I spent a lot of time this summer determining what engine I was going to my into my RV. The one thing I knew was I wanted the 180 HP IO-360, mainly due to the price. The angle valve 200 HP IO-360 and the 210HP IO-390 was just too much money (not to mention weight) for what I wanted. My original engine choice would of been a Superior roller tappet kit with the Airflow Performance vertical fuel injection kit, 9:1 high compression pistons, dual slick mags and have the engine ported and polished. I would of had Mike Peters of KTM engines at KFDK (Frederick, MD) put it together for me to have good local support at a decent price. Here is why I chose that engine for my RV-
Fuel Injected - I didn't want to deal with Carb heat in the airplane. Plus there is overwhelming evidence fuel injection is more efficient than a carburetor.
Airflow Performance Injection - Everyone I talk to raves about this company.
Superior Engines - Other than Lycoming, they are the only engine company that offered rollet tappets which significantly reduce the wear between the cam and the connecting rod.
High Compression pistons: I think I was quoted only $123 more to go from standard 8.5:1 pistons to 9:1 high compression pistons. This would of gained me 5 HP. Also, I have heard that running high compression pistons increases the efficiency of the engine over the whole operating range. The downside is you have to run 100LL fuel and there is more force exerted on the engine, leading to a possible shorter TBO.
Slick Mags - I am intrigued by the Electronics Ignition (EI) systems out on the market now by Lightspeed (Plasma II and III) and Emagair (EMAG and PMAG's). In the end, I decided I wanted to stick with what works and is proven. I am most interested in using a PMAG to replace my secondary MAG in the future. However, I want to see a few engines make it to TBO running PMAG's before I make a choice to go. They should be a fairly simple swap out when the time comes.
Port and Polish - More HP. Supposedly porting and polishing can add up to 5 HP. However, this was super expensive at $325 per cylinder. I also heard that because of the casting process Superior uses, the intakes are very smooth already and porting and polishing doesn't increase the performance as much as an ECi engine.
So, in the end I ended up with a somewhat totally different engine than I spec'd out - A Superior XP-IO-360-B1A2 with dual Slick mags, Skytec lightweight starter, constant speed crankshaft and a Precision fuel injection system. It also doesn't have rollet tappets. So why this engine? Well, in the end, money talks and I found a great deal on this engine. A guy outside of Flint, Michigan won a Lancair FG full kit and engine at Sun and Fun in 2005. He took delivery on it in May, 2007 and wasn't planning on using the kit, so he sold it off. When I picked it up, it was brand new still in the original wrapping with all of the dehydrator plugs blue (they turn pink when they are saturated with moisture). I checked with Superior on this engine and they claimed everything was on the up-and-up with it. So after a quick 1200 mile drive in my '96 Toyota Tacoma with 213,000 miles on it (and original clutch!) I had the engine in my house.
Here my friend Mike and I are on our way up to Flint, MI. I wanted to bring someone with me to talk to and keep me awake..........
After I picked the engine up, I drove through my college campus (Kettering University). Here is the off-campus house I lived in for 3.5 years. I think I was only paying $200/month to live here.
On our way home, my passenger/navigator took another snooze.
Here we are haulin' ass across Ohio. Gotta love the flat midwest states where you can see all of the cop hiding places miles down the highway.
After 32 hours, we completed the trip and the engine was safe at home.
The engine is still in the original plastic wrapping.
Looks like some fuel lines - one goes between the pump and the fuel controller, the other goes from the fuel controller to the distribution block on top of the engine. Also there were 8 spark plugs and some other hardware.
Here is the precision fuel injection controller. This gets mounted on the bottom of the engine.
And here she is in all of her glory. I don't know why she is sitting slightly slanted. That's the way it was when I picked it up, so it's not like it moved in transit.
Top down view. Lookin' good!
Cool! I didn't know it came with a Sky Tec lightweight starter. This deal I got on the engine just keeps on getting sweeter!
Here's what I don't get - everything else on the engine is top notch, and they give me a cheapo oil filter. This will get swapped out before first start.
A view of the back of the engine - two slick mags and a pad for a vacuum pump or backup alternator.
This is slick - a metal dipstick tube.
Also the dipstick is precalibrated for the oil levels.
All of the dehydrator plugs were a healthy color.
The bottom plug hole was blocked off with a cap. This engine is really sealed up tight.
Last Modified: August 28, 2022