Today marked day four of my owner assisted annual on my 1966 Mooney M20C. Everything has been pretty straightforward thus far with this being my first year owning N9689M and a Mooney. I have turned wrenches on airplanes growing up but never on a Mooney. My friend (A&P) and I have been knocking out about a section of the Mooney Annual Maintenance Inspection Guide a day and hoping to have the IA on the field sign her off at the end of next week. The engine section went well with compressions 78/78/78/80, new Aeroshell W100 Plus with Camguard, and a nice and clean visually inspected oil filter. Spark plugs were cleaned and regapped without incident and the engine was repainted with a nice Lycoming Gray along with the baffling. New air filter was installed and the carb bowl was drained and wire main inlet screen cleaned. The only concern that needed repair was the removal of the battery box for sheet metal repair on the bottom of the box and repainting of the firewall.
My Hartzell Propellor was inspected and lubricated per the Hartzell Maintenance manual. All access panels required for the annual inspection were removed which took a while and I plan on fogging with ACF-50 before closing her up . We are now treating surface corrosion in the wheel wells and will be repainting the wheel wells and landing gear. Still have to start lubrication of airframe after paint and perform gear swing, repack bearings, and inspect brakes. I will be installing a new uplock from Lasar which I am looking forward to finally getting done. I dissembled the rudder bungee assembly due to surface corrosion, regreased, reassembled, and reinstalled (picture is before all work was completed). Cleaned and treated surface corrosion on brake master cylinders, and the electric fuel boost pump. I purchased an ADLog for this airplane several months back and spent my time researching all of the logbook entries from back to factory new. It took me a long time and was exhausting filling out the entire book to ensure compliance with ADs but I am sure glad I have that with me now to present to the IA (it makes it so easy to show proof of compliance).
I still can't understand some things however after researching logs of maintenance performed in last annuals, propellor entries, and also powerplant logs (and I mean thoroughly reading every log entry since new). I have followed the Mooney Annual Maintenance Inspection Guide exactly and have used the Mooney Maintenance manual and parts catalog throughout the annual for reference. I feel like the IA in previous years has been liberal on his sign offs after thoroughly inspecting my airplane this annual. For example the Propellor required much AeroShell #6 grease on the top blade and was extremely black coming out of the hub. I am no A&P but am very mechanically inclined and there is no way in less than a year with less than 50 hours on the bird this year as the new owner (thanks Corona Virus) that some of these items have formed. I have a hangared airplane and wash it almost twice a month. However, its good to see and find these discrepancies firsthand, fix, and have a sense of security in the hard work you have put in to preserve this great machine. I feel as though I have been more thorough in my annual inspection than dropping it off at a local airport maintenance facility.
This annual has been a lot of work, and living in the Caribbean I can't drive down the road to my local Mooney Service Center for parts but I planned ahead and had most of the parts needed to perform a thorough annual to take good care of the old girl. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel as this had been a great learning experience. I feel much more confident in performing owner preventative maintenance in my Mooney. Look forward to hearing other Mooney owners experiences in performing owner assisted annuals. Let me know if any of you guys are ever down in the Caribbean and want a flight around the islands. Keep Flying