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Thread: PA-17 Engine swap woes

  1. #1
    LightFlight's Avatar
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    Default PA-17 Engine swap woes

    I know a PA-17 can have a C-85 installed... is this thanks to Service Memo No. 28? I can not find an STC for the 85. I found the A-75 for PA-15 and C-90 for PA-17...

    Also, the fuel tank is not a requirement for the C-85, just next on the list, correct?

    It looks like my C-85-12 will not be selling for $3000, so I may begin to overhaul it with my AME with O-200 parts and the STC over the next couple years.

    My currently A-75-8 powered PA-17 has a page stapled to the very old and short POH, which outlines performance for the C-85 install. Is this because no one made data for the A-75 install, but it should be better than a stock A-65?

    Do I have to purchase an STC from someone to swap again from A-75-8 to C-85-12? Who? There are no 337's in Canada.

    It seems to me that with a stroker C-85, this thing will become a bit of a rocketship. I have flown a PA-17 experimental (really owner maintenance) with an O-200, and it is much more lively than mine. I have seen reports of 97-99 hp from the stroker C-85 on various other Piper sites.

    Does anyone have a stroker C-85 in a Vagabond? How about equipment for night flight?

    My Vagabond is a fat 735 lbs empty already though.

    Thanks,

    Joel

  2. #2
    d.grimm's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA-17 Engine swap woes

    Joel,
    There are no STC's for C85 in a Vagabond.
    All have been done on Field Approvals.
    There is a one time STC for a O-200.
    Go to FAA.gov and look up STC's for the
    PA17 and it shows up there.
    I have done a recent Field Approval for
    a C85 that your welcome to look at, but it
    Sounds like it won't do you any good.
    Dave

  3. #3
    LightFlight's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA-17 Engine swap woes

    Quote Originally Posted by d.grimm View Post
    Joel,
    There are no STC's for C85 in a Vagabond.
    All have been done on Field Approvals.
    There is a one time STC for a O-200.
    Go to FAA.gov and look up STC's for the
    PA17 and it shows up there.
    I have done a recent Field Approval for
    a C85 that your welcome to look at, but it
    Sounds like it won't do you any good.
    Dave
    Hi Dave,

    I have the original POH for this aircraft, stamped May 14 1948. I made a couple photocopies, the original paperwork is kept in a waterproof document pouch in the plane.

    Attached to it is this... looks almost as old as the weathered POH from 1948.

    I wouldn't mind having a look at your 337, if you don't mind. I think with this, the memo above, and your 337 I can convince Transport Canada I am not doing anything unfounded. In my opinion, a little extra umph only increases my mountain and short field safety margins, but I play it very safe as it is.

    Have you seen this document before? I think it is referenced as a needed amendment for when my A-75 was installed a long time ago, before GFMW was mine.

    Cheers,

    Joel

    While we are at it... does the fact this document says C-85-8 or C-85-8F mean I am hooped yet again with a -12F?GFMW.jpg

  4. #4
    d.grimm's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA-17 Engine swap woes

    Joel,
    I have that document. My Field Approval is for a C85-12.
    Ed Brown has a C85-8 on his with the 0-200 crank.
    Maybe he will chime in on performance. Send me a PM
    With your e-mail and I will forward it on. I believe I have
    a Transport Canada approval in my files.
    Dave

  5. #5
    Ed Brown's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA-17 Engine swap woes

    My Vagabond is a PA-15 which was originally certified with the Lycoming 0-145. Don Swords owner of Don's Dream Machines was able to get his C-85-8 with 0-200 crank STC approved via 337 for my plane. He did a great job with the entire installation.

    As for performance, it climbs a whole lot better and cruises a little faster, but not by much. As one of the Short Wing pilots at Oshkosh told me, "You can only make a swing set go through the air so fast."

    I tried a Sensenich 72GK46 cruise prop, but finally settled on a 72GK44, which is more of a climb prop. The cruise prop only added 4% to cruise speed, but reduced climb by 18%. Running the climb prop another hundred RPM regained the loss in cruise, so that is the one I settled on.

    Here is the url for a YouTube video of my Vagabond showing take-off and climb performance.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7iLyOTdDUA

    Good luck with your project. I believe I've read that there are other Vagabond's in Canada with the C-85, so you should eventually get approval for the conversion.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: PA-17 Engine swap woes

    Joel Transport Canada will now give field approvals for the change. When I started I went through owner maintence route but before I was completed they offered a field approval route with the documentation I had. You may call evenings if you wish George Costella 306-543-0251

  7. #7
    LightFlight's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA-17 Engine swap woes

    Quote Originally Posted by d.grimm View Post
    Joel,
    I have that document. My Field Approval is for a C85-12.
    Ed Brown has a C85-8 on his with the 0-200 crank.
    Maybe he will chime in on performance. Send me a PM
    With your e-mail and I will forward it on. I believe I have
    a Transport Canada approval in my files.
    Dave
    Hi Dave,

    PM sent. Thank you very much!

    Do you know where and why this document came to be? Why would Piper publish this document if the C-85 is not an "approved" engine, via STC or a revision to the Type Cert, etc?

    Just looking at your tires in your avatar... are those bigger than the 800x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Brown View Post
    My Vagabond is a PA-15 which was originally certified with the Lycoming 0-145. Don Swords owner of Don's Dream Machines was able to get his C-85-8 with 0-200 crank STC approved via 337 for my plane. He did a great job with the entire installation.

    As for performance, it climbs a whole lot better and cruises a little faster, but not by much. As one of the Short Wing pilots at Oshkosh told me, "You can only make a swing set go through the air so fast."

    I tried a Sensenich 72GK46 cruise prop, but finally settled on a 72GK44, which is more of a climb prop. The cruise prop only added 4% to cruise speed, but reduced climb by 18%. Running the climb prop another hundred RPM regained the loss in cruise, so that is the one I settled on.

    Here is the url for a YouTube video of my Vagabond showing take-off and climb performance.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7iLyOTdDUA

    Good luck with your project. I believe I've read that there are other Vagabond's in Canada with the C-85, so you should eventually get approval for the conversion.
    That looks great!

    I don't feel the need to go forward much faster, but I would like to go up a fair bit faster! This is sounding better all the time! Thanks for the insight, and video!

    Quote Originally Posted by george costella View Post
    Joel Transport Canada will now give field approvals for the change. When I started I went through owner maintence route but before I was completed they offered a field approval route with the documentation I had. You may call evenings if you wish George Costella 306-543-0251
    Thanks George! A few people have suggested the owner maintenance route, but I have a very good friend who is an AME, and I feel much more confident having him do the work and sign it off.

  8. #8
    d.grimm's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA-17 Engine swap woes

    Joel,
    Good eye.
    25x11x4 tires. I'll send that paperwork also. I love them, higher angle attack for short TO and LDG.
    Going to start practicing for my cousins 700 ft one way strip.
    Dave

  9. #9

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    Default Re: PA-17 Engine swap woes

    I was curious about the O-200, so I ordered the FAA CD for PA-15 15-396. (I tried uploading these as attachments to the site, but they were too large.) I put them on my web server for those who would like to peruse them:

    http://squeezehead.com/flying/15-369/

    If you don't want to wait for the download, here's the short story.

    In 1971, the A&P owner installed an O-200A into his PA-15. He wrote the following letter:

    12-15-71

    FAA:

    I request that my Piper PA-15 N4663H be certificated in the Experimental Category to show compliance with the FARs following the installation of a Continental O-200A engine. The flight tests will be conducted within a 25 mile radius of East Colfax Airport. I would like the certificate to be issued for twelve months. There has been no external changes [sic] to the aircraft.

    The 337 form lists the following description of the mods:

    Aircraft fitted with Continental O-200A engine without starter and generator. Installation done I/A/W Piper Powerplant Drawing #11828 with the following exceptions:

    a) Cessna exhaust assemblies P/N's: 0450400-21 & 0450400-25

    b) Carburator [sic] air box P/N A40793.

    c) Engine cooling baffles P/N's: 4-882-R, 4-881-R, 4-879, 4-880, 3-629, 3-360, 1-3703, 1-3704-1, 1-3704-2, 1-1737, the preceeding [sic] are Champion P/N's.

    d) McCauley 1B90 CM 7144 Propeller.

    e) Cowling modified from Piper PA-16 to fit aircraft.

    5 pounds of lead ballast are required to bring the C.G. into the C.G. Range. Ballast located on tail wheel attach points and is +165.0 aft of the Datum.

    This installation is for the purpose of evaluation for approval of a S.T.C. and must be operated in the experimental catagory. [sic]

    The following placard required: Fuel Tank must be 3/4 full for take-off.

    Experimental airworthiness certificates were issued in 1972 and 1978.

    The Internet tells me that the A&P owner died in 1988 or 1989. At that time, the plane was registered by his wife. She died in 1993. I called around to the local airports and found someone who knows something about the plane and its history, and am waiting to hear back. I'll let you know what I find out.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: PA-17 Engine swap woes

    I'm not sure why my query against the FAA database a few months ago only came up with 15-369, but re-running that query today I see four results, two showing as experimental airworthiness (15-186 and 15-369), two showing as standard airworthiness (15-167 and 15-185).

    15-167 (N4382H) shows up with a short bio of the restorer and O-200 installer plus a few snapshots: http://www.recycleflyers.com/history.html

    15-186 (N4401H) was spotted at the Thomasville fly-in back in 2007: http://www.ragwing1.com/Tville/

    I'm assuming that this is old news to most everybody here, but it was exciting for me to discover these things out there on the 'net!

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