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Author Topic: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information  (Read 1004 times)

Online Dan McEntee

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Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« on: January 04, 2022, 04:44:11 PM »
  In my collection of stuff over the years I have come across a Fox piston and liner set that I think I got from a member here on Stunthanger. It got tucked away for "one of these days" and now that time has come! The kit comes with a piston, cylinder liner, a custom machined head (not a hemi head) and there was a standard Fox factory gasket and screw set in the package with it.

   There was no rod or wrist pin, so I will use a stock one of each. In looking at the piston, I can not see any grooves for wrist pin retainers, at least I don't think I see any !! The bore of the liner is supposed to be applied with a ceramic material and supposed to be very hard, if I remember what I have read about these , so maybe retaining the wrist pin is not an issue?

    The package has the name of Tony Cincolta or Cincotta as the sender from Australia and this rings a bell, so I'm going to search this out. There was no instruction sheet of any kind with it either. Does anyone out there have any experience with this and can provide any other information? I think Brian Gardner may know something about it but he is out of the country on holiday and I don't think he will be back for a while yet, but I will send him an email about it in a week or two.  Any information will be helpful. In the mean time I'm just going to start assembling the engine like I have others I have worked on and just fit  the new parts, and come back to the wrist pin issue later.

  Thanks a lot in advance!!
    Dan McEntee
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Offline Dallas Hanna

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2022, 11:00:41 PM »
  In my collection of stuff over the years I have come across a Fox piston and liner set that I think I got from a member here on Stunthanger. It got tucked away for "one of these days" and now that time has come! The kit comes with a piston, cylinder liner, a custom machined head (not a hemi head) and there was a standard Fox factory gasket and screw set in the package with it.

   There was no rod or wrist pin, so I will use a stock one of each. In looking at the piston, I can not see any grooves for wrist pin retainers, at least I don't think I see any !! The bore of the liner is supposed to be applied with a ceramic material and supposed to be very hard, if I remember what I have read about these , so maybe retaining the wrist pin is not an issue?

    The package has the name of Tony Cincolta or Cincotta as the sender from Australia and this rings a bell, so I'm going to search this out. There was no instruction sheet of any kind with it either. Does anyone out there have any experience with this and can provide any other information? I think Brian Gardner may know something about it but he is out of the country on holiday and I don't think he will be back for a while yet, but I will send him an email about it in a week or two.  Any information will be helpful. In the mean time I'm just going to start assembling the engine like I have others I have worked on and just fit  the new parts, and come back to the wrist pin issue later.

  Thanks a lot in advance!!
    Dan McEntee

Dan, you are right about the plasma p/l and Tony Cincotta.  Tony had a model shop in Melbourne, Australia.  Sadly, Tony passed away 2013.   I have a flying buddy who (I think) has a new unused one so it may have some instructions in the package. There was also a plasma set for ST 46 at the same time.   I'll check in on him later in the week and see what he has for you.

H

Online Dan McEntee

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2022, 11:44:20 PM »
   Thanks for the reply Dallas. The mystery just got a bit deeper! I couldn't go to bed with out trying a wrist pin in the piston, so polished one up and pushed it in, and the stock wrist pin was protruding a bit from each side! I held the skirt of the aluminum piston up to the skirt of the iron piston and it's smaller in OD!! I tried the liner in the engine case and it's a perfect fit! It's too late to start measuring things, but my guess is I have a P&L set for a Fox .29??  Might be the only one in the world! I have some other feelers and emails out so we'll see what the consensus is. Joe Gilbert says he has a factory set from Fox that he's going to check, but t hey may not be the same. I took a sharp pin and tried to see if it could catch a groove that I couldn't see and the pin bore is smooth all the way across. I'm still guessing that I'm supposed to round off and polish the ends of the wrist pin, and I can do that, so I'll make it work one way or the other!!
   Thanks again and I'll look forward to hearing back from you.
   Thanks again,
   Dan McEntee
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Online aj bagg

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2022, 10:50:53 AM »
The thought of running that steel wrist pin "rounded and polished", free to get up against the bore must be a tough one. Is there room to spin a couple of teflon buttons and press them in? If the wrist pin has a lightening hole, the button could have a diameter spun on the end and could be pressed into it. Or if no hole just a short section of full pin diameter pressed in over the wrist pin. Of course the wrist pin would need to be shortened enough to accommodate the buttons.

Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2022, 11:40:07 AM »
   Thanks for the reply Dallas. The mystery just got a bit deeper! I couldn't go to bed with out trying a wrist pin in the piston, so polished one up and pushed it in, and the stock wrist pin was protruding a bit from each side! I held the skirt of the aluminum piston up to the skirt of the iron piston and it's smaller in OD!! I tried the liner in the engine case and it's a perfect fit! It's too late to start measuring things, but my guess is I have a P&L set for a Fox .29??  Might be the only one in the world! I have some other feelers and emails out so we'll see what the consensus is. Joe Gilbert says he has a factory set from Fox that he's going to check, but t hey may not be the same. I took a sharp pin and tried to see if it could catch a groove that I couldn't see and the pin bore is smooth all the way across. I'm still guessing that I'm supposed to round off and polish the ends of the wrist pin, and I can do that, so I'll make it work one way or the other!!
   Thanks again and I'll look forward to hearing back from you.
   Thanks again,
   Dan McEntee

    I vaguely recall that they thought the stock Fox liner was too thin to reliably replicate in aluminum (instead of the original iron) so they reduce the bore in order to thicken it up. This makes it a 30 or 31 instead of a 35. This was a while back so its possible I have the displacement wrong.

    Brett

Online Dan McEntee

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2022, 01:30:22 PM »
    I vaguely recall that they thought the stock Fox liner was too thin to reliably replicate in aluminum (instead of the original iron) so they reduce the bore in order to thicken it up. This makes it a 30 or 31 instead of a 35. This was a while back so its possible I have the displacement wrong.

    Brett

       Thanks for the memory! This fits with what I measure. I have an almost new Fox.29, and the piston/bore is .738". The Cincotta piston/bore measures .746" which calculates to a .31. I have been messaging with Dallas Hanna and he is checking with some one in the know down under that may have some instruction sheets. When Brian Gardner gets back from his holiday I will check with him on what he knows. I think he took over some stuff from Tony Cincotta and may know for sure. I can do some other work and wait until I hear back from them also. At least I know it's not specifically for a .29 now. The liner does fit nicely, but I would rather keep the Fox.29 as it is, and I think I'll move forward with putting the Cincotta set in a .35 case and deal with the wrist pin before final assembly.
     The Cincotta set was all neatly wrapped in wax paper and packed in a plastic bag, and the head and brass shims were packaged nicely. I don't think some one robbed a wrist pin and rod out of it, and I'm still guessing that one needed to use the existing wrist pin and rod when installing the set.

    Thanks again!

   Type at you later,
   Dan McEntee
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Offline Dallas Hanna

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2022, 04:06:32 PM »
Back again Dan.  Just checked with old mate here and it turns out that his Fox 35 has a GMA p/l in it.  He got 3 units from George when he was here in OZ for our Nats c1994.   The Cincotta plasmas here seem to be the ones for ST 46 engines.   Maybe Brian Gardner has some info on the Fox units.

D

Online Dan McEntee

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2022, 06:47:45 PM »
Back again Dan.  Just checked with old mate here and it turns out that his Fox 35 has a GMA p/l in it.  He got 3 units from George when he was here in OZ for our Nats c1994.   The Cincotta plasmas here seem to be the ones for ST 46 engines.   Maybe Brian Gardner has some info on the Fox units.

D

    Thanks for checking on this Dallas. I'm piecing together some information from Brett, Joe and some others that will let me move forward with this. I'll send Brian an email this weekend and see what he remembers.. It is definitely meant for a .35 and actually displaces .31 like Brett suggested and also by Joe Gilbert independently. I am going to keep working on some other aspects of that engine and assemble some others while I'm waiting.

   Thanks again!
   Dan McEntee
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Offline Christopher Root

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2022, 07:50:07 PM »
Given that the displacement is less, but the piston is lighter, will the output be the same?

Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2022, 08:57:41 PM »
Given that the displacement is less, but the piston is lighter, will the output be the same?

    I am not sure why a lighter piston would make it more powerful than a heavy piston. Only if you were able to rev it faster than it would otherwise. The biggest advantage would be much lower vibration (a slightly smaller but much lighter aluminum piston instead of a bigger piston made of Meehanite iron).

      Brett

Online Dan McEntee

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2022, 10:20:03 PM »
Given that the displacement is less, but the piston is lighter, will the output be the same?

     My purpose for buying it when I found it listed on here or Stuka Stunt Classifieds was just to build a smother, more durable engine. Many moons ago, when I was first starting to try to fly stunt, running and working on the engines was one attraction. I had raced off road motorcycles and go-karts, and always have done most of my own work on all my cars, so trying to get the best performance out of my engines just came with the program.
     I started with the Fox .35 for the most part, like a lot of people. You don't have to run them for very long before you realize that they vibrate a lot. All that shaking makes the fuel foam and there were lots of "cures" for that but I like to fix the  problem, not address a symptom. Allthat shaking is also hard on air frames!! Between reading a lot, talking to people and observing others, I began to pick up on little things. (Remember, this was pre-internet!!) I was already a believer in taking care of little details and being thorough. In talking with fellow club member Gary Frost ( a noted combat flier) he showed me how to go through a Fox .35 and "'detail " it for better operation. This included some work on the crankshaft to smooth the engine out some. Lots of little things, that when all done in concert, help to make a better running engine. I'm not talking about faster, more horsepower, or anything like that, just smoother and more consistent , and that equates to better.  Again, this was all before the internet, and at contests and in magazine columns and such I heard about these plasma lined cylinders, but I couldn't just run down to Wal-Mart and buy some!. When the internet did come around I learned a little more and by the time I decided I wanted to try these, Tony Cincotta had either stopped making them or had passed away. I came across this set second of third hand and picked it up, and stashed it with my Fox engine stash of parts. I rediscovered it and decided now was the time to use it while I was building up some ABC Fox .35s using Brian Gardner parts. After getting the parts out and going through what was in the envelope, there were no instructions, so I want to make sure I do this correctly. At the time these were made, I can see why a person might make them available with no rod or wrist pin to keep the cost down and simplify things, if there was an easy way for the buyer to do what he needed to do to make a stock wrist pin work. I just didn't realize how long ago these things were made!! The ABC technology and CNC machining capabilities made things much more simple. In searching out information here on Stunthanger, all the threads concerning Tony Cincotta and his products were quite old, but with enough information to come to some conclusions. These may not be any better or worse than ABC parts, but I got them, so might as well use them! No need top save them for "later" because later is here! So in short, just using these parts by themselves won't make a huge difference, but using them or the ABC parts, combined with all the other little tricks of the trade, just make for a better engine run. It's relatively easy to do, and pretty satisfying when you are finished and get to hear, see and feel the difference in how they run. They are great for OTS models and the smaller of the classic size models. And since it's late, I'm not going to get into a long explanation of what I do, but in short, it's mostly what Larry Foster used to do when building his L&J Fox .35s, but by substituting the piston and liner with the ABC or plasma sets, that eliminates some work and adds to the longevity of the engine.
   Type at you later,
    Dan McEntee
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Offline Air Ministry .

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2022, 07:35:30 PM »
" Tony Cincotta.  " went by the handle Saturn Hobbies . some rubbish about the electrickery bill bankrupting the Moscom Model Boat Club . Were Ex Soviet anyway . He did the FALCON .15 AAC & ABC diesels  .
Maybe that outfit did them ? .

Was the TBR version of this , Uctkam Falcone ? .




Same flavour liner , so maybe linked . Ran pretty good . Fast as an Oliver . schneurle of course .
same outfit did the Rossi 15 clones .

ID USE NYLON WRIST PIN PADS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! in that . 35 Fox one !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Online aj bagg

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2022, 01:52:18 PM »
Dan I see you were a kart racer. I had a Fox kart McColloch 45, mac 91's, and 101's. Also ran 101s on my fastest ever 112mph mini dragbikes. Lost several of those motors to clips coming out. Made my first teflon wrist pin buttons for McColloch's. I used cork with success before being introduced to teflon. Anyway, sure you could go to the trouble to put in clips but anytime you put something in the machine there is a chance even if remote to mess it up. Think about cutting those grooves if you went that way. I'd just find an appropriate gauge pin to push into the wrist pin hole and chucking from the pin. Considering the very light cutting forces involved it would be adequate fixturing. You still have to grind that little groove tool. Then it's a "touch off" and drive to a number to plunge the groove, where you have to "touch off" again. Then turn it around and do it again. One chance and really tough to gage. Instead of all this just paying close attention to detail in making the buttons would allow the wrist pin free float albeit only a few thousandths and the buttons to remain free of rubbing on the cylinder wall. My buttons back in the day were sized to press into the piston, clear of touching bore and free floating the wrist pin. I washed everything with lacquer thinner before assembly. After assembly I smeared grey epoxy on the small, exposed portion of the wrist pin hole and wiped it off, leaving a few thousandths radius of epoxy in the corner were the button met the wrist pin hole as kind of a retainer in case the press fit failed. Never had one move but used teflon in case it did. I even reused the buttons once and without epoxy when I holed a piston at the track qualifying and required quick rebuild to make the race. And by using buttons, not risk machining on the only piston of its kind in the world.  AJ

Offline RandySmith

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2022, 04:11:22 PM »
    I am not sure why a lighter piston would make it more powerful than a heavy piston. Only if you were able to rev it faster than it would otherwise. The biggest advantage would be much lower vibration (a slightly smaller but much lighter aluminum piston instead of a bigger piston made of Meehanite iron).

      Brett


OHH  come on Brett  you know  why  LOL


Randy

Offline RandySmith

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2022, 04:14:00 PM »
With the  GMA  and  p/s  they are still a 35  displacement, these  were Russian  made for  George

Some of the  other  ABCs  shrunk the  35 to a  32

Randy

Online Dan McEntee

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2022, 04:58:46 PM »
With the  GMA  and  p/s  they are still a 35  displacement, these  were Russian  made for  George

Some of the  other  ABCs  shrunk the  35 to a  32

Randy

      Well, I don't mind the downsizing of the displacement, and will just use it on a OTS model or something. I just wanted to put it to use. I found a few threads here on Stunthanger and it looked like the majority of post traffic was on ST.46s, only a few on the Fox .35. Some one posted that it was the same coating that was put on F-111 flap pivot pins or something like that and was VERY hard. The coating is black in color, or a very dark grey.
    My biggest question was, what all was supposed to come with the set?  There was no connecting rod or wrist pin with it, and there was no instructions. Everything was still wrapped up in plastic bags and then wax paper like it was shipped in, so I don't think a previous owner had robbed the parts. I have stock rods, and just wanted to see if anyone else had these, and if they had to make up their own wrist pin. The boss on each side of the piston are pretty narrow, and no grooves for retaining clips. The OD is smaller, so a stock .35 wrist pin has to be cut down. I was wondering, since the coating was supposed to be so hard, that if it was intended to just have the wrist pin shortened, and then radius the ends and polish them. That way, only a very small point of contact would ever touch the cylinder. A stock Fox.29 wrist pin with it's brass eyelets would most likely work, but I didn't have a spare one of those and didn't want to rob one out of another engine. I came up with a compromise of a slightly shorter pin and a thin pad of teflon pressed into the pin bore on each side, then shaved to the piston contour. I liked the way it felt, and will do some test runs when the weather breaks and then tear it down again to see how it faired. In the mean time, I am hoping to find out exactly what was intended for this. Again, I just want to put the parts tp use, they have sat in a box long enough!! I got them second or third hand and I know it may be along shot, but I know I'm not the only model packrat out there and figure some one else has been through this already. Just something to do on a cold winter's day in forced retirement in the middle of a pandemic!!
    Type at you later,
    Dan McEntee
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Offline Brian Hampton

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2022, 06:10:07 PM »
Does someone know what this "Plasma coating" really is?
By all accounts it's a vapour deposition of a type of aluminium oxide as used by the Norvel engines which is why they're called an AAO (Aluminium liner, Aluminium Oxide coating). The AO is similar to sapphire, which approaches the hardness of diamond, and is what gives the Norvel cylinders that greyish colour because they're coated inside and out (the fins are one piece with the liner). It seems only the Russians are willing to do this commercially though. Yes, I had that piece from an F111 with the same greyish colour and it was impossible, with just a normal lathe cutting tool, to plunge feed through the surface.

Offline Air Ministry .

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2022, 06:31:33 PM »

Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2022, 07:06:37 PM »

OHH  come on Brett  you know  why  LOL


Randy

    So, heavier piston = more torque, lighter piston = more HP?   See all these great things you learn on the internet?

    Brett

Online Dan McEntee

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2022, 10:00:44 PM »
    So, heavier piston = more torque, lighter piston = more HP?   See all these great things you learn on the internet?

    Brett

  At the time I bought this set, i was just learning about this sort of thing and there wasn't a whole lot of options out there for getting the parts. I was still flying a Fox .35 in some classic and OTS stuff, and getting the engine a bit smoother was what interested me. I think Fox offered the ABC and plasma sets separately, and in built up engines, but there is a difference between those and this set by Cincotta. I go this set pretty cheap from some one downsizing or getting out of the hobby. I just didn't have the time, at that time, to spend doing the installation and learning about them. From what I have read in the posts that I turned up, this plasma treatment was pretty popular with the ST.46 crowd at that time, but not many vendors offered it because of the expense in doing small runs. Dallas Hanna thought he had a line on some info, but the guy had a set that Aldrich  took to the Aussie NATS in 1994 and those are supposed to be a full .35 displacement.  Again, I'm not using it to look for any "advantage" other than a smoother, long lasting and consistant running engine, even if it's just for fun flying. I paid for them, might as well use them. My curiosity just gets the better of me as to what was intended for the wrist pin, and knowing what I know now. right or wrong, they may have intended for the pin to float with no pads or retainers.

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   Dan McEntee
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Offline pmackenzie

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2022, 06:02:53 AM »
Proper hard chroming is great, but it is sort of a disaster environmentally.
I think that this is the main reason that alternatives have been sought. Just not found yet :)
MAAC 8177

Online Dan McEntee

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Re: Fox .35 Plasma Piston and Liner Set Information
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2022, 07:58:17 AM »
So, from the description and how it looks like, it seems like a normal hard-anodizing of hard aluminium. Russians do it well, and Ukrainians.
No plasma or gas needed in the process, propably just a marketing thing😂.
Sounds like an attempt to avoid proper hard-chroming. L

   I don't think it's an anodizing process. On a Norvel engine, you have to use glow clips that make contact only with the head, because the cylinder is non-conductive. On the Cincotta cylinders, it is only in the bore of the cylinder. I tried to scratch a small section at the bottom of the cylinder and couldn't.
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