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Thread: Mousy Super Cubs

  1. #1

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    Mousy Super Cubs

    I went and looked at a super cub a while back that turned out to be more of a mouse nest than a plane. The fuselage didn't appear to have any nests in it but there was definitely "activity". The wings on the other hand, definitely had nests. If I do buy the plane, I would have the wings stripped and covered right away and hopefully wait a couple years before doing the fuselage. What I am wondering is without knowing if there is corrosion on the fuselage (there doesn't appear to be) how much could I pay for it without getting in too deep if it does turn out to have corrosion issues. The motor (o-235) hasn't been run for a couple years, so I'm figuring on it needing an overhaul also. The plane is a 1950 model with flaps. Other than the mice, the plane appears to be in good shape. 2300 hours TTAF.

  2. #2
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    This is the point where you pay an expert to look at it.

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    I planned on getting someone to do a pre-buy before I decide to buy it or not. I was just kind of wondering if anybody had any horror stories or advice they could share.

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    DesperadoPilot's Avatar
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    I have a local friend who bought an old SuperCub several years ago that sat in a hanger without running for almost three years. It had an 0-290 that had about 600 hours on it. He put fuel in it, a new battery, new plugs and wires, changed the oil, and it started up and ran okay. He has since put about 180 hours on it with no problems. You may or may not need an overhaul. I guess it depends on whether it was kept in a controlled environment and what kind of shape the cam is in, etc. I agree that you might want to get an expert to look at it.
    I fly IFR (I Follow Roads).

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    Coyote Ugly's Avatar
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    Mice love rib stitching.. MMmm delicacy.. Look at it close.
    "Pops Dory"
    They used to say there are no old, bold pilots, Hell, looka here...

  6. #6
    RanchPilot's Avatar
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    Just talked to a fellow Super Cubber yesterday who landed and got out, only to watch a mouse run down his tailwheel out of the airplane. I guess that mouse wasn't cut out to be a pilot.

    All of our tailwheels are propped up on buckets in the hangar today. Anybody have any other helpful tips on how to avoid them (other than poison in the hangar, which didn't keep this little guy from hitching a ride)?

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    I believe that mice have no bladder-they leave a thin yellow line behind them. I once saw a pair of J/3 wings where the little yellow line had rotted through the aluminium spar webs.(wings stored on edge).
    think VERY carefully.....then run away

  8. #8
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    Peppermint oil, REAL peppermint oil, on a cotton ball will keep mice out of your airplane. Jim

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    DesperadoPilot's Avatar
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    Jim,
    Do you know of anything that will keep dirt daubers and wasps out of the fuselage?
    Tony
    I fly IFR (I Follow Roads).

  10. #10
    cruiser's Avatar
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    Tony, sorry cannot help you with the dirt daubers, maybe a screen house around your airplane? Jim

  11. #11

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    I make rings out of aluminum roof valley material ,wrap around each wheel seems to keep mice out

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    I was figuring if the plane was in annual in flying condition, it would be worth somewhere in the $50K - $55K range. Just guesstimating what it's gonna take to make it airworthy, $20k for fabric, $5-$10K on motorwork, $5K for miscellaneous, I thought 15-20K would be a reasonable offer if I can't find anything else wrong with it. Does this seem fair, or am I trying to lowball him?

  13. #13
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1934A View Post
    I was figuring if the plane was in annual in flying condition, it would be worth somewhere in the $50K - $55K range. Just guesstimating what it's gonna take to make it airworthy, $20k for fabric, $5-$10K on motorwork, $5K for miscellaneous, I thought 15-20K would be a reasonable offer if I can't find anything else wrong with it. Does this seem fair, or am I trying to lowball him?
    Unfortunately......a project supercub often costs more than a flying one. Mostly because people think they can get it flying for less than it really takes. Figure 2X your budget and 3X the time.

  14. #14
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    The owner of the subject cub is going to be on a completely different price point than an interested buyer. If there is mice nests in the wings you can be almost guaranteed corrosion and that's going to be a lot more than "strip and refabric". Then there will be the fact that the airplane will not be in service right from the begining so a lowball offer is a safety net and all the owner has to do is say yes or no. Behindpropellers already said it, cub projects take a lot of cash.

  15. #15
    sjohnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1934A View Post
    ... Just guesstimating what it's gonna take to make it airworthy, $20k for fabric, $5-$10K on motorwork, $5K for miscellaneous, ...
    Your rebuild estimates look low, unless you most of the work yourself. As a comparison, I bought a tired Cub and rebuilt to better than new for a total of $90k. The Cub cost $30k. The rebuild included an engine upgrade to a low-time O-320 (sold the original O-290), new radios, and the usual STCs (extended baggage, etc.). I did almost all the planning, parts purchasing, most of the paperwork, wiring, and panel work myself. Everything else was done by a mechanic. Not all the work was done at once, so there could have been efficiency gains there.

    As others have said, it is simply cheaper to buy a cherry plane than it is to restore a tired plane. It is worth it if you like to rebuild things or have a special connection to the plane.

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