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Thread: Super Cub pa-18 door latch

  1. #1

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    Super Cub pa-18 door latch

    Does anyone have some good ideas about modifiing a door latch for a PA-18? Currently to open the door from the outside you must open the window on the opposite side and lean and stretch through the cabin to the latch handle.
    How can one simply and easily make a change so that the door can be opened from the right hand side?
    Thanks!
    Doc

  2. #2
    Luke_theDrifter's Avatar
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    door handles

    I've seen many different ways, two of the most popular around here include;

    1) Fitting another handle for the outside of the lower door. This type is made by welding on a small piece of round stock (1/4) to penetrate through the lower door w/ a folding handle. The 1/4" round stock has a slot in the end where you attchach a regular handle w/ a pin. Because its slotted & squared on the end, the handle can be swung into place for use, or folded down when not in use. When you lower the door, the handle folds flat as to not hit the fabric below the door. However if you EVER let the lower door fall It will most likey result in some minor fabric damage.

    2) Another common way is to weld a short piece of an allen head bolt to the outside of the exsisting handle and then drill through the lower door glass leaving a small access hole. Then you can use a "T" handled allen-wrench as a key to slip through the hole and rotate to work the closer rods/pins. This nice things about this is that there is nothing on the outside of the plane to rub against the lower fabric when the lower door is down. However having another small hole does allow a little bit of water in during the rainy days.

    That said, I keep a small bungee cord attached to my upper door for storage. When I leave the plane for a few days I shut the lower door and allow the upper door to swing down; the upper door is still outside the lower door and not messed. The purpose of the bunge is just to keep the upper door from swinging and banging when I'm not around. Keep in mind that I have absolulty no security worries where I live,we never lockour house, take our keys out of our cars, "lock" the airplanes, ect.......

    I wish I knew how to post pictures, this would be a good time.

    Good Flying...>Byron

  3. #3

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    As Luke just said the problem is that a handle will poke a hole in the side of your plane. I gave some thought to this some time back but just decided to leave it. The door opens flat against the side of the plane if I remember correctly. Some kind of recessed slider to effect the same action would be the remedy. I have seen handles out side of 18's but I think they a door stop to stop the handle from hitting the side. I am sure somebody has a remedy. A flat can opener style handle attatched to a shaft extension that just came thru far enough to attatch the latch ass. So the handle would trail in flight. I think thats how I would attack the problem. Pictures anybody?

  4. #4

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    Looked over a J-3 last weekend that had a small diameter bungee tied to the lower door handle. It then ran down to a hole in the floorboard. We were all kind of baffled what that was for. Then we noticed the other end of the cord was sticking out the bottom of the fuselage behind the rear gear fitting. Closed the door and pulled on the bungee under the plane, the door pops open. Simple and light!

  5. #5
    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    I have an outside handle on my lower door, and wouldn't be without it. It appears to be a short extension of the handle from the inside, with a short metal rod welded on for a "Tee". Yes,...if bumps the lower fabric and makes a mark. So don't let it drop hard.

    Combination of 29 inch tires and my short, stumpy legs,...makes a world of difference getting into the plane. Also a lot more convenient while it's on floats.

    Jim

  6. #6

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    pa-18 door

    55-PA18A,

    Can you email me a photo of what you are talking about?.....think it could be locked with say a padlock when not in use......my bird is currently on the water.........thanks!
    rainylake@mncable.net

  7. #7
    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    Doc,

    Would be glad to. I'll try to do it tonight.

    Jim

  8. #8

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    Does anyone know if we can buy the door locks as we see in the Carbon CubsClick image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke_theDrifter View Post
    However if you EVER let the lower door fall It will most likely result in some minor fabric damage.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fortysix12 View Post
    As Luke just said the problem is that a handle will poke a hole in the side of your plane.
    Just glue, sew or otherwise attach a strip of thin leather to the fabric on the side of the fuselage. No damage to the finish will be done. No matter how careful you are when opening the door, one day you will let it drop.
    N1PA
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  10. #10
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlbrun View Post
    Does anyone know if we can buy the door locks as we see in the Carbon CubsClick image for larger version. 

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    I am sure Cub Crafters will sell you one but it is a carbon fiber door with a recess for that handle. I have welded the head of an Allen headed cap screw to the outside of the door handle mechanism.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  11. #11
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Here is a picture. Door was modified to replace fabric with a clear panel as well.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  12. #12
    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    Steve, that looks like a good way to do it. Is the grommet on the inside or outside of the plastic window? We went the other way with mine. Some padding under the fabric and a patch of fabric as an extra layer where the T-handle hits when the lower door is open. It's been almost 4 years now and no issues with damage to the fabric or paint.

    I do like the Allen wrench recessed method, but have a hard enough time just remembering where I put my keys.

    Jim
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 55-PA18A View Post
    Steve, that looks like a good way to do it. Is the grommet on the inside or outside of the plastic window? We went the other way with mine. Some padding under the fabric and a patch of fabric as an extra layer where the T-handle hits when the lower door is open. It's been almost 4 years now and no issues with damage to the fabric or paint.

    I do like the Allen wrench recessed method, but have a hard enough time just remembering where I put my keys.



    Jim
    Steve did mine that way and its handy, only issue was the paint build up in the allen bolt so I ground down the key a bit...
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!
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  14. #14
    cubdrvr's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Outside latch + minimum security lock
    "Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar"

  15. #15
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    Did mine like Steve says above, allen head welded to the mechanism. You can just see the hole in the fabric for an allen wrench that I burned through the circular patch in that area . I cut an allen wrenchClick image for larger version. 

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ID:	45988 a couple inches long, drilled a hole and have it on the key ring.

  16. #16
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdrvr View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Outside latch + minimum security lock
    You need to quit flying to the Hood Dave and you won't need that lock.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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