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Thread: Pa-12 Fuel tank questions

  1. #1

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    Pa-12 Fuel tank questions

    I have the original tanks in my PA-12/S-150. I was thinking about redoing the fuel system. As my aircraft is already covered, it would be difficult to switch to 23 gal Dakota Cub tanks. Does anyone have any recent experience with the PMA Wag Aero tanks? I know they have had a bad reputation in the past with both leaks and fit. Have they fixed any of their issues? Thanks
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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    simplest/quickest on a fabric covered wing is to change to atlee tanks....

    http://www.fadodge.com/fuel-tank-30-5-gallon/

    paint everything that shows before install, including the rivets...

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    "Simple and quick" in aviation speak means $10,000 or more.

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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Heinrich View Post
    "Simple and quick" in aviation speak means $10,000 or more.
    no, about 20 hours... 30 if you are slow...

  5. #5

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    Plus $7,500 for the price of the tanks.

    I was close.

    Or he could just drop in new Wagaero tanks for $2,500 or so.
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  6. #6

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    I did a Wag Aero tank 2 years ago for the same reason. Aircraft is in service and it was a direct replacement. Easy install with no problems yet.


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  7. #7

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    There is another -12 in my hanger. His came with Wag Aero tanks. He add bungs for front pickup and wing root sight gauges. The welder then leak tested it.

  8. #8
    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    Iíve had two sets of Wagaero tanks with no issues. On the first set I had Wagaero add forward outlets. Itís possible they had some quality control issues at some point. The tanks are pretty easy to leak check before you put them in the airplane.
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  9. #9

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    I've been running a wag-aero tank for around 5 years, I sealed up the original gauge hole and put in two bungs for wing root gauges and added a front pick up, leak tested and have got along great with them. By the way the new Wag-Aero tanks are 18 not 19 gallons.

    I also put a set of Dakota 23 gallon tanks in a project, I did it uncovered But I see no reason you couldn't peel the fabric back to one or two ribs outboard of the new tank location, install and recover, or maybe even use the original cover with some patching. But realistically that second option I think would be more work than just recovering the inboard part of the wing.

    for what its worth I love the extra 10 gallons the Dakota tanks give me.
    Staying alive in an airplane has a lot more to do with mastering ourselves than mastering the aircraft.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    simplest/quickest on a fabric covered wing is to change to atlee tanks....

    http://www.fadodge.com/fuel-tank-30-5-gallon/

    paint everything that shows before install, including the rivets...
    Atlee stopped making Ďem in 2016. Something about breaking a jig & it not being worth their while to make a new one.

    If thatís changed, please correct me.


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  11. #11
    PA-12 okie's Avatar
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    I just completed the Wag replacement and have not even flight tested it yet. Installation was pretty easy, did most of it myself with the assist of my friend/A&P. Only issue we had was that the fuel pick up tubes were too close to the compression struts to get the fuel lines on. We did some very slight manual adjustment of about 1/8" and that gave us the clearance we needed. I read a lot about the forward pick up tube, and went back and forth with the idea. If I'd have known you could order it that way, I probably would have. I opted to not go that way for the simple reason that the plane had original tanks for over 70 years, they did leak, but I don't know of it ever being a problem not having the forward pick up. My personal solution was to go with the stock Wags, and adopt a "both tanks on" policy at TO and landing. My fuel selectors allow both to be on at the same time. I'm expecting to finish this annual next week and begin flying and will give you an update.....OH, and I will say that we had the use of a portable stairs that we modified to cantilever over the wings...that made the process much easier. I think it would be much more difficult with only ladders.

  12. #12

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    Thank you PA-12 okie. I did end up installing the Wag Aero wing tank. It worked well and when it's time to do the other side I will probably do the same. You are also correct in the fact that doing this job working on a ladder is a pain in the butt.

  13. #13

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    Glad to hear that they seem to be fitting better. My airplane is currently on floats so will probably replace them this winter.

  14. #14
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    FWIW when I installed VGs on my C150TD, I set up a couple large tables as a scaffold so I could move along the wing easily.
    Made the job a lot easier.
    Mighta been easier yet if I'd put the tail up into a level position too, but I didn't think of that at the time.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  15. #15
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    The forward port is not about takeoff or landing. It for power on decent and engine stopping


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  16. #16

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    Just a word of warning about Wagaero tanks:

    If they don't drop in flat and flush to the seating flange, don't force them down with the straps.

    I bought Wagaero tanks to install in my new set of Univair wings and they didn't sit flat or flush, even though my uncovered wings were new, certified original wings that were installed and correctly rigged on the airframe with proper tank felt strips. When I dropped them in they rocked like a teeter-tauter--over an inch one away and over 1 1/2" the other way. When I tightened down the straps I found that the tank bottom had significantly bowed the compression struts and the front of the tanks rubbed on that one backward-facing wing attachment fitting bolt. Also under the front and rear tank lip the tanks rubbed on the wing fittings--and they rubbed hard enough to gouge the tanks; not just scratch them.

    I would not have noticed the severity of the problem if my wings were covered at the time.

    If yours do drop in flat and flush to the top of seating flange, complete the installation as normal and then remove them to inspect for any scratches/dents in the areas I mentioned before final installation.

    I returned them to Wagaero as defective and, after they tried to claim my wings were to blame, they finally admitted the tanks "could" have warped during manufacture. The replacement tanks were better, but I still had to use a ballpeen hammer to shape the tank to prevent the tank rubbing on the backward bolts and wing fittings.

    Other than that the tanks were properly fitted with front and rear fuel bungs, crossover bungs, and sight gauge bungs--none of which leak under pressure testing.

    I hope all you all are safe and well.

    Paul

  17. #17
    moneyburner's Avatar
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    I have the Wag tanks. I took them to FAD for the forward ports and gauge fittings, and both leaked badly. Wag wouldnít honor any sort of warranty because they had been modified. The welder at Attlee just fixed them, said it wasnít a big deal. That was about 12(?) years ago. I have a 160 and really wish I could have gone with the Dakota 23 tanks, but I couldnít get them in time. I also wish I had a sump where the water drain is. Pour some water in a big, flat pan if you want to know why I say that.

    The guy guy who rebuilt my wings tells me that the reputation of the Attlee 30 gallon tanks in a PA-12 leaking is most likely from either trying to install PA-18 30ís or not having the wing installed and washed out first. It strikes me as a bit far-fetched that someone would go to all that expense and work and then botch the installation. But then again it only takes one to start a rumor.
    Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum videtur
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  18. #18
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Pa-12 Fuel tank questions

    Quote Originally Posted by moneyburner View Post
    .

    The guy guy who rebuilt my wings tells me that the reputation of the Attlee 30 gallon tanks in a PA-12 leaking is most likely from either trying to install PA-18 30ís or not having the wing installed and washed out first. It strikes me as a bit far-fetched that someone would go to all that expense and work and then botch the installation. But then again it only takes one to start a rumor.

    Actually the instructions were deceptive on those. Always take the time to hang the wings and rig before installing tanks( of any make!) on a 12 that sit on spars or such.



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