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Thread: Repaint or recover

  1. #1
    chilecubdriver's Avatar
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    Repaint or recover

    Hello all,

    Early 2008 I bought my PA18-150 from a glider club (used as tow plane) and spent most of that year redoing the interior of the plane as well as putting an OH'd engine in it.

    I have the plane just for the fun of flying Cubs.

    Now I'm thinking of recovering it... or just repainting.

    Facts:

    - The actual cover is at least 20 years old, but the fabric is OK. Cotton on the wings and Ceconite on the fuse. Dope finish.

    - Plane is hangared.

    - Dry climate

    - Wings are Miami Blue and White and there must be at least 4 different tones to each, as well as the top being faded. Some paint cracks, specially on top. There are a lot of patches and one wingtip has been repaired. Plane flies straight, but one aileron TE is bent and dinged. Wings were flapless and flaps were installed at some point in time (60's?).

    - Fuse has several paint cracks and peelings, including gear legs and bottom of horizontal stab. Also different tones of blue and white, as well as not being same as the wings. Fuel stains behind fuel valve (fuel valve was changed from previous owner).

    - Fabric tension test OK (don't recall the numbers).

    We got a new fuse for one of our glider club tow planes (Airframes Alaska, great people) and the work involved in getting all the stuff from the old fuse to the new one is not a small amount. I would have to go through the same process in my plane, plus sandblasting and repainting (hoping no tubes need to be changed).

    Just repaint whole and keep going for the next X years?

    Uncover the back of the fuse and check the tubes, if all OK, recover and repaint all?

    If fuse needs repairs, do the fuse (and tail) and leave the wings for a later time?

    Recover all?

    At the end it's a matter of money and downtime, but ya'll being smarter than I am, I'd appreciate your comments.

    Last but not least, labour is somewhat cheaper down here.

    Regards,

    Alex

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  2. #2
    DW's Avatar
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    Alex do some tube testing and if there in good shape just repair the bad spots on the fabric and fly it, If you do a repaint your going to add more weight to the plane, Could be as much as 20-25 lbs, as soon as you uncover to do a recover your going to be in for a complete rebuild--fullish not to at that point.

    DW

  3. #3
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    repaint it if fabric & tubes are ok.... just scrub it good with scotch brite and water a few times to get through the chalky layers.... providing its NEVER been waxed.. if it has.. ewwww

  4. #4
    chilecubdriver's Avatar
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    So it's a NDI testing of the tubes (same as done to struts)?

    No, never been waxed.

    As of scrubing: no sanding? How do you make the surface smooth again (patches, cracks, etc)?

  5. #5
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chilecubdriver View Post
    So it's a NDI testing of the tubes (same as done to struts)?

    No, never been waxed.

    As of scrubing: no sanding? How do you make the surface smooth again (patches, cracks, etc)?
    Sanding is fine too. But scotch bright is main thing.

    Patch over any cracks. Dont bother trying to rub them out, they come right back soon...

    Just look at tubes. Punch with awl at any rusty ones or replace

  6. #6
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    If it was mine, I'd check the tubes out very carefully, and go from there. I look at it from the "I'll have to put this much labor and money out for this result" standpoint, and almost always end up recovering instead of spending more time trying to patch something that's not going to last but a few years at best.
    Since it's a dope finish, you might squeak by for a couple years by rejuvinating the finish, after sanding/patching cracks and trying to match them to the existing finish. If you go that way, wash it first with water and a good laundry soap (I like Tide). That's a very agressive soap and if used like said before with a ScotchBrite pad, will clean it very deeply. At that point proceed with the rejuvination.
    From what you say in your original post, you sound like appearance is a factor to you (me too), and in that case, I'd say recover it. If you don't want to "down" the aircraft for a long time, do one thing at a time, like wings, then fuselage, etc. Or just bite the bullet and jump in and get it done (my preference), then it all matches, looks nice and you've got another 20+ years of pretty much just maintenance.
    Just my opinion, and worth what you paid.
    John

  7. #7
    12Geezer2's Avatar
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    Have to agree with John. I have seen many patch up jobs that would have been much easier just starting over---just my 2 cents.

  8. #8
    Scooter7779h's Avatar
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    When I had Mike MCS rebuild my -12 in 96 we didn't do the wings. I said spray them with Imron, which he did, less than a gallon. Thought was it would last a couple years. They still look nearly as good & shiny as when we did it. No cracking or other issues. Still waiting for a reason to do anything but fly it. Feenstra took photos of it today & said how nice it looks. Mike just scotch pad scrubbed it & shot it if I remember right.

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    PA-12 fan

  9. #9
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooter7779h View Post
    When I had Mike MCS rebuild my -12 in 96 we didn't do the wings. I said spray them with Imron, which he did, less than a gallon. Thought was it would last a couple years. They still look nearly as good & shiny as when we did it. No cracking or other issues. Still waiting for a reason to do anything but fly it. Feenstra took photos of it today & said how nice it looks. Mike just scotch pad scrubbed it & shot it if I remember right.

    Sent from my Android using Tapatalk Pro
    actually it was PPG Durathane..... but basically same thing...

    actually YOU were the grunt on that project on the end of the scotch bright pad!!

    ya... ya... just get it to go another 2 years then recover wings was the plan... 15 years later here we are.....

    let see you did the original wing recover yourself in john's garage in what?, 1978 you said?

  10. #10
    Scooter7779h's Avatar
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    Recover was 1981 it was Durathane, now that you reminded me. I think we put some sort of flex additive in it too. I was the grunt who scrubbed that is for sure. Under your direction of course.

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  11. #11
    chilecubdriver's Avatar
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    Well, well... after all it's just time... and some more money...

    It turns out that my -18 was registered as a 1956 built by our FAA, but according to its sn 18-5317, it's a 1957 built.

    I have contacted Jordan Coffey as of what the paint scheme for 1956 was and he enlightened me with the serial number thing. He also advised me to get in touch with Clyde Smith, who will send me the original inspection report of the plane.

    Jason doesn't seem to have the 1957 paint scheme (as per the info I downloaded from his webpage), but I came across the history of ZK-BQY on this very forum (thanks SC.org, you did it again!), which was rebuilt in the original 1957 scheme and colors. So now, all I'm missing is what the original colors were, but that will be clear when I get Clyde's report.

    So, as of my initial question, I guess I'll check how the tubing in the fuse is and from there start recovering the airplane. So now the open question is, if the tubes are OK, should I go ahead and pull everything apart and sandblast and epoxy prime, or can I get away with just cleaning and repainting wherever needed?

    Thanks for all ya'lls advise.

    Alex

  12. #12
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chilecubdriver View Post
    Well, well... after all it's just time... and some more money...

    It turns out that my -18 was registered as a 1956 built by our FAA, but according to its sn 18-5317, it's a 1957 built.

    I have contacted Jordan Coffey as of what the paint scheme for 1956 was and he enlightened me with the serial number thing. He also advised me to get in touch with Clyde Smith, who will send me the original inspection report of the plane.

    Jason doesn't seem to have the 1957 paint scheme (as per the info I downloaded from his webpage), but I came across the history of ZK-BQY on this very forum (thanks SC.org, you did it again!), which was rebuilt in the original 1957 scheme and colors. So now, all I'm missing is what the original colors were, but that will be clear when I get Clyde's report.

    So, as of my initial question, I guess I'll check how the tubing in the fuse is and from there start recovering the airplane. So now the open question is, if the tubes are OK, should I go ahead and pull everything apart and sandblast and epoxy prime, or can I get away with just cleaning and repainting wherever needed?

    Thanks for all ya'lls advise.

    Alex

    You repaint. Or you rebuild.

    To just recover is most of the material$$ and much less of a finished product......

  13. #13
    chilecubdriver's Avatar
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    mike: i guess rebuilding is what'll do... i'm just running circles around it till it makes sense...

    will keep you all posted...

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    Im wondering about the patching over cracks.. Ive Got one side of the plane with lots of cracking in the dope. It was recovered in '97 and hangared since. The paint is good everywhere on the plane, other then this one side??? I tried to work out the cracks; acetone, silver, rejuvinator... and had the entire side re-sprayed white. Before I even picked up the plane from the painter, the cracks have come back through... Not happy! Is this side contaminated possibly? Anyone delt with this or have any suggestions?

    thanks,

    Brett

  15. #15
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Brett, can you post a picture?
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    Steve,

    I dont have any pictures as of now, ( I ususally avoid taking pictures of that side!) I will make sure I take some next time I am at the plane and post them.

    Thanks

  17. #17
    Bill Ingerson's Avatar
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    Here in Washington State the guys I talk to tell me a SuperCub Recover and paint job runs between $20,000. to $25,000. Is this about right. I have some bad spots on my plane also where I removed some stickers on the side of the plane and want to do a scuff and shoot and blend the paint with the rest of the paint. Trying also to make it look as good as I can.

    Bill

  18. #18
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Ingerson View Post
    .... I have some bad spots on my plane also where I removed some stickers on the side of the plane ....

    Bill

    consider having your own custom 'stickers' printed to cover such areas.... AMAZING what they can print up theses days... see all those car graphics they do??

  19. #19
    Bill Ingerson's Avatar
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    Great Idea Mike. Maybe a little Camo graphics.

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    Steve,

    I put.a couple pictures on my "album". Couldn't get them to come up here from my phone.. Seems to be quite a few cracks, through the paint. Already tried sanding and repainting once...

    Any help is appreciated!

  21. #21

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    Oops! Posted these in the wrong forum!

    Hope the attachments work (again). I have a bunch of small cracks in the dope.. all on the one side of the plane.. Recovered in '97..

    any ideas for repair are appreciated! This is the 2nd time they have come back after acetone, sand paint (silver then white)..


    Thanks,

    Brett
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  22. #22
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgorelle View Post
    Oops! Posted these in the wrong forum!

    Hope the attachments work (again). I have a bunch of small cracks in the dope.. all on the one side of the plane.. Recovered in '97..

    any ideas for repair are appreciated! This is the 2nd time they have come back after acetone, sand paint (silver then white)..


    Thanks,

    Brett
    you MUST patch over a cracked area and build up... you waste your time rubbing them out, like you see they always come back....

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    Agreed! I wasted so much time already, just to be back at square one! How do you patch over? Just with fabric tape and some sort of adheasive? I'm guessing you have to strip the dope off the area first?

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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgorelle View Post
    Agreed! I wasted so much time already, just to be back at square one! How do you patch over? Just with fabric tape and some sort of adheasive? I'm guessing you have to strip the dope off the area first?

    nope sand down any edge of crack that sticks up.... then just dope on a patch of fabric tape..... and build up with dope/silver

    they also sell a nice 1" pinked tape thats nice for going down center of a crack in middle of old 2" tape....

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    There seems to be quite a few areas with cracking.. between the back window and the tail. Should i try and use larger patches to cover several cracks? or are lots of small patches better? I hope I dont make a mess of this! Im very new to this! First airplane

  26. #26
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgorelle View Post
    There seems to be quite a few areas with cracking.. between the back window and the tail. Should i try and use larger patches to cover several cracks? or are lots of small patches better? I hope I dont make a mess of this! Im very new to this! First airplane
    if 2 or more patches will be next to each other then using one bigger one means less edges to iron smooth....


    its not gonna be pretty no mater how you do it....

    take your time..

  27. #27
    aviationinfo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Ingerson View Post
    Here in Washington State the guys I talk to tell me a SuperCub Recover and paint job runs between $20,000. to $25,000. Is this about right. I have some bad spots on my plane also where I removed some stickers on the side of the plane and want to do a scuff and shoot and blend the paint with the rest of the paint. Trying also to make it look as good as I can.

    Bill
    Bill--- before I bought my plane I considered another that had the original Blue River process. There's a shop down here in Scappose that said if I were to simply fly the plane in and drop it off it would be 600 labor hours for the strip and recover / repaint---without any structural repair or materials cost. That shop isn't the cheapest around but they do great work. I figured I could strip it myself but would still be on the hook for any structural repair necessary. That airplane just didn't pencil out. I imagine your estimate of around $25,000 is probably accurate. Would be interesting to see Mike MCS's labor estimate.

    Andrew
    Aviationinfo

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