Comanche Eng Overhauled in 1980 but aircraft in A1 condition

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Paul Tyler, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. Paul Tyler

    Paul Tyler Filing Flight Plan

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    I am considering a 1959 Comanche 180 that has had last complete OH in 1980 with a top OH carried out in 2003 - It has only done on 750 hrs since the major overhaul in 1980. Has only flown 8 hrs in the last 5 years. Always hanger and aircraft was repainted and refurbished completely in 2003 - Aircraft is 9.5 out of 10 inside and out. My question is your thoughts on the condition of the engine with very little flying.
     
  2. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    Where is it? If it is an Arizona airplane, the engine might be fine. If it is in costal Florida, the engine might be in rough shape internally.
     
  3. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    Buy a nice airframe and budget for a engine rebuild.’80 was a LONG time ago.
     
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  4. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Pull a couple of jugs, have a look, and then take a peek at the accessory case. If that checks out, you might be okay. Personally, I’d more than likely walk away. If you do buy it, factor in the price for an overhaul.
     
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  5. Paul Tyler

    Paul Tyler Filing Flight Plan

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    Its downunder Australia - has been hangered at least last 20 plus years - Inland Australia so more Arizona type weather than Florida.
     
  6. Paul Tyler

    Paul Tyler Filing Flight Plan

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    This airframe is nice - and certaily would be budgeting for new engine.
     
  7. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    My engine (O-540) was overhauled in 1981. It has 1,500 on it the crank looks perfect the cam looks perfect and my lowest compression was 78 at annual last week. New cylinders were put on in 2013.
     
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  8. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't know but now I have to re-read this entire thread in an australian accent. or my version of one, anyways.
     
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  9. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    Crikey!
     
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  10. Kelvin

    Kelvin En-Route

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    My question is why you think is is OK to post this and not involved pictures...lots of stuff runs backwards down where you are mate!



     
  11. Paul Tyler

    Paul Tyler Filing Flight Plan

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    Mate - What would like pictures of?
     
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  12. Kelvin

    Kelvin En-Route

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    That beautiful Comanche! Sounds like it has been loved on and just need someone to fly it again!

     
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  13. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    :needpics:

    :D
     
  14. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    Tell us more of this Bonny Comanche. There are, of course, no ugly 24s.
     
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  15. Paul Tyler

    Paul Tyler Filing Flight Plan

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    Thats so true - standby - just trying to work out to add pics to this
     
  16. Paul Tyler

    Paul Tyler Filing Flight Plan

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    Standby - for pics
     
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  17. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    If it is in the interior of Australia your main issue may not be the engine. I'd probably just give it an oil change and fire it up.

    However, what kind of hangar? Metal? Air conditioned?

    Because if it's been sitting for decades without climate control, and during the hot weather months cooking at 100+ deg F inside a metal hangar box chances are every single rubber hose, gasket and seal on the plane will be dry and cracked. You can check the oil and fuel lines by squeezing them to see if they are flexible or hard/brittle from aging. That will give you some indication of condition.

    Even if it's out of the sun (good!) the heat can still age susceptible components. It's not as if these can't be replaced...they most certainly can. But it's fair bit of work to go through the entire plane. For a nice Comanche, definitely worth it.
     
  18. Paul Tyler

    Paul Tyler Filing Flight Plan

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  19. Paul Tyler

    Paul Tyler Filing Flight Plan

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    Its not remote outback - its not on the coast - not hot not cold - good storage conditions I would guess
     
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  20. Paul Tyler

    Paul Tyler Filing Flight Plan

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  21. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I think you have to add them individually. Choose "Upload a File" lower right. Go to the directory on your computer where the picture is stored and pick it.

    Edit added: I see you managed to do it.

    Nice looking airplane. Change the oil, do a thorough preflight, fire it up, give it a good run up and go fly it!
     
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  22. Country Flier

    Country Flier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    To each their own, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, etc, but I would disagree about no ugly 24s...I love all planes to some degree, but I love comanches for what they can do, not for what they look like.
     
  23. Jdm

    Jdm Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Check the flexible hose dates in the engine compartment. Very important to comply with published recommendations on changing engine hoses.
     
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  24. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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  25. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    One of the finest looking single engine airplanes of their era. Still turn my head whenever I see one of their ever diminishing numbers on a ramp. Their look has aged much better than some other '50s vintage designs.
     
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  26. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    That looks like a nice one. As others have said, check the hoses.
     
  27. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    The only thing (IMO) that hurts the Comanche is the nosebowl on everything up to (I think) the B's or C's. It looks like a horrible afterthought, as if they took their time and designed and built a great airplane, but forgot about the nosebowl until right at the deadline.
     
  28. Country Flier

    Country Flier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Couldn't disagree more. To each their own, but to me, it looks like those drawings you see of what they thought the future would look like in 1950, but didn't actually turn out that way.
     
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  29. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Yes, I know a few people that think the same about the '57 Chev Bel Air.
     
  30. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    Get someone who knows Comanches to make sure that the AD's have been complied with and the landing gear is in decent shape. There is a pretty good Comanche community down under. You can find them on the Airworthy Comanche forum http://forums.delphiforums.com/comanches/start
    or the Piper Comanche FB group.
     
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  31. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    Fortunately, more pilots think Comanches are sexy than think they are some sort of steampunk nightmare. :)
     
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  32. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    There is definitely an element of steampunk in a pseudo-original Comanche. The panel of the one I flew had a passing resemblance to Nemo's submarine.
     
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  33. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    I agree. The pre C model airplanes have a face only a mother could love. But everything else on them looks pretty good.

    It’s personal preference I guess.
     
  34. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    The original panel is a bit like something out of an Ernie Gann novel. Which isn't much different from other 50's designs. Fortunately, the Comanche's panel is fairly easy to modernize, unlike the old Bonanzas which are amazingly Art Deco and very difficult to impossible to modernize. But from a ramp view, the Comanche is a sleek, sexy airplane, in the view of enough buyers to make them a hot commodity.
     
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  35. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    It is smiling! Very iconic! Of course, I am a bit more partial to the looks of the Twin Comanche.
     
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  36. JAWS

    JAWS Cleared for Takeoff

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    Without laying hands on the machine and the logs, it is difficult to give a true opinion. Nice paint means nothing with corrossion covered up. A nice interior means nothing with screws drilled through the center section.

    But I do like the pic of the engine bay. Someone did some decent work there at some point.

    I like PA24's, just be careful. The owners association would be a good place to start learning specifics.
     
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  37. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    The original "smiley face" with a cute little button nose and straight teeth is the Bonanza. Little heavy on the eyebrows though. ;)

    Beech Smiley Face (2).jpg
     
  38. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You should run away. But if you don't mind sending me the owner's contact information...

    The T-6 I flew last year was last overhauled by the US Navy in 1956. It's had a jug or two but otherwise still very reliable. No metal in the oil and great compression in every cylinder. Starts easily, makes great power and pressures and temps are always good.
    Crazy? If it did need overhaul all the parts going in would be just as old as the parts coming out.

    Not intended as a personal attack RyanB:
    I always love that one. "You've never met me, but me and my mechanic friend would like to pull a couple of cylinders and look inside"

    In general unless I know the mechanic personally
    I'd have to be super hard up for my price to allow someone to remove a cylinder. Have 3 or 4 buyers show up wanting to do that and the fun of selling a plane goes south quickly.

    Look the plane and logs over, peek in the dark corners if you want. Heck, run a borescope if you must. Make your offer or don't.
     
  39. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    If the plane was in Arizona since 1980 then I agree that it has a chance of survival. When lifters get even a tiny crater of corrosion they start flaking out like a Chuck hole. In a dry climate this would be less likely to happen.
     
  40. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I don't see the big deal about pulling a cylinder. It's an easy job, and I've pulled all and replaced all 6 myself with help. Easier to put them back in with 2 of you working on it. If it's an absolute no my question is, what are you hiding?

    Just have a written agreement in place that covers any damage done by the inspecting mechanic. Take pictures, prior to inspection, and make notes like a rental car agreement. After it's back together, determine any new damage, if any, that shows up due to a ham handed inspection..