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Old 10-12-2017, 10:07 AM
447BB 447BB is offline
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 8
Default Lycoming in place of Subaru

Seeking advice from others that have made the switch. N447BB first flight cut very short when Subaru 2.5L suffered sudden internal failure. Fortunately airplane and pilot safe in a nearby cow pasture.

Have decided to not repair the Sube, but will instead install a conventional Lycoming.
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:40 PM
Snowflake's Avatar
Snowflake Snowflake is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 3,141

Good idea.

It would help to know what kind of RV we're talking about, where the third wheel is, and what your mission is (aerobatics, travel, mixture of both).
Rob Prior
1996 RV-6 "Tweety" C-FRBP (formerly N196RV)
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:48 PM
rv6ejguy's Avatar
rv6ejguy rv6ejguy is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 4,552

Caleb Lesher here on VAF, changed out his EZ30 for a Lyc. He's got some nice inspirational photos here:

Piston failure on the Subie?

Ross Farnham, Calgary, Alberta
Turbo Subaru EJ22, Marcotte M-300, IVO, RV6A C-GVZX flying from CYBW since 2003- 421 hrs. on the Hobbs,
RV10 95% built- Sold 2016

Last edited by rv6ejguy : 10-12-2017 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:03 PM
Peter Costick Peter Costick is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 51

I removed the Subaru conversion from my project after a friend who had bought from the same supplier suffered a mid air failure over dense woodland. Happily he survived mostly uninjured but the aircraft was wrecked. This was the last straw for me with a conversion that was full of bugs and had been horribly misrepresented and oversold by the supplier.

As it was already mounted I had to remove the whole thing cover it in a tarp and stick it in the corner of the workshop. That was the easy bit.

The I found a decent supplier, in my case aerosport, and ordered a real aero engine. Then I contacted Vans and with their help ordered the parts needed to attach it. It wasn't a cheap exercise and put me back years in a build which I hope is now approaching completion.

If your current engine mount pretty much is made to the right pattern then bolting up the new one should be fairly straight forward. Then you have all the usual engine fitting challenges like baffles and cowl work to deal with.

Good luck
Peter Costick
Melbourne Australia
2018 Donation Made
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:25 PM
simpkinsona simpkinsona is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Vacaville, CA
Posts: 129
Default Conversion

Your current electrical system and fuel system are a good basis for an aftermarket FADEC on a Lycoming. SDS for example.

Andy Simpkinson
RV-9a Subaru engine.

Last edited by simpkinsona : 10-12-2017 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Wording
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:50 PM
Stu McCurdy's Avatar
Stu McCurdy Stu McCurdy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Round Rock, TX
Posts: 211
Default Lycoming vs Subaru

I have a friend, long time RV-4 driver, long time ex-military fighter pilot, who had a Subaru on the front end. After his 9th off field landing due to Subaru failure he finally exchanged the Subaru with a Lycoming. Still flying the RV-4 with Lycoming several years later until he bought an RV-8, yes with a Lycoming.
Stu McCurdy (Falcon)
RV-8, 78TX, Flying
Formation Flying, Inc (FFI)
Falcon Flight
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Old 10-12-2017, 03:02 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
been here awhile
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 3,740

Originally Posted by Snowflake View Post
Good idea.

It would help to know what kind of RV we're talking about, where the third wheel is, and what your mission is (aerobatics, travel, mixture of both).
Profile states RV-7.

Very glad to see plane and pilot survived.
Sam Buchanan
1999 RV-6
1918 Fokker D.VII replica
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Old 10-12-2017, 04:39 PM
447BB 447BB is offline
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 8

447BB is an RV-7 (tail dragger)
The engine failure occurred without warning at about 500 feet on climb out on the first flight. Fortunately almost straight ahead was a fairly flat and smooth pasture.
Evidence of internal failure includes fact that the crankshaft will not rotate, engine coolant in the oil pan, very dirty oil and some metal chunks removed from the muffler. Some chunks are ferrous and some apparently aluminum. Pretty sure one metal piece is a piece of a piston ring.
We have not removed the oil pan for further investigation. At this point, the engine is a very big paperweight in the back of the hangar.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:29 PM
chevelle000 chevelle000 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Mesa,AZ
Posts: 34

447BB I have a recently overhauled Lycoming IO-360-C1C6. This is a 200hp angle valve 4 cylinder that can take a propeller governor
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:00 PM
Norcalrv7 Norcalrv7 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: McKinleyville CA
Posts: 221

I made the switch from a successful flying 6cyl Subaru to an IO-360-B1E and Hartzell prop. If you are interested, the fuel system installed in your aircraft gives you an excellent start on some sort of electronic fuel injection on a lycoming.

I'd be happy to discuss my experiences with you,

Caleb Lesher
Flying RV-7A With SDS Electronic fuel injection
Based at EKA, Northern CA
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