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The Long-Ez Rebuild


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After successfully working through my VariEze and getting it back into the air, I came across a Long-Ez for sale in Indiana.  I took the trailer down in late November and picked up N24DJ.  It was first flown in 1990 and had current hours in 2020.  Total hours on the airframe and O-290-D2 is around 1200.  It was not a cosmetically pleasing finish job, but it ran smooth and had some bonus extra features that made it worthwhile to take on as a project. 

I started on the interior this weekend,by removing the panel and a majority of the wiring.  In the images below, you will see the previous owner had cut out a majority of the panel bulkhead and built a replacement panel.  It had individual gauges for all the engine instrumentation, so all the CHT, EGT, temps, pressures, tach wires all ran from the back to the front.  That is all gone now.

I am going to rebuild the panel bulkhead and start over with a new panel layout and use the MGL Blaze setup as I did for the VariEze.  I will retain the radio & transponder with ADSB out.  The builder had also used the electronic circuit breaker system from Control Vision (EXP-2V).  I am not sure if I will retain that or not.  There were also a few manual circuit breakers on the armrest for the electric nose lift, pitch trim, and landing brake.

The other tasks I am planning so far are:

- pull the engine, and update the layout in the engine area
- new baffle system
- rework the cowlings
- all new electrical wiring & panel rebuild
- flip the fuse over to rework the main landing gear attachments
- redo interior bodywork (sand old paint, repaint, new cushions)
- complete exterior bodywork (sand old paint & filler, refill, sand, and paint)
- new ELT

This one will take a bit longer than the VariEze, but it will be a fun project.  I am not planning any major upgrades or high-expense panel upgrades.  I am looking to have a nice, basic Long-Ez when done.

The images below are the trailer load, the panel after just starting the tear-out, and the panel after the tear-out.








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Ah, the lure of another project!  I am drawn to them too but I am re-doing a motorcycle now (BMW R100RS) and need to paint my truck.  Must. Resist.  Any.  New. Project. until I get those done.   Hope you don't find any bad surprises.

Cozy IV N13AM-750 hrs, Long-EZ-85 hrs and sold

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Nothing unexpected yet.  The previous owner (builder) gave me a pretty good rundown on how he built it. He had warned me before I even left Minnesota that it was not a cosmetic beauty.  He indicated something along the lines of "they shouldn't let me near a paint gun...".  It was pretty much what I had expected when I started digging into it.  I had a couple of questions that I sent to Robert @ JetGuys with quick responses.  We are going to strip it down in all aspects and build it back up.  It'll be a good project for my son and I to go through from start to finish.

Once completed, we will trailer it down to Covington and have Robert and the guys go through it.





Edited by bmckinney10
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Under $20K.  Aside from less-than-desirable bodywork and paint, it had the electric nose lift, electric elevator trim, electric speed brake, ADSB-Out, Catco 3-blde prop, recent carb and mag overhauls.  The former owner was a retiring A&P and documented all the work and upgrades very well.  He was still actively flying it up until I bought it and put 1200 hours on it over 30 years.  I found a few things that I discussed with him that were not show-stoppers, but I felt needed attention before I would be comfortable putting decent hours on it.

The deals are out there if you can assess the condition well enough and be ready to buy.  I know that the less-featured (& lower cost) Ez's get ALOT of tire-kickers.  If I am fairly certain I am buying, I show up with the trailer and then negotiate based on findings.  I am not an expert on inspecting, but confident enough to analyze if there are any major issues.  I know that I will be doing a full strip-down when I get started.

If I was looking at buying and immediately flying, I would go at it with different approach using the guys who do have the expertise to do a pre-buy (Marc Zeitlin, Robert Harris, etc.).  These planes would probably be on a higher cost scale and may not need much work to continue flying.  I purchased both of mine as projects, knowing I would be digging down deep and replacing/rebuilding a good portion of the systems and doing significant work on them.  I was lucky in that both the VariEze and Long-Ez were very well documented, and I was able to talk directly with the original builders who had also put all the flying hours on them.

You will be surprised where you find Ez's hiding.  If you are at an airport, just start asking the older guys about them.  Somebody will eventually know a guy who used to have one, etc.  I have been at my airport for 13 years and NEVER saw an EZ there.  Two months ago, I found a 250 hour Oshkosh award winning Cozy 3, that has sat un-flying for 20 years just two hangars away from mine.  I found the owner who lives out of the country, have moved it to my hangar to clean it up and store it for him, and am now negotiating to buy it.  The engine likely needs a rebuild, but the rest of the plane is in incredible condition.

The picture below shows my VariEze and the Cozy.






Edited by bmckinney10
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1 hour ago, jwegman said:

@bmckinney10 We just got N40EB (Long-EZ), that was derelict for ~20 years, flying again a year ago Sept (we're down in Rochester, MN):


@Kent Ashton I've also rehabilitated a '78 R100RS a few years ago:




Jake Wegman

Rochester, MN



Hi Jake, are you based at KRST? I would love to connect and see your Ez.  I am at KLVN.

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Yes, KRST.  If you ever find yourself here, give me a ring!

The field has another LEZ (hasn't flown in a year, but the owner is eager to get back at it), and a HIGH time Velocity RG (owned by my airplane partner).



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  • 3 weeks later...

Some weekend Long-Ez progress in removing the engine, remaining accessories, and wiring.

This Ez has 30 years of tweaks and changes that created additional holes, wiring, and quick fixes.  We will be patching up openings and cleaning up as we go.

The Electroair ignition system shown is an original model from the early 90's.  It still worked extremely well with a very smooth running O-290-D2 before we started the rework.  

The next step is removing the canopy and flipping it over to work on the main gear.



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