Here is a side view of the engine. Note the stock intake manifold which is bulky and quite heavy. I expect to replace this with a custom built intake.
This is the current front view of the engine but will become the rear when installed in the aircraft.
Since the beginning of my project I have considered using an automotive engine as my powerplant. The primary factor comes down to simple economics: lower acquisition costs, lower maintenance costs, and lower fuel costs. I feel that today's automotive engines are at least equal to, if not more reliable than our current crop of air-cooled aircraft engines. Newer technology, liquid cooling, tighter tolerances, etc. all play a role in this dependability.
However, at the same time I recognize that automotive engines were designed for automobiles, not aircraft and as such, I feel it is not prudent to simply assume one can bolt the engine onto an aircraft and go fly. A lot of research and testing must take place to ensure the automotive engine will perform properly throughout the various flight envelopes. Fortunately, a great deal of this research and testing has already been performed and I only need to tap into that knowledge base.
I have chosen to use a Subaru EG33 engine for two reasons: the price was right and this engine has been successfully used many times in an aircraft application, to include a Bearhawk.
I obtained the engine from a friend of mine in trade... the engine in exchange for helping him finish his kit-built Bearhawk. I do believe I got the better part of that deal; an engine and the chance to tinker on a Bearhawk!
Because I live in Arizona and must contend with days that are slightly warmer than what is experienced throughout the rest of the country, I am seriously considering installing a turbo onto the engine to offset the density altitude issues that arise on these warmer days. I also intend to completely overhaul the engine to a like-new condition.