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A Corrosion Question...


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#1 netPilot

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 02:08 PM

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. 



#2 Mitch

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 02:12 PM


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. 




 It might be helpful to you to contact one of our Mooney Service Centers, such as Tom or Mark Rouch of Top Gun in Stockton, Paul Lowen at LASAR, Don Maxwell at Maxwell Aviation in Texas.  I believe you will get some very good information from these experts.



#3 DaV8or

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 03:41 PM


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".




This is true. The M20B, C, D, E, F and G as well as later are made mostly of aluminum and steel. Both of these metals oxidize. A vintage Mooney by definition has lived in the world of oxygen for at least 34 years. There has got to be some corrosion somewhere. The trick is where and how much. As Mitch said, a MSC will help guide you and a prebuy done by a Mooney expert will really help because they know where to look. Biggies are corrosion of the steel cage that can be discovered by SB208B (hopefully the logs show that this inspection has been done at least once in the plane's life) and corrosion of the wing spar, look inside the wheel wells for a start. Don't just look up, but get a mirror and look down where the water is likely to pool.



#4 N601RX

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 04:23 PM

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.



#5 N9937c

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 08:30 PM

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


 


 



#6 Mitch

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 08:39 PM


Quote: N9937c


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


 


 




 I have had three experiences with Mooney brokers.  I will say that Mac of Rocky Mountain Mooney in Windsor, CO is an honest gentleman.   In addition to the honest list was the now deceased Doug Doullenkoph from Screamin' Eagle Avition in Santa Paula, CA.  I'm sure there are more honest ones and I'm sure there are the other kind as well.



#7 DaV8or

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 10:32 PM


Quote: N9937c


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




Tha bad ones lie, the average ones omit and the good ones down play. Do your homework people and then cross all your fingers and toes, bite your lip and take the leap of faith.



#8 scottfromiowa

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 11:26 PM

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.

#9 flight2000

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 02:20 AM

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



#10 bluehighwayflyer

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:08 AM

I think that almost all vintage aircraft will suffer to some degree from the effects of corrosion and that most claims that an airplane is "corrosion free" have to be taken as pure hyperbole.  This includes the many metal components of composite aircraft, but Mooneys' large number of steel components, some of which are very difficult to repair/replace, make them especially vulnerable.  The trick is to find one that has been hangared, preferably in an arid part of the country, and regularly treated with Corrosion X or the like. 


My previous Cherokee had been tied down in California for most of it's life, and to my eye it had an unacceptable degree of internal surface and filliform corrosion.   So much so that I sold it rather than to continue investing in it's restoration.  That said, my very experienced (Florida) mechanic told me that it's level of corrosion was average for the fleet and very much acceptable and airworthy.  I think that this is the single most important factor that one should consider when shopping for a used airplane, especially when planning on a long ownership horizon.  


Jim    



#11 fantom

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:04 PM


Quote: netPilot


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


Thanks in advance. 




Do that any forget about ever buying an older plane.


Good advise above. Regarding any sale....trust but verify, and get a complete PPI from an MSC.



#12 netPilot

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 01:43 PM

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.



#13 jax88

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 01:54 PM


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.




Please, do share what Tom at Top Gun had to say, it may be of interest to others.



#14 DaV8or

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 03:46 PM

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



#15 richardheitzman

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 03:06 PM

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.


 



#16 Mcstealth

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 11:34 PM

Richard speaks from experience me thinks :)



#17 Theo

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 10:54 AM


Quote: richardheitzman


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




 Very good point. I want to treat my old Mooney with corrosion proofing again ... it has been several years now. But I would like to clean it inside before I do so. What do you think about using a light duty pressure washer inside the wings and tail section to clean out all the accumulated crud that is hiding up in there? No sense spraying corrosion proofing in on top of lots of hidden dirt.



#18 CoachTom

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 11:11 AM

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



#19 fantom

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 11:56 AM

Equal time to ACF-50, please ;-)



#20 DrBill

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 06:42 PM

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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