Go-300 engine fitted to a Cessna 175

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Go-300 engine fitted to a Cessna 175

Postby ghostflyer » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:16 am

Well I have just had the experience of doing 8 hours in a Cessna 175 C . I am very impressed with the performance of both engine and airframe . It,s fitted with a cont. go-300E engine . The owner /Pilot has nearly had this aircraft from new and the engine was last overhauled about10 years ago . The owner has been flying geared engines nearly all his flying life . Early Queen Aires, aero commanders etc . And some big Cessna twins . So he has some secrets on engine management . Firstly he told me run the engine hard and keep the airspeed up and watch the CHT,s carefully and watch cool down times etc. There was a no go zone of running the engine of around 2500rpm. It all about “careful” engine management and operation . This engine has done over 1600 hours and still going strong . It’s due for a overhaul but parts are hard to find or pay for . It’s performance is similar to a 170 fitted with a 4 banger . It’s turbine smooth . It has big fuel tanks so the range is adequate. I always thought it was the ugly duckling and never got involved with this type of aircraft . This aircraft is now in the shop to be modified to a tail dragger . I was doing a re positioning flight .
The engine has been fitted with a paper element oil filter system and oil is changed every 50 hours . I am so impressed I really think it’s better than a lot of new aircraft . Especially the price .
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Re: Go-300 engine fitted to a Cessna 175

Postby GAHorn » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:03 am

If it’s got 1600 hrs it’s 400 past TBO. The GO-300-E can be fitted with a propeller governor. The C20 McCauley prop used on the 175-C has a hard-to-accomplish AD note on the blade-threads, where the blades are threaded into a retaining-ferrule in the hub. McCauley no longer supports the prop. Last one I dealt with could only accomplish it (truncate the threads) by a shop in Germany.
Engine thrust bearings are virtually impossible to find and some have been “overhauled” using bearings that have been repaired by plating and of questionable durability.
The GO-300 engine earned a poor reputation primarily because of poor operating practices by the operators unfamiliar with geared engines and because of expense of operation blamed on that and it’s 1200 hr TBO. The pilot-shaft was susceptible to failure due to gyroscopic precession-forces in training maneuvers and turbulence. During it’s production-period it required specially-constructed cylinders and could not utilize more common O-300 cylinders. (This was later resolved by mfr’s producing only cyls which qualified for both engines, but in it’s heyday the GO-series simply had higher-costs of operations and repair.)
The C175 only ran 5-10 mph faster than a similar 172 but had the operating expenses of a 182 without the carrying capacity or performance of the 182, and that’s why it was not particularly successful.
Anyone dying to own one should contact our board Member Hanson who has one sitting in his yard and never flys it.
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Re: Go-300 engine fitted to a Cessna 175

Postby 170C » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:35 pm

There is a gentleman here in TN who owns numerous C-175 airframes and converts them to conventional geared planes. Some of them apparently get reengined wih O-360 Lycoming's and some retain the GO-300's. Apparently it depends on the condition of the GO-300's. The only one I have seen in his shop has the GO-300. It makes a nice conversion. He also spends time in Sulfur Springs, TX part of the year working with Legend Aircraft Co. Some members will recall Tom Benedict converted a C-175 to conventional gear and put an O-360 w/ cs prop on it. He later sold that plane to 170 assn co-founder Bill Wehner.
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Re: Go-300 engine fitted to a Cessna 175

Postby IA DPE » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:04 pm

There was two of them on Des Moines Craigslist a month ago, sitting in a guy’s yard. Been there a long time. City was on him to have them removed within two weeks. I figured if nothing else someone might use the wings for the long range tanks. Price wasn’t unreasonable but I couldn’t meet timeline.
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Re: Go-300 engine fitted to a Cessna 175

Postby cessna170bdriver » Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:16 pm

gahorn wrote:...
Anyone dying to own one should contact our board Member Hanson who has one sitting in his yard and never flys it.


The same is true of his 170...
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Re: Go-300 engine fitted to a Cessna 175

Postby GAHorn » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:51 pm

cessna170bdriver wrote:
gahorn wrote:...
Anyone dying to own one should contact our board Member Hanson who has one sitting in his yard and never flys it.


The same is true of his 170...


And his 150. (Not to mention several boats, cars, tractors, lathes, building-lots on Louisiana lakeside-runway... )
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Re: Go-300 engine fitted to a Cessna 175

Postby ghostflyer » Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:56 am

I knew very little about this ugly duckling air craft or its engine and had a read of the flight manual [brief as it was ] ,but went into it with a open mind plus very cautious approach. Fuel consumption was about 2gals US a hour greater but was about 10 mph faster. It was smooth as silk . Climbed really well but the down size it loved oil.
The owner gave me the royal order on what to do and not to do . While it was a constant speed prop I do not think it was the one George talked about . I was instructed only to change pitch very slowly . I will be delivering this aircraft after the mods are completed and I am looking forward to the trip. It’s not as fast as a 180 or a 182 but the speed increase is very noticeable . Before take off I was instructed to allow max RPM before rolling down the runway . I normally just line up on the runway and slowly advance the throttle checking the T,s and greens. Descent was a slow process no more tan 500 ft a minute but keep the speed up also with a higher throttle opening and no shock cooling .
While I am not saying it’s the best aircraft around by any means but it was very interesting and kept you on your toes.
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Re: Go-300 engine fitted to a Cessna 175

Postby n2582d » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:20 am

I have never flown behind a GO-300 but have quite a bit of time in a 295 Helio Courier with the Lycoming GO-480. It was important — for the reliability of the gear reduction unit — to make sure the engine drove the prop rather than vice versa. Does that same caution apply to the GO-300?
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Re: Go-300 engine fitted to a Cessna 175

Postby ghostflyer » Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:22 pm

Given by the instructions that I received ,I think you are on the money about the engine driving the prop. Even on a descent the rpm is kept high and airspeed is keep high for cooling . It seemed that you had to be at least 15 mins ahead of the aircraft .
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Re: Go-300 engine fitted to a Cessna 175

Postby GAHorn » Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:36 pm

n2582d wrote:I have never flown behind a GO-300 but have quite a bit of time in a 295 Helio Courier with the Lycoming GO-480. It was important — for the reliability of the gear reduction unit — to make sure the engine drove the prop rather than vice versa. Does that same caution apply to the GO-300?


As the saying goes... Yes. The GO-300 suffered mostly due to it’s introduction to lower-experienced pilots without geared-engine experience. Many of them learned in direct-drive-engined Cessna 140/150 or Piper/Stinson aircraft or similar, and those engines ran in the 2300-2700 RPM range. The GO-300 engine ran almost a thousand RPM faster and the tach indications were based on the crankshaft...not the propeller (which lost efficiency at those higher RPMs, therefore the reason the engine had to be geared to a lower prop RPM. Those pilots were generally reluctant to run the engine at 3100-3400 RPM and so ran around at 2500-2700 or so... then complained that the airplane did not run as fast as advertised and seemed sluggish. Top that off with the delicacy of the reduction gearbox toward training maneuvers such as stalls, accelerated-stalls, chandelles, etc., (think about that huge gyroscope called a propeller and it’s effect on the gears and bearings on that short pilot-shaft which reduced engine-RPM to prop-RPM)...and it led to increased operating expenses due to the engine being “lugged” at such low RPM.
Think of it this way,... the GO-300 engine was an O-300 being asked to produce another 30 horsepower. This was accomplished by running it at higher RPM ... similar to running a standard-transmission automobile around in Second-Gear continuously. It produced more horsepower but at the expense of more fuel, more engine RPM (but with the prop RPM reduced back to it’s operating-range via a transmission (geared), ... and the cockpit instrumentation (RPM) still indicating crankshaft RPM not prop RPM. Back to the automobile comparison... let off the gas while in second-gear and the deceleration-effect of that transmission places strain on the back-side of the gears instead of their faces, which added increased wear/tear on the mechanism (hence the advice against “letting the prop drive the engine”.)
As long as the pilot kept the engine power properly set and avoided abrupt power-changes (which requires the pilot to understand energy-management of the airframe) things worked fine. But also keep in mind the situation is similar to running an O-300 around in Second-Gear (higher engine RPM) all the time... with a commensurate reduction in longevity, not only for the basic engine/cylinder/piston/valves components but also for the magnetos, etc. which were also forced to turn at higher RPMs. (TBO was only 1200...and that was only achieved if the engine were properly operated at it’s designed higher-RPM.)
I suspect the 1600 hrs claimed for the example originating this post was not the “whole story” of that engine. GO-300s did not usually enjoy runs to full TBO without major repairs for all the reasons just mentioned.
I have a few hours behind several of them in C-175s, including the 1962 C-model 175 with the E-model engine (which for that odd prop also used an odd Garwin prop governor... odd for it’s rarity, and the fact it was mounted at the rear of the engine rather than the nose as most light aircraft have it. (The combination of a 175-C using a GO-300-E was not the most plentiful Cessna produced. Most 175 “SkyLarks” had fixed-pitch McCauley’s on GO-300-A engines that had no governor.)
The engine also had an oil cooler which was notorious for stuck verniatherms and tended to congeal in cold wx. Some owners would fly around with duct tape blocking the cooler in winter.
Those of you guys who remember our friend Bob Edmondson might find it interesting to read he owned one for several years as his first airplane. He bought it from an A&P/IA in Ardmore, OK who, it turned out, sold it with beautiful records that were works of art.... unfortunately largely fiction.
That is how I became lightly familiar with that odd C20 McCauley prop. The IA-seller had represented the prop as fresh-overhauled and the logs indicated only a few hours since prop overhaul, but while Bob had his airplane at my place (we did a complete instrument-panel to modernize it) we discovered the records had a “yellow tag” from a southern California prop shop which only stated the prop had been “resealed”... not overhauled. When we contacted the shop they confirmed that they had not overhauled it because they could not accomplish the required AD note on the blade-threads and the owner (the IA-seller) then changed his order and had it resealed and returned to him. The aircraft logs actually stated the prop was “0” since overhaul and signed by the IA-seller. Pure fiction. (When Bob contacted the seller, 75 year old Jim Bell turned his certificates in to the FAA and Bob never got the money he was owed to correct the problem. Moral: Beware buying an airplane from someone who can so-easily create paperwork. Some of the prettiest logs I’ve ever read were pure fiction.)
Bob sent his prop for overhaul to Jordan Prop in SAT and they found the blades needed that AD thread-truncation. McCauley would not support the prop and recommended it be sent to the only shop in the world who had authority to do it in Germany. The cost would be $8K just for the AD note, plus the cost of the overhaul. Bob spent a month searching and found a prop off an engine-converted 175 in AR. That owner had faced the same problem when he found his prop hub cracked and no hubs available and no help from McCauley. But the blades had met the AD note previously so Bob bought that prop and Jordan used those blades on Bob’s prop-hub. Bob’s plane had sat at my place for almost 6-months without a prop and we were both sure glad to see it flying again. He operated it for about ten years and then sold it and bought his Debonair. While he owned it, I flew his 175 many hours. It trued-out at 115 kts burning 11-12 gph, hardly worth the extra hourly expense IMO, but it was a sweet-flying Cessna.
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Re: Go-300 engine fitted to a Cessna 175

Postby ghostflyer » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:46 pm

That piece that you wrote was very informative and concise . Thank you . It was a good read. The 175 that we have in the shop has had a number of periodical top overhauls over the years . This owner changed the cylinders anytime he thought they were not up to HIS specifications . He often flew long legs over water and was very demanding on maintenance standards . I do not believe it has a standard prop as you discussed and I do not wish to to remove the spinner etc for a closer examination [paper work] but can see it has a prop governor on the rear case. The prop is painted Matt black on both sides with no manufacturer sticker on the blades. The aircraft is on jacks about 2 ft in the air at the moment with no undercarriage . It’s compression ratio is higher also and running at a higher RPM gives it a bit more HP than a standard O-300.
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