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Thread: Revival of a '55 PA-22

  1. #1

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    Default Revival of a '55 PA-22

    Greetings all. Firstly I would like to give a huge thanks to this forum for the wealth of information I've already searched through. This is one heck of a treasure trove of great information. I hope that in time, my project can be shared here as well. This month I picked up a 1955 Tri Pacer from a local airport. My father and I dismantled the airplane over the course of a week and moved it to a hangar a few airports over. The airplane had been under the care of a farmer who along with his uncle have owned it from day one. It has not flown since the early 90's when the owner encountered some medical problems. Once the owner knew he would not be flying any time soon, he drained the fuel from the airplane and tied it down, where it would sit for the next 33 years give or take.

    So far, we have the airplane in pieces in the hangar where I am trying to formulate a gameplan. I have started by cleaning things up so I know where I stand. Thankfully my bird has spent its slumber under an overhang which seems to have kept the sun from frying the paint and plastics. In fact, I think it is shining up really well.

    I know I will have to accomplish SB 819 before I get too far along. I'm still reading all sorts of posts on how to go about this. Input is always welcome. The fuselage was re covered in 1978 but there is no log entry specifically mentioning SB 819. I'm planning to use my borescope to peer up through the right hand door latch and see how much corrosion I can find before I start cutting. Borescoping the wing showed little to no corrosion, and the "hell hole" in the tail showed the same. This is my first fabric airplane, and I will have lots of learning to do. As I work, and brainstorm I will post updates! Happy new years!

    -CL
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  2. #2
    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Revival of a '55 PA-22

    Congrats and welcome. Pretty neat to have a one own airplane built in 1955. Look forward to following your journey.

  3. #3

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    Wink Re: Revival of a '55 PA-22

    That is a great looking plane! The key to keeping planes flying is to get as many shades of the base color as you can on the plane in different areas. I sold my old Pacer to Don Lee and it was used as a trainer which got bent after a few years, I saw it in a hanger finishing up the repairs and noted how the paint matched well, he noted he had 3 shades of red to choose from so it was not that hard. If you start getting MOREBETTERFEVER just take some Tylenol and avoid a full recover or repaint if at all possible. They all look good from 30 ft and perfect paint does not make it fly any better. Fix what needs to be fixed, get paint close to good and get it in the air.
    DENNY

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Revival of a '55 PA-22

    Thats quite a barn find. A man doesnt get too many of those !

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Revival of a '55 PA-22

    Thanks guys! I certainly seem to have gotten lucky. I like what PACERGUY said; paint doesn't make it fly any better. If I can save what I have and see how this bird flies, I will be even more happy.

    Spend a solid day at the hangar with my dad today. Removed doors, carpet and floorboards. We were pleasantly surprised with how little corrosion is present. I used my borescope to peer up into the pillar behind the forward door, as well as the lower door frame. All of the pipes seem to be coated in what looks like a thick grease, or oil. I think at some point maybe SB819 was accomplished, or at a minimum the airframe was treated with some sort of corrosion prevention which saved it. There are some marks by the tack welds on the pillars that lead me to believe they may have been removed once before. I still plan to drill some inspection holes along the pillars I could not get my borescope into, just to be safe, but things are looking really good as of now. The shade structure at the airport not only saved the paint for the last 30 years, but it looks like it protected the metal too.

    I'm planning on ordering a full set of cables as these are all corroded. Still debating between stainless or standard, however I didn't have much time to research tonight. Does anyone have a preferred vendor for cables and related equipment or is Univair the go-to? While I have the floors up, I will be disassembling all of the pulleys, guides and hinges, and giving them a clean and lube.

    As for some electrical work, I've heard (and seen) that the shielding on the old piper wires can degrade over time. I plan to run new wires to the tail for lights and up to the wings. I did not see how they are attached to the wing framework from the factory, but I assume they are string wrapped like all the connectors. Could it be as simple as pulling a string with the old wire and following with a new wire? I will do some searching and find out.

    I'm headed out on a trip over the next week or so, but hopefully I can make some research progress in the meantime.

    Cheers! -CL
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  6. #6
    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Revival of a '55 PA-22

    I use galvanized cables. Stainless cables fray quicker because the material is less flexible. I get cables from Univair.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Revival of a '55 PA-22

    She was beggin for fresh gas and air under her wings. When did sb819 get made? My plane was rebuiult in the 70s and no mention of the serv bullet. Figure I will wait another 20 or 30 years if it needs recovered than.

    Whats the big knob?

    Found the service bullet, looks like 1986 and after my plane was rebuilt, been hangared all its life since resurrection around 1980, probably no concern
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    Last edited by PA-16; 01-02-2024 at 12:35 PM.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Revival of a '55 PA-22

    I'll second what Steve said regarding cables. Stainless is for seaplanes but they wear much quicker. Galvanized will last a long time. If you want you can make your own if you have the proper Nicopress tool. Pretty easy. Kind of depends on availability from Univair. I made most of the cables for my PA-16.

  9. #9
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Revival of a '55 PA-22

    I made all my PA16 cables also.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Revival of a '55 PA-22

    If you do make your own, be sure you choose the correct sleeve material based on the cable material.


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