Thanks for all the great info. I have not looked at the 180's yet, I do have many hours in them, but all rental time. As for the 172's they seem to be a bit hight price wise to get into a 70's model.
Where can I find good info on AVG maintenance cost of the three birds?
Thanks again for the headsup!
All I know of are some good, but now dated, guides to used aircraft purchases advertised in places like Trade a Plane. There's a 2-volume set that I have found indispensable, but it's over 10 years old now, meaning that any recent ADs, etc, wouldn't be there.
Look at ADs for the ship here: http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAD.nsf/MainF.... To get the ship serial number from the N number, which may be needed, check out the FAA site here: http://registry.faa.gov/arquery.asp.
Another thing I recall reading is that this family tends to run hot due to poor air circulation, resulting in premature top overhauls, but that some things can be done to alleviate that issue. Good baffling under the cowl is part of the solution, but there may be more, e.g., one of Roy LoPresti's new speed cowls as shown here:
A top overhaul is one of those nonroutine things that can pop up anytime, but usually just when your're tight for money. A new jug kit was required at my first annual of the Cherokee 180, but it wasn't too expensive and the plane performed extremely reliably throughout my 5 years of ownership. Eventually, however, an overhaul and new prop were required and they, along with the full set of k2u mods at the same time, set me back $20,000 about 8 years ago. Course I'd only paid $24,900 for the 180, so it wasn't that bad a deal.
Thanks again! I'll look over those web sites tonight. I have been looking at the 172's but for the money I have to spend (45,000) I'd have to go back into the 60's to get one. The Grummans just look like they offer a faster top speed, newer craft, for less money. Plus I like the way they look. But, my kids will be in the plane with me... so looks are not the most important thing!