Because Owning And Flying Your Beechcraft Can Be Done Safely AND For Less Money!
  Exhaust System Repairs

 

Beech B55 Baron and H35 owner Mike T. has documented his experiences in repair of exhaust systems and possible sources for this work. Here is his pirep:

 

About three years ago I shopped for a shop to repair/OH/rebuild my aircraft's exhaust systems. At issue were all four complete assemblies off a B55. All were in ratty shape, having accumulated 5500 hrs TIS over 30 years. I suspected that rather than be repaired, all four sides would have to be rebuilt or replaced with new.

 

Besides asking for Beech List suggestions, I considered and in some cases contacted:

 

Wall Colmonoy

Dawley

AWI

Knisley

Plane Exhaust

Planexhaust (different shop than above)

Custom Aircraft Parts

Beech (RAPID)

Aircraft Spruce

 

I concluded that all of the above enjoyed good reputations and all but one had competitive pricing; see below. And my notes say Aircraft Spruce resells AWI exhausts.

 

The first five shops on my list all say they'd "overhaul" my exhaust systems. Most of the five would return them with 8130s, but at least one wouldn't, leaving the airworthiness determination up to my mechanic.

 

As you probably know, overhauling a system often involves reusing just a small part of the old exhaust assembly -- perhaps the flanges, or even one flange -- and fabricating everything else from new material. I guess this approach means the shop doesn't need an STC or a PMA.

 

Here are prices, from my notes. The figures are for both sides of a single IO470L:

 

Wall Colmonoy (OH): $1466

Dawley, (OH): $1494

AWI (direct, OH): $1790

Knisely (OH): $2,257

Plane Exhaust (new): $2360

Custom Aircraft (repair): between $800 and $1200, depending on condition of originals. $400 to "inspect and recertify"(?) Planexhaust (repair): Depends on condition

Aircraft Spruce (new, AWI?): $1997

RAPID (new): approx. $11,000

 

Again, these prices were as of April 2007.

 

I went with Dawley, not only because of price but also because I heard good things about the shop.

I wasn't disappointed. The OHed exhausts I received back consisted of all new metal; I don't know what was reused. Good turnaround; no surprises.

Everything fit; no issues at all, so far.

 

Side note: I sent the pieces for one engine first and for the second engine a few weeks later. A side-by-side comparison of the pieces I got back showed a visible difference in the aesthetic quality of the welds. But structurally I'm confident everything is fine.

 

I've heard good things about all the "national" shops on the above list. (I consider Custom Aircraft and Planexhaust to be "local" shops.) And I used AWI on another repair project years ago and was happy in all respects.

 

BTW, be sure to check RAPID. When I needed a tailpipe for my H35 several years ago, it was the best supplier (price, availability, configuration).

 

Finally, a good welder can often repair an exhaust quite successfully. Years ago a local welder (learned the trade in the Marines, working on WWII Corsairs and such) repaired the exhaust manifold of my H35. The repair involved welding a largish patch in the existing metal. It was at least 13 years ago and the assembly is still soldiering on without any noticeable distress.

 

Thanks for the contribution Mike, may you forever Rest in Peace!

 


 

 

 

Now, aren't these the most beautiful Bonanza fuel line hoses you could ever put on your Bonanza?

 

 

But seriously folks, much of the Beech fleet continues to be running on aged and decrepit exhaust pipes, some going on 40, 50 or 60 years old. Exhaust pipe system failure can KILL YOU! Please consider getting low time serviceable pipes/manifolds or have Dawley Aviation or another exhaust "repair" service build you up a fresh system.

 

The above B33 Debonair exhaust is reported to have blown on the takeoff roll under full power. A B33 is about a 50 year old bird and my hypothesis is that this exhaust is about that same age. I wonder if a finger press on the cold flange of the metal where it broke would have resulted in a deflection?

 

Please don't wait until you have an exhaust FAILURE to deal with these aged pipes!

 

I say again: EXHAUST SYSTEM FAILURE CAN KILL YOU, EITHER BY FIRE OR CO POISONING!

 


 

 

Dawley Aviation Exhausts Rock!

 

 

Fast forward to 2016 and my 50 year old B55 exhaust is quite literally coming apart. At this years' annual my IA commented on how thin the rear collector pipe felt and he's as frugal as they come in GA mechanics. This was my wake up call and upon greater reflection suggest that we all take our exhaust pipes seriously. Spewing 1400*F exhaust gas into the engine bay would be no joke and would make for a very tough day. So please, as in shoulder harnesses, bite the bullet and knock out this potential killer before it rears its ugly head. See my failing exhaust pics below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At this time in 2016 another Baron owner again gave Dawley Aviation a recommendation to alleviate my exhaust woes once. I called all the usual salvage suspects HERE and their price for "serviceable" but aged exhaust pipes for one engine was just about the cost at Dawley for BOTH ENGINES of new pipes, using mine as a template for a "repair" (wink, wink). HERE is the Baron 55-Series IPC with the price markings from the "Salvage Source" wanting about $2,100 each engine for OLD PIPES!

 

You can see the Dawley finished product below, made of 321 stainless steel (a high quality grade of SS for aviation exhausts).

 

Dawley's "repairs" look awesome!

 

 

 

 

Check out Dawley for your exhaust "repairs" and tell them CSOBeech.com sent you!

 

 

 

web statistics