Ask Paul: What’s the best engine for my Pacer?

Q: I plan to install an 0-360 with a constant speed prop in my Pacer, replacing my 0-320-A1A. I have a couple of engine choices under STCs, including the 0-360-C1A. I am looking for the lightest engine. Was this made as a narrow deck engine? If so, what serial numbers were narrow decks? Also, I cannot find the dry weight difference between this and my current engine, which is a narrow deck engine. Is this information available? Are there any concerns with hollow crankshafts?


A: Steve, I can only furnish some general information regarding your question of weight on the two engines you mentioned. The basic weight for the O-320-A series is right around 272 pounds dry weight. The O-360-C series is in the neighborhood of 290 pounds dry weight. Please keep in mind that these are generic numbers and will change when various engine accessories are added or deleted, such as the popular lightweight starters, etc. At the very least, these numbers can be used for planning purposes.

The way you can determine if the engine is a narrow deck vs wide deck is by checking the specific engine serial numbers. The O-320-A series serial numbers will be stamped on the engine data plate like L-XXXX-27 and the wide deck serial number will be like L-XXXX-27A. The same applies to the O-360-C series, except the specific engine serial numbers will be like L-XXXX-36 or L-XXXX-36A. If the engine serial number ends with the suffix “A” this signifies it is a wide deck configuration. There also may be a slight increase in engine weight for the wide deck series, but I have no data available that provides that information.

Regarding any concerns with the hollow crankshafts, I’d consider compliance with Lycoming Service Bulletin 505B a requirement.

I apologize for not being able to furnish more specific information, but I hope this will at least assist with your planning of your project.

Paul McBride, an expert on engines, retired after almost 40 years with Lycoming. Send your questions to:

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