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Hello All -

We are working through our annual at a reputable MSC and have received our recommended repairs list.  Things have gone quite smoothly from a major repair perspective; however, there are quite a few $300-$1000 items being recommended, which also add up.  It includes some items I'd like to get some more experienced opinions on, as they have given us a bit of concern.  We have a 1968 M20F.  This is our first annual after ownership of the aircraft, but we had an annual completed by an MSC as part of the pre-buy process a year ago.

1) We have an Aero Trainer tire on the nose gear and the mechanic suggests that these are such poor quality that they are inherently a blowout risk and is recommending replacing. He did not indicate which brand/model of tire and tube he was going to replace with.

2) He is suggesting performance of SB-289A related to aileron links, but when I look up 289A it clearly indicates that it applies to electric gear retract versions of the 66-onward M20F's but we have manual gear retract and the applicable Modal & S/N list says nothing of that.  I'm inclined to think we don't need this, per the SB's applicability list, but perhaps this has become a common repair/upgrade for the manual retracts as well and it simply hasn't been reflected in the print of the SB?

3) He is suggesting that the tail linkage (link, bolts, bushing, duct) needs replaced.  He indicated that it appears original.  He made a comment that this is the/a source of slop in the tail.  I'm a little suspicious that he is commenting just based on the linkage appearing "original" and not on actual slop demonstrated in our plane because our pre-buy/annual mechanic (performed at a different, reputable MSC) specifically commented on how tight (i.e., little slop) the tail was relative to most Mooney's of our vintage.  With that said, this is a pretty important part of the plane and I don't want to ignore sound advice on the matter.

3) He is suggesting installation of the Lasar oversized bushing and NAS bolt kit for slop in our nose gear.  Our pre-buy/annual indicated slop in the nose gear as well (they added shims) so this one seems to follow history to me and I don't have any big concerns, but curious if anyone has any thoughts

5) He is also suggesting the left nose gear door rod ends.  This isn't that costly, but I'm also not sure what indication compels it, or what the potential complication or failure mode would be if left unaddressed.

My partner and I were encouraged with finding a reasonably convenient MSC that folks recommended, but some aspects of our experience have turned us off a bit.  Communication has been less than desirable and the annual is going to stretch past 3 weeks despite no major repairs (does include 500 hr mag inspection).  I'm willing to accept these issues (return next year) if the inspection is thorough and accurate and the repairs are quality.  However a few of the recommendations (the first three listed above) are giving us some added concern.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/opinions/recommendations...

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I wouldn't change out the nose tire until it needs it.

Not sure what to recommend on the aileron links.

If the tail is within spec, I wouldn't do anything to it.

Nose gear bushings seems appropriate.

Not enough information to discuss the nose gear door rod ends.

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1) Haven’t seen any tire blow-outs mentioned on MS... Lots of air loss from various tubes and mounting procedures though....

2) aileron links back in the day didn’t have additional gussets on the angles of the control parts... not sure what this has to do with the stated electric gear though...? My 65 C got them swapped out...

3) Any fabric parts are due... rat socks and other things that are fabric have rotted.  Look for possible opportunities to up date.

Other 3) looseness in the nose gear leads to a control issue call the 8 second ride...  Lasar sells a complete OH system.  Often done by swapping out the pertinent nose gear parts...

5) loose rod ends are worn parts... worn parts lead to unwanted vibrations...   if low cost, have swapped out while it is convenient...

Some MSCs are not the same as others...  some with good reports in the past may be unable to keep up with who they used to be...

the control gussets were an AD.  If not done, this would be an airworthiness issue...

know the difference between ADs, and nice to haves, and best to haves, and want to haves...

Great questions...

Best regards,

-a-

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1 minute ago, carusoam said:

Some MSCs are not the same as others...  some with good reports in the past may be unable to keep up with who they used to be...

 

^^This.

Even at the most reputable shops there are sometimes new or insufficiently supervised guys in the shop, or just things changing.   Going to a reputable shop helps your chances, but you still need to be vigilant, and I think your questions bear that out.

I'll +1 that a tire should probably be changed on actual condition issues rather than speculation.   You can certainly keep an eye on it from here for cracking or chunking or bulges or if it starts to have trouble holding air.

Most of the things you list aren't airworthiness issues and you can take the time to research them further later and/or get a second opinion with somebody else if you're not confident the work needs to be done now.    If you decide later that they're legitimate issues, you can always take it back there to have the work done.

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The bushings in the trim link almost never wear out. The bolts that go through them sometimes do. I would take it all apart and inspect it if you are concerned. New nuts and bolts only cost a few dollars. 

The most warn out ones I've ever seen had only warn through about 5% of their material. They probably would have failed in another 25000 hours. 

I know some people get overly concerned about slop in the tail, but the whole thing is in compression whenever you are flying so the slop doesn't change the flying characteristics at all. 

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With regard to SB-289A. I wouldn't worry about it unless you see signs of interference. Are there wear marks on the links or bell crank?

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Aero trainer tires are fine. 

If you grab the nose doors can you wiggle them? If they wiggle they tend to wiggle in flight and wear down the piano hing. I replaced all 4 of my rod ends for the nose door and now they’re nice and tight. 

-Robert 

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Regarding the tail pivot bolt; Most of us have heard Bill Wheat talk about having the FAA guys bring up the question of the strength of the bolt (about 5/16 inch if my memory is correct). He had the assembly guys replace it with a 1/4 inch bolt. The FAA guy refused to go up with him. But he took the plane up and went through his paces with no adverse effects on its flight characteristics.

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Keep in mind shops are in business to remain in business. Essentially that means that they will suggest everything that will keep them in business. That is not to say that certain items should not be replaced but if they are safety items the annual will not be signed off vs suggested items that may not be necessary but certainly add to the bill. You might look at Mike Busche’s web site who acts on behalf of an owner with the shop to determine what is or is not really required to be overhauled or replaced. As an example the shop might recommend a top overhaul and Mike might recommend only the cylinder in question be replaced. In terms of the Mag inspection it might be preferential to do one mag this year and one next year. One runs the risk of having an issue when both are done simultaneously. Lastly I don’t know how many hours you have flown since the prebuy but you might want to review the “list” with the shop that did the prebuy for their input. Remember at the end of the day the most reputable shops regardless of their best intentions are still in business to stay in business. 

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Did your MSC note these "recommended" items as discretionary or airworthiness items?

 

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If all is in spec, I would not worry too much. I agree with what has been said

to add:

The aileron link AD mentioned has to do with cracks in the weld...... different SB. SB mentioned is for rubbing. Not applicable to your manual gear F. On my E I just dropped the belly pan and moved the ailerons as well as inspected rods for signs of rubbing.... no rubbing, no problem. 

I had my left nose gear door rod end fail. The rod end is captured so as not to allow the door to fall free, and to open and close with the gear..... it will however be extremely loose, and cause accelerated wear to the door hinge if left for too long. Easy and fast to replace. I changed both lower rod ends on mine, as the uppers where still very tight.  

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There are shims in the nose gear door that need to be in proper order to make everything work properly.   You have to take the doors loose to get some of the panels off.   Some of the shims don't get put back in the same order which is important.

Tail should be checked on walk around.   A gentle lift up to check for excessive play.  

Check with them to see what are airworthyness items.  

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Sounds hinky to me, especially the stuff about the tail linkages.  Tire lasts until it wears, any tire can blow at any time.  This confirms the old adage that the shop that does your pretty should be the one to do the first annual.

I'd get out of this in the most parsimonious manner possible and find a new shop.  This just doesn't sounds good.

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1 minute ago, steingar said:

Sounds hinky to me, especially the stuff about the tail linkages.  Tire lasts until it wears, any tire can blow at any time.  This confirms the old adage that the shop that does your pretty should be the one to do the first annual.

I'd get out of this in the most parsimonious manner possible and find a new shop.  This just doesn't sounds good.

I made the mistake my first 3 years of going to 3 difference Mooney Service Centers. Each found a bunch of expensive stuff the others had missed.  Likely little of it was really that necessary though. When I asked about it they said "Well we each find different stuff".

-Robert

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19 hours ago, RobertGary1 said:

I made the mistake my first 3 years of going to 3 difference Mooney Service Centers. Each found a bunch of expensive stuff the others had missed.  Likely little of it was really that necessary though. When I asked about it they said "Well we each find different stuff".

-Robert

I've been gong to a Mooney savvy shade tree mechanic.  I like it that way.

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3 hours ago, steingar said:

I've been gong to a Mooney savvy shade tree mechanic.  I like it that way.

yes. I had a few upsetting experiences from the Mooney Service Centers (missing nut when replacing aileron bell crank, no cotter pin on main gear, and several more) that now I'm the only one who wrenches on my plane. I have a friend who is a Mooney owner and IA who does the inspection and I do the wrenching. Its a bit like packing your own chute.

-Robert

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1 hour ago, RobertGary1 said:

yes. I had a few upsetting experiences from the Mooney Service Centers (missing nut when replacing aileron bell crank, no cotter pin on main gear, and several more) that now I'm the only one who wrenches on my plane. I have a friend who is a Mooney owner and IA who does the inspection and I do the wrenching. Its a bit like packing your own chute.

-Robert

I think of the MSC's a lot like the three auto dealerships that we have. The dealerships are great, the shops are good, the technicians are trained and have access to all of the information that comes from the manufacturer. However, there are some technicians that I will let work on my car and others that I don't want touching it and that is based on years of knowing who is who and what kind of work they do. If I had that level of information about who at the MSC is turning the wrench I might feel different and be comfortable just dropping the plane off to them. But as it is, I do most of what needs to be done on my plane myself and have an IA keep an eye on me. If it is beyond what I can/want do (recent prop governor replacement for example) I have a local shop on the field that does it and I do my own inspection after they are done looking at everything they touched to see if there is anything missing or that looks out of place before taking it for a post maintenance shake down flight.

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The benefit of an MSC "should" be that they work on a lot of different Mooneys and therefore spend less time troubleshooting (seen it before), are more accurate in their diagnosis (same reason), and know what the "typical" Mooney problems are and therefore keep an eye on them. An MSC that doesn't always have a few Mooneys in the shop, are an MSC in name only and not one I'd be using.

The ethics, honesty, working in the best interest of the customer, etc. has nothing to do with the MSC designation in my opinion. 

In my experience, building a relationship with a shop is key to a good service experience. I'm very fortunate to have a close relationship with an excellent MSC. There are two shops that I have absolutely complete trust in, to work on my Mooney. And both are MSC's.

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The benefit of an MSC "should" be that they work on a lot of different Mooneys and therefore spend less time troubleshooting (seen it before), are more accurate in their diagnosis (same reason), and know what the "typical" Mooney problems are and therefore keep an eye on them. An MSC that doesn't always have a few Mooneys in the shop, are an MSC in name only and not one I'd be using.
The ethics, honesty, working in the best interest of the customer, etc. has nothing to do with the MSC designation in my opinion. 
In my experience, building a relationship with a shop is key to a good service experience. I'm very fortunate to have a close relationship with an excellent MSC. There are two shops that I have absolutely complete trust in, to work on my Mooney. And both are MSC's.


I think part of the challenge of these MSCs is their workforce. I know from different owners that use the one I used last year, there are certain mechanics they warn you to avoid. Like all businesses, you have some good employees and others that are not so good.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
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Ask yourself how motivated you would be to work for the typical wage of a maintainer in an Aircraft repair shop.  It’s part of the problem our industry has faced for generations.

Clarence

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2 hours ago, M20Doc said:

It’s part of the problem our industry has faced for generations.

...and it is not getting any better.

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On 7/8/2018 at 12:44 PM, moontownMooney said:

1) We have an Aero Trainer tire on the nose gear and the mechanic suggests that these are such poor quality that they are inherently a blowout risk and is recommending replacing. He did not indicate which brand/model of tire and tube he was going to replace with.

2) He is suggesting performance of SB-289A related to aileron links, but when I look up 289A it clearly indicates that it applies to electric gear retract versions of the 66-onward M20F's but we have manual gear retract and the applicable Modal & S/N list says nothing of that.  I'm inclined to think we don't need this, per the SB's applicability list, but perhaps this has become a common repair/upgrade for the manual retracts as well and it simply hasn't been reflected in the print of the SB?

3) He is suggesting that the tail linkage (link, bolts, bushing, duct) needs replaced.  He indicated that it appears original.  He made a comment that this is the/a source of slop in the tail.  I'm a little suspicious that he is commenting just based on the linkage appearing "original" and not on actual slop demonstrated in our plane because our pre-buy/annual mechanic (performed at a different, reputable MSC) specifically commented on how tight (i.e., little slop) the tail was relative to most Mooney's of our vintage.  With that said, this is a pretty important part of the plane and I don't want to ignore sound advice on the matter.

3) He is suggesting installation of the Lasar oversized bushing and NAS bolt kit for slop in our nose gear.  Our pre-buy/annual indicated slop in the nose gear as well (they added shims) so this one seems to follow history to me and I don't have any big concerns, but curious if anyone has any thoughts

5) He is also suggesting the left nose gear door rod ends.  This isn't that costly, but I'm also not sure what indication compels it, or what the potential complication or failure mode would be if left unaddressed.

As with all recommendations - look for the objective not subjective, there are tolerances for such items. 

1 - If you feel uncomfortable with the tire - source one - this site has lots of varied tire recommendations but the common denominator is a high quality tube.  

2 - I would ask to see where the links were rubbing that indicated the need for this item

3 - I would ask for the specificaiton and have it demonstrated that it is out of tolerance

4 - I think that this is one of the achillies heels of the Mooney landing gear - My F had 2200 ish hours on it when I had mine redone.  Again have the play demonstrated for you to see. 

5 - Have the play demonstrated - the ends may be worn - or more than likely the little spacing washers may be missiing.  

 

Just my thoughts and how I would approach it. 

 

 

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If the OP is otherwise satisfied with the shop and the work they did, my suggestion is to let them take care of a few items this year (my suggestion is the nose gear) and defer the others to the future.  This way you stay on favorable terms with the shop but that you won't necessarily just stroke a check on a whim.

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19 hours ago, gsxrpilot said:

The benefit of an MSC "should" be that they work on a lot of different Mooneys and therefore spend less time troubleshooting (seen it before), are more accurate in their diagnosis (same reason), and know what the "typical" Mooney problems are and therefore keep an eye on them. An MSC that doesn't always have a few Mooneys in the shop, are an MSC in name only and not one I'd be using.

The ethics, honesty, working in the best interest of the customer, etc. has nothing to do with the MSC designation in my opinion. 

In my experience, building a relationship with a shop is key to a good service experience. I'm very fortunate to have a close relationship with an excellent MSC. There are two shops that I have absolutely complete trust in, to work on my Mooney. And both are MSC's.

Easy for you to say when the shop is a couple hangers down from your plane  :-)

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20 hours ago, M20Doc said:

Ask yourself how motivated you would be to work for the typical wage of a maintainer in an Aircraft repair shop.  It’s part of the problem our industry has faced for generations.

Clarence

I remember remarking to one of the mechanics at a MSC as he worked on my plane "Do a good job because I fly my family over the Sea of Cortez in Mexico" and he looked back at me with shock on his face.

-Robert

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