# New 2014 Lightweight 1.5 Liter or Smaller Automotive Engines

Discussion in 'General Auto Conversion Discussion' started by Geek1945, Jan 17, 2014.

### Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes Forum by donating:

Tags:
1. Jan 17, 2014

### Geek1945

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Aug 14, 2013
Messages:
144
34
Location:
Erath County TX 76462
Visitor's to the USA might just find cars which are common in their home country. In fact to most older American's roller skates on steroids might be more appropriate.

Looking at the 2014 auto offerings there appears to be some likely candidate for conversion. In their effort to meet upcoming federal mileage mandates even Ford's 2014 F150, the largest selling vehicle in the US, has an aluminum body mated to 2013 6 cylinder Eco-Boost engines. It appears to this reader the US automakers are reading aviation's play book and cutting the fat in traditional Detroit Iron in favor of aluminum. Sorry riveter's bonding with adhesives will be used on the majority of aluminum joints.

Even the not-so-big Big Block Engines are shedding the cast iron in favor of lost foam aluminum castings so there might be some good candidates for aviation conversions in 200+HP especially from the insurance (totaled wrecks) pipeline. Best of all GDI engines are becoming 'standard equipment' since these engines are FADEC all related black boxes and wiring will need to be harvested to have a working engine. A on-board battery is required even if you want to hand prop start. Another change is electric motor driven water pumps in-addition to commonplace electric radiator fan(s) leaving alternator to be engine driven.

The Econoboxes 4 stroke engines 1.5L and less likely will be light enough to be pulled by one man without any hoist. These engines will come in 80Hp 3cylinder Fiat, Ford Fiesta, Dodge Dart at low end, up 130+Hp GM Ecotec in Sprint and Fords Eco-Boost in Escape. At retail prices in the $12 to 16K economical collision repair for any serious damage like rear end accident will total the vehicle. Rotax might just have to revisit their pricelist since this new batch of 100HP engines will have price tags which aviation folks will appreciate especially in salvage condition. In fact even 40HP v-twins might seem overpriced since automakers produce vehiclea in 1000's reducing costs to minimum. On the funny side many top end motorcycles, snowmobiles, and PWC will have advertised BHP numbers exceeding most cars. So saving gas money doesn't apply to recreational vehicle where HP numbers are bragging benchmarks. Ed Chlomo likes this. 2. Jan 17, 2014 ### saini flyer ### saini flyer #### Well-Known Member Joined: Mar 12, 2010 Messages: 412 Likes Received: 108 Location: Dallas, TX I am not an engine guy so for someone like me who just needs a "reliable" bolt on Auto conversion that can just do what the rotax 100 HP..... in every sense(HP, RPM, Torque,Weight, Air-Liquid cooling, even FI now) can do at the price of a VW conversion(Aerovee, GP, Hummel,Revmaster) is what will change the landscape. A$60k LSA becomes $40k with a full glass cockpit or close to$30-$35k. You can build a RV12,Highlander,Kitfox etc without used (scrounging) stuff for that price point if the$14k avionics (replaced by two ipads) and an auto conversion for the $35k price point easy. Show me where is my bolt on engine..... I have been looking for a decade now ..... some for many decades:mad2: 3. Jan 17, 2014 ### cheapracer ### cheapracer #### Well-Known Member Joined: Sep 8, 2013 Messages: 5,116 Likes Received: 3,398 Location: Australian Coming .... 4. Jan 17, 2014 ### cluttonfred ### cluttonfred #### Well-Known Member Joined: Feb 13, 2010 Messages: 6,353 Likes Received: 2,224 Location: World traveler One problem with many of these new engines is complexity--they get their light weight and high mileage from variable valve timing and a host of other sophiscticated features that are just unnecessary complications in an aircraft that spends most of its operating life at a steady RPM. If any one knows of any small modern engines that are still quite simple I'd like to hear more. 5. Jan 18, 2014 ### cheapracer ### cheapracer #### Well-Known Member Joined: Sep 8, 2013 Messages: 5,116 Likes Received: 3,398 Location: Australian Why is complexity a "problem"? Modern auto engines turn 300 ~ 400,000 kms with ease and without laying a finger on them. Honda claim of 15 million VTEC engines, not one single failure of the VTEC system. I grew up as a kid with simple engines and they were total crap in comparison and good ones did 200,000 kms while the rest needed valve grinds, re-ringing, bearings, seals etc etc. Every industrial area and every town had a head shop and an engine reconditioners, trying finding one these days. bsciwmdha60ctd20mm B100 likes this. 6. Jan 18, 2014 ### cluttonfred ### cluttonfred #### Well-Known Member Joined: Feb 13, 2010 Messages: 6,353 Likes Received: 2,224 Location: World traveler That's a good point, but those engines are made to be very reliable under certain specific conditions. When we put one in an airplane, often removing ancillary systems to save weight, we change those conditions. But you're probably still right about relative reliability. 7. Jan 18, 2014 ### saini flyer ### saini flyer #### Well-Known Member Joined: Mar 12, 2010 Messages: 412 Likes Received: 108 Location: Dallas, TX Cheapy, that is the point and also what bugs me is the fact that the current breed of auto/motorcycle/ATV/snowmobile engines have what it takes to be an aircraft engine. No major produer of these including Industrial engines wont do it ..... that is a given and I do not know enough to even know which one can replace the Rotax. The conversions right now from raven(Geo), Viking(Honda), Takeoff(BMW), numerous VW still have issues(major ones) for an average joe to be confident in buying them. A used case, a engine that is completely altered, bad customer support, weight, low thrust at the driving rpm, questionable redrive/PSRU, can't ship to the US...... I can go on and on and on and on ....... Everyone says it is too hard to do and I do not want to try..... I hope people like you get the right product out and are successful. I wish you luck and am following your development closely. 8. Jan 18, 2014 ### RJW ### RJW #### Well-Known Member Joined: Feb 9, 2011 Messages: 688 Likes Received: 192 Location: Wisconsin and Kansas Configuration is a big part of it. Car engines are configured for compactness. Aero engines are configured for best power to weight at low RPM etc., etc. Though the quality of materials and manufacturing in car motors is approaching that of traditional aero motors, all that extra stuff (whose primary purpose is to produce low emissions across a very broad operating range in a tiny package, which is unnecessary in an aero motor) is just extra weight that has to be hauled around. If modern materials and manufacturing were to be put to some of the simple automotive pushrod designs of 20 years ago a motor would result that might be pretty competitive with aero configurations though it would still be somewhat heavier. Flat engines are about as good as it gets for airplane motors. Rob 9. Jan 18, 2014 ### TFF ### TFF #### Well-Known Member Joined: Apr 28, 2010 Messages: 11,524 Likes Received: 3,225 Location: Memphis, TN A 912 weighs 150 lbs ready to fly 100 hp at 5500 rpm and 1.5L. It will be a hard nut to crack if you are always starting out with a engine that weighs the same and then you have to add prop gearboxes and stuff. Making flyable and making better are different answers. Rotax gets hammered because they are the only ones who have delivered; everybody else have been the wishing for magic to happen. BBerson likes this. 10. Jan 18, 2014 ### RJW ### RJW #### Well-Known Member Joined: Feb 9, 2011 Messages: 688 Likes Received: 192 Location: Wisconsin and Kansas Agree. It’s about the best configuration combined with modern ideas. Since car companies have no reason to configure a motor like this, their motors will always come up short. So if somebody wants the best aero motor they will have to pay for it. Of course I wouldn’t be at all disappointed with a 100HP, 1.5L car motor that does close to the same job as a Rotax, at 200 pounds and a third or half the price. Rob 11. Jan 25, 2014 ### B100 ### B100 #### Well-Known Member Joined: Jan 23, 2014 Messages: 59 Likes Received: 3 Location: Albufeira , Portugal No TFF, there is a diesel altenative its not magic its flying already! Products Oh this same 1,4 cc base block they build a 1,6 cc version (longer stroke and slightly different head ) at a similar weight( about only 10lbs more) but that one can be chipped to 150 HP!! or a bit more 12. Jan 25, 2014 ### cheapracer ### cheapracer #### Well-Known Member Joined: Sep 8, 2013 Messages: 5,116 Likes Received: 3,398 Location: Australian If the class regulations all jumped their max weights up by 50kgs tomorrow I believe some of the traditional aircraft engine manufacturers would have some serious concerns. Consider that it's those weights that only give a sidevalve engine (DMotor) a look in at all. 13. Jan 25, 2014 ### RJW ### RJW #### Well-Known Member Joined: Feb 9, 2011 Messages: 688 Likes Received: 192 Location: Wisconsin and Kansas Says right on their site that the installed weight of their 100HP version weighs 50 pounds more than a 912S installation. onder: This is kind of a big difference considering a roughly 200-pound installation. Rob 14. Jan 25, 2014 ### TFF ### TFF #### Well-Known Member Joined: Apr 28, 2010 Messages: 11,524 Likes Received: 3,225 Location: Memphis, TN The EM-100 says its 23Kg more than a 912. 15. Jan 25, 2014 ### autoreply ### autoreply #### Moderator Joined: Jul 8, 2009 Messages: 10,732 Likes Received: 2,540 Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands Engine weights can fairly accurately be calculated by: (lbs/hp of a Rotax 912S)*(claimed power)*(BS)^2.7 Without weighing, distrust any engine weight claim, many are down-right laughable. I have not yet seen ANY flying diesel that was under 3.5-ish lbs/hp and post WWII 16. Jan 26, 2014 ### Vipor_GG ### Vipor_GG #### Well-Known Member Joined: Jun 9, 2013 Messages: 850 Likes Received: 113 Location: Cayce, SC / USA No real data as yet, because it isn't actually in production yet. The Elio has a three cylinder 55HP engine with separate manual or automatic transmission. I read somewhere that the engine was detuned from 70HP in order to achieve desired fuel economy. The entire vehicle weighs about 1200 lbs and is to sell for$6800. If the engine proves to be light and powerful enough you could buy one, remove what you need, and sell the rest for parts.

Elio Motors

17. Jan 26, 2014

### saini flyer

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Mar 12, 2010
Messages:
412
108
Location:
Dallas, TX
Jarno, That formula should win the Nobel prize in "Honesty" for you as that is what one needs to do to get the real number out :depressed

Jan(from the Subaru and now Viking engines) wont even tell the weight of the components of his Honda fit conversion... Leave the Customer service or test data numbers for dreamers
The Take off BMW conversion is the only one that looks about right....

There are others but when someone cant even put the accurate stall speed numbers for their plane(Sonex) how much confidence should I show in their engine conversion

I wish if there were more Vans like folks who can atleast get close to the reality with their data in the auto conversions.....

Now, did you not mention the Funk guys bringing the smart car diesel conversion at 2013 Aero..... How is that coming along... there own aircraft with their own engine conversion... pretty good I say!

18. Jan 26, 2014

#### Moderator

Joined:
Jul 8, 2009
Messages:
10,732
2,540
Location:
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Great Plains is also very open over it.
When they (Ecofly) have a dozen or so flying and a few hundred hours under their belt each; I'm the first one to order it. But upping an automotive diesel from 50 to 80+ HP; I'm curious whether it'll survive that in the long term.

And - with respect - I'd take developments like these a lot more serious if they weren't BS-ing about 60% fuel savings. Throttle your Rotax back to 50% and make a fair comparison. Even if it's the Funk's. Good products don't need inflated hyperboles.

rv6ejguy likes this.
19. Jan 26, 2014

### saini flyer

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Mar 12, 2010
Messages:
412
108
Location:
Dallas, TX
Those guys are really honest too but a rotax competition they are not.

I though they were going for 100HP!

Why, why you have to burst my bubble every time I am hopeful(wishful) :tired:

20. Jan 26, 2014

### raven-rotor

#### Active Member

Joined:
Mar 6, 2012
Messages:
33
21
Location:
Taos, NM
Guys

Please tell the moderator that it would be a boon to this site to have the engine conversion posts not buried a couple layers deep. Would also be neat to add a section for Honda® auto engine conversions.

We are now in our 19th year of doing successful Geo®/Suzuki® auto engine conversions for aircraft in the 1.6L and under range with power outputs from 60 to 115 HP with the new Honda® Fit engine currently under development. I agree that the Rotax 912S is the target but make sure you have your numbers correct. It is a 1.35L displacement and weighs more than 150lbs. (and the fuel injected version should be a bit heavier). Making reliable fuel efficient conversions doable at 2 lbs. per HP (same as Lycoming®/Continental®) and with turbo 1.5HP per pound is very doable and reliable with moderate boost.

We have looked at all the current next generation auto engines referred to earlier in this post and would have to say that the new GDI engines will be quite heavy with all the structural beefing up and bells and whistles. The Honda® Jazz/Fit 1.5L we have chosen as our next power plant is the last of the relatively simple i-VTEC designs. We will be hitting at least 110HP at a dry weight with radiator of 189 lbs.- no smoke or mirrors needed and we will be very near the power to weight ratio of our previous Suzuki® engine packages with turbo.

Will post more later.

Jeron Smith
Raven ReDrives Inc.
303-440-6234