Category: Engine

Loose Ends…and Oshkosh!!!

August 5, 2021 – Little things need to be done; waiting on my interior from Classic Aero.

I mentioned in my last post that I had some issues from the first engine run. Some of them I chalk up to a total lack of experience on my part. This entire project has been a learning experience…

I had a few leaks after that first run.

Since the run was right before Oshkosh, I had to wait until after to address those issues. This year was my bride’s first time there. She was a good sport. I think she enjoyed it…she says she’ll come back next year when the RV goes up.

At Oshkosh I bought a union to streamline the manifold pressure installation. I had previously used a piece of the manifold that Van’s sells to use for oil pressure, fuel pressure, etc. I never liked that installation. Here’s the new one:

I also had an issue with RPM. Turns out I neglected to wire for it! So I used the RPM lead for the Dynon EMS and ran it to the tach output on the right PMag. I also investigated the issue with #4 cylinder. It was totally cold during the first run. I disconnected the fuel line at the injector and ran fuel into a bottle. While I had that open, I removed the injector. I could see right through it, so it wasn’t clogged. Put it all back together and rolled the airplane outside.

Well, between a bit of flooding and a low battery charge, we couldn’t get a good start. Back inside, I put the battery tender on it and went home.

The next morning I rolled it outside. Got it started, but it didn’t run well. The RPM indication worked, and #4 cylinder was working. However, I had very little throttle travel before the RPM was very high. The engine was happy around the 2000 RPM point, but anything less than 1400 it barely ran. I couldn’t precisely control the throttle because it was VERY sensitive. I also had the prop control full aft in low RPM. My unfamiliarity with constant speed props led to this.

I shut down and rolled back inside. I did a little research and talked to some people. It was pointed out that Dynon has a setting for the pulses per revolution that it sees from the mag. PMags put out 2 pulses per revolution, and the Dynon default setting was 1. Therefore, the indicated RPM would be twice the actual RPM. Kind of makes sense; It ran happily at 2000rmp, that would really be 1000rpm. I found that setting in the Dynon and changed it to 2.

Took it back outside for a third try. WOW! It ran like butter. RPM indications were more in the real world. I had the prop control full forward. At 1800rpm or so I pulled the prop control to get the oil to it. It took 2 tries, but then the prop moved. Awesome! The RV grin is beginning to show up!

Later on I installed the spinner…

…and the dataplate.

I walked around a bit and found some bolts without nuts on them. Fixed those.

The to-do list is very short now. Like I said, I expect to have the interior soon.

Time: 4:45

Engine Run!

July 22, 2021 – A momentous day!

It’s time for an engine run. I rolled the airplane out to pre-oil. I had the lower plugs out and I pulled the coil wires on each P-Mag. Got in and turned the engine over. I did two 5-second cycles. No oil pressure yet. After the second try, I noticed that I was reading 1 PSI. So I knew the third time would be the charm. Sure enough, as soon as the prop started turning the oil pressure shot up.

I pushed the airplane back into the hangar and started to prep for the run.

While I was doing this I had some “help”. No seriously, these guys at the airport have been a huge support throughout this project and I appreciate everything they do, including their close supervision…  🙂

I installed the lower plugs, found some bolts that needed to be tightened, and went over the entire engine compartment and the cockpit.

After lunch we rolled it back out and tied the tail to a truck.

It started on the second blade!

I have some things to deal with.

  • I had no RPM.
  • It appears that the #4 cylinder was pretty much just along for the ride.
  • There are a few small oil leaks.
  • I have some brake leaks; one inside and one at the left brake.

Here’s the video:

Time: 5:00

Engine Prep

July 22, 2021 – I did some things on the engine to get it ready for the first engine run.

Since I was ready to service the engine with oil, I replaced the stock drain plug with a quick drain.

I installed all of the Skybolt fasteners in the cowling. They provide temporary rubber retainers, so I’m using those until the cowl gets painted. If they don’t last long, I may use the permanent metal rings and buy new ones when it comes time.

I’ve also been trying to figure out how I was going to deal with the sniffle valve in the bottom of the cold-air sump. The valve comes down right between the two crossover exhaust pipes. I slightly bent the tube out of the valve, then used an aluminum tube and a piece of fuel line. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Time: 2:50

Installed Plug Wires

June 25, 2020 – I ran the plug wires on the engine.

I don’t have the plugs in yet, so I’ll probably have to adjust the wires a bit to clean this all up. For the lower wires I used clamps on the lower screws of the valve covers. I used a couple of automotive wire looms to keep wires straight behind the engine.

The upper wires need to be secured. On the right side the wires will run straight to the plugs from the baffle fairlead. On the left side I added clamps to the existing clamps for the fuel lines where they are secured to the pushrod tubes. I made spacers to separate the clamps.

Time: 2:00

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trimmed baffle tops to fit cowl

September 20, 2019 – I got the tops of the baffles trimmed to where the top cowl can be installed, plus gave room for the seals.

I went to the aircraft section of Kroger and bought paper clips. This is a trick I’ve read about in the RV community. In fact, at lunch today I was talking to a guy who was doing baffles on a different type of airplane, and I mentioned the paper clips. He was amazed…  By the way, for the record I bought 120 clips.

I placed them around the baffles, high enough that I knew they would make contact.

I set the upper cowl in place, and removed it again. This gave me the initial clearance.

The one big conflict I had was at the aft left corner above where the oil cooler will be. I ground a radius there, reset the clips, and verified everything by doing it all again.

The instructions for the baffles call for a 3/8″ – 1/2″ gap to allow for the seals. I measured and marked 1/2″ from the top of each clip.

This gave me my cut line all the way around.

After the cuts, I reset all the clips and verified the cuts.

I removed my FOD protection and looked everything over. I just have to clean up and deburr the cut lines. I’ll do that on each baffle individually.

I made and attached the small clips that secure the forward and aft side baffles to each other.

I also made the cutout for the right side plug wires. This cutout is for the top wires that pass through the rear baffle.

That brought me to a good place to stop for the day.

Time: 6:00

Assembled Left Inlet

September 13, 2019 – I assembled the left inlet including the air filter and snorkel.

I needed to know if the entire left forward baffles, ramp, and snorkel could be removed and installed as a unit, because of how I built it. Well, here it is:

While it was off, I needed to mod the snorkel down where the lower starter lug just touches it.

I just drilled a 1″ hole, and did a layup over that. Pushed the cloth down a little bit with my thumb to make a nice little divot.

I riveted the parts for this assembly.

Here’s the air filter installed with the retaining ring:

In the last post I mentioned how I bent the front side baffles to wrap under the ramps on both sides. I didn’t have good edge distance for the fasteners incorporating the air filter, so I cut that flange off of the left side baffle.

I temporarily installed this assembly back on the engine, and got ready to have everything in place to start trimming the tops of the baffles.

Here’s a couple of overview shots of the front baffles:

I wanted to protect the engine and accessories from the inevitable metal shavings from trimming the baffles to I did a little bit of FOD protection.

I put the top cowl in place. The baffles are tall and hold the top cowl off, so the tops of the baffles need to be trimmed, also allowing for about 3/8″ – 1/2″ for the baffle seal.

The front baffles appear to be the tallest, so I started with them. With the top cowl resting in place, I reached through and marked the baffles for cutting.

I cut this line and put the cowl back on. It’s getting there. I’ll work my way around the baffles so the cowl just drops into place evenly.

Time: 8:10

Forward Baffles

September 5, 2019 – The never-ending chapter of the baffles continues.

I placed the forward baffles in position. I made the clips that attach these at the bottom onto the left and right inlet ramps.

Looking at these pictures, one question comes to mind. I’m not sure if these baffles need to be trimmed where they go just inboard of the cowl inlet lip, where the cleco clamps are placed. I can’t find any pictures that show this area specifically. It kind of makes sense to me to leave that part there, and run the screws through that. It would only serve to seal that area that much more. Oh well, I’ll figure that out…

Anyway, I drilled the three clips.

One thing I don’t appear to have a picture of is the left ramp support bracket. This bracket attaches to the case just above the starter, and supports the inboard forward end of the left inlet ramp. The way I interpret this, the top holes need to be drilled through the ramp.

They would interfere with the CB-702Q bracket which is on the aft side of the left forward baffle. So I figured out where both of these parts intersect above and below the ramp. This picture shows the area where the support bracket lies under the ramp, and the fastener with the cleco is the common fastener.

I riveted these clips to the forward baffles.

Now I had to deal with the side baffles where they meet the inlet ramps on both sides. The bottom edges of these baffles are supposed to be bent.

Here’s the right side:

And the left:

I thought about just cutting the left side off since I had changes the basic structure with the snorkel, but I decided to incorporate that into the structure.

Here’s the right side after the bend. It looks really bad in this photo, but it really does fit nicely.

…and the left side. I bent it then cut it to fit in the channel where the snorkel attaches. It will be attached when I do the fasteners for the snorkel and filter retainer.

The plans call for a conical gusset on each side to smooth airflow into the baffles. Since the left side has the air filter and its associated structure. I don’t need one there. I made a rough one for the right side. It needs to be cleaned up, but I like it. They call for it to be made from .032″, but I wonder if .025″ would be adequate. It fits the contour of the cowl inlet.

This was one of those days where you get a lot done, but nothing looks different…

Time: 6:50

Air Filter Fitted

August 29, 2019 – I have the air filter fitted to the snorkel.

In the last update, I had fitted and drilled the filter retainer brackets to the snorkel. This time around, I enlarged the square hole in the inlet ramp to allow the filter to drop in.

I riveted the angles to the snorkel as required.

One mistake I made was to trim all four edges of the hole in the ramp, but the intent is for the filter to slide under the forward lip, then have retainers on the inboard and outboard sides. I also didn’t like that stock setup for retaining the filter, since I had a very small margin on the outboard edge, plus I needed to install an angle to connect the ramp and the vertical baffle. So I decided to make a doubler that went all the way around the filter hole, and incorporated the angle for the vertical baffle.

Then I made a retainer that secures the filter on 3 sides, and the filter slides under the doubler on the forward edge.

I drilled rivet holes for the doubler, then drilled screw holes for the top retainer. I bent the edges of the retainer down so they would slightly contact the filter.

I test fit the filter. Looks great. The bent edges even just touch the rubber seal around the filter element.

I made the original retainer out of .025″, but I decided to make another one out of .032″. It’s a bit more sturdy.

I bent the aft retaining angle that is attached to the snorkel, since it rests under the baffle behind the snorkel.

I’m happy with how this fits. I just need to install the nutplates and rivets as required to put this thing together.

One other thing I did was to trim the left inlet ramp support bracket that goes inboard of the snorkel. I trimmed about 5/8″ from the supplied plate. It seems to fit nicely, but I’m going to wait to do any more until I fit the baffles that go up in front behind the spinner and flywheel.

Time: 9:00

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

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