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Thread: Engine Options


  1. #1

    Engine Options

    I am looking into purchasing some new engines for some giant scale builds that my father and I have been doing, my question is, what brand is everyone running and why? we are running mainly zenoah and quadra right now, but as you know quadra is no longer, and personally I feel that the zenoahs are just too big for what they are. My true question is out of DA, 3W and DLE what would you run and why? I lean towards the DA and 3W because of quality and good company history (basically not a one hit wonder).

    Yes i understand this is a loaded question and may lead to a very long debate, I am asking for the opinions, not the debate.

    Just as a idea, these are going in 85-105" warbirds.

    -Seth

  2. #2

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    Any of the options you have listed are quality products. Can't go too far wrong with any of them. Don't sell the newer Zenoah's short though! Still a very good product and especially so now that they are available with a quality electronic ignition. Its really about what engine configuration fits the particular airframe.

  3. #3
    3136's Avatar
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    What do the plans suggest, warbirds often need nose weight.
    What planes are you building?
    Balsa USA brother #1
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    Mark

  4. #4
    av8tor1977's Avatar
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    The DA's, 3W's, and Zenoahs are kind of in a different league than the DLE. The DLE engines have been working pretty well for most people, but are a lower budget engine. If money were no object, I would definitely go with the first three over a DLE, for quality and support.

    Good point on the engine weight. Better to add weight with more engine than useless lead, if ballast weight is indeed needed.

    AV8TOR
    If it is not SCARY, it is NO WHERE NEAR powerful enough!!
    All R/C planes have expiration dates---> It's just not printed on them anywhere!

  5. #5
    i agree with the engine weight aspect, but the power to weight ratio of the zenoah i am just not a huge fan of, plus its a house to put into anything with a smaller cowl. I much rather put a 80/85cc in something with the same weight as the g62. Currently on the drawing board are a Ziroli 101" b25(pops) and a Top Flite gs p51(me) and two little TF p40s(joint build). next are Ziroli p40(me) and Ziroli Zero(pops).

  6. #6

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    It is difficult to say much bad about the OS line of gassers! That being said I had to change out a OS GT 33 for a DLE 55 because of weight issues. The plane simply required much to much to balance with the 33 because there was no way to put weight
    forward because of the stand offs and coweling issues. The plane came out much lighter and with much more power! (win win)
    Gizmo

  7. #7
    vertical grimmace's Avatar
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    I run Zenoah and DLE. I like the DLE engines because of the rear exhaust option. Make for a very clean front end.
    \"let\'\'\'\'s just say, they will be satisfied with less\" Ming the Merciless

  8. #8
    for those running DLE, what is reliability like? are they smooth running? (no paint shakers wanted lol) smooth casting?

  9. #9
    vertical grimmace's Avatar
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    I have a DL 50, a DLE 20, and a DLE 55. I had a DLE 30. The DL 50 and DLE 20 are my favorite engines. They are very smooth. My DLE 55 is new and only test ran, but seemed smooth as well. The DLE 30 shook big time, and I have heard this from other users as well.
    \"let\'\'\'\'s just say, they will be satisfied with less\" Ming the Merciless

  10. #10

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    All of my DLE engines including the 30 ( I have two of them) have very acceptable vibration levels. By way of comparison, the 55 seems quite a bit smoother than a G-62 and even the DA50 though not as smooth as a Taurus 52. The 30 is way smoother than a Saito 180. I have not found the 30 to be a shaker at all as others have reported. Frankly, the 30 is one of the best engines I have ever owned.

    Now if I want to shake up some paint, I'll get out my old Quadra 75!! Still a good engine though.

  11. #11

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    G62 with EI power to weight isnt much worse than any of the gas engines. Loosing that spring starter makes a big difference in weight. On a round cowl they are hard to beat. Rear carb is a pain... 3w great quality, da best warranty, zenoah best longevity, DLE cheapest..I would look real hard at the zdz 90 if i was buying new, da85 if buying used, and 3w if you can fin a NIB older one as they are insanely expensive new.

    I have 2 zdz80's. They are smoother than any big single i have ever ran,the 90 is supposed to be the same, a da 85- smooth after the updates, but down 500 rpm , A 3w 85cs.. Monster power, heavier than DA by a ~pound but $$ new, and a couple of zenoah's, always start, run well and the EI one is superb!,... My china engine sucked a bearing after one season and is in the to be repaired someday pile.. Cheap is cheap...

  12. #12
    ok, thats helping me make a decision, hypothetically speaking would you guys put a dle 85 in a $1500-2000 aircraft or a da 80? It appears as if you would not hesitate to put the DLE in am i right?

  13. #13
    vertical grimmace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2walla View Post
    G62 with EI power to weight isnt much worse than any of the gas engines. Loosing that spring starter makes a big difference in weight. On a round cowl they are hard to beat. Rear carb is a pain... 3w great quality, da best warranty, zenoah best longevity, DLE cheapest..I would look real hard at the zdz 90 if i was buying new, da85 if buying used, and 3w if you can fin a NIB older one as they are insanely expensive new.

    I have 2 zdz80's. They are smoother than any big single i have ever ran,the 90 is supposed to be the same, a da 85- smooth after the updates, but down 500 rpm , A 3w 85cs.. Monster power, heavier than DA by a ~pound but $$ new, and a couple of zenoah's, always start, run well and the EI one is superb!,... My china engine sucked a bearing after one season and is in the to be repaired someday pile.. Cheap is cheap...
    Weight is not a problem, it depends on application. For IMAC yes, for Warbird no. IMAC is the reason the zenoahs lost popularity and DA gained. Now that warbirds are popular, we want the nose weight. Speaking of which, I love my spring starters.

    Also, what is so bad about a rear carb engine? I have never had an issue with this configuration. Straight shot back for the throttle servo, and very easy solutions available for the choke. I run a cable back to my accessory hatch for the choke control.
    \"let\'\'\'\'s just say, they will be satisfied with less\" Ming the Merciless

  14. #14
    vertical grimmace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shultz21 View Post
    ok, thats helping me make a decision, hypothetically speaking would you guys put a dle 85 in a $1500-2000 aircraft or a da 80? It appears as if you would not hesitate to put the DLE in am i right?
    I would not hesitate at all. If not set up and tuned properly, any of them will deadstick. The DLE is not any more likely to fail than any of the others IMO.
    \"let\'\'\'\'s just say, they will be satisfied with less\" Ming the Merciless

  15. #15

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    If you arent going to miss any meals, buy the DA... For 140 more than the dle 85 you can get a zdz90 from AMR. The zdz is world class quality, the dle is above average china quality.

  16. #16
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    I have owned 3W, DA, D&B , ZDZ and I have a Spanish EVO 150 that I haven't run yet. Out of all of those I liked the DLE the least. The 55 I had was a real shaker, I tried for months to get it to smoothen out. Different needle settings, timing. I ended up using the spinner backplate as a counterbalance and that helped the most. In comparison my DA 50 ran much smoother.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by vertical grimmace View Post
    Weight is not a problem, it depends on application. For IMAC yes, for Warbird no. IMAC is the reason the zenoahs lost popularity and DA gained. Now that warbirds are popular, we want the nose weight. Speaking of which, I love my spring starters.

    Also, what is so bad about a rear carb engine? I have never had an issue with this configuration. Straight shot back for the throttle servo, and very easy solutions available for the choke. I run a cable back to my accessory hatch for the choke control.
    People bash the zenoahs for being heavy. When you go EI vice the spring starter and heavy mount, they are right in line with most other engines power to weight wise.. In a 18lb plane all up they will 3d with anything else.

    How many rear carb installations do you have flying and have to maintain? Not talking about working the choke..Depending on the plane the rear carb is a pain for access,for maintenance and adjustments. On my pitts, the carb on the 85 is behind the firewall and a pain to reach the needles, on my spitfire, pain to get too again as it is behind the firewall. Anything with a round cowl where you can fit a side carb without cutting a hole, a side carb my first choice... And its nice to be able to shoot a shot of gasoline in a side carb engine to prime it without having to wear your arm out flipping it in the springtime when they come out of storage.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie View Post
    I have owned 3W, DA, D&B , ZDZ and I have a Spanish EVO 150 that I haven't run yet. Out of all of those I liked the DLE the least. The 55 I had was a real shaker, I tried for months to get it to smoothen out. Different needle settings, timing. I ended up using the spinner backplate as a counterbalance and that helped the most. In comparison my DA 50 ran much smoother.
    Interesting ....... my DLE55 is much smoother than any DA50 I have had my hands on.

  19. #19

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    For those planes I would go with the Zenoahs. They are the smoothest running. If your needing a rear carb, rear exhaust then the 3W and DA's.
    The zenoahs are the easiest to tune and very, very dependable

  20. #20
    So I am gathering some mixed reviews about the DLEs and DAs. Kind of a opinionated question, but do you think DLE lists all the parts for their engines because they know they will need replaced? For example, I don't see DA or 3W or ZDZ listing parts for their engines, but for DLE you could build one if you wanted because all their parts are on the market and advertised. Also, not that I hate Zenoah, its just they are so damn bulky and make it annoying to try to squeeze in an engine, when there are other slimmer engines with more power that I could use. One thing that I do like about the DA is the mounting tabs are not "ears" they are part of the case which gives me a slight sense of relief. These mixed reviews have me just as confused, but have me leaning. Getting lost in thought!!!! haha i hate this part.

    Also, 2walla, i think that might be some false advertising, the ZDZ 90 runs the same price as the ZDZ 56? that makes no sense to me???

  21. #21

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    It is certainly possible to get a bad engine from anyone. The question is who will stand behind it? DLE has stood up and is being counted now. I fly with two different groups of folks and have noticed how DLE has grown by leaps and bounds. One field used to be Zenoah, DA, 3W, etc. and now DLEs are everywhere and have proven themselves worthy. Support for DLEs is good too (That is you need to buy from a reputable supplier) and no more shaking than any other engine.

    Usually if an engine has an excessive amount of vibration there are things that need checking. There are many things that can cause vibration issues. One thing I notice is that folks don't compare them on the same airframe. How do you know you are getting excessive vibrations if you don't compare apples to apples? I had one DLE 30cc that always seemed like it vibrated more than the rest of my engines. Come to find out it was play in the elevator tube assembly. I tightened that up and the whole plane was smooth as can be. Often times vibration is mis-diagnosed because of sound. It my case it created excessive sound that made me think the engine vibrated more than the rest.

    There are many culprits to engine vibration. An example would be the run-out on the crankshaft. There could be problems with the crank assembly, the piston, etc. If it were me and I found any of these issues excessive or unacceptable the engine would go back for replacement.

    I got rid of all my other engines and run DLE now. If you are frugal you can almost get two DLEs for the price of a single "big name" engine and in my eyes that is the roadmap to getting another plane in the air. The cost is good and the durability is good for my type of flying. Most of the issues I have had have been very small.

    It is important to note that there may be a difference if you are flying every day all day long and putting thousands of hours on the engine. The DLE may not have what it takes for that. I cannot vouch for that type of flying, yet for me being a strong weekend warrior I think they are fantastic bang for the buck and I do put them to the test! I have 2 DLE 55s (NIB), 1 DLE 55RA (NIB), 1 DL 50 (durable workhorse), 3 DLE 30s (fantastic engines), and 1 DLE 20 (very powerful little engine). Good luck with whatever you buy.

    Side note: I have also heard some news about the AGM engines, yet I did see a video on YouTube that was rather disturbing and would certainly be note worthy. A fellow did a run-out test on a new AGM engine crank and it was horrible! If you start out with an engine with bad run-out you are heading for premature engine failure at some point as that additional strain on the bearings and the entire engine.

  22. #22
    Lifer's Avatar
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    Does anybody have any experience with the 55RA muffler? Early reports had it shaking itself apart. Has it been rectified?
    AMA #77967/CD/LM

  23. #23
    speedracerntrixie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truckracer View Post
    Interesting ....... my DLE55 is much smoother than any DA50 I have had my hands on.
    I have no doubts that yours ran smoothly, I'm just going to chalk it up to manufacturing inconsistencies. I would have tried swapping out the rotating assembly if I had kept the airplane. In the end I decided I wanted to get back into a 150cc bird.

    Shultz, that is an easy question. First DA has never put a lot of effort into their website secondly, they prefer to service the engines themselves rather then the end user. In the couple times I have had to send in an engine to DA there were no labor charges to repair my engines. The will sell you any part you may need though.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by shultz21 View Post
    Also, 2walla, i think that might be some false advertising, the ZDZ 90 runs the same price as the ZDZ 56? that makes no sense to me???
    i dont know how they tier the pricing. I doubt they cost $5 different to produce. The 56 is a newer release and most likely the exchange rate when the container arrived has something to do with it. Send them the money and they will send you one...
    Last edited by 2walla; 02-19-2014 at 07:57 AM.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lifer View Post
    Does anybody have any experience with the 55RA muffler? Early reports had it shaking itself apart. Has it been rectified?
    I did read that somewhere, but have no experience with it. I am curious about that as well since I have a new 55RA in the box. I plan to pull the muffler and see if I see any weaknesses in manufacturing.


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