Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Contact Jon Croke at Homebuilthelp. He had one in the 750 before changing it. He knows people in the O-200 field.
if your budget allows new O-200D about 25,000 $
You don't say whether you want to buy a complete, running O-200, build one up yourself, buy a core and have someone build it for you, or.....?
Jon Croke, as Jan mentioned, is a big proponent of the O-200. If you buy his O-200 DVDs, he goes on for about (?) 10-15 mins about what a great choice it is, and why.
You might let us know why you're leaning towards an O-200 as opposed to other makes. Personally, I was going to build a Corvair for mine, but I caught a lot of flack from ignorant folks for not using an aircraft engine. (And I'll argue as strongly as WW that with the improvements made to it, it's every bit as reliable as anything out there.) As fate would have it, a decent-core O-200 presented itself to me (thanks, Don!) so I went with that. Part of the reason was cost. If you price a WW / Wesseman engine-in-a-box, it's basically the same price as doing a pretty good job on an O-200. And the O-200, if you plan on a lot of x-c's, can be worked-on by just about anyone.
If you are looking for an O-200 core, you just have to be patient. Good ones come up all the time. If you go thru a salvage yard, they frequently have the accessories removed, but they are also priced accordingly (sometimes). As luck would have it, I found mine on eBay for 4100 with ALL accessories and logbooks. One mag, the alternator, and carb was overhauled all less than 100 hrs prior to its removal. I've torn it down and have been taking my time sending the parts out for NDT and reconditioning.
If you're thinking of buying a running O-200, the kneejerk reaction is "don't". Unless you've PERSONALLY flown behind it, you know the owner, you know the maintenance and WHO maintained it, I'd say that you really really really should tear-down ANY core engine. Even so, remember that even though it runs just fine today, it could still throw a rod tomorrow. And DON'T buy an engine advertised as "freshly overhauled." You have NO idea how good an overhaul it received.
They're great engines. Take a look at the bearings, especially the front bearing - that thing is about 4.5" long - one bearing! Will run forever. Frequently exceed TBO.
Thanks for your reply, this is exactly the kind of advise/information I was looking for. Here's some of the information I should have included in my original post:
I have considered almost every engine possibility and at this point have not ruled out any of them. As far as purchasing a new engine (Rotax 912ULS or O-200D) I can't see this happening unless that last lottery ticket really pays off. Until then, I have to consider a used O-200 or an alternative such as the Corvair/Viking/AeroMomentum, etc. (The Corvair has interested me since I seen one years ago on a Pietenpol Aircamper, I still have the plans)
As far as my CH-750 goes, my tail section is complete, right wing complete/left wing almost complete. Aft fuselage is complete/forward fuselage almost ready to mate to the rear section. I just received the finishing kit so I have everything to finish from the firewall back. This all means I still have time before I have to make the decision but need to educate myself so when the time comes, I can make a knowledgeable choice.
Anyway, back to the O-200. It would be great to find a running O-200 with a fresh annual but these have thus far been non existent locally. Then again, I've just started looking around and you never know what might turn up. I am open to building one up or buying a core and having it built but this is where I get a little apprehensive. From what I have learned so far, it wouldn't be too difficult to purchase a core thinking it will take "only a little bit more" to return to airworthy condition only to find out that I would have been better off with a like new Corvair in a box.
In the end, I want a strong and reliable engine. It needs to be as economical as possible but safety has to come first. As you point out (and hadn't thought of) any engine I haven't flown behind and/or is coming from an unknown source, should be disassembled and inspected prior to installation.
Thanks again for your reply, it has helped a lot.
If you buy a high time used 0200 "over 5k hours" be aware of cracked crankshafts, Anew one costs $5K. Lee
I had mine built by a reliable A&P mechanic I knew well. He basically gave me a list of parts to find/buy. So I ended up with an engine that has either new or yellow tagged certified parts. I upgraded the compression ratio to 9.5:1 and added lightweight starter and alternator. I think Carl's route is less expensive in the long run. Get a core and have it overhauled by someone you trust. The finished empty weights of Ch 750's w O200's is not far off from other engine choices, you just have to be very careful about adding weight up front.
I'm predicting mine will be somewhere just south of $15k with new cylinders a new lightweight starter, and original alternator (current one has less than 100 hrs on it - just can't bear to throw that away. I dunno about Don's comment that mine might be a bit less than his!
A new EIB from Wessemans is right around the same price (I think - haven't checked in more than a year...). Mine basically came down to the thought that *any* FBO knows an O-200, but not too many know Corvairs. I can fix anything if at my home base, but I'll only be carrying about 25 lbs of tools on a cross country. Not knocking the 'Vairs. If my wife hadn't begged me to go with the continental, approving of any extra costs, I'd have the Corvair.
Lastly, the O-200 was one of the "original" powerplants used by Zenith, so they have a FULL firewall forward line of parts for it. You pay for it, but can save some $$$ by finding some parts on your own. At least they're available.
Lastly lastly, if you built the plane, you can build the engine. Have the parts checked / reconditioned by reputable shops, and follow the overhaul manuals readily available from anywhere. Folks think it's all black magic in there. Follow the instructions, ask here or on the FB O-200 page, and you should be OK. These engines (both) are stone-simple. I have some questions, doing mine, but nothing I can't resolve. Not knocking your abilities; everyone is different. I just happen to agree with Wm Wynn about knowing what's in my engine and how it was put together. I am not a consumer! (you have to read his stuff to get the reference!)
Check out ad that just came on Barnstormers. But heed the advice shown in earlier comments. Gives you an idea of price.
Thanks Michael. I have been watching barnstormers for a couple of months and this price seems fairly consistent for similar engines. Thanks to the great replies and advice received to my original post, I am looking at things much differently than before. I have decided that no matter what engine I choose, I want to build/rebuild myself (might enlist the help of an A&P/someone how knows more than me but...). Anyway, I really like the idea of being able to maintain my own engine and know for sure what's inside, so to speak. I have recently started reading an O-200 Overhaul Manual to get more familiar with the process and ordered the WW Corvair conversion manual. Not sure which way I'll go but look forward to the learning process.
Came across this 2014 video from HomeBuiltHelp. If the O-200 is your ultimate choice, you may wish to work with this A&P/IA. . Jon Croke is an excellent choice for engine discussion. Easy to engage by email. You may wish to consider other options based on his more recent experience. The auto-conversion market has a solid and proven record now.
The O200 is a great engine...I considered using one originally. In my case, I bought an entire Cessna 150 in order to have a "donor" engine. The entire airplane was 10,000. Additionally, I have been flying it for the last 2 years! If I use the engine, I will save some money AND know the history of the engine!
Just food for thought...