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Thread: About to Purchase a 65 Musketeer A23 IO-346

  1. #1

    About to Purchase a 65 Musketeer A23 IO-346

    Hello All, I'm about to make an offer on a 65 musketeer A23 with a Continental IO-346 Engine. I would like for someone to give me some advice and pointers about this purchase and what things to look out for. This my first aircraft purchase and I want all the guidance I can get when making this purchase. The TTAF is 2660 and SMOH 911. What are your recommendation and how difficult will it be to find parts for this aircraft.

  2. #2
    Use the "Search" box. There's tons of info on the website that addresses your question(s).
    Cloyd Van Hook
    Founder and First President of BAC


    States visited (though not necessarily landed in) by N2393L (AKA Minnie), N9227S (AKA Annie) and N26TM (AKA Mary) while I've owned and flown the aforementioned aircraft.

  3. #3
    Hi James, you will want to do an annual rather than a pre purchase. Have YOUR mechanic look for corrosion in the wings and interior panels where the ducting runs. Make sure it has the new red ducting. Do the usual checks on the engine, compression, oil analysis component time checks etc. You might hear the IO 346 is hard to find parts for. well, if you need a crank or case it might be hard (translate to expensive) but parts are available. They are smooth running powefull engines.

  4. #4
    James,

    I see you live in JAX. My Granddaughter lives in Orange Park and I try to get there as often as her Mother will allow.

    Since you aren't too far, I'd see if you could take the airplane to KLUX or have one of the experts there come down to do an inspection. Could save you a lot of grief if your mechanic isn't knowledgeable about the Mouse's. You may look in the members list and find an owner who is a mechanic in your local area. He/She may be willing to perform the inspection.

    Marty Vanover
    Phoenix, Az.

  5. #5
    I second the motion on an annual instead of pre-purchase. Had I done that when I bought my Super III I might not have had a $8000 annual this year.

  6. #6
    Go for it, subject to the caveats already posted. We love ours.

    Bob, some if not most of the A23 series did not have any interior duct work. Other then the short piece on each side from the cowl intake plenums to the eyeball vents. (2X 7-8 inches long) When we got ours in 2000, all that was left of the ducting was the wire.

    You can tell if it is one of these by the presence of vent doors on each side just behind the front seats.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] Bo & Sandra
    http://www.boomspeed.com/_bo_/Index.htm

  7. #7
    If you are in JAX there really is no question, I recommend taking it to KLUX an getting a thorough evaluation by the Hammerhead guys. But, one warning! It is likely to be a very comete evaluation. Don't be surprised at a 3 page squawk list followed by "nice plane". They all have some issues but it is better to know all of them and be able to plan than to not know and be surprised.

  8. #8
    There's a ton of data coverying the details and things to look for on the FAQ topics on Pre-Buy at http://www.beechaeroclub.org/content...ase-Inspection.

    On the IO-346 it's a mixed bag. Cranks, cases and cams are not available new. Cams and cranks can be usually be plated up to service limits unless there is corrosion and/or spalling. Cases don't normally wear past limits and usually only need replacement if a crack (and many smaller cracks can be repaired). Beware that for some reason many of the IO-346s for sale used were used for auto racing and are worn well past service limits but might still be good as fodder for a servicable case. Cylinders are available new and aren't a problem as are most of the rest of the parts (pins, rods, etc). Basically an IO-346 is an IO-520 cut down to 4 cylinders. Great idea but only ever used on our birds. The saving grace is it's really only the crank, cam and case that are unique to the IO-346 versus the rest of the parts that are in common with the IO-520.

    So one extra step I'd take on the prebuy is have someone look at the lower engine during prebuy. You'll have to drain oil and they might have a pull a jug to do it but you really want to know the crank and cam are free of corrosion and spalling. But that's a very common issue these days with low time engines and airframes - people are not flying much with the economy. It's probably worth doing on _any_ prebuy these days unless the aircraft is flying a lot - but especially on the IO-346 where you are pretty much dependent on those parts lasting the life of the aircraft at this point. It might also be worth cleaning up the engine and doing a dye inspection on the crankcase as much as you can see to have a shot at finding or ruling out cracks.

    Other than the parts availability these are fine engines. But the engine will be a big decision point. Don't let anyone fool you with saying a swapout to a Lycoming is an good option. You pretty much would have to salvage a Custom III with the Lycoming firewall forward and swap out everything. Legality is a trick - although in general our aircraft are amenable to swapouts due to the large number of common parts the catch is all the performance data is certified to the airframe as produced. The FAA has been pretty clear lately that power plant changes are not a 337 item and require at least a one time STC.

    Good luck. At 991 SMOH if all is well you should get a lot of flying out of that engine and there isn't any reason you shouldn't be able to MOH it when the time comes as long as the crank and cam are in good shape. So I'm not dissing the engine - just being realistic about the risks in service you're assuming and that's one of the tradeoffs to factor into your decision.
    --
    Mark
    Last edited by mgooderum; 12-21-2010 at 08:07 PM.
    States Flown To/From/In (but not including over)

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