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Thread: PA-18 Values

  1. #1

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    PA-18 Values

    Having owned a J3 for 25+ years, I have a pretty good handle on J3 values, PA-18's, not so much and I am trying to figure it all out. Before anyone schools me I know quite well that a/c values fluctuate widely and that the real value of an aircraft is whatever a willing buyer will pay a willing seller, AC time, engine time, condition, blah blah. So, no need to tell me how unreasonable and stupid my request is because I will disagree. A reasonable person with some experience can help me with $ and how desirable each variant is.

    However, I am trying to draw some ranges for a typically equipped Super Cubs, current annual, low to mid time engine, good paint, good interior, basic com radio and maybe a transponder. Can anyone supply me with some reasonable $ ranges, and desirability of each variant understanding that everyone's mileage will vary.

    PA-18-95 Super Cub
    PA-18-105 Super Cub
    PA-18-125 Super Cub
    PA-18-135 Super Cub

    PA-18-150 Super CubLooking for a little advice here, not absolutes. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    you seem to already of stated that you don't care what we tell you....

  3. #3

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    I read my post again and I did not see where I said that I didn't care about opinions, I just want opinions that aren't of the flavor of "wow, Steve you are such a dumb ass", "look how smart I am because I can call you stupid Steve." That's all. Thanks in advance if there are some helpful people out there with experience to share.
    Last edited by sdischer; 01-06-2020 at 10:19 PM.
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    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    You already own a " real " Cub, you'll be slumming with anything else

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  5. #5
    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    I’ve been looking at PA18-150’s lately. (The only one I would consider) Ready to go like you want they’re between 80-120K depending on condition. Have your money ready to go and make an offer is all I can advise.
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    S2D's Avatar
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    Wow steve , you are such a ....
    Um well ... Naive !!
    ( I tried but i really couldn't help it!!)

    Not because of you're asking about prices, but thinking nobody could resist the temptation. !!

    Good luck on the quest , i just have no clue. Im sure some could get you close.

    Sent from my E6910 using Tapatalk
    I may be wrong but that probably won't stop me from arguing about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Longley View Post
    I’ve been looking at PA18-150’s lately. (The only one I would consider) Ready to go like you want they’re between 80-120K depending on condition. Have your money ready to go and make an offer is all I can advise.
    Exactly what I was looking for. Any other opinions on other models appreciated too.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by S2D View Post
    Wow steve , you are such a ....
    Um well ... Naive !!
    ( I tried but i really couldn't help it!!)

    Not because of you're asking about prices, but thinking nobody could resist the temptation. !!

    Good luck on the quest , i just have no clue. Im sure some could get you close.

    Sent from my E6910 using Tapatalk
    Yes, I am sure at age 57, flying for the last 37 years I am likely very naive! I prefer to think of it as dementia not naiveness.
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  9. #9
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    OK, I'll bite. I have flown and maintained all of them. Number one question, What is your mission?

    90 hp Super Cub is a great airplane for doing what you are doing in a J3 but more comfortable. Load it up in summer and not so good. Top price I have seen is about $55K.
    105 to 135 Super Cubs can do the same as the 90 hp with more power. A light 135 probably almost as good or better than some loaded up 150 hp Super Cubs. Issue is supporting the engine. Cylinders are getting harder to find and overhauling one is not cost effective.

    150 hp is the staple and up it to 160 and it is even better. Didn't know what 10 more hp could do till I upped mine from 150 to 160.

    180 hp SCs are great to haul a load and at elevation but I like the way a light 160 hp flies better for my mission.

    My mission is weekly jaunts to the Brazos River with 8-12 gallons of gas and play on gravel bars. A couple of times a year I like to strap my pod on the belly and camp in Idaho or Utah for a week.

    Prices? They are all over the place. Freshly restored spec Super Cubs with 180 hp are selling for $145K, Carbon Cub FX3s are well over $300K. Have seen some decent 150/160 hp older recovered SCs sell for $75-95. I bought a 12K hour retired powerline patrol plane for $48K (buddy deal) and have invested well over what it is worth adding Bushwheels, Borer prop, extended gear, Baby Buswheel, Thrustline, P-STOL flaps, 160 hp engine. Just got my new Trig radio, no transponder or intention of adding one It all adds up just for the parts and I do my own work.

    Super Cubs aren't cheap but there is a reason they bring more money than a J3, Champ, Citabria etc. Prices are all over the place. I would suggest watching the ads and seeing what moves and what doesn't. There are some good guys down your way from Austin, Houston area and Brenham.
    Steve Pierce

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    Will Rogers
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  10. #10
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    This might be worth reading if you are considering buying a Super Cub. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  11. #11
    WhiskeyMike's Avatar
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    My experience is that even the most "cream-puff" airplanes will require something fixed. A good, serious pre-buy is money well spent. You might consider getting the best airframe, and planning on engine work or overhaul. Its easier than pulling the airplane apart, and can even be done with an exchange, reducing downtime. At least you know then what you have pulling you around. These airplanes are getting old.. to me a late model is a 1960 or so; so consider the cost benefit of something with a replaced fuselage or very, very thorough inspection. Mufflers, cowls, oil coolers, brakes, tailwheels, windows, obsolete avionics, rats-nest wiring... all add up when needing to be replaced. Sometimes it's just easier to start by making it the way you want it. Typically though, it's more expensive to build it than buy it. My 2 cents worth....
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    I'm curious about where you park/hangar around College Station. Not prying about yours in particular, but general interest. My office is about a mile from Coulter. My house is 3 miles from Easterwood. I can't recall seeing any Cubs flying from either. I figured there isn't much of a Cub presence around B/CS.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    I'm curious about where you park/hangar around College Station. Not prying about yours in particular, but general interest. My office is about a mile from Coulter. My house is 3 miles from Easterwood. I can't recall seeing any Cubs flying from either. I figured there isn't much of a Cub presence around B/CS.
    Yes my hanger is on the Far East side and have been there about 30 years. I used to run the FBO out there from 2004-2010 until the City decided we were making too much money (seriously? In aviation?).

  14. #14

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    This deserves repeating. I am sending it to friends who are looking at O-290 airplanes. I am sort of aware of the overhaul problem but Steve states it succinctly.

    90 hp Super Cub is a great airplane for doing what you are doing in a J3 but more comfortable. Load it up in summer and not so good. Top price I have seen is about $55K.
    105 to 135 Super Cubs can do the same as the 90 hp with more power. A light 135 probably almost as good or better than some loaded up 150 hp Super Cubs. Issue is supporting the engine. Cylinders are getting harder to find and overhauling one is not cost effective.

    150 hp is the staple and up it to 160 and it is even better. Didn't know what 10 more hp could do till I upped mine from 150 to 160.

    180 hp SCs are great to haul a load and at elevation but I like the way a light 160 hp flies better for my mission.
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  15. #15
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    I bought my first plane a few weeks ago, a 90 hp super cub. Paid 59K. It was local. 590 hrs since overhaul in ‘94. Good fabric. Old avionics, 20 year old GPS. Owner wanted 68K. I offered 54K. On barnstormers, it may have went for more. Check the comp. I did for months.

    Agree with the pre-buy. First thing I did after I signed the check was send the mags off for overhaul and harness replacement, plus all the ADs that had been overlooked. Now a happy owner. Best of luck.
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  16. #16
    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    Looking thru an old flying Magazine this winter (early 1960's) and Piper had an ad for the Super Cub and / Pacer.
    The Pacer cost a thousand bucks more than the Cub! Think about that.....
    E

    Sent from my moto e5 go using SuperCub.Org mobile app
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  17. #17
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboBeaver View Post
    Looking thru an old flying Magazine this winter (early 1960's) and Piper had an ad for the Super Cub and / Pacer.
    The Pacer cost a thousand bucks more than the Cub! Think about that.....
    E
    Come on Earle, tell them what the actual price was for each!
    N1PA
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  18. #18

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    FWIW, I bought a 1969 SC150 about a year ago for 80K. Nice condition, good compressions, restored 15 years ago, full logs, IFR steam gauge panel, low time - 1300 hours TTAE, hangared since the restoration, no squawks, little extras like Tannis heater, etc. No ADSB. It took some lookin' to find it. It was in the Northeast, where there are not that many potential buyers. I replaced a weakish radio with a used GNS430 non-WAAS. I would have done it anyway though. I put in ADSB out and I'm using a Stratus for ADSB in.

    I took a big gamble and bought it sight unseen with a local annual, lots of pictures and a long conversation with the local mechanic. The plane has some paint minor bubbling that I didn't know about, but no big deal.

    There was another similar plane I could have bought in that price range, also in the eastern US.

    My impression is that regional difference in the size of the buyer pool helped me get a good deal. I think that this plane would be worth 100K + in the Northwest.

    I nearly bought a plane that was a former Israeli military plane, but found out on a really, really deep dive into the web that the plane was crashed and sold in Israel to a company that fixed it up after it sat there for some years. The American sellers denied knowledge of this, of course. Buyer beware.

    Kick a lot of tires over the internet, repeat until you know what a good deal is, then offer 15% below what they are asking.
    Last edited by Tennessee; 06-02-2020 at 06:33 AM.

  19. #19
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    From my perspective there are plenty of buyers just not very good examples priced to reflect their condition.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  20. #20
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    List prices:
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    What they were actually selling for on the used market.
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    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  21. #21

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    FWIW, point in time example of the market (willing buyer meets willing seller)

    - Cash purchase in August 2019 by my BIL
    - 150 hp PA-18 in Los Anchorage
    - Bushwheels (can't recall size) in good shape, BBW on tail, basic panel, circa 900 hours SMOH on the engine, 200? hours on prop, fabric ok but will be the next big thing to address, VG's on wing, standard flaps & ailerons
    - Comes with spare set of gear with smaller tires/wheels and penetration skis and small TW.....apparently the previous owner simply swapped gear each fall / spring
    - Pre-buy had quite a few squawks on the ELT and it's installation...that may have been a negotiation point, but the ELT issues were addressed post-sale and outside of the price agreement.
    - Came "in-annual" although I had to scratch my head after hearing about the ELT.
    - Purchase price $95k if BIL is telling the truth. Paid an extra $2500 to secure it and get 5 hours each for the BIL and his son to fly with the previous owner and get familiar with the bird before writing the big check.
    Back In Alaska

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    At the upper end of the used scale, I have a 2003 Cubcrafters "Top Cub" 180HP; 210 Total Time, like new condition, and 10 SMOH available August, 2020. Mine and others like mine are advertised for about $165-170K. I have been following the market, a really nice PA-18, 1970's with upgrades are around $100K. appears that bush planes are in vogue, Cubcrafters are turning out the Experimental EX-2"s and 3's, cost about $300K; and on the loser end, you get what you pay for. I buying a cheaper bird, may need covering, engine work or overhaul, instruments and radios, etc, and in the end, might be better off purchasing a bird in better condition. Damage to bush planes is not as much as a deterrent as damage history on the spam cans, as repairs can be effected to like new status if performed properly. Cubcrafters have a pretty good awareness on the retail market, and might be able to assist you in valuations. PS I issue certificates of airworthiness on the Cubcrafters build school aircraft, beautiful airplanes!

  23. #23
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Just helped a friend buy an L21 that was rebuilt correctly in recent years, fuselage jigged, all the good mods, new 31" BWs, BBW tire, 2k GW, ext gear, ASOS, basic panel, 1000 hr engine just installed after IRAN for new cam and lifters, very low time Borer prop, $120K.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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