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11 hours ago, gsxrpilot said:

That's great news. Looking forward to it.

 

Gsxrpilot, when you were starting to plan for this conversion was there any savings to flying the plane up to Jewell aviation and having them do the overhaul of the engine there then thus saving on shipping and handling? Or was the extra expense minimal?  

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Well, we left N252AD in Smithville, TX in the capable hands of JD and Laura Casteel at SWTA. It's time for the big one.  Her engine made it to 1830 hours on the original cylinders and turbo. But

It's time for an update.  She flies. 34 minutes over the top of the airport.  Full power is now 39" at 2600 RPM. We're still dialing in the fuel flow, so don't have that yet. We h

Time for a quick update... When I decided to buy a turbo Mooney, I was told all the horror stories about how expensive the engines are and how they never make TBO and typically need a top and tur

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Just now, Will.iam said:

Gsxrpilot, when you were starting to plan for this conversion was there any savings to flying the plane up to Jewell aviation and having them do the overhaul of the engine there then thus saving on shipping and handling? Or was the extra expense minimal?  

The difference is probably $1000 which on a big job like this, is pretty insignificant. It might be a good idea to fly it to Jewell and let him do the R&R on the engine. There is some anecdotal evidence that the service might be quicker if you fly it to him. So if it's just the engine overhaul, and if you don't have a long relationship with an existing shop, I'd probably fly it to him. Another one of our friends here in Denver is likely going to use Jewell in the near future and I've recommended he fly it there. There have also been a few engine lost in shipping lately... 

I elected not to fly it to Jewell for two reasons. I'm also doing the Encore conversion at the same time and wanted JD (a shop that knows what they're doing with the conversion) to handle that part of it. I was also getting an annual and some other upgrades done. I've got a long history with JD and the bill is never a surprise. So I wasn't going to take the risk of a new shop going over my airplane on a $50K+ project.

BTW... I see you're at Hidden Valley. I learned to fly there quite a few years ago. That is still probably the shortest runway where I've landed the Mooney. Landing 17 (it used to be 16) you have about a 50' patch to put the wheels down. Any longer and you'll never land as the runway is dropping away from you, any shorter and you auger into the side of the hill.

My brother and I at 5TX0 with my first Mooney, having just picked it up.

IMG_0060.thumb.jpeg.141a4c0249ef55d0a228c79f8d1c232a.jpeg

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Shipping engines is really cheap so do what’s most convenient. Having said that jewel is as cheap (and fast) as it gets so having them do everything would be a great choice. 

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8 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

The difference is probably $1000 which on a big job like this, is pretty insignificant. It might be a good idea to fly it to Jewell and let him do the R&R on the engine. There is some anecdotal evidence that the service might be quicker if you fly it to him. So if it's just the engine overhaul, and if you don't have a long relationship with an existing shop, I'd probably fly it to him. Another one of our friends here in Denver is likely going to use Jewell in the near future and I've recommended he fly it there. There have also been a few engine lost in shipping lately... 

I elected not to fly it to Jewell for two reasons. I'm also doing the Encore conversion at the same time and wanted JD (a shop that knows what they're doing with the conversion) to handle that part of it. I was also getting an annual and some other upgrades done. I've got a long history with JD and the bill is never a surprise. So I wasn't going to take the risk of a new shop going over my airplane on a $50K+ project.

BTW... I see you're at Hidden Valley. I learned to fly there quite a few years ago. That is still probably the shortest runway where I've landed the Mooney. Landing 17 (it used to be 16) you have about a 50' patch to put the wheels down. Any longer and you'll never land as the runway is dropping away from you, any shorter and you auger into the side of the hill.

My brother and I at 5TX0 with my first Mooney, having just picked it up.

IMG_0060.thumb.jpeg.141a4c0249ef55d0a228c79f8d1c232a.jpeg

Wow that is where the new gas pump is located.  Nice Mooney.  So you know Tom Tweedale then. Most flight hours of any person i know at 55,000 and still going, taught me how to fly when i was 16. The man is flying literally just about everyday. If you think it’s a tricky stripe today, back when we first moved there in 79 the runway was only 2000ft and there were 2 great big oak trees on the south end that my dads m20j cleared with only a few feet  of space on either side. A Neighbohr was flying a v-35 bonanza in there at night with no lights or reflectors. They got together and  convinced another neighbor to install 2 red lights on top of his hanger that was parallel to the runway so at night it was surprisingly easy to find those 2 lights and line them up which then allowed your landing light to illuminate the runway area. Eventually other members pushed to put reflectors down but worried about some inexperienced pilot trying to land there at night if they saw the reflectors not realizing the hazards of the hill in the middle of the runway or the cliff at the end of 35 or the trees at 17. The tree on the west side died close to 20 years ago but the other tree just got struck my lighting in 2018 and split the tree so Hidden Valley cut down the rest and removed it. I was sad to see it go. Right now the runway has sunk down due to foundation settling where the old runway had a ditch at the end of 17 before we extended the length making a speed bump that will pop me back into the air if i land before it. So i aim for landing pass it on the original 2000ft part to keep from hammering my gear into the wing.   Hopefully hidden valley fixes that sooner than later but who knows. 

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9 minutes ago, Will.iam said:

Wow that is where the new gas pump is located.  Nice Mooney.  So you know Tom Tweedale then. Most flight hours of any person i know at 55,000 and still going, taught me how to fly when i was 16. The man is flying literally just about everyday. If you think it’s a tricky stripe today, back when we first moved there in 79 the runway was only 2000ft and there were 2 great big oak trees on the south end that my dads m20j cleared with only a few feet  of space on either side. A Neighbohr was flying a v-35 bonanza in there at night with no lights or reflectors. They got together and  convinced another neighbor to install 2 red lights on top of his hanger that was parallel to the runway so at night it was surprisingly easy to find those 2 lights and line them up which then allowed your landing light to illuminate the runway area. Eventually other members pushed to put reflectors down but worried about some inexperienced pilot trying to land there at night if they saw the reflectors not realizing the hazards of the hill in the middle of the runway or the cliff at the end of 35 or the trees at 17. The tree on the west side died close to 20 years ago but the other tree just got struck my lighting in 2018 and split the tree so Hidden Valley cut down the rest and removed it. I was sad to see it go. Right now the runway has sunk down due to foundation settling where the old runway had a ditch at the end of 17 before we extended the length making a speed bump that will pop me back into the air if i land before it. So i aim for landing pass it on the original 2000ft part to keep from hammering my gear into the wing.   Hopefully hidden valley fixes that sooner than later but who knows. 

Yep, I got my Private and Instrument from Tom. I'd been interviewing CFI's and flew with a couple of them and then found Tom. I always say on top of being the consummate teacher, Tom had the confidence in his own skills, to let me fly the airplane. Once I could taxi without knocking over mail boxes, Tom almost never touched the controls again. Once after a long and difficult lesson, I was trying to get back to 5TX0 and land 16. I was long and went around. The second time I was long again and went around. I told Tom I was tired and just didn't have it in me to make this landing. He sat there napping with the arms crossed and ankles crossed, leaning up against the door, and said, "I'm getting paid by the hour, you'll figure it out eventually." I nailed the third attempt easily. His confidence gave me confidence. 

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13 hours ago, gsxrpilot said:

Yep, I got my Private and Instrument from Tom. I'd been interviewing CFI's and flew with a couple of them and then found Tom. I always say on top of being the consummate teacher, Tom had the confidence in his own skills, to let me fly the airplane. Once I could taxi without knocking over mail boxes, Tom almost never touched the controls again. Once after a long and difficult lesson, I was trying to get back to 5TX0 and land 16. I was long and went around. The second time I was long again and went around. I told Tom I was tired and just didn't have it in me to make this landing. He sat there napping with the arms crossed and ankles crossed, leaning up against the door, and said, "I'm getting paid by the hour, you'll figure it out eventually." I nailed the third attempt easily. His confidence gave me confidence. 

Nice to know Tom hasn’t changed much. He was the same with me. He definitely gives you enough rope to hang yourself. But you feel like you are soloing the first day because you are doing it all right away. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's time for an update.  She flies.

1315201097_ScreenShot2021-04-07at8_12_25AM.thumb.png.fce6d87e884dadbc285bd6aef0fcff36.png

34 minutes over the top of the airport. 

Full power is now 39" at 2600 RPM. We're still dialing in the fuel flow, so don't have that yet.

We have a short list of squawks to work through but should be finished up and heading to Denver by the weekend.

 

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1 hour ago, gsxrpilot said:

IWe have a short list of squawks to work through but should be finished up and heading to Denver by the weekend.

I hope you're dropping someone off in KIMT on your way ?! ;)

Tom

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8 hours ago, gsxrpilot said:

It's time for an update.  She flies.

1315201097_ScreenShot2021-04-07at8_12_25AM.thumb.png.fce6d87e884dadbc285bd6aef0fcff36.png

34 minutes over the top of the airport. 

Full power is now 39" at 2600 RPM. We're still dialing in the fuel flow, so don't have that yet.

We have a short list of squawks to work through but should be finished up and heading to Denver by the weekend.

 

Hey gsxrpilot i thought on engine breakin you fly wot for the first flight, if so why does flight aware have your speed going up and down with little change in alt? Are you already done with the engine breakin or are you doing a different method? Just curious. 

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It looks like when he is going south, he is going slower and then north faster so, I'm guessing he had a near 30kts wind out of the south. 

 

Congratulations on getting her in the Air @gsxrpilot!

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2 hours ago, Will.iam said:

Hey gsxrpilot i thought on engine breakin you fly wot for the first flight, if so why does flight aware have your speed going up and down with little change in alt? Are you already done with the engine breakin or are you doing a different method? Just curious. 

Yeah @ReconMax called it. There was a 30+ knot wind at 3000 ft. And I was just flying in circles. 

I flew it to San Marcos and back today, just a short 15 minutes each way. The gear warning is now adjusted correctly, but I don't think I've got enough fuel flowing at full rich. We'll dial it up a little bit tomorrow. We've got to fit gear doors and then I'll try to put 2 or 3 hours on it tomorrow evening.

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8 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

Yeah @ReconMax called it. There was a 30+ knot wind at 3000 ft. And I was just flying in circles. 

I flew it to San Marcos and back today, just a short 15 minutes each way. The gear warning is now adjusted correctly, but I don't think I've got enough fuel flowing at full rich. We'll dial it up a little bit tomorrow. We've got to fit gear doors and then I'll try to put 2 or 3 hours on it tomorrow evening.

Ah makes since. I have a neighbor that is gettin a new reman engine put on his cessna and their instructions are to run it easy for 15 mins then let cool down then another 15 then cool down. I think it’s strange as everything I’ve heard was to go wot and oil use should stabilize in about an hour. Anybody else hear of that method? 

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11 minutes ago, Will.iam said:

Ah makes since. I have a neighbor that is gettin a new reman engine put on his cessna and their instructions are to run it easy for 15 mins then let cool down then another 15 then cool down. I think it’s strange as everything I’ve heard was to go wot and oil use should stabilize in about an hour. Anybody else hear of that method? 

Continentals and Lycomings are a little different from each other. Continental instructions are to run at greater than 70% power and keep the cylinders on the warm side.

 

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Congrats @gsxrpilot! You have been waiting for this for a while!

@Will.iam I don't think taking it easy is a good choice for engine break-in. Continental recommends reducing time on ground/low power to a minimum, and running it at least 75% power for the first hour and then alternating between 65% power. You want the richer mixture to produce the cylinder pressures that helps with properly seating the rings.

Pretty good documentation at https://www.airpowerinc.com/downloads/PDFs/TCMEngineBreakInFlightTips.pdf

 

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Lycoming also has similar advice:

A new, rebuilt or overhauled engine should receive the same start, warm-up and preflight checks as any other engine. There are some aircraft owners and pilots who would prefer to use low power settings for cruise during the break-in period. This is not recommended. A good break-in requires that the piston rings expand sufficiently to seat with the cylinder walls. This seating of the ring with the cylinder wall will only occur when pressures inside the cylinder are great enough to cause expansion of the piston rings. Pressures in the cylinder only become great enough for a good break-in when power settings above 65% are used.

https://www.lycoming.com/content/hard-facts-about-engine-break

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11 hours ago, carusoam said:

Paul,

What is the Max FF you are seeing?

Best regards,

-a-

We're still dialing this in and so I'm hesitant to say. When we had the external instrumentation attached to measure fuel flow, (I don't recall the name of the instrument), we were seeing 24 gph max FF. But on my JPI I'm only seeing 19 to 20 gph. We will increase the max fuel flow to get to 25.5 gph and adjust the K factor on the JPI to reflect that number accurately.

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Thanks yall for for the links. I’ll show him the articles that’s the best i can do. That’s the fun of ownership. You get to operate the aircraft how ever you chose and the consequences will show up in your wallet.  

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And.... it's finished.  Well almost...

Sept 30, 2020 to April 11, 2021

The 252 Encore is back in my hangar in Denver. There are still a couple of minor squawks that I'll work through over the next week or so. But all in all, it's running strong, not leaking/burning oil, and now has 1060 lbs useful load.

I'll try to get a full PIREP out this week to detail the reasons for the length of time, the mods done, current squawks, etc.

 

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On 4/12/2021 at 9:24 AM, gsxrpilot said:

And.... it's finished.  Well almost...

Sept 30, 2020 to April 11, 2021

The 252 Encore is back in my hangar in Denver. There are still a couple of minor squawks that I'll work through over the next week or so. But all in all, it's running strong, not leaking/burning oil, and now has 1060 lbs useful load.

I'll try to get a full PIREP out this week to detail the reasons for the length of time, the mods done, current squawks, etc.

 

Wow almost 5 1/2 months. Did not realized the extent of time that had elapsed since you started this project. Was there any time that could have been cut out or is that what to expect when converting to an encore?

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Time for a final PIREP on this saga. I'm not @Seth so don't hold me to that high standard of reporting. :)

My annual has typically been due in August or September. I knew when I bought the plane that I'd probably have four years before I'd need an engine overhaul. I also bought the plane with the full intention to do the Encore conversion. My thought back when I was originally looking at the Mooney, was that a new modern panel and the Encore conversion would bring the UL up to a good place. I did the panel towards the end of the first year of ownership. And then I just flew it, a lot. During this time I collected parts for the Encore conversion. They're expensive and sometimes unobtainable, so giving myself few years to collect them, worked well. Each year at annual, JD would ask if I was ready to do the full Encore conversion. I always said "no", let's wait till next year. Finally in 2020, the engine was tired, it was just past TBO, the oil running down the belly was getting to embarrassing levels, and I knew it was time to overhaul the engine. That also meant it was time for the Encore conversion.

When I dropped it off at SWTA, I thought it would be down for three months. The total work order was to include the following:

  • Engine overhaul at Jewell
  • Convert the engine during the overhaul from an MB to SB engine (Encore requirement)
  • Encore airframe conversion
  • Glareshield repair/recover by Hector at AeroComfort.
  • Relocate the compass to the panel
  • Replace the vacuum operated speed brakes with electric.
  • Sign off the Annual.

As it turned out, Jewell wouldn't be able to start on the engine until "late November". SWTA pulled the engine and crated it up but didn't send it to Jewell until he was ready to start on it. With lots of engines sitting around for months, it's easy for certain accessories/components to go missing. So JD suggested we hold on to the engine and ship it when Jewell was ready to start on it. Jewell finally said they were ready the first week of December. We sent the engine off and JD got to work on some of the other items on the list. The speed brake retro fit took more work than we anticipated. It also required some parts from Precise. There seemed to be only one person at Precise who knew anything about the process to retrofit the "old style" model 100 electric speed brakes into a Mooney wing from the vacuum speed brakes. And he ended up on an extended vacation/sick leave through the holidays. So we didn't get the required parts from Precise until late Feb.

We were also missing a couple of parts for the Encore conversion. That was my fault as I was the one collecting the parts, but I'd somehow missed the middle gear doors and the counterweights for the elevators. 

The engine arrived at Jewell sometime around the 8th of Dec. But from a combination of COVID and the holidays, they didn't get started on the engine until late January. Because of the MB to SB conversion, there were parts that needed to be sent off for overhaul such as the fuel pump, governor, waste gate, and turbo. With the delay getting into the engine, those items took longer as well. 

We had planed a long weekend trip to Big Bend for the last week of Feb. We canceled that pretty early as it was just obvious the plane wouldn't be ready. We also had a week booked in Mexico for Spring Break in March and were planning to fly the Mooney. We were holding out hope we'd have the plane back for that trip up until the end of Feb but by then realized it wouldn't be ready then either.

By late Feb, I was checking in on a daily basis. And pushing for information from Jewell about the status. Finally on March 8th Jewell said the engine had just come out of the testing room and was getting crated for shipment. They said it might be ready to go the next day. In the couple of weeks prior, I'd decided to try and sort out return shipment for the engine, myself. We'd heard of a couple of engines that had gone missing in shipment and also transit time between the big cities of Kennet, MO and Smithville, TX is at least a week. And I didn't want to spend a week. I reached out to my friend an former Mooney owner Doug in Dallas. He's in logistics for American Airlines and said he could hook me up with shipping. The engine was finally crated and ready for pickup late on the 9th of March. The shipping company picked it up at 8am on the 10th and dropped it off at SWTA at 8:30am on the 11th. 

JD and Laura worked seemingly around the clock to get it back in the plane and finish up the last few items on the list. I went to Texas on the 29th of March with the intention to stay until the job was finished and then fly it home. I was there two weeks. The first week was consumed just finishing up the install. There are just so many things involved with the installation of a turbo engine. It's a big job. The second week was a lot of testing, engine runs, setting up the fuel flow, RPM, and MP for the new engine and new settings. The max MP is now 39", max RPM is 2600, and FF is around 25 gph. 

I flew the now 252 Encore home to Denver on Sunday the 11th of April. It's strong and seems to keep the oil inside the engine which is a very nice change.  

There are a few remaining squawks

  • Right inner gear door - sometime during the flight back from Texas, a linkage in the inner gear door mechanism broke leaving the door open and back against the belly. It was easy to see which connecting rod was broken upon a quick inspection after landing. JD called Mooney and they had the part on the shelf. It was in my hands two days later, quickly installed and this is now working correctly. 
  • Middle gear doors - Mooney only had one door (we bought it) and a couple of other places that said they had a set, turned out to be errors in inventory. So we're flying without the middle doors which are often removed anyway because they hang so low. I'll install mine as soon as Mooney makes me a second one. No idea on that time frame.
  • #1 EGT probe. This started acting up on the flight back to Denver. I've since replaced the probe. It was probably just a loose connection, but I took the opportunity to install a new probe. It's working well now.
  • Fuel Flow indication - I've had non-stop issues with the FF indication for the last year or so. We put on a new transducer with the new engine. I'm now looking at the wiring as the probable issue. We worked on it just a bit this last weekend and it might be resolved. 
  • EDM900 Settings - JPI sent us a file with the Encore red lines for the EDM900. That is all working fine but a few settings still need adjustment. 
    • K factor - the fuel flow read out is not 100% correct yet so need to adjust this
    • %HP - this also needs adjustment as the engine is now 220 HP up from 210.

These are all minor issues and I'm still flying it to break-in the cylinders. But overall I think this whole process was entirely worth it. I now own an Encore with a much higher resale value than the 252. It also has a much higher useful load. I'd misstated in my earlier post, but the new Useful Load is 1068 lbs. When I bought the plane the UL was 796 lbs. 

Pictures of Hector's handiwork on the glare shield. We also eliminated the screws holding it in place. It's just a nice snug fit. Notice the leather wrap on the center bar and the missing compass. 

IMG_5076.thumb.JPG.6e33494505431b9413ca3400b4ceeb54.JPG

IMG_5077.thumb.JPG.b602bac9219854e9ce8397de0ca8c471.JPG

The compass in it's new location.

IMG_5082.thumb.JPG.d6af5b7dc1bbc014a90d480d3b443630.JPG

Now that the vacuum gauge is not being used, I was not as hesitant to drill a hole through the bottom of that piece of the center console to route my O2 line to the MH O2D2. It's a nice clean installation and out of the way.

IMG_5084.thumb.JPG.79612918c2af0fe18142d2ba1a08c4a7.JPG

The only thing I'm not 100% happy with is the way the electric speed brakes go in. This is the approved installation method from Precise flight. Anything else would have involved a re-skin or skin patch on the wing. I didn't want to spend the time or money for that at this time. I'll likely do that if/when I get the plane repainted. I still think this is a small price to pay for having an all electric airplane. The part I don't like is obviously the chrome "cap" on the speed brake cassette. It's tight and only proud about a mm. But it's certainly not as nice as flush with the wing surface.

IMG_5086.thumb.JPG.d8698cff47da13a8abe2ba88514a9e02.JPG

IMG_5087.thumb.JPG.9b4fd2bed0dc08a7a3e66dfbcb2f97c2.JPG

It was painful to be down for 6 months. But totally worth it in the end. I'm not sure I'd feel the same way if I started out ownership with this level of maintenance and down time. It was made palatable by the memories of five years of quality flying. And the knowledge that I'll probably have another 10 years of even better flying in front of me after this effort.

I can't thank JD and Laura at SWTA enough for all their efforts on this project. I'm very privileged to be in the seemingly exclusive group of their customers. They're trying to expand and hire additional mechanics. But right now it's just the two of them and they can only get so much work out the door each day. And so I also own a beer or two to a long list of their customers who where held up while they finished up this huge job on N252AD.

 

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1 hour ago, gsxrpilot said:

Time for a final PIREP on this saga. I'm not @Seth so don't hold me to that high standard of reporting. :)

My annual has typically been due in August or September. I knew when I bought the plane that I'd probably have four years before I'd need an engine overhaul. I also bought the plane with the full intention to do the Encore conversion. My thought back when I was originally looking at the Mooney, was that a new modern panel and the Encore conversion would bring the UL up to a good place. I did the panel towards the end of the first year of ownership. And then I just flew it, a lot. During this time I collected parts for the Encore conversion. They're expensive and sometimes unobtainable, so giving myself few years to collect them, worked well. Each year at annual, JD would ask if I was ready to do the full Encore conversion. I always said "no", let's wait till next year. Finally in 2020, the engine was tired, it was just past TBO, the oil running down the belly was getting to embarrassing levels, and I knew it was time to overhaul the engine. That also meant it was time for the Encore conversion.

When I dropped it off at SWTA, I thought it would be down for three months. The total work order was to include the following:

  • Engine overhaul at Jewell
  • Convert the engine during the overhaul from an MB to SB engine (Encore requirement)
  • Encore airframe conversion
  • Glareshield repair/recover by Hector at AeroComfort.
  • Relocate the compass to the panel
  • Replace the vacuum operated speed brakes with electric.
  • Sign off the Annual.

As it turned out, Jewell wouldn't be able to start on the engine until "late November". SWTA pulled the engine and crated it up but didn't send it to Jewell until he was ready to start on it. With lots of engines sitting around for months, it's easy for certain accessories/components to go missing. So JD suggested we hold on to the engine and ship it when Jewell was ready to start on it. Jewell finally said they were ready the first week of December. We sent the engine off and JD got to work on some of the other items on the list. The speed brake retro fit took more work than we anticipated. It also required some parts from Precise. There seemed to be only one person at Precise who knew anything about the process to retrofit the "old style" model 100 electric speed brakes into a Mooney wing from the vacuum speed brakes. And he ended up on an extended vacation/sick leave through the holidays. So we didn't get the required parts from Precise until late Feb.

We were also missing a couple of parts for the Encore conversion. That was my fault as I was the one collecting the parts, but I'd somehow missed the middle gear doors and the counterweights for the elevators. 

The engine arrived at Jewell sometime around the 8th of Dec. But from a combination of COVID and the holidays, they didn't get started on the engine until late January. Because of the MB to SB conversion, there were parts that needed to be sent off for overhaul such as the fuel pump, governor, waste gate, and turbo. With the delay getting into the engine, those items took longer as well. 

We had planed a long weekend trip to Big Bend for the last week of Feb. We canceled that pretty early as it was just obvious the plane wouldn't be ready. We also had a week booked in Mexico for Spring Break in March and were planning to fly the Mooney. We were holding out hope we'd have the plane back for that trip up until the end of Feb but by then realized it wouldn't be ready then either.

By late Feb, I was checking in on a daily basis. And pushing for information from Jewell about the status. Finally on March 8th Jewell said the engine had just come out of the testing room and was getting crated for shipment. They said it might be ready to go the next day. In the couple of weeks prior, I'd decided to try and sort out return shipment for the engine, myself. We'd heard of a couple of engines that had gone missing in shipment and also transit time between the big cities of Kennet, MO and Smithville, TX is at least a week. And I didn't want to spend a week. I reached out to my friend an former Mooney owner Doug in Dallas. He's in logistics for American Airlines and said he could hook me up with shipping. The engine was finally crated and ready for pickup late on the 9th of March. The shipping company picked it up at 8am on the 10th and dropped it off at SWTA at 8:30am on the 11th. 

JD and Laura worked seemingly around the clock to get it back in the plane and finish up the last few items on the list. I went to Texas on the 29th of March with the intention to stay until the job was finished and then fly it home. I was there two weeks. The first week was consumed just finishing up the install. There are just so many things involved with the installation of a turbo engine. It's a big job. The second week was a lot of testing, engine runs, setting up the fuel flow, RPM, and MP for the new engine and new settings. The max MP is now 39", max RPM is 2600, and FF is around 25 gph. 

I flew the now 252 Encore home to Denver on Sunday the 11th of April. It's strong and seems to keep the oil inside the engine which is a very nice change.  

There are a few remaining squawks

  • Right inner gear door - sometime during the flight back from Texas, a linkage in the inner gear door mechanism broke leaving the door open and back against the belly. It was easy to see which connecting rod was broken upon a quick inspection after landing. JD called Mooney and they had the part on the shelf. It was in my hands two days later, quickly installed and this is now working correctly. 
  • Middle gear doors - Mooney only had one door (we bought it) and a couple of other places that said they had a set, turned out to be errors in inventory. So we're flying without the middle doors which are often removed anyway because they hang so low. I'll install mine as soon as Mooney makes me a second one. No idea on that time frame.
  • #1 EGT probe. This started acting up on the flight back to Denver. I've since replaced the probe. It was probably just a loose connection, but I took the opportunity to install a new probe. It's working well now.
  • Fuel Flow indication - I've had non-stop issues with the FF indication for the last year or so. We put on a new transducer with the new engine. I'm now looking at the wiring as the probable issue. We worked on it just a bit this last weekend and it might be resolved. 
  • EDM900 Settings - JPI sent us a file with the Encore red lines for the EDM900. That is all working fine but a few settings still need adjustment. 
    • K factor - the fuel flow read out is not 100% correct yet so need to adjust this
    • %HP - this also needs adjustment as the engine is now 220 HP up from 210.

These are all minor issues and I'm still flying it to break-in the cylinders. But overall I think this whole process was entirely worth it. I now own an Encore with a much higher resale value than the 252. It also has a much higher useful load. I'd misstated in my earlier post, but the new Useful Load is 1068 lbs. When I bought the plane the UL was 796 lbs. 

Pictures of Hector's handiwork on the glare shield. We also eliminated the screws holding it in place. It's just a nice snug fit. Notice the leather wrap on the center bar and the missing compass. 

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The compass in it's new location.

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Now that the vacuum gauge is not being used, I was not as hesitant to drill a hole through the bottom of that piece of the center console to route my O2 line to the MH O2D2. It's a nice clean installation and out of the way.

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The only thing I'm not 100% happy with is the way the electric speed brakes go in. This is the approved installation method from Precise flight. Anything else would have involved a re-skin or skin patch on the wing. I didn't want to spend the time or money for that at this time. I'll likely do that if/when I get the plane repainted. I still think this is a small price to pay for having an all electric airplane. The part I don't like is obviously the chrome "cap" on the speed brake cassette. It's tight and only proud about a mm. But it's certainly not as nice as flush with the wing surface.

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It was painful to be down for 6 months. But totally worth it in the end. I'm not sure I'd feel the same way if I started out ownership with this level of maintenance and down time. It was made palatable by the memories of five years of quality flying. And the knowledge that I'll probably have another 10 years of even better flying in front of me after this effort.

I can't thank JD and Laura at SWTA enough for all their efforts on this project. I'm very privileged to be in the seemingly exclusive group of their customers. They're trying to expand and hire additional mechanics. But right now it's just the two of them and they can only get so much work out the door each day. And so I also own a beer or two to a long list of their customers who where held up while they finished up this huge job on N252AD.

 

I also installed new Precise Flight electric speed brakes. I paid less than $100 to have the trim piece painted to match the wing. It looks VG.

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Just now, Tom 4536 said:

I also installed new Precise Flight electric speed brakes. I paid less than $100 to have the trim piece painted to match the wing. It looks VG.

I'd love to see a picture when you get a chance.

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