N80844 resurrection - part 2

by Larry LaForce

Larry continues the story of the restoration of N80844. Click here for Part 1.

              Larry glass bead blasting                       New skins both sides of fuselage

I've replaced all of the flat fuselage skins (nothing with compound curves). Installed a new one piece windshield and side glass, and a new eyebrow sheet metal piece above the windshield.

            Just about like factory new

It's got 100% new hydraulic tubing throughout and AN fittings as well. Both gear are rebuilt with new bushings, seals and Cleveland brakes. Both actuators and down locks are rebuilt with new seal kits.

The original panel was replaced with a new flat instrument panel. Both fuel tanks had to have repairs due to corrosion in the lower inside corners.

        One window cut and one to go             This was before the flush skin repairs

I installed the Temco style rear side windows because someone had already steered the project in that direction. Had to fabricate the rear package tray and bulkhead to match the Temco "new look" design. Had a friend make flush patches for the cowling where someone had installed some horrible scab patches around the exhaust. Also installed a new lower chin piece on the cowl. I bought the O-300-D firewall forward (minus cowl) that Ed Lloyd removed from 3856K for his 210 conversion in 2001. I had flown with Ed a couple times so I knew it was a sound engine. Think the logs show it with just over 350 hrs. total on the engine. I finally got to hear it run on my airframe for the first time in July of 2009.

All flight control cables were replaced with new control cables throughout. All pulleys have been removed, cleaned, greased and reinstalled (some rejected and replaced). Every bolt that was removed was replaced with new (this includes virtually almost all of the bolts in the airframe).

I have started doing some rough polishing to get the hang of it. I have almost the whole right side good enough to do a final polish. Apparently who ever stripped the paint from the cowling / forward cowl area used a circular sander (wish I could meet this person). So needless to say I'm having to do a lot of jitter bug sanding to remove the scratches.

Things left to do include: Completion of wiring, upholstery, rig gear doors, finish polishing. Short list now compared to where I started!!

Although it's still not quite ready, I can actually see the end now. I have learned to not set a completion date (I've already seen several dates come and go). Probably would not have taken on such a project if I had known it would take over 10 years. But I'm just hard headed enough to see it through to completion.

Larry LaForce

To be continued.