Teledyne 20-Horsepower Engine

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4-Cylinder, 4-Stroke, Just 63 Pounds

This military surplus Teledyne 4-stroke overhead-valve engine puts out 18 to 20 horsepower and weighs just 63 pounds. With a little reworking of the heads and a larger carburetor, the engine can generate more than 30 horsepower, according to David Vogel of Vogel's Electro Source. Vogel indicates parts for the engine are still readily available.

What's old is new again. For years, ultralight pilots and manufacturers have been looking for a light, reliable, economical 4-stroke engine, in the 25- to 35-horsepower range. Well, it seems the U.S. government has had one sitting on their military surplus shelves for years.

A company called Vogel's Electro Source in Milford, New Hampshire displayed the surplus engine (said to be manufactured in the early '90s) to the aviation industry recently. The little 4-cylinder 4-stroke engine has a dry empty weight of 63 pounds. The 32-cubic-inch (524-cc) displacement engines are military standard model #4A032-4. They come complete with electronic radio frequency suppression, waterproof ignition and shielded spark plugs, and put out about 18 to 20 horsepower with the standard carburetor.

"Our dyno tests have shown these stock engines to be in the 18- to 20-hp range," Vogel's Electro Source says. "We will offer affordable plans and kits to safely increase power to 40 horsepower." And although the displayed engine weighed in at 63 pounds, according to Vogel's, "further weight reduction is possible," the company claims.

But according to David Vogel of Vogel's Electro Source, with just a little reworking of the heads and a larger carburetor, the engine can reach more than 30 horsepower. When fired up on the "test stand" (two blocks of wood bolted to the bottom of the engine), the engine ran like a top. In fact, even with no rubber mounts at all and revving up to nearly 5,000 rpm, the engine didn't move.

Parts are still readily available for the engine, according to Vogel. A new head (complete) sells for $75, and you can reportedly rebuild the complete bottom end - rings, pistons and connecting rods - for $120.

The "new-in-the-crate" engines "include fuel pump, standard spin-on oil filter, full documentation and technical service manuals," Vogel's Electro Source says. The company was offering a special on the engine, including a prop hub, prop and engine accessories for $1,295. ("By the way, the government paid $2,400 [each] for these engines," Vogel's Electro Source claims.)

- Report filed by Dave Loveman

Info: Vogel's Electro Source, 121 Mount Vernon St., Dept. UF, Milford, NH 03055.
Fax: (603) 672-1762 * e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 
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