Panel continues

July 15, 2020 – Work continues on the panel and avionics.

I started the connection for power to the VPX. This wire will run from the ANL fuse to the power lug on the VPX.

I located and installed the EMS module for engine management. I decided to drill a hole in the sub-panel for a length of conduit so all the EMS wiring can run straight from the firewall back and come in right next to the EMS module.

Here’s the wires coming through the firewall.

I decided to label all the wires in this bundle, so I can just grab the wires I need for a particular component and finish the wiring. I found the pinout and wire list for the engine sensor connector and rang out each wire. This confirms that the pinout is correct, and leaves out the guesswork.

I relocated the manifold pressure sensor from inside the cockpit to the outside, so I don’t have air hoses running through the firewall, only wiring. Then I found the appropriate wires for the sensor, and terminated and installed them.

Time: 9:20

Read more

Antennas

May 8, 2020 – I located and installed the doublers for my antennas.

I bought my antennas from Stein. I got two CI-122 bent whip com antennas, and a 104-12 for the transponder and 104-17 for ADSB. Some people questioned whether I needed an antenna for the ADSB, but I’m going to use Dynon. They require a separate antenna, where Garmin does not.

I located the com antennas under the seats, each in the next bay outboard of the sticks.

I made the doublers for both of them. I used the provided gasket for the hole pattern.

Then I added the attach rivet holes and drilled for the nutplates.

Here’s the doublers in place on the outside of the belly so I could drill the holes.

I dimpled the skin for the attach rivets.

I opted not to use the gaskets; I’ll be using the aircraft skin for the ground plane. Therefore I can paint the doublers.

A friend came out and helped me install them.

I moved on to the two monopole antennas. The ground plane for these will be the skin, but grounded from the inside. So I made small (2.5″) doublers and located them both in the belly aft of the baggage bulkhead. The two antennas are diagonally opposite from each other and more than 2 feet apart, which is the requirement for the ADSB antenna. After I made the doublers, I masked off there locations in the belly, then sanded the paint away, and alodined the skin and the doublers. My friend came back out, and we dimpled the skin and then riveted the doublers in place.

So I’m ready to install the antennas, but I’m not going to so they don’t get damaged.

Time: 7:15

Read more

Tail Wiring

May 8, 2020 – I ran the wiring from the tail forward towards the cabin.

I have the wire bundles for the taillight and for elevator trim. Trying to figure out the cleanest and safest route for the wires…

Here’s what I started with:

I didn’t like the lack of support going into the tailcone. So I drilled a hole in that upper bulkhead and placed a snap bushing there.

I realized I was going to need a path all the way up at least to the wing spar. I was also going to have to run coax from the transponder and ADSB antennas that way, and I couldn’t figure out how I was going to do that. My seat pans are riveted down, so I didn’t know if there was a way to run wires forward under those. The bulkheads are solid forward and aft. So I took a look at the drawings for those bulkheads.

Well, I realized that some holes were hiding from me. I already had holes and snap bushings in the bulkhead between the seat pans at the flap torque tube.

That was half of the problem…how do I get the wires past the elevator torque tube at the baggage bulkhead?

I looked again at the drawing for that bulkhead. Wait a minute…there can be holes there. I don’t really know why I never drilled them.

So okay…I have to drill two 5/8″ holes in there with limited access, without hitting the rivets or damaging any structure.

I carefully drilled two #40 holes, and then took them up to 1/2″ with a small unibit. How to get to 5/8″? A friend had welded a rod onto a large unibit. So I could chuck it into my 3/8 drill and get it down in there.

Here’s the result…

Deburring was almost as much fun as drilling these holes…. Just have to do some paint touch-up too.

And here’s the final result:

I installed a clamp on a bulkhead to hold the wires clear of the elevator pushrod:

I finished this by lunchtime that day, but with the crawling around back in the tailcone, I was ready to go home and go back to bed…

Time: 8:30

Read more

Firewall Forward Items

April 4, 2020 – I dealt with the manifold pressure installation.

To begin with, I moved the MAP sensor from the aft side of the subpanel bulkhead to the front. This gives a direct shot for the pressure tube from the firewall straight into the sensor.

I got brass T’s with the correct dimensions to run tubing at the firewall from the engine MAP line to the sensor manifold on the left side. I bought another manifold block from Vans and used it for the interface.

Time: 2:50

Read more

More Cockpit Work

March 12, 2020 – I installed a couple of items on or near the firewall.

I installed the manifold pressure sensor in the cockpit. Tried to find an out of the way corner. I’ll probably move it to the forward side of the bulkhead, so the hose doesn’t have to bend back to where it attaches.

I also attached a ground bus. This will provide my engine ground and connect it to other grounds in the cockpit.

Time: 1:45

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

Closed firewall and installed engine mount

February 2, 2018 – I found somebody available to help me rivet the firewall recess.

Before I installed the recess, I had to finish installing the rudder pedal center bracket.

I also had to install the two nutplates in the recess where the cockpit heat box attaches.

One of my EAA 168 buddies came over and we riveted the firewall recess.

I applied firewall sealant and clecoed the recess in place.

We got the recess installed, then decided to go ahead and install the engine mount. Jim shot the recess rivets outside, so he wanted to crawl in and do the bolts for the mount.

Time: 1:30

Read more

Started center section cover

January 22, 2018 – Since my next step on the firewall is to install the recess, I moved to the cockpit floor cover for the fuel system.

I had previously done some small work on this, but didn’t know if I’d be installing a fuel boost pump in this location. I have the stock boost pump and filter from Van’s, along with the cover, so I started in on this. The cover needs to be modified to fit the pump assembly.

The long piece of the cover gets cut to accommodate the support for the pump and filter. The piece in blue plastic is the new bracket that supports the pump. An additional notch needs to be removed from the long cover after it’s shortened.

The housing for the fuel selector valve also gets modified.

Then I had to crawl into the airplane and drill the mounting holes for the covers. I temp installed everything to get the positioning just right.

Once everything was drilled, I took it all apart to deburr and prep for paint.  One last thing I had to do was bend the louvers for “cabin heat”. I put that in quotes because the RVs are known for not having adequate heat in the cabin right out of the box. These louvers were a little tricky to get the hang of at first, but I think I did pretty well.

Here’s a picture from up above again. You can see that the louvers at the top of the picture are just cutout and not bent to direct the air:

I used a hand seamer with a radiused strip of aluminum to make the bends. I used the table to back up the bend on the back side.

Here are the finished louvers:

Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I can get this stuff painted soon.

Time: 5:15

Read more