Ted's Aircraft Shop
Step 3. Overhauling the Engine, page 1
Step 3.   Overhauling the Engine 

I started the engine overhaul on August 6, 2000 and was mostly finished by the End of 2003.  Most of the restoration steps overlapped in time.  When stumped on a problem or waiting for parts, I often started the next step in the process.  The engine is a Continental C-85-12F, 85 horsepower, with a takeoff rpm of 2575.  It is a horizontally-opposed four cylinder engine, 4 1/16 bore, 3 5/8 stroke, 188 cubic inches displacement.  The basic engine weight is 168.6 lbs.  It is filled with 4 quarts of oil. 


After dry assembling the fuselage and tail surfaces, in September 2000 I took the Continental C-85 to John Waltrowski to determine what could be salvaged.  After checking with a micrometer, we found that the crankshaft was not bent nor the propeller hub, a big surprise to both of us.  It turned out that the engine could be restored.  My $500 in parts was suddenly worth about $4000.  I began careful disassembly of the engine for sending out parts for inspection.  Most of the disassembly, evaluation, and packing took a year, working a little at a time.  I shipped the crankshaft, the cam shaft, the pistons, cylinders, valve train, and other parts to Columbia Aircraft Services, Inc., Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, on August 12, 2001.  It took awhile before I had enough parts back to begin reassembly.  Two years later, by October 2003, and $4562.55 later, I had a new engine, at least parts for one. 


As far as I can determine, no one makes crankshafts or cases for the old (small) Continentals anymore. If you bend a crankshaft, you have to find a surviving engine or send the bent one to the trash.  I was fortunate that my crankshaft had enough remaining metal to be ground for a new set of bearings.  I had to get a new camshaft, but Columbia Aircraft Services found one for me.  They also found me an oil sump, nearly as difficult to find as crankshafts. 

Next Page
Previous Page
Restoring a Piper Cub J-3
1.  Picking a  Project
2. Organizing and Planning
3. Overhauling the Engine
4. Assembling the Wings
5. Covering the Wings
6. Covering the Tail Surfaces
7. Repairing the Ailerons
8. Painting the Wings
9. Build Out of the Fuselage
10. Covering the Fuselage
11. Assembling and Rigging
12. Flight Testing