If you are an Vedeneyev M14 radial engine owner, or even thinking you might be, pay attention. I'm talking to you Murphy Moose builders now. Monty Barrett, principal at Barrett Precision Engines in Tulsa, Oklahoma, wants to help. He's put a lot of time and energy (even went to Russia) trying to fix some of the key issues with the M14 engine, and has developed Gemini, a complete, standalone system for replacing the engine's heavy magneto ignition system.
"Frankly, the problem with this engine is parts, little things such as, you can't get the spark plugs for it anymore, or the magnetos, if you need them," says Barrett. The Gemini electronic ignition replaces the magnetos, the high-tension wiring harness, the vibrator starting component and the spark plugs (now it uses automotive spark plugs that are very inexpensive). The system, according to Barrett, is just part of a series of upgrades to the engine, including improved fuel distribution that eliminates the tendency for the engine to run lean in the top cylinders while simultaneously running rich in the bottom cylinders. By addressing the high oil use and blow-by issues, using both modified pistons and fuel injection systems, horsepower is recaptured. "We needed to replace that carburetor anyhow, since you can't get one new since the company that makes them no longer exist," he says.
The retrofit package is available from Barrett Precision Engines for $40,000, which includes a total rebuild of the engine with all the mods Barrett makes available. The run-out engines are available, according to Barrett, for anywhere from $5000 (damaged) to $12,500-$15,000.
For more information navigate to www.barrettprecisionengines.com.