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Old 10-09-2014, 06:16 AM
jnjhirsch's Avatar
jnjhirsch jnjhirsch is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 34
Default Kit Engine

Anyone have thoughts or experience on building an engine from an kit?

Like buying parts, or a kit, from ECI?

Any financial benefit?

Do you get some certification, like you do when you build your own airplane?

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Old 10-09-2014, 06:46 AM
Paul K Paul K is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Comstock Park, MI
Posts: 989

Yes, I did it with the help of a well known local engine builder. Not much financial benefit but a great Experiance! I would do it again. I have a few photos of the build on my photo page in my signature below.
Paul K
West Michigan

Unfortunately in science, what you believe is irrelevant.

2020 donation made, exempt but worth every dime!
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:15 AM
krw5927 krw5927 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Wichita, KS
Posts: 1,954

Good luck getting a kit engine from ECI. I contacted two different engine shops that advertised ECI kit engines, and they both told me the same thing: within the last year or so ECI stopped selling all their kit engines to both engine shops and individuals. The only way to get an ECI engine now is to buy a fully-built and tested one through Titan Engines.
Kurt W.
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:08 AM
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Greg Arehart Greg Arehart is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Delta, CO/Atlin, BC
Posts: 2,370

I built my IO360 during a Superior engine-build school in 2007. Good experience for me as I had never been inside an airplane engine before. I don't know whether they are still doing this. No financial advantage (actually, it cost a bit more than just buying an engine because one of their builders had to sit and oversee me building, which took longer than if he had just done it himself).

Greg Arehart
RV-9B (Big tires) Tipup @AJZ or CYSQ
N 7965A
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:11 AM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,887

I too built my O-360 from an ECi kit, with the help of an IA. 400 hours on it now and all is good. That was the best program ECi had but I can only imagine the helpdesk calls they must have gotten.

Unfortunately, it is my understanding that they no longer sell kit engines. That is a real bummer because they have just priced a lot of people out of the new engine market.
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 10-09-2014, 09:37 AM
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DaleB DaleB is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
Posts: 2,221

I talked to ECi and Titan at Oshkosh about this, and was told the same thing -- they're no longer doing it. ECi will happily sell you whatever parts you want, of course... but apparently at a "spares" price and not a "kit engine" price, so I gathered you'd be better off buying new.

Oh well.

Omaha, NE
RV-12 # 222 N980KM "Screamin' Canary" (bought flying)
Fisher Celebrity (under construction)
Previous RV-7 project (sold)
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:15 AM
RKellogg RKellogg is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Newark, IL
Posts: 287

Originally Posted by jnjhirsch View Post
Any financial benefit?
Four years ago I calculated that building the engine from a kit saved about 4K, apples to apples, but recognized that it came without the benefit of run-in in a test cell, and that any warranty claim might be blamed on my assembly techniques. One of the cost variables was which distributor you purchased the kit through. It was a fun experience, taking brand new engine parts out of a thousand little bags and boxes, and assembling them into a working powerplant. It took way longer to assemble than it needed to, primarily because I spent so much time studying, checking, double checking, documenting. There was a huge pile of boxes and bags afterward. Suspect the labor time for an experienced builder to snap one together is small compared to the cost of the parts and the cost of assembling it wrong. A centralized assembly facility might see less total waste packaging materials. Shipping on the kit was more than the shipping on a completed engine, as it came on two pallets. But it was fun.
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Old 10-09-2014, 02:51 PM
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wirejock wirejock is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 3,775
Default Kit

Not a kit or financial benefit but Titan will allow you to "help" build your engine. I asked them at Osh about kit engines.
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 12/03/2019, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (2,000+ hours)
HS SB, empennage, tanks, wings, fuse, working finishing kit
I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.
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Old 10-09-2014, 04:45 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,130

It has been my understanding this year that none of the three parts manufacturers (Lycoming, ECI, or Superior) will sell a complete "kit" engine any longer. My guess is that kits were competing with their assembled engine business. Unfortunately, this puts the custom engine builders between a rock and a hard place because they have to buy all of the parts separately if you want them to build your new engine for you. It is hard for them to compete on price in a market like that - which is probably the point.

As I understand it, this is purely a business decision, and with so few suppliers in the market, the customers can take it or leave it.
Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 10-09-2014, 05:27 PM
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jnjhirsch jnjhirsch is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 34

Too bad about the vendors not selling kits anymore. It doesn't make sense to me. It would be like if Vans stopped selling RV-12 kits because it was competing with their RV-12 LSA production line. Maybe the demand wasn't enough to make it profitable.
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