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Thread: How much better is the PA-18 gear over the PA-12 gear?

  1. #1
    ChickenCub's Avatar
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    How much better is the PA-18 gear over the PA-12 gear?

    Hi guys. I've been wanting to upgrade the PA-12 gear. But curious as to the big reasons for doing so. Also how much work is it? And should I go to the 3" extended if I do?

  2. #2
    skukum12's Avatar
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    Stronger design. Definately go with 3" gear, gives your 12 more desperately needed AOA. Also, your original gear may be just that, original! 69 years old? With cub gear you can run check cables, I may be wrong but 12 gear doesnt have the option, at least I have never seen or heard of it.
    "Always looking up"

  3. #3
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    side load

  4. #4
    PerryB's Avatar
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    And bungee replacement.
    After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says WTF !

  5. #5

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    One of the big reasons to do it is not having to deal with bungees going back and forth on and off floats.

    Reinforced 12 gear is stronger than standard 12 gear, and probably good enough,(especially when combined with bush wheels), for most 12 operations. I did find a crack at the axel attachment once on unreinforced 12 gear. 12 gear flies faster than 18 gear too.

    I am happy with 6" extended gear and 31's but seeing over a long mount might be hard for a vertically challenged individual. For ski flying I would change to extended 18 gear either 3" or 6"

    There is welding to do on the fuselage so it's not just a matter of buying new gear and slapping it on; higher resale value for the airplane, but not enough to come out ahead when selling.

    Unless I was going on and off floats, flying skiis, or generally getting crazy going off airport, I wouldn't do it. I would do it if I were in the middle of a rebuild anyway.
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  6. #6
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    With cub gear you can run check cables, I may be wrong but 12 gear doesnt have the option, at least I have never seen or heard of it
    My 12 had check cables that ran up to the top of the bungee truss. When I had the stock 12 gear, I had a failure of the cross tube at the bottom of the bungee truss, it was a fatigue failure that let go with a hard landing. I now have 18 gear with the bungee truss removed and the seat modified to accommodate that (Ron Sullivan STC).
    Gordon

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  7. #7

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    Simple: PA18 - PA12 = 6X Better
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 02-09-2016 at 04:42 PM.
    "Don't feed the hipsters"

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    There was nothing wrong with -12 gear. In fact it was less draggy and that helped -12s with an airspeed advantage. But it's old and difficult to inspect. I have had a neighbor break a gear on a normal landing. That was the expensive way to upgrade to -18 gear. Many conversions also remove the bungee truss and seat and install an adjusting -18 seat that can have goodies like a folding back and underseat battery box added. Some guys prefer to leave the truss for strength. Look at a few -12s and you'll see variations in what was done.

  9. #9
    12Geezer2's Avatar
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    ChichenCub: Many years ago I asked that very question of Mr. Atlee Dodge himself. The first question from Atlee was "are you going on floats"? When I told him that floats were not in my plans., Mr. Dodge said "then leave it alone, there is nothing wrong with the 12(reinforced) gear". Seems one of the main reasons for 18 gear is the ease of changing from wheels to floats. Friends in North Dakota do this task (in this case floats to wheels) in two hours. I was there, camera in hand and stayed out of the way. Of coarse they are very well set for this with an electric hoist. Also the extended 18 gear does improve angle of attack. Looking back now, perhaps the 18 gear would have been fine as it is a selling point and getting deep into "geezerhood" moving on does enter my mind. I have done a lot of off airport stuff (wheels and skis) with no problems. Can't get off like the Super Cub but am not far behind. Main thing is keep it light. If you are in the neighborhood, come fly mine--it is on skis now and snow is great---MUCH FUN !!!!geezer Dan

  10. #10
    ChickenCub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12Geezer2 View Post
    there is nothing wrong with the 12(reinforced) gear....
    Thanks Dan. I've been looking around for more info on this reinforced pa-12 gear. Can't find much. Also I'm in the NW else I would take you up on that offer.

  11. #11
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    "Reinforced" gear refers to covering the original strap with streamlined tubing. If all your ADs are complied with, that is already accomplished. Where in the NW are you? Shoot me a PM if you prefer - -
    Gordon

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  12. #12

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    Every 12 I have seen has had the landing gear complied with. This AD was to either reinforce the gear where the strap meets the axels, or weld streamline tubing around the strap. it is just probably best to go with PA-14 gear. This gear is plenty strong. If going on/off floats, I would go to PA-18 gear.
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  13. #13

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    I have a set of 12 gear with no reinforcement on the strap. They must be getting rare now and worth a $$$$$

    free to anyone if you pay shipping.

  14. #14

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    I flew my PA-12 on wheels and skis here in Alaska for many years with 12 gear with the streamlined tube, a tube leg welded in between two gear legs, and axles reinforced with tubing pressed into the center and I never had any issues whatsoever except for the lack of bungees made it just love to bounce sky high on hard landings. Landing a 12 with stock gear will make a pilot out of you. I eventually went to 3" extended Dodge Cub gear and lost some speed, can no longer tie a kayak to the belly and I can get away with harder landings now and my prop is a bit higher so doesn't suck as many rocks on gravel bars. I prefer the Cub gear but could still easily live with the stock modified gear. It's easier to inspect and replace the Cub bungees but, really, how often do bungees get replaced? Mine are 12yrs old, sit in the cold in Fairbanks and seem just fine.

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    Hey geezer I got the check today. Thank you very much. You should be getting gear anytime.

  16. #16
    cruiser's Avatar
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    I am not certain that gear strap tube addition/modification is an AD or just covered by a Piper service letter as a recommendation. http://www.univair.com/piper-pa-12-and-pa-14-index/
    Do not miss the one on cracked aileron bell crank ears, leaving that little washer out is expensive. Jim

  17. #17
    12Geezer2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PIPER J5.5 View Post
    Hey geezer I got the check today. Thank you very much. You should be getting gear anytime.
    Thanks a bunch, Eric: Yes indeed gear arrived while I was out playing in the snow. Took a young student out for some ski flying. Lunch at Lone Rock and flew the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. Not the best day, as we had a strong southeast wind.
    BUT--students need to understand that conditions can change --then you deal with what comes. Glad the check got there , I added a couple bucks for coffee at McDonalds. Now I need to get to work on them. Thanks again and do hope our paths cross sometime in the future. Geezer Dan

  18. #18
    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruiser View Post
    I am not certain that gear strap tube addition/modification is an AD or just covered by a Piper service letter as a recommendation. http://www.univair.com/piper-pa-12-and-pa-14-index/
    Do not miss the one on cracked aileron bell crank ears, leaving that little washer out is expensive. Jim
    It's not an AD but probably should be. My first PA-12 just had the straps. When I sold it the guy side loaded it and collapsed the gear. The best bet if you want to stay with stock gear is to put PA-14 gear on it. Installing the bungee cords can be a little cowboy though!

  19. #19
    ChickenCub's Avatar
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    To pick up on a old thread. Is it worth putting a stock pa-18 gear on a pa-12? Cost for used pa-18 gear around $300 (+ STC) , or new pa-18 gear setup $2000 +? Since I'm restoring the pa-12 just wondering and wanting to upgrade the gear, Just wondering if I should shell out the extra money now.

  20. #20
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Depends on your mission.

    i would suspect any not new -12 or -14 gear

    I would be happy with new -14 gear if my mission was to operate on smaller than 31"'s.

    31"'s and larger i would do -18 gear since you would be inviting pretty rough operations potentially.

    Also, think of all those Husky's with -12/-14 style gear. They run around on 31"'s and rough stuff just fine. And theyre heavy planes comparably

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChickenCub View Post
    To pick up on a old thread. Is it worth putting a stock pa-18 gear on a pa-12? Cost for used pa-18 gear around $300 (+ STC) , or new pa-18 gear setup $2000 +? Since I'm restoring the pa-12 just wondering and wanting to upgrade the gear, Just wondering if I should shell out the extra money now.
    Every situation varies, but I can't imagine that the 18 gear (stock or "standard" modified, i.e. 3" or 6") would be that much of an incremental cost when considering the overall cost during a restoration.....so IMO, definitely "worth it". As with many things -12, the cost during rebuild (although rebuilds ain't cheap) is incremental compared to the "oh s*** I need to do that too" cost of doing any given mod on it's own.

    I like the -18 gear on a -12:

    - No bungees;
    - Allows use of AOSS...I like that, whatever the substantive merits or not;
    - No bungees;
    - Newer than 60 years old;
    - Allows use of very common check cables, although the -12 gear is a pretty strong design and can take some d**n hard landings even if old (ahem....)
    - Speed penalty? Yes, I guess. If one wants to get somewhere fast, not sure that a -12 (or at least a "bush-ish" 12 w/o wheel pants and with 18 tailfeathers and and and) is the right plane for the mission.
    Back In Alaska
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  22. #22

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    If your going to do 18 gear go the extra little bit and get 3" extended. There's a reason there's a lot of stock gear for sale.
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  23. #23
    ChickenCub's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I had a feeling these were the answers I was going to get. It's just nice to get confirmation before I spend the cash.

  24. #24
    WhiskeyMike's Avatar
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    I might have missed this in the thread, but reinforced may also refer to an extra bit of tubing welded between the bungee strut and the main gear tube.Helps keep it from collapsing under side compression loads. probably not approved, but you'll see plenty of them. The original flat strap had little strength under compression loads, and the streamlined tube is pretty important even in normal ops- especially in crosswinds.
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  25. #25
    ChickenCub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskeyMike View Post
    I might have missed this in the thread, but reinforced may also refer to an extra bit of tubing welded between the bungee strut and the main gear tube.Helps keep it from collapsing under side compression loads. probably not approved, but you'll see plenty of them. The original flat strap had little strength under compression loads, and the streamlined tube is pretty important even in normal ops- especially in crosswinds.
    Any pics of this extra modification to help with side load?

  26. #26
    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    The three things that are at the top of my list when I rebuild my 12.
    1) PA-18 gear
    2) PA-18 flaps
    3) A skylight
    I already have an O320 and PA-18 tail feathers.

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