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Thread: Not So Fancy 1977 Cessna 185 But Still Sexy!

  1. #1

    Default Not So Fancy 1977 Cessna 185 But Still Sexy!

    Looking at purchasing a slightly used skywagon. Performance wise I don't I have any issues. However, I would like to get some input related to local Alaskan shops that can give her a face lift.

    I'm looking for exterior painting. Touch up vs all new.
    Interior panel update. Plastics and instruments.
    Seat recover?
    Selkirk interior or other?

    Any other recommendatios?

    Thank you in advance!!

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  2. #2
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    For seats and interior plastic and headliners, paint and mechanical you might want to call IA Joe Benello in Homer. 907-299-1807
    http://alaskanmotive.com/
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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  3. #3
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    it might help if you told people where you are located...

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    it might help if you told people where you are located...
    I'm located in Anchorage Alaska. I have a float spot on Lake Hood. I also have a house and float spot on Flat Lake/Big Lake.

    I'm pretty flexible and will travel around the state to get a good price or good quality.

    Thanks!


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    The best painter around is Willard Sawyer at Wolf Lake. He used to call himself Northern Aircraft Painting but I haven't seen him for 12-13 years when he did my plane. He isn't just the best around here, he's the best I've ever seen.

    Interiors? Upholstery's easy. Any local upholstery shop can do seats. I prefer Fine Line myself. For interior panels? Look at a few and decide what you like. I've done three interiors in my own plane. Selkirk, then Plane Plastics, then custom. I didn't like anything about the Selkirk panels either for installation or appearance. Plane Plastics was better in both departments. Any mechanic can do interior replacement but you can do it yourself, too. It's time consuming work and everything shows. No matter whose panels you get don't expect them to fit properly. Every airplane is a little different and every panel will require trimming.

    Instruments? I've used Merrill Field Instruments. Sometimes they install, sometimes I install. New instrument panels can suck the money out of your wallet faster than anything else in an airplane. There are lots and lots of flashy new toys on display in the instrument shops. Beware.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the information. I will look into everyones recommendation. I know the place I used to go to buy my cub parts. Is there a cessna parts place in Anchorage or the Valley? Looking for door latches and would like to replace the control yokes?

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  7. #7
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    Aero Twin at Merrill and Seaplanes North at Hood are both Cessna Service Centers and have quick lead times on ordered parts. Once they scare you with the new prices call Peter at Skywagon City (eastern Canada) and see what he has to offer. If you mean window latches both Skywagon City and Niagara Air Parts sell new latches for the best price you'll find.

  8. #8

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    I checked into Merrill Field Instruments sounds like they can refurbish most instruments. Anyone have any issues with refurbished instruments vs new? I do have a wife and I made the mistake of telling her that owning a cessna 185 will not be very expensive.

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  9. #9
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    "Toys" are expensive! As I have found out with a different toy .
    BOAT=Break Out Another Thousand
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    You messed up in teller her a C185 wasnt expensive. When you get a chance explaine that it's not as expensive as the other plane you wanted to buy!
    Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

  11. #11

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    Hey, that isn't a bad idea. I will just show her a few of the nicer Cessna 185's for sale here in Alaska which are 25,000 to 30,000 more. Then she will be happy that I'm trying to save money.

    Yes, I am well aware that those other aircraft are at that price because someone already dumped a bunch of money into them and in reality they may be less than what I am about to purchase by the time I get her all cleaned up. But I don't mind taking my time getting her to look the way I want.

    Plus I will get to meet more people in the aviation community this way.

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  12. #12
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    Another option for a great painter is Graham aviation in Palmer.
    Doug Graham is the owner. His shop in on a nice private strip.
    PM me for contact info as I only have his cell.
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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  13. #13

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    Thanks for the info.

    Wondering if they make touch up paint. I found only two small areas about 3" x 3" where the paint has flaked off. Thinking I should be able to touch that up and focus more on updating the panel and seats. Also looking for another set of control yokes.

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    Default Control Yolk

    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Change View Post
    Thanks for the info.

    Wondering if they make touch up paint. I found only two small areas about 3" x 3" where the paint has flaked off. Thinking I should be able to touch that up and focus more on updating the panel and seats. Also looking for another set of control yokes.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2
    I'm bringing my 74 185 up from Texas over Memorial Day. Will check out at Air Dallas Salvage to see what's available. I'm looking to lease a spot on Lake Hood if you happen to come across something. Nothing like a 185 congrats

  15. #15
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    Hi-Tech on Lake Otis near Dowling can make up whatever you need for touching up paint. Your old paint won't match new paint with the same code anyway so you may as well have it matched to suit. If your current paint is a urethane you should seek assistance from somebody who's done touch-ups and patches. It isn't easy to make it look good short of painting a panel from seam to seam.

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    We installed the Selkirk interior along with the extended baggage. Easy to install however it does require a bit if fitting. It really brightened up the inside and ultra durable. Went with the F Atlee Dodge rear seats and BAS shoulder harnesses. Door Stewards a must. What kind of floats you running. I ran out of money and bought a set of Aqua 3190s until I can afford Aerocets

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    Hi-Tech on Lake Otis near Dowling can make up whatever you need for touching up paint. Your old paint won't match new paint with the same code anyway so you may as well have it matched to suit. If your current paint is a urethane you should seek assistance from somebody who's done touch-ups and patches. It isn't easy to make it look good short of painting a panel from seam to seam.
    One spot is located on the lower nosecap assembly just above the left light.

    The second spot is located one lower cowl just under the oil hatch.

    Will need to check on the type of paint. I will probably just take the two pieces to someone to have it done right. I had a couple PM's on it.

    Thanks!!

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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by cplne View Post
    We installed the Selkirk interior along with the extended baggage. Easy to install however it does require a bit if fitting. It really brightened up the inside and ultra durable. Went with the F Atlee Dodge rear seats and BAS shoulder harnesses. Door Stewards a must. What kind of floats you running. I ran out of money and bought a set of Aqua 3190s until I can afford Aerocets
    The plane came with Edo 2960's. They don't have fish hatches but I'm probably going to have them put in. I also have my eye on a set of Aerocets at Seaplanes North.

    Also thought about powdercoating the control yokes. Probably not something your allowed to do. I will need to check into that one.

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