172R vs 172M

172R vs 172M

I am looking at 2 different aircraft to use as timebuilder / IFR trainer.  The first is a '75 172 M with 6600TTAF and 1950SMOH with reasonable paint and avionics (KX155's) - may need GPS upgrade, etc.  The second is a '97 172R with ~600 TTAE, MFD, immaculate cosmetics, etc.  Neither has any damage, etc. as far as I know.
Thoughts?  The price difference is significant, but I would have little to no outflows other than routine maintenance on the R model - the older plane would need new engine, avionics upgrades, etc.
What about depreciation on the R model?  Do you think it will hold value reasonably well?
I like the idea of an older aircraft (I know it's not really a "classic") and of doing some refurbishment, but I've been out of aviation for 6-7 years and right now my #1 priority is getting in the air.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts / help - I'm new to the forums here.
Thomas

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Re: 172R vs 172M

I own a 1973-C172M with about 3400TT and an engine with ~450 SMOH no damage history.  Original paint and interior.  It could use another paint job and the plastic interior is old plastic and much of it is brittle, but the seats are OK.  I've udated one of the radios with a MX-300 and the plane was equiped for IFR to start.  Two VORs, GS, & ADF are adequate, but I could use a DME.  I use a potable GPS to cut the workload down.  A panel mount GPS IFR certified would be ideal but for now I don't want to invest in one.  Maintenance over the last two years has been higher than suspected.  I had to overhaul the three Gyros, replace one collision avoidance flasher and flashing beacon, altimeter and encoder.  Corrosion in some of the electrical connections tend to cause trouble time from time to time but I fix them as I go.  The planes dependable and have been useful and a lot of fun. 

I bought the plane about 1-1/2 years ago.  AT that time I would not have considered a plane with an engine over 1000 hours and wanted a low time engine, which is what I got.  I really didn't want to mess with a lot of maintenance and repairs being a new owner and not knowing much.  Figured I would learn over the years so that when I really needed to do something I would already have learned something.  So far I think I made the right choice even with the maintenance experience.  I didn't have the option of buying a relatively new plane like a 1997 172R.  The cost was prohibitive.   You should be able to check the appreciation by looking at the sales costs compared to new Cessna's and what it originally sold for.

What ever you decide, find a good and trustworthy A&P mecahnic to help guide you and make sure they have experience with those planes.  Having said that, I would think anyone in the business for a reasonable time would have had experience with cessna's.  I would get an annual as a condition of purchase and add the appropriate escape clause if it turns out to be a lemon.

Good luck.

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Re: 172R vs 172M

If your primary reasoning is to get in the air(and you can realistically afford it) id go for the newer aircraft.While both I would think are fine aircraft,I suspect if you purchase the older one,youll be sitting in a hangar repairing and overhauling things for quite some time instead of punching holes in the sky.
I bought my 150K VERY cheap,and spent around 14 months getting it airworthy...not to mention a chunk of money.Im tickeled with the end result,and in my case wouldnt have had it any other way.
It all depends on how long you want(or plan to) work on it before you get it flyable,and reliable.
in any case have a qualified A&p go over it with a fine-tooth comb prior to any committment...tailwinds

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Re: 172R vs 172M

The R model has probably already bottomed out.  It should start going back up soon.

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Re: 172R vs 172M

One other consideration is corrosion control.  The 172R and 172S are lavishly treated with internal corrosion proofing during assembly (I believe it's zinc chromate, but not sure) thoughout, while very few of the pre-1996 172s were.  The pre-1996 airplanes only had internal corrosion proofing if the buyer paid a high premium for it or they were built as floatplanes.

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Re: 172R vs 172M

I love my 172M,  Look for a 74 or 75 with lower time,  mine was 2900 TT with 950 on fact new engine and one year old KX155's, GS,MB,ADF,DME etc.   It seems to me that it is a better deal to buy an older low time plane with the goodies already in it than to buy and fix up,  but that is just my thoughts.

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Re: 172R vs 172M

I own a 75 172M.  TT approx 4000.  I bought the plane in 1999 for 59K.  I have done extensive overhauls, painted it, put new interior in it, put a garmin 155gps, 2 kx 155 radios, fuel flow analyzer, stec autopilot.  The plane flys like a champ and has been alot of fun to own.   Even with all this done it still is alot cheaper than the 172R.   My bid is for the 172M.  Good luck and happy flying.

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Re: 172R vs 172M

I recently purchased a 1976 172M ( new glass carpet interior & RAM 160hp STC).
I'm considering adding an autopilot. Can I inquire about the total cost of installation and parts?

Thanks!

Mark Clark
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