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I am considering installing a new Jabiru 3300 Gen 4 in a CH650. Any experience you can share regarding the Jabiru 3300 Gen 4 is greatly appreciated. Your thoughts on this engine vs. a UL Power 350 iS is also appreciated.
I guess my real concern is the reliability of this Jabiru 3300 Gen 4. It has been for sale since ~2019. So, there must be some Zenith pilots flying behind this engine.
I have zero personal experience with the Gen 4 3300 (my 745 hr engine was built in the transition from Gen 2 to Gen 3 and has some, but not all of the Gen 3 upgrades), but I follow the Jabiru/Camit Engine Forum on groups.io and here is a typical comment (C to F temp conversions added by me):
I replaced a Gen 3 hydraulic lifter engine with a Gen 4 no 2862 in October 2019. It has done 230 hours.
It is almost a different engine. No SB’s or SL’s. Servicing is more about look and check rather than unbolt. Excellent compressions and easy start. No problem with hot starts. Oil consumption is low, but should still be changed every 25 hours. Cooling is stable and within limits. Hottest temp seen on a hot day (for the UK) is 175 deg C (347 F) on climb out. EGT’s are on the low side at 620 deg C (1148 F) with a fuel burn of about 20 – 24 litres per hour (5.3 - 6.3 gal) at 2800 – 2850 revs and 110 – 115 indicated airspeed in clear air and level flight. Oil temp is usually at or just below 80 deg C (176 F).
Dull but that is how I like aircraft engines.
Peter Knight G-PHYZ J430
This is in a Jabiru J430 airframe, so it's an apples-oranges comparison to a CH650, but I posted it primarily because it seems to echo most of the random comments I've picked-up about the Gen 4 experience so far.
For those who don't know, the Gen 4 is constructed mainly from cast and machined aluminum parts rather than virtually all CNC'd billet aluminum the previous generations had. Probably the most significant difference is that the cylinders and heads are screwed together similar to conventional Lycoming and Continental construction rather than using head bolts. This eliminates the torque checks of the head bolts, simplifying maintenance checks. Also significant is that the cylinders are now all-aluminum with a Nikasil coating rather than steel liners. As I understand it, this allows tighter tolerances as the piston and cylinder expansion rates are closer, resulting in less oil consumption. I also understand the exhaust valves are rated for higher temps. A new development I just heard about on the groups.io forum is that Jabiru just switched to a Mikuni 38mm CV carb as the Bing 94 is no longer in production.
I chose the Jabiru because it was less expensive and easier to install as an air cooled carbureted engine. No water cooling system, high pressure fuel, or fuel return required. I have almost 80 hours on the engine in the very slow high drag CH750 STOL and it has performed very well with no cooling issues. The original Gen 1, 2 and 3 engines had a different cylinder that seemed to have more challenges with keeping the cylinder head temperatures down, but my generation 4 has never come close to high CHT issues even when flown in 90°F weather. Time will tell, but I have no regrets with this engine choice so far. The Firewall forward kit from Arion Aircraft was complete and of good quality and the available installation instructions (photo guides and video) are excellent.
Glad to hear your experience so far, John B! If the reports keep coming-in like this and if I am still healthy and flying when I hit 1000 hrs on my 3300, I will likely seriously consider just swapping out for a Gen 4 rather than doing the top-end overhaul on my Gen 2/3!
Thanks for the inputs!! Great info!!
Just finished a trip to the Zenith Factory for the homecoming. Round Trip 8.5 hours 626 nautical miles. Used about 12 ounces of oil most of which seems to be in the breather catch can. Still running good with 95 hours total time.