KLN 94 Install Cost

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by idahoflier, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. idahoflier

    idahoflier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Would anyone be able to give me an educated estimate on the cost to install King KLN-94 in a C172N?

    Thanks!
     
  2. bradg33

    bradg33 Cleared for Takeoff

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    It should be $0, you shouldn't be paying a shop to install that kind of unit. The only way installing something that old is if you self-install. Keep in mind, database support for those isn't going to last forever. I self-installed a Apollo GX50 about 18 months ago, and recently Garmin killed database support for it, making it a glorified paperweight.
     
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  3. idahoflier

    idahoflier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I hear what you're saying, but I can't/don't want to self-install. I already have a useless VFR panel mounted gps so I think it wouldn't be too complicated (expensive) to install the KLN 94 in it's place. I already have a compatible CDI installed so I only need about 1.8 AMU in equipment. Sure it won't be close to as functional as a modern GPS but it would be a lot cheaper...
     
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  4. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Shops are swamped with ADS-B projects, I doubt you'll get anywhere near a decent quote if they would at all.
     
  5. bradg33

    bradg33 Cleared for Takeoff

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    If you want it to be IFR, it also requires a field approval. It's not hard, but many shops simply don't want to do the paperwork so they'll either pass all together or give you a "we really don't want to do this" quote. I'd be shocked if you find a shop that will quote anything less than $2k for labor only. Remember, you'll also need an encoder than can output RS232 altitude to the KLN94, so if your current encoder won't, you get to buy and pay to install a new one.
     
  6. idahoflier

    idahoflier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I didn't know it required a field approval. I figured $2K would be the minimum, but I have only been involved in one avionics purchase so have almost no experience with it.

    Understand shops are busy, but I still get mailers advertising Garmin deals, so there must be a little bandwidth (for the right price).

    I will probably just look at this again in a year and see how things look...
     
  7. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    It's a gps only navigator. No interaction with audio panels. Should be a 20 hour job. As to shops turning their nose because it's not a gtn or adsb, I can't speak to that. This is America, there's always someone willing to make a buck.
     
  8. idahoflier

    idahoflier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, my thinking was along those lines too. I may as well make some inquiries and see what some shops say...
     
  9. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    The KLN94 has a pretty thorough installation manual (manuals for older avionics are quite cryptic if you don't have experience in the field). If you have the free time you could study it and work with an A&P instead of an avionics shop. I was considering it myself for my C150 until I realized I could get a DME for the cost of a year of GPS database updates alone. Obviously DME is no substitute for GPS but allows shooting a decent number of approaches compared with what you can do with just a single NAV/COM, which is not much.
     
  10. idahoflier

    idahoflier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @dmspilot I have looked at the install manual and working with an A&P would actually be my preference. Unfortunately I'm not in a hangar so even if I found someone willing to work with me it really isn't practical. Most of the smaller airports around me (included my home base) only have GPS approaches which is why I thought a KLN 94 would at least add a little more utility to my 1993 state of the art panel.
     
  11. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Is it not practical without hangar because of current winter weather?
     
  12. idahoflier

    idahoflier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That is certainly a major aspect. The main thing is it would be a PITA. For example, the front seats have to come out, the engine cowl has to come off and of course some of the panel. Instead of being able to leave those items uninstalled, they need to be transported home because you wouldn't leave them on the ramp. Same goes for your tools. Rather than having everything ready to go you have to pack up, head to the airport, get everything situated, work a few hours and then pack up everything again.

    Then there are the folks that want to see what you're doing. Don't get me wrong, I love talking aviation, but it's a huge time sink!

    Yes, it absolutely could be done, it just wouldn't be a pleasant experience...
     
  13. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    IMO, it's not worth the price to install a KLN 94. Installing an IFR GPS is a big project regardless, and the cost is going to be in the same neighborhood regardless of what you install... So, you might as well get something nicer, that is still supported. If the screen goes bad on your KLN 94, you're SOL.

    And WAAS is definitely worth the price. No more hassles not getting home because the weather is below LNAV mins but above LPV mins.

    I can't really give you a good recommendation here, though. I know you're trying to save money, but there aren't a whole lot of certified WAAS navigators available. Support was recently stopped on the 480. Used 430W/530W units are pretty pricey (about $7K and $8K on recent sales on eBay, respectively) because they're still in demand with all the ADS-B upgrades happening right now. GTN 650 costs ~$10,500, and so does the Avidyne IFD440. GTN 635 (GPS/COM only, no nav) is about a grand less, and losing the Com so it's strictly a GPS knocks about another grand off. KSN 770 is a flaming pile of crap and costs more than any of the above.

    I'm not aware of anyone outside of Garmin, Avidyne, and King who has a certified WAAS navigator. :dunno: So, you're looking at a hefty chunk of change either way.

    The only way I would suggest something non-WAAS today is if there's something that can be slid in to where your "useless VFR GPS" is. What do you have right now?
     
  14. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    If Im ever faced with moving into an airplane without /G , the 400w is at the top of the list.
     
  15. bradg33

    bradg33 Cleared for Takeoff

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    FWIW, I did my panel overhaul with my airplane parked outside in the winter here in KC. Spent about 100 man hours on it, all parked under a shade port. It's absolutely doable. I just left my tools in the plane and closed the door. Unless you're in a really bad area, is anyone really going to bother them?
     
  16. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

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    Consider a temporary hangar rental if one is available...

    -Skip
     
  17. mooneyflyfast

    mooneyflyfast Filing Flight Plan

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    I installed one in my Mooney a few years ago. It is a major job. The cost will be almost as much as putting in a more capable unit like a 430 or a 600 series Garmin unit. It probably isn't STCed for your 172 (wasn't for my J model mooney) so that involved red tape and signoffs from the FSDO. My advice would be to look at something like a 625 (no com or vor/ils) which is what I ended up with. I was able to get most of my money out of the 94 but the installation cost was wasted. I was able to take advantage of a special package Garmin was running on the 625 and GTR 345 (r).
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  18. idahoflier

    idahoflier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @flyingcheesehead I don't disagree with a thing you said. It's just that I don't have a need to fly IFR and probably wouldn't do much of it. I live in a valley that used to get winter inversions that would sometimes last weeks, but that hasn't happened for a few years now. Having the /G, even non-WAAS, would add a little more utility.

    I can't remember the make of my current GPS, but I had never heard of the brand before and they're no longer in business.

    If I was planning to fly hard IFR I would definitely get a GTN 650 and dual G5's. But the cost just went from < $5K to probably > $25K. I just can't justify that expense right now...

    @bradg33 I tip my hat at you sir, that sounds like quite a project and something to be proud of!

    @Skip Miller I would definitely be in a hangar if one was available.

    I appreciate the discussion on this!
     
  19. TigerGene

    TigerGene Pre-takeoff checklist

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    A few thoughts on this often discussed subject:

    1. Lack of database support does NOT make an otherwise IFR legal GPS suddenly unusable for IFR operations. It would still be legal for enroute and terminal operations as long as you verified the data for each waypoint. Approaches would not be legal with an expired database. Thus you end up with darn fine VOR/DME substitute for enroute and terminal ops.

    2. If your legacy GPS became inop, the odds are you could replace it with another used one for less than it would cost to repair a newer, still supported GPS.

    3. Personally a WAAS GPS provides little additional capability to me as I avoid flying single engine airplanes with ceilings less than 1000 ft anyway. Well within the capability of my non-WAAS GPS. Just too risky for this 14,000 hr pilot.

    4. I don’t blame shops for avoiding legacy equipment installs. If problems develop they are the ones to get blamed, and they will not have the equipment manufacturer to help them out with tech support.

    I have become very conservative in my IFR decision making while flying single engine piston aircraft.
     
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  20. idahoflier

    idahoflier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @TigerGene Thanks for the info. Agree with (2), I figured I could pick up another KLN 94 as a spare. Also understand (4), but I don't think much can go wrong installation wise, however I do understand any reluctance. My biggest concern would be the DB updates.

    In case anyone cares, the KLN 94 would be going in the hole left by the removal of an ARNAV Systems STAR 5000 GPS...
     
  21. idahoflier

    idahoflier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @mooneyflyfast I apologize, I missed your post. Thanks for the feedback!
     
  22. TigerGene

    TigerGene Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Idahoflier:

    Imagine the installer spends 15 hours installing your legacy GPS. He flips the switch and it doesn’t work. Now what?

    Are you still going to pay him for the install? Does King still offer tech support to help him troubleshoot the problem? Do you try to find another used replacement? I can see why some shops don’t want to mess with legacy installs.
     
  23. idahoflier

    idahoflier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Try and track down the fault I guess?

    Of course, that's only fair.

    I would be shocked if King provides any tech support for this unit. If I were to pursue this I would definitely pick up a good spare KLN 94 for this case or to swap out if the original fails. As far as some shops not wanting to mess with legacy installs, I agree and said as much in post #20.

    The way I see it I can either install a current production GPS for $20K - $25K or I can try this somewhat risky route for a little over $5K.
     
  24. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Ever heard of a bench test? No need to wire an entire airplane just to find out a used unit in on the fritz. This isn't rocket surgery. Non avionics Shops install 430s and the like all the time. Kln are not special in that regard.
     
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  25. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou Final Approach

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    The OP didn't pose a question "why do you hate this particular GPS?". He asked about installation costs.

    So to answer the actual question: between 1 and 1.5 AMU.
    Of course be prepared for the mechanic to find things wrong behind the panel because it is an old airplane and surely has issues. So I'd expect extra 0.5-1.0 AMU for "related problems".

    As others pointed out, it is not rocket science, just a few wires. And if you have all the HW and the mechanic has the installation manual, it should be a no-brainer to do in a few days.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!