Flew the Coupe! – Part 8- It’s all the little stuff!

So I thought I’s share some more details of my plane and talk a little more about things I want to change.  Let’s start with things I don’t plan.  No, even though I live on a lake that is one of the busiest seaplane port in the word  will not be putting my coupe on floats.  Sure seems like it could be cool though! 🙂

One of the first things I am upgrading.  My interior.  Here is my current interior.  I expect it may be very much like it came out of the factory.  I think the seat back may be original.  I think the same might be true of the baggage compartment.  I think the seat cushions are likely recovered but in a material close to original.   I expect the same is true of the side panels.  The plane has a wooden floor and no carpet.  Here are some photos of the seat:



The baggage compartment:

Side panels:

The floor is just wood:



So there is nothing horrible about any of that.  In fact it is probably very close to how my plane came off the factory floor.  Much of my plane is how I think it was when it was manufactured.  But, I can do better!

So I am going to add carpets, replace the side panels and seats.  I think dark grays will be the pallet.  I believe I can put in all the new interior kit myself.  I also realize looking at the floor picture there is some sort of bracket there I have to figure out.  For folks that wonder I expect the interior will set me back about $1500.  This should include the baggage compartment.  While I like the large baggage compartment upgrade I am not sure I’m going to do that.  I will definitely share that process when I get to it.

Other things I expect to address.  Here is my “hat shelf”:


You can get a carpet cover for that so I think I’ll get one of those as well.  I discovered something I need to research.  Here is the dataplate for my plane:


My plane was upgraded to a “D” and and 85HP.  I wonder if this was supposed to be updated?

Another interior item that will be replaced.  There is a cover over the dash that is made out of the same material as the seats.  I will replace that with some matching material with the new interior.  You can see it here:


So another small detail that I like I am going to reproduce.  It looks like that gas float assembly on my plane is worn and the float not floating so well.  Good news is that I can buy a new one from Univair.  However mine has a sort of fin at the top.  The come as just a wire.  Someone fit mine with a little folded over piece of brass.  Here it is:


So lets talk about things my plane has plenty of. Antennas! Here are all the antennas on my plane in no particular order.  Transponder and I’m not sure.  The plane had a Loran once.  If you know what that small “V” shaped antenna is let me know!

This I believe is a VOR antenna and the tail position light:



And now the Comm and GPS antenna:


I think I have at least one antenna I don’t need and the GPS/Comm antenna does not feel very “period”.  I understand the radios work well but I am thinking some changes are in order.  For example if the GPS comes out maybe I can go to a simple whip for the comm radio.  Something more like this:


I can’t say yet I know where my ELT antenna is.  And I have no idea what the “V” shaped one on the bottom is.

Now lets look at my panel.  Here are some pictures:










So a couple of observations.  The panel is certainly not in any sort of standard layout.  And at least one instrument needs some “luvin”.  The artificial horizon needs to be adjusted/serviced.  But this begs a larger question.  Is this panel not really consistent with my “mission”.  So certainly all legally required instruments stay.  And when it comes to engine instruments more is better I think.  But do I need an artificial horizon? These old sperry instruments date back to WWII.  Another question do I need a VOR?  I am not so sure in the age of GPS.  Anyways, I am seriously thinking of refurbish an original panel.  Moving the avionics to one of the glove box locations and ditching all the not needed for IFR instruments.

Other things I’n noticed on the plane.  I have some polishing challenges.  Here is some corrosion I found on the top of the canopy area:


If you know anything about polishing let me know what to do!

Another thing I decided not to worry about.  My plane is missing the cabin heat “muff”.  Dennie said be found the plane stayed plenty warm.  I may take advantage of the ducting and move it to just fresh outside air.  Here is where the missing heater part should be:


A simple thing I need to sort out, what to do about the “head clobbering device”!.  The compass works very well but seems to be perfectly positioned for people to hit their head on!



I need to pad it or something!

So mostly I thought I’d share some details of my plane.  Here are some other photos:

So if you have any feedback please feel free to share!

There should be a future installment will be about the history of the Ercoupe but the next installment is just about passing some time while I get flying my new bird!

Flew the Coupe! – Part 9- Not much happening but the waiting

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4 Responses to Flew the Coupe! – Part 8- It’s all the little stuff!

  1. Pingback: Flew the Coupe! – Part 7- I’m the dog that caught car, now what! | Tangential Thoughts

  2. Michael Moore says:

    Yeah… floats on a ‘coupe was a bad idea.

  3. Hugh says:

    Michele, My name is Hugh, I have 2 Ercoupe’s, 1 C & 1 E; thanks for sharing your story I read it all this morning. Wish I had had your insight when buying both of my Coupes but neither her nor there.
    Couple things I’d do, or not do right away:
    Comms: I’d leave everything on the comm radios, as is for now except I’d add an intercom box. Reason is because I and many people have had radio comm issues & if it’s working great, leave it alone. I used an intercom box in my coupe for quite a while. It’s simply plugged into the existing jacks and has 2 to 4 sets of jacks so you can have intercom. Bought mine used so it has 4. Also if you have a headset with a mic button on the ear muff it’s a good back up.
    Instruments: I took the Attitude indicator (like yours) and the Directional gyro below it out of my panel (they didn’t work); together they weighed 12.5 lbs (2 gallons or 1/2 hour of fuel. I’m replacing mine with later model light weight ones from my E model (which has become a donation bird). The wet compass looks like a brick as well; they make some very nice light weight small diameter Vertical Card Compasses (had one in the Cherokee I recently sold and loved it. Also best mounts on the top of the windshield.
    I’d keep the GPS, even if it’s no longer supported for the situational awareness. I use Garmin Pilot on a Samsung Galaxy A with an iPad mini backup (because I cracked the glass) & a GLD39 on the dash. Most people use Foreflight/Stratus which has a lot more support from around the industry; articles and such but they are about the same. Personally, I’d also keep the VOR as long as it works.
    Interior. I’m probably a lot more heavy so I’m trying to rebuild my bird on the light side. My C model started out with the same interior as yours exactly. The E had the Cessna seat mod but it sat too high for me at 6′ so I traded it for what I think is an Airtex bench seat that looks nice & for now no other interior. Except I’m going to replace the cargo bag/slanted hat shelf with the flat floor mod. Can’t put a lot of weight back there but it will accommodate my flight bag, extra cloths, etc much better & things will be easier to find in flight.
    The corrosion? I started out stripping the paint and polishing my aircraft and found a few spots like that where the alclad was corroded through but it was otherwise sound so I sanded and painted the aircraft. Glad I did. That’s all for now. My bird, like yours, hadn’t flown for years. When I got it home & after a few years of flying it I found corrosion in the right wing spar; took it apart, took it home and that started a multi year restoration process. I have a facebook page with pictures and blog, sort of; it’s called “Ercoupe Project” all the best, Hugh O’Handley N3689H

    • spacegrrrl says:

      Thanks for the comments. I’ll check out your page! My plane had the wings off and a pretty extensive inspection as part of its last annual. As for the rest of the aluminum except for the one spot I shared its all in awesome shape. Paint is easier for sure but I think I’m committed to polishing for now! 🙂

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