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Thread: Super Cub 91246 Rebuild

  1. #1
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Super Cub 91246 Rebuild

    Super Cub 91246 is a 1982 model PA18-150 with a little over 1500 hours of total time. It is interesting because it left Piper and went straight to EDO and was fitted with floats. Over the years it spent about 160 hours on floats in Minnesota before being sold and relocated to New Mexico. My daughter Tabitha and I became associated with the airplane after it was involved in a landing incident in New Mexico. She recovered it out of the mountains after 4 hours of two track roads west of Truth or Consequences. She and my father-in-law disassembled it and transported it back here where I helped the owner buy a flying Super Cub and I bought the wreck. Tabitha and I started disassembling and repairs but after a short time I realized with the shop and my work load I was not going to be able to devote the after hours time needed to get it back into the air in a timely manner. Our initial plan was to rebuild the airplane on speculation and then to sell it. Well I know myself well enough to know that I would not be able to let go of it once completed and the never ending questions of what modifications, panel layout, colors etc. kept popping up.

    One Sunday morning I got an email from Nightflyer with a lot of pictures of a Super Cub he was looking to buy. After scanning the high resolution pictures I found a lot of discrepancies for what the owner wanted for the airplane. Having been involved in several annual inspections on freshly restored Super Cubs that had a lot of money thrown at them but the methods and techniques were some what lacking I have gotten very pessimistic in regards to some of these fresh rebuilds. I emailed Nightflyer back a lot of highlighted and marked up pictures of issues I saw. He replied back with a request to help him find a nice airplane. As I sat on the couch drinking coffee I thought to myself, I could sell him 91246 and we could build it like he wants it if he is willing to wait while it is built. After discussing these thoughts with Cathy I emailed him my proposal and we sat up a day for him to look the project over. Needless to say he liked the idea of building a Super Cub the way he wanted it and the deal was struck. My main goal with this thread is to document the rebuild of 91246 but another is to try and pass on some of the things I have learned over the last several years on how Piper did certain things and why. I have had the opportunity to disassemble and restore several late model, pretty original Super Cubs and in doing so I have found things that Piper did that have been left out in the subsequent rebuilds. Now not to say that I am a purist and want to rebuild them like they left the factory but that Piper did know what they were doing and there were reasons they did things the way they did. Also something that I believe strongly is that every time a modification is made it usually effects 2,3 or 4 other things. So, now I will try and document the restoration of Super Cub 91246.
    Steve Pierce

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  2. #2
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    These are the pictures I was sent showing the damage incurred during the landing incident. Both front and rear spars of the right wing are bent, right elevator counter balance bent and tail of the fuselage is twisted.
    IMG950732.jpg

    IMG950733.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Steve Pierce; 08-08-2015 at 05:42 PM.
    Steve Pierce

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  3. #3
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Tabitha and my father-in-law Bill had lots of help disassembling and loading.
    recovery%u00252525201.jpg

    recovery%u00252525202.jpg

    recovery%u00252525203.jpg
    Last edited by Steve Pierce; 08-08-2015 at 05:44 PM.
    Steve Pierce

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    SteveE's Avatar
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    Isn't there a time limit on these threads.?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    aktango58's Avatar
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    Attachment, (and previous poster) not valid
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  6. #6
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    A lot of the late model Lockhaven built Super Cubs had full metal bellies. Makes it easy to inspect. You can see the bent bottom longeron and diagonal tubes here.
    20140908_085808.jpg 20140908_085824.jpg
    Steve Pierce

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    nightflyer's Avatar
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    It should take about a month to get finished right?

  8. #8
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Piper also went to metal flaps and ailerons on the later model Super Cubs. They are counter weighted thus heavier and some say the airfoil got changed because of the different construction. It is hard to find replacements sometimes.
    20140908_082633.jpg

    We have a few slackers when there is a lot of work to do.
    20140908_083801.jpg
    Steve Pierce

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    I'm looking forward to this new thread and expect to learn lots of things from it.

  10. #10
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Bent both spars. For some reason I didn't get a picture of the rear one but this is the front one bent just inboard of the lift strut fittings. Note the stamped nose ribs, Piper started using these in the late 1970s and there Vero Beach Super Cubs had stamped full ribs as well. They were a little different than the Univair stamped ribs which are 5052-H34, Piper stamped them out of 2024-) and then heat treated them. You can also see the ground wire for the stall warning horn that was factory installed in the right wing of the later model Super Cubs.
    20140908_155550.jpg

    The usual busted ash wing tip bow.
    20140908_155529.jpg


    And you can't uncover an airplane without finding a mouse nest somewhere. Note the bent false spar as well.
    20140908_104242.jpg
    Steve Pierce

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  11. #11
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Being that this Super Cub had the original, Piper installed Ceconite fabric on it there are little things that somehow get lost when the old fabric gets removed. I had never seen these plastic fairings over where the flap cables exit the fuselage. Note that someone added the foam weatherstripping to the fuselage under the wing root fairing. You can also see the single swedged cables that Piper made instead of the three individual swedges normally seen on other aircraft or after market cables. (In 1970 Piper started started using Ceconite fabric. That is also the same year they started TIG welding the fuselages which stretched 9/16" over the oxy/acetylene welded frames.)

    20140910_102556.jpg

    20140910_102901.jpg
    Steve Pierce

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    The front aileron balance cables rub on these rub strips where the cables exit the fuselage and enter the wings. Piper used lots of friction tape and then varnished over it.

    20141001_145912.jpg

    20141001_150021.jpg
    Steve Pierce

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  13. #13
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Your attention to details and showing/telling us is much appreciated.

    Lots to learn about what is 'original'.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  14. #14
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Steve,
    Do you suppose that someone added this rain gutter in the field because the water was getting in onto the headliner? Or is there evidence that Piper did it? It looks as though they tried a weather strip first and that perhaps the leaking was only on the right side. It does look like a good idea. I seem to recall making little hoods out of fabric for this purpose.
    N1PA

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    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    Steve,
    Thanks for these photos and the information.

    Overall, the damage doesn't look all that bad.

    Is the tail section damage the kind that "boxing" the tail tubing is supposed to help, was was something else going on during the "event"?

    I've been told that when wings get bent like this, the spars bend inboard of the strut attachment. Just like we see here.

    Do you see any problems with the strut attach hardware, and are you going to install the Attlee Dodge strut attach reinforcements? How about the Hurricane Tie-Downs?

    Interesting mouse nest. Those little beggars had to carry that insulation a long ways to get it in there. I notice there doesn't seem to be any chewing on the wing stitching. I would think mice in the wing would be a real problem on the stitching and lacing, but have been told they don't chew on waxed stitching. Are those pieces of rib lacing in the nest ?

    Looking forward to updates.

    Jim

  16. #16
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Steve,
    Do you suppose that someone added this rain gutter in the field because the water was getting in onto the headliner? Or is there evidence that Piper did it? It looks as though they tried a weather strip first and that perhaps the leaking was only on the right side. It does look like a good idea. I seem to recall making little hoods out of fabric for this purpose.
    i believe these are factory installed only because the glue matches what the headliner was installed with.
    Steve Pierce

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  17. #17
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55-PA18A View Post
    Steve,
    Thanks for these photos and the information.

    Overall, the damage doesn't look all that bad.

    Is the tail section damage the kind that "boxing" the tail tubing is supposed to help, was was something else going on during the "event"?

    I've been told that when wings get bent like this, the spars bend inboard of the strut attachment. Just like we see here.

    Do you see any problems with the strut attach hardware, and are you going to install the Attlee Dodge strut attach reinforcements? How about the Hurricane Tie-Downs?

    Interesting mouse nest. Those little beggars had to carry that insulation a long ways to get it in there. I notice there doesn't seem to be any chewing on the wing stitching. I would think mice in the wing would be a real problem on the stitching and lacing, but have been told they don't chew on waxed stitching. Are those pieces of rib lacing in the nest ?

    Looking forward to updates.

    Jim
    Boxing the tail helps strengthen the area in normal off airport use but I think in this event there would have been a failure regardless.

    Most of the Cub wings I have seen have bent inboard like this. The Short wing airplanes bend outboard most of the time because there are doublets riveted above the strut attach fittings to the spar webs. I did not find any damage to the strut attach fittings. We are installing the 2K lb gross weight kit which installs a cap over the strut attach fittings on the rear spar along with a doubler on the rear strut attach fitting. I believe the doubler kit that Atlee Dodge sells is mainly to help with wind loads when tied down outside. Not sure on the spar attached wing tie downs.

    i have not seen the mice eat the flat waxed rib stitching. Have seen them eat the I waxed round cord a lot. Saw one airplane with all the rib stitching eaten out of one wing.
    Steve Pierce

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    Been following this.. Any updates?

  19. #19
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Yeah, me too. Thanks for helping us learn, Steve. Much appreciated.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  20. #20

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    This is useful, hard-to-come-by information, thanks.

  21. #21
    nightflyer's Avatar
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    Steve is much better at doing this but I'll add some of the pictures that I have so far. The right wing that was damaged has been rebuilt and is waiting for covering. The horizontal stab and rudder have been covered and are waiting for painting. Tom Ford is still flying around with my left wing on his Cub, I hope he brings it back.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by nightflyer; 10-11-2015 at 09:48 AM.

  22. #22
    nightflyer's Avatar
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    Here you can see the twist in the tail that was cut out and fixed.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  23. #23
    nightflyer's Avatar
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    A few random pictures.
    New boot cowl with titanium firewall.
    Extended baggage and 180 pound STC.
    X-brace.
    Cargo pod tabs being welded on.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  24. #24
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    We also cut the metal belly off except for the aft clean out. That was a lot of weight saved. Went to headerless fuel too.

  25. #25
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    The metal belly was 9.2 lbs. less all the steel tabs we cut off.
    20150827_093713.jpg
    Steve Pierce

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  26. #26
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    The tailpost was bent but rather than cut the top longerons loose and have to cut all the old post out we chose to splice the top part of the tailpost with a new Univair tailpost using an inner tube splice which was also used to splice the lower longerons that were bent. Almost forgot the inner sleeves in the lower longerons at the tailpost.
    20151012_182429.jpg
    Steve Pierce

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  27. #27
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Installed 180 lb baggage STC less the 3rd seat belt attach fittings.
    20151012_182402.jpg
    Steve Pierce

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  28. #28
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Dakota Cub's adjustable rear seat STC which allows you to move the seat back 3".
    20151012_182344.jpg

    20151012_182354.jpg
    Last edited by Steve Pierce; 10-13-2015 at 07:20 AM.
    Steve Pierce

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    1/4"x28 nut welded to the oil hole on the rear stabilizer carry-thru for a grease zerk. Requires reaming aftervwelding.
    20151012_182446.jpg
    Bushing welded to the tail spring fitting. Needs to be sanded smooth so the bolt and washer sit flat on the fitting.
    20151012_183837.jpg
    Steve Pierce

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  30. #30

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    I have an original 78 cub with the exact thing on both wings, so assume that is the way it came from the factory.

  31. #31
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    My Super Cub has well over 12,000 hours and the door pins and the sockets that the door pins fit into are worn and let the door rattle. It doesn't take 12K hours to do this. I started welding bushings in the recepticles to make a tight fit and to keep from wearing a notch in the pins.
    Front receptical.
    20151012_183533.jpg
    Rear receptical.
    20151012_183545.jpg
    Note the hole drilled in the "U" channel that makes up the seal for the flip up window and has 3 #4 PK screws screwed into it to retain the rear "D" window. There is no where for water to escape this channel that is welded over a round tube. I have found lots of these rusted completely through. This is a 1500 hr airframe with an aluminized coating from the factory that we found no corrosion on so instead of cutting the channel off like I normally do I used a Blair hole cutter and drilled a hole in the channel to inspect the tube underneath.
    Steve Pierce

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    Thanks Just call me Al thanked for this post

  32. #32
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    The two most important safety modifications that I install on all rebuilds.
    The top deck "X" brace from Atlee Dodge. Have gone strict into the ground from 100' in a PA16 that has the same upper deck structure I have seen the rear spar carry-thru collapse into the cockpit.
    20151012_183627.jpg
    I have also seen the results of the seat breaking away from the fuselage sending the pilot, shoulder harness or not into the instrument panel. Atlee Dodge STC for installing the seat belts to the floor is a must in my opinion.
    20151012_183636.jpg
    Steve Pierce

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I also got the idea for this from Wayne Mackey. It is piper 3/8" channel forming the inspection cover frame where the aileron cables attach to the bottom of the rear stick. I use 6/32 nut plates in the channel to retain the inspection plate. This frame serves several purposes, it holds the inspection panel more securley with less drumming which cracks the original plastic inspection grommets, it also keeps things from jamming the bottom of the stick by keeping things from migrating in between them. It also moves the center stringer back so things don't get jammed between it and the bottom of the stick and will help with clearance when Mark gets his STC for the extension tab.
    20151012_182333.jpg
    Steve Pierce

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  34. #34
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Atlee Dodge sells Butch Cavanaugh's STC for the large baggage door structure that removes the diagonal tube and replaces it with a dog leg. The door and opening frame are not called out in the STC and have not been installed yet.
    20151012_182306.jpg
    Steve Pierce

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  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Dakota Cub's adjustable rear seat STC which allows you to move the seat back 3".
    20151012_182344.jpg
    20151012_182354.jpg
    This mod makes the rear seat quite comfortable...
    "Don't feed the hipsters"

  36. #36
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    1/4"x28 nut welded to the oil hole on the rear stabilizer carry-thru for a grease zerk. Requires reaming aftervwelding.

    Bushing welded to the tail spring fitting. Needs to be sanded smooth so the bolt and washer sit flat on the fitting.
    20151012_183837.jpg
    You can also add some tabs around the bolt head to keep it from spinning. Sure is nice to have a person like Steve rebuild your cub. The guy who recovered mine neglected to put several inspection covers back in place. After the razor blade it is air brush time.
    cub bolt.png

  37. #37
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers View Post
    You can also add some tabs around the bolt head to keep it from spinning.
    cub bolt.png
    Awesome idea Tim.
    Steve Pierce

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  38. #38
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    We take a sharp tip burr and center up the holes for the boot cowl screws and install 6-32 nut plate in them. Also knock out the riv-nuts at the trailing edge of the skylight and the leading edge of the long top wing root fairing adjacent the fuel tank cover and install nut plates there as well.
    20151012_183733.jpg
    Last edited by Steve Pierce; 10-13-2015 at 05:41 PM.
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  39. #39
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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  40. #40
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Made and welded tabs in for the belly pod. They are shorter than the tabs you fish through the slit in your fabric and around the longer on so I have to use a long turn barrel in place of the short one that comes with the Alaska Bush Pod. Also figured out I would have had a problem with that slip over the longer on clamp and the bottom leg of the dog leg for the larger baggage door opening. Glad we welded tabs on.
    20151012_182229.jpg
    Steve Pierce

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