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Thread: J3 project value?

  1. #1
    Scouter's Avatar
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    J3 project value?

    Looking for expert advice on the value of a J3. The plan is a winter project and resale next spring. Details are: 46 model, C-90 1320 floats, 2 sets of federal skis, around 140 tt on an old major. Out of annual, both wings fabric no good. Tail feathers fabric no good. Fuse fabric, OK for a few more years. Metal spar wings. 18 gal single wing tank. Dont know TTAF yet. No electric. Dont know condition of longerons, but has been on floats forever. Dont know price yet. Engine runs good. Thanks for the advice.

    Jim

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    JP's Avatar
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    I know you want expert advice, but I hope you'll make an exception for the following thoughts:

    Covering: You are looking at a total recover. Even if the fuse has a couple of years left you should do it all at the same time. Odds are you are going to find some punk longerons after years on floats. Any damage history and it's best to haul it to Milo for a stint on the jig to get it straight again.

    Engine: the C-90 is a desirable engine. While it is off the airplane you will want to pull a jug and have a very good look inside. Any spalling or pitting and you are looking at tearing it down and sending some parts out.

    Overall condition: there's not much to a J-3, so a flashlight and an inspection mirror can tell you a lot. It's easy to spot any corrosion or rust, the leading edges will tell a lot about the life it's been leading, etc.

    Value: As I suspect this is a bit more than a recover job, i.e. you're going to wind up replacing some parts and having the fuselage repaired I would
    place a ballpark of $8-12k as a project.

    Floats: a set of 1320s with rigging will fetch anywhere from 6.5k to 10.5k, depending on condition. Again, pretty easy to assess condition. Open up the float hatches and have a look at the inside to check for corrosion. Outside damage will be clearly visible, i.e. patches, popped rivets, twists, etc. Make sure they have the data plates on them. Otherwise, you'll pay an arm and a leg to wrest a set of plates from Kenmore.

    Skis: A set of Federal 1500s seems to be going for $500-1000. Have they been modified with UHMW on the bottom? Again, check for the data plates on the skis.

    It will be interesting to see what they want for it. People selling these kind of projects--and that's exactly what this is--generally have a very inflated view of what it is worth.

    At minimum, it's going to take a lot of work and no small amount of money to turn this into an airplane again. And I bet you won't want to sell it when you get done when you see how much fun a basic cub is to fly.

    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special

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    Clyde and Susan's Avatar
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    Would you sell the engine to me? ...Clyde
    Susie's PA-11 N11S, Clyde's J-3 NC25806, our Fairchild F24R46 N81242...

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    Thanks for the advice Jeff. Its not far from us, at the local airport with a piled up Cherokee 6 at the end from Sat What a shame, he ran out of gas 150 ft from the asphalt on 34, with 3 people hurt. I talked to the pilot Sun morning, still beating himself up pretty good. Came from CT with 4 hrs fuel, needed 4 hrs 1 minute to make it.

    The cub is kind of ratty, needs a bunch of work. Its an estate sale, they are looking for around $35K. I havent seen the floats, JC says they are so so, he is usually spot on with these kind of things. More or less looking for something to do next winter.

    Say, you got plans for Sentimental Journey? I could be talked into a weekend trip if some locals are going.

    Jim

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    JP's Avatar
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    Why didn't I think of that? I know the plane. Grew up with it, in fact. Last time I heard mention of it there was a possible out of state buyer.

    She needs a lot of work. Lots of work. If the floats being sold are the same ones that were last on it they are pretty rough and really should be re-skinned on the bottom. I know the front of one of them was pretty dented in.

    I did get a flyer on it in the mail from the estate. The airplane is not repeat not as represented in the flyer.

    That's the proverbial 10-12 grand project. Then 18 months and a gob of money and you're good to go.

    If you can negotiate a good price you would have a very nice J-3 with some ooomph when you are done. You'd have a blast on the water with a bird like that. You'd have to keep it.

    I was up at North Twin all weekend. I just missed the excitement with the 6. They were unlucky and lucky all at once. That plane was pretty trashed. Thank goodness they didn't do that over the woods....

    Right now Sentimental isn't on the plate for me this year, but with the schedule and the New Holstein trip. Not unless it is a trip in something with a bit of speed.....like a Super Scout!
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special

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