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 Post subject: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2013, 11:16 
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Joined: 01/27/08
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Location: Ohio
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With $40,000 to spend, what model Bonanza would you recommend? There seems to be several older airplanes in that price range, but I'd like to know what to stay away from, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2013, 11:24 
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The critical issue to me would be engine maintenance. The E series engines can be good engines but require a mechanic who is familiar with them to keep them in optimal conditions. There's another thread here about high blowby with one of the early engines with 3-ring pistons, which I would want to avoid.

Lacking a shop with E engine familiarity, I'd look for something with the 470.

I'd also recommend buying Larry Ball's book "Those Incomparable Bonanzas" from ABS. It will provide a year by year description of the model changes and will help you decide what to look for.

Good luck and be patient: finding a good airplane for a reasonable price can be slow and frustrating.

If you put your location in your profile, somebody here might know of a good Beech mechanic in your area.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2013, 11:38 
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brent,
look no further than here, there is a C-35 in bt for sale worth your money.
gary

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 Post subject: Re: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2013, 11:41 
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Aircraft: 1969 Bonanza V35A
+1

Call or PM Neal S. about Ale's C-35 ASAP...

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 Post subject: Re: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2013, 14:00 
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Location: Ohio
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Thanks guys! I should have mentioned that I'm tire-kicking for now. I won't be in a position to buy for another 12 months, but I thought I would start here to get knowledgable.

Brent
Ohio

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 Post subject: Re: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2013, 14:16 
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Location: Appleton WI or Denton TX, TX (KDTO)
Aircraft: 1965 Baron B55
Hi Brent,

Unless you have a serious amount of airframe and Bonanza knowledge or have an A&P partner/friend who does, my CSOB advice is to focus your attention on well maintained and regularly flown Bonanzas of a vintage with a fuel injected IO-470 engine and two 40 gallon fuel tanks. This might be the M or N models, I can't remember

Stretching a little more on the purchase price early will pay enormous dividends in my view on your maintenance and utility. Even a move of 10 or 15K will get you a lot more modern and less expensive to maintain Bonanza.

Now if you just want a weekend putter around the sky bird and can find someone knowledgable on the older Beech engine/prop/airframe idiosycracies AND you want to deal with a fuel system that is much more complex (return fuel goes to the left main and can be a pain to keep organized if not focussed) as well as a gear operating speed that is much lower than the later models...Have at it.

Enjoy the search!

Mike

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 Post subject: Re: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2013, 20:56 
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Joined: 08/07/09
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Location: Boscobel, WI (KOVS)
Aircraft: 1959 Bonanza K35
Brent,

Glad you are considering the Bonanza. They are wonderful aircraft with great versatility, beauty and fun to fly.

With your monetary limit, does this include funds to fix what your don't like after you have purchased the airplane? If you are counting on purchasing a older Bonanza, but have not considered the price of fixing what you don't like or finding that the previous owner did not maintain something up to your standards, then you will be frustrated.

IF you hope to find an older Bonanza with WAAS approved GPS and a coupled AP with GPSS, for 40 K you might be disappointed.

Recently, a fellow in SW Wisconsin sold his 1967 Bonanza. He started in the 80's He next lowered his price. I heard today that he finally sold it for about 38K. Was this a good purchase? Well, it did need a lot of work. It needed the landing gear resealed. It needed some prop work, its interior was OK, but it looked horrible. I don't know about the spar.

In other words, you might find something in that price range, but you will need to spend considerable funds to get it up to your standards.

On the other hand, since you are tire kicking, as Mike Coban pointed out, the early 60s Bonanza with the IO470 are good airplanes. A friend of mine purchased a 1963 P model for about 50K last September. For his 50K, he got a well maintained airplane with a high time engine (about 1300 hours), Century 2000 AP coupled to a Garmin 430W. It also had a multiprobe EGT/CHT (a must have item. It helps, it really helps with the engine life. In spite of the excellent prebuy, within 15 hours of flight, he had to invest in a rebuilt fuel pump ($1200) plus some other stuff.

Now, I am not trying to discourage you. I have a 1959 K35 for over 27 years. My point is get what you can afford and then gradually improve it. If you figure to find one and fly it for a few years and then up grade, you will be frustrated. Why, those of us with really good, well maintained Bonanzas do not sell them.

One the item, I prefer the Bonanza from 1957 and newer. They have the best potential for upgrading and maintaining their value. The Bonanza's up to 1956 are also wonderful aircraft, but they have some unique quirks, which are not detrimental, but different.

Oh, please realize that the Bonanza is a fantastic Magic Carpet. Properly equipped, they are fantastic vehicles for traveling through out the US.

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2013, 22:35 
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Models J K M have four fuel bladders, so if you thinking N or P
P would be the one

P has newer panel etc.

I still love the original paint design of the C model.

GB


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 Post subject: Re: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 24 Feb 2013, 08:34 
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I’m new to the community, so please spare me if this is a dumb question…
Are there any really well known, reputable maintainers/companies throughout the country that are known for specializing in older Beech aircraft?

I would feel better using an established member of the community to conduct a pre buy, even if it means limiting my search options.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 24 Feb 2013, 09:00 
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Location: Boscobel, WI (KOVS)
Aircraft: 1959 Bonanza K35
Zach,

There are a number of well known people who can do a prebuy on Bonanzas.

The question also depends upon where the airplane is currently based and where you live.

My friend bought his P35 from a fellow in Buffalo, NY. The prebuy occurred at Manasssass (too many ss?) Virginia, by Adrian Eichorn. There is another fellow in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, a number of well known places in Florida, Texas, Washington State, California, etc.

I would decide what you want and more importantly, what you do not want. For example, if you want the "modern" look with the long rear window, then you are looking at the P35, S35 and V35 (V35, V35A and V35B) series. You are also looking at a considerably larger amount of money.

Do not count on getting the latest avionics for your bottom dollar. My friend was very fortunate to find his P35 with good avionics.

OH, one point. IF you plan to fly Single Pilot IFR in a Bonanza, be sure you have a functioning autopilot. The Bonanza can be a handful in the clouds trying to find a new assigned waypoint and then input it into your GPS and maintaining a heading.

Back to your primary question (who to do a prebuy). Look for your Bonanza first then figure out who should do the prebuy.

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 24 Feb 2013, 15:44 
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Thanks guys! I should have mentioned that I'm tire-kicking for now. I won't be in a position to buy for another 12 months, but I thought I would start here to get knowledgable.
Brent
Ohio

Brent,

Indeed, this is a great place to get started. Since you are just beginning to start the process of finding the "one," and you have stated your goal of buying in approx. 12 months, I would offer this.....
More than 30 years ago I bought my first Beech. A 1966 Debonair (straight tail Bonanza). But before I bought it, I joined the American Bonanza Society (ABS) and ordered every single back issue of their magazine going back to 1967. I then read every one of those magazines (zerox copies). What a WEALTH of information! You've got 12 months......

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 25 Feb 2013, 11:41 
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Location: Mitchellville, MD
Brent,

If you were buying now, the diamond in the rough is the C35 in peddlers. That is an example of a hard to find Bonanza that has some life remaining in the 40k range. By the time you are ready to buy it is likely to be gone, and you will want expert help from BT'ers to find another like it. You will need to be patient.

Some will suggest you try to find newer airplanes with 470 engines etc. That is valuable advice, however not at 40k. 50k maybe.

Buy a 40k airframe. Older but free of major problems. The engine attached may be a crap shoot. Plan for an additional 15-25k in potential engine issues in the next 3 years. You may need it, you may not. Forget avionics until you are at the point where the airframe and engine are a known entity. Then if you just must...then have a minimum 15k budget for a box and a half. That's all you will get.

Since so many buyers focus on avionics it's important to ask yourself: If a guy has an avionics upgrade budget, why in the world does he not buy a better airplane in the first place? But so many do this. 40k is only a little more than what many owners spend on just avionics.

If you were like some us we'd buy that C35, have money ready for engine work, and happily fly all over the place in an analog cockpit until our last nose hair turns grey. Stay away from younger guys that claim aircraft are unsafe without GPS. The reason for a Bo, is to go faster to know you're lost sooner. Or just learn to navigate.

Consider: No 40k airplane can be what a 60k airplane is, without spending 80k. So spend the 50-60k, save up or have access to 10-20k for the engine fund, and DO NOT put avionics upgrades in the plan.

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 25 Feb 2013, 15:17 
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Joined: 03/29/11
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Company: OMNISound Studios
Location: nashville, TN (KJWN)
Aircraft: 1954 Bonanza E35
Brent,

I would agree and also disagree with some of the post here. I would agree, the C35 listed here on Beechtalk is an absolute gem that is well worth the price. I would also disgree with some of the posts regarding how much to spend on a plane. If you find the plane you want and plan to keep - it really doesnt matter what you choose to spend on it for your own personal preferences. In my case, due to financial constraints at the time, I found a low time E35 (1954) that needed some attention (interior, avionics, and paint). The engine was strong, the air frame solid, and the price of entry was very affordable. Over the past year, I have renovated the interior to the color and style of my choosing, and added a 430 to my avionics. Eventually I plan to update the engine monitoring system so that once I am finished, I have the avionics and layout that I want (not what happened to come with the plane). When I get ready to paint it, it will be the color and scheme that I want.... So what if I end up with $60K invested in my plane, it has exactly what I want, laid out exactly how I want it and since I plan to keep it, does it really matter? Finally, in this era of high fuel prices, my bird (as do most of the earlier bonanzas) can burn mogas or 100LL. At a savings of almost $2-3 per gallon, the cost of operating can become a game changer!

Just my two cents.. :peace:

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 Post subject: Re: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 25 Feb 2013, 16:00 
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I paid 12k for our A35 twenty years ago, since then we have had two interiors, about 6k total, an overhaul, cost about 22k then to put a 470 top on the E225' then maybe 60k in autopilot and avionics. I don 't know how you can have a more cost effective 150kt airplane for 20 years and still get oohs and has one the ramp. The old bird will be 64 years old in May, with tlc it might make 60 more.
If you buy a classic do it to keep a while, not to trade up.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying an older Bonanza
PostPosted: 26 Feb 2013, 13:43 
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Location: Ohio
Aircraft: RV-8
Thanks for all the excellent counsel! I appreciate that you guys have such a tight community - definitely adds to my desire to own one. I'll take advantage of the time I have to really comb through this forum and pick up 'the book' to get educated.

Brent

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