Continued Cockpit Fuel Lines

February 6, 2020 – At last! A small victory! I have successfully made and fitted two of the fuel lines in the cockpit from the fuel selector to the wings.

A 4-foot length of 3/8 tubing has been whittled down to about 1 foot before I got the hang of this.

I learned that I needed to flare the outboard end of the line IN the airplane.

I made the right side inboard line in an alarmingly short period of time, and it was harder because it has to work around the plumbing for the pump and filter.

I removed the outer kickplate brackets that the outboard tubes will go through. I added holes to each one that would line up with the travel of the fuel tubes.

Time: 3:35

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Continued Lower Rudder Fairing

February 6, 2020 – I stated on my previous post about the fairing that I had a couple of issues with its fit.

  • The light contour and the attach plate are bigger than the molded area the light attaches to. I’ll just build that area up to make a smooth transition.

  • I figured out that the fairing is now not vertically aligned with the rudder. I sighted up along the rudder trailing edge, and the fairing doglegs off to one side. Hopefully cutting the offending side at the screw holes will bring it back into alignment…

First, the misalignment.

Here’s a picture, best I could get, of the misalignment:

It’s kind of hard to tell, but it’s there. I cut a bit of material off the top on the right side, to hopefully pull the fairing towards the centerline when screws are installed. I filled the existing pilot holes for the screws, and I’ll redrill new holes when everything else is set.

Then I started working on fairing the light a bit better. I mixed a batch of resin and flox, and slathered it around the base plate for the light, as well as gluing the plate to the fairing. After it cured, the first sanding went pretty well. I just have to do the usual fill and sand…fill and sand… I also installed four pop rivets in the base plate to help to mechanically secure it.

Time: 3:15

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Continued various Firewall Forward items

February 2, 2020 – I continued work on securing firewall forward items.

I ran the line for the mechanical fuel pump drain. This will vent through the lower cowl, a short distance from the exhaust.

I secured the Red Cube.

I installed the sniffle valve. Not sure how this is going to work out, though, because of its proximity to the exhaust.

A friend came by and helped me secure the clamp for the oil breather tube.

We also pulled the manifold off the firewall so I could replace a 45-degree fitting with a straight one. Maybe sometime I’ll get smart and put nutplates on this…

Time: 2:00

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Moved Throttle Cable

February 2, 2020 – I moved the throttle cable at the firewall so it will come through the cabin heat box at a better location.

I loosened the eyeball in the firewall and turned the cable straighter. The first picture shows the upward orientation of the cable. The second shows how the cable will enter the cockpit through the access panel in the heat box. I’ll put a grommet in that panel later.

Time: 1:10

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Started Rudder Lower Fairing

February 2, 2020 – I started the lower fairing for the rudder that will also hold the tail strobe.

The fairing that comes from Vans was two pieces that they put together. They provide scribe lines on the part that are suggested cut lines. I know from experience that these lines are just guidelines, and that you should do your own fitting.

The first consideration is that the fairing needs to clear the tailwheel spring. I cut about 3/8″ off the top to give the fairing a 1/4″ clearance above the spring. You also have to make cuts to clear the control arm for the rudder.

I also needed to cut the front of the fairing to give clearance for access to the lower hinge bolt.

Then I trimmed the top to allow the fairing to fit along the lower edges of the rudder, where the fairing will attach.

I drilled screw holes through the fairing and the attach flange on the rudder. I’m going to use #6 screws and nutplates, since I want the fairing to be removable for the light.

This all sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it?

Well, when I got the fairing fitted, I found that the trailing edge of the fairing was mismatched with the trailing edge of the rudder by about 1/4″.

I figured the easiect way to fix this would be to split the trailing edge of the fairing, remove material from the pulled side, then resin the fairing back together.

It took two iterations of this process to get the fairing aligned.

In the meantime, I made an adapter plate to attach the light to the fairing. The plate is 1/8″ aluminum, made to match the contours of the light. I drilled and tapped the screw holes to directly attach the light. I had to chamfer the edge of the hole where it meets the back side of the light housing.

Still not done. Two problems…

  • The light contour and the attach plate are bigger than the molded area the light attaches to. I’ll just build that area up to make a smooth transition.
  • I figured out that the fairing is now not vertically aligned with the rudder. I sighted up along the rudder trailing edge, and the fairing doglegs off to one side. Hopefully cutting the offending side at the screw holes will bring it back into alignment…

Time: 9:25

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Inlet ramp modification

January 16, 2020 – I decided I didn’t like the setup I had for the left inlet and how it contacts the cowl.

In another post I described the issue I had with the leading edge of the inlet ramp and how I solved it. Here’s a picture:

I decided to cut off that leading edge and make a bracket that would secure the front of the air filter.

Here’s the cut:

I bent a bracket that attaches to the snorkel, and holds the air filter. I riveted it in place using pop rivets.

It’s all covered by the seal on the lower cowl.

Time: 1:00

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Engine Control Cables and Throttle Quadrant

January 16, 2020 – I “permanently” installed the engine cables and got them close to a final rig.

Not a lot of pictures for a lot of time spent.

I did finally assemble the mounts for the throttle quadrant in the cockpit.

One small issue I have is on the dust seals for the cables. The rubber boots got damaged during the repeated removal and installation of the cables.

Here’s one of the boots I’m talking about:

One of the cables lost the boot entirely:

After consulting with a few people I trust, I decided on a fix. I’ll install heat shrink at that location on each cable.

Time: 4:40

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Baffle Rods

December 21, 2019 – I made the baffle rods that secure the baffles beneath the engine.

The rods are cut to length, then bent to clear underneath the cylinders. They are hard to photograph when in position, but you can see my marks where to bend them…

Then the ends get threaded for 6-32 nuts.

You are given plastic tubing to protect areas where the rods may touch. This is a very tight fit, but I used a trick to fit the brake line fittings way back when… I boiled soapy water and heated the plastic then, slowly pulled the tubing onto the rods. Worked great, but got a blister anyway in the process.

Here’s a rod ready to be installed:

And actually a decent picture of two of the rods installed:

Time: 3:55

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Continued Oil Door

December 21, 2019 – I haven’t been happy with the oil door, especially with the fiberglass one that’s provided.

So I got a hold of some aluminum that is the same thickness as the existing landing area. It turned out to be .063″. I rolled it a bit at work, then brought it home to tweak it to fit the cowl. This will be better because it will flex less than the fiberglass. I transferred the location of the latch from the fiberglass door, cut it out and drilled the door to the hinge.

I like this a lot better.

Time: 8:00

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Oil Door

December 4, 2019 – I started on the oil door: partly because it took me away from other frustrating things I was working on, and partly because I needed the access to see inside the cowl behind the baffle seals.

The cowl has the oil door location molded into it.

I cut the access hole to fit the door that Van’s supplies.

I laid up a couple of layers of cloth tape to serve as the landing for the door, then cut it back to about 3/8″.

I’m using the invisible hinge that originally came from Avery but is now sold by Spruce. I located it as best as I could.

I bought the Hartwell latch for the oil door. I just like the look and the utility of it.

As it turns out, I misjudged the locations of the hinge and the latch. Thank goodness you can repair fiberglass…

The latch is very hard to snap closed. I have a “landing” reinforcement of thin titanium that will help to save the latching surface. A friend suggested slightly bending the latch to fit the curve of the door. That helps. I’m also going to shim the latching end to lower it just a bit to make it easier to latch.

This has taken way longer than I thought it would…

Time: 5:00

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Mounted Oil Cooler

December 4, 2019 – I reinforced the baffle and mounted the oil cooler.

I originally had a piece of aluminum angle that I was going to use to reinforce the baffle where the oil cooler mounts. I never really liked it and didn’t think it would last very long. I happened on a nice piece of thin titanium. Easy to bend and work with. Drilling is the hard part, but if you take your time and use Boelube, it’s easy.

Here’s the angle installed:

I reinstalled the baffle and started working on the cooler itself.

I had previously clocked the fittings for the oil lines in and out. I marked them and installed them permanently.

I then installed the cooler.

I secured the oil lines at both ends. I’ll have to clamp everything later on, but for now they are in.

Time: 5:30

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Continued Baffles and Seals

December 4, 2019 – After I installed the ramps in the top cowl, I git myself caught up with where I should have been. This is in no particular order…

I needed to close the ends of the ramps so air would not escape to the area outside of the baffles. I carved insulation foam to fit the inboard ends of the ramps, then taped them with packing tape and laid up a couple of layers of cloth over those.

I clecoed them and glued (resined?) them in place. They’re not the finest example of fiberglass work, but they are invisible on the airplane.

I cut the left and right side baffles to fit the ramps, then used the paper clip trick again to find the correct final dimension to allow for the seals.

I used manila paper to make templates for the seals around the ramps. These seals fit surprisingly well here…

I installed the inlet seals on the lower cowl. Since the #6 screws blew right through the fiberglass, I used #8 screws instead.

 

In taking the cowlings on and off, I found another problem. Due to my design of the left inlet ramp and the air filter, the cowl interferes with the ramp. The screws for the inlet seals that attach to the cowl hit the very leading edge of the ramp. A side result of this interference is that I got my first baffle crack even without running the engine…  🙁

I just cut off the corner of that ramp using the crack as one of the edges of the cut. I also notched the inlet ramp to fit the attaching nuts for the seal on the lower cowl.

Here’s the end result (hard to get the camera in there):

I was having a hard time trying to figure out the baffle seals around the front (behind the prop spinner). I looked at a friend’s airplane, and because of the closed ends of the upper cowl ramps, he had minimal sealage there. So I just placed short flat pieces of seal that guide the air past the inlet.

Once all of this was done, I decided it was time to permanently install the seals. After all the hassle of fitting everything, this was mindless. In order to keep each baffle separate and removable, I used screws on the side baffles between the forward and aft sections. The seals overlap at that one point. So this way if I have to remove just one baffle, I don’t have to drill out any rivets.

So now I’ll call the baffle seals complete, except for filling any gaps with RTV.

Time 19:21

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Baffle Seals

October 16, 2019 – I continued to cut and fit seals for the baffle, and I ran into an issue.

I started cutting the baffle seals. Started with the sides, since they are easy and I can learn the tricks.

The back is pretty straight-forward as well.

I decided to tie the two seals together using the top bolt of the center bracket. Then I trimmed the seals to go around that bracket.

I started the seals around the front baffles that go behind the spinner.

I cut small pieces that will start down the sides on the front baffles.

I took off the lower cowl to do the small seals that seal the lower edges of the inlets to the ramps. I made the retaining strips.

I made the seal strips and started to install them with the retainers per the instructions, using #6 countersunk screws. Well, I pulled a screw right through the fiberglass of the cowl.

So I’ll plan on using small #8 button head screws here.

I went to look at a friend’s inlet seals on his RV-8, and he mentioned a problem he was having getting his upper inlet ramps to seal properly. Ooops. I realized that I hadn’t even installed these ramps on the upper cowl. I somehow thought these might be optional. My DAR told me they were absolutely necessary especially in climb, to smooth the airflow in and over the engine.

I knew I had these ramps, so I took them off the shelf, figured out where and how they fit, and epoxied them into place. I used clecoes to hold them. These holes can easily be filled later.

I’ll go back and trim these ramps to fit, and I’ll have to trim my baffles again to fit the top cowl.

Time: 5:10

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Continued Baffles and various Firewall Forward items

October 10, 2019 – Because the baffles can block access to some items, and there’s a lot of items that are dependent on other items being installed, I’m installing several items along with the baffles.

The prop oil line passes through the right front ramp, so I needed to install that. What a pain. The grommet fits, but the ramp stack-up is pretty thick, and the grommet is really hard to get into place.

Here’s the view from above and below.

I also installed the oil dipstick tube.

I wanted to check the routing of the tubes for the oil cooler, so I temp installed the cooler and loosely routed the oil lines in and out. Nothing here is permanently installed yet.

After painting the inlet on the left side, I temp installed it. The way I’ve done this, the snorkel and the baffle are a single assembly. It’s kind of a pain, but it can be installed and removed as a unit. The one issue is that the forward left baffle that goes up behind the spinner needs to be installed separately. So I’m using screws and nuts here.

I just started on the baffle seals, but no picture yet. That’ll be next time.

Time: 15:00

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Alternate Air Door

October 10, 2019 – I installed the alternate air door in the snorkel.

Alternate air provides an unfiltered air source for the engine in the event there is a blockage at the air filter. I went with the stock door supplied by Van’s. This door is a one-way door, meaning once it’s opened it can’t be closed in flight.

The snorkel has a flat area that is the location for the door. A hole is cut the for the adapter ring.

The tab on the top gets bent down, then crimped on one side. This provides a stop forthe door when it’s closed.

I riveted the ring in place including the nut plate for the hinge, then faired with resin and flox.

I attached the door. I’m going to wait on the cable until everything else forward of the firewall is going in for good.

Time: 1:10

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Baffles Assembly

September 27, 2019 – I am continuing to assemble the baffles.

The pictures I seem to have right now are for the left rear baffle, including the provision for the oil cooler.

Back when I started the baffles, the instructions have you go ahead and cut out the hole for the oil cooler. That’s misleading; you really can’t / shouldn’t do that until everything is fitted with the cowling.

The oil cooler support brace is pre-drilled, and the holes need to line up with the doubler for the cooler. The trick is locating these two pieces together, since they are on opposite sides of the baffle. There are also flanges on the sides of this brace, that are pre-drilled, but shouldn’t be. These holes are useless, since the brace needs to be located up or down depending on where you can fit the cooler, and the top of this brace gets a pretty radical trim to fit the upper cowl. So I ignored those holes and drilled my own where it made sense.

You can see in a couple of these how high this brace is in relation to the top of the trimmed baffle. I based the location of the cooler on the ability to use some of the side flanges in the brace for some support. I wanted the cooler as high as possible. There is no interference here, and I don’t even have to trim the flange of the cooler to clear the engine mount, like some people have had to.

I needed to make sure the rivets and fasteners in this area cleared the cylinder. One place I thought was interesting was the inboard vertical line of fasteners for the doubler. The flush heads of the rivets need to face the cooler, which puts the rivet shop heads against the cylinder. The holes line up perfectly between cooling fins on the cylinder.

I assembled this baffle as needed. I didn’t install any fasteners on the outboard vertical flange, since this may get an additional support angle to help prevent cracking later on.

Here’s the baffle in place.

I also made the cutout for the ignition lead seal, and I drilled a hole for the cooling blast tube for the mag.

I’m just working my way around the engine, polishing cut edges and assembling the baffles as needed. I’m also drilling holes for other items, like the fuel line which comes from the Red Cube up to the flow divider. This fuel line will pass through the right rear baffle. I think I’m going to “permanently” install the baffles before I do the seals.

Time: 8:00

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