Steps to scratch build a VW

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Little Scrapper

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Nice to see this thread pop up again. It got cold here in Wisconsin and I live in a community with 7 lakes that are local. Having a plumbing business I’m sure you can all guess how busy I’ve been winterizing summer lake homes.

gonna hit a slow period in about 2 weeks I’d say then I’m back at it here on the VW / V Witt project.

Mike
 

103

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Only a response saying they would prepare one. I will follow up.
Matt
Follow up about $320 with shipping. Not sure how much of this is for shipping and logisitcs. (See screenshot attached) I may have tried it had they responded quicker but Scott Casler is shiping my short block back today. PM me an email address if you want me to send you the Polish Factory email.

Matt
 

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fly2kads

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Follow up about $320 with shipping. Not sure how much of this is for shipping and logisitcs. (See screenshot attached) I may have tried it had they responded quicker but Scott Casler is shiping my short block back today. PM me an email address if you want me to send you the Polish Factory email.

Matt
Thanks for that. I'll PM you my address. I'd like to keep this info on file for later!
 

jvliet

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Sorry, I haven't been following this thread last summer... about Wittman's prop drive approach - he wanted to use a cut-down aluminum prop for best performance, so he took a J-3 Cub metal prop and whittled it down to a toothpick in planform. (FV grandfathered Wittman's metal prop but otherwise outlawed metal props in the 1986 engine rules revision). His metal prop was 54 inches in diameter, razor-thin at the tips and (of course) was drilled for the C-65 hub. So he had to attach the prop to the flywheel end of the engine so that it would turn the right way. He wanted a long extension shaft to move this small prop well forward of the engine cylinders, which in turn dictated a cone extension shaft support using a Delco New Departure bearing just behind the prop hub. Arden Hjelle is credited on the prop extension plan as having assisted Steve on the design and fabrication of this prop extension.

Steve said he was turning 3900 RPM with this prop, so I'm sure that his engine was a "very stock" 1600 cc. motor. In the early days of Formula V racing (the "95 cu. in. mini-midget class") the rules called for a strictly stock 1600 cc. VW engine. This included the carburetor! The common downdraft Solex carb from the VW Beetle wasn't suitable for an aircraft installation, but Steve found a sidedraft Solex 32-PHN-1 carb that was used on the VW Variant automobile, which had been imported into Canada (not the USA) in small numbers - perhaps 500 cars. This 32-PHN-1 was thus hard to find; after two years of searching I found one and had it on my own #33 V-Witt for its test flights and first few races in 1987. We had to run constant carb heat otherwise this 32-PHN-1 would ice up. Also, as this float bowl carb was mounted atop the engine, after landing and parking the aircraft, the rising heat of the engine would evaporate the fuel out of the float bowl, making it hard to restart. Wittman solved this problem by adding a screw-in cap bolt in the bowl lid; he would remove the cap bolt and refill the bowl with gas from a squirt bottle to restart the hot engine. BTW the Solex 32-PHN-1 had a 25mm. diameter venturi which IMHO was why it was so prone to icing.

As the FV engine rules had been revised in 1986 to allow any carb. of 32 mm (or less) throat diameter, later in the 1987 racing season I replaced the 32-PHN-1 with an Ellison EFS-2 which worked very well for us. On "Blueberry" we also used the Ellison EFS-2 and were turning 4600 RPM on a 48 in. diameter Peery wood prop.
 

fly2kads

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Jim, thanks for chiming in! These kinds of historical notes are interesting and informative.

I had been wondering how well the 32-PHN-1 would work for a sport motor, so I appreciate your comments. I have seen a photo of one on a Druine or Jodel, so someone else has been running them overseas. There are probably better alternatives these days, with greater parts availability.

Interesting that you were running RPMs that high. Were the prop tips starting to bark at you at that speed?
 

jvliet

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Dec 4, 2019
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Yeah, we would sometimes hear a 'warble' when doing a full power ground runup, interestingly the warble didn't occur in flight. I'm in the process of converting some old Formula V VHS videos to digital and will watch for an example of what we heard. These videos will be posted to YouTube in a few months...
 
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