Out With the Old

It's always a pleasure to remove original Cessna radios.  Cessna's level of installations back in the late The ARC "Stuff" Removed70's wasn't what it could have been.  Some of the soldering they did looked like a tech completed the job with a nail and blow-torch. Little of the wire is shielded and the connectors are like something that would be used on a farm tractor.  Yes, Clyde Cessna made a great airplane but he should have stayed away from radios.  

All of the avionics wiring will be removed.  Most of the circuit breakers will be replaced, new coaxes installed and antennas where needed.  We will install the proper size of wiring and use shielded wiring when needed.  Of course we will use the manufacture's suggested cable on the SkyWatch and WX-500 StormScope.  The SkyWatch and WX-500 are finicky about using the proper cable and grounding.  Install a cheaper cable and rest assured you'll be back in within a few weeks installing what you should have to start with.  Installation and proper materials are a must, corners can not be cut here or the shop and customer will regret it.  By the way, some of the cable we use cost $35.00 per "Inch"; fortunately, StormScope and SkyWatch cable is a little cheaper.

As you can tell, all the radios and related racks are now removed.  Before disassembly of the aircraft my boys check out everything possible to verify proper operation.  BellcrankNormally we find unmarked fuses floating behind the panel, dimmer lights that don't work, missing radio stack braces and much more.  Early in the installation Kevin will discuss these issues with the owner and recommend a plan of attack.  Last year, we had an  aircraft with corrosion so severe that the wings needed to be removed and repaired.  Ironically, the A&P shop didn't mention the corrosion to the owner even though they had maintained the aircraft for years.  Why didn't they notify the owner you ask?  One can only guess.  We only found a few items to discuss with Phil.  We did find some corrosion in the wings but it was minor and wouldn't become a big problem is treated.  Phil elected to have the local A&P shop fog it with ACF-50 after our installation.  The sheet metal in the cabin and rear of the aircraft look fine. 

My boys are in the early stages of installing the S-Tec System 55X autopilot and one of the first things that needs to be done is the "Bellcrank" removed.  The movement from the control wheels attach to this device which then moves the ailerons.  Often during an installation I mention this part and thought it was time you actually saw the "real McCoy".  The shaft has needle bearings at each end.  To be honest, the thing is well-built and contains some pretty nifty engineering.  The red markings you see is a paint that is placed near the bolt that goes in the hole once the bolt has been tightened or properly torqued.  A bolt loosening up in the aileron bellcrank is not a good thing; especially if it happened during flight.  Once reinstalled, the crew will use a different color paint so our inspector can verify everything is fine in this area.  The bellcrank is laying on a S-Tec print that shows us how to the servo mount.  Now you know what a Bellcrank looks like

Phil wanted to use the removed ARC's for chocks but they weigh to much.  I suggested using them as a boat anchor.