cliffy

Speaking of vacuum steps-

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Since there are two threads on them already I'll start another with a question- 

I have a crank up model and I am thinking of changing it out to a vacuum model

Anyone ever done this? Does the Grim Reaper or anyone ever have them from salvage?

Annuals coming up and I thought it might be a good project then. Thoughts anyone?

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Are the hours of installation needed going to outweigh the 3 seconds it takes to spin the handle twice per flight?

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In my case, it's more "cool factor" interest:  is the cool factor going to be worth the expense?  Dunno, what's the expense gonna be?

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I don't suppose running a vacuum line to the rear would cost much but I don't know if the step arm (leg?) is the same.

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I've thought about getting rid of my vacuum and going all electric on the panel, but my step is vacuum powered.  I wish I had an electric or manual step instead.

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I've thought about getting rid of my vacuum and going all electric on the panel, but my step is vacuum powered.  I wish I had an electric or manual step instead.
Converting the step to electric should be easy enough, if you can convince your AP that a 12V motor, a spool, and some cable is a minor mod.

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1 hour ago, rbridges said:

I've thought about getting rid of my vacuum and going all electric on the panel, but my step is vacuum powered.  I wish I had an electric or manual step instead.

I had the same concern about my speed brakes (vacuum powered) but have decided to move forward with the panel upgrade and retain the vacuum pump. I sat back and looked at why I wanted to eliminate the pump and it was to manage risk in IMC by not depending on  it. So my thought now is if I have no vacuum devices on my panel and the pump got Tango Uniform, safely flying without being able to use my speed brakes is still possible. Besides, I lose the 12+ lbs. of stand-by vacuum pump. Think about why you want to drop your vacuum pump.

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1 hour ago, bluehighwayflyer said:

I’d rather have the manual step, personally. Keep it simple. Or even better since I am tall and have never missed not having one on my J, just remove the step entirely and save a few pounds to boot. 

Well... I guess you don't have to think about a 5'2", eyes of blue, better half.  

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7 minutes ago, Oldguy said:

I had the same concern about my speed brakes (vacuum powered) but have decided to move forward with the panel upgrade and retain the vacuum pump. I sat back and looked at why I wanted to eliminate the pump and it was to manage risk in IMC by not depending on  it. So my thought now is if I have no vacuum devices on my panel and the pump got Tango Uniform, safely flying without being able to use my speed brakes is still possible. Besides, I lose the 12+ lbs. of stand-by vacuum pump. Think about why you want to drop your vacuum pump.

good point.  I didn't realize the backup weighed that much.

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There is a great deal to love about Mooneys from 1966 +/- a year or two: the Johnson Bar Manual Landing Gear, Manual/hydraulic Flaps, and a sexy Vacuum actuated Step that's there when you need it and tucked in all comfy when you don't.

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55 minutes ago, rbridges said:

good point.  I didn't realize the backup weighed that much.

When I redid my panel I removed the backup vacuum system but not the vacuum pump. This was on the advice of my avionics shop. Vacuum powers the backup AI and the step, neither of which would be critical if they failed. In fact both have failed since I've had the plane, not at the same time and not due to the vacuum pump. 

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My wife nor I have any trouble boarding or de planing without the step, occasionally I will lower the "old man step" for passengers. When I was first looking at Mooney's I thought the crank was to role the window up and down, if you had the crank mechanism and switched your step to vacuum you might as well install a window that goes up and down using that crank.

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Seems like the Vintage folks are very attached to their retractable steps :) I would never understand why not just install a fixed step with the fairing that makes it a non-issue wrt to drag and be done with it? i.e. like the rest of the modern fleet? Of course I am assuming a fixed step can be installed in the vintage birds like the modern Mooney's but I don't know specifics and never see that option discussed and curious why not.

Incidentally, although I am 100% glass, I kept my vacuum pump for my speed brakes as well. The pump weighs next to nothing so it didn't bother me at all, but I was very happy to pull the electric standby pump out of the back which did add up to some significant weight.  

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Seems like the Vintage folks are very attached to their retractable steps  I would never understand why not just install a fixed step with the fairing that makes it a non-issue wrt to drag and be done with it? i.e. like the rest of the modern fleet? Of course I am assuming a fixed step can be installed in the vintage birds like the modern Mooney's but I don't know specifics and never see that option discussed and curious why not.
Incidentally, although I am 100% glass, I kept my vacuum pump for my speed brakes as well. The pump weighs next to nothing so it didn't bother me at all, but I was very happy to pull the electric standby pump out of the back which did add up to some significant weight.  
Speaking for myself only... I like how clean it looks. One less thing hanging off and looking ugly.

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32 minutes ago, kortopates said:

Seems like the Vintage folks are very attached to their retractable steps :) I would never understand why not just install a fixed step with the fairing that makes it a non-issue wrt to drag and be done with it? i.e. like the rest of the modern fleet?

Because Al Mooney didn't design it that way, that's why.  Same reason I like my Johnson Bar landing gear.

You dang kids with yer new-fangled flyin' machines.  No respect for the classics.

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23 minutes ago, Andy95W said:

Because Al Mooney didn't design it that way, that's why.  

Roy LoPresti did, though.  ;)

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1 hour ago, kortopates said:

Seems like the Vintage folks are very attached to their retractable steps :) I would never understand why not just install a fixed step with the fairing that makes it a non-issue wrt to drag and be done with it? i.e. like the rest of the modern fleet? Of course I am assuming a fixed step can be installed in the vintage birds like the modern Mooney's but I don't know specifics and never see that option discussed and curious why not.

Incidentally, although I am 100% glass, I kept my vacuum pump for my speed brakes as well. The pump weighs next to nothing so it didn't bother me at all, but I was very happy to pull the electric standby pump out of the back which did add up to some significant weight.  

Perhaps if I had the HP of a 252 I would not care.  Besides this here is a vintage question not for the new fangled flyin machine types:P

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1 hour ago, ShuRugal said:

Speaking for myself only... I like how clean it looks. One less thing hanging off and looking ugly.

Fair enough, but its not very visible.

1 hour ago, Andy95W said:

Because Al Mooney didn't design it that way, that's why.  Same reason I like my Johnson Bar landing gear.

You dang kids with yer new-fangled flyin' machines.  No respect for the classics.

Too funny, but as much as I like Al's design, thank goodness for evolution and step wise refinement!

33 minutes ago, bonal said:

Perhaps if I had the HP of a 252 I would not care.  Besides this here is a vintage question not for the new fangled flyin machine types:P

Ah, but I love my vintage brethren birds. But Eric has the right idea. 

1 hour ago, EricJ said:

Roy LoPresti did, though.  ;)

 Fair enough guys, but even up and close I don't think you could barely tell the step exist on my bird, a dirty belly would be much uglier :) 

But  @bonal you might value a step more if you ever try to disembark at a ski area with icy pavement or any frozen destination. 

5a0f6e7f5c56b_P1010425(2).thumb.JPG.0354f256b956574d470a49682b6acea4.JPG 

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5 hours ago, kortopates said:

Fair enough, but its not very visible.

Too funny, but as much as I like Al's design, thank goodness for evolution and step wise refinement!

Ah, but I love my vintage brethren birds. But Eric has the right idea. 

 Fair enough guys, but even up and close I don't think you could barely tell the step exist on my bird, a dirty belly would be much uglier :) 

But  @bonal you might value a step more if you ever try to disembark at a ski area with icy pavement or any frozen destination. 

5a0f6e7f5c56b_P1010425(2).thumb.JPG.0354f256b956574d470a49682b6acea4.JPG 

Looking at this is there any wonder why we love our retractable landing gear. Beautiful !

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When I give it the gun and the step retracts the ramp rats bow.  They know an Executive is on board.  

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20 hours ago, kortopates said:

Seems like the Vintage folks are very attached to their retractable steps :)

Well Paul, if you had been a kid back in the sixties, you'd know that when a rocket lands (tail first) on a scary planet the first thing that happens is a staircase magically emerges from the hull for the astronauts to descend to their doom on. Then there is the ultimate retractable 'step":

0aceb3e9d9bee0f6ac5df1cb9ffa41ff.jpg

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