C90 / O-200 operating costs

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steveboxall
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C90 / O-200 operating costs

Post by steveboxall » Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:44 am

Hi

I'm thinking about starting a group around a permit taildragger, and it looks like most of the aircraft in my target range have either a C90 or an 0-200. I can make a guess at most of the operating costs, but all my experience is on Rotax engines and I have no experience on Continental/Lycoming ownership.

Can anyone give me some ideas on how much I should budget for operating a C90/O-200 which is running "on condition" for an active (>100hrs pa) group? It seems likely that the engine might have 1,200-1,500 hours or more on it and would probably already be over the manufacturers calendar life. The plan would be to do routine maintenance (oil etc) ourselves.

Thanks

Steve
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ChampChump
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Re: C90 / O-200 operating costs

Post by ChampChump » Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:59 am

I run a C85 and deal with expenses as they arise, have never been in a group (except with a glider) so am not qualified to answer. I'm just posting to suggest you post this question on Flyer forum, where you'll likely get more replies. I predict there'll be a good split between those saying "factor in for the possible big expenses via an 'engine fund'" and those saying "do a cash call when you need to, presuming you have the right people in the group to start with".

Whatever you decide, do it!

:)
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Brian Hope
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Re: C90 / O-200 operating costs

Post by Brian Hope » Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:19 pm

Hi Steve, you're going to get all manner of opinions so I'll get in early and give you my two-penneth! The C90/O-200 are good solid traditional aircraft engines. My experience has been mainly with the C90, and given the choice I'd have a C90 rather than an O-200. The latter revs a fair bit higher for minimal power gain - mind you if you're used to a Rotax you'll probably think even the O-200 is only ticking over when it's on full chat.
Cruise fuel consumption at around 2300/2350 is 20 - 21 lph and a good engine uses minimal oil between changes. I'd always change it at 25 hours regardless of whether you have a full flow oil filter conversion, it's the cheapest insurance you can buy. I have always sworn by W80 oil and only ever used W100 if it was a hot summer and I was going to fly in the hotter parts of Europe. Some like the 'new' multigrades but years ago the guy from what used to be Yorkshire Light Aircraft (now Multiflight) who did their Continental rebuilds, gave a talk at a Jodel Club seminar and said engines that ran to tbo with the least trouble were nearly always the ones on W80. Times and opinions do change of course but other pluses are that W80 is cheaper than the aero multigrades and generally easier to get hold of if you are away from home and need to buy some.
The engines will certainly get to and beyond tbo, but if you're using a lot of 100LL you'll probably need to do a couple of top ends on the way. Sticking exhaust valves due to carbon build up is the main reason, less of a problem if you're using mogas or UL91.
Doing a top end is straightforward for anybody with a modicum of mechanical ability, these engines are very straightforward and compared to Rotax, relatively inexpensive (in aviation terms) on parts.
Don't believe all the rubbish you hear about mags being old fashioned junk, anything is junk if it isn't looked after and the people who moan about them probably couldn't tell you when their mags were last given more than a cursory glance. I never had a mag problem in well over 2000 hours because I never considered them to be a fit and forget accessory.
Over the years improvements have been made to the accessories on the C90 and O-200, modern oil filters as mentioned, better starters that do away with the clutch mechanism, and lightweight alternators to replace ageing and heavy dynamos for example. The starter in particular is a real plus, and the oil filter a great improvement on the basic gauze filter that comes as standard. If it still has a clutched starter, make sure the group members understand that if it starts slipping, do not use it any more. If it breaks up it can wreck the engine.
Good luck with your new group and let us all know how you get on.
Best rgds, Brian
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tnowak
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Re: C90 / O-200 operating costs

Post by tnowak » Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:34 pm

Brian says it all really.
At worst case consider a professionally rebuilt C90 or O-200 to cost £15K plus if everything starts to wear out. If you have 1500 hours left on the engine that is good. It is almost new!

I purchased a new set of cylinders for my A65 for about £4K 6 years when I found three of them cracked. I think new cylinders (Superior) are still available for C90 and O-200s.

This Cont. range are really good, solid and reliable engines. As Brian says frequent oil changes are the cheapest on-going maintenance you can conduct.

Make sure the max and min oil pressures are within limits when the engine is hot and that you have good compressions.
Tony
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Alan Kilbride
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Re: C90 / O-200 operating costs

Post by Alan Kilbride » Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:00 pm

I have a C90 in my 117, as have most pilots. With the standard Evra 28 prop, leaning it to Yorkshire standards gave 17.5 litres an hour on a 20 hour European trip at an average of 90 kts.
I now have a coarse prop 68/56 from hercules and Yorkshire leaning gave 18.5 litres an hour on a 15 European trip at an average of 104 kts.
As Brian says, "oil is cheaper than an engine" regular changes and good maintenance on a C90/0-200 saves a lot heartache.
Nowt wrong wi' a lycosaurus if well looked after, after all they were designed in the 30's and are still being built today.

Alan
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steveboxall
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Re: C90 / O-200 operating costs

Post by steveboxall » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:31 am

Thanks to everyone that has replied. Will keep my eyes on the classifieds to see if something comes up!
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Supermattt
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Re: C90 / O-200 operating costs

Post by Supermattt » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:29 pm

Hi All,

Interesting thread thank you. I am looking at a O-200 powered aircraft as my first aircraft ownership adventure. The engine is advertised as ‘2200 hours on it but with good compressions’. Should I assume this means it will soon require overhaul?

Cheers
Matt
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Supermattt
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Re: C90 / O-200 operating costs

Post by Supermattt » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:45 pm

Me again,

I have just read the excellent Technical Leaflet 2.23 ‘ ENGINE OVERHAUL LIFE AND OPERATING ‘ON CONDITION’ which no doubt most are familiar with.

I take from it that with good treatment and careful monitoring a O-200 could go several hundred hours past manufacturers TBO of 1800hrs but that getting to 2200 is most likely getting towards overhaul time.

I suppose very careful inspection of the engine and its records by someone who knows what to look for is required.

How long past TBO do 0-200s being run on condition go in the field? I appreciate this will vary greatly but is, say, 2500 hours common or unheard of?

Matt
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Alan Kilbride
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Re: C90 / O-200 operating costs

Post by Alan Kilbride » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:08 pm

Not putting my neck in the noose, but many engines go to 3000hrs. It needs careful maintence and tlc. Most high houred engines have had numerous top overhauls and even though I didn't say this. More than one have had new bottom ends too.
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John Dean
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Re: C90 / O-200 operating costs

Post by John Dean » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:58 pm

I believe some Inspectors have authority to oversee bottom end overhauls.

Supermattt
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Re: C90 / O-200 operating costs

Post by Supermattt » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:18 pm

Thanks John and Alan
Matthew Duffy
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Rjk983
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Re: C90 / O-200 operating costs

Post by Rjk983 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:26 pm

Supermattt wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:29 pm
Hi All,

Interesting thread thank you. I am looking at a O-200 powered aircraft as my first aircraft ownership adventure. The engine is advertised as ‘2200 hours on it but with good compressions’. Should I assume this means it will soon require overhaul?

Cheers
Matt
Hi Matt, I’ve also been looking at that aircraft. I had a look on Ginfo and if I’m correct in how I read the info provided it looks like the aircraft may not have flown for around 18 months, but the best idea would be to speak to the agent or the owner and get confirmation. I don’t think I’m convinced enough to buy this one so I haven’t tried to speak to them myself as I would be most likely wasting their time.

Good luck in your search, mine continues sadly!
Richard Kennedy

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