My two cents is don't change the engine. There are a couple of weak
points you should look into but they are way less hassle, cost and
airplane downtime that an engine swap.
The Stratus set up is a very reliable installation provided you do three
1) Take the heads off and send them to ram Performance for his stepped
valve guide installation. This was (IS) the number 1 reliability concern
with the motor.
2) Check that you not only have two coils but also two coil pickup
sysytems. This should be the original Subaru unit under the distributor
cap and a second one run off of the flywheel and is on the left side of
the engine just below the starter I think? The Subaru chip is feeble and
you should replace this regardless with a NAPA TP 45 ignition chip,
wired into the pickup coil...This makes a bullet proof installation. The
Startus secondary systems has a fairly high failure rate as well and I
and a few others have built systems using 2 TP 45 modules to replace
both of these setups.
3) The RH upper engine mount can crack...Easy to weld up a reinforcing
I simply don't buy the "My airframe is not rated to take the power"
argument...I have a friend with a so called 300HP gLassair with a 700HP
turbine on it....You should see that thing GO!...Anyway...for 20 extra
HP its really a non issue unless maybe you are going to run around at
full power....But I bet the extra 5mph but 30% extra fuel will be a
natural limiter. You can then save the power for spectacular take offs
and high altitude cruise.....I mean like 10,000 feet or so.
Now the engine weight is the killer...the shock of landing with a really
heavy engine upfront is way more injurous to the airframe than the extra
power would be. If your engine is not much heavier than the design
called for I really wouldn't worry about it.
Provided the re-drive is in good shape (I would change the bearings
rather than dismanlte/inspect/relubricate at the 300 hour
intervals...They are cheap from a bearing supplier) i.e the teeth are
not worn I think you have a good set up.
Zodaic HDS Stratus (with mods) 387 hours
RV7A finishing with Lyc IO360
I'm still undecided on a definate switch. I have been happy with the
I know this particualar engine had a failure and forced landing (float
plane on water - no sweat) because only one ignition coil was installed
and something in there failed. I dont exactly know the full story but
by the time I bought it had 2 coils. Since I've had it its been fine.
Im thinking about a switch for a couple of reasons. I'm leaving the
floats and going to wheels so I dont need rediculous power like I wanted
on the floats (it was only a 750lb plane empty - you should have seen
the looks when I blasted off the water and climbed at 1000ft/min with a
full load of people/fuel). Im actually concerned the 100hp is too much
for an airframe which Fisher has only rated for 80hp and most people go
with 60hp I think. Plus the airframe wasn't excatly built to precise
fisher specs...things were changed and I dont want to be the dunce to
find out 100hp is too much on a full power takeoff. Having the HP and
using it are two different things I know.
Im also considering a switch for peice of mind. I know the history of
cont/lyc is not as stellar as public opinion thinks, but I seem to have
no concerns about checking the oil and jumping and blasting off. Maybe
it was the fact I learnt on lyc/cont engines. However with the soob I
am paranoid and before every flight I remove top cowl, do a full engine
inspection and go over everything. It seems to take away from the joy
Another reason I am thinking of a switch, and im sorry to say this, is
that im not totally comfortable with Mykal as the new owner. He has
been helpful to me, shipped me things, answered prompty which I cant
fault. But I get the feeling he is in it purely and soley to
manufacture and sell. The drive and the love that Reiner had for the
product doesn't seem to be there with Mykal. I wish him the best, but
thats my distant observation. I've heard several second-hand stories of
Mykals "it should be alright" approach to constant speed prop and other
questions. I think the manufacturer should be at the forefront of their
engines testing, not the customers. When the testbed C150 was put up
for sale it pretty much reinforced my thoughts above.
Anyway, perhaps this will start some good discussions. Lets talk about
why and why I should not change this engine over. One other thing while
I think of it
- the soob installation is pretty cluttered firewall forward. I saw a
cont installation locally that I would copy - its beautifully clean
firewall forward, just looks so sweet. Nothing but frame and engine
basically with a bit of ducting.
> --> Stratus-List message posted by: "Gary K" <garyk2@cox....>
> > Im considering replacing my Stratus EA81 with a continental 80hp
> > during the rebuild. Once of my main concerns will be weight. Can
> > anyone recall what their engine/accesories weight was as they
> > installed?
> - mine was 185 lbs as advertised w/o muffler, rad, etc. i'm sure
> there's a wide varience between accessory weights but to compare to a
> cont (not counting prop, engine mount, gascolator/fuel lines, battery,
> etc) i'd guess 210 -220 lbs? muffler - 5lbs, rad - 5lbs, coolant -
5lbs, plus 185 = 200.
> i have lot's of exact weights for items but never added everything up.
> > Has anybody seen used Stratus engines sell - what did they sell for,
> > im wondering if the sale price would cover a mid time continental.
> - i've only seen one for sale for about $5K but not sure if it was
> sold. it
> was the vision aircraft company http://www.visionaircraft.com/, maybe
> you can find out from them if they sold it.
> - just curious - why switch? bad luck with the Stratus?
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