Piper project, take it on or let it pass


I have this as an opportunity
at least 13 years sitting.
1953 Pa-22
O290 d2 800hrs smoh
chrome cylinders looks great with bore scope.
Cam and crank? tbd

Not sealed struts with light surface rust upper half.
Newer strut forks.

Logs are incomplete.

Basically he would rather it be restored than parted out. I could buy it for the price of an engine core.

My step son just got his A&P (working for jet blue now) it would be our project.

My issue is I don't know what I don't know about Tri Pacers. I am not an A&P but have been working with tube and fabric planes for good while.

I am also very aware of the "free horse" that I might be getting into.

Looking for some advise and guidance.


  • tempImagevHuAck.png
    13.6 MB · Views: 26
Sooo. First look very carefully for rust, lower longerons etc, with your experience it should be a snap to repair it.
These things are heaps of fun.
If we're talking about the price of an o290 core, about 3k then, jump in with both feet. If it isn't cotton chances are the covering is in good shape, with some paint/dope repair you can fly, as is for a bit. I love that motor, it runs great on mogas. Parts are available thanks to the innerwebs.
Next to free is the only way to start on a tripe resto, you already know what it'll cost you to cover it, so if you're buying it right, why not? The only other factor is your time, how often and how much time can you throw at it?
Do you enjoy working on stuff, have the time and space. Start researching here, anything you want to know about restoring a Short Wing Piper is here or a post away.
Thank you for the input.
lol, well I paid for an O320 fire wall forward a few years ago, so it was double that.

I was able to use the bore scope to look at the lower longerons as best I could.
Did not see anything bogus, as of yet. I will be getting the logs this weekend to look over.

Jim, I agreed with the gentleman that if for some reason I didn't take it on, I will make every effort to find someone that will take care of it.

That said Im not sure I will be passing this up. The plane just makes sense.

Yes my son and I will need help with knowledge.


  • IMG_8371.jpeg
    2.3 MB · Views: 42
  • IMG_8370.jpeg
    1.8 MB · Views: 36
  • IMG_8375.jpeg
    1.7 MB · Views: 33
  • IMG_8376.jpeg
    2.6 MB · Views: 34
  • tempImagewrpQT2.png
    13.1 MB · Views: 38
  • tempImageqWWi8s.png
    13.9 MB · Views: 42
  • tempImagesXoTTV.png
    12.8 MB · Views: 41
  • Like
Reactions: Jim
If you don't have much ring worm, I'd be tempted to rejuvenate the dope. You have what looks to be a seriously cool paint job. The bottom paint can be restored.
Any idea what caused the bottom to peel? Anyone? Probably see rust streaks along the longerons if it was battery acid. Everything else looks great.
Couple of things can cause that... hard to tell from pics. I've seen jobs where the initial coat of dope was incorrect..... buterate instead of nitrate, I've also seen poor prep(contamination) prior to a second coat of paint, cause this... Incompatible paint will do this as well, something like polytone on a urethane...
The most likely culprit? This is the dirty side, if the paint wasn't properly cleaned and abraided it it won't make the long haul.
Any idea what caused the bottom to peel? Anyone? Probably see rust streaks along the longerons if it was battery acid. Everything else looks great.
Looks like they might have repainted the belly without cleaning and or scuffing the old paint. Not coming off down to the fabric which is good.
in the 1-st and 2-nd pictures-- if you magnify them----look at the left (as you look at the picture) side of the cross tube that supports the trim wheel. If you look closely where the tube welds into the longeron -- it looks like there is a rusty crack there. it also looks like there is a little on the other side too-----
Paint remove and blast that first and then magiflux (dye-penetrant) those areas right away. could be the welds cracked for some reason and the rust is just a tell tale.

But it looks like it could be a nice plane ---- IF the tubes are not rusted inside or out. Check for metal screws into the tubing in the cabin. That will let moisture inside the tubes. And there there is SB-819 ----- look for that to have
done in the logs-- (if it has logs---)