Firewall Forward & Engine
What led upto the decision?
Well, the best laid plans often are shot to hell. Two days before Thanksgiving I was on my way to work when a guy in a pickup decided to take an illegal shortcut and crossed three lanes of oncoming traffic that was doing 55+ miles per hour. I happened to be one of those oncoming cars and had nowhere to go and no time to stop or even slow down. I hit him broadside between the door and front bumper while another car hit him broad side in the back quarter. It did one heck of a job on my car but I was fortunate to not be hurt. The car was paid for and had several good years of service left but Allstate Insurance (The up-yours hands people) decided they wouldn't offer much more than salvage value for my car. After a bit of heated exchanges and my promise to take it to the state board of insurance we settled for $7000 for my car. (Never mind that the best price for a used car equipped similar to mine was $8200 and they had originally offered only $5000. You can guess where you will Ice Skate before I will ever buy AllState Insurance.) To make a long story short, I didn't have any car payments, didn't want any car payments, and had built an engine fund which was enough to buy my engine this spring. So below is a picture of my new engine! It's a 6-cylinder liquid cooled with 200 horsepower. Now if I can just figure out how to mount it to the firewall.
And the winner is? I am still trying to decide! I am leaning heavily toward the Franklin which is a certified engine with a good reputation. The main problem for me appears to be a conflict between the carburetor and the free castering nose gear. The carburetor is below and to the back of the engine. It extends down low enough that it might not clear the gear in any landing causing a flex in the gear. I am currently investigating several alternatives for a fuel injection system. The nice thing about the Franklin is that it can be purchased fully equipped with all accessories (carburetor, mags, etc.) or without. This allows the builder the option of selecting their own configuration. At about $15k for the engine without accessories it leaves me some room to make the modifications I will need and still keep within the $20k range. We will see.