Cub Resurrection: Part TwoWritten by Steve Ells
At the end of the last episode Bob Berg, the owner of the 1939 Piper J-3 Cub and I had just driven to Lompoc, Calif. to attend the West Coast Cub Fly-in. That annual event took place July 6-8, 2012.
I had hoped when I agreed to join the resurrection team in mid-February to fly the 60-odd statute miles to the Lompoc airport (KLPC) in our newly resurrected J-3. That hope was wildly optimistic. As I write this, it’s now Labor Day—and we haven’t yet turned a prop. I was warned by the Cub expert I contacted through the Cub Club that it would be prudent to budget between 200 and 250 hours of labor.
On the 11th of April I wrote a “To-Do” list. It included labor items such as patch the belly fabric (I cut it in order to install rudder pedal return springs); install instrument panel; install and plumb instruments; install boot cowl; install new rear stabilizer tube; install horizontal stabilizer and elevators, install rudder, install tailwheel, install STC’d Globe brake kit; and decide on what magnetos to use.
MAGNETOS—OVERHAUL OR NEW?
Old mailbox-style Bendix SF4RN-8 magnetos were on the A-65-8 engine in Berg’s Cub when it last flew. I was told by some old-timers that mailbox mags “would shoot a spark across the room.”