VW Engines: Buy or Build?

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Aerowerx

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From my research so far....

Of what seems to be the biggest 3 suppliers of VW aero engines, two offer kits: Great Plains and Aeroconversions.

Hummel engines offers only complete engines and, for the same displacement, is lower in price than the other two even though assembled. The other two will assembly them for you, for a price.

Since I am interested in building a Hummel H5, the Hummel Engines are inviting.

Another option is to buy a case and all the required parts 'piece wise'. Essentially putting together your own 'kit'. I have seen a brand new block on ebay for about $750. And there is also the possibility of scrounging around and finding a used case at a scrap yard (but does it have any flaws?), or a lower price new case at a VW shop (not on ebay).

What are the pros and cons of each method? How many of you build or buy? And if building, where did you get your parts? How difficult is it to build?
 

Hot Wings

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Don't go for a used core motor to build. It's possible to do so but there are too many little things to look for that aren't obvious unless you've built a few dozen.

If you want to try your hand at building get a complete kit and duplicate what you can buy ready to bolt on. Even then unless you have a tool box full of measuring equipment and a bunch of time you may be money ahead to just pay someone to put it all together.

I still have a small stack of cores and the needed tools left from when I did VW's for a living and I'd buy a new case - even if it was for a "40 hp" VW aircraft engine.
 

N8053H

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I wouldn't buy anything on ebay that was going to carry me over a thousand feet high... but then, I won't buy anything at all on ebay... ;)
You just might be missing some good buys on e-bay. This was sold on e-bay. You just need to watch what you buy.

[video=youtube;ZBGro7gJfy8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBGro7gJfy8[/video]

Scott Casler is a stand up man. I like his work and own one of his engines. The 40 hp 1/2 vw. Great running little engine.

Tony
 
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TFF

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My friend sent his check to Scott Casler. He wanted a good engine without hassle. He and I will probably also build one from scratch just to see how we fair.
 

nheistand

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Vinton, Iowa / USA
From my research so far....

Of what seems to be the biggest 3 suppliers of VW aero engines, two offer kits: Great Plains and Aeroconversions.

Hummel engines offers only complete engines and, for the same displacement, is lower in price than the other two even though assembled. The other two will assembly them for you, for a price.

Since I am interested in building a Hummel H5, the Hummel Engines are inviting.

Another option is to buy a case and all the required parts 'piece wise'. Essentially putting together your own 'kit'. I have seen a brand new block on ebay for about $750. And there is also the possibility of scrounging around and finding a used case at a scrap yard (but does it have any flaws?), or a lower price new case at a VW shop (not on ebay).

What are the pros and cons of each method? How many of you build or buy? And if building, where did you get your parts? How difficult is it to build?
I have built a half VW piece by piece after purchasing a good used case that had been bored and stroke relieved. I would not recommend building the engine from a collection of parts. Instead buy a new or reconditioned longblock then add to it. My thinking is stock engine with small supercharger for a very low cost solution.
 

Rockiedog2

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I've bought 2 Half VDubs from Scott and know others who have too. Whenever there is a problem(rare), in my experience, he puts that before the engines he's got going together and I got a quick turnaround. Know one other dude who had the same positive experience.
 

Pops

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If I wanted a larger VW engine and never built an engine before and don't want to learn, I would buy a Revmaster and wouldn't think twice about it. If I have built an engine before or wanted to learn all I could about the VW engine, I would buy the kit from Great Plains.
Start with all new high quality parts. You have to watch, some of the Chinese made VW parts are pure junk. That is why I would buy the parts from GP's.
If I wanted to build a 1/2 VW, it would be a full case, unless I had a machine shop or someone that would do the machining very cheaply, then the cut case,(I built a cut case 1/2 VW). But Scotts 1/2 VW engines are a good buy and a good engine. So unless I wanted the fun of building the 1/2 VW engine , I would buy Scott's ready built engine.
Dan
 

FritzW

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What are the pros and cons of each method? How many of you build or buy? And if building, where did you get your parts? How difficult is it to build?
I built a GPAS 1835 from one of Steve Bennett's kits. (he will be missed)

Pro's:
You know your getting the right parts and the machining is done right. You get to pick your own accessory package (or come up with your own). You don't need to know anything about engines, just follow the instructions.

Cons:
It wasn't as cheap as scratch building from parts. EDIT: with the cost of having your own case machined and the shipping costs if you piecemeal'd all the parts, I'm not sure scratch building would be much cheaper.

You pretty much just need to know how to use a torque wrench and feeler gauge, and read instructions. I flew that engine for nearly 1,000 hours and the only problems I ever had were my own fault.
 

Pops

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I built a GPAS 1835 from one of Steve Bennett's kits. (he will be missed)

Pro's:
You know your getting the right parts and the machining is done right. You get to pick your own accessory package (or come up with your own). You don't need to know anything about engines, just follow the instructions.

Cons:
It wasn't as cheap as scratch building from parts. EDIT: with the cost of having your own case machined and the shipping costs if you piecemeal'd all the parts, I'm not sure scratch building would be much cheaper.

You pretty much just need to know how to use a torque wrench and feeler gauge, and read instructions. I flew that engine for nearly 1,000 hours and the only problems I ever had were my own fault.
Did you use the tapered prop hub or the shrink fit hub ? Or did you go with the Force One hub that is used on the 2180+ cc stroker crankshaft engines ?
 

FritzW

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It must have been a tapered hub (I just bought the one Bennett suggested) I had to JB Weld an oil seal to the front of the case but I didn't have to mess with cutting and bending an oil slinger. I don't see it on the GPAS website now, maybe there were problems with it? Mine worked like a charm.
 

Pops

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It must have been a tapered hub (I just bought the one Bennett suggested) I had to JB Weld an oil seal to the front of the case but I didn't have to mess with cutting and bending an oil slinger. I don't see it on the GPAS website now, maybe there were problems with it? Mine worked like a charm.
Thanks, I'm using the shrunk fit prop hub from GP's , since I am using a longer prop I wish I had used the Force One. I ask Steve about it and he said it would be OK. He could have said I needed the Force One and made some money, but he didn't. That is integrity. I have the oil seal on with JB weld. On the shrunk fit hub the seal has to be split and put each half around the hub ( held on with some small wire) and then JB weld on. The hub is heated to 450 degs in oil and the crank in a freezer for a day. So the seal has to be put on later. Works good. Had a slight oil mist until I found a low pressure area for the end of the crankcase vent tube. Dry ever since. I have another engine case and German stock crankshaft and enough parts to build another engine. Have part of the parts made for a flywheel drive engine. Also have some parts made to mount a mag on the pulley end of the engine. Not enough time, I'm covering the tail surfaces of the JMR and want to get it flying this next summer.
 

FritzW

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I've got a shrink fit hub on a new GPAS 1835 for my project it's going to swing the longest prop I can get away with. It doesn't have a "JB welded" front oil seal, I hope it was built correctly ;) (I got it from an unfinished Cygnet project).

I'm a big fan of the Force One hub also. I've got two Revmaster 2100D's with what look like super Force One hubs with an oil line running to them. Unfortunately they're too much engine for my kind of airplane. ...might be just the engines for an O-2 RevMaster Beetlemaster.
 

Pops

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I've got a shrink fit hub on a new GPAS 1835 for my project it's going to swing the longest prop I can get away with. It doesn't have a "JB welded" front oil seal, I hope it was built correctly ;) (I got it from an unfinished Cygnet project).

I'm a big fan of the Force One hub also. I've got two Revmaster 2100D's with what look like super Force One hubs with an oil line running to them. Unfortunately they're too much engine for my kind of airplane. ...might be just the engines for an O-2 RevMaster Beetlemaster.

I am using a Culver 60"x 26" for my 1835 cc VW engine and its a perfect match for the airframe. Lots of power with a cruise of 75-80 mph .

Yes, the BeetleMaster. Some many projects for such a short lifetime.
 
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