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Old 08-11-2006, 07:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Snowmobile engine for ultralight airplane

I'm looking into puttiong a Wankel or 4 stroke piston sled engine in an ultralight.Does anyone have any experience with the Arctic Cat (or any other) rotary sled engine? Or have an old one for sale? (email me )

Four strokes - any model to stay away from?

Two strokes have a reputation in airplanes for seizing; usually what ahppens is a guy will be in a long descent with the prop windmilling, engine at idle, and the thing seizes because ther'es no lubrication going to the cylinders because there's no fuel. Are there any typical problems that you guys face with 4 strokes in sleds?

4 strokes are kind of new for sleds in the last few years, right? What hp range do they make them ? Do they come with a geared or belted reduction unit for the power output, like the 2 strokes?

thanks

Bruce
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Old 08-12-2006, 09:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Doesnt the motor have to be FAA certified or anything?
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Old 08-12-2006, 10:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i think pretty much anything goes on a ultra light. I dont even think you need a piolets lisence.
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Old 08-13-2006, 06:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The problem is that I think all the 4 stroke sled engines are liquid cooled.
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Old 08-13-2006, 08:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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yeap, i would think you'd be better off with a fan cooled 2stroke. just put a one size larger low speed (piolit) jet in the carb, that will ensure more fuel at iddle. running the needle clip one slot lower will richen up the bottom end and mid range a bit also.
the 4strokes are also alot more heavy of a motor.
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Old 08-14-2006, 01:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you don't want to be doing pre-mix, use a fan cooled or free air 2 stroke that has oil injection and you wont have the "lack of oil" problem.
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Old 08-14-2006, 11:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input, guys.

Nope, no need for FAA certification of an UL engine.

Pilot's license not needed but training is a good idea unless you're in competition for one of these:
http://www.darwinawards.com/ (enter "snowmobile" or "airplane" in the search window if you need a laugh).


Liquid cooling is OK if the engine is light enough but I don't know the weights on current 4 stroke sled engines; they use liquid cooled Geo Metro 3 and 4 cyl engines and Subaru EA71 engines on small experimental airplanes, but they're just a liottle too heavy for UL's.

It doesn't have to be ultralight weight for my project. Is that what you (smallengineguy) mean by the problem with 4 strokes, the weight?

The reason I'm thinking 4 stroke is lower fuel consumption means longer range. They do use Kawasaki 440's and Rotaxes on UL's a lot nowadays. I'm thinking about Wankels because (at least in the car, and in the planes of guys I've talked to) they are pretty reliable because they're simpler machines. I don't know anything about the OMC and Sachs rotaries. Anybody had any experience with those?

Is oil injection something you have to have preinstalled on the engine or is it an aftermarket add-on?
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Old 08-14-2006, 11:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you get an engine from a newer sled ( most any sled built after 1980), the injection system is part of it. All you would have to do is install an oil tank.
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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^^^

Yep, pretty much any sled from mid 70s up will probably be injected.

Depending on the motor type you might be able to add it on if it doesnt have it or it was removed. I know my old yami 433 (440s) oil pumps were mounted tot he block beside the primary and driven off a gear on the backside of the primary. Others like the new doo motors drive the pump from the center of the crank, not really the type of system that can be rigged onto a motor that doesnt already have the provisions for such a system.


I think it would be cool to see a new doo powertek motor on an UL! that thing would go like a bat outta hell and get decent range too.
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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WIth the newer 4 stroke sled engines, youneed to liquid cool them, which means more weight, radiator, etc. MOre grief! I think a 2 stroke injected model would be good for you.
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Old 08-14-2006, 10:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That would also be neat to see a SDI motor on there, just as long as your not going ballz deep on the throttle it will get ya around the country on a few gallons of gas!
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think he's saying that the prop free-spinning on long descents is what seizes the 2-strokes. I guess it would be spinning faster than at idle, but the oil injector doesn't know that - it thinks it's idling, so it's not dumping enough oil to deal with the faster spinning prop. Is that what was being given as a reason for the seizin'??? (hey, I'm a poet)

If that's the issue, I guess you could adjust the oiler to dump more oil at idle than the normal setup.
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Old 08-28-2006, 07:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Exactly. You can just the oiler at idle.
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Old 08-28-2006, 09:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Its not the RPM of the pump thats the problem, its the adjustment...

The pump is spinning directly with the crank. Its just that the throttle is closed and so is the oil pump, thus its metering the oil down to somewhere in the neighborhood of 70:1. Which really shouldnt be enough to hurt it since its just freespinning and nothings running hot, at that point it shouldnt have any problem running that lean.

But then again if you take into account the washout your getting from the pilot jets still blowing in fuel during the decent i guess it could get a bit hairy when you get back on the throttle...



Keep the injection, turn it up a bit on the idle setting and buy a parachute
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Old 08-29-2006, 05:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
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What about setting the idle oil higher than normal, and getting an EFI to deal with the fuel issues?
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:39 PM   #16 (permalink)
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That's what I said above. Turn the cable adjuster to open the oiler more at idle.
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Old 09-06-2006, 11:44 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Oil injection on ultralight airplane 2 strokes

I think aviation 2 strokes are still in the Dark Ages compared to you guys...

oil injection is not that common frm what I can tell and that's the problem, these guys that are seizing engines don't have oil injection at all.


I am loooking at a plane this week that has a Rotax 532. Any suggestions on manuals or books to buy to learn maintenance tips for this engine?


Thanks

Bruce

bruce_mccaskey at yahoo dot com
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:47 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Is that an air cooled model?
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:30 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Rotax 532 is liquid cooled.

According to this site:

Rotax engine troubleshooting, problems with the Rotax 582 and 532 Rotax aircraft engines.

Rotax has so many failure modes it looks like I won't keep the engine. I am looking for a Subaru EA71 engine to install in its place.

The market for these engines is so much smaller that it seems to me they just don't have the resources to devote to continuous improvement and engineering. This list of troubleshooting tips is enormous. On the other hand, automobile engines that have been produced by the millions are more reliable.

Subarus are bulletproof by comparison. And it was designed as an aircraft engine in the first place.
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Find yourself a good old rotary valve 670, ya cant kill one in a sled so i want to see if you can kill it on a plane!
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