DLE Engines Performance: TBM has tested many engines over the years, and DLE is one that has performed very well in our tests and in the marketplace. Their low price is really attractive!! Hundreds of engines have been sold and all performance issues have now been sorted out. While DLE engines are excellent, service and warranty are important aspects.
DLE Warranty: TBM is offering a 1 year warranty of parts and labor for DLE engines in addition to DLE's 1 year warranty for engines purchased from TBM. This covers your TBM bought DLE engine for parts and labor for 2 years total! See the engine warranty webpage for details.
Factory Authorized DLE Service from TBM: In order to provide superior service to DLE customers, TBM is factory authorized to service DLE engines in Sarasota Florida. TBM will provide warranty work as well as repairs after warranty. DLE engines are sold by countless companies who are not authorized dealers. If you purchase an engine from an unauthorized dealer who does not have a repair center you will NOT have a warranty. If you have an ignition problem, you are missing parts, you wear out the bearings, etc. you have to pay for the repairs yourself or replace the engine. Standard labor and shipping rates apply.
Spare Parts for DLE engines: TBM carries most spare parts for DLE engines.
Why purchase DLE engines from TBM? The manufacturer sets the retail pricing, so the pricing should be similar from any source. TBM offers a few extra incentives to purchase from time to time, so check our website and sign up for our newsletter. If you see a price that is better than ours from another DLE factory authorized US retailer please let us know and we will match that price.
Ignition: DLE has their own ignition. It works reliably though some people swap it out for a CH ignition and claim better performance. It is not necessary to change ignitions, we have had good luck with ours. It requires no more than 6v, so use a 4-cell NiCad or NiMh with no regulator, or use a Li Phos, LiPoly, Li Ion, 5-cell Nicad or NiMh and use a regulator set at 5.9v. There is no improvement in performance with higher voltages, so don’t use them. There is no warranty on ignitions because if they see more than 6v, then can fail. Use a heavy duty switch due to the high current. A 1400 mah battery is good for 6 flights or more. We typically use a 2600 mah LiIon battery which will last for a weekend of flying on a single charge.
Carburetor: All carbs are pumper types and can in some cases be rotated 180 degrees to suit installation preferences.
Prop Mounting: All DLE engines except for the DLE 20 use multi bolt hubs.
Spark Plug: NGK-CM6 which TBM stock. DLE recommends 0.018-0.020" gap. Do not overtighten! While DLE engines are great, the original equipment spark plugs are not! While some plugs are fine, some are not. Plugs are not covered under warranty. Should you experience any running problem, first change the spark plug. We recommend carrying a spare plug at all times.
Fuel: Use regular unleaded gas. Ethanol/Methanol is not good for the diaphragms in the carbs, so if your local fuel used ethanol or methanol, it is a good idea to run the carb dry. I seldom do this during the flying season, but for storage it is a good idea. Of course I live in Florida so I don’t store planes any more.
Oil: We recommend Pennzoil air cooled 2-stroke oil mixed at 32:1 (4oz/gallon) for the first 2-3 gallons. This oil comes in a yellow bottle and many auto parts supply stores carry it. Use a good synthetic at a ratio of 32:1 for the life of the engine.
Propellers: Be sure to start out with a smaller “Break In” prop when the engine is new. Larger props will give more vertical performance with light planes, and less vertical performance in heavier planes. Lower pitch props are best for WWI planes, higher pitches for WWII fighters.
Break-in: Use a break in prop. Install the engine into the plane. Tune the plane on the ground before the first flight, then fly the plane around gently for the first few gallons. Do not go to full throttle operation for more than a few seconds until you have a few gallons of gas through the engine. Do not break the engine in on the ground for 2 gallons. It is best to fly the plane because more air goes over the engine and keeps it cooler. Heat is the big enemy during break in. It is best if the cowl is baffled to direct the air onto the engine. Using a small prop reduces the load. Keep the plane moving for the first few gallons. No torque rolling!!! I know it is tempting because you can torque roll at ¼ throttle, but the engine will overheat until it is broken in. There is more friction between the piston ring and piston with the cylinder wall until they have a chance to wear in.
First flight: Following the break in procedure above, start the engine using the factory needle settings. Leave the cowl off. Let the plane run on the ground for a minute at a high idle. The engine starts to break in quickly, and you may notice the rpm increase on its own. Run the engine up to full throttle momentarily to see if the needle valve settings are correct. Don't run the engine too rich. A little bit of a rich burble on occasion is best for the first flight. Be sure the idle is reliable and low enough to land. If the idle is too high you might run off the runway and damage your plane, so be careful to get the idle as low as possible. Be prepared to kill the engine if necessary because the idle speed will increase as the engine breaks in. After the first flight, the engine will be noticeably different already. After a few flights you will be ready to tweak the needles and go full bore.
Never go to full throttle while the engine is cold. Let it warm up for 30 seconds before you start hammering the throttle.
These engines are proven winners at a great price. Enjoy your engine safely!
Some very important information regarding DLE products!
DLE Engines is one of the most prolific manufacturers of model airplane engines in China.
Troy Built Models has a direct relationship with DLE Engines and we offer only genuine DLE products.
Due to their immense popularity and reputation for quality, the economy seems to have forced some dishonest companies to manufacturer and try and pass their 50 and 100cc products off as original DL 50 or DL 100 engines.
For example, a genuine DL 50 engine would have a neatly machine etched serial # of less than 700 and be cast labeled DL 50. A DL 50 copy, however, would have a serial # much higher (usually hand inscribed with an electric scriber), have lower quality bearings and piston rings with a high failure rate, lower quality crankshaft material and a lower quality overall fit and finish.
Because of this, DLE Engines has long since discontinued their 50 and 100cc engines and are now offering only the DLE20, DLE 30, DLE 55 DLE 111, and DLE 222 as well as the new DLE-60 Twin, DLE-35RA, and DLE55RA.
For obvious reasons, Troy Built Models cannot offer any warranty or parts support for counterfeit DL engines.