'78 C-172N - Need cowling flap

'78 C-172N - Need cowling flap

I am trying to find a solution  to a problem I have encountered. My SkyhawkII has no cowling flap. (I call it a flap, as I am unsure of the exact nomenclature)
The problem is that there is no access to the battery box, nor is there an APU plug on the aircraft.
Recently, I had an encounter with a dead battery. I thought I would simply charge the battery, but soon discovered that I had to remove the entire top cowl to access the battery compartment. This is not an easy task, and I really don't like de-cowling the plane for this.
Does anyone have a simple solution.... and please don't say buy a new battery.  I just don't seem to fly mas much lately as I used to; but that is changing also, and I will be flying more starting in October.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Is there an approved retro-fit "flap" ?

Is there an APU plug I can get???

My IA wasn't much help, he promised to look into it, but I have waited over 3 months and he hasn't offered a solution.

Thank you in advance....
Rick

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Re: '78 C-172N - Need cowling flap

Hello Rick;

Having owned an "N" model for a few years, I am not aware of any modification that would allow access to the battery without removing the top cowling, but you can add a ground service recepticle that allows you to connect to an external power source. A parts manual would give you a list of the parts you would need.

Jon

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Re: '78 C-172N - Need cowling flap

Rick,
I own a 172N and my best addition to it was a battery tender.  It plugs itno the wall at hanger and does a trickle charge and maintains battery. Just add conector to battery anr tie it to oil check area where you can access easily. I've left mine for 4 months (winter) and it fires right up in spring.  I also have a cowl plug for where I used to get a boost (before charger). I know it's a 24 volt...but it works great!!

Jim

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Re: '78 C-172N - Need cowling flap

For those times that I do not fly for a while I removed the fuse for the aircraft clock.  As a result my battery stays charged and I have no problem starting the engine.

As far as a battery trickle charge, have you talked to a mechanic about plugging something into the cigarette lighter?  You might be able to get a solar panel that produces 24 VDC and plug it in and leave it on the seat or floor in the cockpit.  Any light will energize the panel.  I have not tried this in my plane but it sure worked great in my car when parked at the airport for weeks at a time.

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