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I plan to start building a 601XL this Winter and want to put a 0-200 in it. I did transition training with Buzzy earlier this year and his 0-200 in the 750 seemed to perform well. I’ve been looking at several options
and one is that I have the opportunity to buy a good running 150 with 700 hours smoh, know the pilot,
his mechanic and how the plane has been cared for. He wants 12,500. for it and it’s sitting in a hanger
close to me. Realizing I wouldn’t get much for the airframe, besides the engine/prop - there are a few things on the instrument panel and the elt that I could use. My UL350is and prop was more than twice that. Is this a dumb idea.
Hi, Robert; How *well* do you know the pilot? As in, you've seen him/her around, or you've sat and talked, perhaps flown with them, etc.
Are you sure about the 750 SMOH or STOH? Have you read the logs?
If you *really* know this plane, the owner, and really understand how it's been maintained, I don't think it's a bad deal.
You might have to still put some $$$ into it; as an example, some mags need to be o/hauled on a regular basis. You might have a weak cylinder or two. You might want to put a lightweight starter and/or alternator on it. o-200's did not come with an oil filter as standard equipment. I would seriously consider adding one if the previous owner(s) haven't done it already.
Has current owner done oil analysis? If so, review the last few reports just to check trending data.
Plan for an extra 2-3000 $ just so you're not surprised.
Hi Carl, Thanks for replying. Yes, l know the pilot well - we have shared a hanger for
the last 14 years. He has been meticulous about taking care of it, just doesn’t fly it much,
though it’s always in annual. He might not appreciate it if I told him what I would do with
it and I wouldn’t do it without telling him before I bought it. I just thought getting a running
engine might be a lot easier.
I can buy a complete engine from a friend for 2500 bucks, which has been sitting in his
hanger for probably 15 years. It is very low houred, turns free, but had a prop strike and
besides a crank check may also need new cylinders as well as mags, light wt. starter, etc.
He will let me tear it down and check it before I buy it, so I suppose that’s a better way
to go. Did you start with a core?
Hi, Robert; It all depends on how you want to go. For me, building an engine is viewed as "fun" but I have an engine background.
Depending on how far your friend will let you tear-down the 2500$ engine, and if you enjoy building, go for it. I bought a core for $4000 or thereabouts, and I'm planning on about $14,000 total when I'm done. I've already had the internals tested & tagged, as well as the case. I need a new accessory case, so that will be a big chunk. Cylinders all had good compression, but I'm going with new Superiors; more to be able to go back to 28 deg of timing vs 24 as limited by the older cylinders. Starter is less than 100 hrs old, so it pains me to go with a new one; will probably go with a new one anyway. One slick mag is also at 100 hrs, so will need another mag. Carb was just overhauled.
Christopher below makes some good points, but for an experimental, the 12 years / 1800 hrs is only guidance. More important to me is how regularly (the one in the 150) it's been flown. I'd rather have a 50 hr/year engine that's flown every week than one where it sits for months or a year, then has 150 hrs put on it the next year. Supposedly you know the history on its use. Does either engine have the mounting pad for an engine-driven fuel pump? The 150 probably doesn't since it's a high wing. The other one in your friends shop may/may not. Since you're a low-wing you'll need to determine that impact as well.
If you have the time to part-out the 150, you can't ignore the possibility of going with a -D.
The recommended OH time doesn't apply because of Part 91 not for hire operations, not if experimental or certificated. But once again beware of old, slightly used engines unless aware of the effects of sitting in an unpreserved state (as most are)
Thanks to both of you. You have helped me decide to back off and give it all lots
more thought. While I still work on engines, I am 69 and it’s not as much “fun” as
it once was - upon returning from Vietnam a friend and I had a shop and built &
rebuilt engines - mostly auto, diesel & motorcycle and also his Dad had a small
machine shop so we did all our own head work and bored a few engines. I have
really never worked on my airplanes because have always had a partner and the
liability wasn’t worth it.
Anyway, being mostly retired, I built my 750 last Winter, learned a lot and had
a great time. The reason for building the 601 is to keep busy and I plan to take
my time, have a pro painter paint it, and try to build a plane someone will be proud
to own. I painted my 750 and it’s very average. I also think it’s even more important
to build the plane with a trusted and proven engine when selling it to someone
and I plan to sell it.
That all being said, I probably won’t break even on it so I need to keep an eye on
that part of it. Thanks to both of you, I needed to hear what you had to say!