I built and flew N54JF for about 500 hours. Initially she flew with a Rotax 503 (about 250 hours). I then swapped to an 1835cc HAPI VW and loved it. I flew with the VW about couple hundred hours (maybe 250 - working from memory). From memory, she cruised at 150 mph, climbed 1000'/min, and burned 3 gallons/hour.
I sold her a couple of years ago to make more time (and money) for my Q2.
Older photo with small wheels, first cowl, and blue trim.
What a fab cockpit!!
The key concept to my conversion was to spend as little money as possible and eliminate weight when possible. I moved the firewall aft 4 inches to help with CG. I wish I could do this project over again now as I would have a reasonable budget and know how to better save weight.
I used a HAPI 1835cc engine that a friend removed from his Dragonfly for a larger engine. I installed a single points system ignition and Zenith carb - very simple.
The cowling cheeks did not present any problems for me. I used them for hot air outlets. The distributor forced a bump on the top of the cowl. Not pretty or efficient but it worked.
That Interstate 15 sticker was awarded due to my safe Interstate landing with the previous Rotax 503 engine!!
Near Gates of the Mountains north of Helena, Montana. Sometime around 1994.