Ok to build Engine before fuselage?

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b7gwap

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Guys/gals;

Finishing up my CH750 Stol empennage, preparing workshop for wing components next, but should I be in the market for good cores for my eventual O-320 build all the while? Maybe even have that build project going along the side of the rest? Or will that delay the project, and force me to pickle a fresh built engine when the time comes to hang it and rig it?

maybe I just answered my own question
 

rv7charlie

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Nothing wrong with looking for a 'core' now; you might find a great deal on something. I watch classified ads fairly often, even when there's not anything I actually need. If I see something I think might be useful in the future & it isn't too financially painful, I'll buy it. But I wouldn't make buying an engine a priority, and if you do find something now, my preference would be to 'pickle' it as-is, and wait until the airframe is finished to do the overhaul. Many engines have been overhauled, stored, and storage ends up lasting so long that they get another overhaul before they're ever hung on an airframe.

Only thing that should come after the engine is the avionics. Because avionics can not only go bad in storage (corrosion just like engines, plus failure of capacitors, etc), but they become obsolete fairly quickly, and it's not uncommon for new stuff to be cheaper than that used item we bought 5 years ago. Happened to me with an autopilot. Retail was around $4500 when I bought it used for half that, and a couple of years later, the same company offered a new model with more features for about $1500.
 

b7gwap

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Good feedback, thanks. I was hoping to find a timed out core with a usable crank and case halves, then just do a conservative top end new. The only real watchwords will be reliability and weight reduction where reliable.

Interesting point about flight deck components. I was planning on doing a panel in keeping with a true sky jeep, with vacuum and pitot static operated six pack like a 1970s Cessna. Maybe an iPad on the knee for charts. Is it an illusion to assume that there’s a pile of these instruments being removed from certified aircraft whose owners want to go glass, and thus may have a reduced cost?
 

rv7charlie

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I've got a pile of them you can have for shipping, plus a reasonable fee for my time packing them up. Only problem for you is that it will cost you more to get them into working condition than a $200 android tablet and a ~$750 air data-capable AHRS.

The 'low end' of EFIS hardware these days is cheaper, and far more reliable, than used steam gauges, unless someone is paying you to take the steam gauges.

If you're just talking about airspeed/altimeter (no vac system), it can be cheaper than glass. But when you include engine instruments, the panel will probably weigh more than glass.
 
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b7gwap

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Well, not to wade too far into the weeds, but my fuzzy vision of the panel in my zenith would have steam Altimeter, Airspeed, gyro direction indicator, turn and bank coordinator, some rudimentary horizon, and that was it, maybe VOR transceiver if that’s feasible. And then a little digital suite for EGT, CHT, RPM, Oil pressure, oil temp, if there’s such a thing out there in common use.

what I’m not interested in is a 787 flight deck with synthetic vision and foot massager. A long time ago I decided that stick and rudder ground reference flying was what I love. That is not to yuck any one else’s yum though, I know that’s a big subset of our hobby.
 

rv7charlie

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Thing about glass is that once you have the display, all the other bells & whistles are largely software. If you can spend, say, $1500-$2000 & get all the flight info that you need, do you complain if the foot warmer comes standard? And since almost any glass EFIS will include a GPS, nav is handled as well; likely better than a VOR if flying in the mountains.

For me, it's not so much extra bells and whistles as it is less money, complexity, & weight.
 

Jimboagogo

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Guys/gals;

Finishing up my CH750 Stol empennage, preparing workshop for wing components next, but should I be in the market for good cores for my eventual O-320 build all the while? Maybe even have that build project going along the side of the rest? Or will that delay the project, and force me to pickle a fresh built engine when the time comes to hang it and rig it?

maybe I just answered my own question
Just my opinion, but engine deals come up daily. You will always be able to find an engine. Do you want the "deal of a lifetime" engine? I'm guessing, not in any aircraft you want to fly behind. Be patient, you'll find it when you need it.
 

TFF

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If you find a deal on a core, buy it. You don’t have to do anything with it right away. You can take it apart and see what needs to be machined and parts to buy.

It’s all time and money. Engines are the easiest part of any project. They are expensive so that puts a scare in people that they are special. Reality is any kid who has taken apart a lawn mower engine and put it back together can do the same with an airplane engine. Heck doctors get payed the big bucks to stick their hands inside you because they are not scared too. There are a lot more skilled people with their hands but they can’t get past the people bit.

Pickled engine is almost never done right, to the detriment of long term projects. My opinion is buy a core, figure out what it needs and get it done, and let it sit in boxes. Bagged up in boxes is safe. Once together, oils migrate, ports not covered exchange air. Not necessarily going to kill it but hard to preserve well.
 
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