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Old October 26th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #1
John Baker John Baker is offline
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Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

I have a1978 PA 161. I have about 400 hrs to TBO. What do ya'll think about installing a 180 Lycoming in it. Do you think it would hurt the resale value, or saleability of it. I'd appreciate any thoughts on this.

John
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Old October 26th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #2
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

Does the STC increase the MGW?
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Old October 26th, 2008, 10:21 PM   #3
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

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Originally Posted by bbchien View Post
Does the STC increase the MGW?
No, that is one of the problems with the Archer/Warrior STC, no legal increase in MGW.

For the cost you are almost better off just selling what you have and buying the plane you want.

Now the STC from 150hp to 160hp is worth it.
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Old October 26th, 2008, 10:22 PM   #4
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

bummer! a '78 has the long body and tapered wing, too.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 12:01 AM   #5
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

I'm almost 66 years old, my little Warrior is probably my one and only bird. My mechanic suggested the 180, however, I am concened that it will actually lower the value of it if it is not a desirable upgrade.

I puchased N997SG a little over two years ago from east Texas. It is a very clean, almost new looking plane, even though it is 30years old. I have put some serious (at least for me) money into it making it right. It had an oil caning wing walk that I had replaced, some avionics went out since I purchased it, the directionl gyro and the number one VOR indicator. I'm not to eager to purchase another used aircraft and have to go through the same dance with it.

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Old October 27th, 2008, 12:07 AM   #6
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Baker View Post
I have a1978 PA 161. I have about 400 hrs to TBO. What do ya'll think about installing a 180 Lycoming in it. Do you think it would hurt the resale value, or saleability of it. I'd appreciate any thoughts on this.

John
Do you need the power? Is the engine getting weak? There could be a lot of life left in that thing...
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Old October 27th, 2008, 12:19 AM   #7
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

I guess the real motivator for doing such a thing is that my grandkids live up in Colorado Springs. I have rounded the clubhouse turn and am in the final prepeing for my private ticket. I Am am no expert on aviation, but I think my 160 would not be all that great for a run from San Diego to Colorado Springs.

I purchased my bird with more of a chasing the $100.00 hamburger mission in mind rather than pushing it up a mountainside. The engine she has now runs great, compression is excelent in all four. She just came out of her anual and all is good.

Heck, for all I know, she would do just fine on that run. That is why I am running this whole idea past those of you who know more than me, which is probably all of you.

John
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Old October 27th, 2008, 07:02 AM   #8
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

The STC does increase the MGW. I have a 1981 Warrior II, and I plan to upgrade the engine to 180 HP at TBO. I'd love to learn about your experiences and decisions along the way.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 07:49 AM   #9
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

I have flown Warriors and Archers, and have flown each in high density altitude circumstances, and fairly heavy.

First-off, if your plane is running well and the engine is strong, I would not be in any hurry to yank it and replace it; the Warrior is a good-flying airplane.

On the other hand, when it comes time for the engine to be overhauled anyway, going to a 180 would be a great way to improve the performance of a plane you have already spent time, money and love making right for you.

And I believe that the 180-HP upgrade would definitely improve, not harm, the value of the plane.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 08:38 AM   #10
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

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Originally Posted by fdorrin View Post
The STC does increase the MGW. I have a 1981 Warrior II, and I plan to upgrade the engine to 180 HP at TBO. I'd love to learn about your experiences and decisions along the way.
I have a 1980 Warrior ll with a 180 in it. It had a gross weight increase to 2415 with the 160 engine but installing the 180 did not increase the MGW. We used the Arch/Warrior STC. There is another STC out there but I do not believe it increases the MGW. The conversion is expensive and a real PITA to do. Charlie Melot Zephyr Aircraft Engines
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Old October 27th, 2008, 08:48 AM   #11
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

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I'm almost 66 years old, my little Warrior is probably my one and only bird. My mechanic suggested the 180, however, I am concened that it will actually lower the value of it if it is not a desirable upgrade.
There is simply no substitute for power, and more is better than less. Warriors with 180s are not that uncommon, and with the tried and true Lycoming 360 up front I don't believe that you would suffer a value decrease - but others with more experience than I (e.g., any experience at all) in the resale market can guide you better.

Your 160 will do fine in the mountains if you fly conservatively, undergross, yada yada. This is an important point!

Your 180 conversion will do better but I am having a hard time understanding a scenario where you would say "No Go in this 160, but if I had the 180, I'd go." As a new pilot with little mountain experience, you shouldn't cut the decision that finely.

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Old October 27th, 2008, 09:19 AM   #12
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Miller View Post
...

Your 180 conversion will do better but I am having a hard time understanding a scenario where you would say "No Go in this 160, but if I had the 180, I'd go." As a new pilot with little mountain experience, you shouldn't cut the decision that finely.

-Skip

that's the real point, innit?
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Old October 27th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #13
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdorrin View Post
The STC does increase the MGW. I have a 1981 Warrior II, and I plan to upgrade the engine to 180 HP at TBO. I'd love to learn about your experiences and decisions along the way.
Whose STC is that? The Sykes STC (Arch-Warrior SA2946SO) for the 180hp does not increase the MGW. You will not only have to replace the engine but you also need a new prop. IMHO unless you have a really great panel that it is far cheaper to sell your plane and upgrade to a real Archer. I looked into this with great detail when I bought my Warrior and decided then to just keep the 160hp engine.

I hear rumor of a STC from Bob Small but I cannot find it in the FAA database. The talk on the Piper Owners Society webboard is that this STC will only be for 1976 models and later.

There are rumors that for PA28-160's that there is a seperate STC that can get 100lbs of MGW increase but that is a seperate issue.

I am curious if you have some new info.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 09:33 AM   #14
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

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I guess the real motivator for doing such a thing is that my grandkids live up in Colorado Springs.

I flew to Leadville, CO from my home base at Front Range Airport outside of Denver in my 180 HP Tiger with two relatively large guys on board and had no trouble. Yes, I know its got 20 more HP, but that stubby little wing doesn't produce as much lift as your Warrior, and I ony have a service ceiling of 13,800 ft. However, the reason I am telling you this story is when I got to Leadville, the highest airport in North America at 9,927 ft., I noticed a Cessna 172 landing. It was an instructor based there with her student. I asked her if it was a 180 HP 172. She said no, that it had the stock 150 HP engine in it. I was shocked. She said it did fine in the mountains.

My point is that a mountain flying course and some time with an experienced mountain CFI will do a lot more for your capabilities from San Diego to the Springs than 20 extra HP. Here's a good place to start. Click on the section for Mountain Flying.

http://www.coloradopilots.org/default.asp?menuID=
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Old October 28th, 2008, 09:48 AM   #15
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

John-

I cannot disagree that more power is a good thing for flying high, in mtn flying, sometimes power will get you into trouble faster than you want! I have flown all over the Colorado Mtns in a C172L, w/ 150 hp engine (including Leadville). It's about technique, not just power!

If you are interested in a Mtn Flying lesson from some very knowledgeable CFI's, try Peak Aviation, based at Cutter in KCOS. This is the flight school I used to teach mtn flying at (also have my C310 on lease with them). Robert Dorband and Ali Ghorashi are both great instrs and quite knowledgeable! Whether in your aircraft or theirs, they'll show you a great time, and give you some great information.

If you'd like more information, PM me!

No doubt, Anthony- you met Ursula, who along with Daniel manage the LXV airport. She has been teaching there longer than I have been flying!
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Old October 28th, 2008, 10:27 AM   #16
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

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Originally Posted by colomtnflyer View Post
No doubt, Anthony- you met Ursula, who along with Daniel manage the LXV airport. She has been teaching there longer than I have been flying!

That's her! She is very nice as is Daniel. I enjoyed hanging out with them and talking mountain flying. I flew up to Granby from Leadville and did a T&G just to say I'd been there.

More horsepower is better, no question. I found myself wanting 200 HP with a C/S prop when mountain flying, although my 180 was OK. I'm sure if I had that, then I'd want a turbo.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 02:23 PM   #17
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

Back to the reason for the original question - San Diego to Colorado Springs and would the 180 HP engine be practical?

The entire trip can be flown at no more than 9500 ft (actual, not density) with no problems. I live in Colorado, too, and have a 180 hp cherokee. But learned in a warrior.

Questions to ask yourself
1) how much will the replacement engine cost?
2) how much fuel can you buy for that amount?
3) how close is your warrior to an engine overhaul?
4) what's the cost of the current engine overhaul?
5) have you calculated the ROI on the replacement engine?

Rather than spend the money on the replacement engine, I'd recommend a really good mountain flying course (if the ground school is less than 2 hours, it's not a really good course) along with the actual flying (which should be a minimum of 4 hours, probably broken into 2-3 sessions). There's no problem with flying a 160 hp engine, it'll just
take a little bit longer, probably less than an hour over all.

Rough estimate using a VFR flight planner for the warrior, 7.5 hours flying time at 9500 MSL. Rough estimate the same planner for a cherokee with 180 hp engine at the same 9500 alt is almost exactly the same amount of time. In fact, the warrior was 10 min faster. Strange, really strange....

Route:
SAN-Yuma-Buckeye-over the top of Phoenix (9500 works!)-Show Low- St Johns (stop there for gas - always cheaper!) - AEG (Albuquerque) - up north a bit to get around the Sandia mountains then turn east - hang a left at TAFOY, over Las Vegas, NM - Raton, NM - and straight into Colorado Springs.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 05:00 PM   #18
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

The Cherokee Owner's Association wrote an article about the 180hp conversion some time ago (I don't have a copy); their concensus agreed with Charlie Merlot's, above: it wasn't worth it. That said, here's a good list of the STC's (the web page has a LOT of other good info on it).

From: http://home.earthlink.net/~keith_dkx...resources.html

Engine Upgrades
  • Arch-Warrior, Inc. offers an STC to covert a Warrior to 180 HP. Walter Sykes, (561) 278-1964.
  • AVCON Conversions in Udall KS has an STC to upgrade a Cherokee with an O-320 to an O-360 180 HP. (620) 782-3317, Robert Williams. He's very difficult to contact but one CPA member reports successfully purchasing the STC in 2006. There are rumored to be two versions, one with a fixed-pitch prop and another with a constant-speed prop.
    (this is not the same company as Avcon Industries which also makes STCs for various aircraft)
  • Art Mattson's R&D (also known as A M R&D) has an STC to upgrade an O-320-E2A to 160 HP.
  • Bob Small has a "Bold Warrior" conversion to upgrade a 1976 thru 1983 151/161 Warrior to a 180 HP Lycoming engine. Email: bsmall38@hotmail.com, Phone: (480) 844-2325.
  • Lycon has an STC to upgrade an O-320-E2A to 160 HP.
  • RAM has an STC to upgrade a Cherokee 140 or 151's O-320-E3D to 160 HP.
    (Their web site says "These STCs are not offered to suggest a significant performance increase", which is honest.)
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Old October 28th, 2008, 05:05 PM   #19
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

Quote:
The Cherokee Owner's Association wrote an article about the 180hp conversion some time ago (I don't have a copy); their concensus agreed with Charlie Merlot's, above: it wasn't worth it.


And in case the OP doesn't know who Charlie Merlot is, he has one of the best engine shops in the country and knows his stuff.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 05:19 PM   #20
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

Thanks for the input, I had no idea that my Warrior would be OK for such a trip. I've had it up to ten thousand, the controls felt kinda mushy, so I didn't try for anymore. Like I said, I lack the experience.

John

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Old October 29th, 2008, 07:55 PM   #21
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

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Thanks for the input, I had no idea that my Warrior would be OK for such a trip. I've had it up to ten thousand, the controls felt kinda mushy, so I didn't try for anymore. Like I said, I lack the experience.
The feel of the controls will vary with indicated/calibrated airspeed. When you're at 10,000 feet, your engine is making less power and the air is thinner, so your indicated airspeed will be quite a bit lower in cruise. However, if you note that indicated airspeed and then trim for that speed at a lower altitude, the controls should feel the same.

As far as going from San Diego to Colorado Springs, well, you probably won't be going direct in a Warrior no matter what horsepower engine you have in it. Direct from KSEE to KCOS is 695nm, but goes over some pretty high terrain, with MEF's well over 14,000 feet. If you modify the route to KSEE TRM BLH FTI KCOS, you should be able to fly the whole thing at 10,000, but it's 814nm. Still, a much better way to go. Tailwind or neutral wind, a fuel stop at KSJN, any headwind stops at KPAN and KAEG for example. That should keep you away from the biggest rocks and all the restricted areas (you sure have an abundance of those east of San Diego!)

Lots of room for variation, but you don't want to be crossing the mountains north of KLVS/FTI (Las Vegas/Fort Union, NM), at least until you have done a mountain flying course and KNOW your airplane and its performance in very high density altitude conditions.

Have fun!
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Old October 26th, 2012, 10:14 PM   #22
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

Thread revival 2012!

Similar question as before. I've been looking at the market for post '78 Archer IIs to compare and so far I estimate about a 40K difference between what I estimate I could get out of my warrior II at sale and what a mid time engine King or Garmin /G equipped archer II seem to be going for on TAP, et al.

I have an '83 PA28-161 so MGW is already 2440#. Engine is post TBO but still doing its job. I haven't quite put a dollar figure to the opportunity cost of the hassle of selling mine and buying a different airplane, with the associated transactional cost (loss) pains and belated maintenance endemic to re-starting with a 'new-to-you' aircraft purchase.

Just thinking out loud. My ideal step up would be an AA-5B, but the panels of the few that are on sale are complete garbage and people seem to want 60K for just airframe and a high time engine. I would hate to part with my airframe and /G panel just to not find a suitable tiger for the same $$ I could buy into Archer II performance with a better panel.

From my vantage point the tiger is superior to an archer II in cruise speed, inferior (marginally so) in climb and short field capability. I consider their relative merits a wash for my sub 400NM profile, though of course I would prefer the tiger cruise speed. The mission is adequate in the warrior II mind you, but I find the climb rate too anemic for my taste during the summer months. I just want better climb in the western TX summers. Overhauling the O-320 does not appeal to me as overhaul cost on a O-360 is identical long term. Maintenance costs between all three airplanes I consider identical, which makes keeping the O-320 the least desirable option.

What say you? Sell and upgrade to Tiger or drop an O-360 into my current ship?
Why in the world archer II are priced 20K above tigers is beyond me, but sparked my interest in reviving the thread.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 10:21 PM   #23
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

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Why in the world archer II are priced 20K above tigers is beyond me (...).
I think a lot of it is explained by misconceptions about the repair of glued airplane. People are just afraid of the unknown. Plus small things like desire to fly into places like Gaston's, not being handy with castering nosewheel, etc.
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Old October 27th, 2012, 01:06 AM   #24
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

Would it increase the value, YES

Will you EVER get the money back out if you sell NO

If you need the power, meh, I'd also look at different planes
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Old October 27th, 2012, 01:31 AM   #25
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Re: Installing a 180hp in a warrior?

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Would it increase the value, YES

Will you EVER get the money back out if you sell NO

If you need the power, meh, I'd also look at different planes
I agree with that assessment.

Do I need the power? No, not really. I went through the numbers a couple months back where I considered a pa-28-235, and for my mission it was overkill and inefficient.

I just know I wouldn't be happy with 160hp climb rates for extended years of operation, so I have no interest in overhauling the O-320 when the times comes. The only reason I've been considering the engine swap is in the pure opportunity cost of parting out with the panel and airframe I have in my hands today and try and find the airplane I want in the open market, for the same money. The archer II are above 40K in premium if I were to match my panel to them. That's what peaked my interest. Resale wasn't a consideration, I'm trying to find a 10 year+ airplane here. One where getting upside down on capital costs will be immaterial to me. I'm just after the utility value and the predictable and relatively cheap cost of operation.

What other airplanes would you recommend?
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