Charles D

Considering buying a clapped out 20b

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I am considering buying a clapped out Mooney m20b and taking the long route, slowly rebuilding it, when I have the money. I was wondering if any of y’all have bought a shell and built it up? Now that you have finished, how do you feel about the process  and if you had to do it all over again, would you or would you just use the time and money to buy a newer plane?

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Go read my thread HERE. I bought a "clapped out" M20C for $16k and probably have an additional $30k poured into her over 5 years. Biggest friggin headache ever. Unless you're an A&P I would not suggest it.

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Just now, Raptor05121 said:

Go read my thread HERE. I bought a "clapped out" M20C for $16k and probably have an additional $30k poured into her over 5 years. Biggest friggin headache ever. Unless you're an A&P I would not suggest it.

I was actually waiting for you to share your experience here! 

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Do you want an airplane to fly, or a project to work on? This sounds like the second. It makes some people very happy. 

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33 minutes ago, Raptor05121 said:

Go read my thread HERE. I bought a "clapped out" M20C for $16k and probably have an additional $30k poured into her over 5 years. Biggest friggin headache ever. Unless you're an A&P I would not suggest it.

But wasn’t it a real character building experience?

Clarence

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2 hours ago, Charles D said:

I am considering buying a clapped out Mooney m20b and taking the long route, slowly rebuilding it, when I have the money. I was wondering if any of y’all have bought a shell and built it up? Now that you have finished, how do you feel about the process  and if you had to do it all over again, would you or would you just use the time and money to buy a newer plane?

Not exactly the way I did it.... I ran across my "E" by accident on my local field, I had seen it fly in the past and my CFI had flown it several times although it didn't fly much. I wasn't looking for a project at the time but ended up buying it anyway after having it looked at by an A&P/IA friend of mine. You mention 2 things that got my attention, money & shell. When I think of "shell" I image an aircraft that is no where near complete, mine was complete and could of had an annual and few parts replaced and been in the air fairly quick for around $3,000.00... In reality it was a 2 yrs project and just north of $10k. When I started the project I had $20k just sitting there if needed and if nothing major popped up, still had more cash if I really needed it but really wanted to stay south if $20k. Would I do it again? Sure, But I have 40+years a mechanic (Non- A&P) and time on my hands. The questions I asked myself were, "Can I afford to see the project through?", "do I have a place to work on it?", "How much of a HIT am I willing to take should I have to scrap the project?". @Raptor05121's continuous thread is very long but I can shorten it to "While I'm here I might as well do this too" . Like a lot of us here, MooneySpace is our go to place for advice and answers. Good luck on your adventure should you take it on and keep us posted if you do.

 

 

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If you just want something to work on, why not buy an rV kit.   You can buy whatever stage you can afford at the time.  Save the hangar cost and build in your garage.  No way I would try to rebuild a worn out certified plane. 

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Welcome aboard Charles D!

If you want to be unique... this isn’t the way to do it...   :)

If you want to see how somebody else is doing something similar....

Find Don’s awesome story....  It is M20B centric....

Lots of twists and turns... some heart-ache.... and it isn’t over.... yet..!

Maybe, Don has what you are looking for...   

For the record...my M20C was not clapped out... completely... it only refused to fly once....  :)

She was a great bird for a decade... after that.

If I had it to do over... I would go right to the end... and get/ build up a forever-plane.... 

I haven’t heard anyone say ‘an Ovation makes a great forever-plane!’ yet...

Go Mooney!

Best regards,

-a-

 

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All airplanes are “projects”, it is just more readily apparent with some than with others.

As someone else mentioned, building a kit plane would provide the benefit of all new components, the opportunity to corrosion proof every structural part before construction and give you the option of completing it’s annual condition examination and repairs yourself.

If your heart is set on going this route with an older Mooney, why not start with a newer C or E model, instead? The newer models up through about 1967 offer more features and product improvements over the original, first all metal B model. If you’re going to pour a small fortune and your heart and soul into an airplane resurrection project, it would be preferable to end up with a more desirable model at the end. That would help with value and marketability when you are through with it.

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I have a ‘65 M20C. She’s been circulated among my close friends since 1980, and there’s no small amount of emotional attachment involved.  I’ll admit that up front even though for years I’ve counseled others to avoid exactly that when I did their pre-purchase inspections. 
 

What I bought as a solid flyer is, in actuality, a flying project. It’s solid enough that we took it out west last summer, but needy enough that I‘ve had every bit of the main gear apart in the last week for some TLC, and am waiting on a downlock block from LASAR. 
 

I clicked like on the suggestion that if you want a project, look at a home built. A couple reasons for that: 

- If you’re not an A&P, you’ll need one really handy for the Mooney project. If you build the RV, at the end of the process you can get your repairman certificate for that bird and have just as much legal authority as the A&P would. 
 

- experimental amateur built birds aren’t beholden to expenses such as PMA parts, STCs,  and our occasionally challenging limited parts supply in the Mooney world. I’d like to re-bush my entire main gear right now. new parts to accomplish that goal are turning out to be a challenge to locate. If it was a home built, I’d be turning down stock on a lathe right now. 
 

-homebuilts have cheaper and often more-capable options available. 
 

- and at the end of the day, you’ll have an early Mooney that most folks would offer 30-40K for a purchase price even if you wind up with 60k in it. The resale value reflects what the market will support more so than what you’ve put into it. 
 

-you can remove an RV’s fuel tanks and ship them to someone who knows what they’re doing for sealing or re-seal. 
 

I say all that to say this. I’m enjoying the daylights out of my flying project. The airplane is rugged (nose gear steering excepted), simple-ish, and while it ain’t the easiest thing to work on, there are few impossible tasks. Spar corrosion seems to be the big killer, so make certain you look at every inch of that structure before you commit to buying the B project. We as a community love to know another airframe might return to the sky, but sometimes we’ve got to accept that some serial numbers are best utilized as a trove of spare parts. 
 

Good luck, whichever choice you make. 

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Yeah, don't do it.

Unless you're a retired A&P, single, and live in your own hangar. You'd also have to be a builder not a pilot. There's a difference. In the end, not including your time, you'll have more than twice invested in the airplane than it's worth. So it's not even a good long term investment.

If you're a builder, build a homebuilt or kit plane. The RV is probably the best for return on investment. 

If you're a pilot, then buy one ready to fly.

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I’ve done both: bought a warrior years ago, flew it until rebuild time — pulled fuel tanks, interior, AP next to my hanger rebuilt the engine etc. flew it 2 years after that and sold it.

Bought a Velocity SUV kit to build - all the was left was hang the engine and install avionics— sold it due to the financial crisis in 08.

This time I wanted a flyer that needed a little bit of work - avionics mostly but not past what it was worth - well folks know how that finally ended.

Now I’m wanting another flyer so I can fly — don’t want a builder anymore - maybe a avionics upgrade but not much else...

I’m lucky there is a Mooney for rent around here
 

-Don

 

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Just now, hammdo said:

Now I’m wanting a flyer so I can fly — don’t want a builder anymore

There's an E over in North Carolina that needs nothing but a pilot... :D

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Believe me, I’m looking @ that hard but, need to settle mine first....

She is a bit far from Texas (I’m still waiting on my medical) and looks like she’ll need avionics...  ADSB for sure if it’s not on her already  - before a cross country trip...

-Don

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The fancy M20E that is on the market.... but not in a rush to sell....

Could work out pretty well....

+1 on getting that first class iii out of the way. Once you have a class iii medical, this opens the door for using basic med...

Distance from NC to TX roughly is a day’s Mooney flight away...  :)

Only a pair of three hour flights...?

Go Mooney!

Best regards,

-a-

A7C2FAA1-B330-4DE9-9A5D-E6E31749E517.png

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15 hours ago, BKlott said:

All airplanes are “projects”, it is just more readily apparent with some than with others.

^^^  You, sir, are a philosopher.  Well said.

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Ross,

BK grew up in a Mooney family...

It takes several decades to develop that kind of wisdom...

:)

-a-

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5 hours ago, carusoam said:

The fancy M20E that is on the market.... but not in a rush to sell....

Could work out pretty well....

+1 on getting that first class iii out of the way. Once you have a class iii medical, this opens the door for using basic med...

Distance from NC to TX roughly is a day’s Mooney flight away...  :)

Only a pair of three hour flights...?

Go Mooney!

Best regards,

-a-

A7C2FAA1-B330-4DE9-9A5D-E6E31749E517.png

True but, ADS-B is going to be required for DFW, that adds 2k to the cost, plus pre purchase inspection as necessary, flight out there... Little things start adding up.. 

-Don 

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46 minutes ago, hammdo said:

True but, ADS-B is going to be required for DFW, that adds 2k to the cost, plus pre purchase inspection as necessary, flight out there... Little things start adding up.. 

-Don 

I don't think we're talking about the same Mooney. The E that @carusoam and I are talking about already has ADS-B, and is the one Mooney in the country that doesn't need a pre purchase inspection. Just go to NC and pick it up. Just don't forget to bring a large checkbook, or stop and knock over a bank or two on the way. But once you get there you'll see, this E needs absolutely nothing.

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Ah, ok. That one! Yeah, Bank on the checklist ;o)

-Don

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Wouldn't touch a project like that without the A&P.  Probably wouldn't anyway, it is far too easy to go upside down on an airplane.  If the OP really has the hots to build and hasn't any money he should consider a Dyke Delta or a Davis DA2.  Plans built.  Cheapest way to go, build as you have money.  You get to build a lot, too.

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 People have amazing panels installed in there airplane knowing that they will never get it all back. They do because it makes them happy. 

I agree that it can be a project that can instantly puts you upside down financially. If you are ok with that and if fixing/rehabilitating an airplane makes you happy then do it.

That was me 4 years ago I bought a 61 Baron. I spent A LOT of time fixing it. I loved it and do not regret doing it. I am fortunate to have 2 A&P friends that let me work under them. 

 

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ANY project in an airplane will always take 2 to 3 times longer to do than what you plan on. 

I'll be the contrarian here-

Quite honestly as a new pilot wanting flight time going the $15K route with a Cessna 150 ain;t a bad idea. 

It won't kill you cost wise either for the initial investment or the on going expenses. You can park it outside and not hurt it too much. Hardly any flight school ever put them in  hangar. Low tie down fee that way. And then fly the wings off of it for a year. 

Get your IR in it. No need for fancy stuff. 1 Nav-com, 1 xponder and a tailbeacon and an iPad (oh the heresy of that!). 

Good to go anywhere

Learn HOW to fly for the first year

Its cheap to fly. Its cheap to annual. 

Virtually not risk of sudden surprises, no suck'm up gear, no cooling problems, dead simple airframe that can be worked on by any shade tree A&P

Get all your initial investment back at the end of the year  You will be able to sell it for what you paid for it.

Take the year  to really look around at Moneys. Look at all you see at all the airports you go to in the 150.  This will be the best education you will ever get on mooneys. Look at them carefully, take notes on what you like and don't like. Talk to the owners if they are around. We all want to talk "Mooney" on the road

Then don't buy until you have looked at at least 20 Mooneys. You will be way ahead MONEY wise that way. 

This way you are not pressured to find the right Mooney quickly

It is true you can get one and get your PP and IR in it (many here have done that) but with the budget you seem to have and the need to want to actually fly a 150 is something to really look at. 

My first airplane was a Cessna 140 almost 60 years ago that I flew from LAX to SEA/PDX to PHX to LAS to Utah and all over the west. Great time builder for a teenager who didn't have any money but wanted to fly. 

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7 minutes ago, cliffy said:

ANY project in an airplane will always take 2 to 3 times longer to do than what you plan on. 

I can second that. Whether it's a big project or a small one, it always takes me 2-3 times what I think it will. Even my wife knows that if I'm going to the hangar to do something on the plane and I think it will take an hour that I won't be done for three. The only exception is an oil change and that's because I've done it enough to have it figured out... 

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