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Thread: Overhaul O-290D2 or Swap for O-320?

  1. #1
    scotthayd's Avatar
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    Default Overhaul O-290D2 or Swap for O-320?

    The 1950 pa-20 original I have previously had an O-320 installed, so I don't need the STC... But I do need the engine (dash a2b) if I go that route.

    I really like my little O-290, but it's old and had about 10 years in there where it wasn't being flown (before I bought it). Now I'm losing compression, compression is down in the 60's on all cylinders and I'm burning lots of oil.
    So it's about time to decide what route to take.

    I've heard from some people that the O-290 D2 was underrated in horsepower and the jump up to an O-320 won't buy me much except increased fuel consumption. Can somebody who's flown both give me their opinion?

    On the other hand, I could put in a high compression engine and have a 160 hp airplane with a far more common, well known, cheaper-to-work-on engine. And better performance. (Gee, that sounds nice!)... but what will it cost me?

    So... does my O-290 have any value as a trade-in?
    What will it cost me all told to overhaul the O-290 (full overhaul, not just a top) vs trade in and hang an O-320 on the nose?

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Overhaul O-290D2 or Swap for O-320?

    If you have any doubt on the O-320 check out:

    "piston ring differences" on supercub.org

    Even info is getting harder to get!

  3. #3
    Pacerfgoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overhaul O-290D2 or Swap for O-320?

    I really wish that someone would support these engines. There is nothing in the 125-135 HP range except these, and I think there is a need for this range of power. The Big boys don't agree, so.....no support.
    Mine is on its last legs as well, and I was able to find a 320 removed from a tripacer in the 90's and stored. I've seen several on Barnstormers that are right up your alley, some overhauled and some 1/2 time engines. If you could find the right one that fits your budget, it would be the thing to do rather than overhauling the 290, I've heard that gets real expensive.
    Forrest Miller

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Overhaul O-290D2 or Swap for O-320?

    I have owned and flown hundreds of hours in both a 0-320 and a 0290D2 Pacer - I like my current light wt 135 Pacer- I will compare takeoff and climb with any 0-320 out there - full tanks at S./L solo less than 300ft takeoff roll and 1200 fpm climb and tops out at 143mph and 120mph on 7.2gph. However with the cost of 0-290 parts and would strongly recommend the 0-320. Because even the straight mount 0-320 / 0-320A or B narrow decks are getting alittle harder to come by. If you can find and 160hp narrow deck - that would be more efficient on 100ll or prem auto fuel than the 150hp - but they only made the 160hp narrow deck for about 4 yrs from 1958 on - if you find a 0-320 150 that has a case serial number from 1958 or later it can have the 160hp conversion with the cylinder base doublers and longer studs. I would go with the more available 0-320 narrow deck 150 hp.

  5. #5
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overhaul O-290D2 or Swap for O-320?

    According to the Lycoming Operator's Manual for the O-290 and O320 series engines the following weights apply. These weights include everything but the exhaust, which is the same for all of the Lycoming engine insallations in the Short Wings. These weights are as of March of 1973 so I assume they are for narrow deck O-320's
    O-290-D 260 lbs.
    O-290-D2A 264
    O-290-D2B 265
    O-320-A1A 272 150 hp
    O-320-B2B 278 160

    Sensnich calls for the same prop on the O-290-D, D2 and O-320 when installed on a PA20 or PA22 so that will not cause a weight increase. If you are using the older thinner hup prop such as the 76AM series, used on some PA20's with O-290-D, you will see an eight pound increase. http://www.sensenich.com/files/docum...1349891787.pdf
    Last edited by Gilbert Pierce; 03-10-2013 at 11:20 AM.

  6. #6
    Troy Hamon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overhaul O-290D2 or Swap for O-320?

    The answer is always in the details and the pocketbook. If the cylinders can be overhauled (no cracks) and your cam and crank are in good shape, then you will likely come out okay with overhauling the 290. But unless you are reasonably sure about those things, it is a bit of a gamble. Flying behind a sweet running engine is lovely, regardless of which one you have, but if you are going to take the time and initiative to get an overhaul, definitely consider upgrading. Just for the simple availability of parts.

    Although, the 290D2 has become such a pariah that Peter Lubig sold a beautifully overhauled and pickled version on here for less than the cost of an overhaul...so if you keep your eyes out you might be able to pick up an engine in great shape. The bonus to that is no need to get new baffling...

  7. #7
    Theo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overhaul O-290D2 or Swap for O-320?

    Just looking at prices of available engines on the internet it does seem that the 320 is just about the most economical engine out there to maintain....in that size range.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Overhaul O-290D2 or Swap for O-320?

    Dont mean to but in but if your interested in a quick fix i have a o290 d2 with 360hrs oh in 1997 running strong. Baffling and components for $4500. If you dont want mags and stuff cheaper. Just a thought for you. Joe. 2043624675 ennsjc@yahoo.ca

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Overhaul O-290D2 or Swap for O-320?

    I have a PA 16/0290-D2 and would like to upgrade to an 0320. What would be the best match. There is one available from Graham, in Georgia, an E3D....just not sure it would fit properly. Thank you for help

  10. #10
    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overhaul O-290D2 or Swap for O-320?

    You need a conical mount -A2B type. Stewarts have the STC. http://www.stewartsystems.aero/default.aspx

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