From: Charles.K.Scott
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.homebuilt
Subject: Re: Info Wanted: Buick Al 215-Cuid V8 engine for Exp. Acft. use.
Date: 12 Nov 1997 14:08:03 GMT
Organization: Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
In article <Mrshadow.213.0036163F@RTD.COM>
Mrshadow@****** (Sometimes I don't know....) writes:
> Info Wanted: Buick Al 215-Cuid V8 engine for Exp. Acft. use.
>   I would appreciate any leads, source of Tech. Info., etc..
> RE: the conversion of the '61-'63 Buick Aluminum V8 auto
> engine for/to Experimental Acft. use.  Any source of print
> Tech. data, or individual whom has knowledge of this would
> be greatly appreciated.
>   For direct e-mail response, please construct the following
> in std. Internet address form.  (Shadow{at}RTD{dot}COM)
>   My thanks to any and all for your help.
>    Mr.Shadow

Mr. Shadow, the Buick 215 aluminum block V-8 has been successfully used in several homebuilt applications, both in direct drive configuration and with a Prop Speed Reduction Unit. It has been used inverted and in an upright configuration. The following person still sells the blocks and parts to assemble the engine. He can get you the entire engine already built or supply you with the parts to assemble it yourself:

Dan LaGrou (D&D Fabrications)
8005 Tiffany
Almont, MI  48003

Many people install the Buick 300 crank which strokes the engine to 264 cid. The crank needs machining to do this. The fully machined crank will run you about $375 to $400. You will also need the new seal kit for around $35. I paid $75 for the block and $75 each for two Land Rover Cylinder heads which have bigger valves than the Buick heads. I also sent my crank to Moldex for them to inspect and nitride. The nitriding process made the journals grow a bit so they had to re-machine it slightly to bring it back to specs.

You have the choice of a number of different rods and pistons to configure the compression ratio. The higher you go with the compression ratio the more power you will make and the better the fuel efficiency. However, as you get up past 9 - 1, detonation is more of a possibility. I plan to be conservative and run an 8.5 to 1 compression ratio.

The cam needs to be configured to bring the power up to the 4,000 rpm area. There are a number of companies that can supply such a cam. You can use roller hydaulic cam followers if you can find them. I talked with Crane Cams a couple of months ago and found that they had stopped making them for this engine because it's getting hard to find anymore. They did have one set on the shelf but wanted $389 for it. I will go with plain flat bottomed tappets.

No need to modifiy the oiling system. I know that hot rodders discovered a problem with oiling at high speeds but the problem occured at rpms around 8,000. You will never be spinning the engine that fast. Almost all builders of V-8's for aircraft limit their rpms to 4,500 or less.

You have your choice of PSRU's, from planetary (Ross Aero) Belted (Northwest Aero Products or any of several others or you can fabricate your own using Dave Blanton's plans) or you can buy a Hy-Vo chain drive from Aero-Kinetics. Finding a PSRU isn't the problem, buying it is.

You can use either carburation or fuel injection to bring the mixture to the combustion chambers. Fuel injection would be the most efficient, carburation the most simple.

When it comes to ignition, most builders recommend two completely independant systems plumbed to fire the single plug in each cylinder through a diode built for the purpose. Jesse Myers insists on using a set of points for one pickup because he feels it gives him added safety in case of a lightning strike (which would blow most tranistorized ignitions), plus it's bone simple.

How much power will it make? Depends on how fast you spin it and what compression ratio you use. With my 8.5 to 1 compression ratio and an rpm limit of 4,000, one program (see predicts 160 hp. Spinning faster (4,500) ups the output to 174 or so. What will mine really do? Won't know for sure until the dyno test but my guess is somewhere in between the two values I mentioned.

But now that you've got the engine, you have to cool it properly. That's a whole nuther story.

Corky Scott


When I asked Corky for permission to post this, he sent me this reply:

Date: 06 Feb 2000 20:11:12 EST
From: Charles.K.Scott@******* (Charles K. Scott)
Subject: Re: BOP Aluminum V-8 web page
To: bredt19-2@******
--- You wrote:
Corky, I've borrowed very freely from one of your posts - it's link
ed from the main page in it's entirety.  Please let me know if this
is OK.
--- end of quote ---
No problem Ryan but you should know that I've dropped that engine
in favor of the Ford V-6 for simple economics.  Same power but
much more available parts and support.  Pretty much the same 
weight too.