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Thread: PA-12 Build

  1. #1
    flybynite's Avatar
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    PA-12 Build

    I am starting this thread about my PA-12 rebuild for a couple of reasons. One is to share information. Another reason is to provide motivation for myself to get moving. I figure if you are pestering me and cajoling me to make forward progress, I just might.


    An acquaintance told me about the -12 in a hangar in southern Minnesota a number of years ago. I knew little to nothing about Cubs, but was already a member here at SC.org. Or at least I lurked here a lot. I arranged to take a look at it and here is what I saw:

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    I had an IA take a look at it as sort of a prebuy, and he assured me it was a fine aircraft, nice and straight and any issues it had would be easily corrected. A few of the problems were lack of logs, the engine was not installed, the aircraft was out of annual, no certificate of airworthiness, no documentation of any of the repairs that had been accomplished ..... No Worries!!


    I had a contract drawn up to cover the missing items to be provided prior to sale and an expected date of completion. Money exchanged hands.


    The time allocated to correct the issues passed with no progress. The money previously exchanged was no longer available, so I collected the plane and brought it home. There is at least one other member here who was also interested in the airplane. I met him a year ago by chance and told him that I saved him from a major headache.

    Well, a few .Org calendars have graced the walls since then and I have come up with a list of things to be corrected and modifications to be completed prior to returning the -12 to the skies above Minnesota.

    I have completed a lot of the work already and will catalog that and, hopefully, continue making progress toward completion.


    Wayne
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  2. #2
    skukum12's Avatar
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    Hello Wayne

    Are you going to modify her or return her to factory configuration? My 12 is highly modded but I have always wanted to fly one that was original.

    Joe
    "Always looking up"

  3. #3
    KJC's Avatar
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    Wayne
    Ill be glad to help you with anything I can. Just finished mine after 6 years!Click image for larger version. 

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    PA-12 N418BS
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  4. #4
    windy's Avatar
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    Looking forward to seeing your progress, Wayne!

  5. #5
    flybynite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skukum12 View Post
    Hello Wayne

    Are you going to modify her or return her to factory configuration? My 12 is highly modded but I have always wanted to fly one that was original.

    Joe
    Joe, It has already been awhile since I started the project. It will not be a stock -12, but the hope is to keep the look of it stock ... maybe.
    I argue with myself about that continuously.

    There is one that is fairly stock near here at Stanton (KSYN). It is available for rent or instruction.


    Wayne

  6. #6
    flybynite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJC View Post
    Ill be glad to help you with anything I can. Just finished mine after 6 years!
    Glad to hear you're back in the air, Kevin. I'll give you a call sometime.

  7. #7
    flybynite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by windy View Post
    Looking forward to seeing your progress, Wayne!
    Thanks Wendy. You know, this is partly your fault. I want to go fly and you post things about your adventures in North Dakota and elsewhere. I can't wait for us to join you, Bill and Yvette.

  8. #8
    flybynite's Avatar
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    The backstory on the plane was that it had been tied down and a windstorm, possibly a tornado, went through the area. The wing tie-downs broke but the tail tie-down held. The plane did a slow rolling back flip and landed upside down... hard. The upset damaged all of the ribs, stove in the tanks, bent the spars and struts on the right wing and maybe bent the left spars. It twisted the fuselage forward of the horizontal stabilizers and crushed the right forward doorpost. The engine hit the ground hard enough to crack the flywheel. (does that count as a prop strike?) Anyway, all of the damage had been repaired and “It is a good flying airplane.”


    When I collected the -12, some friends helped me disassemble it and load it into a Uhaul for the trip to a storage locker. I began a closer examination to develop my opinion of the -12's condition.

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    It had been finished with heavy ceconite and the Blue River process. The finish was badly alligatored in places. I consulted with a few folks in the know, and the consensus was that it was easier to remove the fabric than it was to sand off the finish. Besides, removing the fabric would allow me to correct any issues with the airframe, right? My hope was to just reassemble it and go fly!

  9. #9
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    Was that the 12 used for the Drometer(sp?) prop STC?
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  10. #10
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    Hydrogloss!!! (better known as Hydrocrack) That's gotta be about the last of that garbage that's still around!
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  11. #11
    flybynite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cub junkie View Post
    Was that the 12 used for the Drometer(sp?) prop STC?
    I am pretty certain it wasn't the one.There are no indications the Jim ever owned this plane.

    Wayne
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  12. #12
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Timmy removed his with paint stripper.

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  13. #13

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    Get your ass back to work. And post some more photos soon.

  14. #14
    flybynite's Avatar
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    A few shots of us taking the -12 apart and loading it.

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    I had picked up the engine, prop, cowl and tailfeathers earlier. Everything made the trip without shifting. The floor of the truck was aluminum, which made screwing things down more difficult.

    I really liked this hat. (second picture) Two layers of polar fleece, but the bride HATES it. It is really warm though.

    Next step, unloading at the storage locker.

    Wayne

  15. #15

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    You won't regret building a twelve, I learned to fly in a stock 12 45 years ago. It's always been my favorite Piper. Flew one in AK for several years.been building one for the last 12+ years getting close to done. It will fly this spring. I would be glad to share my build with you or answer questions question questions
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  16. #16
    flybynite's Avatar
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    We arrived at the storage unit in the same condition that we loaded. The plane did not shift in the truck box, so off we go. I rented the storage unit because I thought it might be more conducive to working on the plane. It is located only a mile or two from my house, vs. 20-30 to the airport. I had the engine in my garage so I could stare at that every time I got in the car to go somewhere.
    I started taking pictures of everything, looking for those easter eggs. How many can you spot?

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    Next step is to get into the tail and see if there are any problems with the longerons. Initial looks seemed okay.

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  17. #17

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    Wayne

    Let me know how I can help. I finished mine a year ago.

    Jim

  18. #18
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Save the old fabric so that you have a reference for the inspection openings when the time comes.
    N1PA

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    I wouldn't rely on the position of old inspection rings. Who knows if the previous fabric job was done correctly.

    Cub club has drawings that shows the correct location of inspection rings.
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  20. #20
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Heinrich View Post
    I wouldn't rely on the position of old inspection rings. Who knows if the previous fabric job was done correctly.
    That is part of the inspection prior to dismantling the airplane. One can learn a lot about a flying machine if they look at it before they turn it into a pile of parts.
    N1PA

  21. #21
    flybynite's Avatar
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    It probably wasn't clear enough in my initial posts. I have owned the -12 for a number of years now. I was told by the PO that it was a good flying airplane and it even had bugs on the leading edges to prove it!! I gave the seller a few months to reassemble the plane. When I got back to check progress, the only thing done was a few more months accumulation of dust. He no longer had the money to return, so ... go back, go forward or tread water, not much of a choice.

    I have experienced a number of setbacks and delays and life happening in the middle of all. It has occurred to me that I am not getting any younger and if I hope to fly this one, I had better get on with it.

    This site has been invaluable as a guide, encouragement and hopefully I can learn from other people's mistakes and expedite completion. The bar has been set pretty high. Bill Rusk has completed TWO airplanes and I am still putzing on this ONE.

    There are a number of -12s that have been restored and are now flying, but I don't recall seeing a lot of posts of the process, so I started this thread. My hope is that I will also receive a reasonable amount of crap regarding my lack of progress.

    Also, Thank you all for the offers of help and suggestions. I may not call you on it soon, but I still have a lot to do.


    Regards

    Wayne

  22. #22
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    I'll be starting on a -12 this month, so am glad to see this thread!
    John
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  23. #23
    flybynite's Avatar
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    I took a lot of pictures, attempting to see the longerons in the tail section while contemplating my course of action. On advice of many because of the Blue River finish and heavy ceconite, a recover was most likely in my future. I opened a section in front of the tailpost where I could get some light inside and get a better look. Here are some of the photos.

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    I couldn't really verify anything was truly bad, nor could I verify everything was good. The photos here are have been resized smaller for easier loading, but the originals were very large. I could zoom in and see details. I noticed that the stringers all had spacers at some point or other, some were wired to the structure, I saw no obvious corrosion, there was quite a bit of dust inside, but no mud.

    I did notice a large dent on the jack screw tower right front leg. Looks like a pipe wrench was used at some point to free up the jack screw. I later found teeth marks on the screw itself.

    Wayne

  24. #24
    flybynite's Avatar
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    A few more pictures of the interior

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    The opening in the hat shelf is access for the battery. The PO must have really liked blue, or he just had a lot of it on hand.

    Wayne

  25. #25
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    The hat shelf is a good start. Since you are rebuilding might as well put a cathedral in it with a real baggage. I never understood why Piper put what was essentially a J3 baggage sack on a 3 place airplane. Been looking for my dads PA12 for years. It was supposedly around the Hartford, WI airport. I tried to buy it about 15 years ago now it shows de-registered. Look forward to seeing your rebuild.

  26. #26
    flybynite's Avatar
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    The deeper I dug, the worse things looked and I found a lot that I couldn't live with. I found a hangar to rent during the summer of 2004 and moved the plane there and continued the disassembly.

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ID:	29820 This shows the right door post with some damage from when the plane landed shiny side down during a windstorm. The post has signs of compression failure. It looks like it has been repaired, but....

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    At this point, I should have just bought a new fuselage, but, no one was making them. Dakota Airframes had sold their jig to Univair and they were attempting to get it dialed in. I called my IA to discuss and he thought it wasn't TOO bad so, carry on. The last photo also has a bit of the wing showing. Every rib had been patched and there was a doubler on the spars inboard of the lift struts.

    Wayne
    Last edited by flybynite; 01-19-2017 at 12:35 PM. Reason: added date

  27. #27
    flybynite's Avatar
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    I found a small passenger had been stowed away on top of the headliner. look carefully just under the turtledeck frame.

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    I used "winding sticks" to see how twisted the fuselage was.

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    It's off to the shop for repairs and replacements. The longerons in the tail section had been patched and the tailpost leaned to the left quite a bit. On the way to the shop, I was following my IA and had the opportunity to sight the wing deck from a ways back. It appeared the door post that had appeared to be repaired was still not correct. The right front wing attach point was about 1 1/2" lower than the left one. That would make the right wing angle of incidence quite a bit flatter than the left wing. Something else to fix.

    While at the IA's, I gave him a laundry list of things to do in addition to the repairs. Installing a PA-14 cathedral, repair the door frame, skylight, lower baggage, float fittings, reroute the elevator controls, PA-18 trim system, box the tail and install tabs for PA-18 gear and interior panels. Then sandblast the fuselage and prime with epoxy paint.

    More to come.

    Wayne
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  28. #28

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    Univair looks like a good option. All new and modified vs shop repairing 70 year old mild steel. I remember the day I was in that exact same position.

  29. #29
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Wayne

    This is going to be a great thread!! Thank you. May I ask a favor. How about some rough dates? In the post above it starts with
    "I found a hangar to rent and moved the plane there and continued the disassembly."


    Roughly when was this? So maybe the post would read......In about Apr 2005 .......I found a hangar.....

    Thank you

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  30. #30
    flybynite's Avatar
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    Bill, That is a GREAT suggestion. Duh. I guess I didn't want to leave myself THAT exposed.

    Thank you for the suggestion.



    I picked the -12 up and brought it to the storage locker in March, 2004.

    I rented the hangar, moved the -12 and began disassembly during the summer of 2004.

    I'll work at applying dates to future posts so the timeline can be better followed. We hear of projects or rebuilds that are measured by years or decades and wonder why. Big decisions, roadblocks, setbacks and funding can all get in the way of progress. Although I bought this one in '03, it is now 2017 and I am still working on it.

    Wayne
    Last edited by flybynite; 01-19-2017 at 12:49 PM.

  31. #31
    KJC's Avatar
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    Wayne,

    I was in the exact same position 3 years age myself. While it at the welder, you should definitely consider the 1935# weight increase. It gives you the extended baggage and cargo door mod. Maybe the list should be....

    1935# gw increase with cargo door (bigger like MCS Mike does)
    Left gear seaplane post
    lower dogleg
    PA-14 cathedral
    Float fittings
    PA-18 elevator controls under the floor
    PA-18 gear fittings
    skylight
    move the door hinge up for seaplane door(I really like mine) maybe 1 gauge heavier above the door to attach the hinge
    enough tabs for your extended baggage floor and new tabs for the regular floor and tabs for your interior panels (Kydex?)
    figure out where you want the trim handle so the cables don't run thru the extended baggage
    shooter window?
    bigger lifting handles on the tail
    tabs for metal belly under the tail (you can make it nice so it's not a snow scoop)

    Here's some of what I did and other things I wish I would have.
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    PA-12 N418BS

  32. #32
    KJC's Avatar
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    Also, I forgot to mention the removable rear seat crossbar. Makes getting into the aft baggage a lot easier. I'd consider it a must and it's an easy mod. Buy the stc from Ken Rivard but make it a little better by having the tabs face up. Do a search, it's been discussed before. While your there make the lower seat bars removable like a -14. That way you'll be able to install the flat floor easier all the way back. I used epoxy coated wood for the floors, but if I had to do it again I'd use aluminum. I like the idea of diamond plate but think it's too heavy. I bet .032 would be fine for the whole thing or maybe .047 up front and .032 for the cargo area. Wonder what the thinnest diamond plate you can get is.......hum?
    PA-12 N418BS

  33. #33
    skukum12's Avatar
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    X brace the top deck if it hasn't been mentioned

  34. #34
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    So did Atlee Dodge get their STC for the removable crosstube for the PA12? I read an old post that said they were applying for one....
    John

  35. #35

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    working on my 12 now and a couple of clarifications to your post:
    The gross weight increase is probably from Charlie Center @ Crosswinds. The dogleg extended baggage is a different stc, probably from Ron Sullivan. Still not clear if the upper baggage is part of Charlies GW increase.
    the Gullwing door and modification to lower the door base makes getting in and out of the 12 easier. That is another STC from Crosswinds.
    you may also want to look at the pa-18 seat mod with the battery under the front seat, but that gets pricey pretty quickly. An Atlee Dodge STC
    i alos opted for the cub crafters fuel system stc to get rid of the header tanks, and put in a fuel valve with on/off/both as well as left and right.

  36. #36
    algonquin's Avatar
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    The gear mod for pa-18 removes the 12 mounting and effects the seat mounting. So I mod'ed my seat to mount like the 18 seat and will sign it off under the gear STC.
    When I first got my 12 I leveled the frame on gear and the left tire was 8" off the ground. Nick Smith in Canada repaired it like new. Amazing what a good welder can do.
    Good luck with your project.

  37. #37
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    The gear mod for pa-18 removes the 12 mounting and effects the seat mounting. So I mod'ed my seat to mount like the 18 seat and will sign it off under the gear STC.
    When I first got my 12 I leveled the frame on gear and the left tire was 8" off the ground. Nick Smith in Canada repaired it like new. Amazing what a good welder can do.
    Good luck with your project.
    Atlee has the STC for the -18 seat now

  38. #38
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deetz View Post
    ..Still not clear if the upper baggage is part of Charlies GW increase...
    I think thats in the drawings on his STC.... but i do a bigger upper door

  39. #39
    180Marty's Avatar
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    i alos opted for the cub crafters fuel system stc to get rid of the header tanks, and put in a fuel valve with on/off/both as well as left and right.
    I have Air Energy fuel tanks with front and rear outlets and a Dakota Cub fuel valve with Off/Left/Right/Both and no header tank. Also, Super Cub sight gauges.

  40. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    The gear mod for pa-18 removes the 12 mounting and effects the seat mounting. So I mod'ed my seat to mount like the 18 seat and will sign it off under the gear STC.
    When I first got my 12 I leveled the frame on gear and the left tire was 8" off the ground. Nick Smith in Canada repaired it like new. Amazing what a good welder can do.
    Good luck with your project.
    The 18 gear mod does get rid of the interior bungees, but it doesn't necessarily affect the seat unless you want it to. Again an Atlee STC

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