1977 Decathlon Rebuild

Bob Turner

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
681
#21
Yes, building stuff is good for you.

I was responding to the $40 K set of new wings, fabric applied, no paint. First, that sounds like a horrible way to ship a wing - how long would it take to put a coat of nitrate dope on to protect from dust? An hour with a good brush?

Second - although my Dec cost $43 K with wood spar wings, it was in exceptional condition.
My friend bought a 150 C/S metal spar Decathlon for $40 K. It might not be worth that now, since it has been parked outside for three years without flying. But it proves my point, unless used Decathlons have seriously increased in value in the last six or so years.
 

Bartman

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
1,047
Location
New Jersey, USA
#22
Prices have actually been going up lately, maybe the whole small airplane market has been but Citabria/Decathlons seem to be going up.

The reason I'd be ordering them with fabric only is that I'd be painting with Stewart Systems and nothing in ACA's process is compatible, except maybe the adhesive.

Just posting that info about the two options made it pretty clear that the wood-spar wings are the way to go. If cost were no option and I were trying to do a 180 Super D that would be comparable to a low hour factory built late model airplane then it would all be brand new top shelf stuff across the board. But I can't play in that sandbox so I'll keep pinging Rainbow Ron to see when spars are going to be available.

I ordered new instrument panel parts yesterday and asked that they be ready for when the fuselage frame is ready to be picked up. The panel will be uncut so there will be some wiggle room in where everything is placed. :)
 

Bob Turner

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
681
#23
Maule Air Texas - a dealer! Has a low time 1979 Dec for $43,900 or so - asking price! Engine is below 300 TSO.
I bought mine in 2003 from a private party with 1000 TSO for $42 K.

Did not check Citabriae, but suspect a good one with mid time engine is still $32 K.
 

Bartman

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
1,047
Location
New Jersey, USA
#24
Not much to report. Been picking through the wing parts to make sure that there's enough there for a new set of wings to be built. Spoke to Rainbow Ron and he's working on procuring a new batch of spruce for spars but as of yet there's no timetable for them to be available. Been poking around for a set of fuel tanks, have some leads but I'm not buying anything for the wings until I know I've got a set of spars.

Four ailerons came with the project, one's perfect, two have hangar rash, and the third needs a spar and one section of leading edge. Since I'd really like to learn new skills as I work on this I'm probably going to try to rebuild the aileron with a new spar. There are a few joints with solid rivets, the rest are pop rivets. Getting the solid rivets just right and the ribs attached to the new spar so that they're all perfectly straight will be a challenge. the rest should be easy.

As soon as spring decides to show its face I'll get to work stripping and priming fuselage doo-dads. there's a lot to do there but I can't do any of it when it's cold outside.

to be completely honest, there's a chance that I'll have a go at a sale of the project once the registration and the completed fuselage frame are back at my house. if the only option will be new ACA wings then I can't see the point in not going the Super Decathlon route but the money for the engine/prop will likely be more than I want to sink into this on top of new wings. so if there's a small profit to be made by selling what I've got then it's going to be considered just like any other option. until that time I'll just keep plugging along and see what pieces fall into place along the way.

:)
 

Bartman

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
1,047
Location
New Jersey, USA
#25
Not much to report, I want to report that something got done but I've got an old Mustang in the garage with the front end apart and now it's going to be two weeks before I can get it back on its wheels since the old ones won't fit over the new disc brakes that I'm installing. Ordered wheels, arranged for tires to be mounted, waiting on a tool to flare a couple of brake lines........once it's done it's going into storage for a few months so I can bring the Decathlon stuff home and get it stashed so I can begin working on it.

Needed to vent. :mad:
 

Bartman

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
1,047
Location
New Jersey, USA
#26
I will tell you this though, the old fabric on the horizontal stabilizaer and elevators had to come off so I grabbed the drill and a set of pliers to hold the rivets. Best technique I can muster is to rock the rivet back and forth on the bottom while drilling from the top slowly or by pulsing the drill. The motion of the pliers causes the bottom of the rivet to break off before the drill has a chance to damage the rib material, the hole stays perfect and you're on to the next one.

(y)
 
Last edited:

Bob Turner

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
681
#27
On the brake discs - Stainless Steel Brakes got a batch of improperly drilled hubs a while back. Mine would cause the wheel to move up and down 1/16" per revolution. Front end shop thought it was out of round tires.

The drum brake hubs are far more accurate - studs are typically off by a few thou, but in a random fashion.

Beware.
 

Bartman

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
1,047
Location
New Jersey, USA
#28
Went with Wilwood for the brake hardware, hopefully it'll bolt on and there won't be any problems. The car was my mom's daily driver when I was a kid so it's been in the family for a long time. We should be ready for July 4th parade season so my mom will be happy to ride in it for whatever parade we can weasel our way into! lol
 

Bartman

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
1,047
Location
New Jersey, USA
#29
Fuel header tank was on the short list of parts that would probably be hard to find, but it wasn't and it arrived today! Some fresh paint and it'll be one of the first things to go into the new frame when it's here next month.
IMG_20200214_144210330.jpg
See that, I'm smiling again!
 

Bartman

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
1,047
Location
New Jersey, USA
#30
Hi all,

Project is for sale. Message me privately if you'd like to discuss it. Pick up in NJ.

Domestic situation is undergoing change.
 

Bruce

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2018
Messages
177
Location
Knoxville TN
#31
Sorry to hear about the changing situation, I hope it turns for the better. I understand the way life changes especially with current virus issue. I considered selling my project as well and hope you have good success and better tings in future.
 

Goodyear

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Messages
113
#32
Sorry, lot of stress going around. Hope you keep contributing to this site. Hate to see it happening, but things are going to change for awhile.
 

Bruce

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2018
Messages
177
Location
Knoxville TN
#33
Well I think is unsettling but being retired may be worse, I’ve been a shut in now for 7 weeks so I’m more stir crazy, just now able to start back on plane then it turns cold again. But this to shall pass so best wishes to all and we will march on.