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Thread: Most cost effective HP upgrade for an O-470 engine?

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Question Most cost effective HP upgrade for an O-470 engine?

    If an Continental 0-470 engine was in need of an overhaul sometime soon anyway . . . .

    What are some cost effective power upgrades for increased performance on both land & sea?

    What is the increase in horsepower? And what is the approximate cost?

    The only one that I've heard about is the P.Ponk "Dash-Fifty", but, there could be others.

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluNosDav View Post
    If an Continental 0-470 engine was in need of an overhaul sometime soon anyway . . . .

    What are some cost effective power upgrades for increased performance on both land & sea?

    What is the increase in horsepower? And what is the approximate cost?

    The only one that I've heard about is the P.Ponk "Dash-Fifty", but, there could be others.

    Thanx, Dave.
    Not sure what you are flying, but my friend installed Wing-Xs on his '56 C-180, and the performance increase made it a different plane.
    I know thats not what you asked, but you might get to where you want to be by a different route.
    Apologies if you have already gone this route.
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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Thanx Yukon!

    That does sound like another good way to enhance performance, but, I'd still have a motor that needs to be overhauled.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    There are two routes for increasing the power of a O 470. The P Ponk conversion, which I have, and the Texas Skyways version. You end up with an aspriated O 520 in both cases. You supposedly end up with 30 to 40 more horses. It does not feel like that much. It is NOT as zippy as an injected io-520.
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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Well, an IO-520 does produce a full 300 horsepower!

    Or is there something about the fuel injection that makes it more “zippy”?
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    Injection=more HP
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    Remember to consider the effect of more HP on prop and prop choices, there can be cost involved here too.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Yes indeed, once you start down the rabbit hole, the bills add up. A LOT.
    The only cheap thing involved in aviation is the pilots.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    Injection=more HP
    Eh, not really. Injection just enables things that do produce more horsepower by giving even fuel delivery. Like higher compression pistons.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    You realize that we just said the same thing.
    Me with few characters and you with a few more.
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    Only if you completely dismiss the why.

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    So, aproximately how much does a P.Ponk or Texas Skyways conversion cost, if I provide my own O-470 almost @ TBO?

    I'm also reading a lot of references to Power Flow Exhaust systems, which may also boost overall performance . . .

    Can both enhancements be combined on the same engine during overhaul?

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    The Power Flow exhaust system is basically tuned headers for your plane. I bolted one onto a 160 horse C-172N and obtained an increase of 130-140 rpm at max throttle. It was breathing so much better I had to rebuild the carb. so it could keep up. Supposedly there is less improvement with the 180 horse Lyc engines.

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    You would need to call one of the authorized P-Ponk engine re-builders to find out what they cost THIS YEAR. http://pponk.com/engines/ Just the 3 bladed Hartzell prop on mine is about $13,000 for the prop and spinner.
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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Was looking on the P.Ponk website, as well as finding a few used aircraft with this conversion for sale on-line, and learned that P.Ponk also converts IO-520D/F engines into a O-470-50. Since the IO-520D produces 300 HP and has been used so successfully in C185's for decades . . . .

    Why would anyone want to do that conversion ???
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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Good Question;
    Maybe a partial answer. maybe..
    A. Some folks like carbureted engines for floatplane use. Particularly with students.
    B. While the injected version does offer a full 300 horses. It only does that at take-off max RPM. For a limited time. The rest of the time it is a 280-285 horse engine.
    C. The version with a carburetor eliminates a few items, like the fuel pmp / boost pump and the header tanks.
    D. There well be an issue with what can be legally installed in aircraft like some models of the C-180 / C-182 series which were originally built around a carbed engine. Maybe they started out with the improved O-470-50 and then figured out how to slide the converted IO to O 520s through the same door. There is a reason that P-Ponk never really says how much horsepower they really turn-out...

    My prop governor was mis-set on my O-470-50 because the mechanical tach was off. It turned out that after I bought the plane and used a Tru-Tach optical tach , that I was really turning 2840 rpm on take-off with a 3 blade Hartzell. So who knows how much HP I was producing on take-off. ...

    The whole converted engine deal get to be a big maze. Historically I end up buying heavily modified aircraft. I am pretty much done with that. The next plane won't have a Sears catalog of STCs. If I want 185 performance I will just buy a C-185.
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    Alex, you hit it right on the head, there is no way around it..

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    I've been wondering the same thing. My 470R has 1400 or so SMOH, but it runs fine. Unfortunately the crankshaft isn't compatible with the Ponk 520 which adds $, and the new C203 I bought is worthless for that conversion also. After talking with Steve, I would have to work with the FSDO for approval to keep the Bendix FI. For me its either buy a 520 and a new prop, or spend even more to end up with the same thing from the other builders you listed.

    There is a nice supercharger kit out for two 10k bills but doesn't help much down low.

    Or along FP's line of thinking....sell the 182 and buy a 206 or a 185.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    A friend of mine and I did some take-off and climb out comparisons yesterday between my O-520 powered PPonked late model 180j and his 185. The 185 still smokes my PPonked 180 in getting out of the water and climb out. I suspect the hp increase with the PPonked engine is not nearly as much as they claim. Maybe a good deal in the old 1950s light weight 180s, but not enough for the late models with the 185 body. At least not if you want it to act like a 185.
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    Maybe... However, dyno'd PPonks typically put out 265-270 before changing pistons and porting/flow matching.
    Switching to 8.5:1 pistons for 10-15 hp (instead of Steve's STC'd 7.5:1) and having LyCon work the cylinders for better flow characteristics for another 10 hp, + ensure your cylinders have venturi seats, will likely get you around 290HP. LyCon quotes 300-315 with all those mods, but I think that's a bit unrealistic.
    Pair it with the appropriate prop like an MT 3-blade and you will notice a big difference from stock 470 and not much difference from a 185. Yes, fuel injection gives faster response, but so does the lighter MT prop.
    I like carbs.
    A mechanic friend at Lake Hood was just this past summer espousing the virtues of fuel injection one morning, when the next plane to pull up had a clogged injector. Then a week later the mechanic was late arriving to work because a neighbor's fuel pump on his 185 had quit.
    Did I mention that I like carbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    A friend of mine and I did some take-off and climb out comparisons yesterday between my O-520 powered PPonked late model 180j and his 185. The 185 still smokes my PPonked 180 in getting out of the water and climb out. I suspect the hp increase with the PPonked engine is not nearly as much as they claim. Maybe a good deal in the old 1950s light weight 180s, but not enough for the late models with the 185 body. At least not if you want it to act like a 185.

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