Ian Drysdale thought we might want to know a little more about the Honda XR600 based 9 cylinder radial engine Russell Sutton is building that we mentioned last year, so he sent some more up to date photos. Ian's working on the crankshaft and rods for the engine while Russell keeps himself busy with the rest of it.
Russell really likes radials, he says his personal favorite is the Bristol Centaurus 18 cylinder sleeve valve by Roy Fedden, fitted to the Sea Fury. If you've ever watched a big radial come to life, you can understand the attraction, it's motorhead heaven.
Well, Russell is a "doer," he thought he might like to build one and started thinking about what he would need and after going through some options, decided the top ends from the Honda XR600 would work and he began buying up enough for the project. It's quite a collection of pieces from a lot of different sources.
The 7893cc engine uses V6 Holden Commodore dished pistons running through a bore and stroke of 96.5 X 120mm. A Nissan gear driven oil pump supplies the crank and rods, a high volume electric pump oils the cams. The throttle body is from a 5.7 liter Chevy. Cam drive consist of 12 gears in three planes in the front section of crank case.
There's a Nissan electric starter turning a 370 mm diameter ring gear. The crankcase is fabricated and machined from 5083 aluminum. Crankshaft is 2 piece, single throw with 60 mm mains and 55 mm crank pin.
The engine, provided everything works as planned, is headed for airboat duty. Heck, I just want to see this thing fire up.
Ian is still working on the crank and rods, I'm looking forward to seeing some photos of all of the rods bolted in place, that should be a bit of mechanical artwork. Doers, gotta love 'em.
More photos below: