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Thread: Gel Coat Nosebowl cracks...small at intake behind spinner

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    5

    Default Gel Coat Nosebowl cracks...small at intake behind spinner

    Have a Gel Coated Cessna Cowling with spider web cracks of the nose bowl. Which filler should be used? Proper paint to use? Rage Gold? Long hair filler? I'm just not sure how to tackle this. Familiar with paint work 25 years ago, but times have sure changed from Centari/Imron and Red putty in a tube.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    40,278

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    If the cracks are just small cracks in the gel coat I would use SHORT strand fiberglass filler, the long strand is for bigger problems. I would V out each crack, press the mixed filler into the cracks then block sand the hardened filler level. I'd apply a coat of polyester putty over the area to tweak the leveling then apply 2K filler primer and guide coat then block sand and paint.

    If you need info on the painting process you may want to check out the Spray Painting 101 Video linked below.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    2,007

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    Are you allowed to do a repair like that to an aircraft if you are not a certified mechanic? I know you can build your own plane but I thought you werenít allowed to make any modifications to a factory built plane unless you were certified? Not trying to start an argument just let me know if I have that wrong.

    I did a little volunteer work for a group that is restoring a military plane and they are quite fussy about who can do what on there airplane. Maybe they are just being over protective of there plane.

    Bob K

  4. #4
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    Apr 2010
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    Thanks Len for the advice. Will try the short strand and fill. Concerning the Certified Mechanic applicability. Yes a owner can perform cosmetic repairs. It doesn't matter in my case I hold a IA. I have worked with some Warbirds in the Confederate Airforce in Texas. The new politically correct name is something else but lets call it the CAF for short. If they are fussy about supervising your work and not interested in instructing proper A/P work then your wasting your time. A license doesn't make a person a safe A/P, brains and character makes a good mechanic. I'm sure the Nanny State will soon require a highly paid Federal inspector soon to oversee and document for a supplemental fee/tax any work done by a owner/operator. I guess I'll have to change the oil and sneak in a little paint touch up and heaven forbid perform a brake job without a license. Plane or Auto.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    186

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cy Young View Post
    Thanks Len for the advice. Will try the short strand and fill. Concerning the Certified Mechanic applicability. Yes a owner can perform cosmetic repairs. It doesn't matter in my case I hold a IA. I have worked with some Warbirds in the Confederate Airforce in Texas. The new politically correct name is something else but lets call it the CAF for short. If they are fussy about supervising your work and not interested in instructing proper A/P work then your wasting your time. A license doesn't make a person a safe A/P, brains and character makes a good mechanic. I'm sure the Nanny State will soon require a highly paid Federal inspector soon to oversee and document for a supplemental fee/tax any work done by a owner/operator. I guess I'll have to change the oil and sneak in a little paint touch up and heaven forbid perform a brake job without a license. Plane or Auto.
    Well said old boy. One of the first things you will find about the world of small planes is that many of the supposed professionals don't know as much about what is being done as you do. That magic of having that license doesn't mean very much in terms of safety when you are dealing with a Cessna as they just don't go fast enough to generate forces that require anything more than general mechanical knowledge. Get into the realm of painting the tail on a "V"tail Bonanza and it gets a bit different but that's another world entirely.
    Where is your's cracking anyways and what plane is it? Most of the cracks I have encountered on my 150 are in the aluminum and just got stop drilled with a 1/8th bit. The fiberglass nose section (I am assuming) immediately behind the prop responds well to simple fiberglass just like anything else. A small piece of aluminum buried in there stiffens it up a lot too if you can manage it. When you look at a nice set of droop wing tips like Madras the first thing you notice when you drill them for installation is that they sandwiched a strip of aluminum inside the screwed down area. What an idea! Cessna should learn something from the aftermarket and make their parts better. A dremel tool is very handy for doing the small surface areas like around that cowl's nose section. Small rollocs work well too as does sandpaper wrapped around a finger, putty knife, screwdriver whatever....... Just make sure it's clean and completely free of all that oil that seems to get everywhere under there.
    Personally I can't see anything but trouble from logging anything like this. It's just an open invitation to headaches from the "Friendlies" down the road. Beyond that there is no way of knowing who fixed it having been owned by 5 to 15 previous owners like all other old planes. Or you could just buy a new forward section for the bargain basement price of $1500 last time I noticed. Anything else you fix on that plane try to use the fiberglass replacement part instead of the junk plastic Cessna used. It holds up 5 times as well and you can fix it unlike the cracked plastic. Once it's dried out you are only buying time by fixing it at best and it's barely worth it unless the cracks are minor.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob K View Post
    Are you allowed to do a repair like that to an aircraft if you are not a certified mechanic? I know you can build your own plane but I thought you werenít allowed to make any modifications to a factory built plane unless you were certified? Not trying to start an argument just let me know if I have that wrong.

    I did a little volunteer work for a group that is restoring a military plane and they are quite fussy about who can do what on there airplane. Maybe they are just being over protective of there plane.

    Bob K
    Yes, as a certified pilot, you are allowed to make cosmetic repairs, and paint, on the airplane, except balanced control surfaces.
    Just make the appropriate entry in the airframe logbook.
    Quote Originally Posted by FAR 43.17 appendix A
    ; (c) Preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance is limited to the following work, provided it does not involve complex assembly operations:

    (1) Removal, installation, and repair of landing gear tires.

    (2) Replacing elastic shock absorber cords on landing gear.

    (3) Servicing landing gear shock struts by adding oil, air, or both.

    (4) Servicing landing gear wheel bearings, such as cleaning and greasing.

    (5) Replacing defective safety wiring or cotter keys.

    (6) Lubrication not requiring disassembly other than removal of nonstructural items such as cover plates, cowlings, and fairings.

    (7) Making simple fabric patches not requiring rib stitching or the removal of structural parts or control surfaces. In the case of balloons, the making of small fabric repairs to envelopes (as defined in, and in accordance with, the balloon manufacturers' instructions) not requiring load tape repair or replacement.

    (8) Replenishing hydraulic fluid in the hydraulic reservoir.

    (9) Refinishing decorative coating of fuselage, balloon baskets, wings tail group surfaces (excluding balanced control surfaces), fairings, cowlings, landing gear, cabin, or cockpit interior when removal or disassembly of any primary structure or operating system is not required.

    (10) Applying preservative or protective material to components where no disassembly of any primary structure or operating system is involved and where such coating is not prohibited or is not contrary to good practices.

    (11) Repairing upholstery and decorative furnishings of the cabin, cockpit, or balloon basket interior when the repairing does not require disassembly of any primary structure or operating system or interfere with an operating system or affect the primary structure of the aircraft......
    There's much more but I posted only that which is relevant.

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