Cleaning the bottom of the plane

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MarkA
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Cleaning the bottom of the plane

Post by MarkA »

One of my least favorite maintenance tasks is cleaning and waxing (I use RejeX, a thin-film polymer coating rather than wax) the bottom of the DA40.

A creeper works OK under the lowest parts on the fuselage but it’s not quite high enough to reach the bottom of the wings without doing a continuous sit-up. There are adjustable height creepers you can buy but they're kind of spendy. Since I’m frugal (cheap?), I put together a DYI solution by building some lifters that can be added on top of a standard Harbor Freight creeper to adjust its height (see photos below).

It makes doing the bottom of the plane a little less painful ;)
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Lifters to adjust the creeper's height
Lifters to adjust the creeper's height
2022-04-15-000ad1 misc photos (3).jpg
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dmloftus
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Re: Cleaning the bottom of the plane

Post by dmloftus »

Nice! I have the same creeper. Usually not much to clean under the wings, but invaluable to clean the belly. Thanks for the helpful suggestion for the wings ;-)
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Charles
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Re: Cleaning the bottom of the plane

Post by Charles »

Doesn't the water/soap drip all over you?
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MarkA
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Re: Cleaning the bottom of the plane

Post by MarkA »

Well... my hangar is located at KHIO which does not allow soap and water to be used to clean planes in the ramp area. Something about ground water pollution or some such nonsense :cry:

So I use lots of towels in the hangar with Windex on the top and wings and Simple Green Aircraft cleaner for the bottom fuselage oily parts.
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Charles
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Re: Cleaning the bottom of the plane

Post by Charles »

No water at my home base either. But I fly to another airport with my cleaning supplies to wash the plane.
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hifiaudio2
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Re: Cleaning the bottom of the plane

Post by hifiaudio2 »

I have no plane yet so not even an owner... Trying to get a DA40NG now...But does anybody do ceramic coatings to these? I assume it's legal... Like the g Technic or such? I have one on my truck. And/or treatments to the windows? Also... Is it legal to have a tint shop apply a UV filter to the canopy? I assume not one with any kind of actual darker tint but I believe you can filter out most or all of the UV without darkening.
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Rich
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Re: Cleaning the bottom of the plane

Post by Rich »

Getting ready to do mine :D
Screen Shot 2022-05-11 at 13.55.14.png
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jwx96
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Re: Cleaning the bottom of the plane

Post by jwx96 »

I use a creeper with an old pillow duct taped to it for my head. For me it’s very comfortable. I use Carbon-X diluted 1:2 in a spray bottle and paper towels. It takes about a half a roll but there is almost no drip. I do use eye protection though. I follow with Wash Wax All and micro fiber cloths. It’s a pretty easy process.
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Barrya
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Re: Cleaning the bottom of the plane

Post by Barrya »

Wd40 works great on belly of plane
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Rich
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Re: Cleaning the bottom of the plane

Post by Rich »

Barrya wrote: Wed May 25, 2022 8:10 pm Wd40 works great on belly of plane
Interesting idea. I had the plane on jacks today to check/adjust tire pressure. I haven't gotten around to cleaning the plane this year, but noticed the black grime on the antennas. So I wiped them off with a rag. It came off pretty easily. Then I looked at the fairly dirty underbelly and took a swipe at it with the rag and it also seemed to be willing to come right off. Really what's under the belly is a light coat of oil which causes bits of this and that to adhere to the plane. It all wiped off quite nicely with just a rag and no cleaning agents whatsoever. No WD40 needed, as the blown-out/leaked 20W50 was already there :D
2002 DA40-180: MT, PowerFlow, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210, Orion 600 LED, XeVision, Aspen E5
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