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Thread: looking for some franklin engine guru's

  1. #1

    Default looking for some franklin engine guru's

    looking to purchase my first plane and have been doing a lot of reading trying to educate myself the best i can (kinda dangerous, i know). i have found that i am quite partial to the stinson's and it seems as though the biggest drawback is parts availability for the franklin engines. it did seem as though there was some scuttlebutt of some companies that were trying to get off the ground (bad pun) in producing parts for the franklins; however, most of what i read were from resources that i would consider dated. i ask because i like what i have read regarding the 220 franklin conversion for the stinsons but i don't want to get myself in a bind in trying get parts.
    anyway, i appreciate any help and advice. thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Kodiak, AK


    Sent you a PM

  3. #3
    Member polardds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    My Brother in Law has a 103 with the 220 Franklin. He is now trying o fix three cracked cylinders. Apparently there were light and heavy ones?? And the wrong ones were put on his engine???? He loved the engine when it worked. Now he is looking for a 180. That should tell you how he feels about the Stinson.

  4. #4


    thanks for the feedback...been doing a bit of calling today and found some updated info (pollardds - would like to hear what ends up happening with your brother in law - and if he wouldn't mind sharing his experience with me i'd definitely appreciate it. do you think he would have felt differently if he had the O-470 in that plane instead?). it seems like getting parts isn't as doom and gloom as it may have been. one guy out of minnesota really sang praises of the 220 in the stinson but there really seems to be some troubles with the STC; i'm not all to familiar with STC's and how all that works to fully understand how that would affect things (so if anyone would mind chiming in here i would appreciate it). according to susan at franklin engines in texas, the company in poland is turning out brand new 220 engines. i don't quite know if that means they're totally brand new or how one would even go about getting one of those engines and the cost of doing so (or if it's worth it at all). i imagine the STC would still be problem with going the polish engine route. that' will probably be my next step in researching. if anyone has any experience or knowledge of the 220's coming out of poland i would appreciate it. thanks again for the help!

  5. #5


    spoke with susan again and she said the polish 220 engines are brand new (and would run around $28,000) and cannot be interchanged with american parts since the polish parts are being fabricated new. she said they've slightly changed some things to make them even better; however, she has had a hard time getting in contact with them. this has further put a dark cloud for me about this engine option again. she said if that engine was purchased i would likely not be able to get the STC for it since the person who owns the STC (in colorado) cannot be reached by anyone and that a field approval would be the best option for making it legal. does anyone know how difficult it may be to obtain a field approval when putting a new engine in a plane?
    another option would be to put an O-470 in the plane. i know polardds's likely opinion in the matter but would love to hear other's opinions in putting a 220 franklin vs an O-470 in a stinson.
    thanks and i appreciate the feedback!

  6. #6
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Kachemak Bay Alaska


    There is a guy at the Juneau FISDO who is a Franklin Engine expert of sorts. After talking to him I passed on a Franklin equipped plane.
    Particularly when the owner / seller told me how the engine had to be rebuilt at 500 hours and then proudly proclaimed that it might go another 500 or 600 since it had recently been overhauled. Which for me is two summers.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member

  7. #7


    don't like the sounds of a 500 hour tbo. think i will start looking into O-470 vs iO-360 conversion. some of what i've read is the O-470 requires a fair amount of retrofitting to get it in a stinson whereas the iO-360 is a little easier to get in. the iO-360 is about 100 lbs lighter than the O-470 but has about 20 less horse. how much would you notice the 20 fewer horse?


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