Thanks for the recommendation
Private Pilot, ASEL & Instrument
Looking at YokeUp.
ill be assisting during removal and with the annual. Want to spend a little more time getting to know the plane.
I saw that you did yours over a 3 month period. Did you do it in stages so that you could continue flying? The previous owner recovered our seats but I have a headliner, carpet kit and side panels from TN Wings ready to install. We want to try to do it the best way to reduce downtime.
To reduce down time, I did everything all at once. The time to put stuff back in to go fly then pull it back out to work on it more wasn’t worth it to me.
I continued flying during the project by renting a plane at the flight school my wife teaches at.
I pulled the seats in my Arrow and gave them with the Airtex seat material to a professional upholstery shop and while the seats were out I did the wall panels and door so I had room to crawl around.
1969 Arrow 200
Based at KFLY (Colorado Springs, CO)
I’m new to this thread but have a couple of pertinent questions. First, thanks for everyone that has weighed in – LOTS of great advice.
I am getting ready to redo the entire interior of my 1986 Piper Warrior. I expect to place an order with AIRTEX within the next week or so for the entire interior package including vinyl walls, leather seats, carpet and headliner. So here are my questions:
1. Order from Airtex. Is there anything anyone learned from placing their order with Airtex that they would do differently – order extra screws, insulation, extra vinyl or leather, etc? I already have the quote from Airtex but wondering if anyone would recommend adding anything.
2. Headrests. Like all Warriors I have seen, I have a bench backseat with no headrests. I do have headrests on the front seats. Anyone ever seen or know of a way to add headrests to the back bench seat? I’ve seen Cessna’s with headrests on rear bench seats and they looked pretty good.
3. Carpet Color. I’m going with tan panels and seats and similar headliner. However, I've seen a number of vehicles with that same color scheme but with black carpet and it looks really good. But Airtex wall panels come with carpet on the lower part that usually matches the carpet on the floor. Might look strange to have tan panels with tan carpet on them and black carpet on the floor. Anybody seen this or done it that way? AIRTEX said they haven’t done one like this but even some of the new Pipers have black carpet.
my 22 cents,
AirTex will build whatever color you ask of them. Send photos of your carpet they will try to match your side panels.
My 1973 Arrow did not have headrests but I don’t have a bench in the back. AirTex made it so I could have headrests. My A&P has installed AirTex seats in the past and knew how to make the headrest metal part, took him 5 mins to make all 4.
AirTex is very thorough, they include everything that you may need. I did buy extra glue to bond the seat covering and foam but never opened it. As far as easy to work with, AirTex is an 11, one of the best customer focused companies I have ever dealt with. I am very pleased with my Arrow, it has gone from one of the ugliest on the field to being one folks take off their shoes to get in now.
Give them a call and they will explain everything. I am extremely male, totally fashion color blind. They help get us a good combination of colors but I told them that I did not know what I was doing and needed help, they stepped up big and knocked it off the flight line and into the showroom. Tell them what you want they will know how to give it to you.
Checkout my photos or I can post more. Below are new photos. You can see my headrests.
These are through the windows. My Arrow is special, has 1973 only trim, not easily available so I have some missing trim.
1973 Arrow II factory AC removed
G5’S, G275, GNX375 Still can get lost.
Completely agree with Resq5hvy. Airtex and their staff are an 11. I loved the fact that any time I called them, I didn't have to push a dozen buttons to get a human. They answered every call, and had me speaking to someone on the support team in under 30 sec. At times, I spoke directly to Dodd (the owner).
I can do carpentry, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, etc., but like Resq, I'm also a typical male, so don't ask me to match the carpet with the curtains. Probably why my house had hardwood floors before I met my wife.
My wife has done interior design and decorating, so I let her design the airplane interior. It was the perfect call. We bought the sample kit from Airtex and it was worth every penny. 13 years later the interior still looks fantastic and is very comfortable.
I'm so pleased withe the outcome, that every year I stop at Airtex's booth at OSH and thank them.
Jim "Doc Griff" Griffin
PA28 - 161
Nice job! Absolutely beautiful.
And I'll bet it has that "new plane" smell.
Yes it does.
The seats are so comfortable, I was fighting the CB issue, I sat back and thought about things and fell asleep.
Me, too, Griff. Dodd is very good. And everyone, else: Griff does dentistry, too, if you need a root canal!
Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.
Need help? Let me know!
I am awaiting a root canal. I am told I need 5 more otherwise known as a Garmin G750 in my mouth. The all up is $17,795.
Think he will pick me up at the airport and take me back?
We are going to Florida, I will bring a drill, JB Weld and RTV Blue, we can go shopping with the leftover cash.
Roger Dodger! :) I have a Dremel with a diamond bit. I'll need some Jack Daniels to get through it :)
Is the Jack for you or me? If it’s for you I will bring 4 bottles, can’t be too safe these days.
Thanks everybody for all of the comments. I'd really like to go with Airtex because I have heard really good things - including all of the above. The issue I have is that they are currently running 19 weeks for seats. Ouch! And they currently don't have their sample book - out for printing. They sent me a couple samples but none were labeled, so I have no idea which colors are which. Was really hoping to do this at my annual in May. I'm going to start a new thread to ask about alternatives to Airtex that folks have been happy with.
I have their sample book and would be happy to send it to you. I'm at 1MO2, if you're close by.
There is a guy at KLHQ who builds/makes upholstery that is FAA approved materials.
KLHQ is very near Columbus, Ohio. Ship your seats he may be able to do them. If I had seen his work before I bought my AirTex I would have had him do my interior.
Well, my journey has started. Plane goes for annual middle of the month so I got started on the tear down. Airtex is on a backlog for panels and seat covers but I have everything else ready. The hat rack required fiberglass repair and is now primed. The wife did the interior design.
move had to order some new trim due to the deteriorating decay of some of the trim or completely missing. I did a plastic weld repair on the holes for curtains (don’t have to worry about carpet matching the curtains if there aren’t any, there is a joke in there somewhere🤔 (I’m an OB so it’s okay,😉,jk)). Then got the brilliant idea to vinyl coat the plastic instead of paint. This first piece took a lot of patience and about 45 minutes. I thought I’d choose an easy piece but dang those outside corners are tough. Replaced the i channel rubber with black to match seats and carpet. Headliner and panels are dove.
Steady as she goes! Take your time, take lots of breaks and drink heavily :) You will love the results.
Send me your email address and I will send you my guide on fabricating headrests.
I use the existing holes but did not use high tech like lasers. I used a set of those hole duplicator straps and it was fairly easy to do. The under side of the strap fits in existing hole. The side panels are sandwiched between the two straps. Use an ice pick to penetrate the side panel through the hole on the outside strap. Remove the strap and insert a #4 oval head sheet metal screw with a #4 finishing washer, and a #4 plastic washer underneath the finishing washer into the hole you created.
Anyone have an idea why Great Lakes aero does not recommend a 1/4” thick window replacement for pilot and copilot windows?
For the windscreens? Cause they are a PITA to put in.
my avionics shop is currently putting them in over the last couple days. Just about done.
For the side windows. Thankfully the windscreens are in good working order.
Oh okay. No idea on the side windows.
Getting closer! Been down with a cylinder so taking a little extra time to replace anything that needs replaced.
I ended up covering the plastic trim with vinyl wrap and sprayed the hat rack and upper vent. I did play around with the extra vinyl I had and tried to wrap the hat rack but it was the most infuriating thing to attempt. Granted, I anticipated it but gave it a shot anyway. The vinyl wrap was about $500 and it took me about 30 hours total to wrap the plastic trim. That included any repairs to the trim and replacing the rubber molding. Given the age of the plastic trim, I was happy to see the vinyl added some sturdiness to the trim and maybe will help it from cracking. The eyebrow trim pieces were never replaced at the visors so I picked those up online and covered in vinyl. I think altogether I had to buy 3 new pieces of trim because of very severe cracks or damage. All the door seals and welts were replaced too.
I did weigh the pieces before and after and it came out all total to less than 3 pounds of weight difference after the wrap was done. Guess I’ll eat more salads to make up the difference. Once she is finally buttoned up (hoping this week), we will do a new weight and balance and I will update everyone on that. I’m personally curious since the foam replaces the old itchy fiber glass insulation, how much weight she will gain.
We replaced the keyed ignition with electroair push button ignition so we upgraded all the external locks with Aircraft Security (as reviewed by Scott).
Only thing I am having a hard time finding is the oxygen placard rings for around the O2 connectors at each seat. The ones we had might be as old as the plane.
Hope to have her buttoned up this week and then get in to get familiar with the avionics as well as break in that cylinder. My kids haven’t seen the plane with the new interior. They saw the exterior (Vinyl wrapped while down for the panel) and said they liked the “new” plane better than the old one, LOL. They are dying to get in the air and go somewhere. Wife is also pushing to go places. Will post the final pictures once she is done.
well… it’s done! After a cylinder, full panel, aeroled lights all around, full interior gut, new thicker side windows, exterior wrap, and annual. Took the family on a maiden voyage and they loved it. First time in this plane all together. I stopped calculating the hours but it was north of 200 hours. I think she actually feels more solid than the day we bought her. Even my instructor said same thing.
Will be adding the on demand pulse system from mountain high for fixed oxygen system in the near future once coffers are replenished. Probably send out yolks next annual to yoke up.
I think the investment, second job, and time were worth it. Airtex and Dodd were all amazing. In fact, while it was in for annual a couple saw it and told my IA that if I wanted to sell they’d cut a check for 500k. As tempting as it sounds, didn’t do it to flip the plane. Can’t trade the good times with family. Good luck with everyone else’s Reno.
On to the next flying adventure