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Thread: J-3 fuselage rebuilders

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    J-3 fuselage rebuilders

    Who would be the best for rebuilding my J-3 fuselage. In or close to Colorado would be best. Will probably need a jig as it is in pretty sad shape.

  2. #2
    Ruidoso Ron's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    Alto, NM
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    I would take it to Wayne Mackey in Miles City, MT. Telephone 406-232-1370.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Fairbanks, Alaska
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    Keep in mind that Univair sells new ones for around 10k. People that have had there fuselage repaired due to substantial damage or corrosion seem to regret it in the end as the difference in price for a new one (remember to double what you think the repair is going to cost) is far outweighed by the delay and the fact that you end up with a repaired 50 year old fuselage vs. new. Also consider difference in resale value. Personally, I would think the value would increase with a new fuselage. However, I'm sure some J3 purists may devalue it for not being original. Also keep in mind that jigs can vary significantly in accuracy. Univair's PA18 fuselages have historically measured well and if my memory is accurate, are compatible with Mark's Thrustline Mod. Search this site as I remember other posts verifying the accuracy of Mackey's jig and craftsmanship.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Curtis, NE
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    Fuselage Repair

    Consider the new fuselage. New is nice! It has never been bent. It has never been unstraight. It is as light as it will ever be. A friend has completed straightening a PA18 fuselage. Many sleeves. More weight. Seven thousand dollars. His response was for $10,000 I could have had a new one.

  5. #5
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Graham, TX
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    I would blast it and see what you have before making a decision on new. Wayne's jig is dead on and Warren's have one in TX.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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