340 panel refurbish

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  • #83972

    Hi fellow TCFs, I’m hoping to solicit your thoughts and ideas as I’m taking my aircraft from steam to glass. First, it might help to know just a little about our family airplane.

    I purchased this 1976 340A (RAM VI) from its ORIGINAL owner one year ago and have been having fun getting her ready for her next 35 years. Interestingly, the owner flew it roughly 50 hours per year out of central Illinois. It has 1780 hours TT…it was love at first sight. Well, kind of. It was all original paint and interior but with some updated avionics. The folks at JA Air Center did my pre-purchase and have done a great job on the few things it required. Thank you Bruce Rebechini and Thad for your knowledge and professionalism.

    At the primary request of my family, I took it to the fine folks at Tejas Aero (Mike and Pam Van Sicklen) down in Texas and they did an amazing job giving her beautiful new paint and interior. While I could have easily lived with that burnt orange shag carpeting, they were right and we all love it now. I also would have to give kudos Craig at Scheme Designers for great service and final design product.

    I’m posting on this Topic as it’s time for the avionics upgrade. Again, I have chosen to work with the fine folks at JA Air. David Ufen did a stand-up job during the bid process and is a true professional. We are just under way as you’ll see in the pic. I look forward to any guidance or feedback from any of you…specifically if you’ve made a decision to install any of the following avionics as I have chosen:

    G-500 w/ Synthetic Vision
    GTN-750
    GTN-650
    AuRACLE CRM 2120
    GMA-350
    GTX-33ES
    Mid-Continent SAM backup (AI, ALT, Airspeed, Slip)
    Aspen Evolution 1000, co-pilot position
    GAD 43E adapter
    GDL 69A XM weather and music

    I’ve attached a couple pics of the process but will focus on the avionics transformation.

    Thanks to all on this forum…a wonderful place to learn, share, and sometimes banter topics surrounding our passion of flying.

    Mike


    Attachments:

    #97284

    Do you have any pics of the ac/ headliner? I am looking for ideas in that area.

    #97297

    Our panel is pretty similar to Jim’s. Our intent going forward will be adding extra Aspens, a 430W to compliment the 530W, and behind-the-scenes bits in the form of traffic and stormscope. Our radar is a KWX56 which I don’t think works with the FlightMax units, at least not that I’ve found. That’s low on the priorities, though, much rather have the other items. Plus we have a JPI760, so no real point in upgrading to the new shiny units at this point.

    The 530W and Aspen have been great. No experience with the G500. I like the redundancy factor with the Aspen option.

    #97301

    Hello Mike and Jim,

    I am up to my ears in the middle of the same sort of upgrade for our plane with roughly the same stuff. Below you’ll see an op check we ran this morning. Our equipment list includes dual G500’s, GTN 750/650, Auracle 2120, remote audio panel/transponders, GTS800 traffic, GWX70 Radar and GSR56. We kept the Cessna A/P so the GAD 43 is off the list. I have Autocad drawings of the instrument panels if it helps you guys. As soon as we get closer to a flight check, I’ll be glad to share our experience.

    By the way, I was with Mike Van Sicklen and he told me about you velour interiors. Looks like the airplane tuned out beautiful. Congratulations.

    Regards – Alex


    Attachments:

    #97307
    quote WWILSON:

    Do you have any pics of the ac/ headliner? I am looking for ideas in that area.

    Here is the best picture of the AC unit and headliner. I’ll look for another but I hope that helps.

    Mike


    Attachments:

    #97308

    [quote=”JODAY”]Mike,

    Wow, your plane looks nice!

    And YIKES – the panel current state. I am about to do the same thing too, although I am not as “all in” as you are!

    I wanted to post the same topic last night, so I will tag along with your posting. I want to do my best not to have a lot of “should have done that” when I am done.

    I am looking at some of the same gear too..and I am interested in the comments from people hanging out here.

    Jim

    Hi Jim,

    Looks like you have planned things well. I’m sure you won’t regret your choices. By the way, who are you having complete your work?

    Good luck and please keep all of us updated along the way.

    Mike

    #97309
    quote agutierrez:

    Hello Mike and Jim,

    I am up to my ears in the middle of the same sort of upgrade for our plane with roughly the same stuff. Below you’ll see an op check we ran this morning. Our equipment list includes dual G500’s, GTN 750/650, Auracle 2120, remote audio panel/transponders, GTS800 traffic, GWX70 Radar and GSR56. We kept the Cessna A/P so the GAD 43 is off the list. I have Autocad drawings of the instrument panels if it helps you guys. As soon as we get closer to a flight check, I’ll be glad to share our experience.

    By the way, I was with Mike Van Sicklen and he told me about you velour interiors. Looks like the airplane tuned out beautiful. Congratulations.

    Regards – Alex

    Alex,

    Small world! Funny you were with Mike Van Sicklen. Thanks for your comments…we are very happy with the results. Looks like you have quite a list of equipment going in the panel (and behind). I chose to remove my radar and will later (after a few pay-days) look to add GWX70.

    If you don’t mind, I would greatly appreciate the CADs if not too much trouble to pass along.

    Question for you, how will your 2120 display your fuel quantities? I was a bit disappointed when I learned that mine won’t show all four tank bar graphs at once. It sounds like we’ll still have to have the aux tank annunciator and toggle. Is this your understanding as well?

    By the way, I recall you trying to unload your removed equipment…was that successful? Who is doing your install if you don’t mind.

    Thanks and please keep us updated along the way,

    Mike

    #97310
    quote MBUCK:

    quote JODAY:

    Mike,

    Hi Jim,

    Looks like you have planned things well. I’m sure you won’t regret your choices. By the way, who are you having complete your work?

    Good luck and please keep all of us updated along the way.

    Mike

    Mike,

    I would like to use the shop here where I live. They do this type of work plus I can keep a watch on it all as it is 5 min from my house.

    But, a lot of people I know take their planes to a shop at KPKR. I think they go there because they are competent and lower costs. I plan to check them out when I get my equipment list finalized though.

    Jim

    #97312
    rstanley
    Participant

      What shop are you referring to?

      #97313
      quote RSTANLEY:

      What shop are you referring to?

      I keep my plane at the Fargo Jet Center, they have a maintenance facility.

      http://www.fargojet.com/maintenance/avionics.php

      And here is where I see a lot of people I know taking their planes for major work too.

      http://www.parkrapidsavionics.com/

      The Jet Center installed the Aspen on my panel, I was an early adopter of this product and I was glad they did it as the system required lots of post install messing around with. I did not need to take my plane anywhere to have the issues worked out.

      I know you get what you pay for; I want to go where this is routine work, not a new adventure.

      Jim

      #97330
      quote MBUCK:

      Question for you, how will your 2120 display your fuel quantities? I was a bit disappointed when I learned that mine won’t show all four tank bar graphs at once. It sounds like we’ll still have to have the aux tank annunciator and toggle. Is this your understanding as well?

      By the way, I recall you trying to unload your removed equipment…was that successful? Who is doing your install if you don’t mind.
      Mike

      Hello Mike,

      We are still trying to figure out a fuel quantity work around – what you say is correct, but our avionics shop thinks it can get around this issue. I’ll let you know as soon as I learn more.

      I’ll post the Autocad drawings on a separate message. Regarding the instruments, we have sold a part, but still have a way to go. Below are pictures from yesterday. The work is being done by AHR Aviation in San Antonio, and the interior is being done by AeroComfort (http://www.aerocomfort.com).

      One add-on I would recommend is the TSO’d USB charger for iPads/iPods and music inputs they are installing front and back (http://www.lonestaraviation.com/home.php). Great for the kids.


      Attachments:

      #97343

      Hello Alex.

      You will have the most amazing 340 around the world!
      I am happy I will be able to see it just minutes away from home!
      It should be a remainder for all of us Twin Cessna owners to keep as nice as possible our airplanes. Remember that nothing compares to them today.
      Last flight I was flying FL 210, 212 Knots TAS at around 65% power. Amazing. My brother King Air does 230 and he spent 12 times as much.

      Questions:
      Why did you add USB chargers instead of Cigarette Lighter Receptacles or 110 V inverters?
      How will be the integration of the two Garmins 600s?

      Rodolfo
      1978 C340A RAM VII

      #97370

      For those considering an Auracle….make sure you have flown with one first and are satisfied with the operation. I recently flew a 421C with the Auracle (which has been sent out twice with issues yet to be resolved) to run Gami tests. The delay in the refresh rate for MP, RPM, and FF was excessive. Maybe there is a setup issue to improve the functionality?

      The unit did not seem quite ready for prime time.

      Best,

      #97380

      Hi Alex,

      I was over at AHR this afternoon retrieving some items from my plane. Saw yours in the corner and did an inspection of your bird. Very nice detail in the engine bays, I like how nice and neat everything is secured. I look over your new strakes too, first time getting a close look at these on TC.

      WOW 😯 that is a lot of work on that panel!! And your interior, it is all gone, are you doing that too?

      You have a nice plane.

      Jim

      #97412

      Thanks Jim,

      Bryan told me you came over – thanks for the kind comments. They are doing good work, but I’m growing frustrated with the extra time it is taking. I guess in a years time I won’t remember the delays but will enjoy the end product. Too bad you did not get a chance to see the interior – I think it is the best part.

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