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Thread: possible Sundowner buy

  1. #1
    Guest
    Guest

    possible Sundowner buy

    We 3 of us are looking at a 78 Sundowner with about 4000 TT 1500 SMOH. Now the bad
    news, it's sat for about 5 years. Today we did a pre buy with our mech. changed the oil,
    cleaned plugs, inspected the bores. If fired right up once we got it primed. Runs good for
    something that sat that long. Did a comp test afterwards 65/80 70/80 75/80 78/80 after
    runnning only about 15 minutes. Dry climate in Reno, no corrosion spotted.
    What it needs? 3 tires, brake master cylinder rebuilt, wing tips and stabilator tips (Globe
    fiberglass about $900) a windshield sometime down the road. Battery, 2 motor mounts,
    primer, door seals and an ELT. Also seats are shot. Does anyone know of where to buy seat
    covers, seams I remember a company selling DIT yourself seat kits.
    Any thoughts or recomendations. The owner wants 25k we want to pay less, trying to come
    up with a cost estimate for know repairs and also the dreaded unexpected ones. Figure it will
    need the gyro instrments rebuilt in time.
    We were the ones that bought a Sport awhile back that had the wrong engine serial #s. We
    did get the seller to take back that plane. Thanks for your help.
    Rich

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  2. #2

    Sundowner

    Hello,

    I will offer my experience as I purchased my bird after it sat for 7 years. You will definately have to replace the vacuum gyro's. They will work properly for a couple of flights but will most likely have to be reconditioned at about $400 each (unless you have cores which can not be rebuilt) then replace them for about $600 each. Now that I think about it, I have replaced every instrument with the exception of the turn coordinator and the ASI. As for corrosion, even though my plane was hangered the entire time of its inactivity, there was some corrosion on the horizontal stringer just forward of the door (I only have one). That was the only expensive corrosion. I had to have the firewall stripped and repainted too. Tires...probably the cheapest thing to fix. I spent $2,300 having the seats and all other interior parts recovered with FAA approved material. Not too bad in the grand scheme of things. As for the engine, has the oil pump AD been complied with? After 5 years it probably has not and it costs something in the $1,500 price range. Windsheild runs about $500 and you are right on for the stab tips. I also had to replace my dorsal fin. I think that was something like $700. And finally paint.....I was lucky and only spent $6,000 but did all the stripping myself.

    When it was all finished, I found that I could have purchased a plane for the same amount or less than it took to rebuild this one. I do have a "new" 1968 19A Sport though.

    In short, in my not so vast experience, I would estimate that it will take at least $10-15,000 additional to get an aircraft like that up to speed. If it's worth $35,000 to $40,000 when it's finished (or more) it might be worth it.

    Good Luck!

    Brian
    N6509T

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