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Thread: Another PA-12 rebuild-my Phoenix story

  1. #81

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    One more item of follow up. I put my flap seals and VG's on this week. In an earlier post I reported it was very difficult to remove the VG green contact paper template from my last freshly covered cub. I speculated that this had something to do with the wing still off gassing and thus reacting to the glue in the contact paper supplied by Micro Dynamics.

    This time around, the wing had been finished for at least a year before applying the template. This time after installation the template peeled off just like it was supposed to. All worked fine and I'm sticking with my recommendation to wait awhile after a fresh wing covering before you put VG's on. This was using the Poly Fiber process.
    Staying alive in an airplane has a lot more to do with mastering ourselves than mastering the aircraft.
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  2. #82
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Had a friend with same type issues. I talked to Polyfiber and the off gassing is the issue. Recommended putting it out in the sun to speed up the curing process.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  3. #83

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    I really enjoyed your pix. At one point you said"time to cover the fuselage". Next pic was fuselage all covered. Any pix of the procedure for covering the fuselage? I am about to cover a PA-12 and have been looking to see how folks make the most efficient use of fabric. I have covered a lot of fuselages, but no PA-12. Any advice would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks , Larry

  4. #84

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    Hey Larry, I looked through my pictures and its almost as if the fuselage covered itself by magic because I don't have any more photos than what I posted. But here are a couple of thoughts on my process:

    I think the smartest thing I did by accident was put the tail feathers on and rig up all the cables and trim before I covered the fuselage, thus ensuring everything fit right and was close enough to use a turn buckle to take up the slack to the right tension. This also allowed a double check to ensure the right cable went through the right fairlead to make the parts move the right direction. ( I learned that the hard way on my first 12 project.) This is also true for double checking the fuel system, trim system and flaps.

    I covered the belly first so that the seams would overlap properly and that the trimmed part would be out of sight from the casual viewer. It was also easier to form the fabric around the metal belly i made for the last 3' of the bottom.

    I sewed a seam down the spine of the fuselage fabric to make a 'semi-envelope' for the main part of the cover. I had access to commercial sewing machine to do this but my home machine would have worked fine, sthe Poly Fiber book has a great display of the proper sewn joint to use. I tacked half the fabric up to the fuselage with cloths pins and marked the spine with a pencil, then repeated to do the other side, pinned the 2 sides together and started sewing. It took a couple of tries to get the arc right at the saddle in front of the vertical tail, but not a big deal, and all of my old sewing holes where I ripped out an earlier seam were covered with tape and now invisible. This sewing process left lots of fabric to work with gluing to the bottom longeron. I then glued the sewed seam onto the spine longeron so it wouldn't wander around as I pulled the envelop tight. I also shrunk this sewed seam very first thing, once all other gluing was done but before shrinking the main body of the fuselage fabric to keep it straight on the spine longeron.

    I also used old windows to hold the fabric in the window channel groove, I left quite a bit of fabric to spare so it glued in well, I remember having to force the window back in place, it definitely secured the fabric in the channel well. well enough I had to drill a 1" hole in the window to put a dowel in it to help me remove it, The excess fabric was trimmed off once the fuselage was in 'pink', but I reinstalled the used window to hold the fabric in until the final new windows were installed after the final paint dried.

    Sorry I don't have much more for you, lots of more experienced hands on here maybe they can chime in to advise you as well.

    Doug
    Staying alive in an airplane has a lot more to do with mastering ourselves than mastering the aircraft.

  5. #85

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    It’s now been 1 year and 120 hours since I completed the rebuild of my 12 and I’d like to revisit or share what I like about it and what I may not do again, if I ever do this again. First things I really like:

    • The Dakota Cub 23 gallon tanks are wonderful, that little bit of extra fuel is really nice on those long, western back country trips.
    • The gross weight increase STC keeps me legal.
    • I installed a Niagara light weight oil cooler and an Sky Tec light weight starter, even with the original long engine mount and the Odyssey battery moved under the rear seat, with a 74/56 prop on it was a bit nose light. When I added an 82/42 borer prop the balance feels about right.
    • It almost goes without saying but I wouldn’t do a 12 rebuild without doing the PA-14 cathedral in the baggage, PA-18 double pulley trim, the overhead X brace, and floor mounted seatbelt attach points, although the seatbelt floor attach points are exactly where most passengers want to put their feet, if possible move them towards the center more.
    • I am also very happy with and glad I did the Steve’s Gascolator, Skytec starter (it really spins the engine) and the Niagara light weight oil cooler.
    • I like the top hinged sea plane door.
    • I really like the Garmin 796 but I wouldn’t necessarily flush mount it, it would have been fine mounted on the face of the panel verses being set in, this also would have allowed it to break the plane of the top of the dash this giving more room in the bottom part of the panel.
    • My Oregon aero front seat is fantastic.


    What I probably wouldn’t do again:

    • Chose Ameri-King for my 406 ELT for obvious A.D. issues.
    • The bottom part of the Borer extended baggage, especially with the gross weight increase. This mod required changing the torque tube to a PA-18 style torque tube, rerouting the elevator cables including installing new pulley’s, removing the bell crank. All of this work for just 15 pounds of extra baggage and the rudder cables still pass through the lower baggage exposed. Some say they can sleep down there, good luck, plus you’d really have to beef up the floor to hold a live body compared to just the 15# it holds. Not doing the mod would also eliminate any need to put in the bottom dog leg brace.
    • While the original project came with Atlee Dodge 3” extended heavy duty 1 1/2 “ gear, they are heavy, that’s what I had so that’s what I used, I think I would have just gone with regular 3” gear with 1 ¼” gear. Plus 1 ¼” axels seem to have more universally available wheels.


    Debates I had with myself that I still wish I would have installed (but it got down to money-which I still don’t have and adding weight-):

    • A second landing light in the other wing so I could wig wag them.
    • Wing tip strobes


    One last thought, I’ve only done two 12’s now, one I flew for several years before it got tired and I refurbished it and this one which came as a project after a horrible wreck where only the paper work and the tail feathers survived. I didn’t keep as good of time records on the second cub but I’d say both took me right around 1400 hours. The flying cub refurbish took huge amounts of time to scrape, clean, blast old glue, tapes etc. The second one, kind of a consolidation of parts took about that same 400 hours trying to figure out how to make parts fit together right. The flying cub was definitely easier from a ‘how does this puzzle fit together’ standpoint.

    what's next for this project, probably some ADS-B solution.

    What's next for me? I don't know,,,yet.
    Staying alive in an airplane has a lot more to do with mastering ourselves than mastering the aircraft.
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  6. #86

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    Great recap. It's especially useful for me as I am planning my next recover around when I can also do the gross weight increase STC installation.
    Questions:
    1. Can the Dakota 23gal. Tanks be installed without having to remove fabric?
    2. Do you believe!the pa-18 gear is worth the conversion? Weight savings? Speed loss?
    3. What is your empty weight? I'm at 1,127 and trying to pick away the low hanging fruit to start. I need a goal weight.
    4. Who's wingtip lights would you put in? Is there a good LED replacement for the stock?
    Picture of your plane would be awesome!




    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

  7. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbone View Post
    Great recap. It's especially useful for me as I am planning my next recover around when I can also do the gross weight increase STC installation.
    Questions:
    1. Can the Dakota 23gal. Tanks be installed without having to remove fabric?
    2. Do you believe!the pa-18 gear is worth the conversion? Weight savings? Speed loss?
    3. What is your empty weight? I'm at 1,127 and trying to pick away the low hanging fruit to start. I need a goal weight.
    4. Who's wingtip lights would you put in? Is there a good LED replacement for the stock?
    Picture of your plane would be awesome!




    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org
    *The Dakota Tanks probably could be installed on a covered wing, but it would be a pain. I would think you would still have to remove the wing, pull fabric from the first 4' of wing then install. Unless you had freshly recovered wings why not just cover the whole wing.

    *I think the 18 gear is worth the conversion if you are on floats or fly in substantially difficult landing terrain. 18 gear is heavier, HD 18 gear is another 5# heavier still. Speed loss maybe 3-5mph with 18 gear.

    * E.W 1147

    * i'd put in another landing light, piper style not wing tip lights, no idea what brand strobes since I didn't get that far.

    Lots of photos on previous pages of this thread.
    Staying alive in an airplane has a lot more to do with mastering ourselves than mastering the aircraft.
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  8. #88

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    Suspicions confirmed. I'll be waiting until I can afford to recover the plane to do anymore big work.
    That's a great looking bird!


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    Thanks rmac thanked for this post

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