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Old 12-19-2017, 02:06 PM
usafmd usafmd is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Astoria
Posts: 3
Default Which engine for my RV-8?

Hi all,

It's time to order an engine and I've already come across several opinions, mostly aiming at 200-215HP (though 180HP is certainly not out of the question). Names that have come up include Superior, Titan, Aerosport, and Barrett Performance. I see that the first three have options to build or watch someone build the engine ( extra cost $500-1,000) and I would appreciate any opinions on this as well (? worth it to pay an extra $1,000 to build your own).

I'm sure there's not one right answer, but I certainly would appreciate gaining from your expertise and experience.


Michael Lewis
Astoria, OR
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Old 12-19-2017, 03:07 PM
brad walton brad walton is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Cypress, TX
Posts: 493

From what has been said over the years on this site, you can't go wrong with any of the 4 you named. I have a Superior io360 on my RV8 with 9:1 pistons rated at 185HP turning a Catto 3 blade. I am very happy with the performance. More power is always good.
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Old 12-19-2017, 06:09 PM
Berchmans Berchmans is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 417

I have a Lycoming YIO360M1B, Hartzell C/S prop...LOP operation puts it below 8 GPH...great engine.
Burke Wick
Flying RV 8
Anchorage, Alaska
VAF Dues Paid for 2018
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Old 12-19-2017, 07:16 PM
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DanH DanH is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 08A
Posts: 7,982

It's a very competitive market.

FWIW, the 2018 Kitplanes Engine Buyers Guide will be mailing shortly.
Dan Horton
Barrett IO-390
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Old 12-19-2017, 08:24 PM
xblueh2o xblueh2o is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: SF East Bay
Posts: 771

Originally Posted by DanH View Post
It's a very competitive market.

FWIW, the 2018 Kitplanes Engine Buyers Guide will be mailing shortly.
Duly noted, since I am creeping up on closing in on maybe needing to possibly start thinking about engine choice.
RV-8 with the Showplanes Fastback conversion
Emp completed except for glass work
Wings completed except for bottom skin and glass work
Fuselage underway
N18451 reserved
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Old 12-19-2017, 08:37 PM
Rallylancer122 Rallylancer122 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oconto, WI
Posts: 89

We had both a IO-360 and an IO-390 in our RV-8, for about a 1000 hours each. There is no question the 390 is hands down the winner. Our 360 was built and dyno'd around 210. But that was downhill with the wind at your back and it was working. The 390 stock dyno'd at something like 217. At it's rated HP it'll run all day every day. Flying it the engine is real stump puller, with a ton of torque. Weight was more less the same, accessories the same, and it pretty much dropped into the same hole. I have no clue on cost (Dad's toy and I never asked).

Building a safe, reliable engine isn't hard. There isn't much too them, and once you have all the parts there and ready to go you can assemble one in a day or two. I think it's fun! At a minimum it is definitely educational.

That being said the difference between a good engine and a great engine is in all the tiny little extra details the high end shops and engine gurus incorporate. Perfect balance of all the internals for that turbine smoothness....super precision ring fits for minimal oil consumption....etc... While not always necessary to make a safe, reliable engine, the difference is noticeable. Whether or not it's worth the extra price is up to you.

Whatever you do, I'd pay the money watch/help assemble the engine. If you haven't done it before, it's to good of an educational opportunity to pass up!

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Old 12-19-2017, 08:38 PM
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Dbro172 Dbro172 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Fargo, ND
Posts: 1,033
Default Off plan, or not?

Do you know how each of these options will bolt up to the standard firewall forward kit and/or what deviations and fiberglass work might be needed to make it work?

....Canít go wrong with the standard Vans / Lycoming offering of a YIO360M1B and smooth bottom cowling. Or any variation of the same.
Derek Hoeschen
EAA Tech Counselor
RV-9A #92103 - N803DK
G3X, Superior XO-320, Dual Pmags, Catto 3B

RV-8 #83565 - N184DK - building
1968 Mooney M20C - Sold
1956 C-182 - Sold
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Old 12-19-2017, 11:59 PM
fabricflyer fabricflyer is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tylertown, MS
Posts: 160

quote..."Canít go wrong with the standard Vans / Lycoming offering of a YIO360M1B and smooth bottom cowling. Or any variation of the same."

I agree and add their Hartzell C/S prop special ($1000 off when bought together) and it is hard to beat.

Very Slow Build 7a
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Old 12-20-2017, 04:47 AM
chopperchops chopperchops is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 26
Default How about a UL Power?

I recently sold my angle valve IO360-A1B6 in favour of a UL Power 520iS. I haven't purchased it yet, but I have committed to the install. I am going to marry a Airmaster (NZ) 3-blade constant speed prop to it (they use the Whirlwind blades).
Basically, I am working with Experimental, so I thought I would run hard with modern technology.
My 2 cents worth.
Rob Chopin
Wings done, fuse in progress.
Queensland Australia
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Old 12-20-2017, 11:13 AM
sf3543 sf3543 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 928

I prefer the parallel valve 180hp with fuel injection. Add a Hartzell blended airfoil prop and you can’t go wrong. Maybe send off the cylinders to Lycon or someone to hop them up if you want some of xtra hp.
You won’t be the fastest in a race and you won’t out climb everyone, but you will always be close. Plus you won’t need to reinvent anything.
Whatever you do, stay with what VANs recommends. It will save you time and money during the build. If you use after market or different components than what VANs supports you can add a lot of hours, and I mean a lot, to your build doing modifications to make everything work.
Just my two cents
Good luck
Steve Formhals
RV6, RV8 (2), RV12 & RV3 99% done.
A&P, Tech Counselor & Flight Advisor
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