Looking for a Subaru EA81 Distributor for sale that has already been modified to include DUAL MAGNETIC PICKUPs in the distributor?

   OR:   Does anyone have any documentation with good photos that shows exactly step by step, how to modify my distributor so it has DUAL Magnetic Pickups so I can selective power dual coils?


Glen Rushing

Tallahassee, Florida


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Glen, have you already flown with the E-81? Just wondering what kind of performance you get. Any chance you want to post some pictures? Thanks. 

Hi Joe,

   I've only crow hopped mine since I've had it certified.  It IS ready to fly now but I'll feel more comfortable if I can fly it with a backup ignition system. Right now it only has ONE ignition system and I'm hoping to find someone with a distributor that has been modified to have dual magnetic pickups so I can have the comfort of that backup coil on the firewall.   :)


Give Jan Engenfleur at Viking aircraft a call. He was a distributor for all things Subaru...

Thanks John,

  Got an email from Larry McFarland yesterday.  He is working on the mod for me now.


Joe,  if you are considering the e81 engine I can help. I've learned alot, and how to keep it light. Jeff

Hi Jeff. Back when I was building a PT-2 the Subaru was all the rage. For some reason they just seem to have fallen from the planet! I did put one in a hovercraft I built and it had more then enough power to get the job done. I think it was called a Legacy. I am building a Zenith 750 that I will be putting the Jab 3300 on from my 650 project, so now I am looking for an engine for my 650. How many HP are you getting and what's the weight? Are there any companies still making parts for the Legacy motor? 

Joe, I have the asian ea 81"S". Extremely hard to find. Stock they were 108h.p. 108 lbft of torque. Pretty much what the regular E81s make after converting. Right now I'm rebuilding, it sat for years with no intake and water pitted the cylinders. Still ran great but lots of blowby. With the new cam cut and using Ea82 spfi pistons which are .035 taller and decking the block I'm hoping I'll get 125 h.p. I saw a old NSI dyno sheet that showed a converted asian engine making 127 h.p. Ron at ram said he built one that made 139 h.p. but dodged what rpm when I asked. But he gets 115 hp out of the regular e 81. About 3 weeks ago he built one and dynoed at the prop shaft for the first time. 108.h.p and 236 lbft of torque at 2400 prop rpm. 5380 engine. That's more torque than a 108 hp O235. 

 While apart I weighed everything! Engine, oil, water, radiator, radiator intake, prop, spinner, hoses, exhaust. I've read these numbers over 300# in other threads. Engine dry with the reduction unit was 167.5. everything else listed was 213. 15 pounds of that is prop. So that is a true all in weight under 200. Going from alternator to a dynamo would get almost another 5# off the engine. And my prop hub is 5.5" longer and is 3 pounds heavier than the 3-3/8" stock hub. I could lose that weight too and more from the cowling moving it back but I like the look of the rotax cowl. I swallowed my pride and took the long hub weight penalty v/s having to cut the cowl up. Rethinking that now:)

 Good news is e81's can be found real cheap, parts are harder to find but not impossible, just have to know where to look. Alot of the bad name came from the backyard guys converting these, my original engine was one them, too much to talk about right now. The stratus drives can be found cheap if you look. I built an aluminum intake using the flanges from Ram, and a Revflow carb. The most dirt simple best decision I made. No more fussing with dual carbs and lost no power, honestly I bet gained power. Egts are a needle width apart and that may get better with fresh engine. But I thought it through, tall runners after the bend to give the fuel time to straighten out. My second single intake design which allowed me to turn the revflow and straighten the fuel delivery picked up 300 rpm static. I dont remember the final numbers but the revflow and aluminum intake was lighter than one bing and it's short steel intake. I used AN fittings throughout to save weight over brass. Light aluminum water tubes to the radiator. Otiker clamps instead of hose clamps which are alot lighter. Aluminum racing expansion tank(cheap on amazon). HPS brand silicone hoses and reducing elbows are lighter than thick black napa hose.

 I haven't weighed the plane in years, but want to again. I dont add any weight unless I find weight to take out but that is getting hard to do. Smaller Nosewheel is next, should get a little over 5# pounds there and hope for almost the same loss with a new vacume bagged smaller wheel pant. Original weight was 636# that was without seat cusions,or wheel pants. but like I said I learned to cut weight to add weight. Instrument panel was one way, dont remember the numbers though.

 Performance, well that varies I change so much it's hard to keep up. Last winter I was cruising 45-4600 rpm 125-128mph. Best top speed was 137 mph. Climb is, well how well do you like looking backwards because you cant see forward. Never less than 1300' fpm in summer. I use sensenitch 70" 2 blade. Picked up for 900$ shipped new on barnstormers, Stayed patient and kept watching the price drop for over a month. Not as smooth as the 3 blade warp but faster..I went back to the warp and quickly back to the sensenitch.. if I knew I was keeping this plane I would have prince build a prop. Would lose another 7-8 pounds there and  pick up more speed with less diameter. 

 Cooling, dont even fight it, radiator as far back as possible under belly. I've tried several places, Im in process of moving farther back again. This time where the fuse angles up behind the wing is where the intake will be and that will put the radiator exit in lower pressure. I moved to behind firewall (like viking) a few weeks ago and barely had it lower than the cowling trying to cut weight and number of fittings, cooled just fine but lost 7 mph. Remember father back less drag. I learned what goes on at the cowl and firewall affects the airflow in the radiator. I added a small lip on the cowl to try and suck hot air out of cowl and water temp went to 230. Normal is 190s on 95 degree summer days. Landed,  pulled lip off and water temp back to 194 climb and 185 cruise. The lip didn't help with under cowl temp anyway. 

 They are bad ass ittle engines if built light and right. Alot more fun than my 172... jeff

Jeff, thanks so much for the rundown. The only experience I have had with a Subaru was the legacy motor on the back of a hovercraft I built and that was a very powerful engine. At my age, I am looking for a plug and play engine I can bolt to my airframe. If I was 20 years younger I would love to experiment with some of the stuff that's on the market right now. I hope you consider bringing your plane to Oshkosh. I would love to see your engine mounted and ready to go. Thanks for the information. 

If I ever get to come to Oshkosh it will be in my 172 loaded down with crap...lol...my ole heap is nothing to look at...going to PA. To look at a glasair 1next Sunday, my zodiac days were fun but coming to an end. Time to paint it and start trying to sell next summer. 


Hi Glen,

I have the dual dizzy mod in my distributor for my EA-81. I should have the docs for it somewhere.

Feel free to look me up on this site.

Lots of photos and stats from the Subaru mod in my member contact.


Normand Lambert

CH701sp C-GFEU

Hi Glen,

I got the documentation in pdf forms, I do need an email address to send those...



Hi Glen,

These are the Docs that I got when I made the change for the Dual Dizzy.

Hope it helps.




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