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Thread: IO-470 for C180

  1. #1
    texmex's Avatar
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    IO-470 for C180

    Hi all. The wife and kids are at the movies and I'm left at home serching the dark side of the web with a red. (SuperCub.org and Shiraz)

    I'm wondering if anyone has done an IO-470 conversion on a C180? I've currently got an O-470-R long in the tooth and needing a little work in a C180J.

    I'm thinking I don't need the power nor expense of a Pplonk upgrade.

    In all probability I'll just take it to a mate who use to re-build aircraft engines for a living and change the crook pot and run it for a few more years. Althought the engine was last overhauled, or new (not sure) 32 years ago so I'm wondering whether that's wise.

    Back to the question, has anyone had experience putting an IO-470 into a C180.

    Cheers,
    Texmex.

  2. #2

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    At first thought it seems like a lot of work for not much gain. There are lots of IO520's out there on 180's (like mine) so there might be an STC floating around for adding fuel injecteion to one or for converting to a later model engine with it. I seem to recall seeing one one when I was shopping 6 years ago but I keep going back to why other than you can burn less fuel with good engine monitoring and carb ice issues get swapped for alt. Air.

    At one time there was a list of all the STC's available posted on the skywagon site, always meant to print that...
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 08-12-2017 at 06:16 AM.
    "Don't feed the hipsters"

  3. #3
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    No experience doing the install, however I believe that there is an STC for it and also that you can convert your 0-470 to an I0-470. Like OLDCROW says the carb ice problem disappears.
    N1PA

  4. #4

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    A factory IO-470 uses higher compression cylinders and the typical Continental FI that requires a fuel return line and accumulator tank plumbing. The plumbing is what keeps more IO-520s from being used. The PPonk offers most of the advantages without plumbing issues. Much easier when just doing an engine change. Some guys add Bendix injection to 470s and O-520s (no return line or header tank) but without the high compression and faster redline the FI alone doesn't increase power output.
    Thanks texmex thanked for this post

  5. #5

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    There are a couple guys that have installed Bendix fuel injection systems on 180s via field approval. I thinks it's a better system than the Continental and doesn't require header tanks.

  6. #6

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    Does anyone know if Bendix FI has been done on a 180 recently? I've heard there is no way to get it approved anymore.

  7. #7

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    There is an STC from Norland to put a carbureted IO-470 (higher compression ratio than O-470) in the 180. Paperwork was about $2200 I think. They claim 260hp.

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    The reason the 180 market has overwhelmingly chosen the PPonk power upgrade is simple. It provides the best bang-buck ratio. If you're overhauling a tired motor from a J model? You'll need a crank and will need to get the the case milled for TSIO 520 cylinders. Most guys get cases milled and buy new cylinders anyway. That's a pretty short shopping list for adding 45 Hp. Marry the right prop to that? Huge improvement. Undeniable improvement. There's nothing wrong with a good 470 but a 520 is better. Do what your budget allows but if you can afford more power and a better prop? You'll never look back.
    Likes Dave Calkins, Fat Kid, JohnnyR liked this post

  9. #9
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    I put an IO470F (early 185 engine, Continental injection) in a '54 C180 with a return line T 'ed into the crossover vent line. no header tank. i had to get an AMOC (alternate means of compliance) since the crossover vent on the early 180's have an AD on the original vent.

    The airplane ripped along nicely

    It was a field approval that took forever. airplane is based at BigLake now. Richard Walker from Palmer finally got the FA. My DER and his Fed had me switching this and that and the next thing for months, and the plane was outta commission for more than a year with all the piecemeal changes they piled onto the project. Disgusting!!!!!!!!!

    I am likely ro do a Pponk when the time comes for my upgrade

    There was a Bendix injected P ponk that had the big pistons put back in by field approval about 7 years ago and it ripped. absolutely the rippinest 180 I have seen. Too bad the owner removed it from the gene pool. it was the second time he crashed it and the last time his wife " allowed" him to own an airplane. White, with black and red, 1954. based at Hood. some of you may remember this plane climbing out and accelerating from Hood strip. Impressive!!!
    Likes stewartb liked this post

  10. #10

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    Pretty sure someone on this site has a Pponked and Bendix FI 180. I'd love to do the same if there is any way to get it approved.

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    I've had a couple of opportunities to add Bendix to mine. I don't have icing problems so there was no benefit to justify the expense. I'm sure Dave C. knows about Bendix installs in Anchorage. They aren't uncommon.

  12. #12
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Texas Skyways also offers (or did) upgraded power plants, and had higher TBO's.

    Some like fuel injected, I am not sold that it is that much better unless you are flying really cold, (-25-30).

    The Pponk and Texas Skyway intall should be mostly unbolt, bolt. Fuel injected not so much.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Texas Skyways also offers (or did) upgraded power plants, and had higher TBO's.

    Some like fuel injected, I am not sold that it is that much better unless you are flying really cold, (-25-30).

    The Pponk and Texas Skyway intall should be mostly unbolt, bolt. Fuel injected not so much.
    And there is AirPlanes Conversions for those of us who really like how smooth a (GAMI) fuel injectected engine runs.
    "Don't feed the hipsters"

  14. #14
    aktango58's Avatar
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    I did not know about the Airplane's one.

    Or you could upgrade to a 185 and have rudder trim!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  15. #15

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    Kirby-How much did you spend on the Air Plains conversion? Did you do a prop at the same time? What engine-prop did you have before the upgrade? How many hours on it?

    Tango-my 180 has rudder trim.

  16. #16
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Or you could upgrade to a 185 and have rudder trim!
    All of my 180s had rudder trim. It was an option.
    N1PA

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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Kirby-How much did you spend on the Air Plains conversion? Did you do a prop at the same time? What engine-prop did you have before the upgrade? How many hours on it?

    Tango-my 180 has rudder trim.
    The previous owner had it installed 10 years ago with a really nice Barrett built 520 with GAMI injectors plus a new Mac 3x88 prop. In the file he totaled it all up and it was $52,000 out the door including a new engine mount, the STC and labor but that doesn't give credit for what he sold the old engine and prop for.

    That price also also included a new JPI engine monitor and a digital tach.

    And yes rudder trim here too.
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 08-15-2017 at 07:52 PM. Reason: More stuff
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  18. #18

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    To compare, my Pponk parts added $8K (case mods, new cylinders) to the overhaul cost and the new prop was $12K. The STC was on top of that. I'm sure prices have gone up since then but the same is true of your example.

    Do you think the guy you bought from got a good return on his investment? I think the Air Plains upgrade is great but I couldn't make it pencil out when I was the one writing the check. No criticism intended. It's better to but the modified airplane than to buy an airplane and modify it. Of course the current Cub project makes a 180 engine look cheap so I should probably stop doing any math regarding airplanes!
    Last edited by stewartb; 08-15-2017 at 11:47 AM.

  19. #19
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    I am not impressed with what you get from Airplanes for the money.

    It works great. It is awesome! but to pay that much (over 9K USD 5 years ago) for an STC and drawings and a couple of cheaply fabricated parts seems spendy to me.

    The conversion works well, for certain! my pockets simply are not deep enough to justify

  20. #20
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Texas Skyways also offers (or did) upgraded power plants, and had higher TBO's.

    Some like fuel injected, I am not sold that it is that much better unless you are flying really cold, (-25-30).

    The Pponk and Texas Skyway intall should be mostly unbolt, bolt. Fuel injected not so much.
    Texas Skyways gets my vote. I purchased my IO-550 and prop upgrade from them for my 185. They are tremendous people to deal with and the price was very right.
    N1PA

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    Pponk can use an 0-470 or IO-520 to build their 0-470-50. Texas Skyways only uses IO-520s. Which one you choose usually depends on what you start with. Most guys start with an 0-470.

  22. #22

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    When shopping, I figured the upgrade was worth around 20K extra at mid time so he flew it hopped up for 5 years for say 30 but it had a run out engine and prop previously so I think he came out even to a tad bit ahead. He hadn't planned to sell when he did it but but made a choice to jump to light sport.

    The one thing I know is I wouldn't have a late model (comfy with lots of fuel) 180/5 without a big engine... ran to Waco today and most of the way back making 147 knots true at 85-9500 burning 12.5 gph and I got out of the Texas heat with ease at 1200-1500 fpm. As for the 550's the're strong for sure but they do burn the fuel and the two I have squared off with can't pull me in the climb or straight and level and I walked off from one in Idaho in an equal weight 185 with Dr. Randy aboard as my whiteness.
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 08-15-2017 at 08:17 PM.
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  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    ... If you're overhauling a tired motor from a J model? You'll need a crank and will need to get the the case milled for TSIO 520 cylinders.
    Sadly, I looked for a plane with an O-470-R, thinking it was a decent engine that could run auto fuel. Had I known that it would require an $8K crank upgrade to PPonk, I may have gone a different route Hindsight is 20/20!

    If TexMex wants to run auto fuel in a PPonk O-470-50 "with approval" (7.5 pistons), then that's another issue as well. Don't know what his situation is insofar as fuel in his area way down south in Oz.

    If I follow Stewart's accounting, $8K for a crank, another $8K for cylinders and milling = about $16K additional on top of an overhaul on an O470-R engine. That's getting up there, but I myself will probably do it b/c of high DA, short strips, etc. where we sometimes fly.

    Props w/PPonk: MT recently got STC's to mate their props to Steve's engines, so that's a big plus in my book. We just put the 2-blade MT prop on our 180 and oh, what a difference from the 3-blade Mac that was on there previously.

    Sorry for the thread drift!

    J

  24. #24
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BTV View Post
    Pretty sure someone on this site has a Pponked and Bendix FI 180. I'd love to do the same if there is any way to get it approved.

    years ago(same plane, engine in 1994, FI in ???), but in 2 stages... engine then later Bendix FI, by Field approval using abandoned STC...

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyR View Post

    Props w/PPonk: MT recently got STC's to mate their props to Steve's engines, so that's a big plus in my book. We just put the 2-blade MT prop on our 180 and oh, what a difference from the 3-blade Mac that was on there previously.

    Sorry for the thread drift!

    J
    Just curious, what difference are you talking about? Performance? Takeoff, climb, cruise? Smoothness? Also did you get an MT with the nickle leading edge? I thought I saw something somewhere about them offering that now... Which McCauley prop did you have?

  26. #26
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Texas Skyways gets my vote. I purchased my IO-550 and prop upgrade from them for my 185. They are tremendous people to deal with and the price was very right.
    20 years or so ago they offered a 470 model with 2500 hour TBO. Was a great engine.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak49flyer View Post
    Just curious, what difference are you talking about? Performance? Takeoff, climb, cruise? Smoothness? Also did you get an MT with the nickle leading edge? I thought I saw something somewhere about them offering that now... Which McCauley prop did you have?
    Short 3-blade McCauley D3A36C435/80Vea-0 prop. See below.
    32 lbs off the nose. Don't know why that prop set was ever on the 180. Seems to me I recall those primarily being 210 props.

    Anyhow, tail comes up faster, departs shorter (how much, I don't know exactly, but I don't pass as much stuff on the side of the strip when departing), is definitely quieter and smoother across the entire RPM range, even in the old 3-blader's "sweet spot."

    There is a slight, higher frequency vibration that I don't remember having before, but it may be that there were so many other layers of vibration I simply didn't notice it. I intend to have it balanced at annual in September, so that may go away.


    Picked up 2-3 knots in cruise, which was nice because that counters out the ~2 knots loss in cruise our cargo pod tolled.
    Climbs better, too. I was getting 300-400 fpm from 9 to 10,000 climbing out of Oshkosh a few weeks ago. To my recollection, the old prop would not have done that, as the plane had been pretty anemic at altitude.

    I don't know if there would be any improvement over a 2-blade 88" except in cruise, but it sure is quieter.

    The blades on the MT are fat and are airfoils almost all the way to the hub, unlike the old props.
    Yes, nickel edge. We see considerable gravel, so will report on how the edges/prop blades handle it.
    J

    Equipment removed:
    McCauleypropeller and spinner 77 pounds @-40.2”


    Equipmentinstalled:
    MTMTV-15-D/210-58 Propeller & spinner
    45pounds @ -40.2”
    Last edited by JohnnyR; 08-17-2017 at 09:39 AM. Reason: more info

  28. #28
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    keep us posted on the gravel performance of the MT

    to compare it to a 401 hub McCauley with 86" blades would be interesting. those are workhorse props that do everything well except they weigh something

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