Cardinal 1971 177RG feedback.

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by bluesideup, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    262
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    bluesideup
    Hi everyone.
    Is anyone familiar with the 1971-C177RG? Good bad and ugly.
    My understanding is the the Gear system is likely a problem? They improved it in 74 1nd again in 76?
    The doors / hinges ?
    The fuel bladders , some are metal some rubber?....
    Is there a problem if the Registration is not current, how difficult to resolve?
    Thank you.
     
  2. azure

    azure Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    7,388
    Location:
    Vermont
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azure
    Yes, though I'm not certain of the exact years the improvements were made. Details are to be found at CFO. Personally, because of the gear system flaws, I would not own a Cardinal RG from before 1976. (I do own a '76 RG.)
     
  3. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    14,636
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Now offering reverse discounts.
    As @azure mentions, this is better asked over at Cardinal Flyers Online. The depth of information and assistance is amazing.
     
  4. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,954
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pasta Man
    Ours is a '75 and I'm not aware of the changes in year models. +1 on Cardinal Flyers Online. Probably a good investment if you're getting serious about Cardinals.

    The door hinge thing is the subject of much voodoo and hand wringing. It is true that with no wing spar you need to protect your doors. It is also true that the repair would be very expensive. But somehow them big wonderful doors and their hinges have lasted 40+ years by simply parking into the wind and keeping a hand on the door when opened on windier days. No need for that stupid piston thing that looks like ****, costs about $800 installed and requires moving/rewiring the pilots headset jacks.
     
    denisd likes this.
  5. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    16,239
    Location:
    Dallas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Spike Cutler
    177RG is a great plane, roomy, convenient, sleek as heck to look at.

    My only issue was, I felt like it really needed an extra 50 hp or so, but I guess that threatened 210 or 182 RG territory.

    Tornado Alley Turbos make a turbo-normalizing kit for the 177RG that makes it an amazing performer in the teens. Fast, efficient. Sounds near perfect (or, as close as you can get without actually being a Bonanza).
     
  6. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,799
    Location:
    KBAZ
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    hindsight2020
    Yup, exact same comment I make about my Arrow, which is its Piper equivalent. They all could have used a 250HP Lycoming. But a 250hp arrow would have encroached on the comanche. None of these airplanes were forecasted to still be part of the fleet of personal traveling airplanes in 2017, so I suppose I give Piper/Cessna a pass for leaving money on the table.
     
  7. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    1,727
    Location:
    KLAF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    455 Bravo Uniform
    No big deal to bring the registration current. When you transfer ownership title to yourself, it will be re-registered (you can do it, or if you use an escrow agent, they'll do it).

    You should ensure there are no liens on the plane though, through an FAA records search or an escrow agent.

    And make sure you figure out if there are any non-use/disuse related mechanical issues, since it's not been re-registered for a while.
     
  8. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,802
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Luvflyin
    No bladders. They have wet wings
     
  9. JimNtexas

    JimNtexas Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,200
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim - In Texas!
    [​IMG][​IMG][/IMG]

    My flying club has been operating a 1971 Cardinal RG (serial number 35) for about 15 years. Prior to 2014 we only had one gear issue. A pilot wheelbarrowed it on landing and slightly bent the motor mount, which caused the nose gear to stick on extension, but loading the airplane up got it down. We had to have the motor mount rebuilt to fix this problem.

    Over the years we've had to replace some switches in the gear system, and we added a 'gear motor operating' LED warning light to alert us if the pump for some reason didn't shut off. That's never happened to us, but it is a known failure mode that if combined with a leaking hydraulic fitting could cause all the hydraulic fluid to be pumped overboard.

    In 2014 a distracted pilot forgot to lower the gear. We had it fixed because we love this airplane.

    The 1971 Cardinal does not use fuel bladders. It has two 25 gallon usable tanks, which went to 30 in later years. The 1971 Cardinal has the same 'on/off' fuel selector as a C-150. This can be an annoyance when one tanks drains more than the other. Latter years have a proper left/right/both/off switch.

    I file for 130 knots and generally see 135, I don't flog the engine. I the latter models gained a few knots from cowl cleanup.

    The Cardinal is super comfortable, it's cabin width is 48 inches, more than a 182, Bonanza, Mooney, and any piston Piper that doesn't' have an airstair. There is a huge amount of headroom also, and a huge passenger area.

    The IO-360 motor is excellent. A big advantage of the 71 model is that it has real dual mags, in latter years Cessna switched that dangerous single drive magneto version.

    Door are a big issue with Cardinals. You need to get the aftermarket 'stoppers' to keep the huge doors from being damaged in a crosswind. Getting the correct size and installation of the door seals is critical. It took us a while to get the doors to seal correctly, but we got them working well eventually.
    [​IMG]


    One important prebuy item on any Cardinal is the center carry-through spar. A prebuy must include pulling down the ceiling to allow inspection of this spar. Corrosion programs with this part are rare, but they happen if the SCAT tubes are not maintained.

    [​IMG]

    Parts availability is good, especially considering how long ago 1971 was. Cardinals need a mechanic with Cardinal experience. The Cardinal has little in common with ordinary Cessnas and you don't want to pay an A&P to learn how to maintain one.

    The Cardinal is more maintenance intensive than our Warrior and Archer, but it is also a LOT more airplane.

    I hope this helps.
     
    G-Man likes this.
  10. JimNtexas

    JimNtexas Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,200
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim - In Texas!

    Nothing against the Arrow, but the Cardinal has an advantage in that it can actually glide when power is off. :D
     
  11. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,799
    Location:
    KBAZ
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    hindsight2020
    The Arrow III/IV can glide. But yes my Arrow II is a Wylie Coyote special when the power is chopped. :D
     
    RDUPilot and denverpilot like this.
  12. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    17,745
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Display name:
    An Arrow glides jus' fine. It's called safe glide mode meaning it glides like a safe. Very predictable.
     
  13. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    262
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    bluesideup
    Hi everyone.
    Thank you everyone for the feedback. Very informative.
     
  14. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Messages:
    3,055
    Location:
    Hopewell Jct, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Shepherd
    Amen to that, brother. AMEN!
    I like the RG's. Maybe the most comfortable of all the Cessnas of that era.
    I believe there are a couple of STC's for engine upgrades.
     
  15. azure

    azure Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    7,388
    Location:
    Vermont
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azure
    Not sure how crosswinds can damage a door. One thing about the Cardinal doors is that they are large and can catch the wind when they are open. Is this what you meant? Another thing is that you want to park with the NOSE facing INTO the wind. Since I am in the community hangar I am not allowed to pull my bird out and am constantly reminding the FBO owner to turn the plane into the wind when he pulls it out.
    They can happen for many other reasons too. The gurus on CFO will say that the rarity of this problem makes pulling the headliner down unnecessary but I disagree with them based on my own experience. A simple flashlight through the inspection hole examination is all my pre-buy mechanic did (despite my telling him to examine the spar carry-through THOROUGHLY), and at my first annual it was discovered that there was a mouse nest up there from years back, and the spar was indeed corroded beyond repair. Pay your pre-buy guy extra if necessary, but don't skimp on this part of the exam.
    Amen to that. I did that this year, and wound up with a $6K annual of which 85% was labor. A shame since there is an experienced Cardinal mechanic only 50 nm away, but the plane was pickled and hadn't been annualed for two years, so I was a captive customer.
     
  16. jim.nelson

    jim.nelson Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    Egg Harbor, WI
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim
    How easy is it to pull down the headliner and inspect the spar? Is this something that most sellers will willingly submit their aircraft to?
     
  17. azure

    azure Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    7,388
    Location:
    Vermont
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azure
    I don't know about "most sellers", but I'd allow it on a pre-buy without hesitation. The buyer is paying for the pre-buy, and as long as the mechanic is competent there should be no damage to the headliner. We're talking about an issue that can render an aircraft impossible to be made airworthy, if the owner can't find a spar carry-through to replace the corroded one. I was very lucky to find one. If it will give the buyer peace of mind, that's all for the best and enhances the likelihood that I will be able to make a sale. Again, as long as the mechanic can be trusted, I can't see why any seller would object.
     
  18. petersk

    petersk Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Keith
    The headliner doesn't need to be pulled down at all. Once you know where the issue is, which is between the air vent tubes and the spar on the front side of the spar, you can go in through the flap cable adjustment access panel, poke a boroscope through the lightning holes and look specifically at that area.

    Just takes a few minutes... although re-installing the screws on that flap access cover can be a pain! There's a trick to that also... :)

    I do pre-purchase inspections on Cardinals and have a couple of cameras which give a very good view of this area. It is also a good time to check the fuel vent tubes which can corrode.

    Cardinals are outstanding aircraft on many levels, when they fit your mission. And the range of capabilities, from the '68 150 horse to the Turbo Cardinal RG will fit a lot of missions.

    Keith Peterson
    Cardinal Flyers
     
  19. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    21,407
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Welcome KP!
     
  20. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    14,425
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fearless Tower
    Plus, a Cardinal is noticeably faster than an Arrow.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  21. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    14,636
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Now offering reverse discounts.
    And at the air show, you can comfortably sit in the shadow of the Cardinal wing. Less comfortable to do that with an Arrow. #highwinglife
     
    Mtns2Skies likes this.
  22. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    21,407
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    I like the Cessna that has hinged wings, the ultimate for shade.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Cardinalguy

    Cardinalguy Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2016
    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Eagar, AZ
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Stephen Nanny
    I just removed mine to access the GPS antenna, wish I had known the trick!
     
  24. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Messages:
    3,837
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PPC
    I sure hope this guy knows what he's talking about because I hired him to look at my Cardinal before I bought in.
     
  25. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    14,969
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Eight Balla
    Still at pattern altitude on short final? No problem.
     
    Fearless Tower and Mtns2Skies like this.
  26. GaryV

    GaryV Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    South of Houston
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    GaryV
    Based on my experience, if you hired Keith to do the pre-buy on a Cardinal it would be hard to find someone that can do better. He did mine and I was amazed at how thorough an inspection he did and how much detail he included in his report.

    Based on what he found I saved much more than I paid for the inspection and still haven’t had any surprises after 4 years and around 500 hours of ownership. You can’t ask for more than that.

    If you have the chance try to be there for the inspection. I was several states away and couldn’t be there for mine but the folks that were able to participate all talk about how much they learned about the plane during the inspection.

    Gary