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Thread: Hydraulic ski install in Anchorage?

  1. #1

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    Hydraulic ski install in Anchorage?

    For install of C3600's in Anchorage or nearby, can those in the know post or PM me with info on who/which shop has done a bunch of these and is known for good work?
    Thanks,
    Johnny

  2. #2

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    What plane and is this a first time installation? First time is around a 4 day job give or take and most of the good shops are booked out 4 months by this time of year.
    DENNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    What plane and is this a first time installation? First time is around a 4 day job give or take and most of the good shops are booked out 4 months by this time of year.
    DENNY
    Duh - I left out the most important part!

    '73 Cessna 180J. It had hydraulic skis on it before, and still has the Atlee brackets, but all plumbing and interior pump + bracket pieces are removed.
    I'm essentially looking for a respected mechanic that has done a bunch of them on Skywagons and will get it right first time around.
    Thanks,
    John

  4. #4

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    Just a few more questions that might help anyone putting on skis. Do you have a pump and valve? Do you want the pump in the tunnel/on floor? Is this a new or old set of skis? Do they need new plastic bottoms/bungies? Does the gear have the right fitting on the bottom? Are you going to be changing tires and wheels with the skis? Are the wheels/brake rotor the same as what is on it now? Did the plane have the same ski on before? Does the plane have lifting eyes? When do you want it done by? If you have a hanger that the work can be done in I might know a guy. Check PM I will send you my number.
    DENNY
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    Just a few more questions that might help anyone putting on skis. Do you have a pump and valve? Do you want the pump in the tunnel/on floor? Is this a new or old set of skis? Do they need new plastic bottoms/bungies? Does the gear have the right fitting on the bottom? Are you going to be changing tires and wheels with the skis? Are the wheels/brake rotor the same as what is on it now? Did the plane have the same ski on before? Does the plane have lifting eyes? When do you want it done by? If you have a hanger that the work can be done in I might know a guy. Check PM I will send you my number.
    DENNY
    This would be done this upcoming summer/fall, so I have time to get on the schedule somewhere.

    I need to purchase the whole enchilada -- skis, pump, valve, tubing, etc., as it didn't come with the plane.
    The only things remaining are the installed Atlee Dodge ski brackets.
    My intention is to mount in the tunnel, which is presumably where it was before, based on the pic below.

    Plane has float kit, with four lifting eyes, the HD ski axles.
    I have a set of 850's on 6-bolt Clevelands that I want to dedicate for winter usage w/ the skis.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6

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    Hydraulic ski install in Anchorage?

    Any decent mechanic up here will be very familiar with Fluidynes on a 180. Pick one. But ask about the in-tunnel pump installation. Not all mechanics will be willing to do that. It's labor intensive and most don't need the work.

    Do you expect it to be easy to find a good set of 3600s? I haven't looked in a long time. When I bought mine I drove like a madman to be the first guy to lay out the cash. Demand is still high.

    I thought about the tunnel mount but was talked out of it by a very qualified pilot-mechanic friend. I used to remove my pump in summer but haven't done that in about 10 years. I just remove the handle. It isn't a bother to anyone where it is. It does have the shroud on it normally. No pic with that, though.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by stewartb; 01-24-2019 at 01:27 PM.
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  7. #7

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    Thanks, Stewart. There's a set for sale in Canada, but it would be almost $19K shipped!
    Do you mind posting some pics of how yours is set up (pump location, etc.)?

    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Any decent mechanic up here will be very familiar with Fluidynes on a 180. Pick one. But ask about the in-tunnel pump installation. Not all mechanics will be willing to do that. It's labor intensive and most don't need the work.

    Do you expect it to be easy to find a good set of 3600s? I haven't looked in a long time. When I bought mine I drove like a madman to be the first guy to lay out the cash. Demand is still high.

    I thought about the tunnel mount but was talked out of it by a very qualified pilot-mechanic friend. I used to remove my pump in summer but haven't done that in about 10 years. I just remove the handle. It isn't a bother to anyone where it is.

  8. #8

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    And there's the rub. You can buy a brand new set of Airglas LH-4000s for less than that. Fluidynes are popular with spring flyers who need more ground clearance for tires on soft ground. Other than that? Airglas are a lot lighter and that's something to consider. 3600s are something like 75# each. And they feel heavier with every passing year.

    Fluidynes don't use fittings, they use stub axles. Make darn sure you get them with the skis. I know a guy struggling to find some right now and apparently they aren't easy to come by.
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  9. #9
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Stewart is right on in his advice. The Fluidyne, née Wipaire C 3600 skis are heavy, and don’t offer a great deal of floatation. For that money, I’d try to find a set of the Airglas skis or a set of Fli Lite skis.

    Ive been stuck a couple times too many on C 3600s. They are, however, tougher than hell.

    MTV
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Stewart is right on in his advice. The Fluidyne, née Wipaire C 3600 skis are heavy, and don’t offer a great deal of floatation. For that money, I’d try to find a set of the Airglas skis or a set of Fli Lite skis.

    Ive been stuck a couple times too many on C 3600s. They are, however, tougher than hell.

    MTV
    Hmmm...

    I break things. It’s who I am. Not on purpose, but my stint in the Corps spoiled me with tough infantry equipment and no restrictive budget. I’ve had to dial it back some as a “civvie,” but do like my stuff bulletproof!

    I’ll check out the others.

  11. #11

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    Seaplanes North would be the dealer to ask about Airglas skis (Lake Hood).

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    Good guys. I’ll talk with Jeff.

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    cubpilot2's Avatar
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    Ed
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  14. #14
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    I am not comvinced from your photo, Johnny, that the pump was originally IN the tunnel.

    In the tunnel is THE way to go from my experience if you are gonna hand pump. (electric pump WAYY better)

    On the floor per SB's photo is in the way for passengers wearing ski boots and for the pilot pumping with passengers legs, etc. .......IN MY Experience.

    On the floor is okay for occasional use and a quicker installation. Also sans field approval for "in tunnel".



    I would look up Star Farmer of Whyte Wings at Hood.

    I did an Airglas elec pump per the LH4000 STC on a 185 with Fluidynes once. Owner got LH4000's the next year and is happier with them.

    If you mount in tunnel, some braided lines from the pump to under the floor makes the install easier than forming semi rigid alum tube.


    Every mechanic seems very busy these days!
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    Thanks, Dave.
    Q: Do you think that’s where previous owner had the water rudders control/retract rigged?
    J

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Calkins View Post
    I am not comvinced from your photo, Johnny, that the pump was originally IN the tunnel.

    In the tunnel is THE way to go from my experience if you are gonna hand pump. (electric pump WAYY better)

    On the floor per SB's photo is in the way for passengers wearing ski boots and for the pilot pumping with passengers legs, etc. .......IN MY Experience.

    On the floor is okay for occasional use and a quicker installation. Also sans field approval for "in tunnel".



    I would look up Star Farmer of Whyte Wings at Hood.

    I did an Airglas elec pump per the LH4000 STC on a 185 with Fluidynes once. Owner got LH4000's the next year and is happier with them.

    If you mount in tunnel, some braided lines from the pump to under the floor makes the install easier than forming semi rigid alum tube.


    Every mechanic seems very busy these days!

  16. #16
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyR View Post
    Thanks, Dave.
    Q: Do you think that’s where previous owner had the water rudders control/retract rigged?
    J
    That’s where the water rudders were on a 66 180 I rebuilt. Ski pump was mounted like in the other picture


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  17. #17
    mvivion's Avatar
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    I second Dave's comment on having the pump mounted on the floor on right side. I've flown in enough of those things as a CFI, sitting in the right seat that I sincerely hope I never have to do so again. That pump really does impinge on the passenger's (or CFIs) foot space. That said, it's also pretty easy to remove seasonally.

    MTV
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  18. #18
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Calkins View Post
    Every mechanic seems very busy these days!
    except me for some reason..... but I'm off airport..... Someone send a project my way, shops been empty, pretty much since helping finish the WildCatCub..... was busy and turning down work in May... then finished that in June... then NOTHING..... the problem with being just a rebuild shop...

  19. #19
    aktango58's Avatar
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    The tunnel cut away is exactly where water rudder handle is placed.

    My experience with pumps is that there is nowhere that is perfect. It will always be in the way of something, so look around and think about it, then the mechanic will put it where it is not causing control cable problems... which will probably be where Stewart's is!

    Retractable wheel ski installation- the thing that makes you go hmmmmmmmmm
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  20. #20
    TVATIVAK71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post

    Retractable wheel ski installation- the thing that makes you go hmmmmmmmmm
    Aint that the truth!LOL

  21. #21

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    I’m surprised about the comments on the floor mounted pump. I haven’t had a single negative comment about mine being there. I’ve flown from the right seat and it doesn’t bother me at all. That’s why I stopped removing it for summer. If I have somebody whose feet feel clostrophobic I can release the rudder pedals. I haven’t needed to. The pump in the tunnel might be nice, too. Choices.

    Johnny, Plane Plastics and Selkirk make tunnel covers if you want that cutout to disappear. My tailwheel lock was where your cutout is. It’s been removed and a new tunnel cover hides the slot. Or just have your cover upholstered.

    If you think a long prop on a Skywagon is loud? Wait til you lay the whip to it on a really cold day with Fluidynes up. You’ll get to hear what your neighbors have been hearing.
    Last edited by stewartb; 01-25-2019 at 08:51 AM.
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