Can I use an auto engine?

The only support we offer for auto conversions is a list of names of Mustang builders that have done it or are working on it.  The first questions from most people are how fast will it go, how much does it cost, and how long will it take to build.  Today, automotive conversions do not typically have an advantage in any of these categories.

Contrary to what most people seem to believe, the initial costs of an auto conversion are about the same or more than a perfectly good mid time Continental or Lycoming.  The mid time aircraft engines will probably even last longer before overhaul.  Where the auto conversions really are at a disadvantage is build time.  They add a LOT more complexity and time to the project.  We estimate the project will take at least 20% longer to build for someone that knows engines.  For a builder that does not have much engine knowledge the installation will take much longer and be a lot more complicated.

Build time is perhaps the most important factor to many people in a project but for some reason when it comes to installing auto conversions it does not seem to matter.  For some people automotive conversions are a good choice for what they want in the project, AS LONG AS THEY REALIZE WHAT THEY ARE GETTING INTO.  We are not saying that automotive installations are bad, just not the right choice for most builders based on what they want and can handle in a kit.  Magazines have a tendency to sensationalize any new and different project that comes along even though it probably will not be the ideal choice for most builders.  This leads to a lot of misconceptions.

Until there is a company marketing a cheap (outright costs less than a Continental or Lycoming), proven (several years in service in several aircraft), and supported (reliable company with technical support as well as a source for parts like engine mounts, exhaust, etc.), we would not recommend automotive engine conversions to 95% of builders.