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netPilot

A Corrosion Question...

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Hello All,


In talking with various sellers of vintage Mooney aircraft, I always ask about corrosion.  I have been told by no less than 5 different people, including dealer/brokers that "anyone who tells you a vintage Mooney is corrosion free is lying".  What is interesting is that the statement is almost the same word for work each time I hear it.


My question is, is this true?  Is there no such thing as a truly corrosion free airframe?  Understanding structural corrosion to be a real concern, is there a relatively acceptable level of skin corrosion that is cost effective to fix as a buyer?  Or any corrosion is bad, and simply walk away from any aircraft known to have it?


Thanks in advance. 

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Quote: netPilot

Hello All,

In talking with various sellers of vintage Mooney aircraft, I always ask about corrosion.  I have been told by no less than 5 different people, including dealer/brokers that "anyone who tells you a vintage Mooney is corrosion free is lying".  What is interesting is that the statement is almost the same word for work each time I hear it.

My question is, is this true?  Is there no such thing as a truly corrosion free airframe?  Understanding structural corrosion to be a real concern, is there a relatively acceptable level of skin corrosion that is cost effective to fix as a buyer?  Or any corrosion is bad, and simply walk away from any aircraft known to have it?

Thanks in advance. 

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Quote: netPilot

In talking with various sellers of vintage Mooney aircraft, I always ask about corrosion.  I have been told by no less than 5 different people, including dealer/brokers that "anyone who tells you a vintage Mooney is corrosion free is lying".

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We just purchased a 67' F a few weeks ago.  Durring this process we looked at 5 planes. 4 of the 5 had corrosion problems ranging from minor to severe. It wasn't practical to take a mechanic and remove every expection panel on each of the planes we looked at. This would be a couple of days work. We found one that was corrosion free on the exterior and the wheel wells and inside tailcone were clean. We then had the owner fly it to our mechanic and he removed all the panels and looked in the nookes and crannies.


 A careful examination of the wheel wells, tailcone, and look behind a couple of the interior panels will give you a pretty good idea if the plane is worth getting a mechanic to do a prebuy.  Any deep flaking looking corrosion is a big problem.

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Has anyone ever heard of a BROKER/DEALER TRYING TO SELL AN AIRPLANE THAT HASN'T LIED?   lol!!!


 


 

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Quote: N9937c

Has anyone ever heard of a BROKER/DEALER TRYING TO SELL AN AIRPLANE THAT HASN'T LIED?   lol!!!

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I agree that most have some level of corrosion in the wings. Corrosion X treatment can CHECK the corrosion. Find one that has been well maintained and treated and inspect, inspect, inspect.

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When we stripped down my bird for new paint, filliform corrosion was all over the tops of the wing and tail surfaces.  Not bad and it was treatable (the Bonanza next to mine was far worse).  Properly cleaned and sealed, it should stop the corrosion process for a little while.  Unfortunetly, this type of corrosion is found under the paint and usually cannot be seen with routine inspections, just be aware that it's there, especially if you live in a climate near the oceans.  Bubbling paint is a bad sign as it is usually in an advanced stage.  Mine lived in Houston for an extended period before moving North to Kansas with me.


I haven't found anything significant inside the bird, so that is good.  Couple of minor things that cleaned up well.  Mine had the Corrosion X treatment every other year with the previous owner and I will continue that at each annual.


Brian

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Quote: netPilot

.....Or any corrosion is bad, and simply walk away from any aircraft known to have it?

Thanks in advance. 

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Really good thread, thank you everyone.  Lots of good info, and I did call and speak with Tom at Top Gun - he was also very helpful.

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Quote: netPilot

Really good thread, thank you everyone.  Lots of good info, and I did call and speak with Tom at Top Gun - he was also very helpful.

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Here's a link to Top Gun's website where they have a little picture story of serious corrosion and how easy it can be to over look. Mark over there said that if this plane were to show up today, likelyhood is they would scrap it.


Top Gun Corrosion Horror Story

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Bruce Yeager from Willmar Air Service is also well versed in Legecy aircraft corrosion. I think Bruce has seen more aircraft come through his (ex) shop then anyone short of Don Maxell or Tom. Bruce has spoken on many occasions regarding corrosion. I have visited his shop and seen a number of aircraft in diefferent stages of corrosion. Surface stuff can be cleaned up by buffing and treating the metal, deeper corrosion can only be fixed by replacement or in the worst case, the aircraft is condemmed.


How do you spot it? Learn the problem areas. Spar Cap, Wheel Well, Wing Walk, Cabin interior, Tubular structure etc. Have a GREAT prebuy done by a Mooney Service Center and specificlly ask them to look for corrosion. Fresh paint MIGHT = covered corrosion so be carefull.


DON'T FALL IN LOVE WITH A PLANE BECAUSE IT HAS A CHEAP PRICE AND GOOD AVIONICS. Dig deeper and if you like it spend the money on a prebuy. If the owner balks, walk away.


If you have a aircraft, don't let dirt accumulate, clean = corrosion free. Metal is treateable in the early stages but go ahead and let that dirt and water mix and sit, and you have the beginning of the end of your aircraft. You are the owner so keep it clean, don't eat and drink in the cabin. I saw the results of a spilled soda on metal under carpet and left to rot. It's not pretty.


CorrosionX is good stuff for the interior areas of the wing and tail cone. It drips forever but it does keep done the corrossion. BUT if you already had a filthy fuel soaked wing and then shoot corrossionX in there, you have done nothing.


Old paint is also a problem if you let the bare metal start shinning through. Bare metal = start of corrosion. Surface at first, white powdery coating, then on to inner grainular. Don't be cheap, keep it clean, keep it painted, keep it waxed and keep it in a hanger. Wash it once in a while, by hand.


 

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Quote: richardheitzman

If you have a aircraft, don't let dirt accumulate, clean = corrosion free.

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Theo,


Believe a pressure washer might be too much if you need to clean out the inside of your wings.  what I have done with success (as measured by only me...) is to make a solution of "Extreme Simple Green" (aircraft safe) in a hand pump pressure sprayer like the exterminators use, open all of my inspecrtion panels before hand and spray the soap solution into the wings and areas needing to be cleaned. Follow it up within a minute or two with a garden hose nozzle on a flat stream or "garden" style spray.


After I am done, I let the aircraft sit in the hot sun and bake off the rest of the moisture.  Lastly, I get the flashlight out and check to see if any of the crud has accumualted to be vacuumed out.  Follow up with your choice of anti corrosion: Boeshield or Corrosion X.


Believe Boeshield is a bit thicker and waxier so it doesn't dribble, but either are what you need after the soapy cleaning.


I am always too short of time when I do this, so, if anyone has a better method, please share as I could use as much help as possible!!


V/R

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Thanks for all the input. I'm looking for a model E and this is my highest concern. Most everything else is normally visible.


Bill


 

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DrBill,


 


Have you had any luck with your plane search?


I am looking for M20 c-f myself. Saw the M20E you referred to in the other email.


It seems to me that most of the planes I am looking for are requiring an investment in airlines to get there.


Oh well. Alabama yesterday and Texas this coming weekend.


Where is a good NC plane when you need one?


 


 

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