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Was wondering about mounting a Lyco/Conti sideways?

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Staggermania

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Given the dirth of direct drive, inline engine options available for narrow configurations, the thought occured to me, might a horizontally opposed IC engine be mounted on its' side? What issues might there be? Oil in lower cylinders is perhaps one, carburetor/intake another? What else?
 

Jay Kempf

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Seems there are installations that are fully aerobatic so should be possible. Dry sump and fuel injection can fix a lot of off level issues. But if you look at a lot of Lyco/Cont installations the intake and exhaust take up the other axis and so it looks more like a cross or tee cowling than a narrow single plane installation. Might be easier to re-plumb an intake and exhaust than moving cylinders. Not sure if the dry sump setup can really handle fully sideways all the time. Fuel injection certainly will and I think pressure carbs before fuel injection worked well. And the last consideration is that many if not most engines have all intake and exhaust below the cylinders and minimal hardware out by the prop flange on top so the cowl is very low to look over. If the cylinders were straight up it would be much higher assuming you were going to look over them. For a pusher not so much of an issue.
 

Victor Bravo

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Once upon a time, when men were men and sheep were scared, the majority of aircraft engines were narrow inline 4-stroke engines. I think there are still one or two companies that make them... someone still manufactures a version of the Walter Mikron???
 

Staggermania

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Dillpickle

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Once upon a time, when men were men and sheep were scared, the majority of aircraft engines were narrow inline 4-stroke engines. I think there are still one or two companies that make them... someone still manufactures a version of the Walter Mikron???
you are probably thing of these dudes. They have a cute 60 hp four banger as well.
http://zenithair.com/stolch801/lom-flight.html
 

Dan Thomas

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The engines designed for use with cylinders on the bottom, like inverted inlines and radials, all have extended cylinders that reach into the case to help prevent oil running into the cylinder after shutdown. That extension acts like a dam to hold back the oil. Lycomings and Continentals don't have such cylinders because they don't need them, and there's no room for any extension.

My old Auster's Gipsy Major had those long extensions. It was an inverted inline four. See the extensions?


There are Lycs built to run vertically, as with the crankshaft pointing straight up, for helicopters. They were common in Bell 47s and the like. HO- or HIO- designation.
 

Staggermania

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The engines designed for use with cylinders on the bottom, like inverted inlines and radials, all have extended cylinders that reach into the case to help prevent oil running into the cylinder after shutdown. That extension acts like a dam to hold back the oil. Lycomings and Continentals don't have such cylinders because they don't need them, and there's no room for any extension.

My old Auster's Gipsy Major had those long extensions. It was an inverted inline four. See the extensions?


There are Lycs built to run vertically, as with the crankshaft pointing straight up, for helicopters. They were common in Bell 47s and the like. HO- or HIO- designation.
I do. Bummer. Thanks
 

D Hillberg

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those 'extended' ends of the cylinders have nothing to do with oil and everything to do with supporting the skirt of pistons at the bottom of the stroke. all the cylinders are the same on a radial top or bottom. did you forget the piston full of oil as you replaced the # 5 cylinder on that 1820 (the sump pick up and pump are in the way too.)

Any engine can be put in any position as long as the scavenge oil system is up to the task.
 

Dan Thomas

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those 'extended' ends of the cylinders have nothing to do with oil and everything to do with supporting the skirt of pistons at the bottom of the stroke. all the cylinders are the same on a radial top or bottom. did you forget the piston full of oil as you replaced the # 5 cylinder on that 1820 (the sump pick up and pump are in the way too.)

Any engine can be put in any position as long as the scavenge oil system is up to the task.
If you look at that Gipsy you'll see that the crankcase was made much deeper than necessary for crank and rod clearance so that the cylinders could extend far into the case to prevent oil rundown. The Cont and Lyc are not designed like that at all because they don't need to be. I never had to pull the Gipsy through by hand to make sure no cylinders had hydraulic lock as often occurs with radials.
 

D Hillberg

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If you look at that Gipsy you'll see that the crankcase was made much deeper than necessary for crank and rod clearance so that the cylinders could extend far into the case to prevent oil rundown. The Cont and Lyc are not designed like that at all because they don't need to be. I never had to pull the Gipsy through by hand to make sure no cylinders had hydraulic lock as often occurs with radials.
Looky at #2 & #3 cylinders both at (TdC) or BdC supporting those piston skirts ....
case has a novel feature to scavenge oil but the cylinders are not anything special :D
 

Staggermania

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So making sure oil is expelled from combustion chamber prior to firing up, and developing a scavenge system, are key.
I’m not familiar with the oiling paths on these engines. Could there be an issue with the oiling of the upper wrist pins or cylinder walls?
 

Dan Thomas

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Looky at #2 & #3 cylinders both at (TdC) or BdC supporting those piston skirts ....
case has a novel feature to scavenge oil but the cylinders are not anything special :D
Of course they use the whole length of the cylinder, including the extension. Why wouldn't they? More cubic inches, no wasted material.

Edit: See this: https://www.flight-mechanic.com/reciprocating-engines/

An excerpt:

Because oil is thrown about the crankcase, especially on inverted inline and radial-type engines, the cylinder skirts extend a considerable distance into the crankcase sections to reduce the flow of oil into the inverted cylinders. The piston and ring assemblies must be arranged so that they throw out the oil splashed directly into them.
 
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Dan Thomas

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So making sure oil is expelled from combustion chamber prior to firing up, and developing a scavenge system, are key.
I’m not familiar with the oiling paths on these engines. Could there be an issue with the oiling of the upper wrist pins or cylinder walls?
All that is lubricated the same as any other engine: oil is thrown off the rod journals into the cylinder to lubricate the pistons and rings. Very little oil is required for this. Some engines also rely on thrown oil for the wrist pin, while other higher-powered engines have channels drilled through the con rod to carry oil from the journal to the pin. In an inverted engine, oil getting into the cylinder during operation is thrown out by the pistons and collects on the crankcase sides and top, along with oil thrown off the crank, and runs down and collects along the sides of the case beside those extended cylinders. Two exits, one at the front and another at the rear, take the oil out (sucked out by scavenge pumps) and returned to the oil tank on the firewall, where oil is drawn from by the pressure pump to lubricate the engine. The Gipsy had three oil pumps, all stacked up on the same driving shaft: two to scavenge the case, one to provide oil pressure into the engine. The valves and rockers were lubricated by oil held in the rocker covers, supposedly manually topped up every 25 hours or so, though there was enough oil running down the pushrod tubes from the roller lifters to keep them full and overflowing through overflow drains. My Auster always had an oily belly from that, and used a quart every couple of hours from that overflow as well as being a high-time engine at 600 hours.

This older version didn't have the scavenge pumps. See the oil puddled against the cylinder extensions between the front and second cylinders?

 
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Staggermania

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All that is lubricated the same as any other engine: oil is thrown off the rod journals into the cylinder to lubricate the pistons and rings. Very little oil is required for this. Some engines also rely on thrown oil for the wrist pin, while other higher-powered engines have channels drilled through the con rod to carry oil from the journal to the pin. In an inverted engine, oil getting into the cylinder during operation is thrown out by the pistons and collects on the crankcase sides and top, along with oil thrown off the crank, and runs down and collects along the sides of the case beside those extended cylinders. Two exits, one at the front and another at the rear, take the oil out (sucked out by scavenge pumps) and returned to the oil tank on the firewall, where oil is drawn from by the pressure pump to lubricate the engine. The Gipsy had three oil pumps, all stacked up on the same driving shaft: two to scavenge the case, one to provide oil pressure into the engine. The valves and rockers were lubricated by oil held in the rocker covers, supposedly manually topped up every 25 hours or so, though there was enough oil running down the pushrod tubes from the roller lifters to keep them full and overflowing through overflow drains. My Auster always had an oily belly from that, and used a quart every couple of hours from that overflow as well as being a high-time engine at 600 hours.

This older version didn't have the scavenge pumps. See the oil puddled against the cylinder extensions between the front and second cylinders?

Great Info!
Do the scavenge pumps wind up running dry during inverted operation?
There certainly appears to be precious little room for any kind of cylinder extension into the Lyco/Cint cases.
 

TFF

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You can look at Ranger engines. The Wittman V8 turns the valve covers into part of the sump. Oil drains down then moves back to another sump for the oil pump to pickup.
A lot of radials have added one way check valves on the three lower intake tubes. The prop gets set so the bottom intake valve is open so oil will drain out of the chamber through the valve. The other two cylinder timing probably let oil out as well.
 

Dan Thomas

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Great Info!
Do the scavenge pumps wind up running dry during inverted operation?
There certainly appears to be precious little room for any kind of cylinder extension into the Lyco/Cint cases.
Those pumps will be sucking air most of the time. They have to be large enough to move all of the oil in a worn engine, as worn bearings will pass a lot more oil.

The Lyc and Cont are designed for minimal crankcase volume to get the engine dimensions as compact as possible. If one takes a cylinder and piston off and carefully holds the rod and rotates the crankshaft, one can see how close that rod end comes to the case's cylinder opening as well as the camshaft. In an O-200, if you're not careful to keep the small end of the rod centered (as it would be with a piston in the cylinder) the rod cap bolts will strike the camshaft. It's that close.
 

Dan Thomas

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then there's this upside down v-8 in the Fieseler Storch
The Argus AS-10. A cutaway where you can see a rear cylinder extending into the case:



The extension doesn't need to be as tall, since the oil will want to flow down into the valley around the camshaft and not puddle against the cylinders. I ran across this pic of a Ford small-block, which must be fairly new. I spent plenty of time resizing engine blocks in the 1980s and I never saw this in any Ford/GM/Chrysler block:



Interesting possibilities there.
 
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