Rough costs to update basic IFR panel on 1960’s era planes?

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by Johnbo, May 12, 2019.

  1. Johnbo

    Johnbo Pre-Flight

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    I’m in the market for my next plane and haven’t fully decided yet between 182, Cherokee 235, bonanza, etc but as wel all know it is hard to find a 50-60 year old plane fully setup the way you want it.

    I have a pretty good handle on what it will cost to paint each of these planes as well as engine overhauls, prop, interiors, etc but I don’t have a good handle on avionics costs.

    Unless it is cost effective to go full glass I’m really only interested in updating the navcom radios and having a good steam gauge basic IFR suite.

    For negotiating and planning purposes how much should I budget for such an upgrade?

    Thx
     
  2. Jesse Saint

    Jesse Saint Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It really all depends on what the plane has in it to start with. For a ballpark, I have customers spending $20-45,000 for upgrades these days.
     
  3. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Buy the plane with the avionics installed. There is a guy out there who spent the money and then got divorced.
     
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  4. chemgeek

    chemgeek Line Up and Wait

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    Depends on what's missing.
    • WAAS GPS navigators, $8-15k installed depending on options. Maybe higher, especially for GPS-COMs. Cheapest options do not include COM or VOR/ILS.
    • ADSB, $3-7k installed, depending on options.
    • Autopilot, maybe $7-10k depending on brand, compatibility.
    You could be spending in all three buckets depending on equipage, although bundling installs could lower labor costs slightly. And if the legacy radios can't be pressed onto service as secondary COM, VOR, and/or ILS, it could be more.

    BTDT over time. It's not cheap. Best not look at the bills. o_O
     
  5. Jared V

    Jared V Pre-Flight

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    I'm working on the same thing in my 64 C-182G. I really only have a kma 20 audio panel and kx170b nav/com with vor. I'm figuring around 12-15k to do a new ADSB transponder and new nav/com with indicator. I'm thinking it might be more cost effective to do 2 G5s instead of new CDI though. I'd like to do the installs myself as well.
     
  6. Topper

    Topper Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I spent about 36k putting a gtn750, aspen and gdl88 in a 182. I figure it increase the value of the plane about 1/2 (18k) but it was what I wanted and I got the use of it. I specifically did it for my use including getting my iFR rating.

    Plane is gone but I don’t regret it at all. I can fly iFR with a lot less but think it was a perfect platform to learn. Most of what I got now is a minimum of 530 and 430 with a decent hsi or better (aspen or g500,G1000).

    Too many people seem to get hung up on getting purchase price plus upgrades when they sell. There is value in flying a plane the way you want it. On the other hand, it is likely you will upgrade and might want to consider keeping upgrade costs as low as possible.

    Purchased a 310 a year ago and am already thinking about my next plane (340, 414, 421). Not unhappy we put an aspen in the 310, but thinking that money might have been better saved for the next plane.

    Jim
     
  7. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    buy it with as much as you can. Doing the upgrade is very costly.

    I'd probably look more at an autopilot then the GPS....then other items are not as expensive.
     
  8. NordicDave

    NordicDave Line Up and Wait

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    Prices are coming down with new integrated avionics entering the market. A Garmin 3GX, which is a touch screen G500, is less than 10K plus 30 hours of install labor. Two years ago a G500 was $24K installed.

    I updated my 182P 2 years ago for IFR certification for $14,500 using a GNS-430W, GTX-345 transponder, E-04 ELT as the core of the stack. The plane already had a KX155 with glide slope.

    The details are pictured here: http://welch.com/n46pg/category/avionics/

    -David
     
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  9. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    I'm sure I will get flogged for this but if you just want a solid IFR package now couldn't be a better time. With everyone upgrading to the latest class displays you can get a heck of a deal on used steam gauges and radios. If you are willing to forgo being able to do VNAV approaches and just have an enroute ifr gps you could easily do a very capable used IFR package for probably 6k. Yes it will be outdated but they are pretty reliable and dirt cheap on the used market. It stings to pay installation on old equipment but compared to spending 30-50k on the latest and greatest that really accomplish the same task also seems silly. You can get a KX155 with CDI for $1500-2k. kln90b for $1200. Not sure on installation cost but I would think 3k would cover it. So for 6k you can do every approach you would need short of a VNAV for 1/6 the cost. Yes most of these products are unsupported but truth is you are better off buying a replacement used one than paying to have them fixed. Your work load may be a littler higher not being able to input Victor airways on the gps, otherwise it does the same thing as the new shinny units especially when you consider most people have a moving map display on their ipad.
     
  10. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

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    I worked with my mechanic to come up with this for my '68 Cardinal: He removed my KA-134, 2 KX-170, marker beacon and one indicator. Then installed a PMA6000, a KX-155 with glideslope, and a ICOM radio. I already had a GX-50 GPS and the mods made enough room in my panel to mount a tablet. Finally, I got a 2 outlet USB to run the tablet with AVARE and my STRATUX then installed a Skybeacon. Now for the price tag:
    KX-155-$900
    Icom-$800
    Audio panel-$1000
    Skybeacon-$1300
    Labor-$4400
    Total-$8400
     
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  11. Dean V

    Dean V Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You will be money way ahead by finding a plane equipped the way you want vs trying to buy cheap and upgrading.
     
  12. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    A year ago we got an estimate to install an old Apollo GPS/NAV/COMM, audio panel, indicators, ADSB transponder. All used and it was still almost $20,000. Instead, we installed (with supervision) a pair of King KX165's (one with GS), Garmin GMA 340 audio panel and dual indicators for about $8000. We could have gotten by with a single radio/indicator for about $2500 less but thought it would be nice for training. Right or wrong it works great and I've been using it to get my IFR. My thought is I don't need ADSB so I might as well wait until after the 2020 rush is over and see what's available then for ADSB and GPS.
     
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  13. Johnbo

    Johnbo Pre-Flight

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    Lots of great info here! Thx for the replies thus far!