My 1946 120 Resto project N77220

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My 1946 120 Resto project N77220

Post by 6643 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:30 am

This topic was started on Nov. 12, 2012 by forum user Kazoo120

The original thread has 168 posts and about 330 attachments. Its restoration is a work in progress...

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My 1946 120 Resto project N77220

Post by 6643 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:31 am

by Kazoo120 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:44 pm

Just bought a 120 with 1183TT. Was last annualed in 1969, and then stored for 43 years. At the time it was stored, the engine had only 263 hours after a major overhaul. It was full of oil and not milky nor are there any signs of moisture.

Can someone guide me on where to begin? I have moved the prop about +/- 10 degrees and it's not frozen. What is the best way to proceed? I.e. would I put oil in the cylinders and turn the engine over,,, would it dare attempt being started? Look into the cylinders with a bore scope?

What should I do?

Thanks!

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Re: My 1946 120 Resto project N77220

Post by 6643 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:42 am

Kazoo120 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:59 pm

Thought I'd post a few pictures of the project. I began the disassembly this weekend, removing the interior, seats, headliner, etc, and getting access to the inspection panels. The landing gear and mounts are in great shape, apparently owing to a repair done in 1948 "in the Cessna jigs" after what must have been a hard landing, and the fact that the plane did not accumulate many hours after that (only several more hundred). No cracks or corrosion visible.

Then I removed the top plugs on the engine, and put some oil in each cylinder, and pulled the engine though rotation, and it feels very smooth. Other than 1 mag out, it looks ok, with not even any carbon build up on the cylinder tops. The engine logs show 11 hours SMOH, when the plane was stored....

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Down the fuselage
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As found in the barn
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Beginning the disassembly
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Re: My 1946 120 Resto project N77220

Post by 6643 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:52 am

Kazoo120 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:14 pm

More work today, removed the engine.
Big thanks to Victor for a visit to the shop yesterday and we decided not to try to run the engine until it's been gone thru.
Next will be to remove the tailfeathers, and work on aluminum clean-up and polishing.

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Hoist
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Temporary stand until engine work begins
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Re: My 1946 120 Resto project N77220

Post by 6643 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:55 am

Kazoo120 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:36 am

Working to build an adjustable "Sling" to lift the fuse to remove the landing gear for clean-up. Will be able to lower the fuse then for easier access to the cockpit for clean-up and for panel work. Using 4X4's for the sling frame and crank winch's and straps for adjustability. Base is complete, working to finish the rest of the sling frame.

Tail removal is next, then compounding and polishing of aluminum.

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Re: My 1946 120 Resto project N77220

Post by 6643 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:08 am

mtbguy » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:31 pm

Let us know how the engine looks. I bought one that had been pickled and stored in hangar for 15 years and it still had good compression. I have flown it 5000 miles since then but am debating whether to do a top overhaul just for the sake of it, and to inspect engine innards.

Kazoo120 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:56 pm

mtbguy, I don't see evidence that this engine was pickeld in any particular way as your fortunately was, the situation with it was that it only had 11 hours SMOH and was for that matter, only a 260 hour factory motor, this was a rather wierd history. The engine had been replaced by the factory in late 48, with no entry as to why, and the owner was only flying the plane very low annual hours from then on, with a stretch between 1960-66 where it wasn't flown at all, which therefore seemed to lead to the decision to do a major overhaul. Then the plane was stored in the barn from approx 1970-on.

In the end Victor Grahn came to the shop and we pulled the motor through and seemed to hear something in the accessory drive area that he coudn't place, and since there were no real records or entries as to why the plane was actually stored permanently, we chose not to start it until the accsy parts were pulled and parts reviewed. We took the safe route.

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Re: My 1946 120 Resto project N77220

Post by 6643 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:12 am

Chris Buerk » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:54 pm

Kazoo, that looks like one sweet time machine you've found there. I have a suggestion if I may; The sling plan you've drawn out is, in my view, kinda unnecessarily complicated. I had the engine, wings, gear, empennage, etc, off my fuselage not long ago, and I simply made a plywood saddle for the fuselage to sit on. It was narrow enough to fit between the gear attach slots, and once I had the wheels off, I could take the gear legs off and put them back on without interfering with the stand. I padded the stand, of course, and it fit directly under the gear box, shaped to fit the curvature of the fuselage. I found the fuselage easy to work on at that height, and you can elevate the tail (or not) to suit your needs. Just my two cents, but it might save you some effort.

I think we'll all be looking forward to more progress photos. What a find! Congratulations.

Chris

Kazoo120 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:16 pm

Chris thanks for the notes, and I had seen some cradles that guys used but was having trouble figuring out how I would reproduce the curvature of the fuse. I didn't think of making one narrow enough to fit between the struts.

I got the idea for the sling from an airplane mechanic, sitting at a restaurant one night having dinner, who overheard me talking about the plane. I had all the 4X4's needed and the strap and some crank winch's came from Harbor Frieght, I think I really won't have too much time in making this fixture, and it will be able to lift the fuse up to get the struts off, then lower to whatever working height seems to work best.

I have considered that it may also be nesessary to have some sort of cradle though, to stabilize things if they tend to swing, but overall I think the sling won't be too much work to complete, I'll post pix when I'm done, and any regrets if this approach was too stupid.

And thanks for the comments, this is turning out to be quite a find with respect to the condition of the bird itself. There were circumstances apparently that lead to things having been replaced, rebuilt etc, that were in conjunction then with being stored for 40+ years, so it's a time capsule in certain ways of thinking. I plan to keep it as original as possible. This is my first aircraft restoration, and something I've been waiting to do for quite sometime.

And the family of the owner are quite interested in its restoration, seeing dad's plane (he passed away some time ago) brought back to airworthiness, they are reading this forum as things progress.

A.

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Re: My 1946 120 Resto project N77220

Post by 6643 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:17 am

John von Linsowe » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:47 pm

I am curious how the wings look inside. I too was going to bid on the airplane however much lower than you did since I did not get a chance to drive over and look at it in person. Looked like potentially a GREAT restoration project but sight unseen was a bit of a gamble for me. I am glad to see you restoring it.

Kazoo120 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:32 am

John I do not know fully how the wings look inside. They had been recovered in Ceconite in late 1967 I believe the logbook entry said, and the last annual was in 1968, the wings had very few hours on that recovering job anyway. There were some birds nests in the areas of the wings that are not full closed off, but in general they appear straight and complete. Same with the wing struts. I don't plan to begin to work them for awhile, and will remove the old covering and check them out fully.

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As found in the barn in Sparta
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Stored for now
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Re: My 1946 120 Resto project N77220

Post by 6643 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:22 am

Kazoo120 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:44 am

Working to remove the tail surfaces. Rudder came off first, then the elevator, then the fin. I stopped short for a bit to make sure that I knew how to remove the trim tab stuff from the stab. I'm working to be sure I can reassemble it in a properly rigged location, i.e. noting where the actuator shaft is etc, so I can reinstall.

Removal is to be able to check all the surfaces out, and for incorporation of AD"s related to the stab. And to make the fuse a bit more manageable for upcoming aluminum cleaning/polishing.

So far all parts look very good, even very little wear on the pivot bushings etc,. Have to make some interesting tools to get to where nuts are located behind bulkheads,,, Doubling my knowledge every day on how these planes are constructed!

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Tail removal
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Re: My 1946 120 Resto project N77220

Post by 6643 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:25 am

Kazoo120 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:08 pm

Tail removal was completed. I studied the trim mechanism and figured out a way to mark the exact removal, for re-installation later. Took lots of pictures. Then I completed build of a sling to be able to lift the fuse to remove the landing gear struts. The sling works great, but I still need a cradle of some sort to keep the fuse from swinging. It won't have to be much, just enough to stablilize things. In the end the sling is a "nice to have", but I can see that if you had a few friends to lift the fuse into a cradle, that would be all you'd need. In the end the sling didn't cost much, some wheels, a 3" tow strap, and 2 hand winch's from Harbor Freight, I had the 4X4's. Its main advantage is being able to adjust the height to whatever I want, which will come in handy for polishing.

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Sling
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