Web Directory for Aircraft/Piper Cherokee, Cessna Owners


If you have any sugestions please let me know: Michael Vogel

General Web Resources

Here is where I'm putting links to other sites that are useful to Cherokee and Cessna owners.

General Suppliers

These vendors carry a variety of parts and supplies for Cherokees, covering several of the specific categories listed below.

Aircraft Salvage Yards & used Parts

Adjustable Seat Cylinders

Air Filters *

Alternator Upgrades

(Note that aircraft wiring and circuit breakers/fuses may need to be upgraded to take advantage of increased alternator output.)

Auto Fuel STC

Both of these sites contain lots of useful information about using MOGAS in aircraft.

Autopilots

There are two ways to legally add an autopilot to a Cherokee:
  1. Add an autopilot that Piper supplied as optional equipment for your airplane. In this case you will be using Piper parts (which are often identical to another vendor's parts), and Piper documentation for installation and operation of that equipment. But since this autopilot was certified by the manufacturer of the aircraft for use with that aircraft, you do not need a separate STC.
    Consult the Piper parts catalog to find out which autopilot parts are valid for use with your aircraft model and serial number.
  2. Add an autopilot from a vendor other than Piper that is STCed for your aircraft. In this case you not only have to buy the autopilot and pay for its installation, you also have to buy the STC.
Several vendors make STCed autopilots for Cherokees. There is a wide difference in both price and capability between the different vendors.

Autopilot Repair

Lots of shops do autopilot repair, but these have been mentioned by Cherokee Pilots' Association members as servicing autopilots found in old Cherokees.

Avionics

There are many places that sell and service avionics. These shops have been recommended by Cherokee Pilots' Association members. If you want to recommend a shop that is not listed here, send email.

(see also Autopilot Repair.)

Battery & Starter Cables

Each of the suppliers below sells copper cables to replace the aluminum originals, along with an STC for installation of those cables on a Cherokee.

Control Cables *

Control Surface Repair

Control Yokes (especially to replace the plastic "bowtie" yokes)

Control Yoke Emblems

Control Yoke Universal Joints

Covers

Cowl Latches

Door Handles, Interior

Piper used various auto parts for interior door handles: FAA-PMA replacements for the older styles of door handles (not the Volkswagon-style handles) are available from gillen-phx.

Door Locks

Door Seals *

Elevator Trim Cranks

On older Cherokees with the overhead elevator trim, the crank handle is the same as the one used on a 1956 Studebaker. But it's easier to find a replacement crank at an aircraft salvage place than to find an old Studebaker. (Though I found a web site for restoring of Studebakers that mentioned that window cranks can be obtained from aircraft salvage places.)

FAA-PMA replacements for the overhead trim cranks are available from gillen-phx. Other automotive window cranks may fit, but (a) are not approved, and (b) may block instrument panel illumination from the overhead lamp (on aircraft where that's the only illumination for the panel).

The easiest way to remove the retainer clip that holds the crank in (and to replace the clip when you reinstall the crank) is to buy a tool made for that purpose at an auto parts store.

Engines

There are many sources of engines. These sources have been recommended by Cherokee Pilots' Association members. If you have a source to recommend that is not listed here, send email.

Engine Baffles

Engine Mounts (repairs and/or rebuilt)

Engine Upgrades

Fasteners *

Fuel Selector Valve Rebuilding (esp. PA32)

Fuel Tank Repair and Resealing

Gascolator

Glare Shields

Each of these makes replacement glare shields for several kinds of aircraft.

Gross Weight Increase

Instrument Panel Upgrades

Interior Carpeting and Upholstery

Interior Plastic

KX-17x Radio Repair

Light Bulbs

Mac 1700 Radio Repair

Manuals

Mixture and Throttle Controls

Oil

Panel Lamp Dimmer

Placards *

Re-chroming

Seat Covers *

Seatbelt Buckle Appliques

Seat Rollers

Service Bulletins

Shimmy Dampener STC

Every Piper (except new models) has a shimmy dampener that attaches to the nose geer steering mechanism and the engine mount. Over time these shimmy dampeners lose hydraulic fluid, not because of any leak but because some fluid remains on the actuator shaft after it passes through the housing. Eventually the shimmy dampeners become ineffective and this can result in damage to the landing gear and engine mount.

As originally constructed these shimmy dampeners cannot have fluid added to them to replace that lost over time, and the only solution was to replace the shimmy dampener at a cost of several hundred dollars. Aircraft Door Seals offers an STC that allows the shimmy dampener to be modified to add a servicing port.

Shoulder Harness Kits

The following vendors offer STCs to add shoulder belts to Cherokees:

Shoulder Harness Repair

Speed/Performance/Appearance Mods

(see also Engine Upgrades)

Something to realize about speed mods in an aircraft with a fixed-pitched prop - the aircraft isn't going to go any faster unless the prop turns faster (or unless it's repitched). You can clean up the airframe or add more power but the engine still redlines at the same RPM (though perhaps using less fuel and/or generating less heat while doing so) and that puts an upper limit on your speed at low altitudes. So performance mods don't buy you much in terms of actual speed unless you either repitch the prop or fly at a sufficiently high altitude that the prop can turn faster (without redlining) at full throttle. On the other hand, such mods might give you better handling, better service ceiling, better climb rate, better ability to handle loads near gross weight, and better looks.

For a fixed-pitch aircraft, the prop pitch and the engine red line dictate the maximum cruise speed for the aircraft. Multiply prop pitch (typically 58") by max RPM (2700), and divide the result by 1215 for the max cruise speed in knots. (divide by 1056 for the max cruise speed in miles per hour). Because the prop isn't 100% efficient you'll get 90-95% of that at best. Example: a 58" prop turning at 2700 RPM -> (58 * 2700 * 0.95) / 1215 = 122 knots or 140 miles/hour. You will not go any faster than that with that prop, no matter how much you clean up the aircraft.

Before you assume you can repitch your prop, look at your aircraft's type certificate data sheet (search faa.gov) and/or service manual and see what its pitch limits are. To repitch your prop to exceed these limits is an (expensive) major alteration that has to be approved by the FAA and supported by engineering and test data.

Before you "upgrade" your aircraft with speed mods, make sure it is properly rigged. Proper rigging means first adjusting flaps and ailerons according to the service manuals, not just lowering a flap until the plane flies level. Proper rigging is the cheapest speed mod and often as effective as anything you can add. Sometimes people report significant gains with speed mods but the "improved" speeds they report are close to the "book" speeds for their aircraft. Yes the speed mod is helping but something else is still wrong, and if they had fixed that then the speed mod might not have been worth it.

Spinners *

Split Nose Bowl STC

Stall Warning Switch

Strut Lubricant

Piper service manuals specify MS-122 which is a Teflon-based mold release agent. Apparently, MS-122 is an obsolete spec and nobody references it anymore. Here are some alternatives:

Strut Rechroming

Sun Visors *

Vacuum Pump (& backup) Options

(Note: "Expensive" means around $2K or more.)

Options for primary instrument vacuum (some of which are more reliable than others):

Options for a backup to primary vacuum source or an alternative instrument reference:

Weather Displays

Wheel Pants *

(see also Speed/Performance Mods)

Windows and Windshields *

Wing Repair

Wing Spar Service Bulletin (SB 1006) Kit

Wing and Stabilator Tips *

(see also Speed/Performance Mods)
Last update: Feb 2012