Piper Gas Seat Cylinder Advice. Front seat stuck in high position, not going down.

Q While our magic carpet is getting its new panel, I’ve got the seats out. One of the front seats doesn’t go down, it is stuck in the high position. When I looked at the cylinder, I saw the lever doesn’t make full contact with the little valve stem. When I stuck a spacer in between, the valve compressed more, but not quite all the way. The seat didn’t move.

How do I troubleshoot this? Does the valve need to be depressed flush with the cylinder body or is the thing jammed?

Bob Marks

A You can lube and move the shaft if you can or you can buy a new one from Knots 2U. They aren’t very expensive and very easy to install. I’ve done many in my various Pipers over the years.

Scott Sherer, Piper Owner Society Aviation Director

A More than likely your seat is corroded where the rotation in the seat mechanism occurs. There are six to eight areas to lube. I use three-in-one oil and a rubber mallet to break the seat mechanism free. Just put drops of the oil on all the rotating connections to soak in, remove the gas spring, and tap the assembly in the direction you need to break it free. Then continue to work the assembly until it moves freely. This is very common. New struts are approximately $180 at Aircraft Spruce or Knots2U.

Tim McCall

A I picked up two new seat struts from Wentworth at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh last summer at a very good price. I took both seats out of my Warrior and replaced the old dead struts at home. While I had them out, I did multiple adjustments and tightening of bolts and screws, then lubed everything. Getting the old struts out is very easy, getting the new ones in was hard, it took a good deal of time and patience. But it all turned out good.

Robert Yobs