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midwest citabria, cowl and wheel pants

Old 03-25-2004, 09:16 AM
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bbmass
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Default midwest citabria, cowl and wheel pants

I'm building one and a few people have recommended getting aftermarket fiberglass cowl and wheel pants. I was going to try and use the ones that came with the plane and if they don't work, then replace them. I also figured I could strengthen these parts with epoxy and fiberglass. Am I barking up the wrong tree? Should I just bite the bullet and spend $60?
Old 03-25-2004, 03:37 PM
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Default RE: midwest citabria, cowl and wheel pants

I found the stock cowl and pants to be junk, so got aftermarket parts from Fiberglass Specialties.
Old 03-25-2004, 08:24 PM
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Default RE: midwest citabria, cowl and wheel pants

bbmass,

First, the disclaimers: I've not built (nor seen) this kit. I've never built a Midwest kit. I've never spent the money for fiberglass parts. (Perhaps I don't know what I'm missing.) I assume the supplied cowl and pants are ABS plastic.

Now, my $.02. I've heard a lot of guys say the ABS stuff is junk, and they always get fiberglass replacements. I've never had any problem with ABS parts on 4 or 5 planes I've built that have them.

I glue the parts together with dope thinner--it works like Tenax liquid cement on a plastic display model. I make a filler by dissolving scrap pieces of the ABS in dope thinner. It can be smoothed on with a small spatula or knife. It dries in a day or so, and can be sanded just like the molded pieces. This paste adds strength to the joints, and can be used to reinforce other areas.

When the parts are mounted to the plane, don't overtighten the screws! This will crack the plastic, and then... all bets are off.

The pants and cowl are just cosmetic... they don't have any structural benefit, so as long as you don't treat them roughly, they'll look good, last long time, and cheap!

Phil
Old 03-26-2004, 10:21 AM
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Default RE: midwest citabria, cowl and wheel pants

I used a set of 'glass parts from Stans Fiberglass and they lasted over 4 years of some 'rough' flying, err, landings

Jerry
Old 03-26-2004, 06:36 PM
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Default RE: midwest citabria, cowl and wheel pants

I think fiberglass parts have their place, but it depends on what you are looking for. I too have had great luck with stock ABS cowls and pants. Yes, it takes some labor gluing and filling, but I have had great results. I prefer to glue the parts with thin CA and use fiberglass tape to reinforce in a few places on inside seams. I use Bondo to fill the seam on outside, and reinforce the inside of the mounting holes with a square of fiberglass tape as well. You can also CA small washers to the exterior of the mounting holes if you are concerned about cracking or wearing the screw holes out.

Fiberglass is (usually) heavier than the ABS, but it is stronger. It is not cheap (usually 30 bucks for a cowl or set of pants). I plan on picking up a fiberglass cowl for my Super Stearman kit because the supplied ABS one is really thin, plus I can use any extra weight up front on this kit to balance it.

I suspect a lot of fellows like the fact that it is quicker to buy the glass than it is assemble and finish an ABS unit, but I take pride in making a nice smooth assembled piece that you cannot tell from a glass unit.


Pilgrim
Old 03-26-2004, 11:52 PM
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Default RE: midwest citabria, cowl and wheel pants

I have to vote for glass cowls, and I get them from Stans. Excellent quality over the years, and I would put my bets on his cowls being lighter than the identical ABS cowl. I will sometimes use the ABS if it is on a small plane, say 40 size warbird, etc. I reinforce it with glass cloth inside. If you intend for your plane to last for at least several years, the glass parts are worth it.

And......you can pretty easily make your own wheel pants, either out of laminated balsa, with some ply for the bolt-down area, or fiberglass over a foam core, which you melt back out. I usually do this, and end up with pants that will hold up for years.

Clair
Old 03-27-2004, 02:31 AM
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Default RE: midwest citabria, cowl and wheel pants

Yup ---Go with Stans.....epoxyglass cowl and wheelpants....super light, strong ,and semitransparent so it's easy to get your cutouts lined up. I have Stan's cowl/wheelpants on Midwest 300XS and Super Stinker...Fit is superb and the wheelpants come with plywood epoxyed in both inner sides so its easy to mount on your axels. True it does cost money but after paying $268 for a kit and about another $40 on covering plus the cost of paint and trim do I really want to put a abs cowl on my baby? I don't think so...however I do admire those that persevere with the stock cowl. Might add that the Midwest 300XS doesn't even come with any supplied cowl or wheelpants...just a discount certificate to Stan's....best move Midwest could make in my opinion!!!
Old 11-02-2010, 04:09 PM
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Default RE: midwest citabria, cowl and wheel pants

Where and how to I get a hold of Stans Fiberglass Specialties?
Old 11-02-2010, 04:11 PM
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Default RE: midwest citabria, cowl and wheel pants

How do I get an address or e-mail for Stans Fiberglass?
Old 11-02-2010, 05:46 PM
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Default RE: midwest citabria, cowl and wheel pants

Stan sold his business several years ago, and the last time I had contact with them the new owner was making cowls, etc. on an "as ordered" basis while he worked full time at his regular job. Try Googling "Stans Fiberglass" and see if you can get in touch with him, if he is even still in business.


Clair
Old 11-02-2010, 07:21 PM
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Default RE: midwest citabria, cowl and wheel pants

Try http://www.fiberglassspecialtiesinc.com

Terry

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