I need to replace my door seals. I see that Beech changed the design of the 19/23/24/76 seal in mid 1980, and the new seals are very expensive. Will the older seal style work on my 1980+ airframe?
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What about door seals for the Model 77 Skipper?
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The original 19/23/24/76 cabin door seal is P/N 169-420036-124.
The newer seal number is P/N 105-420015-33
The original Skipper cabin door seal mounts on the airframe rather than the door. The skipper seal is P/N 108-430000-29.
The 169-420036-124 seals will fit the front cabin doors of all of the 19/23/24/76 airframes, but not the large or small baggage doors. However, they are not the same shape as the later style seals. Somewhere in mid-1980, Beech began using the Duchess (105-) door seal for the Sierra, Sport, and Sundowner. I know that the later seal is far more expensive, especially if you use the Beech seal ($700+). However, Paul Werbin purchased a set of the 105-420015-33 seals from Brown Aircraft, under their P/N BA-420015-33. You can visit Brown’s site using the following link. Make sure you get the full link, if you have to cut and paste it.
You can decide what you want to do after looking at your old seals, and maybe even talking with Paul. There is no doubt in my mind that the earlier seal will work on all of the 19/23/24/76 front doors, but I simply don’t know whether the later seal has any advantages. It might, since it was developed for the Duchess twin, and its slightly higher speeds. My personal experience has been that the original flanged-bulb seal works better and permits easier door closure.
The original-style 19/23/24/76 door seal is now available to BAC members under P/N 169-420036-124AEC, from www.aec-inc.com. BAC helped AEC develop several parts for FAA-PMA approval, in exchange for low member pricing. In July 2009 the AEC online price for the cabin door seal was $55.
The Model 77 Skipper door seal is actually mounted on the airframe, rather than the door itself; the Beech price on it was $2,800 in July 2009. That’s not a misprint. RAPID showed four on the shelf at that time, and I suspect that they will rot in place.
I have not tried to pursue the Skipper seal since a year ago last April, when I visited a booth at Sun-N-Fun for Aircraft Door Seals, LLC. ADS advertises a replacement seal for the 76 Duchess and 77 Skipper, and states that it is an FAA-PMA product (log book entry only). The price is $189. What they picture is a door-mounted seal. On the assumption that it does work, its placement does not matter if they have an FAA-PMA for it. Here is their link:
Addendum December 2009:
The early -124 cabin door seals will also fit and work very well on many of the ME-prefixed Duchesses, and many of the 1979 and later Sports, Sundowners, and Sierras that came with the later Duchess lip-type seal. One caution, though. We have encountered a small number of 1980 and later airframes that have an uncommonly small door skin flange extending beyond the door’s inner frame. There must be at least a 3/4" wide ‘flange’, between the door’s inner frame and the edge of the door’s skin, for the Beech -124 seal to work well. If you have a 5/8" wide flange, or narrower, on the majority of the door’s perimeter, you need to stick with the slightly smaller AECI seal. If the flange is as narrow as 1/2" or less, you’ll have to stick with the later lip-type seal design, ordering it from Brown Aircraft as explained in the BAC FAQ, and hope for the best. Paying Beech more than $700 for the Duchess lip-type seal is out of the question for most of us.
If the door has the needed clearance in all areas but one or two, and the door’s overall gap really needs the original wider Beech seal, the seal can easily be trimmed as required for the narrower segments of the door skin’s flange. You just slit the outboard edge of the seal’s protruding bulb with a razor knife, after it has been installed, leaving a very slight ‘lip’ sticking above the seal’s base section. Then cut a sliver of rubber off of the cut edge of the bulb, tuck the cut bulb edge down, behind and against the small lib protruding from the base part of the seal, and see whether the seal height versus the door clearance looks correct. After removing the correct amount of bulb rubber, permanently reattach the cut edge of the seal, behind and against its opposite cut edge, using Super Glue and Cyanoacrylate Accelerator. If you prefer, you can reattach the cut edges; but this is usually more difficult as the cuts are hard to get exactly parallel. The cyanoacrylate rubber bond will be permanent within one or two seconds. The seal will tear before the cement fails. You must use the accelerator to get this quality of bond.