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Thread: C180/185 jackscrew inspection cover

  1. #1
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    C180/185 jackscrew inspection cover

    Aeropod manufactures the C180/185 rudder bellcrank inspection covers that go on top,
    but it seems that the jackscrew inspection cover that goes on the bottom (reference service kit SK185-27) is hard to find.
    Luckily my airplane already has this installed, but I see a lot of guys looking.
    So I thought I'd give a heads-up that someone posted on the 180/185 FB group that they are manufacturing this now.
    Price is listed as $380 US, but the outfit is located in Australia so I don't know what shipping costs might be.
    Also not sure on just what paperwork you may or may not get with it.

    Stabiliser Jack Screw Access Cover for Cessna 180 and Cessna 185 – BVT Aviation
    Last edited by hotrod180; 02-15-2021 at 09:55 AM.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  2. #2
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Maybe yu should add “185” to the thread title. imho

    Also IMHO, I have seen that service kit installed poorly several times and it is difficult to get just right sometimes for the following reasons:
    1. the doubler needs to be bent to get it in the hole, then reformed to fit the belly contour.
    2. the Cessna made pieces on many of the kits had misalignment of the nutplates and the screw holes the nutplates were riveted behind
    3. the inspection cover plate holes were not accurate to the nutplate holes and the cover plate did not conform to the aircraft belly

    Also, access to the jackscrews is barely enough to get the jackscrews in and out of the hole. Yes, it can be done.

    This being said, I would not personally choose to install any more of these when I can take the tailfeathers off and easily perform jackscrew rebuilding and tail inspecting.

    My current 185 has the kit, and it is a plus and value adder, but not a necessity.

    I am certain others opinions vary and would welcome their thoughts.

    d
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  3. #3

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    You can thank me for the cheaper part. I just purchased a Cessna kit from Yingling. $$$$$$$$. Hundred per $. Damn high for what you get.

    BTW. The new part is not PMA’d yet. Legal?

    GM

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    aktango58's Avatar
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    It has been a lot of years since I was having to do that project, but YIKES! trying to get my big mitts inside and get the chain just right, everything aligned... Dave said it: Pull the tail and it will be quicker, and do the AD inspection quick and easy.

    Now, doesn't Kenmore Air have an STC for some access panels back there?? I seem to recall those made it much easier to maintain stuff.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  5. #5
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Calkins View Post
    ..... I have seen that service kit installed poorly several times and it is difficult to get just right sometimes for the following reasons:
    1. the doubler needs to be bent to get it in the hole, then reformed to fit the belly contour.
    2. the Cessna made pieces on many of the kits had misalignment of the nutplates and the screw holes the nutplates were riveted behind
    3. the inspection cover plate holes were not accurate to the nutplate holes and the cover plate did not conform to the aircraft belly
    Also, access to the jackscrews is barely enough to get the jackscrews in and out of the hole. Yes, it can be done.
    This being said, I would not personally choose to install any more of these when I can take the tailfeathers off and easily perform jackscrew rebuilding and tail inspecting. .....
    ......
    My airplane has the lower inspection cover, but I've never installed one.
    You make some good points, but at least the insp cover allows to peek up in there and/or feel around.
    I was advised to reach up in the every year at annual time & squeeze the boots to get the grease back onto the jackscrews.

    FWIW the installation instructions are posted on the bushwagon east website.

    SK185-27.pdf (bushwagoneast.com)

    Also FWIW I've been told that Airframe Components / Williams Airmotive in IN has these kits for $700 or so.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  6. #6
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Very basic sheetmetal working skills will suffice to fabricate the inspection cover and doubler.
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  7. #7
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Calkins View Post
    Very basic sheetmetal working skills will suffice to fabricate the inspection cover and doubler.
    True. But a lot of people don't have such skills.
    And a lot of people would rather just buy the stuff they need than have to fabricate it themselves.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  8. #8
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    SK185-27.pdf (bushwagoneast.com)

    Also FWIW I've been told that Airframe Components / Williams Airmotive in IN has these kits for $700 or so.
    When you call them, let the owner know that his namesake nephew highly recommends his shop.

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

  9. #9
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    When you call them, let the owner know that his namesake nephew highly recommends his shop.

    Web
    I wonder how much that will add to the price?
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  10. #10
    180Marty's Avatar
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    I have the factory kit that I purchased 25 years ago but have not installed. While just looking at want ads I spotted the first style of inspection cover I ever saw on a plane. It was in Houma Louisiana and this is the way they did it down there. I've been fortunate to fly 4 different 185's in oil country with a very experienced instructor and another guy that wasn't official but was "just about an instructor". This inspection cover was a lot simpler. This plane in for sale in Canada but I bet it started in LA.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #11
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 180Marty View Post
    I have the factory kit that I purchased 25 years ago but have not installed. While just looking at want ads I spotted the first style of inspection cover I ever saw on a plane. It was in Houma Louisiana and this is the way they did it down there. I've been fortunate to fly 4 different 185's in oil country with a very experienced instructor and another guy that wasn't official but was "just about an instructor". This inspection cover was a lot simpler. This plane in for sale in Canada but I bet it started in LA.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    A word to the wise! The implication here is that a round inspection plate in this location is indicative of an airplane which spent a great deal of time in corrosion country. It is now hiding in Canada far from the salt. Buyer beware.
    N1PA

  12. #12
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    This is a pretty highly stressed area of the tail. The bulkhead that holds the front of the tailwheel spring is at the back edge of the inspection hole. And the Hor stab jackscrews are on each side of the inspection hole.

    That round cover “might” be okay as long as the skin doubler behind it is THICK

    I hear you Pete, on the possible corrosion alert
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