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Thread: Modernizing the Pacer?

  1. #51
    Brian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modernizing the Pacer?

    Quote Originally Posted by tloes View Post
    Direct replacement for a rear-mounted "round face" gyro: https://aerovonics.com/av-30
    Supposedly available with STC in mid-2019.
    Thats a really good price for a feature rich AI with DG built in!
    I hope they get the certified model approved next year!
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. #52
    CamTom12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modernizing the Pacer?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmoyle View Post
    Working under the instrument panel was.....frigg’n uncomfortable... one chunk of 3/8” thick plywood 16” wide by four feet and a couple legs on one end and a sponge floor mat later...easy peasy..


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Agreed. I’ve spent some time under mine for alternator and other wiring upgrades. Except my seats were installed.

    “Uncomfortable” just doesn’t seem to convey the feeling, hahaha!

  3. #53
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modernizing the Pacer?

    I removed the seat to install my ADSB, put it back in and was wrapping things up when I realized there were two screws under the far left side under the panel I needed to put back. I laid down in the seat with my feet sticking out the front door and rolled under the panel laying on my back with one arm under me. I got the two screws in but then wondered if I was going ro be able to get out. I thought oh s..t I should have had my cell phone under there so I could get help. I managed to wiggle my way out. At 80 I am thankful I am still flexible.

  4. #54
    Stephen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modernizing the Pacer?

    When I work under the panel, I have old pillows I prop against the rudder pedals and a old sleeping bag on the floor. It is quite comfortable once I get in but, it takes a gymnastics manoeuvre to get out. Planning ahead to have everything I need is the key.
    "You can only tie the record for flying low."

  5. #55

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    Default Re: Modernizing the Pacer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbert Pierce View Post
    I removed the seat to install my ADSB, put it back in and was wrapping things up when I realized there were two screws under the far left side under the panel I needed to put back. I laid down in the seat with my feet sticking out the front door and rolled under the panel laying on my back with one arm under me. I got the two screws in but then wondered if I was going ro be able to get out. I thought oh s..t I should have had my cell phone under there so I could get help. I managed to wiggle my way out. At 80 I am thankful I am still flexible.
    I feel less embarrassed that I got a leg stuck between the struts and just about needed help to get out from under the dash of mine

  6. #56
    kchansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modernizing the Pacer?

    Great thread, everyone. Lots of good info.

    Now the real question: How do we justify the expense of doing these upgrades to an airplane that's only worth so much on the best day? Don't get me wrong, I don't subscribe to the "not worth it" camp. The airplane is most certainly worth keeping in flying condition, which also means upgrades as necessary/desired.

    But we all know the math probably doesn't work on these airplanes (well, many airplanes, really) when you start adding more and more toys. Then again, math isn't always the final deciding factor.

    For those of you who have gone before us on these types of projects, what was your thought process?
    CFII -- Owner - 1950 Piper Pacer
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa - 2018 Dues Paid!

  7. #57
    andya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modernizing the Pacer?

    I think there is a similar comparison to having an airplane that maybe has a value of $20-25K with 2000 hours SMOH and you may need to throw another $18-20K at an OVHL. Now you have over $40k invested without any new toys and much like avionic toys, you won't get that money back in cash if you have to or decide to sell. I think it depends on how bad your "habit" is for flying airplanes.
    "Progress is our most important problem"

  8. #58
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modernizing the Pacer?

    Buy a new Carbon X Cub. What will your $300,000+ investment be worth one year later?

  9. #59
    Crash's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modernizing the Pacer?

    tl:dr: KISS-SWO. Consider Oratex. Do it for the community. And (slightly off-topic) tri-gears are cool and attract new pilots too!

    First - +1 on all of the KISS-SWO (keep it simple you studly/sexy short wing owner) suggestions - Modern/new-ish gauges and requirements for basic IFR and redundancy are worthwhile investments in any plane. Glass is great, but it comes with a potentially worse maintenance tail. If that's what you like and want, all power to you but most people will not look at this plane for the kind of mission a fancy glass panel can enable. Make it safe, reliable, and able to fly when conditions go south, and you make a great plane better.

    Second - and I acknowledge this may get me drummed off the site - Have you considered Oratex? I realize it's still new, and I'm not sure there is an STC for our birds yet (it is approved in Canada and Europe...) but man, the promise of time savings on installation (no paint as long as you like their colors!) and ease of repair are enticing (I also acknowledge my subject matter knowledge is about youtube and betteraircraftfabric.com deep, so take this FWIW especially if it's already being discussed elsewhere). I would consider it however.

    WARNING: I'm feeling philosophical this morning... DISCLAIMER: I have intimate experience with exactly ONE Short Wing, so that's my experiential bias...

    Third, as a fairly new owner and obsess-ee of the Short Wings, I'm presently pondering the same question. I tend to look at it in terms of the bigger picture -- GA is getting harder and harder to break into, and we lucky folks that own one of these have what I think is the best kept secret in certified aviation. I've already taken several non-believers up and changed minds (and have had requests for continued access to my bird). This plane is easy to fly, cheap to run, and cheap to acquire. Even as I modernize mine -- it now has a new alternator in-lieu of the generator, and a modern re-positioned oil cooler (both out of necessity) and I'm about an inch from pulling the trigger on disc brakes and ADS-B -- I'm still less invested than a comparable C-172 in terms of TTAF, TSMOH, equipment, and capability (but I'm quickly catching up). And man, it's a classic looking plane. I was originally thinking I'd keep it for awhile and pass it on, but now I'm not sure I'd actually be able to let it go...

    So food for thought: How about altruism and ensuring future generations of aviators? And I realize that's suggesting a lot; it's an investment in the community, through the plane. We need to keep these birds in the air, and maintain the secret. I don't think you can look at it in pure mathematical terms. If you love the plane, keep it safely flying.

    Here's another contentious thought - this is NOT an attack on anyone, just a point of discussion - I've seen a lot of folks talking 20/22 conversion; maybe we should be trying to keep more stools flying as opposed to converting them. Don't get me wrong, I eventually want to move into a standard gear plane, and a Pacer is at the top of that list. However, you want to get more guys and gals smitten with short wings? Don't attrit our already small-ish inventory of tri-gears (compared to the Cessnas and Grummans of the world). Again, not an attack or an attempt to dissuade anyone who's going down that path; I love 'em too, and might consider it myself one day. But I was actually laying awake thinking about that the other night (I kid you not), as I go through the thought process of modernizing my brakes.

    Man I love this plane...

    *stashes soapbox* Happy Wednesday everyone!
    Last edited by Crash; 12-12-2018 at 10:49 AM.

  10. #60

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    Default Re: Modernizing the Pacer?

    Quote Originally Posted by kchansen View Post
    Great thread, everyone. Lots of good info.

    Now the real question: How do we justify the expense of doing these upgrades to an airplane that's only worth so much on the best day? Don't get me wrong, I don't subscribe to the "not worth it" camp. The airplane is most certainly worth keeping in flying condition, which also means upgrades as necessary/desired.

    But we all know the math probably doesn't work on these airplanes (well, many airplanes, really) when you start adding more and more toys. Then again, math isn't always the final deciding factor.

    For those of you who have gone before us on these types of projects, what was your thought process?
    Two things come to mind here, the first being we fix up our aircraft to suit our needs and get the maximum enjoyment and safety for what we do with them. Second thing is, have you looked at Pacer prices lately? I have seen some really nice ones going north of 50k. Values are going up because the cost of mods is high and getting higher, so if you want a turn key aircraft you are more willing to pay. If you buy a 25k "fixxer-upper" you will put another 20k in it while sitting on the ground for years, versus buy and fly. I recently turned down a remotely serious offer on mine that was high enough to get me thinking, but if you sell for 50k what are you going to replace it with for that money?

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