While my plane was in the shop for its annual this year, I had them remove my two 44-year-old yokes. Prior to removing the yokes, they were loose and sloppy. While the yokes were out, the universal joints were replaced with new McFarlane products. Before the yokes came out, you could rotate them left and right a small amount without actually turning the aileron system at all.
After we replaced the universal joints, the yokes feel like the plane has just come right out of the factory. I can now fly with two or three fingers on the yoke; they are very smooth and tight.
And while the yokes were out, which is a very big pain to do given the wiring that’s attached to each yoke for push to talk, etc., I figured we would have them repaired and restored. They were worn, scratched, and flaking. I happened to be in the shop when another aircraft owner’s yoke came back from restoration and it looked like new, but not very special.
Given that I had just gutted the interior and that everything in the inside was new, I wanted the yokes to look new, too. So, I did a bit of research and found a little Pennsylvania company called Yoke Up Interiors. I worked with one of the owners, Glenn King, on selecting the color of the leather and we chose stitching to match the new blue interior that I picked out from Airtex.
They came back in about 10 days and my plane was still having its annual inspection done, so no time was lost. My shop put the yokes in and rewired them. I came into the shop to find three other plane owners looking at the yokes. One of them made a comment that with these new yokes my plane “looked like a million bucks.” I couldn’t agree more!