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Mooney M20J 201

Dear forum,

While I was (and still am) looking for a TB-20 (aircraft unfortunately was sold just last week), the mechanic I identified to do the pre-buy remember the old phoenician wisdom “Do not sell your customer what he wants, but what you have on stock”.

This happens to be a 1979 Mooney M20J with 5,950 hours TT. Engine has 1,185h to overhaul, prop 1,851h.
The plane is IFR certified with what looks to me like a decent equipment:

I visited the airplane and took some pictures (sorry for hiding the registration, it is not yet publicly marketed and I do not know if they approve this discussion):



Their ask price is 75k EUR but they have already indicated that we can have a conversation about that.

Is this a plane that warrants a pre-buy and what would be a reasonable pricing? Doing some research on planecheck I would price it around 60k EUR.

Regards,

Oliver

Germany

That’s expensive given what is on the market now for J mooneys –
The usual suspects – when (if ever) were the tanks resealed – that’s from 6-15k depending on how much labor you are willing to do yourself, this is a high time plane (for GA) thats a lot of landings to shake that sealant free
The paint looks good – normally a 20 k job
The engine is the main concern – how many years has it taken to accumulate the 815 hours?, how recently has it been overhauled, I bought a plane with 950 on the engine and I am overhauling the engine now, not because of a catastrophic engine failure just age and wear.
The avionics are decent but not great – no engine monitor which is another strike against the engine
Honestly – 55 tops
Drop me a PM if you want to discuss – I own a 77J

Last Edited by aidanf123 at 07 May 16:31

Very similar to mine except with no engine monitor. I overpaid a little because I really liked it, then got hit with a massive first annual bill due to a poor prebuy. I’d say 60-65k depending on condition.

EIWT, Ireland

First off, a Mooney M20J is still not in the same class as a TB20. One is a small (engine) SEP, the other belongs into the big (engine) SEP class. Whilst the cruise speed is identical (150-155 KTAS max), the rest of the performance numbers aren’t. So, I would first decide what you want/need, and then make the next step. The next TB20 will be on the market very shortly.

That said: well, yes, the avionics are somewhat “decent” but still very dated (at least for real IFR use). I know it is considered in the asking price to some degree, but still, keep in mind that it doesn’t have all these things:

-any glass PFD
-any backup AI
-a proper Comm2
-a decent audio panel
-any ADSB out/in
-an engine monitor
-a stormscope (well, an ADL is better anyway)
-a modern autopilot and/or GPSS

It’s 2019 after all. So ask yourself: do I want/need some of the above things? If yes, it will likely cost less and be quicker if you get one which is closer to a proper 2019 IFR spec straight away, instead of embarking on a project. At least check if the AP works flawlessly. And consider that whilst a GNS430W does more or less what one needs, it is still almost 20 years old now.

Other than avionics, have a prebuy done by a Mooney specialist, who will check for the typical Mooney problems. Condition of the tanks is one of them. And I can almost see (although there is no proper front photo) that the engine mounts have sagged. Check the gear dampers. Check all engine/fuel instruments and electric trim. And of course have the engine checked through, as far as that is reasonably possible.

So, from far away, I’d say that altough paint and interior seem to be OK, it’s just another 40 year old average Mooney M20 J.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 07 May 18:13
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

ALWAYS do a pre buy. Check all ADs, SBs,… especially with regard to the empennage. Fuel tanks of course, and the gear donut shock absorbers. They should have been replaced already by now.
Ask for damage history too.

EBZW EBGB

I am prepared to spend a substantial amount on avionics anyway as planes I like and with the equipment I want (Aspen Evolution G1000, IFD440) are not that easy to find. And if they are, they are priced well above 200k.

I am not prepared to spend so much as I factor in some unexpected costs after purchase and do not want to drain my reserves to such an extent (and my wife would likely kill me, so the airplane would be of no great use). So I will stretch the upgrade over the next 1, 2 years.

Can I install an ADSB-device under EASA rules? I was under the impression that this is not allowed for GA planes less than 5,7t MTOW but might be misinterpreting what I have read.

A proper pre-buy is a must, I have already realized that. We are talking about an invest with potentially huge follow-up costs.

Last Edited by OliverB at 07 May 17:19
Germany

Yes but as mentioned on PuF, a good pre-buy inspection STILL does NOT protect you from huge surprises in the first few years after the purchase.

When you buy an aircraft like this, you must:

  • calculate 50k in avionics upgrades to get it to modern IFR standards
  • ALWAYS have another 40k for a full engine overhaul in the back of you hand
  • expect the first annual to be 10-20k (this one can be avoided to some degree by a very good pre-buy, but the other two can‘t). Doesn‘t mean these things WILL happen, but you must have the money.
Last Edited by boscomantico at 07 May 18:20
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

OliverB wrote:

Can I install an ADSB-device under EASA rules?

Absolutely! Of course you need a change approval. Either an STC, a Standard Change or individual approval.

I was under the impression that this is not allowed for GA planes less than 5,7t MTOW but might be misinterpreting what I have read.

Either that or the author of whatever you read didn’t know what (s)he was talking about.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Welcome to EuroGA, OliverB

I can’t tell you much about Mooneys but I think that the problem here

I am prepared to spend a substantial amount on avionics anyway as planes I like and with the equipment I want (Aspen Evolution G1000, IFD440) are not that easy to find.

is not that an Aspen and an IFD440 are high-end; they are pretty low-end stuff for an IFR tourer, and very few people will be putting that into a seriously used TB20. IFD540, preferably two of them, yes… or a GTN650+GTN750.

And if they are, they are priced well above 200k.

Yeah, there is a lot of this going on I am pretty sure no TB20 has ever fetched €200k, with or without VAT. The most fully loaded one I have ever heard of, in the most perfect condition, fetched less than that. But that doesn’t mean that the seller will be knocked down; most of the 200k sellers are dreaming and will never stop dreaming. Don’t waste your time on them.

I agree about always needing enough cash for an engine overhaul; that’s true for all of aviation.

The prebuy is key. Even smart people get conned into using a useless “engineer”, so get references on whoever you use. The most important thing to catch on a prebuy is a need for a lot of airframe parts; these are expensive on any aircraft. The engine can’t be inspected much – other than by doing a flight and taking an oil sample, etc, and using the general condition of the thing as a guide, together with how much the owner knows about engine management… Long periods of non-use are suspicious but surprisingly often the engine is not ruined.

ADS-B is very doable. A GTX345 is one of several routes. Many previous threads here on ADS-B.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

is not that an Aspen and an IFD440 are high-end; they are pretty low-end stuff for an IFR tourer, and very few people will be putting that into a seriously used TB20. IFD540, preferably two of them, yes… or a GTN650+GTN750.

What is low end about an Aspen and an IFD440? They will still fly every possible approach in particular if coupled to a decent autopilot.

LFHN - Bellegarde - Vouvray France
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