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View Poll Results: RV-9A - Which IO-320 - Which Cowl - Which flow
IO-320 D2A 8 40.00%
IO-320 other (specify) 9 45.00%
SJ Cowl Shorty 0 0%
SJ Cowl Extended forward facing 1 5.00%
SJ Cowl Extended updraft 3 15.00%
SJ Plenum 3 15.00%
VANS Baffles 11 55.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-22-2017, 08:13 PM
RVbySDI's Avatar
RVbySDI RVbySDI is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Tuttle, Oklahoma
Posts: 2,484

ECI Titan IO340 (now Continental Titan) with standard Vans IO360 cowl for RV7A. ECI forward facing cold air induction, vans snorkel (not to be confused with the "snout"). Vetterman 4-straight pipe exhaust.

Originally thought I would go with Sam James cowl but glad I went with Van's standard cowl and baffle. Everything was straight forward with the Vans. I know now that would not have been true had I gone with Sam James.

YMMV. Good luck with whatever you choose.
Live Long And Prosper! 🖖🏻
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:09 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO
Posts: 2,415

I have the O-320 D2A with a long James cowl. The cowl is great but fitting the FAB was a ton of work - mostly because of the exhaust with the heat muff up front. I had to take the muff, cut the piece for the supply and to the cabin heat off and get them re-positioned to work. If it were not such a PIA to post a picture, I would do it!

I have a plenum that was built by BillL and modified a bit by me. I will be doing some run ups and taxi work next week so I will see how it works.

I would have gone with the O-360, but I got a good price on a new engine - too good to pass up.
Meridian Idaho
O-320 D2A
Awaiting DAR Inspection
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:38 AM
N941WR's Avatar
N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 11,339

I have the SJ short cowl and an ECi O-360 spinning a two bladed Catto prop.

The SH cowl choice was simply for looks.

The O-360 was only 20 lbs heavier than an O-320 and maybe not even that much more. Ordering the tapered cylinders saves you about six pounds. P-mags save another three pounds and lightweight accessories saved even more.

I see no need for a back up alternator as most EFIS's have back up batteries with them. Even my backup artificial horizon has its own internal battery.

You are much better off keeping your options down and build lightness in.

For example, don't bother with a flap sensor, electric trim, and every other option you can think of. The planes fly so much better when kept light. (The tip-up taildraggers are lightest combination and everything after that is just weight.)

Remember, the "A" models tend to be tail heavy because the main gear is behind the CG, so plan accordingly. It would be a bummer to put a lightweight Catto on the fron only to have to add a weighted crush plate to it.

PS. Regardless of which cowl option you elect, you will need the Van's baffles.
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:20 PM
airguy's Avatar
airguy airguy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
Posts: 4,145

A few rebuttals to Bill R's reply...

The O360 is 17 pounds heavier than the O320, and delivers 20 more horsepower per nameplate - a significant horsepower/weight improvement, there is no other single modification you can do to the airplane that will give you this much reward for so little weight gain. With a constant speed prop of standard design, the tail-heavy margin disappears quickly, especially if you choose to install some of the popular modifications such as the Anti-Splat nose-gear mod, an optional backup alternator, oil separator, etc etc.

Vans baffles are still needed as he points out, unless you want to go the plenum route - which is more efficient if done correctly, but adds about 1 pound up front over the baffles (my aircraft, I have not audited others).

And finally - the CG is entirely within your control. You have to carry all the items you select to install, but you get to choose where you carry them. My battery is aft of the baggage compartment as are all my remote avionics - because I am heavy up front with items I deemed "necessary or desirable". My CG works out just fine without ballast anywhere.

Lightness is always a good thing - but you can move equipment around to carry what you want where you want it.
Greg Niehues - VAF 2018 dues paid
Garden City, TX
N16GN flying!
Built an off-plan 9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.

Last edited by airguy : 09-23-2017 at 09:23 PM.
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