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Type 4 VW engine pros/cons?

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ZoSo914

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I have been around VW's and airplanes alike but I have not really looked into the use of a VW engine in an airplane until now. After lurking in these forums a bit. It seems to me that a type-4 VW engine(those provided by the 411, later buses and porsche 914's) is much better suited to an aviation application than the type-1. Has anyone tried this out?
In stock form the 2.0(1971cc) Type-4 put out 80 to 100HP@4500-4900rpm and over 100 FT/LBS@3000. Looking at the constuction the Type-4 was MUCH beefier. This engine was designed to push around the relativley heavy Bus and 411 models. The stock oil cooler is almost double the size of its type1 counterpart, and located horizontal similar to lycoming or continental. All of this, while being only 25 lbs heavier in longblock form. Also Keep in mind these are stock figures. The after market type-4 industry has grown substantially in the last few years, retaining a remarkable level of quality compaired with the type1. Somthing that cannot be overlooked by the aviation community. Things like Nikasil cylinders, ceramic coatings, and dual ignition offered to the porsche crowd have made there way into the type-4 motor. Type-4's are reasonalbly available and around the same price for a long block as a type-1. So what am I overlooking? Why is this not a more popular conversion? Or is it and I am just not seeing it?
Regards, Derek
 

PTAirco

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One thing I heard about the type 4 conversions is that for a direct drive version there is not enough bearing area at the fan end, where normally on a regular VW you would put the hub. Not having seen a Type 4 case personally I can't confirm this, but even regular Type 1-3 have only barely enough bearing area here, hence things like the Force One hub and bearing. Other than that it would seem a good candidate, except it has a lot less aftermarket parts available for it.
 

jumpinjan

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I purchased a type 4 out of a 914 for $300 removed, never did anything with it. Sold it on Ebay for a loss, but I think none of the redrives will fit the type 4. They do have a stronger aluminum block and forged crank and the exhaust ports are different location.
(Actually, I'm tired of throwing a lot of money (hot rod junk) at an old powerplant to get it up to some decent level. I'm looking more into the newer auto powerplants where all the good technology stuff is there from the factory.)
Jan
 
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nik.kruhmin

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I think the preference for the type I stems from the fact that they can be built completely brand new specifically for aircraft use, whereas type IVs have to use a core engine and be converted.

You can get aluminum cases and aluminum nikasil cylinders for type I engines, as well as aviation specific forged cranks.

A type IV would probably be good to use when you would otherwise be pushing the upper end of the type I platform.
 

akwrencher

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Really really old thread, but thought I would bump it rather than start a new one on the same subject. i won't actually need an engine for a couple years, but it doesn't hurt to think ahead, right? :) Anyways, I am planning on starting my Dakota Hawk in the spring/summer depending on how my work situation shapes up. Have pretty much ruled out using a Type 1 or 2 VW due to the large number of knowledgeable folks saying it would be a little light. I was wondering if there are any type 4 fans on here that could add to this thread and keep the discussion going, just for kicks and the collective knowledge base. Things like successful use, heat dissipation, weights, hp, that sort of thing. Thanks in advance for any new info, Merry Christmas and Happy new year! :)
 
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delta

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I had a friend that used to race type 4s and they held together good. He found counter balanced stroker cranks to use. I'm not sure they're still available. The case through bolts, and the hefty valve stems make it one of my favorite engines, especially when hydraulic lifters are installed. (constant valve adjustments are a pain)
With your design it wouldn't make sense to use direct drive because the prop diameter would be limited to about 56". The reductions available for the type 1's would "probably" bolt up with minimal modification, and allow a six footer.
The induction and ignition systems will hold it's own set of variables, but there again the type one solutions may be adaptable.
I would think if done right (including proper monitoring), the type 4 engine would be as reliable as anything out there including the Rotax 912. :ponder: (just one opinion among a zillion others)
 

Autodidact

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Is there a source for new rocker arms for the type4? It seems odd that you can buy new heads but have to use used rocker arms.
 

akwrencher

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I'm not opposed to doing some custom fab and machine work myself either, so adapting or even building a belt drive pSRU is something I would tackle if need be. I'm also not opposed to buying a "real" engine, just exploring the possibilities while I still have a bit of time. Doing a type 4 conversion would be right up my alley, I just don't have enough first hand knowledge of them to know right off if it would be a good goal or not and was looking for some input. Thanks for the comments so far. Anyone have a good idea what a long block type 4 weighs?
 

Pops

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According to this video a full vw weighs in at 195 lbs. I thought they weighed less.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS3hUbvI6uY

A 4 cylinder VW Type 1 engine LONG block will weigh 116 lbs. I have weighed several. My firewall forward weight with no electrics and a single Slick mag weighs 141 lbs. That is everything including prop, engine mount oil cooler, etc. If you unbolt the engine mount from the firewall and weigh it , it will be 141 lbs. My stainless steel exhaust system is a little heavier than needed and so are my intakes. I could remake those and save a pound or two.
An electrical system cost a lot of weight. Easy to get a large percentage of the long block engine weight with the bells and whistles and the resulting lost of performance of the aircraft.


Dan
 

Pops

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The high end rebuild kits are not cheap for type IV engines.
Very true. Not far from the Cont range. One of the big reasons the Type 1 is used so much.

Dan
 

rheuschele

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When I started looking into using a type IV, I added up everything I would need to make i flyable. At the end the cost was way too high
and the weight itself added up to more than a converted corvair engine. Not to mention 50% of everything you would have to do
was on your own and unproven. You end up with the same hp as the corvair, for more money and more weight. Guess which way I
ended up going.
 

akwrencher

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Thanks guys. I see what you mean on the prices. I'm a little surprised they come out over a corvair on weight. I would not have guessed that. Well, we'll see what happens. Might still be worth looking into if I find the right donor engine.
 

Autodidact

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It looks like you can buy everything for a Type IV except crank cases and rocker arms. For an aircraft conversion, a new crank case that is simpler with less surface area and no cast in sump - so it could be much lighter - and new rocker arms, would make for a good A65 replacement; it could easily be a 174 ci engine.
 

akwrencher

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I think the preference for the type I stems from the fact that they can be built completely brand new specifically for aircraft use, whereas type IVs have to use a core engine and be converted.

You can get aluminum cases and aluminum nikasil cylinders for type I engines, as well as aviation specific forged cranks.

A type IV would probably be good to use when you would otherwise be pushing the upper end of the type I platform.
Pushing the upper limit of the type one is just about where I will be.

Can get "Nickies" for the type 4 too, but at $3000, not too cheep.

And $2000 for heads. Oh well. TANSTAAFL.
 

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