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Thread: Purchase HELP of A23

  1. #1
    info at

    Purchase HELP of A23

    Hi all, I’m new to the group, brand new to plane ownership and I am really glad I found you all! I have a quick question …..


    I placed a refundable deposit on an A-23, balance pending certification of “air-worthiness.”

    A local FBO was hired for pre-buy inspection/ Annual.

    Results of inspection:

    * Surface corrosion on right hand wing root. (Needs to be “polished out and primed?” Mechanics words)

    * Corrosion in battery box.

    * Possible cracks on exhaust? (not sure where/what)

    * Shock donuts are dead/flat/kaput.

    My question would be: are any of these items deal breakers? What should I expect the seller to cover?

    On a positive note, the mechanic says logs are in order, and states the engine has been well maintained with compressions between 74 - 78.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Richard Kutzner

  2. #2

    Purchase HELP of A23

    How much does the FBO want to fix the items. Then talk that over with the
    current owner and either lower the price, or have him fix it.
    Landing gear donuts can be expensive to replace right from the get go and I
    would get a better definition of CRACKS IN EXHAUST.
    The surface corrosion should not be much of a problem to fix if the mechanic
    is correct.

    Jeff Bryant
    Southwest Regional Director
    Beech Aero Club
    1975 Sport "160" N6993R
    California City, CA

  3. #3
    rich at

    Purchase HELP of A23

    When I bought my plane some years ago, I made a deal with the then owner
    that he would pay the first $1500 in items found in the prepurchase, I would
    pay the next $1500 and if the total was over $3000 we would either split the
    cost 50/50 or either party could walk away.

    As I recall the total was about $2100 and we were both happy.

    Rich Dahab

  4. #4

    Purchase HELP of A23

    You are probably looking at $1,500 to $3,000 for the shock donuts, depending
    on where you get the parts and who does the work.

    If the exhaust system has problems, it can range from $50 to weld a small
    end-plate crack, through a few hundred bucks for some gasket replacement,
    through $2,000 for replacement with an overhauled system, to several times
    that if cylinder studs are shot and the jugs must be pulled for repair or
    replacement (if the cylinders warrant replacement, as opposed to jigged-up
    flange refacing and stud replacement).

    Any mention of corrosion makes me very nervous. True light surface
    corrosion, usually in the form of filiform (little "worm tracks" under the
    paint), is usually no big deal if not widespread and caught early. "Patch
    corrosion", forming under larger areas of bubbled paint, is of much more
    concern, as it implies a wider range of issues (serious contamination under
    the paint, corrosion extruding from inside parts, lack of any previous
    airframe corrosion treatment, etc.). Please make absolutely certain that
    the technician has thoroughly inspected all areas of the wing spars for
    corrosion. Ditto for under the interior side panels, under the glareshield
    below the windshield (in the instrument panel area), and under the
    floorboards everywhere the old black air ducts touch anything.

    The battery box problem is pretty common. It will have to be removed for
    proper repair, to prevent recurrence. Once fixed, the best prevention is to
    replace the battery with a sealed AGM battery from Concord or Gill (Aviation
    Consumer recommends Concord). Much more about this on the BAC website
    (corrosion and batteries).

    Aside from pervasive corrosion, nothing has to be a deal-breaker on a plane
    purchase. Nearly everything else is repairable. The question is how much
    and by whom. Buyers should accept cosmetic faults, if the price is right
    and they know what they are accepting. Significant mechanical repairs are
    another story. The seller won't be as motivated as the buyer to get them
    fixed the right way, so the buyer is wise to remain involved. However, the
    seller should bear the brunt of the expense, unless the price is being
    lowered to accommodate the buyer's repair liability.

    Keep in mind that virtually anything you accept for future repair will
    likely surprise you by what it costs later. Even low-end interior
    refurbishment (carpets, seat covers, side panels) will almost certainly
    exceed $2,000, even if you can do much of the R&R work. Low-end paint will
    start around $6,000 for a complete strip and repaint. Slide-in replacement
    digital radios will run about $1,500 and up. A complete radio stack upgrade
    will probably start around $10,000 and climb from there. Installing even a
    simple autopilot will probably start around $5,000.

    Also keep in mind that the A23 has the Continental IO346. It's a good
    fuel-injected engine with good performance, but major parts (crank, cam,
    case) have been out of production for many years. Few shops can set up the
    fuel pump pressure and injection system properly; as long as it is working
    right, that won't matter. If it is dying on roll-out, or under other
    circumstances such as cold starts or during taxi, that's a different story.
    The engine life (TBO) is much shorter on the Continental, compared to the
    Lycoming engines (1,500 versus the Lycoming's 2,000 hours). There are a
    handful of recommended engine shops that work on them. Spares surface
    periodically on eBay, usually by folks selling off spares or parting out an
    airplane. Relatively speaking, very few of these engines were ever made.
    Aside from the Beech A23 and A23A, they only went into a couple of other
    small airframes. Only about 550 of the 2,390 Model 23 airframes came with
    this engine; the rest all have Lycomings. As a result, the prices of the
    A23 and A23A tend to be lower, whether you are buying or selling. Nothing
    inherently wrong with that, as long as you understand "why".

  5. #5

    Purchase HELP of A23

    Wooohooo! I am the proud owner of N-1742L! Thank you all for the great
    responses! As a first time plane buyer, all of the info on the website and
    personal emails really helped me become an informed and wary buyer.
    Hammered out the details today with the Mechanic and Seller: Final deal
    ended up being, seller took off half of the estimated repairs, (-$2500.00)
    and thru in a Garmin-296 gps. Now all I have to do is finish up private
    pilot’s license!


    Rich Kutzner

  6. #6

    Purchase HELP of A23

    Good for you.

    I would like to come over and see it some time. Let me know what's good.

    Congratulations on you new A23..

    Jeff Bryant

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