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I am considering a Corvair "Spyder" engine from Azalea aviation for my Cruzer. If you are currently operating one - please share your experiences. Thanks in advance.
I do know Dave Tillman started out with a Convair from Azalea but later changed it out for a Viking and has had good results. I do not know the reason why. maybe he needed more HP.
Hi John Allen,
Thanks for your reply. Yes - I think you are referring to Dave Tilemna. I am aware of that situation and don't really want to go there. Viking is a very good alternative and I've noticed that quite a few people have gone in that direction.
That said - would still like to hear if anyone else has had a positive experience with the Azalea Corvair engine.
If you are thinking of corvair, i would reccomend SPA, william wynne parts.
Good luck on your choice.
I applaud you researching your engine options but would suggest that you not limit yourself to those that have only had positive experiences. Look into all of the experiences, good or bad, with any engine option and pay particular attention to how the company and / or its representatives deal with their customers, especially the customers that have had problems.
I am building a 650 and will be putting a Corvair engine in it. I am using SPA and WW Flycorvair parts and would recommend that route also for a Corvair engine, like Michael recommends.
Totally agree. Glad that we have this forum discussion channel to find out this kind of info. I will check out SPA.
I built my own Corvair engine. I made almost everything myself but did purchase a few parts, I got my distributor and motor mount from Azalea and my exhaust pipes from William. I thought both were good. I made my own 5th bearing using William's bolt on style. It works well but I think Azalea's line bored engine would be the way I would go if I were buying an engine. I had the most trouble with my front mounted PM alternator. It would make over 20 volt and fried two regulators and my Odyssey battery. Azalea uses a rear mounted and integrated PM alternator running 1:1 where my front mounted alternator was running about 2:1 and making more juice than the regulator could regulate. I finally made a larger pulley for my alternator so it now runs close to 1:1 and 14.5 volts. Dan at SPA very graciously explained this alternator speed thing to me over the phone one morning and I am very grateful for his help. He said that they put the alternator on the back and run them 1:1.
Corvair is an excellent choice. Just look at the reliability and cost of ownership compared to a Viking rebuild or periodic maintenance. Viking is another great engine and I was close to buying one, but I'm currently building the 120 HP Azalea Spyder engine for my CH601 HDS with Azalea's help, plus FWF. WW is a great choice, but there is practically no major difference in power, performance or reliability other than the rear alternator setup and no belt on the Azalea to wear or break. One alters the case for their 110/120/125HP (WW) and the other doesn't. Both are excellent choices and both have the IFB. You can attend one of their built colleges at both companies and learn to perform the work yourself when it comes time to rebuild the engine. You can either buy one directly and attend a workshop later to learn about the engine or find one in a part yard or running car and tear it down and build it back yourself. The manuals at Azalea are posted except for the installation manual. Corvair Engine Teardown Manual, SPYDER ENGINE ASSEMBLY MANUAL,SPYDER ENGINE SERVICE AND OPERATIONS MANUAL, DISTRIBUTOR INSTALLATION AND USE,
I've worked with both William Wynne at FlyCorvair and Bill Clapp at Azalea Aviation
The engine I have installed is using WW's 5th bearing and most of his parts. So far (350 hours) they've held up well... I only have a distributor from Azalea, so while I can speak to the high reliability of that piece, I can't speak to the rest of Bill's engine setup
That said, I can tell you that my experience with William, while he is knowledgeable about the Corvair engine, is not the easiest person to work with. He can be very, uh, inflexible if you question him or his products
Bill, on the other hand, is extremely easy and pleasant to work with
A year ago, I had ordered an 'E/P' distributor from WW (electronic and points, rather than dual points). Upon installation, I immediately lost about 400 rpm at the top end. When I asked WW about the issue, he suggested a continuing series of things to check... timing (of course), lifter, and eventually replacement of a cylinder jug. I had initially suggested that maybe his distributor was bad, but he insisted it was checked when it left him, and that it was fine.
After a month and a half of back and forth, he suddenly quit returning my calls... I went two weeks without hearing from him. Frustrated beyond description, I called Bill at Azalea. After exchanging a few phone calls/emails, Bill suggested I either send my new distributor to him to check out or bring him the whole engine. So.. I removed the engine, dropped it into my trunk, and drove down to see him. He put the distributor on his machine and discovered that, while the rpm's were fine at low speed, when the rpm's increased, it advanced 16 degrees (to 40) instead of to 28-30. We put my engine on his stand, put a new distributor in, and it ran perfectly
Understand, I have no complaint that the original distributor was bad. It's a mechanical device... things break. But for me, it became very frustrating hearing "it can't be my distributor that's bad... let's replace all this other stuff in your engine". This failure to consider a bad product, to me, is a deal breaker
So that's my experiences with each company. In summary, I can't really speak to who's products are better/more reliable... but I can tell you that, for me at least, working with Azalea is much preferable to working with FlyCorvair
Thanks for your response. Bill has been very helpful on the phone - making suggestions for my Cruzer build. Appreciate your feedback.