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
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 Lycoming.
The mid time Lycoming 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
Until there is a company
marketing a cheap (outright costs less than a 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.
For those insisting on an auto conversion there is a builder near St. Louis that has used a Chevy V-6 conversion and has engine mount, cowling, and exhaust systems available.