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  #1  
Old 09-21-2022, 05:12 PM
danielhv's Avatar
danielhv danielhv is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Forney, TX
Posts: 948
Default Questions about buying a 2nd hand kit...

I think I've accepted that a -14 is not going to work for us. Just too dang expensive. So now I'm considering two options...

1) -7A that is past QB stage except 1 wing. Panel is complete, finish kit is there, CS prop is there still in box, comes with a "fresh" O360-A1A. I say "fresh" because there is a caveat. The guy that rebuilt it was a long time Tennant on the field. Biggest hangar out there. He did the rebuild on it, I went and picked it up as the owner was out of town, and put it in his hangar for him. The mechanic passed away, and the logbook for that engine went with him. Engine has been sitting for 8 years or so
Workmanship is just Ok. Not terrible, but I'm betting every hole wasn't deburred and some ribs probably weren't fluted. He wants $55k for all of it. Obvious concern here is build quality. You can't see it all up on visual inspection. You'd never know if the holes were deburred etc. This kit is local to me. He built a -6A with a builder assist company. No build log. Obviously a smoking deal money wise. He just wants his money back out of it, and he's going off what he paid 10 years ago.

2) Buy a -7A kit that started as a QB, finish kit included, on the gear, repeat builder, no build log, couple of states away, wants $49k. Same as above, can only go off what can be seen. LOOKS to be housed better than the option above if that matters.

I guess my questions are:

A) how do you get comfortable with not knowing someone's build practices?

B) is no build log a deal breaker?

C) is no engine log a deal breaker?

Last edited by danielhv : 09-21-2022 at 05:15 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2022, 06:31 PM
PhatRV PhatRV is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: KAJO
Posts: 975
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The no build is log is a tough deal if the plane doesn't have the AWC yet. Maybe you want to call up a DAR and explain the situation first.
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2022, 06:51 PM
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Mel Mel is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 11,643
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielhv View Post
I think I've accepted that a -14 is not going to work for us. Just too dang expensive. So now I'm considering two options...
1) -7A that is past QB stage except 1 wing. Panel is complete, finish kit is there, CS prop is there still in box, comes with a "fresh" O360-A1A. I say "fresh" because there is a caveat. The guy that rebuilt it was a long time Tennant on the field. Biggest hangar out there. He did the rebuild on it, I went and picked it up as the owner was out of town, and put it in his hangar for him. The mechanic passed away, and the logbook for that engine went with him. Engine has been sitting for 8 years or so Workmanship is just Ok. Not terrible, but I'm betting every hole wasn't deburred and some ribs probably weren't fluted. He wants $55k for all of it. Obvious concern here is build quality. You can't see it all up on visual inspection. You'd never know if the holes were deburred etc. This kit is local to me. He built a -6A with a builder assist company. No build log. Obviously a smoking deal money wise. He just wants his money back out of it, and he's going off what he paid 10 years ago.
2) Buy a -7A kit that started as a QB, finish kit included, on the gear, repeat builder, no build log, couple of states away, wants $49k. Same as above, can only go off what can be seen. LOOKS to be housed better than the option above if that matters.
I guess my questions are:
A) how do you get comfortable with not knowing someone's build practices?
B) is no build log a deal breaker?
C) is no engine log a deal breaker?
(A)...I couldn't!

(B)...No build log is a LARGE problem!
How would you go about proving 51% amateur-built?

(C)...No engine log is not a huge problem from a legal standpoint, but for a comfort level, could be a factor.
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Mel Asberry, DAR since the last century. Over 1,000 certifications accomplished. Discount for Veterans, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters.
EAA Flight Advisor/Tech Counselor, Friend of the RV-1, Lifetime EAA.
Recipient of EAA Tony Bingelis Award and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award
USAF Vet, High School E-LSA Project Mentor.
RV-6 Flying since 1993 (sold)
<rvmel(at)icloud.com>
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2022, 08:05 PM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 2,521
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I just finished a second hand kit. No build log with mine either - I kept one though for my efforts. The kit was started (according to the mother ship) in 1992. I bought it from a Vans Aircraft engineer who had it for about two years. I don’t think there were any QB kits available at the time, but Vans had record of all the sub-kits purchased relative to this kit #. I had no trouble getting it certified, and obtaining a repairsman certificate, maybe because of the three others I’ve built. The build quality wasn’t as good as what I would have done myself, but the fact that a Vans employee that builds prototypes, and a rec from Scott McDaniels who looked the kit over a couple times, told me it was ‘above average for a first time builder’.

I suggest you find someone local who has experience with building RV aircraft - more than once- get them some flashlights, mirrors, and maybe a boroscope and get their “professional” opinion on build quality. If anything is not up to snuff, is it structurally significant, or cosmetic? Can any of your found anomalies be corrected. These things you find will affect the price if you decide to proceed. Don’t be afraid to walk away, even if you’ve paid some knowledgeable person to inspect it for you.

As far as engine log is concerned, I had a used engine on my first RV build (20+ years ago), and no log on that either, except I knew they prior owner who bought it directly from Lycoming. It had just over 100 hours on it, but it was 27 years old. One day, after staring at it in my basement for about a year while building my first RV6, I decided I couldn’t live with curiosity and concern, so I tore into it. I completely disassembled the engine in my basement. It looked like a perfectly brand new engine to my untrained eye. With the help of an IA friend, I sent the parts out to various shops around the country. Turns out there were a couple issues. Lifters had tiny microscopic pits. These were replaced. The cam was given a ‘precision grind’. The oil pump had an AD and was replaced. Parts came back and we put it together with reconditioned cylinders. That engine is still performing fine today - probably about 1500+ hours……. engine history is a big deal - make sure you are comfortable with it.
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RV6/2001 built 2000/sold 2005
RV8 Fastback/2008 built/sold 2015
RV4/bought 2016/sold/2017
RV8/2018 built/Sold(sadly)
RV4/bought 2019/sold2021
RV6/August 2022 build - Flying
Cincinnati, OH/KHAO
DEC2022

Last edited by Scott Hersha : 09-21-2022 at 08:37 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-22-2022, 09:38 AM
AeroEngineer AeroEngineer is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: US of A
Posts: 26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Hersha View Post
I suggest you find someone local who has experience with building RV aircraft - more than once- get them some flashlights, mirrors, and maybe a boroscope and get their “professional” opinion on build quality.
I'm with Scott. One of the nice things about aluminum airplanes (as opposed to composites) is that you can evaluate the structural integrity decently well just by looking, if you know what to look for.

As for the engine, I again agree with Scott. In a single-engine airplane, engine reliability is of paramount importance. I would not cut corners. I would have the engine thoroughly checked out by professionals.
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