Interior Restoration

I would like to update the interior in my Arrow. The Arrow is a '71 all original and it shows. It's an incredible aircraft that deserves some TLC. I would like to do the job on a budget of $6K and I am thinking about buying the kits I see on Airtex. I'm in awe of you guys who tackle this job on your own, but I am not a DIYer, so I am wondering if there are folks out there that provide the labor for a pre-fab kit? I've looked online and I haven't had much luck. Are you all aware of any installers that would install kits? I'm located in Ohio. Any help or direction is greatly appreciated!!!!!!

Comments

  • The Airtex company will install your Airtex kit! They have a whole team for that. Of course you have to pay for it. Most of the kit is easy and just putsy work. Even the headliner is easy but figure about 75 hours of labor to do it. That includes new plastic molding, too. I'm 2/3 through doing my 5th interior. If you want to do it I can talk you through it.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Thanks Scott, I really appreciate it. I may take you up on that. I’ve watched plenty of vids and read your articles, just don’t want to mess it up.
  • Go slow, seek the counsel of your friends, and drink plenty of Jack Daniels. :)

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • edited November 2020
    Ewelch:
    On this forum, you'll frequently see people advise you to "go slow and methodically", much like Scott just did. It's very good advice.

    I knew little to nothing about upholstery and interiors (I'd rather rebuild an engine), but I took on my interior project anyway. I took my time, and when I had questions, I sought advice. 11 years later, and my interior is still beautiful and comfortable. Airtex has a fantastic support line, and you talk to real people instead of an automated attendant. Of course you have this forum as well.

    Some quick hits:
    If you go with Airtex, purchase everything from them including the webbing, glue, padding, upholstery, etc. Their products already have the FAA fire/burn certifications, and it will make your paperwork much easier. When you glue up any parts, have good exhaust and ventilation in your work area.

    My personal preference is a good single malt Scotch or Irish Whiskey, but you choose your favorite. Wait until you're done working for the day though! :)

    Jim "Griff" Griffin
    PA28 - 161
    Chicago area

  • Roger that, Griff! :)

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Thanks Scott and Griff! Received my “selection guide” from Airtex today. Ready to take the plunge. I appreciate the guidance very much!! I’ll post some pictures along the way.
  • Sounds good. I've been going to my hangar every day this week doing my new carpeting :)

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • I own and love flying a 1993 Piper Dakota that was the 1994 Sportys give a way airplane. I was not the winner but purchased it from a very nice lady in Kentucky. I am also interested in a new interior. I did not know that airtex will do the install. Mark Rohrbaugh. N9186X

  • Hi Mark,
    You can do it yourself if you're so inclined or they will do it. If you want a more upscale interior, there are many custom shops that will do it for 50% to 100% more expensive. I have just completed my fifth Airtex interior installation (I've owned 8 planes and put Airtex in five of them). I replaced the windows, window molding, headliner, wall panels, carpet, seat covers, hatshelf pad, baggage door, armrests, glareshield, door stewards, door seals and seat belts. The windows are all double thickness (1/4") and the windshield is a one-piece unit. Doing most of the labor myself the entire project was about $10k. The entire interior is 100% brand new. The best part is that you can do a little at a time. Last winter I did the windows, window molding and headliner. This winter I did the rest. I think I put in about 100 hours doing all of it.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

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