Inlet snorkel and ramp

August 12, 2019 – Didn’t do all of this work in one day. Had a trip to a little town in Wisconsin somewhere in there…

The drama with the inlet ramp continues…

First I made sure the snorkel is located where it’s going to be. I ended up using a hole duplicator to drill the holes in the snorkel at the fuel servo. A #10 hole finder fits perfectly on the threads of the servo. Then I used the blanking plate that was on the servo to take the holes up to 1/4″.

Here’s the snorkel in place. I have read about a lot of interference with other items, especially the lugs on the starter. I have one lug that just touches. When everything else here is done I think I’ll just cut away a little bit of the snorkel and glass a flat piece right there. I don’t really want to grind part of the starter case.

Now I have my second inlet ramp. I trimmed the side like the first on, and left a lot of material on the front, just so it fits in the cowl.

Now the snorkel is just to the outboard edge of the ramp…

I have the vertical section of the baffle in line with the edge of the cowl lip per the instructions.

It makes sense to me that if I move that piece outboard into the middle of the cowl lip, it shouldn’t matter. As long as that gap is sealed later on…

So I ordered inlet ramp #3…

When it arrived I trimmed it less than I did ramp #2. Much better.

I moved on and marked and trimmed the hole for the air filter.

I started fitting the filter support brackets and drilled them to the snorkel and structure as needed. Here’s the aft one. It fits nicely under the baffle behind the snorkel.

I had to trim each piece even from the original dimensions given in the instructions. But I like where this is going.

The next step is to enlarge the hole in the ramp so the filter fits down inside the retainers and flush with the ramp.

Time: 10:10

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Cockpit fuel system

July 9, 2019 – I worked on assembling some of the fuel lines in the cockpit.

I needed to make the straight fuel line that goes from the fuel pump/filter assembly to the firewall. pretty simple; it’s just a bend and a straight run. I’m pretty pleased I got the measurement right the first time. I did have to slide the pump and filter in their clamps a little bit, but that worked.

The plans call for securing the line underneath the bracket with a piece of foam, but there’s no more information than that.

Here’s a shot of the tube under the bracket:

I think I might put an adel clamp on the forward end of the bracket and around the tube underneath. It’s pretty solid but I don’t want it to just hang there and vibrate.

I also installed the line from the selector valve to the filter. Kind of tight, but it does fit.

Time: 1:10

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More baffles and inlet snorkel

July 9, 2019 – I continued with the inlet ramps for the baffles.

Per the instructions, I continued trimming the inlet ramps to fit the lower cowl.

The forward edges of each ramp are trimmed to cleanly meet the edge of the cowl inlets. But you can see that the angle is different between the ramps and the cowl inlet. So they call for a diagonal bend across the ramps to align the forward edge with the cowl inlets.

I was concerned about this bend on the left side, because the air filter and snorkel for the air inlet will be there. After some research, I decided to go ahead and fit the ramp, then essentially modify it for the air filter.

OK, big note here… if you are installing the snorkel inlet, DON’T trim the forward edge of the ramp. The instructions for the baffles don’t allow for this possibility, but the instructions for the snorkel do. Maybe I should have read ahead.

Here are pictures of the diagonal bends. You can see how nicely they line up with the cowl edges now.

I decided to go ahead and fit the snorkel before continuing with the rest of the baffles.

I temporarily installed the alternator because I’d read about conflicts between the snorkel and other parts of the engine.

No issues with the alternator. There is slight interference between a lower mounting lug on the starter and the snorkel. I’ve seen where people totally removed this or both of these lower lugs. I may not have to do that.

My bigger issue right now is that the forward face of the snorkel is even with the cut edge of the inlet ramp.

Hence my note above about not trimming this edge of the ramp quite so far.

So I ordered another inlet ramp from Van’s.

Time: 5:10

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Replaced fuel mixture arm

July 9, 2019 – I needed to replace the mixture arm on the fuel servo.

When installed, the bolt in the arm that came with my engine just barely touched the starter. The Precision part number was 2521196.

I called Precision’s Product Support. I got the somewhat reasonable suggestion to remove the starter and hand-prop. Ha ha. Then he said that if I sent this arm in, he would swap it out with a shorter one. The other alternative was to pay $200.00 for another one.

I got the replacement arm a few days later. Put it on today and it’s a thing of beauty. This part number is 2521287.

On to other things…

Time: 1:00

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Replaced prop oil line

June 25, 2019 – I decided to replace the prop oil line with a steel tube.

I didn’t like the mess that the right inlet ramp was becoming, so I took a step backwards.

I decided to order the steel tube for the prop oil line that is recommended. I found the Lycoming parts manual for the IO-360-M1B and ordered the tube and associated parts from Air Power in Arlington. Had to call them with a question and they were very helpful. The tube part number is 75167 and it works with the Superior cold air sump. I also ordered the replacement baffle parts from Van’s.

With parts in hand I tried to thread the oil tube into place. Kind of a puzzle, but I held my tongue just right and it went into place. I had to turn the fittings on each end just a bit, but here it is:

BTW, I never was able to find a good picture online, so you’re welcome… I still have to secure it in place permanently, but this will work for the baffle work.

I worked on the replacement baffle pieces and got to where I needed to be last week.

With the 1″ hole for the oil line, things are looking much better.

Now I’m ready to start fitting the cowls with the baffling.

Time: 1:30

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Continued Baffles

June 13, 2019 – More baffling work…

I retrieved my firewall sealant from the house, and sealed and installed the scat tube connection. Here’s the baffle for #3 in place, and a close up of the bracket that secures it to the case.

I secured the #4 baffle in place as well, since these two will tie together.

#4 is also secured to the case with a bolt and a spacer.

I put together #2. It was pretty straightforward.

Guess I didn’t get a picture of the side baffle for #1. But it does get a special doubler made. made general cuts per the drawing, but it’s easiest just to cleco it to the baffle plate and sand to fit from there.

There is a bracket that mounts on top of the engine for the rear baffles. The fuel line for #4 was in the way. I just disconnected it from the manifold, turned the clamp around and adjusted a bend or two. It works great.

There is also a bracket that mounts at the front.

Here’s everything so far:

Then I started on the inlet ramp for #1. There are several pieces for this.

The oil line for the prop will pass through this baffle. You are supposed to drill a hole for it. Here’s the first real issue I’ve had with the baffles so far. The kit includes a grommet for a steel oil line to the prop, so the hole needs to be 1″. I have a flexible tube for the oil line, and the part that will pass through the baffle is 1″ in diameter. OK. We’ll see what happens. I drilled a 1″ hole to start with.

I had to enlarge the hole outboard because the oil line comes up through the baffle at an angle.

The oil line will not allow the baffle to lie in position to secure the bracket.

So I decided to remove material so that the oil line will pass through, connect without cross-threading, and the baffle will lie in the correct position. It’s pretty ugly, and I’ve lost two rivet locations, but I think I can relocate them. I just have very little edge distance on the top angle forward of that hole. I’m going to consult some people smarter than I, and see what develops here.

The ramp also interferes with the flywheel, but I believe that will not be a factor after the ramp is fit to the lower cowl.

I did the left side inlet ramp. No issues that compare to the right side.

So here’s where we stand. The next step is fitting the ramps to the lower cowl.

Time: 7:30

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Continued engine cable installation

June 5, 2019 – I started to permanently install the engine cables. I’ll be glad when this is done.

I’m using the aluminum firewall eyeballs from Vans. I had previously drilled the holes in the firewall; I routed the cables through them and partially installed the eyeballs. Have a couple of issues with the attaching screws; I need to order a few more.

I connected the business ends of the cables. Here’s the mixture bellcrank:

I’ll post better pictures of each connection when they’re done.

I’m still working on connecting the cables at the throttle quadrant. I may grind each clevis down a little bit for clearance, since they’re so close together, but it’s pretty good as it sits right now.

Time: 3:45

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Moving Day!

February 21, 2019 – I moved the fuselage to the airport today!

I got shared space in a friend’s hangar. I don’t know what to do with this much room after being in the garage.

The morning was rainy with some thunder, but by the time the truck showed up, things calmed down. The airplane had never been wet before, though…

Here’s my corner:

And various pics I took during the move. I lost the truck even just getting out of my neighborhood, so I have no pictures in transit.

I still have to move the wings, tail feathers, tool boxes, compressor, etc.

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Baffles, continued

January 24, 2019 – I continued with the baffles.

I riveted the small doublers on the baffle for #4 cylinder, then went to fit the baffle. It fits tightly around the rocker box cover and it needed trimming so attach holes would line up.


I then located where I thought the oil cooler would mount. One detail on the plans sheet shows a reference 3/8″ margin from the edge of the oil cooler doubler to the edge of the baffle. So I located it there and back-drilled the holes from the doubler to the baffle. Then I removed the material in the baffle where the oil cooler would go.

All well and good…

Then there’s an oil cooler brace that has prepunched holes. Two issues…the holes are prepunched to #40; that’s fine, but the holes in the doubler that this brace matches up to are #30. Worse still, as I had everything located, these holes don’t line up.

Put the question out to the experts on and learned two things. One was that I should wait to locate the oil cooler until the baffles are situated, the other was that maybe the doubler needed to be just 1/4″ from the edge of the baffle. That would make these holes line up. I’m less worried about the disparity between #40 and #30 holes; I’ll probably go ahead and make the rivets larger at that location.

I ordered a new CB-705A, which is the baffle with the oil cooler hole in it. I didn’t drill any other part yet…

There have also been huge issues with cracking at this location due to the weight of the oil cooler and vibration. I’ll be modding this area as almost everybody does. More on that later…

Time: 2:35

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Made engine control brackets

January 24, 2019 – I made the brackets that I needed to install the engine cables.

I ordered a 12″ x 12″ sheet of .063″ 4130 steel from Spruce. I made the new extended throttle cable bracket and the angle that mounts forward of the throttle quadrant to secure the cables there.

Here’s the old and new throttle cable bracket for comparison:

I’m waiting to get my modified mixture bracket back, then I’ll have all three pieces powder-coated.

Time: 1:20

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Battery Cables

January 10, 2019 –  I continued work on the battery cables because I’m borrowing the crimper and the guy said he’d need it back.

I had to order some 1/2″ heatshrink in red and black to fit over these terminals. Once I had that, I made the cable from the contactor to the starter, and the ground from the battery to the firewall.

These pictures of the starter cable ARE NOT final installation, they are for routing and fitting. Hopefully this location will work.

Time: 2:00

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Started Baffles

January 10, 2019 – I decided I needed to start on the baffles so I could make sure items wouldn’t conflict when they’re installed.

Well, I barely got started…

The first step is to separate some parts from larger pieces.

I did that, and went to polish and deburr the edges. I use 2″ scotchbrite discs in a 90 degree die grinder. Well, the arbor I have been using decided to strip out, so I  had to order a couple more of them. So now I’m stuck on this part…

Time: :40

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Engine Control cables, continued…

January 10, 2019 – I have had some real trouble with the Prop control cable and the governor. With everything hooked up, including the cable at the throttle quadrant, I can’t get the governor arm to contact both stops. I can reach the high RPM stop, but I haven’t been able to touch the low RPM stop. The closest I’ve come is about 3/16″.

So after wasting a lot of time, I’ve decided to go ahead and install the cables, then see what RPMs I get when I run the engine, and go from there.

To back up a little bit, I couldn’t use the 48″ cable at all. It was several inches too short for the throttle control. I bought a 49.5″ for the throttle, I’m using 52.5″ for the mixture, and a 55″ for the prop. An EAA friend had the 55″ for me to try. It worked, so I gave him the 48″ for later use.

I bought AN486 clevises from Aircraft Spruce for the connections at the quadrant. Because of interference, I do need to narrow them a little bit and use slightly shorter pins, but this will work. This photo is from underneath the quadrant, looking up:

I got three firewall grommets from vans. These are the ones with the aluminum balls that clamp the cable. I took the holes in the firewall up to 1.079″ with a punch.


Then I made a template for the backplate screws, and drilled and deburred those.


I had to drill the holes in the balls up to the final size for clamping the cables. I went to .328 using a series of drills and reamers.

I have to make a new bracket to attach the throttle cable at the engine. The one I got from Vans in the kit needs to be lengthened by 1.5″ to accommodate the cable. The mixture bracket for the bellcrank was previously modified to fit; a friend from work is beefing it up by welding a gusset to it.

The aluminum bracket I made to secure the cables at the quadrant had an issue. I was getting ready to shape it and get it ready to paint, and I found a crack in the radius. So I ordered a sheet of steel from Spruce to make what I have to make, then I’ll get everything powder-coated and installed.

Time: 9:00

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Working on control cables

November 15, 2018 – Well, I complicated my own life by going with a throttle quadrant for engine control. I’ll be so glad when this part gets wrapped up.

I drilled holes in the firewall at the suggested locations for the throttle, prop and mixture cables using my punch set. The holes are 1″ right now, just large enough to pass the cable nuts through. I believe the final hole sizes will be 1 1/8″ for the cable pass-throughs I’ll get from Spruce.

I bought a 48″ and two 52.5″ cables. When I got them I routed them through the firewall to test fit. I used closed-cell foam to protect the cable jackets from the stainless edges.

I already know the 48″ cable is too short for the throttle. As near as I can tell, I need 51″. I’m waiting to order until I’m sure about the rest of them.

I had to slightly re-clock the prop governor because the cable went over-center at full travel. I also bent the bracket for the governor for a straighter cable approach.

Along with figuring out what cable lengths I need, I also need to make sure those cables are secure so I can get an accurate idea for routing and their lengths. The cables will be secured behind (forward of) the quadrant, so I started prototyping a bracket for that. Here’s my first one:

…and my third:

I think this one may be in the ballpark. I also ordered Aircraft Spruce part #05-01437 which is an AN486 with a 10-32 thread. These should have a deeper throat for attachment at the quadrant. I wasn’t getting full travel at the quadrant because the shorter clevises were hitting the arms. They are on the way.

Time: 6:30

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Miscellaneous Firewall Forward stuff

October 17, 2018 – I realized it’s been a while since I posted an update, so here goes…

Engine control cables

I started assembling the parts for engine controls: throttle, mixture and prop. I started with the mixture, since it’s a fairly complicated bellcrank system that reverses motion. The first problem that I ran into was that the mount bracket for the bellcrank does not fit as advertised on my engine. Right where this bracket is supposed to go, there is a drain plug in a boss on my Superior cold-air sump.

I found online where someone else had this same problem. They started by grinding down the height of the plug. So I did that, but the boss that the plug is in will not allow the bracket to sit in place.

I decided to trim the bracket until it does fit. After everything is installed and works, I’ll take the bracket off and make a new one. You can see that I removed a lot of material. That’s fine.

So I assembled the bellcrank and moved on.

I measured for the three cables, since I am using a throttle quadrant instead of the traditional push-pull controls supplied by Van’s. I ordered some from Van’s and just got them today. I also drilled the holes in the firewall at the three recommended locations. They’re just 1/2″ right now. I’ll take them to final size when I start test-fitting the cables.


Fuel Flow Transducer

I figured out where I’d like to mount the Red Cube. It will be inline between the servo and the flow divider, and I’ll mount it on the engine mount behind #3 cylinder. I had the long fuel hose that goes there…I sent it to Tom Swearengen at TS Flightlines. He took care of me. I’m a big fan…

Oil Temp Sensor

I installed the oil temp sensor as required…

Engine Electrical

I’ve been slowly working on cables for the battery, starter, etc. The only picture I have right now is the copper bar between the contactor and the relay. I replaced the one bar I had with two that total .125″, which is closer to the plans.

I got in touch with a guy who was in town and bored (he posted on Van’s Air Force). He was looking to see if anybody needed a hand with anything. So he came over today to visit, and we took care of a short list of items I needed an extra pair of hands to get done.

We installed the firewall pass-thrus, and I needed to remove the manifold on the firewall so I could get fittings in it. We removed it, installed the required fittings, and reinstalled it. If I ever have to take that manifold off again, I’ll install nutplates.

Time: 13:10

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Installed CHT and EGT probes

September 7, 2018 – Today I installed the CHT and EGT probes. I’ve ordered a lot of small items from Spruce, and I’m kind of on hold with a lot of things. This I could do today.

Pretty straight-forward; I used some anti-seize to install the CHT probes. These probes from Dynon have a quick-disconnect feature.

The EGT probes use a hose clamp setup to hold the probes. I drilled  1/8″ holes in each exhaust pipe 3″ down from the flange on the cylinders. Insert the probe, tighten the clamp, that’s it.

Time: :50

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Worked on firewall pass-throughs

September 6, 2018 – I installed a couple of items on the firewall; the wiring pass-throughs and the fuel line connection.

I found the Avery pass-throughs at Aircraft Spruce, so I bought two of them. These will be for the wiring. As is usually the case, I’ll be running engine monitoring and sensing wiring through one, and heavy electrical through the other.

I put one pass-through in each upper corner of the firewall. I bought a set of punches at Harbor Freight. I drilled a 3/4″ hole using a Unibit to accommodate the punch.

Put the bolt part of the punch through, then crawled inside and put the die in place and tightened it down by hand. Went back outside and tightened the bolt until the hole was cut.

I used the flange to drill the screw holes, and deburred everything. Used firewall sealant on both sides, and clecoed the flanges into place. I’ll need help to install the screws, but that part is done.

I also installed the fuel fitting that goes through the firewall. I opted to use the doubler that they have you install on the firewall at the very beginning of firewall construction.  This doubler is for the optional Facet fuel pump, which I’m not using. This made more sense than installing another doubler just a few inches away when this one is not being used.

Time: 2:00

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