Ugly plane good engine or good looking plane that needs overhaul?

bflynn

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Brian Flynn
I see two aircraft of interest to purchase right now, same model, same year.

#1 looks good, but has 2300 hours on the lycoming A1A engine. That's an overhaul for me, the aircraft is fairly discounted for the engine.

#2 has 200 hours on a pretty recent overhaul but makes e-man's mooney look like a beauty queen. The paint is in ok shape, but it's bugly to the max, I would be embarrassed to be seen in it. 12k more than airplane #1

Both have equally crappy avionics and I have the cash to buy, paint/overhaul, fix a reasonable number of squawks, and fix avionics.

#1, #2, or neither and why? My answer later.
 
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tenor.gif
 
What does it matter if your going to put the money in either plane?
I‘d go with which would take less time to get nice.
 
I see two aircraft of interest to purchase right now, same model, same year.

#1 looks good, but has 2300 hours on the lycoming A1A engine. That's an overhaul for me, the aircraft is fairly discounted for the engine.

#2 has 200 hours on a pretty recent overhaul but makes e-man's mooney look like a beauty queen. The paint is in ok shape, but it's bugly to the max, I would be embarrassed to be seen in it. 5k less than airplane #1

Both have equally crappy avionics and I have the cash to buy, paint/overhaul, fix a reasonable number of squawks, and fix avionics.

#1, #2, or neither and why? My answer later.
They don't know your plane is ugly when you are at 5500 feet.
 
#2 has 200 hours on a pretty recent overhaul but makes e-man's mooney look like a beauty queen. The paint is in ok shape, but it's bugly to the max, I would be embarrassed to be seen in it.

*** Shots Fired!!! *** :eek:
 
I see two aircraft of interest to purchase right now, same model, same year.

#1 looks good, but has 2300 hours on the lycoming A1A engine. That's an overhaul for me, the aircraft is fairly discounted for the engine.

#2 has 200 hours on a pretty recent overhaul but makes e-man's mooney look like a beauty queen. The paint is in ok shape, but it's bugly to the max, I would be embarrassed to be seen in it. 5k less than airplane #1

Both have equally crappy avionics and I have the cash to buy, paint/overhaul, fix a reasonable number of squawks, and fix avionics.

#1, #2, or neither and why? My answer later.

Need a lot more info than that. Fresh overhaul to what standard? Did it include all the stuff that usually breaks an engine, like oil pump, magnetos, starter?
Was #1 based on the log books, well maintained and they just put the lipstick on the pig to make it look pretty?

Basically, I say skip cosmetic and focus on the core question which plane was well maintained? That is the one to buy.

Tim
 
I have the cash to buy, paint/overhaul, fix a reasonable number of squawks, and fix avionics.

#1, #2, or neither and why? My answer later.
Neither. If you've got the budget then buy a plane with the work already done. A seller never gets back what they put in. Plus, no waiting, no cost over runs, no supply chain or labor issues.
 
I see two aircraft of interest to purchase right now, same model, same year.

#1 looks good, but has 2300 hours on the lycoming A1A engine. That's an overhaul for me, the aircraft is fairly discounted for the engine.

#2 has 200 hours on a pretty recent overhaul but makes e-man's mooney look like a beauty queen. The paint is in ok shape, but it's bugly to the max, I would be embarrassed to be seen in it. 5k less than airplane #1

Both have equally crappy avionics and I have the cash to buy, paint/overhaul, fix a reasonable number of squawks, and fix avionics.

#1, #2, or neither and why? My answer later.

I am VERY SUSPECT of recent overhauls, who did it? a major shop with a reputation or a guy in the back of the hangar with a can of krylon? you need to find out more information. times by themselves mean nothing.

Personally, all things being equal? I would tend to favor the runout engine and then make sure you get a quality overhaul.
 
I’ve bought engines, paint, avionics, and interiors. Paint and interior are the most fun, because you get to be a little creative and you can admire them every time you go to the hangar. Engines are the least fun because, unless you do some fancy upgrade, you spend outrageous amounts of money just to get to baseline.
 
what about it is ugly?
 
I see two aircraft of interest to purchase right now, same model, same year.

#1 looks good, but has 2300 hours on the lycoming A1A engine. That's an overhaul for me, the aircraft is fairly discounted for the engine.

#2 has 200 hours on a pretty recent overhaul but makes e-man's mooney look like a beauty queen. The paint is in ok shape, but it's bugly to the max, I would be embarrassed to be seen in it. 12k more than airplane #1

Both have equally crappy avionics and I have the cash to buy, paint/overhaul, fix a reasonable number of squawks, and fix avionics.

#1, #2, or neither and why? My answer later.
If it was me, I would be pricing engine overhauls to see where the real value is. If your local mechanic can do a decent overhaul for 15k then you get a nice bird AND a like new engine for only 3k more. If he needs 20k then the cost is more but it still may be worth it by the time you sell it with 600 hrs SMOH.
 
Paint is cheaper and has less down time than an overhaul
 
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I’d buy #1, order an overhauled engine from Lyc or a reputable shop, and then continue to fly it until the new engine gets delivered or the old engine starts making metal. It’s already discounted for the high time engine, so any time after that is free money in your bank.

But if you want to overhaul the engine that’s in it, you’ll need to consider the lead time, which I hear is…umm….pretty long.

Or you could go the route I did, buy the ugly airplane with the worn out engine and start the slow, painful, and expensive but rewarding journey of bringing it back up to a nice airplane.
 
Neither. If you've got the budget then buy a plane with the work already done. A seller never gets back what they put in. Plus, no waiting, no cost over runs, no supply chain or labor issues.

This is my answer right now because I really am away too much for work. But waiting for the right airplane and waiting for an overhaul are both waiting.

https://www.controller.com/listing/...-mooney-m20e-chapparal-piston-single-aircraft

IMG_0146.jpeg

https://www.controller.com/listing/for-sale/228906995/1970-mooney-m20e-piston-single-aircraft

IMG_0148.jpeg

I like the scorpion tail. Neither plane is close enough.
 
Need a lot more info than that. Fresh overhaul to what standard? Did it include all the stuff that usually breaks an engine, like oil pump, magnetos, starter?
Was #1 based on the log books, well maintained and they just put the lipstick on the pig to make it look pretty?

Basically, I say skip cosmetic and focus on the core question which plane was well maintained? That is the one to buy.

Tim

Also shop and reputation.

It could be a paper overhaul to make the sale. In general, I would rather go with a nice plane that needs engine overhaul, so it gets down where and to what standards.

Different answer if it is a Factory Engine (reman or new).
 
If you want to fly soon and plan to keep the plane long term, #1.

If you want to build hours and then dump it, #2.

Engine overhauls generally have predictable costs, timeline, and outcome.

Projects take 3 times as long and cost twice as much as you predicted.
 
I was in the same Situation two years ago. I bought the ugly plane with the fresh engine. My thinking was, I can make the plane pretty myself on my own schedule and spread the cost over time which I did. New side panels, new carpet, interior painting and fresh up, new seats, new bulkhead, etc. One thing at a time while still flying the plane in the meantime. Took me six months to get to the point where I liked the plane but it was never grounded for more than a week at a time in the process.
 
I was in the same Situation two years ago. I bought the ugly plane with the fresh engine. My thinking was, I can make the plane pretty myself on my own schedule and spread the cost over time which I did. New side panels, new carpet, interior painting and fresh up, new seats, new bulkhead, etc. One thing at a time while still flying the plane in the meantime. Took me six months to get to the point where I liked the plane but it was never grounded for more than a week at a time in the process.
Interior improvements lend themselves to that approach. Exterior painting can be more of a commitment.
 
This is my answer right now because I really am away too much for work. But waiting for the right airplane and waiting for an overhaul are both waiting.

https://www.controller.com/listing/...-mooney-m20e-chapparal-piston-single-aircraft

View attachment 122678

https://www.controller.com/listing/for-sale/228906995/1970-mooney-m20e-piston-single-aircraft

View attachment 122679

I like the scorpion tail. Neither plane is close enough.


#1 has complete log books, all newish cylinders, but hasn’t flown much in the last couple years. NorCal plane.

#2 log book starts at year 2000. Also didn’t fly much last year. KS and NE plane. But yeah, that is one interesting color choice…

I would also agree with @aftCG. If you have the means, buy the plane you want, even if it costs more than you think it should. It will be cheaper in the long run.
 
I am VERY SUSPECT of recent overhauls, who did it? a major shop with a reputation or a guy in the back of the hangar with a can of krylon? you need to find out more information. times by themselves mean nothing.

Personally, all things being equal? I would tend to favor the runout engine and then make sure you get a quality overhaul.
Is 200hrs considered "recent"? I mean, I'd think most of the infant mortality would be sorted by then.
 
This is my answer right now because I really am away too much for work. But waiting for the right airplane and waiting for an overhaul are both waiting.

https://www.controller.com/listing/...-mooney-m20e-chapparal-piston-single-aircraft

View attachment 122678

https://www.controller.com/listing/for-sale/228906995/1970-mooney-m20e-piston-single-aircraft

View attachment 122679

I like the scorpion tail. Neither plane is close enough.
Ahhh, my eyes!
I'd be genuinely concerned about the sky rejecting that second one.

I like Mike Busch's advice of buying a plane with a runout engine so you have control over who does the rebuild and to what standard. As mentioned above though, with engine lead times being what they are, it could be 6mo-1yr. If you can't fly much now due to work, that might not be a bad plan to have a plane ready to fly when you get more time. Also, I wouldn't be afraid to fly an engine with 2300 hours so long as it's healthy. If there's no metal being made, borescope looks good, and it passes the valve wobble test, you could easily fly it a year (or more) until you get a new engine.

The engine is inconsequential though compared to the airframe. I'd take an ugly dog with a tired engine over a freshly painted and repowered bird with corrosion issues.
 
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Engine OH lead times are much improved over last year. Friends of mine are getting estimates of 3 months from good quality shops.
 
Is 200hrs considered "recent"? I mean, I'd think most of the infant mortality would be sorted by then.

Maybe, but again the quality of the overhaul is the big factor.

Anyway, I looked at the listing for #2, and found this

Description
Lycoming Overhaul in 2021, 3-Blade Prop, ADS-B Out Look at this unique Mooney! This aircraft has a factory overhauled engine from Lycoming with less than 200 hours on it and a 3-blade prop! This E model will be sure to turn heads on any ramp! Give AOS a call today and secure this Mooney!

If this can be verified then I'm much more comfortable with the engine.
 
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