172 conversion

172 conversion

<HTML>I recently bought a 1973 cessna 172 M with 1850 hrs TT.  I will soon need
to do something  when the engine is timed out. Does it make more sense to
replace the engine with a 180hp or keep it as it is?</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>John,
You might find this interesting.

http://home.attbi.com/~myskyhawk/engine.htm

Or
http://www.myskyhawk.com  -   and click on engine.</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>One of my co-workers just installed an AirPlains 180 hp O-360 in his '77 172N, and did the 250 pound gross weight increase STC from AirPlains at the same time. He's extremely happy with the results, which have resulted in about a 10 knot cruise speed improvement and a huge rate of climb increase.

The downside of a conversion like this is that it's very expensive, and you still have a 172 when you're finished. When you sell the airplane you'll recover only a fraction of the engine upgrade cost.  Another negative is that the fuel consumption goes up, so unless you change your fuel tank capacity (expensive), your endurance is less.

If you plan on keeping the airplane for a long time and the higher horsepower meets your mission profile better than the stock 150 hp, it's worth considering.  My $.02.</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>Buy a 182</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>I have a 172 K and considered upgrades - for now I put a powerflow exhaust system on and realize about 20 or more hp at the prop, lots better climb and cruise, and nowhere near the cost of the bigger engines - its supposed to save fuel also but I generally keep the throttle fairly forward and don't always lean as aggresively as I may be able to - anyway I really like the results, and as airplanes go, its reasonally priced - rarely can you add that kind of performance with one mod.  Then wether you keep it or eventually resell its still "original" mostly (engine parts and installation). 

Good Luck

Ken Wanagas</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>  I honestly believe that a 172 is the greatest general purpose airplane on earth.  I think one with 10-30 extra horses is even better (and safer).

  But it depends on cost (time and money).  I am a big fan of fixed-pitch props for cost and simplicity.  But they perform well at one weight/power setting/density altitude/etc.  If you do consider a constant speed prop, I'd suggest a 182 as a replacement.

  If you're considering the extra power, I ask why?  Do you live at a high or hot airport?  Do you regularly haul heavy weights?  Do you fly high at night and want beter climb without circling?  Are you considering that near the end of the new engine's life it may put out maybe 20% less power?

  The one thing I wouldn't spend extra for in a 172 is speed.  If you just fly along the coast WVI to SBA solo a lot, and want more speed, get a different plane (like a Tiger AA5B, or an RV-6A).  You will NEVER get speed out of a 172.  It smashes bugs, period.
145, 150, 160, 180 HP, still gonna go slow.

  If you want climb, then 180HP is great.  Over 1000 fpm, cooler engine for cruise, etc...

  As far as fuel burn, you can still get the same range you had before by throttling back.  I once flew a 172 (39 gal) for 7 hours straight and landed with 6 gallons left.  Oh, and with every new engine a CHT/EGT is really a plus... 

Mark</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>I have about 200 hours on my Penn Yan 180 conversion.  It is a 1975 172M and I love it.  rate of climb is greatly improved, 1100 to 1200 ft per min is typical.  I have the gross weight increase, which limits flaps to 30 degrees, and requires 6 ply tires.  this gives me a 950lb + payload with 40 gals of fuel.  I can flight plan on 9.5 gal per hour tach time, which still gives me 3 hours of cruising + plenty for reserve. At 2600 rpm it will indicate 130 mph or so.  It is not sluggish on hot/humid days and it is now truly a four place aircraft.  Penn Yan converted my 0-320-E2D to an 0-360-A4M with a new sensenich prop.  So my skyhawk still has the same engine (case, & serial number) it left the factory with.  For the type of flying I do, a skyhawk is the perfect airplane, a skylane would be too much, with the added maintenance of a variable pitch prop and added fuel costs of 235 horses.  My annuals have remained stable and my insurance rates have actually declined.  I would estimate that my operating costs are no higher with the conversion. Will I ever get my investment back?  I don't know, I don't ever plan on selling it.  When I had my conversion done,  I spent about $8,000.00 more than a straight overhaul, including 3 new tires, and all the instruments overhauled.  Still pretty cheap flying.   I would do it all over again.  my $.02 smile</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>How is the E2D converted to 180 horsepower? Does it require machining the case or is it something more akin to bolting on the O-360 cylinders and rejetting the carb?</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>I did the PenYann Super Hawk 180 HP conversion 1 year ago. For $19,600.00 freight included, you engine is converted to an O-360-A4M and you get a new prop. You can always sell you old prop dropping your cost to about $18,600.  You do get a 200lb increase in usefull load.  I ended up getting about 18mph faster cruise but fuel burn is 12Gph at 2650 RPM.

I would do it all over again, I love the way it jumps off the runway and a climb rate that will get you out of trouble in more cases than not.</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>Here’s another way to look at it….

So using the information above, before the conversion:
V= 130 mph
Endurance: 5.5 hours with long range tanks 8.2 gph
Distance max = 130*5.5= 715 miles

After conversion:
V=150 mph
Endurance: 5.5 *8.2 gph/12 gph = 3.76 hours
Distance max = 3.76*150 = 564 miles

Time to go 564 miles at 130 mph = 4.34 hours or you save 35 minutes.

However, if you have to land and refuel because you lost so much in range the time saved is lost and you have the additional takeoff, landing and climb to cruising altitude.  So unless you have problems clearing obstacles on take off (or bladder control in which you have to stop anyway if you are modest) what has been gained?

The way I look at it, I am saving quite a bit of money not bothering with faster more complex airplanes.  For each extra hour I sit in the airplane pays me about $300 (WAG) due to lower operating costs plus I’m doing what I enjoy for a longer time.


If you don't always have 4 people to fly, wouldn't it be cheaper to just rent a high performance airplane the few times you might have the additional passengers. 

I guess I might feel differently if I had significantly more resources ($) available.</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>Barry,

What you said in your post makes a ton of sense. I have a 1959 C-172 with the O300-A 145 HP engine. I usually travel by myself or with one other person 90% of the time. I can get into and out just about any airport in the west if I keep my weight down to no more than 90% of Gross. I routinely fly in and out of airports with field elevations above 5000 ft msl. I just make all of my departures at the crack of dawn when the air is cool and stable. When I have to fly with 3 or 4 people, I rent a 182RG from the local FBO at $112/hr wet. It seems like a lot of money, but I think I am dollars ahead doing this, and I don't have to maintain and insure a high performance a/c. I am with you in that I like to enjoy my flight, so if I go a little slower than everyone else, who cares.

Jeff Moore</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>  I've a 172M and am thinking in line with the Exhaust Mod you have. Three questions:
  Does it increase the climb rate at higher altitudes as well? Sea level vs 7,000 feet plus.
  How much harder is it to deal with the lower cowling?
  Any additional wear and tear or higher EGT temps on the engine?
  I usually ferry people and gear out from altitude and remote anyway, but wouldn't mind reducing the pucker factor a little when the days heating up but the frost is still on.
  Thanks, Rob</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>As stated before I have the powerflow exhaust on my 172K and really, really like it and if I get started I sound like a salesman for them.

Even though you do pick up extra static rpm and cruise ( I repitched the prop 2 inches and divided the increase half to takeoff and half the increase to cruise - I don't think if I did it again that I'd bother with changing the prop pitch)

The part that I enjoy most is that I fly with family and luggage and usually full fuel or almost full, and especially when its hot or turbulent its easier to climb to smooth or cool air, and we can get in and out of almost anything with about 500 ft ground run if needed - we really don't do that, but when winds are rough or when considering emergencies or alternate airfields-weather etc. the capability gives my wife and family (and anyone elsethat rides along) an improved sense of confidence, and these factors make the use of the 172 much more enjoyable so the family (and friends)  are much more willing to go on trips etc.  When I do go in and out of even a short field I don't use very much of it.

The improved climb also makes it realistic to climb over and around alot of clouds that would otherwise have been a highly questionable decision, we've even spiraled up at an airfield through holes (reasonably large) in the cloude then continued a smooth flight into even better weather

What I guess I'm trying to say is that the comfort factor and utility of the 172 is greatly enhanced

Ken Wanagas</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>continued -I guess I didn't really answer your questions directly -

It climbs lots better at 10,000 ft - as opposed to very little climb at alt it used to have - I would not have expected in the past to be able to routinley climb over clouds 8,000 + ft.

Lower cowling isn't much of a problem - lots of maint has been done with the cowling unfastened and let down and or slightly safety wired briefly down to the exhaust without ever removing completely - but that isn't much of a problem either.

I think the temps are the same or lower - they were usually low anyway and I don't lean aggresively so I have never deal with high temps even when its 90+ degrees F.

Also I have had several comments on the quiet - its both quieter and the noise goes back along the fuselage so from the ground it's really quiet - and around here there are alot of noise sensative areas - and even though I fly to remote areas sometime - its nice that I can leave there quietly - quietly enough that  people at different airports have remembered and looked me up on a return trip or landing and made a point to bring it to my attention, and at the home field one regular patron has said that he enjoys watching me takeoff as he's used to watching the rest takeoff and go behind the hangars then climb out - and he can watch me climb out and be near pattern alt at the hangars- really impressive when I'm doing short field practice.

I do enjoy the performance increase, maybe even more in remote areas.

Ken Wanagas</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>Ken,

Just read about powerflow exhaust at <http://www.powerflowsystems.com>. It looks impressive. 

Do you save 2 gallons per hour of fuel at 75% as claimed?

What increase in cruise did you experience?  I understand you modified your prop which probably hurt speed?

What's the downside?  New or different inspections?  How long does the exhaust last before you have to do it again?  I have no experience with exhaust systems on airplanes that fly up and down the east coast.  I live in Delaware.

They claim you recover the cost in operating expenses in 680 hours based on a fuel savings alone.  They figured $2 per gallon and saving of 2.2 gph.  That's $2992. They say for a 172 with Lycoming 0-320 150 hp or 160 hp it would cost $3175 parts and 4-6 hours labor. (estimate ~$3500). I rarely pay less then $2.60 /gallon.  Breakeven for me would be ~620 hours.  What's the truth about this mod?  I also already have an autogas STC on the airplane but haven't taken advantage of it.  When I saw the junck that came out sump before I bought the plane and put on a new fuel strainer, I was horrified.  I didn't think the savings was worth the peace of mind.  Was I a little too sensitive?

I have a 150 hp 1973 - 172M and in the summer fly between 7,000 ft and 9000 ft, so I know what you me about your climb at 8000 ft.  I call ATC and tell them I can't maintain 500 fpm - I'm lucky to get 300 fpm.

It's still a lot of money unless you fly a lot.  I haven't owned my plane for a year yet - February 2003 is a year and so far I did over 220 hours.  The winter seems to be more restrictive thus far.  So it may pay for itself in three years.

Anyway what's the rest of the story ...

Barry</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>Thanks for the input, I'll probably put a powerflow on with my next MEOH (300 hours).

Rob</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>One question - Can the 150hp Lyc of a '74 172M be upgraded to a 160hp? What would this involve and what about cost to do this. Has anyone done this and is this worth it becuse I know from the 145 to 150 hp there seems to be a big improvement. Correct me if I am wrong. The reason is I am not exactly a "big" frame and my family is likewise wife + 1 small kid. If I can make it to 160 would that not offer most bang for the buck. Oh I have a fact o320 with 950hrs going onwell. Thanks for the time and neurons. that was not exactly one question, eh? wink
Mani</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>I'd recomend the powerflow exhaust to anyone - I think its great

I picked up about 100 rpm on static initially then added 2 inches of pitch to the prop to drop down to and increase of about 50 rpm - added the prop pitch increase to cruise - so I increased static rpm. climb and cruise. The climb is better and the cruise is slightly better- where you can really notice it is when climbing out to 8000 ft or so with a substantial headwind - You get good climb and can maintain a respectable groundspeed.

when you have one of those strong gusty crosswinds and you're doing your takeoff roll - it's much shorter and you can break ground quickly and establish a very positive rate of climb with a good forward - accelerating airspeed, I think that adds a definate safety factor.

"Story"
We Live north of Chicago - We were going to head south to AL for some spring warmup for a weekend - we left out from under a snow storm temps in the 20 degree F range - headed south for the sunshine, stopped in southern IL to eat - we said that we would eat lightly and be on our way - at Mt vernon (MVN) we stopped to eat and they had one of the better buffets you have seen - and everyone was hungry - so - we ate and ate, the the family was reluctant to get back into the plane after that heavy meal - we did and at about 70 degrees F, and sunny. We took off, but were able to climb right to 8000 ft to smooth and cool air - The whole family was pleasantly surprised, and remarked that that wasn't bad at all, we continued on and landed where the temps were about 70-80 degrees F had an excellent weekend and continued to enjoy the 172 alot more -If the family would have had a bad experience it would be remembered and flying would be avoided, they don't really care about vx, vy or "whatever" they do care about comfort and the product of "utility"     
That's what I think the exhaust system adds to the useability of your 172 - it's more like a family car.

The quality of the powerflow system is excellent and I think it would far outlast the original exhaust, also the heater muff does not have any seems inside and its all stainless steel so it will last a long time and the co2 factor (in the cabin) is reduced.

I don't know what the fuel savings are and would not recomend bying the exhaust system based on calculated payback times and fuel savings - the exhaust and performance are excellent and easily stand on their merits - any fuel savings would be a bonus. You may spend alot of time calculating and carefully adjusting power settings but I don't think that it would be worth the effort - Spend your time enjoying your 172.

It is expensive 3000 plus - I probably couldn't justify the money - but I couldn't justify the expense of owning an airplane either just to fly occasionally - which I do.
So you add safety and increase the utility of your family "car" airplane to where its much more comfortable and useable - what's that worth? or what its not worth to leave you plane parked on the ground more often? I don't have any real good answers, but 10 years ago I owned a 172 and it spent alot of time on the ground - and the family wasn't that crazy about flying anywhere, then I was out of flying for a while, now we own a 172 again and use it more, and enjoy it more, the exhaust system is just a part of the equation, but it is a definate part of the utility of our 172.

I'll let you know if I find a downside. haven't found one yet.

I had gotten an autogas STC before on the previous 172 also - never used it -
I have worked on many different (non aero) engines and vehicles over the years and would have to say that I would NOT recomend the use of autogas in airplanes, unless they quit making avgas altogether, but your fuel, and flying habits would have to change accordingly.

If you're considering the powerflow system - go ahead and get it and have it installed asap and start enjoying your 172 even more than you allready do -
I don't think that anyone will regret the move - I guess if you need a comfort factor they do have a refund policy - but I don't believe anyone will ever use it, not of they enjoy flying.

I told you I start sounding like a salesman on this subject!

Good luck - Fly your 172 today, none of us are sure about tomorrow...

Ken Wanagas</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

<HTML>adding -

Engine conversions may be great and worth it to some, however the powerflow exhaust system is a relatively simple way of adding 20 HP or so at the prop in a few hours - and if you really don't like it it can be removed in a few hours, and for all practicle purposes nothing else on the airplane frame or powerplant changes.

You can get it shipped UPS and have it on the next day - improvements like this are very rare - and rarely this easy.

Ken Wanagas</HTML>

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Re: 172 conversion

Has anyone upgraded 160 HP jugs, on their 0-320-E2D.  I have a bad one and maybe it's time to replace all four.  1000 hours on overhaul.  Also, how much will it cost?

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