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Rebuilding A Piper Cherokee

#1
Good morning everyone. My name is Greg and I have been lurking around here for years. I have a few hours towards my private license when I got out of high school, but haven't flown in years. My brother and I have decided to start flying, but we are starting a little different from a lot of people. We started by buying a project 72 Piper Cherokee (we do have several friends who are A&Ps and helping with the stuff that needs a signoff). We are both lifelong mechanics, from race cars up to 6000 psi hydrogen compressors. We bought the plane about 5 hours from home, so we started by showing up with a trailer, taking the wings off, and bringing it home.
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#5
This is an incredible project man, I wish you guys the best of luck! Be sure to post updates as you start the repairs/restoration. I do have a couple of questions. What are the main points that need work (cockpit looks stripped out?) ? Is much life remaining on the engine? Or will you be doing a rebuild on that as well?
 
#8
F106,
The plane was last flown a couple of years ago and was currently out of annual. We considering trying to get it ferried back, but we wanted to take it home and completely go over it first. The interior panels were original, not in very good shape at 40+ years old, and green, they had to be removed to get the wings removed. The rest of the interior just came out to be updated. The carb had to be cleaned and rebuilt do to water and sludge in the bowl from sitting. The engine is at TBO now with about 2600 hours on it. We started it in the shop the other day for function checks and had over 60 psi oil pressure good vacuum and was very smooth. We have checked compressions averaging 73/80 leakdown on all four cylinders and 110-120 psi on pumpup so as long as the oil samples come back clean we will probably not tear the engine down.
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#9
Awesome, the engine definitely sounds like it runs well! Looking forward to seeing more, seems like you guys have a great plan, and are well on your way.
 

AkimboGlueGuns

Biplane Guy
Mentor
#11
Great project! Be sure to post updates.

You probably want to join the EAA and find a local chapter. They will be a great help when it comes to learning new skills, and chances are someone will have experience with your airplane. Also, make sure you hit any ADs that have come out since the airplane sat. I know of a restoration back to factory specs that got set back by a few years because the owner never fixed any of the ADs and had to come back to take care of them.