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  1. #1
    Reverend's Avatar
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    FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    Before KMOT's great thread on the fs400ar goes completely into the Saito 450 direction I would like to open a new thread to concentrate all the infos that Carousel43 and myself will be gathering while we search for the lost RPM's a lot of people are experiencing with their Saito FA-450 R3 Radials.

    I know there are at least two threads with good tips on how to tune the saito and I have tried them all. Setting the low speed first with litten plugs, check clearance, etc...

    Mine is currently turning a 22x10 Menz Wood @ 5750 RPM. Thats about 3,1 bhp and that is simply not enough. Every 300 twin does better.

    We are testing @ 2.000ft, temp is about 77Β°F and humidity is 40%.

    I usually run straight fuel (0%) but for the last tests on the film I tried 5% and 18% Oil (Molsynth 150k). I am not a friend of nitro-fests. Apart from it being very expensive here in europe, it pulls water into the engine and promotes corrosion.

    Heres a film of the run. The fan behind the prop is the scale fan for the FW-190 the engine is destined for. The fan slightly affects rpm on a G45 by -50rpm so that can not be the big problem.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYTogArP5pQ[/youtube]

    I am lacking mufler pressure in the video and that is definitely a mistake.

    Next try will be:

    - w/o the fan
    - with the straight pipes
    - pressure connected

    Electronic Ignition is NOT an option and a conversion is not the aim of this thread. We are looking to get the best out of the saito running it stock.

    At the moment my Radial and I are living up to the Top Gear maxim "ambitious but rubbish". Lets see if we can change that.
    If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you.

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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    Ok first run of the day was a quick one to warm her up and get her wet inside(oh err ). after that i let the engine cool down and about an hour later ran again. This was the best run i have ever had with the engine and was very pleased with the performance. Details below:

    Prop - Menz 22x8
    Fuel - 5% nitro 15% synth oil 2% castor oil (20oz tank depleted in approx 10 min run. Mostly at high power. Needle at 2 3/4 turns)
    Plugs - Saito SS (as supplied with engine)
    Muffler - Stock headers
    Max rpm - 7050 (peak), 6950 (cont)
    Idle rpm - 1500

    Thrust - 14.4kg (31lbs)
    HP - 4.4

    Today is approx 18'c (67'f) 80% humidity and 1024mb.

    When tuning the engine it takes a very long time to react to needle changes, it can take upto 15 seconds for the rpm to stabilise after a needle change of one click! i did use exhaust pressure and the tank was higher than the carb CL.

    More props to follow.

  3. #3
    Sport_Pilot's Avatar
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    Apart from it being very expensive here in europe, it pulls water into the engine and promotes corrosion.
    Nitro is only mincible with water up to 2%, but methanol is 100% mincible. Nitro has low acidity, about the same as methanol. Even when burning the supposed nitric acid is neturalized by the methanol combustion products. Iwould not worry about corrosion from nitro in percentages less than 50%. Iused to use 25% to 35% constantly with no difference in corrosion from methanol. Just run it dry at the end of the day.
    Glow Head Brotherhood #15

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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    I use 5% nitro in everything. there is no need for more unless you are flying a helicopter or running a nitro car. In aircraft, especially 4 strokes you are better off with low nitro.

    In anycase, the 450 has been in action all day and it seems the 22x8 is the best prop. The 21x8 ran faster at 72-7300rpm but the engine would not hold rpm and was not easy to tune. the 22x10 only came upto 6300 with a peak of 6500 that i never could get back. so, long story short the 22x8 seems the best bet at the moment

  5. #5
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    ORIGINAL: Reverend

    I usually run straight fuel (0%) but for the last tests on the film I tried 5% and 18% Oil (Molsynth 150k). I am not a friend of nitro-fests. Apart from it being very expensive here in europe, it pulls water into the engine and promotes corrosion.
    Bumping up to 15% usually gives the single cylinder Saitos another 600 rpm. Nitro does not pull water into the fuel, that's the methanol. Some people fear nitro because they don't understand glow fuel components. I bet that engine would run much better on 10%. Anyway, if you are shy about using nitro because of corrosion, use a little castor for protection. Those special synthetics probably offer no protection against rust. Use something for an after run oil.


    ORIGINAL: Carosel43

    I use 5% nitro in everything. there is no need for more unless you are flying a helicopter or running a nitro car. In aircraft, especially 4 strokes you are better off with low nitro.
    How is less nitro better for 4 strokes?
    The ultimate responsibility of pilots is to fulfill the dreams of the countless millions who can only stare skyward...and wish.

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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    High nitro causes detonation on all engines, 4 strokes in particular

  7. #7
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's


    ORIGINAL: Carosel43

    High nitro causes detonation on all engines, 4 strokes in particular

    Only if the CR is too high for the nitro%.

    Both of your engines run as if the timing is retarded. (if they indeed ran EI, I know neither of you run EI, but bear W/me) You both seem to get exceptionally good low RPM performnce & poor high RPM output as would be the case W/a retarded EI timing event.

    Low nitro content might have a similar affect on GI when a low (for nitro content) CR is coupled W/low nitro content. If higher nitro CAN lead to detonation if the CR was too high, perhaps a higher nitro content would have the same affect in a GI engine as advancing the timing in an engine W/EI.

    You might sacrifice those 800-900 RPM idles W/O glow drivers, but then again, you might gain on the top end.

    I have always run 15% glow fuel in both GI & EI Saitos & have always seemed to be able to get factory spec'ed HP or a little better.
    Club Saito #785 - FA91S, FA150, FA180, FA180HC/BBC, FA200TI, FA300TTDP: All with CH Ignitions CDI/Glow fuel
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  8. #8
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's



    I suspect timing also but this is not EI but glow plug ignition. With low nitro you usuially want a hotter plug to make up for the retarded ignition without nitro. Another timing issue is cam timing. The cam could be off by a tooth. A combination of cam timing, ignition timing, and lower powered fuel could easily cause the engine to run this poorly.

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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    With low nitro you tend you have higher CHT and so you may want a cooler plug. in any case, debates about nitro are irrelivant as im using 5% and im not going to change. Also, even with 15% people are not getting performance that much different from us. Also any rpm readings gained from an engine running spark are of little use as we are discussing the engine as stock and EI will give better ignition timing than a glow plug. Also with a glass prop i can idle the 450 at 900, with a wooden prop its about 13-1500. but anything lower than 1700 is just nice, it makes no difference to real world performance

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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    Also, word of warning, if you slightly over prime the engine when its cold dont casually flip the prop over to clear it as the engine will fire and grab your hand even without the glows powered up...dont ask me how i know

  11. #11
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's


    ORIGINAL: Carosel43

    With low nitro you tend you have higher CHT and so you may want a cooler plug. in any case, debates about nitro are irrelivant as im using 5% and im not going to change. Also, even with 15% people are not getting performance that much different from us. Also any rpm readings gained from an engine running spark are of little use as we are discussing the engine as stock and EI will give better ignition timing than a glow plug. Also with a glass prop i can idle the 450 at 900, with a wooden prop its about 13-1500. but anything lower than 1700 is just nice, it makes no difference to real world performance
    Nitro runs cooler not hotter. Nitro is a monopropellent so the richer you run it the higher the pressure and the faster it runs, but the methanol will drown this out if run to rich, so peak power for the two is a cooler temp.
    Dragsters running purenitro or 90% nitro have no cooling system because the engine runs so cool it doesn't need it. Gas dragstersneed a cooling system, nitro does not. However a lean run on high nitro fuel will cause a hot cylinder, as will detonation. The cooler plug isto retard ignition. Cool or hot plugs really have nothing to do with temperature. They are named that because if the plug is too hot it will cause detonation which causes the engine to run hot.
    Glow Head Brotherhood #15

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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    Thats why i said low nitro will have higher CHT than high nitro.

  13. #13
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's


    ORIGINAL: Sport_Pilot

    I suspect timing also but this is not EI but glow plug ignition.Β* With low nitro you usuially want a hotter plug to make up for the retarded ignition without nitro.Β*

    That's the point I was trying to make.
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  14. #14
    SrTelemaster150's Avatar
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's


    ORIGINAL: Carosel43

    With low nitro you tend you have higher CHT and so you may want a cooler plug. in any case, debates about nitro are irrelivant as im using 5% and im not going to change. Also, even with 15% people are not getting performance that much different from us. Also any rpm readings gained from an engine running spark are of little use as we are discussing the engine as stock and EI will give better ignition timing than a glow plug. Also with a glass prop i can idle the 450 at 900, with a wooden prop its about 13-1500. but anything lower than 1700 is just nice, it makes no difference to real world performance

    You may have higher EGT W/low nitro but by your own post, higher nitro can promote detonation which is caused by preignition, another way of saying that the ignition occured too soon.

    The only reason I mentioned RPMs on spark ignition was to show a reltionship to ignition timing, be it GI or EI.
    Club Saito #785 - FA91S, FA150, FA180, FA180HC/BBC, FA200TI, FA300TTDP: All with CH Ignitions CDI/Glow fuel
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's


    ORIGINAL: Carosel43

    Also, word of warning, if you slightly over prime the engine when its cold dont casually flip the prop over to clear it as the engine will fire and grab your hand even without the glows powered up...dont ask me how i know

    Dieseling due to the reduced effective combustion chamber volume?
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    I would suspect the cam timing is off on the engine too. It has happened before, every once in a while, where the factory sets the timing wrong. Just one tooth off will do it.
    I assume you already checked the valve gaps too. With a new engine the gaps can close up pretty fast. You might have to check the valve gaps several times in the first gallon or so of fuel run through the engine. Eventually it settles down as the valves get bedded in, etc. Then the change occurs muxh more slowly.
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    Saito is ok with you running 30% helicopter fuel in the 450. You are never going to get the advertised performance on 5%. I have run many Saitos over the years, and they love nitro. From .30's to 300t's, I have never ever got anywhere near the power on 10% when I tried it for the heck of it.

  18. #18
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    At a glance I notice your running the engine with the valve covers removed? Why is this? The lubrication system from what I know relies on the covers being installed. There is a lubrication channel in the exhaust valve guide that allows oil to pass to the rest of the engine like the cam and gears, etc.
    On my FG 36 this was evident when I took it aprt to clean and inspect. There is some crank case vacuum and flow that lubricates the entire engine with oil vapor.

    Have you tried it with the covers on to see how it works?
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    I run most all my Saito's on 35-45% nitro.
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  20. #20
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's


    ORIGINAL: Chris Nicastro

    At a glance I notice your running the engine with the valve covers removed? Why is this? The lubrication system from what I know relies on the covers being installed. There is a lubrication channel in the exhaust valve guide that allows oil to pass to the rest of the engine like the cam and gears, etc.
    On my FG 36 this was evident when I took it aprt to clean and inspect. There is some crank case vacuum and flow that lubricates the entire engine with oil vapor.

    Have you tried it with the covers on to see how it works?
    Chris,

    the covers are removed because the engine will not fit the cowl with them on. I had a long discussion with engine specialists here in Austria and basically you do not need them if you care for the rockers in the same way you would on a Seidl or Moki. I cleaned the rockers, ran a gallon through the engine with the rocker covers on and then inspected the rockers. they where bone dry. both top and bottom. the RPM with and without covers is the same.

    Thanks for all the input everyone has posted.

    I am mixing up some 15% and 20% Fuel to try on the saito. I want to see what it does. In Addition I will check the timing.

    What could be the killer argument came yesterday in a phonecall to a Saito distributer:
    They told me that Saito engines are designed with the US market in mind. For every Saito sold in europe ten are sold in the States.
    The americans like their nitro and thus everything about these engines is designed for nitro greater 10%. They actually recomended 15% for our altitude. OS on the other hand are designed for Europe and thus run well on low nitro. ASP, Magnum etc. are copies of the OS and tend to work with low nitro too.

    If this turns out to be true I will have to concider selling the engine as I do not want to carry around different fuels. For the Money I will get for it I can buy a new Evolution Radial.

    Unfortuneatly I have quite a lot of work at the moment and we are visiting the inlaws on the coming weekend so not much time to fiddle with the engine.

    Rev
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  21. #21
    Reverend's Avatar
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's


    ORIGINAL: earlwb

    I would suspect the cam timing is off on the engine too. It has happened before, every once in a while, where the factory sets the timing wrong. Just one tooth off will do it.
    I assume you already checked the valve gaps too. With a new engine the gaps can close up pretty fast. You might have to check the valve gaps several times in the first gallon or so of fuel run through the engine. Eventually it settles down as the valves get bedded in, etc. Then the change occurs muxh more slowly.
    Yep, double double checked te clearance. I want to check the timing but I have never done so on a saito radial before. Would somebody by chance have any pictures of what to expect?

    If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you.

  22. #22
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    G'day

    I have one of the little brothers of your engine. It is a 90R3. It is a sweetly running engine but when I ran it on 10% nitro fuel (the fuel I use in all my other Saitos) it would run mostly OK but produced very little power and liked to drop a cylinder.

    I put it on the front of a Kadet Senior which will fly fine with a Saito 56 and found it was less powerful than the 56. So I decided to experiment. I mixed up some 20 % fuel. My normal fuel is 10% nitro, 5% castor oil, 15 % Klotz 200 and 70% methanol. I just increased the nitro to 20% and reduced the methanol to 60%.

    The result was amazing. It no longer drops cylinders. The power has increased and the model is now a pleasure to fly. Before it was marginal.

    I guess I could try 30% but I am happy the way it is and will continue to fly it in the Kadet to see if more running improves its performance. I have been told that the multi cylinder engines do need more running in before they give their best.

    Cheers

    Mike in Oz
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    Rev, there is an easy way to check the timing without takin the engine totally apart. the whole thing is to involved to go into right here, we can sort it out on pms or call me at work if you like.

    Also, if we can just bash this nitro argument on the head as its getting us nowhere. My instructions say 5-15% nitro, so im using 5. Horizon in the US say that 7000rpm is obtainable on a 22x12. That is not possible, and thats been pretty well proven by other folks with 450's on upto 20% nitro. Personally i think the performance im getting on the 22x8 menz is about right when i compare it to my SC400 Radial. so, Rev clearly has an issue but i would doubt 5% nitro will gain me 550rpm.

    In any case, 6900rpm on a 22x8 menzis not bad, its about the same as a dle55,i can live with that, especially when there is no tendancy at all to drop a cylinder (unlike my SC )


  24. #24
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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's

    ORIGINAL: Carosel43

    Rev, there is an easy way to check the timing without takin the engine totally apart. the whole thing is to involved to go into right here, we can sort it out on pms or call me at work if you like.

    Also, if we can just bash this nitro argument on the head as its getting us nowhere. My instructions say 5-15% nitro, so im using 5. Horizon in the US say that 7000rpm is obtainable on a 22x12. That is not possible, and thats been pretty well proven by other folks with 450's on upto 20% nitro. Personally i think the performance im getting on the 22x8 menz is about right when i compare it to my SC400 Radial. so, Rev clearly has an issue but i would doubt 5% nitro will gain me 550rpm.

    In any case, 6900rpm on a 22x8 menzΒ*is not bad, its about the same as a dle55,Β*i can live with that, especially when there is no tendancy at all to drop a cylinder (unlike my SC )

    6900 on a 22x8 is about 4,3HP. 13,97kg Thrust but only about 83km/h (52.2mph).

    I am not quite satisfied with numbers like that.

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    RE: FA450R3 - Raiders of the lost RPM's


    ORIGINAL: Reverend



    I am mixing up some 15% and 20% Fuel to try on the saito. I want to see what it does. In Addition I will check the timing.

    What could be the killer argument came yesterday in a phonecall to a Saito distributer:
    They told me that Saito engines are designed with the US market in mind. For every Saito sold in europe ten are sold in the States.
    The americans like their nitro and thus everything about these engines is designed for nitro greater 10%. They actually recomended 15% for our altitude. OS on the other hand are designed for Europe and thus run well on low nitro. ASP, Magnum etc. are copies of the OS and tend to work with low nitro too.

    If this turns out to be true I will have to concider selling the engine as I do not want to carry around different fuels. For the Money I will get for it I can buy a new Evolution Radial.

    Rev

    I would be interested if you sell for the right price. A new 450R3 will cost me $1433.49 shipped.

    W/15% Cool Power lit off by spark I'd bet I could get almost 6HP out of that 450R3.

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