PhateX1337

New pilot looking at a '75 M20F

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Just joined, but have been reading for a while ... really appreciate all the info & advice here! As the title says, I'm a new pilot looking at joining the Mooney owner ranks. Currently still searching, but have my eye on this M20F - any thoughts? https://plane-sale.com/en/detail/mooney-m20f.29048

Any owners in the Cincinnati or Boston areas? I'd love to sit in one & pick your brain a bit - spend a fair bit of time in both places. Coffee and/or beer on me!

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Nice plane 84k probably close to where it should be given the avionics 22SMOH on engine?? Infant mortality a possibility??  Was it a factory overhaul or a field overhaul?

 

Welcome to Mooney space

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31 minutes ago, 1964-M20E said:

Nice plane 84k probably close to where it should be given the avionics 22SMOH on engine?? Infant mortality a possibility??  Was it a factory overhaul or a field overhaul?

 

Welcome to Mooney space

Thanks! That's my main worry as well - it was a field overhaul with crankshaft/crankcase/cylinders sent to dedicated shops.

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Field overhauls are not necessarily a bad thing either.  Do they have a good list of all internal part numbers and SNs if applicable?

If the avionics are what you are looking for, and it is a nice suite, you will never be able tout all of that in a plane for less than buying a plane without the avionics and installing them yourself.

 

Get a good pre buy to check for corrosion and any other possible airworthy issues.

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There are several 75 F owners on this site. Me being one. The late model F models are the final refinement of the pre-J models. The 75 And 76 F models are very similar inside to a 77 J.

PM me your contact info and I can share my experiences as a 28 year 75 F owner.


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Looks like it has a number of speed mods as well,  wing to fuselage fairings, dorsal fairing, fuselage to stabilizer fairing and one piece windscreen.

If the engine serial number ended in “E” it would be a factory roller lifter engine, but it’s not.

Clarence

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Only 22 hours SMOH strikes me as concerning for two reasons:

1) High time engine preventing sale so owner does the lowest possible cost "overhaul"

2) Something else wrong with the plane found right after overhaul?  (Corrosion?)

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Welcome aboard PhateX...

M20Fs are great machines.  
 

Use a PPI to make sure the plane matches expectations...

Use TT to make sure the pilot matches expectations...

Many people buy an M20F and hold onto it for a very long time...

Is your flight going to be between Cincy and Boston?

That would be perfect for an M20F...

Best regards,

-a-

 

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Only 22 hours SMOH strikes me as concerning for two reasons:
1) High time engine preventing sale so owner does the lowest possible cost "overhaul"
2) Something else wrong with the plane found right after overhaul?  (Corrosion?)


I’d like to think it is a consciousness seller who took care of his plane and had a decent overhaul done. Who would want on their conscious that they sold an airplane with a questionable engine overhaul? As well, there are a lot of newbie buyers who wouldn’t want to tackle an engine overhaul.

As for the corrosion, with the amount of preaching done here about getting a good PPI, the seller would have to be pretty underhanded to try to pass it off as a clean airframe.

Maybe someone here knows the plane and can clear up the history.


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18 minutes ago, Marauder said:

 


I’d like to think it is a consciousness seller who took care of his plane and had a decent overhaul done. Who would want on their conscious that they sold an airplane with a questionable engine overhaul? As well, there are a lot of newbie buyers who wouldn’t want to tackle an engine overhaul.

As for the corrosion, with the amount of preaching done here about getting a good PPI, the seller would have to be pretty underhanded to try to pass it off as a clean airframe.

Maybe someone here knows the plane and can clear up the history.


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Just saying selling a plane 22 hours after spending the money on an OH raises some questions, don't you think?  I don't think the person is selling a 'questionable' OH; just one that wasn't done to new limits by a big name shop if the intention was to sell immediately after OH.  That's all.

Yes, one would like to think no one would try to pass off a plane with corrosion...but, it certainly has happened, unfortunately:(

And, I too hope there's a logical story that surfaces to explain the history.

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Just saying selling a plane 22 hours after spending the money on an OH raises some questions, don't you think?  I don't think the person is selling a 'questionable' OH; just one that wasn't done to new limits by a big name shop if the intention was to sell immediately after OH.  That's all.



No, I don’t think it is unusual. Like I mentioned earlier, there are a number of prospective owners who would value a fresh engine over a run out. I was one. Less than 50 hours on mine when I bought it. I was a newbie and was looking for a low time plane since I knew nothing about plane maintenance. Just because they didn’t mention a big name shop in the ad, doesn’t mean a decent shop didn’t do the overhaul. Now if you post something from the logs that shows it was done by Uncle Fred in his garage, I’d change my opinion. I think he put the engine in to sell it quicker.

It’s hard to say whether the current owner put in the Garmin 650 but it is likely he installed the Jaeger interior. So it does appear money was spent on this plane.

Let’s see what the logs say...

As for corrosion, every Mooney owner should be concerned. Even some of the more knowledgeable owners on this site discovered corrosion after their purchase.


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Wow, thanks for all the replies! There will be some back and forth between Cincy & Boston (more likely once I get IFR), but mostly NE regional trips for now.

Is there anything you would do differently/ask for specifically in the prebuy for an engine in infant mortality stage? The current owner did put in the new avionics & Jaeger interior as well as have the OH done, so there has been some money put into it, but only ~50hrs per year for the past 3 years. It's up to ~60 hrs SMOH now.

Lienz & Marauder, sent you both PMs. Thanks for the offers to help!

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IR is going to be helpful for that distance...

50 hours per year is pretty good, if they are well distributed over the months...

Probably don’t want them all in one month, followed by an idle 11 months...

PPI by a qualified mechanic... qualify your mechanic carefully...

Before sending a plane for PPI... do your best to read the logs and take notes of the important details...

PPIs are too expensive to have fail for things you can read about beforehand...

PP thoughts only, not a mechanic...

Best regards,

-a-

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The current owner did put in the new avionics & Jaeger interior as well as have the OH done, so there has been some money put into it...

Since you have recently updated avionics, make sure the PPI puts some emphasis on them. I did a separate avionics PPI during my purchase and learned the GNS530W was missing a one wire connection to the autopilot. I was an expensive fix but very valuable in being able to fly coupled ILS and LPV approaches.
Good luck - Hank


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2 hours ago, FLYFST said:


Since you have recently updated avionics, make sure the PPI puts some emphasis on them. I did a separate avionics PPI during my purchase and learned the GNS530W was missing a one wire connection to the autopilot. I was an expensive fix but very valuable in being able to fly coupled ILS and LPV approaches.
Good luck - Hank


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Love the Phantom in your avatar... did you fly it?  Awesome airplane!

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Love the Phantom in your avatar... did you fly it?  Awesome airplane!

Yes, all my time was flight test in the R/C, E and F, none operational. Did you fly the F-15E?


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10 minutes ago, FLYFST said:


Yes, all my time was flight test in the R/C, E and F, none operational. Did you fly the F-15E?


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Yeah, I got just under 2,000 hours, all operational.  It was awesome, good time to be a fighter pilot, but P-51 and Rhino would be favorites in my logbook if they were there!

Sorry about the thread drift... the F is awesome!  I have a 1968.  Solid IFR platform.  Simple, reliable systems.  Good useful load.  As “economical” as GA is gonna be these days.  I regularly fly my family of 4 over 500nm to my parents and it sure beats the airlines.

Make sure someone knowledgeable looks real hard for corrosion as that’s a show stopper.  Have them do Sb208 checks and look at the spar real good.

 I don’t currently use an msc for maintenance, but I have been to a few of the good ones, and I’d definitely recommend a quality msc for the prebuy.

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Nice thing about an older F is all the ADs were done at the factory.   Not many have come out since that time.  Stored outside in Florida would need a look over.  Make sure the frame tube SB has been done.

Edited by Yetti
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Ha, no worries at all. Thanks for all the help, this is great info.


I saw your PM and will try to call before the weekend is out. Got to start on those New Year resolutions first.

The F is an awesome platform and as Yetti pointed out (we both have 75 F models), there are few ADs to contend with in the 75 models. They fixed all of the issues since the F began rolling out in the 1960s. A few things to look at:

1) Clear up the mystery over the engine overhaul. Who did it? Seeing that the current owner installed the 650 and Jaeger interior, he (looked him up) certainly wasn’t cutting corners on the upkeep. I’d expect the shop who did the overhaul to be a decent shop. Once you find out who did it, you should be able to learn about their reputation.
2) SB 208 should have been completed. Since Bruce Jaeger does all of his own interiors, I am sure he would have pointed out issues he found doing the interior (he owned the Mooney Service Center in MN).
3) If the plane hasn’t been maintained by a MSC, just make sure the required Mooney annual checklists stuff has been completed (pre-load on the gear, no damage to the nose gear truss, etc.).
4) As for price, I think the plane is more than competitively priced. I know for a fact what is costs to upgrade a Mooney. The cheapskates here will tell you it is overpriced. Take a look at the prices for Cessnas, Pipers and you will find that Mooneys have been under valued. And IMHO, it is because of people who are making the claims of being overpriced either don’t know or haven’t done upgrades to their Mooneys. You will never get dollar for dollar for an upgrade, but it certainly has increased the value. The cost of installing a 650 has to be in the $13k range now. Bruce’s interior, if the seats and rugs were done as well will be in the $8k - $9k range. I have Jimmy Garrison’s evaluation spreadsheet and will run the numbers with you to confirm the pricing when we speak live.

Happy New Year!




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I am an F model owner as well.  Mine is now essentially a J but with a Johnson Bar, hydraulic flaps and no inner gear doors.  

An F model is an excellent platform, stable IFR airplane, which stike reasonable compromises  between speed, efficiency, and costs of maintenance and operational costs.

It is a great retirement airplane.  

The one you are looking at has reasonable upgrades.  If you were to upgrade further, you would likely be likely looking at extensive modifications (as I was since I started with an airplane that sat for years in a hangar in pieces - I essentially bought an airframe and engine with not much else and turned it into a "modern" F model which Mooney never made). 

The plane you are looking at, as represented, should serve you well provided its systems are in and working as they should.  That is easily checked.  

If all is as it should be and the work was done correctly, the plane is likely not overpriced.  You just need to spend the time and money to assess what is there.

I too live in Boston.  You can e-mail me at john.breda@gmail.com or call me at (617) 877-0025.  

John Breda

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17 hours ago, Marauder said:

 


I saw your PM and will try to call before the weekend is out. Got to start on those New Year resolutions first.

The F is an awesome platform and as Yetti pointed out (we both have 75 F models), there are few ADs to contend with in the 75 models. They fixed all of the issues since the F began rolling out in the 1960s. A few things to look at:

1) Clear up the mystery over the engine overhaul. Who did it? Seeing that the current owner installed the 650 and Jaeger interior, he (looked him up) certainly wasn’t cutting corners on the upkeep. I’d expect the shop who did the overhaul to be a decent shop. Once you find out who did it, you should be able to learn about their reputation.
2) SB 208 should have been completed. Since Bruce Jaeger does all of his own interiors, I am sure he would have pointed out issues he found doing the interior (he owned the Mooney Service Center in MN).
3) If the plane hasn’t been maintained by a MSC, just make sure the required Mooney annual checklists stuff has been completed (pre-load on the gear, no damage to the nose gear truss, etc.).
4) As for price, I think the plane is more than competitively priced. I know for a fact what is costs to upgrade a Mooney. The cheapskates here will tell you it is overpriced. Take a look at the prices for Cessnas, Pipers and you will find that Mooneys have been under valued. And IMHO, it is because of people who are making the claims of being overpriced either don’t know or haven’t done upgrades to their Mooneys. You will never get dollar for dollar for an upgrade, but it certainly has increased the value. The cost of installing a 650 has to be in the $13k range now. Bruce’s interior, if the seats and rugs were done as well will be in the $8k - $9k range. I have Jimmy Garrison’s evaluation spreadsheet and will run the numbers with you to confirm the pricing when we speak live.

Happy New Year!




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Thanks, this is very helpful! Looking forward to talking more.

John - I'll drop you a note as well, good to know there are several owners in the Boston area!

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Get digitized log books and post a link to them, that would lead to substantive feedback versus what if’s. 

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