What is a fair price to offer for a PA28-160 Cherokee airframe?

I noticed a PA28-160 airframe for sale. The ad says it has about 3,500 hours on it. There is no prop, engine and it is missing a rudder. The ad says the logbooks (I assume it is an airframe log) are available. It is for sale with an additional set of wings because the original wings were damaged when it slipped off some jacks and punctured the original set of wings. It has old radios. The paint looks good. The interior will have to be redone. The asking price is $20,000. Since this will need to be a complete refurbishment, what is a fair price to pay for the airframe? Any thoughts?

P.S. Just estimating putting the airplane in "like new" condition will be: (1) propeller (about $6,000), (2) interior (about $7,000), (3) new radios (about $25-30,000), (4) new engine (Lycoming says about $60,000 without a core), plus overhaul accessories + miscellaneous and not counting labor. Given this, what is a fair bid for the airframe?


  • PA28-180 airframe - sorry not a 160.

  • really depends on the year. early 60's .....maybe 5 grand? Challanger in 73, ( i had one) had later style , longer and extra window. I might go ten for a good core.

    My guess its junk, and hes asking for a little more than that. Let someone else buy it.


    48 yrs A/P IA DAL aircraft inspector. 172N

  • edited August 2022


    If you have the 20k cash for an airframe I would turn that into a down payment on a financed flying plane. It is not only the cost but the time. You will be waiting forever for parts, paperwork, labor, etc. Generally you would also be paying cash for all the parts as you can not typically finance parts. You will also be missing out on lot's of adventures too.

    Here is one example:


    I had an interesting discussion on interest rates for plane financing at Oshkosh. They explained it it lower than expected as private money is competing for good rates of return with low risk and pilots/planes are considered low risk vs cars, boats, etc. Part of it is the effort to get certified and the other is the level of documentation and inspection. They are usually easy to find too with ADSB, etc. Aircraft loans are ~ 6% or so and CD's are ~ 2.5%.

    Unless you are and A&P/IA your maint shop may not be excited about putting a plane together either. A "hanger queen" plane sitting waiting for parts is a lost opportunity for what could have been other business. Many shops don't have the full expertise either. For example, they are strong on engine and airframe but don't have avionics staff or capability. Most GA shops do not due full interiors either. Do they sign off on a ferry permit to send it somewhere else? Avionics shops are also backup up with work (at least in the PNW)

    Eric Panning
    1981 Seneca III
    Hillsboro, OR (KHIO)

  • Run, don’t walk. Unless you are an A&P and can get parts at wholesale, just stop dreaming about putting a plane back together. It’s a basket case. The plane is worth scrap value, period.

    Sounds more like a guy who is either emotionally attached to the plane “And I know what it’s worth” or he is looking for a sucker to off load his bad decisions on. Don’t be that guy.

    If anything, call Jimmy from Jimmy’s World on YouTube and ask him if he needs another bad decision to make a video about.

    Bottom line, just don’t do it. Period.

    I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.

  • Thanks for the information. Good advice.

Sign In or Register to comment.