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glareshield 3
glareshield 1
glareshield 2

The instrument panel glareshield had some very old, cracked and dried out leather covering on it. The aircraft had the original windshield, so the glareshield was likely original. It took many, many, many hours to remove the windshield, clean out the goopy sealant and remove all the glue from the aluminum around the windshield and glareshield. Anyone who changes a windshield in just a few hours does not take the time to remove all the old, dried out sealant.

After removal of the glue, I etched, alodined and painted every bit of the bare aluminum. I used an aircraft specific corrosion and fluid resistant epoxy primer. I then painted the edges with aircraft spec flat black. Don't want that ugly green showing!

I installed new glareshield leather (fireblocked, tested and certified). The early cardinals have a different style panel/glareshield, this required a seam to be sewn right where the two parts meet. I did the best I could with this one. There are compound curves involved, so stretching and pulling was in order. I used 3M 1357 glue, the only stuff that will hold the leather on in the harsh Florida sun.

finished glareshield

The finished product. I even took the time to strip, etch, alodine, prime and paint the vent grills. I installed them with stainless steel hardware.  Good thing this was finished by the time the new windows arrived.


I polished the stainless parts of the firewall with a Snap On pneumatic buffer and Nuvite (a heavy duty metal polish). That took a couple of days! The result is a really great looking firewall, that will help me inspect for leaks when the new engine is installed.


This is a view inside the left wing, looking forward. Thr red/orange stuff is AV-30, a fantastic corrosion inhibiting compound. I made sure to inject it between layers of sheet metal prior to painting. AV-30 and the similar super penetrating AV-8 are really needed on older aircraft. They both dry to a transparent, non tacky and semi hard state. This allows inspection without removal of the coating. The entire surface is coated and only the thicker layers show up as red/orange. Corrosion X will not remain in place like these products do. Obviously, I replaced the Cessna Cat tubing throughout the airplane.

engine mount

While the engine mount was off, I sandblasted all the old, nasty paint off. I did a crack check and brief cleanup/degrease of the bare surface. I then painted it with corrosion and fluid proof primer and finished it off with the old spec (better paint) Jet Glo matterhorn white. I took the time to remove all the brackets and clean those up too. The aluminum on the firewall was cleaned and primered with the good stuff too. Everyone that sees the firewall has a nice comment about the shine.

new windshield

The windshield going in! I got the parts from Aero, for the best price I could find. The plastic was made by LP and was quite a different shape than the original windshield. I took the time to make a pattern of the old windshield, only to find that the new windshield was MUCH smaller. In some places, almost 1.5 inches! So, a call was made to LP plastics, where I spoke with someone who knew all about Cardinal windshields. He assured me that the windshield would fit perfectly and it did! The difference was carefully explained to me. The oldest Cessna parts had a compound curve right in the middle of the windshield. They actually bulged outward in the center. Why? Nobody knows? Also, LP provides the parts to Cessna now, so they are made on a fixture and trimmed to size before they are shipped. Notice, the LP part is much more streamlined looking when compared to my original (see below), as it does not bulge outward right at the leading edge, center. All the LP windows fit with out ANY trimming.

old windshield

Notice the bulge in the original windshield.

spar 1
spar 2
spar 3

This is the wing spar carrythrough before and after cleanup etch and alodine. Interesting that the original machine marks were quite rough. I took particular care in making sure there were no rough machine marks near any edge or corner. This is one hefty aluminum part! Cessna publishes some corrosion limits that are quite interesting. From what I was told by Cessna, the corrosion limits are really "minimum machine dimensions" for the spar carrythrough. Careful measurement shows the spar to be much thicker than the minimum dimensions. In some places, more than 0.100 inches! In some places, it is machined right to spec. Go figure?

I removed the upper window retainers, removed all the overhead sheet metal and all the old tar based soundproofing. The cleanup took forever, but it was worth it. I discovered that Napa Brakeclean removes the original Cessna glue and goop better than anything else. The spar was not painted, so I carefully etched, alodined and primered it.


This is the air plenum on the left wing. Cessna had some sort of filter in here, but it has long since disappeared. It has 2 vent/drain holes, one is visible at the top. The lower one drains water into the wing, not a good thing as the wing has no water drain. I placed aluminum tape over the lower hole and installed a washer under the bottom of the cover plate.


email with wings