Fixing and Painting the Cowling

The cowling was in pretty bad shape. When I bought the plane, it wasn’t even primed or cut to size.

The fasteners were all pan head #8 screws. Over the last several months…I fixed the inlets, primed the cowling, and countersunk for CS screws.

This worked for the time being. But with the painting of the wheelpants and gear leg fairings, I finally got the itch to do the cowling. So I went out to the hangar and cut down the cowling so that it matched the fuselage along the top of the fuse. This took several tries to get it right. I am pretty sure I took off close to 1 3/4″ on that cowling edge. Once I was happy with the match, I took the cowling home and cleaned it up. This was a simple degrease and cleanup. Or so I thought. I had to scrub the pieces up three times before I was happy.

I also pulled the spinner so I could paint that the correct yellow to match my yellow. I almost went with blue on the spinner. But in the end, Jenni suggested it would be better in yellow. (Yes, I still consult with my ex-wife from time to time about the plane).

I painted the basecoat on the cowling in the morning and hit it with the clear coat that night. 3 coats of basecoat and 3 coats of clear did the job.

Once everything cured the next day, I took the parts up to the airport and installed them on the plane. Even went for a short flight.

Hard to believe this is the same plane

There’s still a few pinholes. I can live with those. I also ordered my nose art.

Here’s a side by side of the day I bought the plane vs. today.

The last bit I did was to install my nose art. This was all of 15 minutes of work. Spent 45 minutes driving back and forth to the hangar because I forgot my damn install kit. It’s basically just a spray bottle with soapy water and a squeegee. I taped them up using the upper lip of the lower cowling to be my guide and set the start of the decal 1″ forward of the rear edge of the cowl.