PA-28 and PA-32 Series Part 2: Fuel Tank Reinstallation

Part 1 of “Repairing Piper Fuel Tanks,” published in the previ­ous issue (July 2023), covered the removal of Piper fuel tanks. It’s a challenging, time-consuming task, in part because of the difficulty of reaching various parts of the wing interior and tank and manipulating tools through small access openings. The structures were designed for peak performance, not ease of maintenance.

Part 2 of this article, covered here, discusses the process of shipping the tank to a specialty shop and then reinstalling the tank after it’s returned. Throughout the entire process, from re­moval to shipping to reinstallation, great care must be exercised to prevent damage to the parts involved. The reinstallation pro­cess is equally challenging and time-consuming, for the same reasons. As mentioned in Part 1, fuel tank repair isn’t owner-level maintenance, but this information is helpful for education­al purposes so owners understand their aircraft better and can potentially participate in owner-assisted maintenance to save time and money if the A&P allows the owner to assist.

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