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 Post subject: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2009, 02:00 
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Joined: 02/08/09
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Location: (KSNA) Newport Beach, CA
Aircraft: Bonanza F33A
I'm thinking about upgrading to the IO-550B from my current IO-520BB as I am at TBO and am having some engine roughness that is stumping the pros. Should I buy a factory new one or a rebuilt one? From Teledyne Continental, RAM or other? What about BDS baffles? GAMI's or not? STC's needed? TCM or ECI cylinders? Nickel or other?

Any other advice you might have on getting thru this process would be great.

Thanks,

Marty Mitchell
N44GN
1976 F33A


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 Post subject: Re: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2009, 02:19 
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Location: U77 Springville, Utah
Aircraft: 1977 V35B
Marty,

I upgraded from a 520 to a 550 two years ago and am very impressed with the rebuilt engine with BDS baffles that I had done at Powermaster Engines in Tulsa, OK. Bill Cunningham is a master engine builder. My V35B with the IO550 runs so smoothly, uses hardly any oil and climbs 200-300 fpm faster than my old IO520 did. I am very happy with the upgrade.

If I could have afforded it at the time, I would have had Tornado Alley Turbo do the turbo-normalizer installation too. But that is still going to have to wait. I believe Powermaster Engines is still one of their top engine suppliers for their TAT installations and that is one reason I chose them. But I knew I wanted Bill to build my engine as soon as I spoke to him on the phone. He knows engines, how to run them and build them beautifully. I had him build the engine and then ship it to my home airport where my own IA did the installation. Worked out great! Other members of this forum also have had great things to say about Powermaster Engines too.

I got the GAMIs in mine and my EGTs have been perfectly balanced from the beginning. I always cruise LOP and do so smoothly, saving about 2-3 gph at around 12K, and getting about 164kt TAS on 10.5gph.

I love my Millenium cylinders, but unfortunately mine are among those listed in the recent AD, so I will have to junk them at TBO and do the required inspections starting at 750 hours. I wonder what cylinders Bill or anyone would recommend now. Seems like all the companies have had problems in the past few years.

Make sure you give Bill Cunningham a call as you check all of our options. My experience was stellar.

Dale


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 Post subject: Re: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2009, 08:39 
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Joined: 12/09/07
Posts: 12675
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Location: Hammond, LA (KHDC)
Aircraft: 1980 Baron 58P
Yeah, what Dale said. I bought a Bill Cunningham IO-550 last year for my TN Bonanza. Wonderful engine. I have 180 hours on it now. Dry as a bone. Runs sweet as honey.

Highly recommended.


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 Post subject: Re: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2009, 08:40 
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Company: M.B. Kahn Construction Co.
Location: Columbia, SC (KCUB)
Aircraft: 2003 Bonanza A36
Marty,

A second vote for Powermasters. Bill can upgrade your existing IO 520BB to the 550. You will need a STC. You will not be disappointed in the performance upgrade and also increase your aircrafts resale value. There are a couple of other quality engine rebuilders and TCM is also getting aggressive on pricing. If you decide to go the Factory new route, I would have Powermasters or someone similar grind and properly seat the valves.

I not sure whats happening with the cylinders. Superior is out of business and therefore no one to fight the AD. Not many options left.

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 Post subject: Re: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2009, 17:54 
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Aircraft: 1991 Bonanza F33A
FWIW, I think I read somewhere that running LOP will void a RAM warranty.

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 Post subject: Re: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 18 Aug 2009, 16:45 
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Location: (KSNA) Newport Beach, CA
Aircraft: Bonanza F33A
Thanks to all so far. I have a call into Bill Cunningham at Powermaster Engines and will see what he has to offer. So far I have learned that TCM will have to build one, whether new or rebuilt, as none are in stock. Lead time is around 4 weeks. RAM has one in stock. The RAM one comes with nickel-lined ECI cylinders, a RAM camshaft, new Slick mags and ignition harness. I'm just not sure whether it's better to have factory reman, a RAM rebuilt, or a Powermaster Engines rebuilt.

What kind of quality can I expect from TCM compared to other reputable shops? What kind of engine would you want in your plane all other things being equal (price, time, warranty)?

Marty Mitchell
AOG

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 Post subject: Re: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 18 Aug 2009, 18:51 
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Location: Cresson, Tx S.W. of Ft. Worth
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For those of you that had your IO520 transitioned into an IO550, what was the cost range? I realize that the prop may have to be changed or that a light case would be a problem. All that aside, just a ball park figure as to what someone with a 520 would pay to walk away with it as a rebuilt 550???

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John Whitehead
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 Post subject: Re: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 18 Aug 2009, 20:24 
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA (KSTS)
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Username Protected wrote:
For those of you that had your IO520 transitioned into an IO550, what was the cost range? I realize that the prop may have to be changed or that a light case would be a problem. All that aside, just a ball park figure as to what someone with a 520 would pay to walk away with it as a rebuilt 550???


I did the conversion last year - I'm a happy camper, but the cost - ouch - it was on the order of $60K.

That included a prop overhaul, new Gov., BDS baffles And GAMI's (becaues the TCM balanced injectors weren't).

But that's about all that was done.

As I said, I like the results!


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 Post subject: Re: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 18 Aug 2009, 22:42 
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Location: Provo, Utah
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Username Protected wrote:
I did the conversion last year - I'm a happy camper, but the cost - ouch - it was on the order of $60K.


$60K! - Yikes! Can't you turbo-normalize for about that? When I had my motor redone a few years ago, I was quoted another 10 AMU to go to a 550 .... I need to find another hobby. :peace:


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 Post subject: Re: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2009, 00:37 
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Location: (KSNA) Newport Beach, CA
Aircraft: Bonanza F33A
Hi John,

From what I'm am learning, it will cost you around $40k for the upgraded engine, which includes a BDS baffle kit, STC for installing the IO-550 into your Bonanza, free sales tax if you buy from out-of-state, $1100 shipping, $3300 prop and governer overhaul, installation unknown (maybe 60 hours), exhaust work, new EGT probes, new engine controls, etc. Could top $50k easily, unless you're willing to do some of the work (that you're allowed to do).

Marty
Shopping for an engine...

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1976 F33A
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 Post subject: Re: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2009, 03:28 
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Location: U77 Springville, Utah
Aircraft: 1977 V35B
Yeah, it's expensive! As I recall, my entire engine upgrade 2 years ago cost me just about $62K. That's WHY I couldn't turbo-normalize! I'd have to add another $45K to do that and I just didn't have enough to do it at the time.

But that $62K included a prop overhaul, BDS baffle kit and tuned exhaust, STC, GAMIs, shipping, and my local shop labor to install the engine (about $9K for that).

But I have no regrets. My engine and plane is amazing! Wish I could TN soon though.


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 Post subject: Re: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2009, 03:52 
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Dale,

Too bad your Superior Air Products cylinders are involved in the latest AD. Mine were too but since I'm at TBO, it's not economical to do a top overhaul. 50 hour inspections will get old after a while for all who are effected. I'll ask Bill what cylinders he installs nowadays.

Marty

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 Post subject: Re: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2009, 03:56 
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Location: U77 Springville, Utah
Aircraft: 1977 V35B
Yes, my cylinders are affected by the AD. :sad: :thumbdown:

I only have 200 hours on them though, so I have some time before the inspections come up. But I was hoping I could run them past TBO when I bought them. I am really curious what cylinders Bill Cunningham would recommend putting on his engines at this point.


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 Post subject: Re: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2009, 07:10 
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Joined: 12/10/07
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Location: St. Pete, FL
Aircraft: BE 58
Username Protected wrote:
I'm thinking about upgrading to the IO-550B from my current IO-520BB as I am at TBO and am having some engine roughness that is stumping the pros. Should I buy a factory new one or a rebuilt one? From Teledyne Continental, RAM or other? What about BDS baffles? GAMI's or not? STC's needed? TCM or ECI cylinders? Nickel or other?

Any other advice you might have on getting thru this process would be great.

Thanks,

Marty Mitchell
N44GN
1976 F33A


Marty,

FWIW, I did two engines on my Baron 10 years ago. Beryl's STC and Cont remans. The check to Beryl was $59,000 and the R&R was about $6, but included some extras. I dresses the engine with the baffles and other stuff to prepare it to mount. Beryl's STC included the hoses, mounts and baffles. No prop work.

The advantage of a Continental reman was that they take most anything on trade, and mine were light case and lousy cylinders, so rebuilding was not an option. You have more options with a BB engine.

I didn't specifically want the 550s when I did this, but the wait time for a 520 was too long and the difference in cost was only about $8 for both. I'm glad I did the 550s and they have performed well, without problems..... so far. (even the valves are working fine).

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Larry


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 Post subject: Re: IO-550B upgrade from IO-520BB
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2009, 18:20 
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Joined: 12/12/07
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Company: M.B. Kahn Construction Co.
Location: Columbia, SC (KCUB)
Aircraft: 2003 Bonanza A36
Apples to apples, I believe the STC and parts was about 12K to upgrade the 520 to 550 but my memory may be partially blocked by the traumatic episode of writing the check.

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