Installing the New Baggage Compartment

Let's Install the New Airtex Upholstery

Airtex Baggage Compartment Kit

Laid out here are all the components that come with the baggage kit. There are lots of pockets and there is even a panel for the back of the seat, which was missing on my old interior.

Old and New floor Rugs

This shows some of the mismatch between what I had and what Airtex assumed I had. The existing compartment was wider but shorter. The Airtex SMK-15 based pieces want to fit into a longer and slightly more narrow space.

Reworked RH Side Panel

This should look much closer to what you have. This also shows the additional vertical brace I added to conform to SMK-15 specs. I have not moved the master switch in this picture.

Reworked LH Side Panel

Here you can see that I have started painting the baggage compartment exposed sheet metal to match the shade of gray in the Airtex vinyl.

The Back Panel is Secured and Ready for Upholstery

All the underlying flooring, side panels and back panel are installed and ready for fitting the Airtex pieces

Starting to Look Good

The RH and back Airtex panels are in and looking very Nice. Access to the mater switch is temporarily set up like the old panel. This needs more attention.

The Alternate RH Panel

This shows the other version of the of the Airtex RH panel. I ended up with it after Airtex replaced it with no pocket version. It was not planned that way, but it will be handy when I install the master switch STC next spring.

Panel Surgery

This is what I had to do to shorten the Airtex panels to fit my reworked compartment space. My 1965 DIY compartment was about an 1.5" shorter. It was way too hard to make it longer, so surgery was required.

The panels are easy to cut and modify to suit you plane. But it is a bit like a haircut. You can cut hair off easily, but you can't add any. Adding to the panel size will require a new panel or careful planning during the ordering process. So get everything right when you order.

Lot's of Weight on the Floor, I Saved 7.3 lbs!!!

Here you can see what happens when you trim the panels to fit. Keep all these scraps for repairs and to weigh for a new weight and balance report. I had very heavy panels that were backed with light aluminum. So weigh eveything that you take out and everything you put back in. Reducing empty weight on an Ercoupe is golden. I saved 7.3 pounds and I'm down to 834 lbs.

All Done and Looking Sharp

This is the finished baggage compartment filled in with the usual things that I keep back there.

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Brian Sanborn N3044H #3669