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Old 06-23-2007, 09:09 PM
djvdb63 djvdb63 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 29
Default Suzuki V6 "Mini Merlin" for an RV?


I'm inclined toward an liquid cooled alternative engine for my RV-9A (tailkit arrived in May). I'm looking for 170 - 180 hp. I've watched this conversion engine scene for about 7 years now. To wit...


1. Jan Egg seems to have abandoned the RV-9[A] due to the excessive weight of his E6 installations (he says otherwise, of course, but I am not about to build an RV-9A with a 1250 lb empty weight) and I have mixed feelings about his front-mounted radiator cooling paradigm, among other things. The only flyers who get true RV performance out of Egg installations are Jan himself and his west-coast associate Robert Paisley. The supercharged 2.5L did surprisingly well in the RVator flyoff but is no longer available. Everybody who pays gets an engine...eventually. I will keep watching developments with Egg. I think the ideal Subaru for an RV-9A would be a gently turbo'd EJ2.2 or 2.5. Jan doesn't offer this. 'Nuff said.

2. NSI has died. They had pretty engines. Really. You could just never actually get one, even if you paid for it. A few were actually delivered for RV's. Tom Welch, you still out there flying your NSI RV-9? Rupert Clarke in Australia?

3. Maxwell Propulsion Systems, Inc has taken over the carcass of NSI. They seem very quiet two years on. Anything going on?

4. Crossflow seems to have burned their bridges with the RV community.


5. The rotary installations have yet to mature, although I am watching closely. At this point they remain mechanically "over my head" due to the lack of a proven firewall forward installation. Tracy Crook soldiers on impressively. Dave Atkins too. I'll be watching the Propelled Engineering website closely to see what they come up with. Their planned price of $28K seems ridiculous. I'll be watching Mistral too but they will likely cost too much. PowerSport seems dead, with no web site updates in over two years. For now the rotary installations seem best left to genuine gear heads.


6. The Belted Air Power Chevy Vortec V6 installation intrigues me, although it is too heavy and Jess Meyers resists the use of the lighter aluminum head option (the CG has been engineered for the heavier, cheaper, cast-iron heads). Their web site is almost never updated and I have found zero BAP flyers active on the web. Last summer Jess was active here, but nothing lately. BAP has been around the RV world for well over ten years now. There should be dozens of happy flyers spreading the news but one never hears from them if they exist. I'd love to see/hear more on this package. I'll be watching.


7. The Deltahawk may come of age by Y3K.

8. The Theilert seems complex/troublesome and is unavailable anyway.

9. The WAM-160 is a pipe dream. Mark Wilksch left the company. The WAM-120 will not meet my hp needs.


10. The Jabiru 5100 is apparently dead. Air cooled anyway, but smooooooth.

11. ATP/Innodyne is all talk and two prototypes. I doubt this will ever come to fruition.

12. Verner Scarlett 190 hp Radials? Too way out there for me.

So...I'd like to dredge up some comments on the Suzuki V6 as an option for an RV. Apparently these (2.5L or 2.7L) engines are gaining some traction with the Titan T-51 crowd. This was pioneered by Dan Hawken in Alberta beginning about three years ago. The Titan factory has actually begun to support the installation. A few are now flying. The 2.7L installation is supposed to be derated to about 175 hp in the aircraft installation. Installed weight is in the low 300's. This would be perfect for an RV, it would seem. I have found no clear, single source of technical information on the package. Mr. Hawken himself is not on the web. I snooped around the Yahoo T-51 list and noticed...surprise...Ross is there and knowledgeable.

Whadyathink of this for an RV, Ross? Is the shape too deep and skinny to fit well on a side-by-side RV firewall? What sort of PSRU is being used? Could it be installed without a P-51-style radiator scoop? Any hints as to the durability of the peripherals? Anyone know of a web link with a summary?

I watched/listened to a few "Mini Merlin" videos from the T-51 Yahoo site and the engine sure sounds sweet...

RV-9A Tail Kit
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