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Thread: 79 PA-18 wing repair

  1. #41
    AkPA/18's Avatar
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    If you feel like it and if you have time maybe you could tell the story on the history of that cub. Kind of unusual to find an unmolested 79 in Alaska. I would guess it is a pretty low time airframe. Anyway it's pretty cool, nice find.
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    Mark
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    Takeoffs are optional--Landings are mandatory
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  2. #42

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    Well it's a little bit of a long story, and in some ways really makes me look like the dumbass I can be on occasion. The airplane is owned by The Dirt Strip Dirtbags. There are three of us. One of the owners is a young college student and former flight student of mine (and great friend. His grandfather has owned the airplane since 1979. It was (supposedly) the raffle prize for the 1979 Iditarod. The person who won the raffle either sold or traded it to my partners grandfather who kept it for the last 40 years. The airplane has 670 hours on it. Myself and the other partner bought it sight unseen without a pre-buy (no regrets haha). I think I really want to keep it as stock as possible. I'm concerned about operating the aircraft with it's current tires from paved runways. If anyone has advice on the tires I'm all ears. We had an annual performed immediately after purchase. There were no major discrepancies. Although it has low hours, the previous owners had all the maintenance records dating back to 1979 and a log of all AD compliance. The AD log noted one compliance that had in fact not been completed, but that was corrected (tail wheel strut if I'm not mistaken). My partner got his tail wheel endorsement in the airplane two years ago so it's not a hangar queen. After taking the wings and tail feathers off I feel like I have a good idea of the material condition and what needs attention. The plan is to get it in flying condition and then re-skin and refurbish as necessary gradually over a three year period, then put it on a yearly maintenance and refurbish schedule. I have a lot to learn and would love to have ideas about how to keep it stock as possible but make it as safe as it can be.
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  3. #43

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    Pavement only - 8:00 x 6 look good, but are pricey. 6:00x6 are stock for that vintage - look like crap, but work fine. Big tires may look gnarly, but on pavement they are lousy and very expensive. Older Super Cubs and earlier ragwings all use 8:00x4, and all of mine are so equipped. $310 each for tires! Ouch!
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  4. #44

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    Thank you. 8:00x4 is probably a good place to start.

  5. #45

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    They will give the authentic restoration look. Of course fabric flaps and ailerons will help - and the metal stuff you have might bring good prices.

    There are folks who can repair metal control surfaces. Takes way more skill than covering with Dacron.

    If you decide to modify anything, my opinion: 160 HP, X-brace, and Hooker harness.

    By the way, I just found out that Stits fabric is now 72" wide, meaning one should never ever do a wing with a sewn seam anywhere.
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  6. #46
    AkPA/18's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://thrustline.com/

    Takeoffs are optional--Landings are mandatory

  7. #47

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    I have a good flying cub that is not does not look that good from even from 30 ft, every time I ask my IA should we paint the wings he says a pilot of your skills should wait a year or two and the wings will get painted!! If you and the other owners are low time taildragger pilots just fix the wing and get the plane flying!!!!! Your chance of getting the prop or bigger damage as you learn is pretty good. That is just the way things work when we are not 18 years old. In todays world everyone thinks if you bend a plane you are a bad pilot!!! Reality is that is just part of life. Your plane of extended rebuild program is great. I would say give it 5-7 years, fix what you need and upgrade when you can.
    DENNY

  8. #48
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnarly View Post
    Thank you. 8:00x4 is probably a good place to start.
    Those are not 8:00x4 wheels. The 8:00x4s had expander tube brakes. You have double puck Clevelands which means you have 6" wheels. The wheels on your Cub look like 6" with Gar-aero adapters to 10". Those adapters are glued on to 6" wheels. I'm not sure whether the adapters can be removed or not.
    N1PA
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  9. #49
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    put the wheels in the oven at 400 degrees and then in my press and the adapters popped right off. I would imagine a 1979 Piper Super Cub came originally with 800x6 tires on 6" Cleveland wheels.
    Steve Pierce

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  10. #50
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnarly View Post
    The AD log noted one compliance that had in fact not been completed, but that was corrected (tail wheel strut if I'm not mistaken).
    Sounds like the plate that was added between the tailwheel spring bolt and the two bottom tail brace wire pulls on the fuselage.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  11. #51
    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    Does this plane have gear safety cables? Would that have helped? Or they way the gear bent/collapsed would they not have helped?

    What prop is that? If it's a Borer, you might check the STC before going to the effort of taking the adapters off and buying new tires.

    Regarding the grooves in the tires contributing to the ground loop, don't lots of planes with grooved tires land on lots of paved runways,...like every day?

    Jim
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  12. #52
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55-PA18A View Post
    Regarding the grooves in the tires contributing to the ground loop, don't lots of planes with grooved tires land on lots of paved runways,...like every day?

    Jim
    The Gar-aero modification used stiffer tires than the "bush" wheels. They were primarily larger diameter and footprint for off airport use. Many used to grind off the extra rubber making them smooth to reduce weight and more pliable. The tires on this Cub could be used with higher pressures on pavement lasting for a long time. We don't know the exact circumstances which caused this ground loop. If it were me, I would air up these tires and get used to them on pavement and cow pastures. I had a 90 hp Cub on Gar-aeros and found them to work just fine.
    N1PA
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  13. #53

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    That's amazing!

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    The Gar-aero modification used stiffer tires than the "bush" wheels. They were primarily larger diameter and footprint for off airport use. Many used to grind off the extra rubber making them smooth to reduce weight and more pliable. The tires on this Cub could be used with higher pressures on pavement lasting for a long time. We don't know the exact circumstances which caused this ground loop. If it were me, I would air up these tires and get used to them on pavement and cow pastures. I had a 90 hp Cub on Gar-aeros and found them to work just fine.
    Exactly. I owned a 79 Super Cub that I put on Gar Aero adapters and 8.50 X 10 tires like this is equipped with. I have never heard of anyone buffing the tread off those tires.....that’s a 29 X 11 X 10 tire thing when used on the Adapters.

    Theres nothing wrong with those tires, on or off pavement. They are no more difficult to handle on landing than any other tire. Learn to fly the plane and get on with life. Frankly, if anything, I find landing a taildragger on big tires to be easier....it’s those little bitty tires that spook me.

    Sorry it got wrecked.

    MTV
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  15. #55

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    The newspaper clipping is going in my maintenance file. That is awesome! All three owners have tail wheel time. I've done some pro flying in Carbon Cubs doing post hurricane mapping. Ironically all my cub time is in big wheel 180 HP carbons and legends operating off paved runways. After my buddy ground looped it I decided that I needed to check my attitude and come at this with a fresh attitude. A few years back as part of the company I was flying for, myself and another good friend (we both have military test backgrounds) did test and evaluation for a demonstration under contract by the special forces community. I'm sure there are a few folks on this forum who remember the week long test. Legend, Cub Crafters and Just aircraft brought their LSA class and high HP versions to North Carolina. I think flying those airplanes made me overconfident. I think it's critical that myself and my partners start this process and learn the right habits as if we are learning to fly all over again. I'm not home so I can't really speak to what's on the plane and it's clear that most of you know my airplane better than I do. The advice on this forum is amazing. My first issue is to get that wing fixed, and one of the tail feathers got beat up while we were taking it off. It really didn't want to come off haha. After that I'll run it up, do an engine oil analysis and see where I'm at. I'm not going to take it back to 79 condition. The plan is to keep it the way it is. It has shoulder harnesses and I plan to implement any other critical safety items regardless of whether it was original. Questions I'm trying to answer right now: should I upgrade the gear? change the tires? put skin on the new right gear or take the skin off the left gear? tear down the engine? It definitely didn't have a prop strike. I'm told the prop is a high performance prop but I don't know who makes it. I'm definitely learning more every day.

  16. #56
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    follow up to what others have posted, if that's the 82" prop there is a minimum ground clearance required... so really small tires might not be an option

    I saw safety cables, but he folded the gear under, so they can't help that condition

  17. #57

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    I have seen a lot of ground loops lately. Only one resulted in that kind of damage, and that is because the pilot went to full power and full back stick on the bounce. It almost went inverted.

    The smaller cubs just go around in a little circle. Often no damage at all, though we take a good look. The strut failure resulted in a six inch scuff on the wing tip - Duct tape stuff.

    The Club Super Cub has had two, to my knowledge. The silly fiberglas wingtips needed a little bondo and Rustoleum. One cracked a wheel, but we didn't discover that until it got home.

    The J4 used to go around routinely. My student would get freaked out and slam on a brake. Never any damage, except to my ego -

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by AkPA/18 View Post
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    With the 20th prize we could have had a hell of a party.🤪


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  19. #59

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    Check your PM.

  20. #60

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    Good place to ask - what is the technique for those rib stitches below the gas tank? Right now I am using a curved needle and poking an extra hole some distance from the stitch to get around the capstrip.

  21. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    Good place to ask - what is the technique for those rib stitches below the gas tank? Right now I am using a curved needle and poking an extra hole some distance from the stitch to get around the capstrip.
    Take the tank out

  22. #62

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    No way. As I was putting it in, I thought: never gonna do another PA-18 tank. Hands are not small enough.

    Think that's bad - thank God my Decathlon tanks are 1977, and not 2003. I have done two of those, and would rather work on a Mooney next time. Or get a root canal.

  23. #63
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    You may be looking at the wrong end of your Cub for your culprit......
    There is often a direct link to the tailwheel in ground loop accidents.
    If it is not working correctly ( huge percentage of them are NOT) the tail wheel can highly influence the outcome of a X-wind landing. Something as simple as incorrectly
    set up springs will have huge effect in how they perform. You could rebuild the wing, buy new gear put it all back together again, and wreack it again if you dont get someone that fully understands the tailwheel and inspect it carefully for you........
    Dont be surprised if he finds a problem with it.......
    Good luck with the project, and sorry for your " ah s#it"......

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  24. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    Good place to ask - what is the technique for those rib stitches below the gas tank? Right now I am using a curved needle and poking an extra hole some distance from the stitch to get around the capstrip.
    Use the proper curved needle to get to the next hole forward or aft of the one you're working on, and also to cross over. After a few, it goes about as quick as a regular stitch. I just did a Smith Cub with 2 tanks per wing...lots of blind stitches there!
    John

  25. #65
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PA-22/20-160 View Post
    Take the tank out
    absolutely!! no reason to make your life hard!!

  26. #66

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    Just finished. Curved needle worked quite well, once I got the proper curvature. If I ever do another tank I am going to invent a clevis clamp for those strap bolts.

    And Hooray! The guys at J3 Forum just hooked me up with the Stits video explaining the "island/palm tree/rabbit run" method. I will try it tomorrow on the first full rib. Just what I was looking for! I suppose you guys have been doing hidden seine knots forever - I have been stuck in the past with the 1980s version of rib stitching.

    I think I understand - still haven't found the alligator.

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