First Look: ECi Cylinders

Time for another Friday report, Debonair fans!

This week saw the six new ECi cylinders delivered to Genesis Engines by D’Shannon, and the disassembly of the entire original engine. ECi’s account manager, Jim Ball (“JB”) explains that the new cylinders have dome-shaped combustion chambers, whereas the old cylinders have comparatively flat combustion chamber domes. This promotes the more efficient movement of the fuel/air mixture into the chamber, and the exhaust movement out. Here is a shot that shows one of the old, -K engine cylinder assemblies next to the new ECi cylinders:

Out with the old (left) and in with the new (right) cylinders

Out with the old (left) and in with the new (right) cylinders

Here’s another shot that shows the differences in the shapes of the combustion chamber domes. Notice the new valves in the -N cylinder head:

The -N cylinder head (right) is deeper than its predecessor. It's all shiny-new, too!

The -N cylinder head (right) is a tad deeper than its predecessor. It’s all shiny-new, too! The assemblies come with matching pistons (foreground). Notice how the -N cylinder’s valve seats are set at an angle; the -K valves are installed in a parallel arrangement.

Genesis is also providing new accessory-, oil pump-, and magneto drive gears:

Oil pump gears, old (left) and new. Notice the wear around the base of the old shaft.

Magneto drive gears, old (left) and new. Notice the wear around the base of the old shaft.

The crankcase for the -N engine is beefier than the old -K engine’s. It’s often called the “heavy case,” an example of which is shown below. How can you tell that it’s a heavy case?  Notice the “bumps” that surround the bolt holes along the top of the case in this shot of one half of the case assembly. The -K engine crankcases have flat-topped case halves:

The new, stronger crankcase. It's painted blue to match one of the paint scheme's color elements. In front of the case is a sample of one of the -N engine's exhaust stacks (the shiny one), which come with four holes to fit over the new engine's four mounting studs. Compare that to the -K engine's two-stud arrangement. Again, all of this makes for more strength to handle the extra horsepower.

An example of a “heavy case.” In front of the case is a sample of one of the -N engine’s exhaust stacks (the shiny one), which come with four holes to fit over the new engine’s four mounting studs. Compare that to the -K engine’s two-stud arrangement. Again, all of this makes for more strength to handle the extra horsepower and  provide extra durability.

What was discovered when the old engine was disassembled? There were signs of wear on the crankcase bearings, John Clegg said. “I don’t think it would have made it to TBO,” he added. So that’s confirmation enough for us: we made a good decision to go with an upgraded engine.

As always, stay tuned for more news as it happens. I’ll be away next week, but I’m betting that when I return, and as we close in on the end of February, this replacement engine will be well on its way to completion. We still have to obtain a new oil cooler, so that’s just one of the items on the punch list. Genesis won’t re-use the oil coolers of any engine that has experienced elevated levels of contaminants in the oil. The contaminants remain trapped in the old oil cooler, and would simply recirculate into the oil of the new engine.

12 Responses to “First Look: ECi Cylinders”

  1. Scott Woodland says:

    Thanks for continuing to share this information on the engine. Regardless of bringing this plane home (fingers crossed) this is just great information to have. Love learning new things.

  2. Lance says:

    I am so ready for this girl to come home to Papa!!! Would you guys mind throwing a dynamic balance on her prop after break-in so I’ll have the smoothest Debbie in the sky?

  3. tony says:

    that is amazing. great engine

  4. t hunt says:

    ready to fly this plane home

  5. tony says:

    my dream plane

  6. Steven Koeppel says:

    The oil sampling from Blackstone indicated pending problems. I’m just glad someone finally decided to tear down the engine before something really bad occurred.

  7. James Morton says:

    Did the prop also get a complete teardown and flushing to remove any contaminates that might have been trapped in it as the oil is common to both prop and engine. Sure hope this hasn’t been overlooked. Also the Governor needs a good flushing for the same reasons. I am sure the engine shop knows these things but as no mention of any of this has yet been made I have to wonder.

  8. Bill Emde says:

    The items pictured in front of case half are intakes tubes, not exhaust. How do you publish that kind of mistake?

  9. Bob Stone says:

    Would like to see pictures of the old camshaft and lifters contrasted to the new ones.

  10. 724960 says:

    Thanks for showing the nitty-gritty – without the powerplant, flight options are few!

  11. Phil says:

    Hey, does that thing got a hemi ?

    • S Erik A says:

      Phil I would bet that a Hemi and the cooling system would be costly in weight and would cause a lot of form DRAG. I would put in a Turboprop. A jet engine driving a Prop. A lot of Horsepower low weight and low drag! The biggest negative is that jet engines are thirsty.

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