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Old 03-11-2018, 06:46 PM
N729LS's Avatar
N729LS N729LS is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 76
Default Alternative starters with "snorkel" inlet?

The RV-8 I purchased has the "snorkel" inlet and cowl.
The previous owner souped-up the angle valve IO-360-A1B6
with 10+:1 pistons and the little SkyTec 149-12LS starter is
really hard-pressed to turn it over. The recent replacement
starter (shiny case) has actually made it worse.

I would like to get a higher torque starter, so I was wondering
if anyone has had success in fitting the E-drive starter (current
part #ELZ-8021), the NL starter (current part #149-NLR) or
the HT starter (current part #149-12HTL) to an -8 with the
snorkel inlet & cowl.

It's hard to tell from the pix on the SkyTec web page which
would work at all and how much rework to the inlet would be
required for each. Comments on any & all appreciated.

Andy Elliott, CFI, RV-8, N303RV
Flight Reviews, Dynamic Prop Balancing
KFFZ, Mesa, AZ
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:04 PM
Captain_John's Avatar
Captain_John Captain_John is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KPYM
Posts: 2,514

Bite the bullet, modify your snorkel and install the B and C.

I did it and am thrilled to bits!

You will be too.

RV-7 Flying - 700 Hours in 3 Years!
TMX-IO-360, G3i ignition & G3X with VP-X
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Old 03-11-2018, 09:29 PM
Chkaharyer99 Chkaharyer99 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Pilot Hill, CA
Posts: 774

I replaced a broken Skytec Lightweight starter on my RV-8 (IO-360) with the B&C starter.

In my case it wasn't a drop in, no hassel, replacement. I had to modify the snorkel to accomodate the offset of the B&C. I also required a mixture lever with a greater offset in order to clear the starter. The Bendix FI and B&C are an interference fit. They nestled tightly together requiring some slight modification.

The B&C spins the prop on the first attempt and spins it faster than the SkyTec it replaced. The SkyTec often required 2-3 bumps before it would even turn the prop.

No weight benefit in my case. I think I gained a pound. For me it was worth it.

Call B&C. I think you'll be impressed with their customer service. I am.
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:23 PM
JohnInReno's Avatar
JohnInReno JohnInReno is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Prescott Valley/Chandler AZ
Posts: 267
Default Battery

Originally Posted by N729LS View Post

I would like to get a higher torque starter,

How about a different approach. An EarthX Lithium Iron battery has about 20% higher voltage to the starter. It made my starter problems disappear and saved 10 pounds in the process.
John Morgensen
RV-9A N946PM 500+ hours since 2013
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Old Yesterday, 11:52 AM
N729LS's Avatar
N729LS N729LS is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 76
Default Update on alternate starter

I chose to try a couple of things in series, in an attempt to learn more about my starter issue. Some results documented below; final results in future post.
  1. Discuss the problem with other guys that have high-compression IO-360s in their planes.
    I found that the issue of hard-to-start high-compression engines with PC-680 powered systems is very common, even with non-LS starters. "Bumping" the prop, as well as preheating the oil and pulling through a few blades were suggested. Nobody with this set-up (HC, PC-680,SkyTec) reported no problems.
  2. Change to higher torque starter: I had very good luck with the Skytec 149-NL starter on my last plane, which also had a high-compression angle-valve IO-360.
    However, that plane had 28V systems, not 14V like my RV.
    I was able to determine that the SkyTec NL starter would fit without any required modifications to the snorkel! I did have to grind down two unused bosses on the starter, which took about 10 min.
  3. Debug the power-to-starter system in detail.
    I checked every connection, every wire, both contactors and the battery. I used a meter in addition to the volts and amps readouts on the EFIS (requires >1 person) and checked first without load and then under load.
    I used jumper cables from a running car to power the system in various locations, including with the aircraft battery completely removed from the system
    I removed the lower plugs for a while to make these tests easier on the new starter.
  4. Net result - Everything in the starting system was working as expected, except that the 6-month-old PC-680 was badly overworked during starting, with voltage dropping well below the desired 9V minimum.
  5. Next Step - Based on the recommendation here, and some on-line research, I decided to bite the $450 bullet and order the EXT900 battery from EarthX. This will fit into the existing battery box, and should provide both more volts and more amps to the starter.
    Results to follow...
Andy Elliott, CFI, RV-8, N303RV
Flight Reviews, Dynamic Prop Balancing
KFFZ, Mesa, AZ

Last edited by N729LS : Today at 08:04 AM. Reason: emphasis
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