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Q-talk 95 - Aluminum VW Case Installation


The aluminum case looked good and I was able to use it with only minor modifications. The major change was to drill and tap a hole for a oil temperature probe. One internal oil gallery opening had to be plugged, identical to Revmaster block. The rest fitted right in. Unfortunately, the thrust bearing support area where a crack usually occurs doesn't appear to be any thicker. I wonder if it will last any longer. Perhaps aluminum is less brittle than magnesium. The block weighs 10 lbs. more, but no major weight/balance problem was encountered. I was tail-heavy anyway.

The bearing retention pins were drilled deeper, so I had to find longer ones. I used my old trusty Revmaster crank, now 1600 hrs on it. Imagine, NO wear on the bearing journals so far. I was able to use standard bearings again. I have 40 lbs of oil pressure on idle and 55 hot, in flight. The connecting rods are still the original, also 1600 hrs on them.

I flew to Whitehorse (Yukon), which is only a couple of hours drive from Skagway, Alaska, on Friday, August 1st. The assembled engine was already waiting for me there. I started re-assembling the plane on Friday p.m. and fired it up on Saturday night. Everything worked just great. I spent Sunday flying around the airport to test the engine. It sounded and felt sweet. Monday, I took a break and visited Skagway. It is a beautiful place with great surroundings. Tuesday I took a deep breath and started flying back home with Janet. Most of the time we flew direct over very desolate areas but not a hiccup from the engine. Got back home Wednesday p.m., covering a distance of 1300 mi.

Flying in the mountains full gross, on hot days, made me realize that the original 65 HP Revmaster was inadequate for the Quickie. Just now I am in the process of ordering the Jabiru 3300 engine. It should be a winter project, but who knows how long it will take it to make it work. I plan to mount the whole engine assembly on a fake firewall and meanwhile, keep flying. When I am happy with the arrangement, I will transfer it to my plane. I will be shooting for a fuel injection system for it, as well.

So far I have 1350 hrs. on the plane and still love it.

I will let you know how the project progresses.

You can order a printed copy of Q-talk #95 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.