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DLE 65 - whatís your experience?

Old 04-22-2021, 06:00 PM
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Chris Nicastro
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Question DLE 65 - whatís your experience?

Iím thinking about getting the DLE 65 but Iím cautious because I wasnít that thrilled with the 61. Iíve had a few 55/55RAís and I really like this engine the best. Iím going to freshen up the 61 with a Bowman piston ring to see if it helps compression and performance. Ultimately I need a new engine for another war bird so itís down to the 55RA or the 65.
Does anyone have experience with the 65 to share?
What prop did you settle on? Any running stats? Fuel/oil brand and ratio?

Thanks!
Old 04-22-2021, 06:41 PM
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I can't speak for the 65 but my 61 bought in 2014 is one of the best engines I've ever owned. But the same for the DLE 55 side exhaust engine, mine just keeps on ticking after several years of service. Love these engines. I've had great experiences with other brands / sizes of engines also so I'm not just a DLE fan boy. I wouldn't be afraid of trying a DLE65. Many good engine choices out there these days.

Many engines benefit from using a Bowman, Baal ring including DA!
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Old 04-23-2021, 06:24 PM
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My experience with the 61 is lack luster. It’s been difficult to tune for some reason and it’s flown one season. I’ve tested several props, increased cooling, made sure the reeds and block are dialed in, I use Klotz exclusively and Non-E gas, NGK plug, etc, but it’s just underwhelming. The 55RA would run circles around this engine and I’ve had a 55RA and 55 before this one. The 55 was in a TF Mustang and it ran excellent in that tight cowl. I ordered a Xoar 23x10 to try next and see if a little less load will help it. The compression feels weak to me so it will get a Bowman ring after I inspect the jug for scarring or any excessive wear.

So I ordered the 65 anyway last night after thinking about it and I figure DLE must have decided to phase out the 61 or why make a new engine so close in displacement. The extra claimed half horsepower at 7500rpm sounds good. I wish they would make all the new engines with rear exhaust!
Old 05-07-2021, 10:39 AM
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I recently assisted a flying friend in getting a DLE 65 from Valley View and its just been an awesome performer from day one in his 90" span Sbach. It transitions well from idle to WOT, and spins a Xoar 24x9 at 6,800 rpm which gives the model unlimited vertical performance.

Last edited by karolh; 05-07-2021 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 05-11-2021, 08:43 PM
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I have the engine now and pulled the reed block off to see whatís going on. The typical DLE reed blocks in all the engines Iíve handled have reeds that are not sealing to the block. The 65 is no exception. The reeds are not aligned and they have a gap to the block. The first thing I do is sand the plastic block faces flat with a sanding block and get them even. The molded parts warp in the molding process so the middle is typically lower than the edges. The fiberglass reeds cannot conform to the blocks wavy surface so you get a leak in the low spots. By basically blue printing the block you get a better seal and that results in easier starts and better response from the engine.
Unfortunately the reed on one side is warped so you can see with just a few drops of oil that one side is sealed and other has leaks. Now Iíll have to figure out if I can get the twisted reeds to flatten out or maybe just leave it as is. It will be better than stock at least.







Old 05-11-2021, 08:57 PM
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Some features this engine has you would like to know aboutÖ

The piston has a coating probably molybdenum, unconfirmed, but this helps reduce friction and increase performance.
The Walbro carb is great to see but they left a strange lever/arm on the choke side. They do supply an aluminum lever for the butterfly but not for the choke. The problem is how to attach a typical RC linkage here so my solution is to order another aluminum lever set and remove the existing parts. I like to use a servo on the choke so that will be pretty straight forward.








Old 05-11-2021, 09:05 PM
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Something I noticed and didn’t like but can be typical of production engines is seen in the exhaust port. There is a clear edge of flashing next to the piston. What I think I’ll do is take a stone on my Dremel and carefully grind that flash off. I’ll have to take the jug off the engine to do it so it can be cleaned and reinstalled later.
The intake also has some flashing but I’ll leave that because it won’t make that much difference and you want turbulence to promote mixture in the intake track.
Old 05-11-2021, 09:10 PM
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I forgot to mention… the EXHAUST CAN IS HUGE!!!
Old 05-12-2021, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Nicastro View Post
I forgot to mentionÖ the EXHAUST CAN IS HUGE!!!
Very good narrative and pictures. As soon as you get it all setup and running do let us know how it performs.
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Old 05-22-2021, 10:39 PM
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The 65 is back together and mounted now. Here are some pics of the work I did. I ground the exhaust port flashing and then with a tapered carbide bit I profiled the side port dividers. They have a blunt face so I gave them tapered profile to smooth out the flow. With a diamond file I smoothed out the castings edges and faces that looked a bit rough ahead of the transfer ports. Also notice the exhaust port flange with the black stripes before and after. The face is not flat so I filed and sanded the face to even it out. The pitts wrap around pipe I had on the 61 fit with no issues.
My engine mount is different from everyone elseís because of the previous radial engine installation so I kept it. Itís basically all self contained and bolts on to the front bulkhead firewall. I fixed the warped reed by replacing it with a new one. It was a larger reed so I cut and sanded it to fit and itís nice and flat so now you can see the seal.

Next step is to cycle the battery pack and install the power unit back in the plane.










Old 05-23-2021, 04:29 AM
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Very nice update. Now after that labour of love she should purr like a kitten.
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Old 06-12-2021, 05:38 PM
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Got the engine running today for 10min. Very impressed with the very first start. All I did was prime the carb and then turned on the ignition. Then just a couple flips and it popped so I opened the choke and flipped it two more times and it started right up. After that it just settled in and idled with no problem and I didn’t adjust the needles at all. I used an NGK CM6 plug I had on hand and cleaned it up with a wire brush. I bought a couple more and noticed the price on these plugs went up!
The engine can idle at 1350-1400rpm solid and responded to a short blip with no hesitation. I ran it at about 2500rpm for a few minutes and then shut it down.

Xoar 23x10 prop
Klotz full synthetic at DLE’s recommended ratio 30:1
Non-E 91 octane gas


Last edited by Chris Nicastro; 06-12-2021 at 06:20 PM.
Old 06-12-2021, 06:28 PM
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Running at idle…

Old 06-13-2021, 05:52 AM
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Sure seems like your 'labour of love' efforts on your engine was not in vain and are paying off big time, and that big ole muffler sure gives the exhaust note a nice mellow sound.

My friend is thinking of giving his engine a similar going over as you did with yours, but he is having too much fun with it as it is to do so just now. DLE sure seems like they have another winner with this engine.
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:09 PM
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Sure did, and its not even tuned or anything that's running as is out of the box carb settings. I was curious so I blipped the throttle to see if it would stumble after sitting there and it just responded with no hesitation. So now I need to run it in to seat the ring and and check temps. Im using full synthetic Klotz this time because I think the problem with the 61 could have been related to using Klotz semi synthetic with Castor. I think this oil was causing over heating issues. So that engine will get reworked with cylinder honing and a new ring to see if it can perform better on full synthetic oil too.

I understand your buddies position... if it aint broke....
Old 06-14-2021, 03:55 AM
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Be very careful about cylinder honing your 61 as I am not sure that plated cylinders which I think the 61 has should be honed......just a thought as I could be wrong.
Old 06-15-2021, 10:44 PM
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It’s thin yes but I’ll inspect for scarring and decide to try and hone it or replace the cylinder. The piston as well, hopefully it’s in good shape. The castor left a nice gummy coating I’ll have to strip clean too.
Old 06-27-2021, 02:00 PM
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Flew the Corsair today and the engine is working great! The reeds have a lot of suction so I accidentally flooded the cylinder the first time, never done that before! Cleared that out and it started right up. It revved out pretty high so Iím going to tame it down with more pitch. The temps are under control at about 185F in the cowl then temped at idle on the head. The idle is capable of going down to the low 1200ís and responds right up to 6300rpm immediately. In flight it unloaded to 8658rpm
Iím really happy with it so far and canít wait to see how it breaks in and performs with more pitch.




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