Q: I’d be most grateful if you could advise whether it would be feasible to take a narrow-deck Lycoming 360-A1A and rebuild it as a wide deck 360-A1A, with a new crankcase and cylinders. What parts could be reused otherwise?
A: Mark, you asked for my advice regarding taking a Lycoming 360-A1A series narrow-deck engine and rebuilding it as a wide-deck engine using a new wide-deck crankcase.
I’ve got to be honest with you and say right up front that this is not the way I would go.
First of all, I would say from a cost standpoint, it would probably be cost prohibitive. I haven’t checked recently, but the cost of a new wide-deck crankcase alone would be enough to make a grown man cry.
Secondly, I wouldn’t know where to begin to tell you the number of additional parts that would be required to make the conversion.
If the engine you have is a running engine and is just ready for overhaul, then why not go that way?
The biggest concern I’d have is whether the crankcase is serviceable or not. If the crankcase is not cracked and can be reused, then I’d say you’re off to a good start of just overhauling the engine you have.
When it comes to cylinders, keep in mind that Lycoming continues to offer factory new narrow-deck cylinder kits that provide all new parts from the crankcase out.
There would be no comparison in cost to buying four of these new cylinder kits versus buying a new wide-deck crankcase in addition to buying four new wide-deck cylinder kits which would, as I mentioned earlier, make a grown man cry.
I apologize for not being more specific, but hopefully you can take what I’ve mentioned and arrive at a reasonable decision.