Pal33

Advice on this M20C

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Hi Mooniacs,

I'm a relatively new private pilot that received my private pilots license a few months ago. I've been looking at planes to pursue an IFR rating with, and came across this local Mooney M20C posted on trade-a-plane.

https://www.trade-a-plane.com/search?listing_id=2333998

It has a pretty advanced STEC 60 autopilot and new paint and interior, but the engine is is from 1969 with only 1350 hours and no overhaul. Would this be likely to pose an issue down the road? I would appreciate any other insight or feedback on price to value of this plane.

Edited by Pal33

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In short- yes.   If you spend an afternoon searching and reading this forum, you will learn much.   Good luck.

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IMHO, it’s a lot more important how many RECENT hours are on the plane.  If it’s only had a 20 hours/year for the last few years, I would be concerned.  I bought a high time engine, but it had seen 100 hours or more, per year for a decade.  I bought it as a run-out, and I’ve been flying it for a year with no issues (100 hours).

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There are a couple of ADs that have come up for the engine since 1969....

There should be a couple of notes in the maintenance logs that indicate what has been updated over time...

The exhaust valves should have been updated... and the oil pump gears needed to be updated...

So... when buying a plane, become familiar with the Pre-Purchase Inspection, and what should be covered for your needs...

Reviewing the logs of an airplane, and taking notes, teaches a lot about the machine... all stuff you can do without needing to be a mechanic or paying a mechanic to do...

You may go through a couple of planes that don’t meet your expectations before you start to spend money....

Enjoy the hunt!

Best regards,

-a-

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Thanks for the comments.

@MikeOH, I'll be sure to check on the recent hours flown. The plane doesn't look like it's flown much of any since last July. Would a decent pre-buy inspection satisfy your concerns or would discounting the price to account for an overhaul and flying it until then be ok? Or would you simply stay away if didn't haven many hours flown the last few years?

 

@carusoam, I'll work on getting copies of the log books and do some homework. Thanks.

 

 

Edited by Pal33

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If you buy the airplane at a discounted price taking a run out engine into consideration, then in reality, any excess hours that you get out of that engine are a bonus. I Would ALWAYS recommend a pre-buy, there are a lot of other scary things that could catch you with your pants down besides the engine. Good luck and have fun with the purchase


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Have you been given any information on how much oil it's consuming, a quart per ____?  I'd expect it to be pretty high given how much it's been sitting.

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A 50 year old engine needs an overhaul, and the plane should be priced as a runout.   Paint and interior are nice, price is bonkers.

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1 hour ago, Pal33 said:

Thanks for the comments.

@MikeOH, I'll be sure to check on the recent hours flown. The plane doesn't look like it's flown much of any since last July. Would a decent pre-buy inspection satisfy your concerns or would discounting the price to account for an overhaul and flying it until then be ok? Or would you simply stay away if didn't haven many hours flown the last few years?

 

@carusoam, I'll work on getting copies of the log books and do some homework. Thanks.

 

 

If you can buy as a runout, then your risk is reduced (still a hassle to deal with getting an overhaul, installing...), but I honestly walked away from many planes simply because of very little use over many years.  My guess is that at 1350 hours there’s no way the seller is going to price as a run-out.

I think it’s pretty tough for a pre-buy to predict how long a given engine is going to last.  If you do proceed, I’d at least have the cylinders borescoped.

Not trying to discourage you, but the engine is always a bit of a crapshoot.  Frankly, that uncertainty stopped me from buying for a long time; I finally accepted the risk. 

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7 minutes ago, DXB said:

A 50 year old engine needs an overhaul, and the plane should be priced as a runout.   Paint and interior are nice, price is bonkers.

OMG!

I completed missed the price!  You need to be selling whatever that guy is on:o

Run, Forest, run!!

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I'd be curious to see what @jgarrison recently published buyers guide would price this out at.

My number would be $35K. 

This plane was looked after in a very specific way for a very specific purpose, obviously. And as long as you are looking for a plane that is designed to sit in a hanger and look good, this is a good candidate. But if you're looking for a plane to fly, this one isn't really set up for that. 

 

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GSXR and I have been seeing things the same way for a while...

 

Consider this M20C to be in the specialty category...

1) Somebody has preserved it, updated it, and hardly used it...

2) There is a lot of stuff that is not original.  And a lot of stuff that was new, has aged out again...

3) All those updates combined, may be worth the price...

4) It makes sense to go forwards with this if you are really interested in it as a specialty plane...

5) If you are looking for a plane that is ready to fly long cross countries... there are better planes for that... they are going to have a lot of hours, a WAAS gps, a mid time engine that has run a lot for the last few years, and may not have more than a wing leveler...

6) Some parts of the country are on different pay scales... this may be normal for the SF area...

7) Use The PPI to verify everything is in proper technical order.

PP thoughts only, not a sales guy...

Best regards,

-a-

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Any C model owner quoting 150 knots on 8.5gph is a little optimistic. It does have great ramp appeal though. 

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To put it in perspective, I just overhauled my M20C's engine. It had never been overhauled, total time on the plane and engine was 2684 when I finally decided to do the overhaul. It needed it. Bad. And the overhaul cost more than average due to all the work that needed to be caught up on from 50 years of AD's, etc.

But, it did run for 2684 hours and 52 years without a problem........

I would consider it with the understanding that a 25 to 30 k overhaul will be needed in the next 5 years, 10 max. You aren't going to get away with a cheap 20k overhaul. 

I can't get tradeaplane to talk to me this morning, so I don't know the particulars about this plane, including asking price, but it must be awfully nice to be in the $35k ballpark.

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If there airplane has been sitting - anything and everything on it is subject to needing replacement.  STEC autopilots are notoriously expensive to have repaired.  If you go forward with a pre-buy - make sure it is not just for the high dollar airworthiness items but verifies the operational condition of things like the nav/comm and the autopilot.  I don't know how much individual servos cost...but they are in the thousands...

Having watched a friend recently go through the process of buying a "barn find" - it hasn't been cheap.

Trade a plane isn't working for me either but if you follow this site...the popular opinion on this sites is that the top price for a C model....should be around 50,000.  More than that and you are competing against E and F models.  You could easily sink 100K into a C model...but most people shopping for that particular model are doing so on a lower budget.  Why make a C model compete against a J?

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TBO for the Lycoming O-360 is 2000 hrs or 12 years.  The hrs SMOH seem to be accounted for in pricing routinely but rarely do the years get the same attention - it’s usually not even listed in ads. I’m not sure why buyers put up with this or why the market tolerates pricing based on hours only (I was one of these sucker buyers myself a few years ago).  Clearly one can go well past 2000 hrs or 12 years under part 91  safely, but I would be  hesitant to  fly behind a 50 year old engine that has never been overhauled.  I am flying a 19years SMOH O-360 right now with 1100ish hrs - I’m pretty sure that’s still in the time window where the risk of infant mortality of a fresh overhaul exceeds the risk of flying an old engine.  I don’t know when the tipping point is, but  there is almost no data at 50 years to guide ones decision making. 

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The engine should at least be IRANed now, and given the age should be overhauled now.  There is an AD on the oil pump on the IO360's (check on yours) that will likely need to do now.  Some of the older STEC 60-2 have servos that can not be rebuilt.  That may be another place in need of money.  Instruments that have not been used may need overhaul.  The tanks are another place where money will probably need to be spent if they have never been resealed (unlikely 50 year old sealant will be reliable).  That will be about $9,000.  Look beyond the paint and interior.  Get a good Mooney I&A to go over everything and meticulously check for corrosion everywhere.  Remember, it will be  your A$$ in that plane. 

Buying an older plane is not an opportunity to save money.  It is an opportunity to buy an airframe for as little as possible, with hopefully no damage history, where you can do the rebuilding yourself and know what you are flying.  It will not be cheaper in the end.  It the plane you are looking at seems like it has been maintained, you will still need to spend money you did not anticipate spending.  You can buy a 10-15 year old plane and go over the logbooks and feel like you know what you are getting.  In the case of a  50 year old plane, even if taken care of, may have gremlins no one has recognized.  

It is for this reason I bought a project airplane, knowing that I would be stripping it down to bare airframe and rebuilding everything. (It did a little redesigning in the process).  Talk to a lot of people, know what you want to use the plane for, and realize with the state of equipment/avionics today, you may want to upgrade sooner than you think, so I would not put too much value in the equipment that is in the plane now (FYI:  I do not see an S-TEC preselector in the panel).

John Breda

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A pre-buy inspection is always good, but the concern about the motor can't be addressed much.  The owner may not let them pull a cylinder to look in the crankcase, and while that may warn you of major problems, it won't tell you how much the motor will last.

I'd echo the cautions of everyone above--it should be priced as a run-out motor, not one that is 1350 hours.

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Starting with 62,000 asking price then add a factory engine for 30,000 more, go buy a nice J model and be real happy.

Clarence

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Hell, I’ll sell you my C for 62k and you’d get a fresh engine and better instrumentation.  The paint isn’t new, and I have just the wing leveler, but everything else on mine is comparable or better. Unless you don’t like manual gear and flaps (personally I prefer them) 

Ps> my plane is not for sale but for $62k I would definitely think about it. 

Edited by salty
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Has anyone done a factory overhaul or rebuilt exchange with Lycoming?  Are they the same as Continental in that they will except a run-out core with no upcharges for damaged cams, crankshafts, etc?  Factory price for an overhauled O360 is $23.6K out the door, so going that route should avoid any upcharges for oil coolers, oil pumps or anything else out there.  If they are like Continental, I'd go that route and be done with it. 

Brian

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Just now, flight2000 said:

Has anyone done a factory overhaul or rebuilt exchange with Lycoming?  Are they the same as Continental in that they will except a run-out core with no upcharges for damaged cams, crankshafts, etc?  Factory price for an overhauled O360 is $23.6K out the door, so going that route should avoid any upcharges for oil coolers, oil pumps or anything else out there.  If they are like Continental, I'd go that route and be done with it. 

Brian

Thats not going to fix AD's related to prop governors, carburetors, or overhaul mags, prop hubs, etc, that's very likely to be needed if an overhaul has never been done. That's the best case number, and on a 50 year old engine, it's not going to be best case.

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3 minutes ago, salty said:

Thats not going to fix AD's related to prop governors, carburetors, or overhaul mags, prop hubs, etc, that's very likely to be needed if an overhaul has never been done. That's the best case number, and on a 50 year old engine, it's not going to be best case.

I'm tracking all that, but since the plane has a fresh annual, the assumption (needs to be verified through a PPI for the prospective buyer) is that all AD's are either in compliance through inspection or have been replaced/fixed.  If that's not the case, the plane is not airworthy - end of discussion.

The question centers on the engine itself (not the accessories) and revolves around the Lycoming Service Bulletins.  Things like roller tappets, valve wobble tests, connector rod bushings, etc, that get replaced/upgraded during the overhaul process.  Continental does not charge for those extras, but boutique engine shops do.  Does Lycoming have the same policy is the question for their out the door overhauls and rebuilds which is listed @ $23.6K through Air Power, Inc?  I could call them to find out, but they are closed today...;)     

Brian

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3 minutes ago, flight2000 said:

I'm tracking all that, but since the plane has a fresh annual, the assumption (needs to be verified through a PPI for the prospective buyer) is that all AD's are either in compliance through inspection or have been replaced/fixed.  If that's not the case, the plane is not airworthy - end of discussion.

The question centers on the engine itself (not the accessories) and revolves around the Lycoming Service Bulletins.  Things like roller tappets, valve wobble tests, connector rod bushings, etc, that get replaced/upgraded during the overhaul process.  Continental does not charge for those extras, but boutique engine shops do.  Does Lycoming have the same policy is the question for their out the door overhauls and rebuilds which is listed @ $23.6K through Air Power, Inc?  I could call them to find out, but they are closed today...;)     

Brian

You misunderstand how it works. There are ADs on engine parts that only need to be complied with at overhaul. So....it’s airworthy until you break the case open......... but if you don’t open it up you’re still flying with parts that have ADs on them. That’s one of the reasons I did my overhaul even though the engine was running fine. 

Edited by salty

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