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searching for seat track for Piper 160

piper160

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I have to replace a seat track in the 1964 piper 160 which currently is riveted in is there a hardware kit to replace the rivets like they have for the Cessna seat tracks
 

Avidflyer2

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I've replaced a number of seat rails using McFarlane PMA'd seat rails. They fit well and have an added benefit of having the aft cut-out for the seat's rear legs, making it easier to remove the seats from early model Pipers not having the cut-outs about 8" from the wing spar end. The older rails also requires you to remove the side arm rest to slide the seat forward enough to remove the seat completely from the aircraft on the pilot's side.

Drilling out the solid rivets holding the seat rail to the floor and external stiffener rails from beneath the airplane is easiest with the aircraft up on jacks for added clearance and stability. The solid rivets are quickly replaced with new solid rivets and are much cheaper than replacing the rivets with screws. I'm not aware of any approved replacement items for the original solid rivets other than solid rivets.

If you go with McFarlane or Piper OEM seat rails, order the seat rail template to go along with it, its worth it! The template is first held in place on the cabin floor and drilled from underneath the airplane at each end. Clamping it with -4 size clecos every few holes keeps it flat and in alignment as you drill the remainder of the holes. Make sure you mark which side of the template is towards the seat rail and which side is towards the floor. The template is then transferred to the new seat rail and the holes are then drilled in the seat rail using the template as a guide. The first seat rail will probably take a little longer, but I can remove and install a new seat rail in about an hour and a half while using a buddy to buck the rivets and to hold the template.

Its important to keep the two seat rails for each seat parallel to each other so that the seat rolls fore & aft smoothly. I measured the distance between each end of the rail at its forward and aft ends, and then made a go/no-go gauge stick to hold between each rail at its working track to keep them parallel. I marked the new seat rail by holding it in place with the go/n0-go gauge sticks and then gently marked the seat rail by drilling up from underneath enough to mark the rail at each end. Once you have the template drilled, place it on the seat rail and align the outermost holes with the spot on the seat rail and clamp everything together. Drill the seat rail from the template and then place it on the cabin floor to check for fit. I recommend painting the bottom of the seat rail and cabin floor with a primer coating prior to riveting in place.

Sometimes the older seats do not have the additional support tubes welded in between the front and rear seat legs, if the seat frame bows from excessive pressure applied to the seat back - (think of stretching your back while pressing on the rudder pedals) the seat frame bottom bows upwards while bringing the two seat legs closer together. The resultant modified and inverted "U" shape of the seat legs will not allow you to raise the front legs high enough to clear the front spar while moving the seat forward to bring the rear legs forward to the front cut-out. If you have problems sliding the seat fore & aft, check to see if the seat legs are vertical with respect to the seat rail.
 
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