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Topic-icon PA28-140 Parked for a long time

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29 Apr 2022 16:37 #3482

James,
You do know that not every Cherokee has to do the eddy current inspection AD, correct?
Have you read the AD?
I've attached it and the other recent AD calling for an inspection of the wing spar for corrosion.
Steve

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28 Apr 2022 19:15 #3481

Thanks for the input Steve-
I do have all the logbooks for both airframe and engine. The last shop that worked on it printed out the AD list for it, indicating which had been done. All were current up to that point. The only one that I find incomplete is the wing spar inspection, since it came out after it was parked. I have already ordered the history records, like you suggested.
One thing I noticed while studying the logs- how things have changed over it's lifespan. Just in the way things were written up, like they actually took pride and cared about their work. In cursive at that. Definitely not like today, where everything is computer-generated. At least in the automotive industry.
The tires are new, still have the stickers on them, and are in great condition. However, being in the automotive parts and service industry, I know that age is a major factor with tires.
I plan on removing all inspection panels and looking myself to see how things seem.
I am concerned with the condition of the camshaft and lifters, as you mentioned. Removing a cylinder does seem to be the only true way of getting an idea of the internal condition.
The instrumentation will definitely need attention, and the radios upgraded to something out of this century... maybe a glass panel? Probably not in my budget, but will look into the used market for some of that stuff.
It's going to be a fun, long project. Provided it passes the AD...judging from the overall condition, it shouldn't be an issue. I say shouldn't, but I am hoping for the best, expecting the worst.
Thanks again!
Jim

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28 Apr 2022 18:22 #3480

Hi James;
This could be great news for you.
Did you get the logbooks for the airplane? If not that will add to the complexity of getting it back into airworthy status since all the airworthiness directives will need to be re inspected and signed off.
I recommend that you contact the FAA registry office in Oklahoma City and request a CD (yep they still use CDs) of the airplane records. That will get you a record of any Major Repair or Alteration (Form 337) forms that have been filed and a record of where and who registered the airplane since it left Piper.
The Achilles Heel of the Lycoming engine is that it take some real specialized tools, or the removal on one cylinder to do a good interior inspection of the engine. Critical inspection items are the camshaft lobes and the lifter bodies. This are highly stresses parts and if there's rust that almost always means the engine will need to be disassembled and some parts replaced.
The fuel system should be cleaned and flushed with fresh fuel, then refilled with new fuel, The same for the carburetor.
The magnetos need to be disassembled to some degree to inspect the internal parts.
Every inspection panel needs to be opened and a thorough inspection done looking for corrosion, rodent infestation, and broken or damaged parts.
I parked my airplane on a ranch strip for about 5 years and mice moved in. I've vacuumed a big pile of mouse pellets out of the left and right wings.
I recommend that you buy new tires and tubes. I like the Monster retreads from Desser Tire. I have them on my airplane and they seem to be bullet proof.
Every system will have to be "gone through" meaning tested, and cleaned and lubed as necessary prior to flying. Its the only way you'll know this Cherokee is safe to fly.
If the interior is in bad shape you can buy kits that have all the parts needed to refurbish it.
The windows and windshield may need to be replaced.
My recommendation is to pull a cylinder to look inside the engine. If there's an experienced airplane engine rebuilder nearby, hire one of its experienced employees to pull the cylinder and do a detailed inspection of the inside of the engine.
Let me know how it goes; all questions are welcome.
Steve

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27 Apr 2022 16:58 #3479

I have just acquired a 1974 PA28-140 that has been parked for over 15 years. Cheap. Really, really cheap.
Was wondering if anyone has an idea of where to start on this thing.
I have scheduled the wing spar AD inspection, figured that's the first thing to do. If it passes, I'll proceed. If not, I'll put it up for sale.
Engine has roughly 200 hours since overhaul, will be checking things out with a borescope. I'm already anticipating it will need to be gone through.
It's not in bad shape, but will need lots of love and care to ensure it's not only airworthy, but safe and reliable to put back in the air. It has been stored in a shade hanger north of Kansas City, Missouri so it has had at least some protection from the elements.
I know it's going to be a long, drawn out journey, but I really would like to get it up in the air.
Any ideas/guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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