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Hey everyone, I need to do an engine overhaul for my M20S ISO-550.  Between Zephyr Aircraft Engines and Western Sky, what is you all's opinion?  Both have good reviews, but Zephyr had excellent ratings.  Appreciate the input!

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My only comment is that I had an engine from Western Skyways put into my airplane and had a lot of problems with it.  I know lots of people use Western Skyways and have never had anything but great things to say about them, but that is not the case for me and I probably will never use them again.  And I will just leave it at that.

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On 8/2/2022 at 1:05 PM, Clint466 said:

Hey everyone, I need to do an engine overhaul for my M20S ISO-550.  Between Zephyr Aircraft Engines and Western Sky, what is you all's opinion?  Both have good reviews, but Zephyr had excellent ratings.  Appreciate the input!

 Both shops have a good reputation and if the quotes are similar it comes down to lead time and there may be some advantage in picking the one closest to you.

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+1 on Zephyr. I did have one qualm but it wasn’t the end of the world. LJ gave me a tour of the shop. Nice folks. Real motor heads. 
 

just, for the love of god, do not use Jewell (Kennett MO). Complete trash. 

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Sounds like you had a bad experience.  I have seen a number of positive reviews both here and on BeechTalk.

Their prices advertised on their website are extremely low (like 17k IIRC for IO360). So I suspect they do the minimum required.
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On 8/2/2022 at 2:05 PM, Clint466 said:

Hey everyone, I need to do an engine overhaul for my M20S ISO-550.  Between Zephyr Aircraft Engines and Western Sky, what is you all's opinion?  Both have good reviews, but Zephyr had excellent ratings.  Appreciate the input!

Have you considered a factory-new or factory-reman from Continental?  Their lead times are much less than the 7+ months I’m seeing for other “boutique” OH shops.  I just received my factory-new engine last month and waited about 3 months.

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Zephyr Aircraft Engines did the major overhaul on my O-320 last year. They were really good to work with. The engine is smooth running and turned up a static rpm a little higher than spec. One advantage to working with a shop like Zephyr is that they will inspect the valve installations on the cylinders that were done by the factory and correct any deficiencies that they find before placing the cylinders on your engine. The factory assumes that their installations are always correct. I recommend Zephyr without any reservations.

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On 8/6/2022 at 1:18 PM, Fly Boomer said:

Sounds like you had a bad experience.  I have seen a number of positive reviews both here and on BeechTalk.

I saw them too. They made me feel confident as well. Cheap prices, good reviews from 10 years ago, what’s not to like? Now I have the full story. Parts falling off mid flight. Awful craftsmanship, bare minimum build, cylinders reinstalled without proper honing and reusing rusted exhaust studs, a brand new cam shaft chewing itself up, zero care about it. Yeah, I guess you could say bad experience. One thing I’ve learned is, never accept the lowest bid on something your life depends on. 

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Their prices advertised on their website are extremely low (like 17k IIRC for IO360). So I suspect they do the minimum required.

Not only are accessories not included in their base prices but from what I see folks spend a lot more money before the engine is finished. I’d say minimal too.
The shop isn’t a repair station either which is a important difference IMO.


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2 hours ago, kortopates said:

The shop isn’t a repair station either which is a important difference IMO.

Paul, can you elaborate on this? Just curious your thoughts on the value of a repair station. 

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Paul, can you elaborate on this? Just curious your thoughts on the value of a repair station. 

A shop that is designated as a repair station is certified by the FAA under 14 CFR Part 145. This involves the shop being periodically inspected to verify the shop is operating using acceptable repair practices among other things.


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On 8/6/2022 at 7:51 PM, BKlott said:

Zephyr Aircraft Engines did the major overhaul on my O-320 last year. They were really good to work with. The engine is smooth running and turned up a static rpm a little higher than spec. One advantage to working with a shop like Zephyr is that they will inspect the valve installations on the cylinders that were done by the factory and correct any deficiencies that they find before placing the cylinders on your engine. The factory assumes that their installations are always correct. I recommend Zephyr without any reservations.

Good to know.  Charlie Merlot sold the biz some years back, so I'm happy to hear their standards appear to have remained high.  I'll be facing OH likely sooner than later, and Zephyr is a strong contender.

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7 hours ago, MikeOH said:

gh.  I'll be facing OH likely sooner than later, and Zephyr is a strong contender.

LJ (John Warren) ran the shop under Charlie. The way it was described to me, it was a passing of the torch sort of ownership change. 

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