Welcome to the 801 Family Chris, for the record I am using the 8 cyl 180 HP Jabiru with a custom 3-blade Catto prop. You can check out my progress on this site, it is a lot of fun to build this airplane.
Wow that is a good deal. Will an Elderbrock intake bolt up to it. The GM heads take a special GM intake, [ports are larger] , and produce less horsepower than a stock in the lower rpm range. Have you read the three " Alternate engines" books put out by "Contact". They published a "Hot Rod" mag. section on chevy V6, showing different power curves with different heads,cams,intakes. Its a good read if your thinking of using the chevy V6. I mounted my rad. behind the landing gear on the belly for better CG. I used two a/c evaperators. This might work on a fast airplane where the air is forced thru the thick core. but on my slow 801 its gets hot. I am in the process of installing a larger alum. rad. One disavantage to belly mount rad. is that it does pick up grass clipping that you have to clean out.
psru is a belted air powe. The block and heads are case iron. the GM alum. heads put out less HP in the rpm range [3000-4500] I run in. The alum. block way to expensive for this farmboy. If you going to spend that kind of money, you just as well buy a aircraft engine. I have less than 5000$ in may psru and engine.
Its a chevy 4.3L V6. If you like flying more than building, I don't recomend this . If you think the auto engine may be better than the aircraft engine, Its not. You must be willing to give up at least 100# of your usefull load. Not all of the weight will be firewall forward if you mount the cooling system behind the C/G. Sorry I don't have a firewall forward weight, but it must be close to max. My empty weight, with 4 fuel tanks with about .7 gal. in each tank, oil, coolant, 2 batteries in tail, fire ext. and other dudads. is 1395#. Knew I should"t have put that extra coat of paint on. The weight and blance is well with the limits. Right now I am working on cooling problems. Don"t get me wrong, I"m a gearhead by trade and choice and love a challenge. I just want people to know I think it's a blast, but may be to much work for people who just want to fly. Got to go, the sky looks like it"s clearing.
We're currenly leaning towards a Belted Air Power unit, but have a line on a Northwest Aero unit that's new/never installed even though the company has been out of businees for a while... That was the unit we were going to go with until they folded... Unfortunately if we go that route we'll be on our own for support.
At least with the BAP you have an established company for support/parts... plus they are lighter than the geared drives and not that bad on price.
I wish I could afford an alum chevy racing block, but that would over double the cost of the engine... but to save 70 pounds it would be very close to an IO360 weight even with rads and water...
Still investigating but currently leaning toward the Belted Air Power unit.
Ben Haas had some trobles with his, but he's running a V8 which has a bit more power. BAP says that none of those problems should occur with a V6...
We've also been looking at the Autoflight gear drive units out of New Zealand but they have a very small offset between input and output shafts which may result in problems getting the propeller in the right spot:
PRSU home site: http://www.autoflight.co.nz/reduction/
US Distributor site: http://ramengines.com/id5.html
The autoflight unit was designed initially for Subaru engines which is why they have such a small offset. The have a universal product that would require the construction of an adaptor plate to put on any engine 300 HP or less so that's why we're looking into them.
Custom instrument panels are now available directly from Zenith Aircraft Company exclusively for Zenith builders and owners. Pre-cut panel, power distribution panel, Approach Fast Stack harnesses, Dynon and Garmin avionics, and more.
Developed specifically for Zenith builders (by a builder) these videos on DVD are a great help in building your own kit plane by providing practical hands-on construction information. Visit HomebuiltHelp.com for the latest DVD titles.