# Small block Chevy Ideal Setup

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#### Toobuilder

##### Well-Known Member
There is a bunch more talk than action, for sure, but it’s not for lack of motivation on my part.

I’d like to think I’m cautiously optimistic about auto engines. In that vein, I have a 3 step process to go from keyboard commando to flight hardware:

1) Acquire a little 5.3 and prove that I can make it run with a standalone ignition (easy – off the shelf parts) and the Bendix mechanical fuel injection (harder, but parts fabrication is well along). If this works, go to step #2.

2) Fabricate a prop drive, bolt it to the 5.3 and try break it on the ground. If data warrants, go to step #3.

3) Build a flightworthy big inch LS and version 2.0 prop drive. If ground testing warrants, go fly.

Currently, this is a back burner project, but I’m keeping my eyes out for the perfect (i.e. nearly free) test mule 5.3. When the project moves higher up to the top, I may have to bite the bullet and spend $400 bucks to buy the 5.3. At any rate, this course of action should allow me to test and verify my ideas without a significant risk. By the time I’m ready to lay out the cash for the “flight” engine, I should have a pretty good idea if this is going to work. #### GrizzlyV6 ##### Well-Known Member Toobuilder, You certainly are much more bold than I. I don't have the background to attempt to build a redrive from an engineering standpoint. I wish you much success. That being said is exactly why I followed those who have done the engineering and use their success. The BAP redrive manufactured for the chevy engine which is a very well engineered package, is now able to be installed on the Ford engine thanks to the work by Hasspowerair. Take a look at the engine mount on Ben's engine. I'm modifying his design for my project - WHY - because he's already done the engineering and we know that it works. The engine mount from the blanton conversion has a weak spot and is known to fail at a specific point. So, my BAP redrive with a modified Haaspower engine mount, I'm in good shape and moving forward. To all who are seriously considering using an autoconversion I say, go with what has already been engineered and we know that it works. At my age, I don't have time to experiment. I want to fly. Jim #### Toobuilder ##### Well-Known Member Experimentation (knowledge) is half the fun. If I wanted to fly, I'd go with a Lycoming. #### GrizzlyV6 ##### Well-Known Member I simply don't know what to say to that! Enjoy, Jim #### bmcj ##### Well-Known Member Re: Small block Chevy Ideal Setup Overthinking this thing Sorry, can't speak with much knowledge about engines, but... :roll: Just about fell out of my chair laughing! E #### ekimneirbo Re: Small block Chevy Ideal Setup Overthinking this thing My replies are meant to be factual discussion not argumentative, but I admit they end up sounding that way. :gig: Yes, that's true. But cars don't see the frequent abuse of aircraft engines. Reply:Car and truck engines are everywhere from Alaska to Arizona and often set for extended periods of time. They are started in freezing cold to arid hot deserts and seem to function just fine. I purchased a Camaro with an LT1 engine that had been wrecked and sat for close to 3 years in a guys backyard. I towed it home and used a torch to cut the front of the doghouse off so I could get the battery out of it. I put a new battery in it, turned the ignition on so the electric fuel pump could run a few seconds and cranked it over. It started instantly and sat there and idled like it had already been running every day. Try that with any airplane engine and you'll be pumping rust thru a lot of parts that will need replacement. Also, it probably wouldn't stary anyway. Quote: Standing months at a time in a cold hanger, then being warmed up and run at WOT for a major part of the time. Reply: Airplane engines are not run at wide open throttle, they are run at a recommended setting that is commonly referred to as WOT.These engines will produce more power if run at higher rpms but prop speed is the limiting factor If run at a higher rpm, they will have a shortened engine life (TBO). Quote: Cars on the other hand are usually driven daily and don't see more than 10-15% average load. I've you've ever seen the disastrous effects on engine oil of this type of abuse in a motorcycle engine for example, the lack of (perceived) aircraft engine reliability really isn't that surprising and you can't "solve" that by using a car engine. Reply:When driving my truck on the expressway in 5th gear my engine is usually turning about 2000 rpms. It doesn't matter to me that my engine is running at 20%, I think thats a good thing. Who in the world would ever think running an engine at a high rpm is desirable? An auto engine will out produce an aircraft engine in hp and torque if assembled properly. I'm not really sure where you were trying to go with that statement, but to me there is noting wrong with taking a proven engine and using it in other situations. Quote: An aircraft engine that's used as a car engine (daily), will do far better as a car engine, possibly even considerably better. Reply: Consumers would never put up with the type of service an airplane engine provides. They don't get good gas mileage,they use lots of oil, they are finiky to start, require frequent maintainance (compared to auto standards), and they run rough. If they were a good choice, the automotive companies would have emulated them and saved all that money they spent developing highly efficient engines.......then we would have cheap replacement parts. Continued: The bottom line is simply that an engine is an engine and it can be adapted to any purpose if good choices are made. When all the nay sayers finally see an outstanding auto conversion come along at a reasonable price, Lycoming and Continental will be in danger of closing their doors, because they can no longer hold people hostage like the oil companies do. E #### ekimneirbo Re: Small block Chevy Ideal Setup Overthinking this thing Well, Bill...... Why does every thread about someone wanting to use an automobile engine in an aircraft deteriorate into arguments over people's differing opinions as regards to the reliability. I for one am just interested in the project and would like to see what develops. It is frustrating having to wade through everyone's irrelevant opinions. View attachment 16168 ~Bill Well Bill, many of us have tried to exchange information, ideas, and opinions.....some good, some not so good. Personally I have enjoyed the exchange of opinions and information and have learned some things. Since You have chastised us and voiced your opinion of our exchanges, I would have to ask you "What have you contributed to this subject"? Jump on in here and contribute............ #### GrizzlyV6 ##### Well-Known Member Re: Small block Chevy Ideal Setup Overthinking this thing Well, Bill...... Well Bill, many of us have tried to exchange information, ideas, and opinions.....some good, some not so good. Personally I have enjoyed the exchange of opinions and information and have learned some things. Since You have chastised us and voiced your opinion of our exchanges, I would have to ask you "What have you contributed to this subject"? Jump on in here and contribute............ Easssy there big fella, geeze, and they say I'm sensitive. I think Bill is as frustrated as I when someone wants to talk about auto conversions and without fail someone will start talking about continentals and lycomings and start making comparisons. The discussion was about sbc set up, not certifieds. If you or anyone else wants to fly a certified, do it and have a grand time. If you are going to fly an auto conversion or are seriously interested in the movement, come on in. BUT, the same ones with the same old lame argument gets tiring listening too. I don't think anyone using an auto conversion are wanting to argue with anyone about. We did our homework and proceeded. There seems to be an abundance of self proclaimed engineers of everything who have to tell us just how much they know about the topic, but have never flown so much as a sick pigeon on a string or have never built anything but have this wealth on knowledge on the subject. I understand where Bill is coming from. I get tired of hearing it too. Jim Last edited: #### Dan Thomas ##### Well-Known Member Car engines CAN work in airplanes. Nobody's disputing that. The dispute arises when someone suggests that an LS engine can do the job better and cheaper than a Lycoming and it's really not all that difficult... I joined the EAA in 1972. 40 years ago. There were guys fooling with car engines then, too, determined that Lycomings and Continentals and Franklins were all dinosaurs and that a Chev or Ford would be much more suitable and way cheaper. I'm not an EAA member anymore, but the Sport Aviations I read don't have too many auto-powered airplanes in them. Surely, in 40 years someone should have come up with a workable conversion! After all, boats use these auto engines at full power all day, don't they? My boat did. A Chev 250-hp 283, running at full throttle much of the time, and getting ONE MILE PER GALLON doing it, at 45 MPH. Boat engines do work hard but you pay for it, and they also have two advantages that airplane engines do not: the boat engine gets cooled by stone-cold water from beneath the boat, and the engine can produce enormous power with such cooling capacity. The second advantage? It's not driving the large and heavy aircraft propeller that leads to so many harmonics problems. It's driving a marine transmission via a spring plate that drives a rotating mass with a tiny fraction of the angular momentum of the aircraft prop. History speaks. It's not easy nor cheap do develop a safe, reasonably light, marketable conversion. If it was, we wouldn't have the majority of homebuilts powered by aircraft engines. Maybe things will soon change, with the current crop of lightweight engines, but the engineering still has to be done and paid for by someone. I'd like to know how much Ben Haas spent on his conversion. It appears to work well, one man's attempt among hundreds. He is to be congratulated, and the rest of you need to know that he is a rare one. Dan #### GrizzlyV6 ##### Well-Known Member Car engines CAN work in airplanes. Nobody's disputing that. The dispute arises when someone suggests that an LS engine can do the job better and cheaper than a Lycoming and it's really not all that difficult... I joined the EAA in 1972. 40 years ago. There were guys fooling with car engines then, too, determined that Lycomings and Continentals and Franklins were all dinosaurs and that a Chev or Ford would be much more suitable and way cheaper. I'm not an EAA member anymore, but the Sport Aviations I read don't have too many auto-powered airplanes in them. Surely, in 40 years someone should have come up with a workable conversion! After all, boats use these auto engines at full power all day, don't they? My boat did. A Chev 250-hp 283, running at full throttle much of the time, and getting ONE MILE PER GALLON doing it, at 45 MPH. Boat engines do work hard but you pay for it, and they also have two advantages that airplane engines do not: the boat engine gets cooled by stone-cold water from beneath the boat, and the engine can produce enormous power with such cooling capacity. The second advantage? It's not driving the large and heavy aircraft propeller that leads to so many harmonics problems. It's driving a marine transmission via a spring plate that drives a rotating mass with a tiny fraction of the angular momentum of the aircraft prop. History speaks. It's not easy nor cheap do develop a safe, reasonably light, marketable conversion. If it was, we wouldn't have the majority of homebuilts powered by aircraft engines. Maybe things will soon change, with the current crop of lightweight engines, but the engineering still has to be done and paid for by someone. I'd like to know how much Ben Haas spent on his conversion. It appears to work well, one man's attempt among hundreds. He is to be congratulated, and the rest of you need to know that he is a rare one. Dan The defense rest. Jim #### stol ##### Well-Known Member xxxx Last edited: #### fadec ##### Well-Known Member Re: Small block Chevy Ideal Setup Overthinking this thing ...finally see an outstanding auto conversion come along at a reasonable price, Lycoming and Continental will be in danger of closing their doors, because they can no longer hold people hostage like the oil companies do. This is unlikely, the majority of Lycoming and Continentals' sales are for certified aircraft which require certified engines, as do commercial operators. The certification and liability insurance requirements and costs mean that certified engines will always be expensive (unless the FAA and lawyers change their ways). This affects not just the engines but also the spare parts. Also be aware that to build a certified engine the design and manufacturing processes must also be certified, further increasing costs. Deriving a certified engine from the automotive world is no panacea - consider the prices of Centurion, Austro, Porsche and Trace engines. If Ben Haas got his engine certified and set up for mass production (assuming Fords lawyers didn't shut him down) I bet the retail price would be just as expensive. Another thing to consider is that once a Type Certificate has been issued, thats it, you're stuck with the design warts and all. If the automotive donar company changes their block casting to save a few cents in per unit production cost then you have to re-certify your engine -  #### stol ##### Well-Known Member Re: Small block Chevy Ideal Setup Overthinking this thing xxxx Last edited: E #### ekimneirbo Re: Small block Chevy Ideal Setup Overthinking this thing This is unlikely, the majority of Lycoming and Continentals' sales are for certified aircraft which require certified engines, as do commercial operators. The certification and liability insurance requirements and costs mean that certified engines will always be expensive (unless the FAA and lawyers change their ways). This affects not just the engines but also the spare parts. Also be aware that to build a certified engine the design and manufacturing processes must also be certified, further increasing costs. Deriving a certified engine from the automotive world is no panacea - consider the prices of Centurion, Austro, Porsche and Trace engines. If Ben Haas got his engine certified and set up for mass production (assuming Fords lawyers didn't shut him down) I bet the retail price would be just as expensive. Another thing to consider is that once a Type Certificate has been issued, thats it, you're stuck with the design warts and all. If the automotive donar company changes their block casting to save a few cents in per unit production cost then you have to re-certify your engine -  Reply: If you do some checking you will find that the Rotax, Jibaru, etc have taken a sizeable bite out of the sales of Lycoming and Continental. Then there is the loss to Superiors share of the market when they produced both certified and noncertified engines. Because of that the major engine manufacturers have introduced engines which they hope can compete with engines designed for experimental airplanes. No, Lycoming is paying attention because they have already lost sizeable market shares. Also, the sales of certified airplanes are down so there is less need there also. As for certifying the conversions, I don't know of anyone looking to build certified automotive engines to compete with Lycoming. What I said is that if a viable alternative comes along and all of the Experimental market drys up, Lycoming will take a sizeable market hit. If all those RVs weren't driving the demand for Lycomings, they would be available a lot more cheaply. Yep, the Experimental market today is a major money maker for Lycoming, and if it drys up Lycoming will suffer........... E #### ekimneirbo Re: Small block Chevy Ideal Setup Overthinking this thing Ok, Here is the deal......................... I have done my homework, spent the money, invested the time and on EVERY flight risked being killed by my creation.... I acknowledge the fact that this might not work out, and again I understand the fact it might be groundbreaking and lead to a new generation of powerplants for aircraft.... If no one pushed the envelope we would all be still driving a oxcart, if even that... On every flight where there is no one else riding in my plane I run the$hit out of it trying to blow it up.. Either the motor or the redrive, or any other component might fail, but you won't know till you push the COMPLETE package to the limits to really know.... There are some auto engine conversion companies that produce a "pretty" package with all the anodized parts and fancy websites and glitzy displays at Osh and Sun and Fun and Arlington and Copperstate and others and they get 'suckers' to fund their smoke and mirror show... I talk with ACTION,,, not just sitting at a keyboard and proclaim "I am better then you because I can surf the web to find a glimmer of BS that amplifies my position"... Those guys/ gals are WANNA be homebuilders who try to drag others down to fit their agenda... I say.. Get a life...
The old saying of " $hit or get off the pot" fits here perfectly..... I have over 400 hours of HARD test flight hours of data gathering and headed 500, god willing and nothing breaks... I am contacted by dozens of people who want to view my project and if they want a ride in it... They get it... And it is a real ride,,, not some internet computer simulation that can be done with some fancy software. I will post this again for all to see just to prove a auto engine conversion CAN work... I am open to any suggestions and will comment with polite and honest answers... to those who continue to claim only a aircraft engine can work in a plane.. I say... Wake the heck up.................. Reply: Hello Ben, excellent video and lots to learn from you. I do have to admit that it gets a little tiring listening to opinions of why all this engine conversion stuff won't work. You are an excellent example of the fact that it can and does work. While not all engine conversions turn out successfully, there is no reason to feel that none of them can work either. I think the problem with many builders is that they either want something someone else has done the work on rather than having confidence they can work thru it like you did. Then they get bombarded with negativity and cave in for the aircraft engine. The one thing about all of this, is that when you land at a flyin, I'm sure you are always surrounded by curious and admiring onlookers............and a since of pride because you did it your way. Several years back an aquaintance of mine decided to get back in to street rodding. He needed an engine and tranny and was going to buy a 350/350 Chevy. I suggested he use an LT1 with the overdrive transmission because he could get a complete setup for$2200/\$2500. It came with fuel injection,alum heads, roller cam, lots of power, and didn't need a rebuild. He could buy the 350 and by the time he bought alum heads,intake,carb, and rebuilt it he would have about the same money in it. All the naysayers warned him about the difficulties of putting a newer fuel injected engine in his car. He did it anyway. It did take a little head scratchin, but he got it done and learned a lot in the process. I'll never forget the look on his face when he returned to work on Monday morning after the Street Rod Nationals......Ear to Ear grin and all pumped up. It seems as all the cars with 350/350 combos had become common place, his was different........and he spent the whole weekend with people stopping to talk and admire his car. I imagine thats the same grin you get..............So enjoy being one of the few who are smart and brave enough to chase their own dream and not be disuaded.

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#### dirk_D

##### Well-Known Member
If you have a lathe and mill, some cad, a calculator, some large alloy billets, a couple of old ford c4 auto transmissions this could all happen very cheaply.
Still, the grams keep adding up to kilograms etc.
The lycoming / continental argument is quite convincing.

#### dirk_D

##### Well-Known Member
Oh, i just remembered! Rod Hadfield casts a magnesium big block chevy which is a hit with all the cropdusters in australia, he sold up and moved to the states for a while, i dont know if it still is available.

##### Well-Known Member
Re: Small block Chevy Ideal Setup Overthinking this thing

If you do some checking you will find that the Rotax, Jibaru, etc have taken a sizeable bite out of the sales of Lycoming and Continental. Then there is the loss to Superiors share of the market when they produced both certified and noncertified engines. Because of that the major engine manufacturers have introduced engines which they hope can compete with engines designed for experimental airplanes. No, Lycoming is paying attention because they have already lost sizeable market shares. Also, the sales of certified airplanes are down so there is less need there also.

As for certifying the conversions, I don't know of anyone looking to build certified automotive engines to compete with Lycoming. What I said is that if a viable alternative comes along and all of the Experimental market drys up, Lycoming will take a sizeable market hit. If all those RVs weren't
driving the demand for Lycomings, they would be available a lot more cheaply. Yep, the Experimental market today is a major money maker for Lycoming, and if it drys up Lycoming will
suffer...........

I stand corrected.

#### GrizzlyV6

##### Well-Known Member
If you have a lathe and mill, some cad, a calculator, some large alloy billets, a couple of old ford c4 auto transmissions this could all happen very cheaply.
Still, the grams keep adding up to kilograms etc.
The lycoming / continental argument is quite convincing.

Then go fly a continental or lycoming - You do have that freedom of choice down under don't you?

Jim

#### RJW

##### Well-Known Member
This sort of angry, anti-engineering attitude that I am seeing here and elsewhere is a bit frightening. It seems there are fewer and fewer who have any respect at all for others who have strengths they themselves do not possess. It’s a dangerous attitude. I’m a pretty good mechanic and a fair fabricator. I’m not a very good engineer. Most of what I do is maintain and modify the beautiful things that engineers create. I have nothing but respect and admiration for them.

Rob