Jabiru 3300 engine differences

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by Will Kumley, Jan 14, 2023.

  1. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    583
    Location:
    Pacific Southwest

    Display name:
    Will
    I'm in discussion with a gentleman getting ready to sell an experimental with a Jabiru 3300 engine in it. While talking to him on the phone he fumbled along with which generation Jabiru engine the plane has in it. I've done a decent amount of google searching to see if I could find an answer but most Jabiru 3300 searches result in info about the Gen 4 engine and I'm confident the plane in question won't be a gen 4 engine. Best guess is Gen 1 or 2 from his discussion.

    Is anyone aware of a resource that will explain the differences between the different generations of the Jabiru 3300 and what, if any updates could have been made over the years?
     
  2. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2020
    Messages:
    4,456

    Display name:
    Dale Andee
  3. tsts4

    tsts4 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,608
    Location:
    Tampa, FL

    Display name:
    Auburntsts
  4. rhkennerly

    rhkennerly Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2021
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA

    Display name:
    rhkennerly
    Contact the J dealers.

    having said that, I remember J making a big deal out of a change in design a couple of years back. The new ones are a single piece block. I think head torquing every 10 hrs was the issue with older j.

    if you could find some Australian pilot boards, j’s are as plentiful down there as continentals are here. In fact, I follow an Aussie cirius pusher on YouTube. Stef Drury . He seems like an open bloke. Ask him.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2023
  5. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,516
    Location:
    mass fla

    Display name:
    ron keating
    There are several forums on face book on jabiru aircraft and engines,friends of jabiru , jabiru owners of America.
     
  6. rhkennerly

    rhkennerly Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2021
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA

    Display name:
    rhkennerly
  7. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2017
    Messages:
    3,940
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ and Ensenada, Mexico

    Display name:
    rgbeard
    I've never looked these up. Did some fun reading on Wikipedia:

    In November 2014, the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority proposed restricting all Jabiru-powered aircraft to day-visual flight rules only, without passengers or solo students and within gliding distance of a safe place to land due to the engine line's safety record. This was in response to 46 reports of engine failure in flight. In-flight failure modes included, but were not limited to: fuel starvation; valve/port collapse & breakage of critical bolts.

    Wow. These are neat!
     
    RyanShort1 likes this.
  8. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2020
    Messages:
    4,456

    Display name:
    Dale Andee
    I've been following Jabiru engines for a very long time as I really considered one for my Sonex taildragger but the more I looked into the design and difficulties others were having the more I became convinced that a Corvair conversion was a much better option. I still believe I made the best choice (experimental engine for my airframe).

    Having said that, there are some builders and pilots that have gotten good service from their Jabiru engines ...
     
  9. Warmi

    Warmi Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2017
    Messages:
    657
    Location:
    IL

    Display name:
    Warmi
    Well, if you consider that they sold total of about 4 thousand 3300 Jabiru engines ( 8k all types ) and compare that to Rotax with their 50 000 four-stroke engines ( and 175 000 all types ) and given that engines become safer over time as they mature and all kinds of ( hopefully increasingly unlikely) failure modes are discovered and eliminated - this process is directly related to the actual number of accumulated hours on the engine and thus it only make sense that Jabiru is a bit behind in terms of overall safety and reliability.
    I won’t even mention auto conversions as most of these have installation numbers in hundreds ( of course one could argue that the underlying baseline engine , say a Toyota, has tens of millions of installations , but it is usually not the auto engine that fails - it is all these add-ons that are required to make it work in an aircraft that are the weakest link here )

    https://bydanjohnson.com/jabiru-eng...ced-plus-our-list-reporting-every-lsa-engine/
    https://www.rotax.com/en/news/latest/detail/id-40-years-of-rotax-aircraft-engines.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2023
  10. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    583
    Location:
    Pacific Southwest

    Display name:
    Will
    Yep, I saw that as well, but I've also seen lots of reports that the engines overall are dependable. Like all engines they seem to have quirks about them. So far I've been able to find that some models of the Jabiru 3300 can have difficulties starting as the ignition system is a power hog and the alternator on early engines left a little to be desired. These two things can be addressed with a more powerful alternator and an electronic ignition upgrade. Cooling can also be a concern if the baffles or the oil cooler are not installed properly. Adjusting the baffles, changing the oil cooler, and installing liquid cooled heads are all options that some owners have done to address the cooling issue. The plane I'm considering has 500+ hours on the engine so I'm not overly concerned with it but I will have a thorough look at it to see if I see signs of overheating as it appears to be pretty obvious on the Jabiru engines.

    So, as stated, they have some quirks as all engines likely do but they also seem to be solid performers over time. The Gen 4 engine seems to have fixed most, if not all of those previous concerns. The sad thing in my opinion is that as the engines morphed from gen1 to gen 4 there isn't a large amount of data explaining how to tell them apart from each other at first glance. The gen4 is easy as it has square jugs vs the round jugs of the 1-3. Before I take a look at the plane/engine I'll likely call Jabiru USA to see what they can tell me and if a serial number check will give me the info I need.
     
  11. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Messages:
    4,328

    Display name:
    mondtster
    That's probably because there isn't a lot to distinguish the gen 1-3 engines apart without digging into them a bit. Going off engine serial number should help you know what generation it is.

    The engines are okay. They will be more needy than a typical Lycoming or Continental so that needs to be kept in mind when considering one.
     
  12. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    Messages:
    1,438
    Location:
    Sunnyvale CA

    Display name:
    Crashnburn
    I've read Jabs are fine until they're overhauled, then they break and the factory says it wasn't done right and doesn't support you. No personal experience with Jabs, neither engine nor plane. If I build a USB I won't put a Jab engine in it.
     
  13. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    583
    Location:
    Pacific Southwest

    Display name:
    Will
    But would you consider buying an already built EAB plane with a Jabiru engine in it?
     
  14. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Messages:
    4,328

    Display name:
    mondtster
    I know you didn’t ask me but I’ll give an opinion anyway as I’ve maintained several and flown behind them. I’d own one, but it depends on what I was expecting out of it and what kind of mechanical support network is available. These engines are not a Lycoming or a Continental and if you are going to be needing a typical aircraft to maintain one for you it might make for a situation where everyone is unhappy.

    The Jabiru engines are light, cheap, and make good power. I think the one component missing here is questionable durability. I don’t think they’re bad in that department but they’re not as good as other things either.
     
  15. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    Messages:
    1,438
    Location:
    Sunnyvale CA

    Display name:
    Crashnburn
    Probably not.
     
  16. Warmi

    Warmi Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2017
    Messages:
    657
    Location:
    IL

    Display name:
    Warmi
    Will Kumley likes this.