Advice on what to do with an early Ercoupe?

10 Oct 2020 06:16 - 17 Oct 2020 04:26 #7 by Michael Hainen
Replied by Michael Hainen on topic Advice on what to do with an early Ercoupe?
Let's say you decide to keep the Ercoupe. If rust and mouse corrosion were really big concerns, get a mirror or borescope and inspect inside of tanks and if really rusty., remove the wings and wing cuffs at the gas tanks. With that done it is easy to remove the gas tanks. To remove the rust use a product call CORROSION X from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty. Once that is done the metal will need a coating. I'd fill tanks with gas and watch for leaks , leave them on some saw horses over some cardboard and watch. If they do leak you can coat them with a product also from Aircraft Spruce, ALCOHOL RESISTANT GAS TANK SEALER. With tanks removed you can slosh both products around to clean and treat all interior surfaces. Once coated, leak test again, install some new quick drains and fresh fuel lines and you should be good as new. If the tanks are steel, its a good time to give them a coat of paint also, stop future corrosion. ALSO, each tank has a screen finger strainer, don't want to coat those, so install new finger strainers, about $22 apiece.
Great time to service the cross connect valve and the fuel shut off valve between header tank and the gas bowl. Your A&P can help you with your plan. with wings off you can inspect most of your center section pretty easily. Nice time to look at the landing gears mains with wings removed too. Good time to change the tires all the way around, You can get a package of 3 tires, tubes for the Ercoupe for about $444 dollars and do yourself, bearings cleaned greased, new tubes and tires your machine will have fresh dancing shoes ready for flight. Some more gremlins killed off in your worry list. Some fresh oil, clean filters, cleaned or new spark plugs your bird should be just fine. Give her some love and you will love it back.
This tank job will save you lots of money. New tanks for wings and header about $2500 each, OUCH!!!!!

A little elbow grease and effort you can have your coupe safe and sound ready to rack up some fun flying hours.
Last edit: 17 Oct 2020 04:26 by Michael Hainen. Reason: add comments wrong info

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09 Oct 2020 13:26 #8 by James Moore
Replied by James Moore on topic Advice on what to do with an early Ercoupe?
Thoughts on the fuel tanks? Apparently, they're part of the design change that happened with/after #813, so I'm more than a little concerned about that being the major expense of the whole thing. Is there a process for dealing with the rust issue?

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09 Oct 2020 10:40 #9 by Matt Gunsch
Replied by Matt Gunsch on topic Advice on what to do with an early Ercoupe?
Sorry about your loss, but going over your list, there is a lot you can do as an owner, you can do the tires and brakes yourself. I don't know what your A&P is concerned about the starter and alternator for, you will know their condition once you get the engine running. I would pull the upper plugs and start pre oiling the engine squirt some marvel mystery oil all the cylinders before you turn the prop, For a Battery, look at the Odyssey,it is lighter and cheaper than a concord or gill battery, Before you motor the engine over you will need to pro oil it and prime the oil pump, if your A&P does not know how to do that, come back here and ask. There is nothing hard about working on a Coupe, so get started and when you are flying, you know your dad will be there with you enjoying the ride.

30+ years GA and Warbird Maint
Check out the Ercoupe Discussion group on facebook

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09 Oct 2020 09:52 - 09 Oct 2020 11:53 #10 by Michael Hainen
Replied by Michael Hainen on topic Advice on what to do with an early Ercoupe?
Sorry for loss of dad. Last summer I got an old 415c from a deceased guy's estate. Got it annualed, new battery, new fuel lines, oil & filter change, a test flight by an ercoupe familiar pilot. I got 5 hours of dual in an ercoupe for the insurance. My coupe was 1000 miles away, I few commercial to it, did paperwork with seller, spent next day in the pattern and local area. Following day I jumped in with my bag, portable radio, sleeping bag and flew it from Maine/ New Hampshire border to northern Michigan. Not a single problem and only burned 1/2 qt. of oil.
What I am saying is get busy fixing and flying the coupe you already own , it's a blast. Yesterday was the first time I have closed the canopy since getting it in July. I plan on 5 hours of flying and leaf looking tomorrow. As for flying with family, do that later one at a time as you get familiar with and trust your coupe and as you improve it, fly for yourself, solo. Later if the ankle biters want to fly then take them and upgrade to a bigger plane. You will never lose with a coupe, and if you're sweating a physical, don't just keep flying on your driver's license and LSA rules if yours qualifies, heck with FAA whacked out medical/ basic med mess. Just stay current and do the biannual and spend all your money on gas, got to love that autogas STC with $1.85 gas .
Just IMHO. 40 hours of fun since mid July, hoping to add on 20 more before snow and I do the Florida snowbird thing.

Good luck
Last edit: 09 Oct 2020 11:53 by Michael Hainen. Reason: spelling

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09 Oct 2020 02:22 - 09 Oct 2020 02:24 #11 by James Moore
Advice on what to do with an early Ercoupe? was created by James Moore
[accidentally started this in the wrong forum, I think this is the right place]

I'm hoping for some advice on decision making for an Ercoupe that's been sitting for a very long time. I'm reaching out to this group, as I'm not acquainted with any other Ercoupe owners, and the pilots in my EAA chapter have no knowledge of them.

After my dad passed away, I became the owner of Ercoupe #609, a 1946 415-C. I'm sorry to say that since just before his passing in 2013, it's been sitting--thankfully in a hangar, but definitely not in use. My dad made the purchase as his health was declining, and did not keep the maintenance up prior to that. I must admit that I haven't either--I've kept it there in the hangar all this time. I became one of those people who let "life" get in the way of flying.

Anyway, the airplane needs some work that feels pretty overwhelming given the scale of what is and might be going on with it. A quick review by the A&P that used to maintain it gives me a list of items that are concerning:
  • Fuel tanks -- they're steel, and show definite corrosion
  • Battery (of course)
  • Shocks and spacers
  • Corrosion on the exterior of the cylinders
  • Starter
  • Alternator
  • Tires -- all of them
  • Wheels and brakes
  • Whatver mice/etc may have done while it sits

All told, this gets to be a pretty pricey list--enough that I'm having difficulty knowing what's best for it--is it worth repairing? Beyond it having been my dad's airplane, I really don't hold sentimental attachment to it. Early in 2020 I was able to finally regain currency, so ideally an airplane is still in the cards for me, though with a family of four, the Ercoupe may not be ideal.

Regardless, does anyone have knowledge on the viability of dealing with all of this? Is it practical to consider all this work, or would I be better off with a sale as-is? Making all of this more difficult is location-the airplane and hangar are in mid-Missouri, and I'm near Atlanta.

Thanks in advance for any input!
Last edit: 09 Oct 2020 02:24 by James Moore.

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