Cost of upgrade to 180 hp in a Skyhawk?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by DMD3., Dec 12, 2014.

  1. DMD3.

    DMD3. Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If an 80's or older Cessna 172 was due for an engine overhaul, how much more would it cost to upgrade to a 180 hp versus having another 160 horse motor installed?
     
  2. petrolero

    petrolero Pattern Altitude

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    I have a buddy with a 172 who has done some homework on this same engine upgrade. I'll ping him and see what he found out.
     
  3. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

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    Call my friend Rafael at Air Plains and find out.
     
  4. KSMooniac

    KSMooniac Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And then take your plane there! It is a great upgrade for an older 172.
     
  5. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think the total is in the neighborhood of $30,000 - $35,000
     
  6. petrolero

    petrolero Pattern Altitude

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    Here is what he said:

     
  7. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    About ten years ago,the air plains conversion was running 39 K.
     
  8. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    More than it is worth. You can buy a better 172 XP for less and get a smoother engine and 195 horse power up gradable to 220.
     
  9. evapilotaz

    evapilotaz En-Route

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    They keep your
    Prop? So you have to buy a new prop?
     
  10. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

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    The upgrade requires a different prop too. I think one or more of them also offer an upgrade to a CS prop if you really have some $$ to burn. FYI, Ram has an STC to go from 150 to 160hp. A complete top end is about $6k. Won't get you much for cruise but it makes a nice improvement in climb.
     
  11. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

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    yea, i've gotten to do some flying in Raf's 172 with the conversion, and its pretty nice. Makes a fair towplane too. Of course in a pinch, almost anything with a towhook is a fair towplane :)
     
  12. DMD3.

    DMD3. Pre-takeoff checklist

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    How much does it cost just to put another 160 hp engine? If the aircraft needs to have the engine replaced anyway, it might be best to upgrade to the 180.
     
  13. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    There are several things that vary in getting a engine swapped out. are you buying a NEW engine? are you getting a used engine and having it rebuilt, or are you going to buy a used engine and run it the way it is? What happens with your old engine?
     
  14. rbridges

    rbridges En-Route

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    Wow. So by the time you get the new engine and prop, what performance changes do you see?
     
  15. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Putting a 180 in a Skyhawk (or a Cherokee even) typically makes it climb a whole lot better. Your top end speed isn't a whole lot better. It takes a whole lot more power to drag the same airframe through the air a bit faster.

    The law of making aircraft improvements pretty much says that it's more cost effective to buy an already put together plane that has what you want (if you can find it, which in the case of 180's and Hawk XPs shouldn't be that hard) than to do the conversion work yourself.
    Of course, if you have specific emotional attachment to this one airframe...
     
  16. Arbiter419

    Arbiter419 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Nothing to add other than a 180hp Lyc on the front of the old, light 172 airframes makes it a much nicer plane to fly! With a STOL kit on top of that you have a very nice performing airplane.
     
  17. pj500

    pj500 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It is no longer economical to upgrade skyhawks to 180hp. It made sense in the 80s and 90s, when you have a 140k airframe, but not anymore. It doesn't make sense in "newer" 140k airframes either because you can just get it from the factory now.

    Sell the run out plane and buy one with a rebuilt 180hp in it. You'll come out ahead. mid-time 172 180HP can be had in the 40s...

    I have one, makes a great little backcountry plane. Penn yan. very happy

    1 Person, 2 light people, half tanks and you still have enough climb to survive a mild downdraft.

    At 4:00 in this video @ 5-6K MSL 8K DA? is where it helps... even fixed pitch with a climb prop.

     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  18. mrkbbd

    mrkbbd Pre-takeoff checklist

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    AirPlains sells the STC kit so you can do it yourself. With the 180 you can also get the GWI (I have it, it's really nice, 4 adults, full fuel, and luggage and better than 160hp performance still). The pricing comes down to whether you do a factory new, factory reman, of find another 180hp motor to put in it. The prop is different too...I think Katie handles on the 172 stuff now (at least that's who I always talk to there), usually really fast turn around. They just got their new baffle design approved and I got a set - easily 20-30 degrees cooler than before so consider that as well. Downside to the install is the airbox is "modified" meaning non-standard. So if you ever have to replace it, it is a pain and my mechanic hates to deal with it since it is non-standard.

    Overall it's an excellent package. Put 2 people and 37gal of fuel and you can get 1500FPM climbs. It's not going any faster than the 160 though, but burns less than 1 gph more in my experience.
     
  19. peerlesscowboy

    peerlesscowboy Line Up and Wait

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    I dunno' 'bout O-320 --> O-360 but when I converted my 170 from Cont O-300 --> Lyc O-360 there was a SIGNIFICANT upgrade in takeoff and climb performance. Avcon fixed pitch conversion with factory new Lycoming O-360. Total cost as I recall was about $30,000 back in 1990.
     
  20. dlsmith

    dlsmith Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It seems like the work orders from the conversion on dads 172 ended up at about $35,000 back in 2004. Granted, this was a factory new engine and prop.

    Agreed though with the significant performance upgrade. His is a 1961 fastback 172 with the 180hp upgrade, a climb prop, and a Horton STOL kit. Easily outperforms any stock 172. With me (150lbs), him (180lbs), a 180lb guy, and a 275lb guy, plus full fuel and about 75lbs baggage, we were still off by the 1000ft marks easy, and it handled like a dream!
     
  21. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The Penn Yan conversion also calls for limiting the flaps to 30 degrees. When all is done you get a 250 pound bump in max gross, as well. Our club's C-172N with the 180 hp conversion has a max gross of 2550 pounds. 755 pounds in the cabin with full long range (50 gal) tanks. That is the key benefit I see to the upgrade.
     
  22. pj500

    pj500 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm not sure about the penn yan specifically, but in some conversions the gross weight increase is optional. It's acceptance requires the installation of a 50 cent plastic spacer preventing flap extension to 40 degrees.
     
  23. ki4lzk

    ki4lzk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Penn Yan is great to deal with. I have purchased three different engines with them ( all O-360 )
     
  24. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That limitation to 30 degrees flaps is key to the gross weight increase. I don't think it is unique to Penn Yan, but their conversion is the only one I'm familiar with.
     
  25. jfrye01

    jfrye01 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I did just that before my overhaul, and he quoted around $40K for my '67. I believe it's significantly cheaper if you have '68 or newer.
     
  26. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    the cheapest solution......sell it and buy what you want.

    Overhauling and doing a make-over.....is always more expensive.