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Piloto

Bravo Conversion

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I have been looking at a 1993 TLS with no Bravo conversion. The plane has only 600 hrs since new.  Any idea what it would take and cost to do the conversion? The plane has been kept in the original factory state. Any other items I should be looking for?

 

José 

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I find it difficult to believe there are still planes out there that have not been converted.  The cost was largely underwritten many years ago.  I have to believe that you are looking at something around $20K.  If it has the original avionics, then add $10K for a bear bones waas gps, need an engine analyzer, add 3K, how about dumping the unreliable and costly engine driven back up vacuum?  Add another $3K. The good news, is if you do the wet head conversion, you will probably get to TBO on the engine. 

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I think I would be worried about an aircraft and engine which has only done 600hrs in 20 years! Half an hour a week is going to make it a much different aircraft than one that had the wings flown off it for a year or three and then forgotten about.

 

Depending on how long it has been left standing, other than the items above, a close check on  the oxygen cylinder/regulator, ELT inc battery, hoses inc. brake pipes, main batteries and so on.  If TKS'd then the panels may be u/s if they've not been used for years.

 

If it has had an annual every year and kept well it could be a good buy, but if it's been idle for 10 years in the back of a hangar there could be a lot of remedial work required - could still be a good buy, but just not for immediate use!

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Piloto,

The big benefit to the Bravo conversion comes at altitude.  The wet head forces oil around the exhaust valve guide ( which is the hot section of a piston engine). The oil picks up some of the rejected heat.  My overhauler thinks it is the best thing that Lycoming thought up.  My Bravo is a 99 so the engine was done at the factory.  The field conversions I think require new cylinders which means  a top.  The plumbing is a bit more complicated than you would think so the labor is going to be more than you might think.  If you are going to have a TLS I would sure go for the conversion.  I have been happy with mine for the 1000+ hours I have flown it.  Be sure the crankshaft serial number does not appear on SB 569A.  Cranks are 13K or more.  With the wet head the engine will likely make TBO without a top. 

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Which is the more difficult conversion...

Upgrading a TLS to a Bravo?

-or-

Converting a 201 pilot to a turbo long body pilot???

Best regards,

-a-

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Jose..... The Bravo conversion is almost a non starter. With only 600 hours on a 20 year old engine that never had the conversion, I would strongly consider getting the best price you can at purchase and doing a factory OH first. At last I checked, this was $63k. For that kind of money, I am sure Lyc. would work out the updated cylinders at a nominal coast.

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get it for the right price. do a factory oh or lycoming has a deal on reman for first time factory new eng going to them. the hoses etc will all be new, only way to go with this old engine. then change the panel

lastly tell your wife it has a bano..........

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Which is the more difficult conversion...

Upgrading a TLS to a Bravo?

-or-

Converting a 201 pilot to a turbo long body pilot???

Best regards,

-a-

 

I don't know. I have over 300 Hrs on Bravos, mostly ferrying them. But 0 hours on paying turbo bills, 18gph bills, $100 on oxygen bills, $500 on batteries and who knows what this engine is going to cost me. Glad that this one does not have TKS or air conditioning. But it has long range tanks, which is a must for me. I am very happy with my 82 M20J. Super reliable, trusty and well equipped. Before 2020 AVGAS is going to be over $10/gallon. That would be over $7,000 extra over what I would pay on my M20J for 100hrs of flight time. That is not too bad when I consider that my Aerostar hangar neigbor would be paying over $21,000 for the same hours. Like my neighbor says "oohh but I get there faster". "Yeah but I don't mind saving lots of money by sitting one extra hour, after all I enjoy flying", Like I tell my neighbor my 201 comes with an extra flying hour, hotel and rental car all for free. Can't beat that. Not to mention that he has 12 cylinders to worry about vs me that only has 4. And it takes him half hour to get the thing taxing vs 10 ninutes for me. Maybe I should keep my M20J.

 

José 

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Here is a nicely equipped TLS Bravo if someone wanted to take on a little bit of a project.  Assuming the heat did not get hot enough to damage the spar. Be sure you know which panels are holding the fuel in  before using the cordless drill on them!!

 

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1994-Mooney-TLS-Bravo-No-Reserve-fast-localized-maintenance-fire-fuel-bay-/181106338084?pt=Motors_Aircraft&hash=item2a2ac76924

 

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0 SMOH Bravo is listing at $200k or better at AAA...No Garmin or Aspen...

José, for $85k the one pointed out above needs your eyes on it! It has Aspen and Garmin... It may be a little crispy around the edges...

Best regards,

-a-

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Flying at FL210 above icing at 205 knots true........priceless

I don't know. I have over 300 Hrs on Bravos, mostly ferrying them. But 0 hours on paying turbo bills, 18gph bills, $100 on oxygen bills, $500 on batteries and who knows what this engine is going to cost me. Glad that this one does not have TKS or air conditioning. But it has long range tanks, which is a must for me. I am very happy with my 82 M20J. Super reliable, trusty and well equipped. Before 2020 AVGAS is going to be over $10/gallon. That would be over $7,000 extra over what I would pay on my M20J for 100hrs of flight time. That is not too bad when I consider that my Aerostar hangar neigbor would be paying over $21,000 for the same hours. Like my neighbor says "oohh but I get there faster". "Yeah but I don't mind saving lots of money by sitting one extra hour, after all I enjoy flying", Like I tell my neighbor my 201 comes with an extra flying hour, hotel and rental car all for free. Can't beat that. Not to mention that he has 12 cylinders to worry about vs me that only has 4. And it takes him half hour to get the thing taxing vs 10 ninutes for me. Maybe I should keep my M20J.

 

José 

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get it for the right price. do a factory oh or lycoming has a deal on reman for first time factory new eng going to them. the hoses etc will all be new, only way to go with this old engine. then change the panel

lastly tell your wife it has a bano..........

Oh yeah Jim. I am putting one on mine. Just lift the back seat cushion, seat on the hole, open the bay doors and bombs away. No flushing required, save on water. The FAA FSDO guy says that wants to see a demo in flight before approving it. Any candidates?

 

José

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I think I've seen that seat option on corporate planes. listed with a "privacy curtain"?

That's a wee bit too personal for most folks...I think.

Anyone have that experience?

Best regards,

-a-

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I think I've seen that seat option on corporate planes. listed with a "privacy curtain"?

That's a wee bit too personal for most folks...I think.

Anyone have that experience?

Best regards,

-a-

My wife just put over a blanket. Everyone onboard just laugh and joke about the whole ordeal. For long trips (KFXE-TJMZ) I carry a bed pan with disposable bags for just in case. And they still want to go to Mars with just one toilet. What happens when you ran out paper. 

 

José

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My wife just put over a blanket. Everyone onboard just laugh and joke about the whole ordeal. For long trips (KFXE-TJMZ) I carry a bed pan with disposable bags for just in case. And they still want to go to Mars with just one toilet. What happens when you ran out paper. 

 

José

 

Go to the walmart on Mars. You can find the super-sized tp packages there.

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Flying at FL210 above icing at 205 knots true........priceless

 

In the middle of the night on my M20J over the North Atlantic 500nm from land, no turbo worries......riskless

If you don't have it, it will not fail.

 

José

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In the middle of the night on my M20J over the North Atlantic 500nm from land, no turbo worries......riskless

If you don't have it, it will not fail.

 

José

4 turbo planes over the last 20 years and zero turbo failures.  500nm from land, I'll take my Bravo any day and be there in a little over 2 hours.  I maintain my plane like my life depends on it.  I will never get the mpg of a J but my Bravo gives more options to get out of trouble than any J out there.  TKS, long range fuel, two batteries, two alternators, two vacuum pumps, oxygen, 25,000 foot ceiling......in the middle of the night over the North Atlantic 500nm from land.....easy decision

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4 turbo planes over the last 20 years and zero turbo failures.  500nm from land, I'll take my Bravo any day and be there in a little over 2 hours.  I maintain my plane like my life depends on it.  I will never get the mpg of a J but my Bravo gives more options to get out of trouble than any J out there.  TKS, long range fuel, two batteries, two alternators, two vacuum pumps, oxygen, 25,000 foot ceiling......in the middle of the night over the North Atlantic 500nm from land.....easy decision........which is?????

 

I guess you has been lucky or switched planes before the turbo failed.

Not the same luck for these guys at http://mooneyspace.com/topic/4329-bravo-exhaust-transition/

Or this Acclaim turbo SB http://mooney.free.fr/Mooney%20SB%20SI/m20_299.pdf

Or these guys at http://mooneyspace.com/topic/5200-bravo-squawk-sheets/

Or this guy at http://mooneyspace.com/topic/5136-turbocharger-pending-failure/

Or this guy at http://mooneyspace.com/topic/8470-mooney-purchase-turbo-seized-up/ 

Or this guy at http://answerpot.com/showthread.php?3534127-Turbo+Failure

 

Didn't think that ice can damage the turbo.

 

All my hangar friends that have turbo planes (Mooneys, Aerostar) had experience turbo problems and failures before 1000hrs. One of them keeps an spare turbo in his hangar. Why would Mooney come up with a non-turbo model like the Ovation that can easily make it to FL200.

 

Turbocharged vs Supercharged

 

When you read about turbo failures in airplanes most of them are related to the high exhaust temperatures they are exposed to. No surprise when you are heating a rotating metal at 1500F. Superchargers like the Garret at   http://www.tuninglinx.com/html/superchargers.html could be a solution to the problem. Unlike the turbos they are belt driven thus not exposed to these high temp environment. No intercooler required and no exhaust waste gate required.  

 

José

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It's all horses for courses - of course not having it means that it won't fail, but then not having it means you might not be able to despatch in the first place.  I went turbo, as when I was looking to move up, I had FIKI down as a 'must have'.  The general feeling from those in a similar place to me was that a turbo was worth more than FIKI, but having both was the best.  Over here in Europe, we also have that division between the lower routes (below FL195) and the upper (above FL195), and Eurocontrol won't accept a non-turbo aircraft into the UIR, this blocking the availability for a number of routes.  My regular routes go through OK in the lower airspace, but the odd trip can cut off significant chunks by going up a couple of thousand feet (eg you can't overfly Paris below FL200) - even in an O3 that would mean going round the outside if you're going east, and there is only one FL available if going west (but you won't be able to file it!)

 

It was a previous owner of mine that got through three turbos, one of which was marked down to 'ice damage'  A quick look didn't reveal it, but I seem to remember that there was a mod to the airbox assembly which increased the size of the holes at the back to alleviate this, so I would be surprised if this had been a one off incident.

 

So far for me, there have been a multitude of things that have caused a fail to despatch/divert/modify the plan, but as yet, none have been turbo related.  Of course, YMMV, depending on the individual aircraft and your attitude to maintenance.

 

Biggest worry will be the big Lycoming's inability to run on anything less than 100grade AvGas - until the future for AvGas is a bit more certain, I think this is the most significant  hurdle to long-term ownership

 

Like most things, you pays yer money and makes yer choice!

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You focus exclusively on the turbo, what about two alternators, batteries, vacuum pumps, and TKS which were all part of my response.  How many J's out there with that equipment?  Why don't you go pull alternator failures or check for crashes after icing up.  If I am over the north Atlantic 500nm from land, I will be in my Bravo.  As I said, I maintain it life my life depends on it and change components on hours and not wait till failure.  My plane is posted, you can see the equipment, and pictures from the last annual.  Couldn't seem to find pictures of yours. 

I guess you has been lucky or switched planes before the turbo failed.

Not the same luck for these guys at http://mooneyspace.com/topic/4329-bravo-exhaust-transition/

Or this Acclaim turbo SB http://mooney.free.fr/Mooney%20SB%20SI/m20_299.pdf

Or these guys at http://mooneyspace.com/topic/5200-bravo-squawk-sheets/

Or this guy at http://mooneyspace.com/topic/5136-turbocharger-pending-failure/

Or this guy at http://mooneyspace.com/topic/8470-mooney-purchase-turbo-seized-up/ 

Or this guy at http://answerpot.com/showthread.php?3534127-Turbo+Failure

 

Didn't think that ice can damage the turbo.

 

All my hangar friends that have turbo planes (Mooneys, Aerostar) had experience turbo problems and failures before 1000hrs. One of them keeps an spare turbo in his hangar. Why would Mooney come up with a non-turbo model like the Ovation that can easily make it to FL200.

 

Turbocharged vs Supercharged

 

When you read about turbo failures in airplanes most of them are related to the high exhaust temperatures they are exposed to. No surprise when you are heating a rotating metal at 1500F. Superchargers like the Garret at   http://www.tuninglinx.com/html/superchargers.html could be a solution to the problem. Unlike the turbos they are belt driven thus not exposed to these high temp environment. No intercooler required and no exhaust waste gate required.  

 

José

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You focus exclusively on the turbo, what about two alternators, batteries, vacuum pumps, and TKS which were all part of my response.  How many J's out there with that equipment?  Why don't you go pull alternator failures or check for crashes after icing up.  If I am over the north Atlantic 500nm from land, I will be in my Bravo.  As I said, I maintain it life my life depends on it and change components on hours and not wait till failure.  My plane is posted, you can see the equipment, and pictures from the last annual.  Couldn't seem to find pictures of yours. 

Good points. I myself had two alternator failures, one in IFR conditions. On both instances I made it to my final destination running on ship battery power with no major problem. Had vacuum to run the gyros. I also had two gyro failures with no problem reaching my destination. I am not impress with TKS specially on a 7 hour flight over the North Atlantic where TKS can only function for two hours and will take forever to de-ice a frozen wing. Unlike the pneumatic boots that will quickly remove the ice and will work for the whole flight duration, TKS is more of preventive measure for short duration events. Plus I hate carrying TKS extra jugs because most FBOs don't have it. I found that Mooneys handle ice pretty well, even though you may loose up to10kts. But best way to deal with ice is to avoid it. And this is where the NOAA website freezing levels is very useful. Unlike an alternator or vacuum failure a turbo failure can bring an airplane down. Specially when flying over the Andes with and average height of 13,000ft. At least on an Ovation  or even an M20J doing the crossing you know you will not have a turbo failure to bring you down. I am sure your plane is kept in the best shape but statistics is what I go by. Like I said before, if you don't have it, it will not fail.

 

José     

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You will lose more than 10 kts with ice on a Mooney...a lot more...BTDT won't do it again.

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I don't know. I have over 300 Hrs on Bravos, mostly ferrying them. But 0 hours on paying turbo bills, 18gph bills, $100 on oxygen bills, $500 on batteries and who knows what this engine is going to cost me. Glad that this one does not have TKS or air conditioning. But it has long range tanks, which is a must for me. I am very happy with my 82 M20J. Super reliable, trusty and well equipped. Before 2020 AVGAS is going to be over $10/gallon. That would be over $7,000 extra over what I would pay on my M20J for 100hrs of flight time. That is not too bad when I consider that my Aerostar hangar neigbor would be paying over $21,000 for the same hours. Like my neighbor says "oohh but I get there faster". "Yeah but I don't mind saving lots of money by sitting one extra hour, after all I enjoy flying", Like I tell my neighbor my 201 comes with an extra flying hour, hotel and rental car all for free. Can't beat that. Not to mention that he has 12 cylinders to worry about vs me that only has 4. And it takes him half hour to get the thing taxing vs 10 ninutes for me. Maybe I should keep my M20J.

 

José 

Thankfully, ownership and operating costs are not the sole consideration for aircraft ownership; were they, we would all be flying 1946 Aeronca Champs.  J's and Bravos are aircraft of completely different capabilities and therefore not of equivalent operating costs.  Systems cost money but increase capability.  Bravos are replete with systems.  That being said,  I flew my Bravo for 8 years without a single instance of scrubbing a flight for mechanical reasons.  It gave me 185 knots on 15 gallons in the mid to high teens where I flew above lots of weather.  With TKS, icing was no issue.  Will the Bravo cost more to fly than  a J, of course, but it's capabilities put in in a completely different realm than any non-turboed, lesser equipped aircraft.  For hard IFR I had dual alternators, dual vacuum, TKS, oxygen, and the ability to fly, EASILY, at 24,000 if the situation required.  The operational costs of the Bravo were, thankfully, a non-issue to me.  Had they been an issue, I too would have been forced to have flown a less capable aircraft.

 

I regularly fly 800 mile trips, over mountains, in or over solid and low overcast, that usually take me through at least two separate weather systems.  In those flight parameters, a J model Mooney, or a naturally aspirated Bonanza for that matter, would be as much use as a Volkswagen bus.  It's simple; initial and operating costs are a limiting factor for most of us, but that is not a valid reason to disparage the capabilities of an aircraft simply because any particular pilot cannot afford an aircraft of greater capability.

 

When I sold my Bravo, which I truly loved, I increased my mission capability with an Aerostar.  If a J model had been my only option, Delta Airlines would have been the better choice.  If I could afford a King Air, one would be in my hangar at this moment.  That is not a valid argument against the ownership of a King Air for one who can afford it.  "More power to the man that can" is my motto.

 

Jgreen

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