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Thread: 1953 PA-18 Rebuild

  1. #1
    kevinbarton1's Avatar
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    1953 PA-18 Rebuild

    It has been 2 years since I decided to remove the seats and spruce up the interior. As we got further into the process we thought we may as well redo the panel and the next thing I knew we had the wings off and we were ripping all the fabric away. Ultimately I feel I made the right decision to rebuild the entire airplane. The original airplane had the 0-235 so it was lacking in the power department. I bought a rebuilt 0-320 160HP engine and thanks to all of the input on props, Steve Pierce helped me purchase a Borer -43. I have been at a stand still for about 6 months while the frame was being welded. I had just about all the desirable STC's anyone would want including the X-brace kit, reverse dog leg, extended baggage rails, over size rear baggage door, upper baggage door, tabs for cargo pod, float fittings, forward battery mount in right side of cowling, seat belt fittings to frame, headset hooks and cargo loops. We also cut out the lower longerons from the cabin all the way to the tail as well as replaced all the bent U-channel that surrounds the cabin. All of my flight controls were stripped, bead blasted, inspected, primed, covered and painted. They are all finished along the wings. I am hoping we have everything remounted in the fuselage in the next few weeks so we can start covering.
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  2. #2

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    Last edited by tempdoug; 12-08-2018 at 02:15 PM.
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    kevinbarton1's Avatar
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    Glad you mentioned that. My plane actually has that option already, but I did not think to ask anyone who reads this thread to comment on things they wish they would have done differently. Does anyone have any other ideas to share??

    Thanks for your input!!!

    Kevin
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    aktango58's Avatar
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    3 piece boot cowl. One piece from mid-side over the top to mid-side, one piece from tip to center of bottom. You now can clean under and maintain the rudder/brake pedals, add in ski stuff, and reach behind your panel without standing on your head.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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    Thanks! I fortunately have that one also. My old boot cowl was really thin sheet metal and looked like a hammered copper pan it was so dented. I figured with a “modular” boot cowl I could replace individual pieces if they were ever dented in the future! Thanks again for your suggestion! Kevin


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    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinbarton1 View Post
    Thanks! I fortunately have that one also. My old boot cowl was really thin sheet metal and looked like a hammered copper pan it was so dented. I figured with a “modular” boot cowl I could replace individual pieces if they were ever dented in the future! Thanks again for your suggestion! Kevin


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    You can fab or buy a firewall, and use a flange from Clyde Smith

    If you make one you can put only the holes you need.

    http://www.cubdoctor.com/stainless-firewalls/

    Nut plates. Put them everywhere


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    kevinbarton1's Avatar
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    Fabricating is a bit above my skill level. I bought a firewall from Dakota Cub, which is where I bought the 3-piece boot cowl. Seems to fit nicely. We put it all together and the fit was very nice. Thanks for the reply!
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    Panel Layout

    Here is my panel layout. The metal has been cut already so prob cannot make a ton of changes if I had to. It is rather basic for sure. I wish I would have left room for a transponder. I was not thinking I would ever really fly into Class C and certainly not Class B. The center is for a Garmin Aera 660.
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    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    You could probably fit a trig above the compass


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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post

    Nut plates. Put them everywhere


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    Can't stress that enough! Along with those, use clip nuts. Both of these items allow you to install and remove 'stuff' by yourself. And don't let anyone tell you they aren't worth the time/effort it takes to install them. Replace a windshield and you'll be convinced of their value.

    Web
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Can't stress that enough! Along with those, use clip nuts. Both of these items allow you to install and remove 'stuff' by yourself. And don't let anyone tell you they aren't worth the time/effort it takes to install them. Replace a windshield and you'll be convinced of their value.

    Web
    We were going to use Riv Nuts in the U channel and nut plates anywhere else we can fit them. I wanted to stay away from using sheet metal screws.



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    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Might I suggest, if you use riv nuts, use the keyed ones. Less chance of them spinning which can be a real pain.

    Just my opinion.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  13. #13
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    If friends let you install riv-nuts, they aren't really your friends. Riv-nuts all seem to work loose and spin at some point. I use square nuts in the ginger bread channels. One small hole for clearance of the screw is all you need. A dab of adhesive like B 1/2 will keep them in place and still allow you to dig them out if they are damaged.

    Also, the clip nuts I'm recommending have a steel locknut in them. I agree about not using sheet metal screws any more than needed.

    Use nylon washers under the heads of screws installed on painted panels or on anything polished, such as spinners. Keeps the screw heads from marking up the pretty stuff.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

  14. #14
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Never had a nut plate spin on me. Can’t say the same about a rivnut


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    kevinbarton1's Avatar
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    We definitely have the keyed riv nuts. We are by no means professional builders, but I like to do things the right way. Is it possible to use nut plates on the U Channel??


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    kevinbarton1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    If friends let you install riv-nuts, they aren't really your friends. Riv-nuts all seem to work loose and spin at some point. I use square nuts in the ginger bread channels. One small hole for clearance of the screw is all you need. A dab of adhesive like B 1/2 will keep them in place and still allow you to dig them out if they are damaged.

    Also, the clip nuts I'm recommending have a steel locknut in them. I agree about not using sheet metal screws any more than needed.

    Use nylon washers under the heads of screws installed on painted panels or on anything polished, such as spinners. Keeps the screw heads from marking up the pretty stuff.

    Web
    I can appreciate your sense of humor btw on friends not letting you use riv nuts. LOL. I wasn’t aware of square nuts for the U Channel so I will check into that. I want to build the plane with the best practices in mind. I hope to pass this airplane to my sons one day so I hope they will not be rebuilding it anytime soon!!


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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    3 piece boot cowl. One piece from mid-side over the top to mid-side, one piece from tip to center of bottom. You now can clean under and maintain the rudder/brake pedals, add in ski stuff, and reach behind your panel without standing on your head.
    no, 6 piece boot cowl like I did on the wildcatcub.... top, bottom, and 2 sides each... or maybe just a 4 piece(was a reason for the 6..).. that way you can leave windshield installed and easily get at anything behind dash area... 1 minute with a screw gun and you have access to anything...

  18. #18
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    K1000-6 nut plates fit in the 3/8" Piper channel. You sometimes have to take a Christmas tree burr and center the holes up since Piper didn't always drill in the center of the channel.

    I hate rivnuts. Fresh rebuild, installing the rear trim on the skylight and the last rivnuts spins. Stainless screw is stuck in it. Tarp over the aft fuselage, flat piece of steel with a notch cut in it between the v screw and the fairing I cut the screw head off with a cutoff wheel, chisel the rivnuts out and replace. Get everything put together, remove the tarp to find a nice hole burned through the fuselage fabric from the cherry red hot screw head melting through the tarp and the fabric. No nice words were said.
    Steve Pierce

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    kevinbarton1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    K1000-6 nut plates fit in the 3/8" Piper channel. You sometimes have to take a Christmas tree burr and center the holes up since Piper didn't always drill in the center of the channel.

    I hate rivnuts. Fresh rebuild, installing the rear trim on the skylight and the last rivnuts spins. Stainless screw is stuck in it. Tarp over the aft fuselage, flat piece of steel with a notch cut in it between the v screw and the fairing I cut the screw head off with a cutoff wheel, chisel the rivnuts out and replace. Get everything put together, remove the tarp to find a nice hole burned through the fuselage fabric from the cherry red hot screw head melting through the tarp and the fabric. No nice words were said.
    I’m very glad I asked!!! Thanks for that post. Will be fitting the boot cowl this week.


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    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    If you're not done with the fuselage, you might consider tabs on the lower tube of the door opening. Work well for attaching the interior panels. Lifting handles on both sides of the tail are pretty handy. Do you already have float fittings?

    Jim
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    Thanks Jim. I have the float fittings, and lift handles on both sides of the tail. I’ll check into the tabs on the door opening. When I do put it on floats, how do most people “lift” the aircraft to get the floats underneath it?? Is there such a thing lift rings like on a boat? Just curious, I haven’t ever seen someone lift an aircraft that high for fitting the floats.


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  22. #22
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinbarton1 View Post
    Thanks Jim. I have the float fittings, and lift handles on both sides of the tail. I’ll check into the tabs on the door opening. When I do put it on floats, how do most people “lift” the aircraft to get the floats underneath it?? Is there such a thing lift rings like on a boat? Just curious, I haven’t ever seen someone lift an aircraft that high for fitting the floats.


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    Atlee lifting eyes. Even useful on wheels. http://www.fadodge.com/lifting-eyes/
    Steve Pierce

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  23. #23
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    I have a set for sale. In the original package. $50 plus shipping.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Atlee lifting eyes. Even useful on wheels. http://www.fadodge.com/lifting-eyes/
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"
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    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    The Atlee Dodge lifting eyes are the way to go. Easy to install since your wings aren't on yet. You'll never regret it. However, be sure and use a spreader bar to lift the plane. Failure to do so will damage your fuselage. Search for some posts discussing this and photos.

    Also, since your wings are off and easy to work on, you might consider the Dodge Hurricane tie-downs. A little bit of fabric work, but well worth it.

    Jim
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    kevinbarton1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    I have a set for sale. In the original package. $50 plus shipping.
    I'll take them! Looks easy enough to install. You can PM me and I will send you a check. Thanks for the post! Kevin
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    kevinbarton1's Avatar
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    I knew there had to be an easy way to lift the plane! Thanks for your knowledge and reply Steve! My prop was delivered today. Progress every day.
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    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Sorry Kevin, but someone bought them in a New York minute!

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinbarton1 View Post
    I'll take them! Looks easy enough to install. You can PM me and I will send you a check. Thanks for the post! Kevin
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"
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    kevinbarton1's Avatar
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    No worries, I’ll order from Atlee!! Thanks for the reply...


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    Click image for larger version. 

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    We noticed that the parts manual shows a grease fitting on this part, but my 1953 original doesn’t have one. I prob can guess the answer, but should I replace with a newer style that has the grease fitting?

    Also wanted to know recommendations on light weight starters and alternator. 0-320 160hp with Sutton Exhaust.



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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinbarton1 View Post
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    Also wanted to know recommendations on light weight starters and alternator. 0-320 160hp with Sutton Exhaust.



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    After verifying flywheel tooth count is a 122 or you'll change it to a 122 because a 149 is thicker (and conflicts on an a 320) a Sky-TEC 122-NL is just the ticket. But if you'd like a 149-NL that won't fit I would be happy to make you a deal.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!
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  31. #31
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Sky-Tec starters and Plane Power alternators.

    Web
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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Looks like you need a new stabilizer carry-thru with the grease zerk and bronze bushings in each end.

    Are you using the front mount or the rear baffle mounted oil cooler?
    Steve Pierce

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  33. #33
    txpacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Sky-Tec starters and Plane Power alternators.

    Web
    How does the Plane Power compare to B and C? They appear similar.
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  34. #34
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txpacer View Post
    How does the Plane Power compare to B and C? They appear similar.
    Both make good stuff. I like Plane Power for changing from generator or Inter Av because the have everything in the box except wire/breakers. Alternator, regulator and all mounting brackets. Also uses a simple wiring harness.

    Web
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  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Can't stress that enough! Along with those, use clip nuts. Both of these items allow you to install and remove 'stuff' by yourself. And don't let anyone tell you they aren't worth the time/effort it takes to install them. Replace a windshield and you'll be convinced of their value.

    Web
    Windshield, thanks a great idea!


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  36. #36
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Both make good stuff. I like Plane Power for changing from generator or Inter Av because the have everything in the box except wire/breakers. Alternator, regulator and all mounting brackets. Also uses a simple wiring harness.

    Web
    I recently installed the B&C STC'd for the front mounted oil cooler and it had everything I needed except the power wire up to the buss. From reading the Plane Power STC it say it is not approved with front mounted oil cooler. What were you finding included with the Plane Power that wasn't in the B&C?
    Steve Pierce

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  37. #37
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    I recently installed the B&C STC'd for the front mounted oil cooler and it had everything I needed except the power wire up to the buss. From reading the Plane Power STC it say it is not approved with front mounted oil cooler. What were you finding included with the Plane Power that wasn't in the B&C?
    I like the brackets that come with the Plane Power kits. And if a non electrical type installs the kit, the wire harness is easier to figure out. Just my own observations.

    The notes I have for Plane Power say that 'rear mounted oil cooler may be required'. Did they change that?

    Web
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  38. #38
    kevinbarton1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Looks like you need a new stabilizer carry-thru with the grease zerk and bronze bushings in each end.

    Are you using the front mount or the rear baffle mounted oil cooler?
    I was planning to use the rear mounted oil cooler. A guy at Sutton Exhaust gave me this: NDM oil Coolers part # 08-00741

    I will call and get a new stabilizer carry through.

    As always, thanks Steve for your knowledge.
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  39. #39
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    I will check on the fly wheel tooth count.
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  40. #40
    kevinbarton1's Avatar
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    Progress

    We are making some progress now that we have the frame back from the weld shop. Fitting the 3 piece cowling, flight controls, fuel system, pulleys and will hopefully start on the electrical this weekend. We are waiting for the new cables to come in next week and our extended baggage panels. Exciting to see it come together. Also received my new 3 inch extended landing gear from Airframes Alaska along with my new 31" tires!
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