"Cabin Door Upgrade"

Mooney SI M20-39

by Don Maxwell

MAPA Log, Volume 26 , Number 2 (February 2003)

One item I always suggest to the new owner of a pre “J” Mooney is a pair of vise grips and that they be kept in the cabin. Why? Well, our pre “J’s” have a cabin door handle that is an aluminum casting. This casting is attached to the door latch mechanism by a small steel roll pin. Over the years, and many cycles, the casting becomes worn and will let the roll pin fall out. When this happens, unless you can find the pin and reinstall it, you are locked in the cabin. Hopefully there are people around that will let you out. If not, you may have to attempt the dreaded hot start and fly to another airport to get someone to open the door.


So, you have two choices: keep the vise grips handy, or install the new style door handle. Mooney has provided the new door handle and necessary materials in a service kit. The kit is Mooney Service Instruction SI 20-039-000. Current cost of the kit is $212.59. Labor to install is 3 to 5 hours. Check your cabin door handle. Does it feel snug? Do you feel any “play” or lost motion in operating the door handle? If so, I suggest you upgrade to a newer style handle or keep the vise grips handy. Check with your Mooney Service Center to order.


To view and print SI M20-39


Don Maxwell Aviation Services, Inc., a factory authorized Mooney Aircraft Service Center, and Lycoming Authorized Service Center offers a comprehensive menu of services with the latest and most efficient techniques and technologies. Our staff strives to satisfy all the demanding needs of Mooney owners and pilots.


-  Annuals and 100 Hour Inspections

-  Minor and Major Repairs

-  New Interiors, Complete and Partial

-  New Glass

-  Avionics Updates

-  Fuel Tank Repairs

-  Pre-Purchase Inspections

-  Sheet Metal and Structural Repair

-  Corrosion Damage Repair 

-  Engine Overhaul


East Texas Regional Airport

390 Central Road

Longview, Texas 75603


PHONE:  903-643-9902

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