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Hey all,

I just got done looking at an m20c for purchase.  It had a moderate fuel smell from the cabin and didnt know if that was how all of them are, or is it unique?  Does it go away when started up or flying?   The owner said it was because it was sitting which is why it smelled. 

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Because when he flies it the fuel stops leaking into the cabin when the level gets low enough. Should not have fuel smell. Fuel is leaking into cabin which is either the tank seal or the seal for the fuel senders. 

 

Based l on the response I’d call bs on the owner who should know better. 

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Could be a relatively simple fix if it’s the senders, or maybe it’s showing that the airplane needs a full tank strip and reseal.  Either way,  if you plan to pursue that airplane, have a knowledge mechanic dig into that before buying.  It should definitely not smell like fuel, however that is a common symptom in the Mooney. The airplane is talking to you...

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1 hour ago, ExpressJetter said:

Hey all,

I just got done looking at an m20c for purchase.  It had a moderate fuel smell from the cabin and didnt know if that was how all of them are, or is it unique?  Does it go away when started up or flying?   The owner said it was because it was sitting which is why it smelled. 

Look behind the side upholstery panels for leaks form the fuel quantity transmitters, the fuel outlet fittings and their connecting hoses or fuel leaking from the tank entering the cabin.  Look in the wheel wells for sign of blue fuel stains running down the lower spar caps toward the cabin.

Clarence

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Thanks for the responses. 

My wife and I said the guys tone seemed to change halfway through looking at it.  Like either he was annoyed at my questions or like I was onto something.  We couldn't figure out why.... maybe It was this because the rest of the aircraft wasn't too bad from what I was looking at.

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The seals will leak at the fuel tank selector. I've seen the fuel puddled into the selector bowl from leaking seals. Tale-tell is blue staining in the bowl that you can pick up on your finger tip.

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1) fuel aromas in a Mooney are not ever normal.

2) They were never designed to be normal.

3) There are many possibilities that allow fuel and its aromas into the cabin...

4) some of those sources are easy to find. Some are easy to fix...

5) pointing out problems to a seller is always a function of negotiating...

6) some sellers are not expecting to be negotiating... and they may not even be aware of the problem either...

7) Find the threads regarding PPIs and purchase agreements... 

8) The plane might have a loose sensor or bad seal... or aged rubber fuel line connector... 

9) What is the worst it can be..? The fuel tanks need to be resealed?  A topic for the PPI...

Move forwards with ordinary caution when buying a 50 year old machine...

PP thoughts only, not a mechanic...

Best regards,

-a-

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+1 on removing the interior side panels next to each front seat.

The stains can also be brown, or even black if it’s been leaking and sitting for a long time...easy to mistake it for grime. All the black that you see in the pics below is residue from a fuel leak...

A59271B5-706E-40DD-85DF-0B0FBE5AD453.jpeg

1F9D18A8-F728-4157-9DA9-33CE44D5AE65.jpeg

1DB75CDE-37FC-4038-90A5-D8102C44810B.jpeg

6D93706C-3799-4302-8830-94B5D20A6653.jpeg

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You should be pulling the side panels to look for corrosion on the tubes and if the SB on tubing corrosion has been done.  Hint paint not green.

If there are blue stains on the senders.  Easy fix

If it is running down the front of the wing.  Pull the inspection plate on the leading edge of the wing about 1/3 out.  Know the difference between a fuel tank panel and an inspection panel.  Hint fuel panels are flush. 

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3 hours ago, ExpressJetter said:

Thanks for all the information everyone.    This and a few other items made me decide to keep on looking.  

Other items aside, I wouldn't pass on a plane just because of a leaky tank. It's a common repair with well established costs. If you can successfully negotiate this into the price you end up with freshly sealed tanks going forward and it's one less thing to worry about. Of course there will be some downtime and inconvenience involved.

If the owner knew about the leak and didn't mention it that is a whole different red flag. Good luck with the hunt.

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4 hours ago, lamont337 said:

Other items aside, I wouldn't pass on a plane just because of a leaky tank. It's a common repair with well established costs. If you can successfully negotiate this into the price you end up with freshly sealed tanks going forward and it's one less thing to worry about. Of course there will be some downtime and inconvenience involved.

If the owner knew about the leak and didn't mention it that is a whole different red flag. Good luck with the hunt.

It is the "that is normal"  and other comments made that makes me think is not the plane for me. 

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It is normal for 50 year old machines to need maintenance...

I listed the ones my M20C went through...

PilotCoyote graciously supplied the pics...

Reading the logs will indicate when each of these normal maintenance items has been corrected...

Use this as a learning experience...

Expect a seller to be able to know what to do... he has either priced it in, or didn’t know...

if he knew the condition, and made the buyer aware of it, and adjusted the price... that is great honesty...

If he was unaware of the condition, Now would be the time to determine what is needed and the cost of getting it fixed...

These leaks are typical of air worthiness issues...

A proper PPI will ferret out AW issues... a proper purchase agreement will  define AW issues to be fixed and who will do the fixing as well as the paying...

Buying an old machine isn’t magical, it’s just an extra helping of good honest work...

Buying old machines isn’t for everyone...?

PP thoughts only, not a mechanic...

Best regards,

-a-

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One other thing to think about...  There are aluminum fuel lines from the tank to the fitting on the firewall.  Aluminum will work harden and crack over the years.  I had to replace a couple of them that had cracked in the flares.

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On 9/7/2019 at 2:43 PM, ExpressJetter said:

It is the "that is normal"  and other comments made that makes me think is not the plane for me. 

One of the things you will often see on here is the comment to do an inspection on the owner as well as the plane.

Sounds like neither passed your initial review.

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1 hour ago, Oldguy said:

One of the things you will often see on here is the comment to do an inspection on the owner as well as the plane.

Sounds like neither passed your initial review.

Agreed,  I dont want to spend the money on a good PPI if I dont even trust the owner

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On 9/6/2019 at 11:42 PM, carusoam said:

1) fuel aromas in a Mooney are not ever normal.

2) They were never designed to be normal.

3) There are many possibilities that allow fuel and its aromas into the cabin...

4) some of those sources are easy to find. Some are easy to fix...

5) pointing out problems to a seller is always a function of negotiating...

6) some sellers are not expecting to be negotiating... and they may not even be aware of the problem either...

7) Find the threads regarding PPIs and purchase agreements... 

8) The plane might have a loose sensor or bad seal... or aged rubber fuel line connector... 

9) What is the worst it can be..? The fuel tanks need to be resealed?  A topic for the PPI...

Move forwards with ordinary caution when buying a 50 year old machine...

PP thoughts only, not a mechanic...

Best regards,

-a-

Maybe not normal but they sure can be common. Sometimes there a big deal and sometime not.  If this guy was a real sneak he’d have run the tank low or done a quick and dirty patch job to prevent you from smelling the leak. As it stands he’s probably just clueless and annoyed that the buyer is concerned with something that he’s been livening with for a long time.

Edited by Shadrach
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On 9/7/2019 at 7:21 AM, Yetti said:

You should be pulling the side panels to look for corrosion on the tubes and if the SB on tubing corrosion has been done.  Hint paint not green.

If there are blue stains on the senders.  Easy fix

If it is running down the front of the wing.  Pull the inspection plate on the leading edge of the wing about 1/3 out.  Know the difference between a fuel tank panel and an inspection panel.  Hint fuel panels are flush. 

Hint: Much of the Zinc Chromate/Phosphate on the market is green. It is a perfectly acceptable corrosion inhibitor for the steel cage. There are more optimal coatings for sure, but the presences of green zinc in the area (as depicted in PilotCoyote’s pics) tells you that someone has made an effort to inhibit corrosion in the area.

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We are talking about the cabin tubing the the hint from the Mooney SB 208:   " 25. Verify all re paired areas are properly secured and painted before installing interior panels. Epoxy primer is recommended for all areas to be repainted.

somewhere around 1976 Epoxy was used at the factory for the tubing.

 

Edited by Yetti

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