#### ColderWeather86

##### Member
Hey folks. Brainstorming here. Just looked up the price of the brand new LS3 Crate engine, PN 19369326, and it's just under 6K from Summit. Question is, how does this equate to 50-60k for a FWF package from the outfits that are selling that??

#### Voidhawk9

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
The crate engine won't be useful by itself. At a minimum, you need an ECU, PSRU, radiators, associated plumbing, engine mounts, suitable ECU configuration, testing, etc.
You can arrange all that yourself, of course, and save a fair amount of money - if you count your time as free. But for a lot of people, the FWF price is worthwhile to have all those things done for them.

#### wsimpso1

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Propellor and governor or controller is needed too and has to be part of the psru vibe management scheme.

$60k for a working, reliable, durable FWF 300 hp system actually sounds quite reasonable. #### rv6ejguy ##### Well-Known Member If you plan to create your own aero conversion, you'll have best chance of success if you're a gearhead and/ or mechanical engineer. There is a lot to know to get this to work reliably in an airplane. #### dog ##### Well-Known Member Hold on now,there is what$54000.00 to account for after the $6000 for the motor. Propellor,if its variable pitch then there is a big chunk,certified hydraulic,new,would likely not fit in that budget. Hand carved wooden prop could be done for a few hundred. Engine management,there are going to be a wide variety of reliable options,likely to include a distributor and carb version. PRSU is going to be the most limited of choices,and pay the man. Engine mount is welded steel. A complete application specific FWF package , with numerous flying examples,is a gift at$50K.
It would be possible to build a direct drive propeller mount with a simple bearing set up
and a wooden prop,on a derated engine for
cheap.Have to do research about vibration
issues and ground test it for many hours.

#### dwalker

##### Well-Known Member
Offhand, and this is not a definitive list, but here is how I would estimate the FWF for a LS motor-

LS3 Crate motor-8,000, which is the current as of today pricing from GM without any discounts
Marcotte PSRU (one of many out there) $5000 if around 400hp, more expensive with higher hp levels AEM Infinity ECU, packaged with LS3 specific harness-$2500
Radiators, Ron Davis or similar- $2000 (yeah, I know that sounds like a lot but the rad is just about the most important piece of this cake, because a cause a cheap one will cost thousands to fix the melted lump of an engine. Engine mount- no idea offhand, but my guess is at least$1500, and I would not be surprised at double that
Prop- 12,000 to 15,000 for a good in flight adjustable, and why would you use anything else? Ok, well I suppose you could use a Carbon or Aluminum bladed fixed or ground adjustable prop, but thats still $2500 and up Fuel system- lets say$800 by the time you have the pumps, fittings, lines, etc.
Starter- $300 Alternator-$200
Brackets for alternator- $400-ish oil cooler-$1000- round number, for a decent cooler, lines, etc.
MAF, intake plumbing, etc.- $800- I feel like this is on the low side, but assumes all new parts Manual throttle conversion- crate LS3's come with an E-throttle, which I would be hesitant to use in an aircraft-$200

Now, maybe you can use the oil pan and pickup the crate motor comes with, maybe not. Most likely you will want a dry sump system to keep the engine happy in unusual attitudes, so add in another $5000 Just off the top of my head, I do not think the FWF price is too out of line. #### TFF ##### Well-Known Member All the components are one off or low volume except the engine. Each one has a family to be fed behind it. I went and de- paneled a helicopter at an avionics shop for a customer. He probably thought I was going to charge him$50. Tavel to another state do it and come home. Then he realized he was paying me on top of the shop price which included them taking it apart.

A friend I would have done for free. Work is work or it’s not worth it. I got plenty to do.

A custom mandrel bent tube for a radiator is going to be a chunk compared to digging up a fence post in the yard and stick welding it in lumps.

Remember too the focus on these products is because the buyer has the cash for expensive toys. No one will make the stuff for negative money. The only cheap way is if you already have the materials, machines, and the talent. With that you will be pricing your work at $100,000. And at that price you will probably feel gipped. #### BJC ##### Well-Known Member HBA Supporter Prop- 12,000 to 15,000 for a good in flight adjustable, and why would you use anything else? If the available HP is to be used, a good constant speed prop will be required. A new prop will be much higher cost than$15,000. There are few, if any, used props available.

Perhaps Tex will give us an idea of the cost of the custom prop for his T-51.

A Hartzell composite three blade CS prop for 400HP will cost more than the entire FWF cost of $50,000 to$60,000 cited by the OP.

BJC

#### dwalker

##### Well-Known Member
I was guestimating...

#### ColderWeather86

##### Member
Man, I knew things were expensive, but not that expensive. I guess that's why private Aviation is dying off.

On another note, does anyone know of member on this forum with a PA-18 with an LS3?

#### wsimpso1

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
The cost cited do not include building the cowling, building the ductwork for the HX's, building the ground test stand, running the ground test stand for a couple hundred hours, and if you are extra careful, hiring somebody fluent in torsional vibe measurement/analysis to measure your system to see if you have any nasty resonances. Then there are the costs of doing some of the stuff twice or three times because you found something inadequate in the process.

There is a really good reason we are not awash in PSRU's and firewall forward systems for every flavor of airplane out there. If somebody is doing an LS3 for $60k, that sounds like a good price. Billski #### TFF ##### Well-Known Member One thing too is value. Except for a very few, a v-8 Cub will be voodoo if you try and sell it. It’s not a Cub. Cub is an institution. When it’s not done like everyone else’s, you won’t be able to sell it. One with a Lycoming easy. On the flip side, one or two have done a Bearhawk with a V8. It’s probably a little better plane to do stuff too. It’s not a Cub but it is, if you get my drift. #### WWhunter ##### Active Member Man, I knew things were expensive, but not that expensive. I guess that's why private Aviation is dying off. On another note, does anyone know of member on this forum with a PA-18 with an LS3? From your questions and comments, I will guess you are fairly new to aviation. But questions are how a person learns. An airplane has many variables, but weight and balance are one of it's biggest issues that need to be considered. All the ideas of mega HP engines people want, have serious repercussions in the weight and balance. A V-8 in a Super Cub? Why? It's a proven design with the Lyc. and you'd just be 'pouring money down the drain' trying to get a V-8 to work in a SC. Talk about a nose heavy beast!! You would end up having to load the tail up with lead to get it to balance out.....then what would you have? A SC with extremely limited useful load. #### ColderWeather86 ##### Member From your questions and comments, I will guess you are fairly new to aviation. But questions are how a person learns. An airplane has many variables, but weight and balance are one of it's biggest issues that need to be considered. All the ideas of mega HP engines people want, have serious repercussions in the weight and balance. A V-8 in a Super Cub? Why? It's a proven design with the Lyc. and you'd just be 'pouring money down the drain' trying to get a V-8 to work in a SC. Talk about a nose heavy beast!! You would end up having to load the tail up with lead to get it to balance out.....then what would you have? A SC with extremely limited useful load. My Aviation experience was rotor wing, and I've been away from it for 11 years now. #### WWhunter ##### Active Member My Aviation experience was rotor wing, and I've been away from it for 11 years now. Well heck, then you know all about weight and balance! If your dream is a mega beast Super Cub, by all means go ahead. Heck, I would like to follow the progress and see how it works out. Take a look at Patey's 'Scrappy', Sort of a Super Cub on serious steroids with an 8-cylinder 720 Lyc. Where there's a will (and deep pockets) there's way. Good Luck!! #### ColderWeather86 ##### Member Well heck, then you know all about weight and balance! If your dream is a mega beast Super Cub, by all means go ahead. Heck, I would like to follow the progress and see how it works out. Take a look at Patey's 'Scrappy', Sort of a Super Cub on serious steroids with an 8-cylinder 720 Lyc. Where there's a will (and deep pockets) there's way. Good Luck!! Not exactly. I was a NRC, not a Pilot. I've been following Mike Patey for several years, since I saw Draco at OshKosh. I want to know where he gets his motivation and energy. #### TFF ##### Well-Known Member I was watching a car show once, the subject was people who get stuff done. It was kind of an explanation of personality. My best example is Rodger Penske. The guy is 90 something and he is still going like he is thirty. The simple of it was his resting state is getting more done in a day than I try in a week. Busy makes them feel regular. Do less, they can’t do less. Lucky or curse is up to you. Mike Patey is one of those. Their reward is more stuff to do, not the money. Money is a byproduct. #### TXFlyGuy ##### Well-Known Member A good prop from Whirlwind, or MT, is going to run close to$20,000. That does not include the spinner.

Bottom line, this is not advisable for a beginner project. Even the "tried & true" versions are having issues. Think "Titan".

#### skydawg

##### Well-Known Member
The engine is one of the lowest cost items on a well designed conversion. We designed a V8 FWF kit for the Cessna 172. It took us over 3 years to get it right. We needed a redundant EFI system that meets part 33 and 23. we needed to use a mass produced part with long and reliable service history and then a custom calibration program, which cost way more than we first thought, and it had to have multiple updates During a 2 year long flight test program (needed hot summer and cold winters).

we designed our first props out of wood and collected data, then had a certified prop manufacturer make prototypes. We went through different gear boxes and made several design changes. This was expensive, but needed to be done. Because the engine needs electrical power to run, had to design a back up electrical system to keep systems isolated but still get power to where it was needed under different fault scenarios. These are just a few of the bigger cost items. We did have to make some internal mods to the engine, but we’re not huge expenses. Other expenses include engineering analysis, such as structural and electrical analysis.

Our price point mission was to be about the same cost as a c172 or c182 factory overhauling their original engine, after getting about $8k-$10k for their original engine from a overhaul facility. It’s near impossible without having some tooling to cheaply mass produce it. there has been many self made conversion kits made for far less money over the years, many with tragic outcomes.

we put some conversion info on www.corsairv8.com that dives a bit deeper into what’s really involved. But, to answer your initial question here, there is a lot of development cost involved to do it right, and it has to be charged somewhere.

#### TFF

##### Well-Known Member
At what point or how many engine conversions need to be sold to drop the price to half a Lycoming overhaul? I know there is a case for cheaper overhaul once converted but for the average flyer, that’s a cost every 15-30 years. Very advantageous for a commercial company or someone racing, not so much for the regular 50 hour a year flyer. Usually that problem is sold off to the next or more down the line of ownership.

Fresh install is equal to a Lycoming fresh, buying props and other stuff included. Except for warbird replicas, it’s it’s going to be a hard sell. The few that want something different will follow, but that’s a 1% crowd who will put money down. There are advances, but Lycoming can turn on similar ones. You can’t believe that Lycoming has never run their engines on E85, because they have. The system doesn’t allow it, not the mechanics of it.

Who is the audience? Is 100 engines considered a success or is 5000? At your price right now, you are breaking a lot of hearts, except for the ones who understand the work involved.