Saturday, December 9, 2017

Mounting Ear Torque

I have read a couple of posts on people not being able to get a torque wrench on the mounting ears. I figured I would go with the calibrated arm as well, until I uncrated the engine. All four of each of the mounting ear bolts are reachable with a torque wrench and some torque adapters. Just remember that torque adapters are to be used 90 degrees to wrench as not to multiple the length of the arm.

B&C OIL FILTER ADAPTER KIT and FS1-14B (Continued)

To use the B&C Oil Filter Adapter with the RV-10, one needs to use the 1.4" spacer kit in order to clear the engine mount. The 1.4" spacer kit comes with 4 new bolts of the proper length. This does mean that the one stud that was originally in the engine case needs to be removed in order to use the new (longer) bolt. While this should normally be an easy task (especially on a new engine), I could not get the stud to budge. You probably know where this is going, but I ended up breaking off the stud after a couple of attempts to double nut this thing out of here.

At this point I only had 3/4 of a nut of thread length left. I could have put a vise grips onto this and hoped for the best, but in not wanting to have to drill out a stud I opted to weld a nut onto the stud.

In order to locally ground the nut and stud I put a vice grips onto the nut and grounded the vise grips. Based on the layout, the TIG arc jumped to the vise grips a couple of times which caused the smoke you see in the next photo.

All in all though, this worked out well. The stud still came out pretty tough, so I am glad I took this approach rather than risk getting the stud broken off flush.

With the stud out I could now install the spacer, adapter, filter, and alternator. PlanePower has listed right on their website that using spacers larger than .75" may interfere with the FS1-14. I could not find anyone that had any good photos of this combination, so figured "may interfere" would be workable.

As expected, the alternator does in fact interfere with the adapter (in two places). The first place is the safety wire ear on the adapter. This is not really that big of a deal because one could either clock the alternator differently, or grind off the ear (as there are two ears on the bracket).

The next interference point though is a bit more interesting. If you look at the top right bolt in the oil filter adapter you will see that it is perfectly lined up with the boss on the alternator. Each one of the four clocking positions of the alternator line each one of the 4 bolt bosses up with this bolt. A quick and easy fix for this would be to file 1/4" off of the boss. This part of the boss is not even threaded and I am pretty confident wouldn't hurt the structure of the alternator housing.

I debated this for a while, and I am going to scrap the idea of putting the 90 degree adapter on and keep the original straight oil filter housing. My mine thinking on this is two fold. One, the adapter does add another gasket and another place for oil to leak. More importantly though is if I went down the path of modifying the alternator housing, this means that if I ever needed to replace the alternator, that I would have to again make the modification. That is fine and dandy until you are on vacation stuck at some random airport hand filing down an alternator housing.

Friday, December 1, 2017


With the engine still off it is a good time to get the backup alternator and 90 degree oil filter adapter. I ended up going with a Plane Power FS1-14B backup alternator. I am still working on my electrical system, but I am planning a two alternator two battery system. Only 1 alternator will be enabled at any given point in time and the selection will go back to a toggle on the panel for PRIMARY or BACKUP.

Original Oil Filter setup with the block off plate on the vacuum pad.

Removal of the block off plate

With the FS1-14B installed (temporarily)

There is actually a fair bit of room between the oil filter and the alternator. It does have me wondering if I need the 90 adapter or not. From the people who have gone down this path, it seems like everyone is on the same page that the oil filter without the adapter is a pain in the but to replace. It is just hard to see that at this point (when I have 360 access to the engine).

I already have the B&C adapter, although I did not purchase a space plate yet. I was not sure what size space I need so I figured I would fit everything up first and then take care of the spacer.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Eagle CAD

I really needed to get more of my electrical design done in order to make some decisions on wire pulls and panel configurations. I have access to Solidworks (as do all EAA members) and I started going down the path of expanding my electrical schematics from the Aeroeletric design repository. I think most people end up going down that path or even take the simpler approach of powerpoint. 

For me I draw a lot of electrical schematics and board designs for work and I typically use Eagle or other similar electrical design tools. I personally am more comfortable using CAD software in 3d (which doesn't make sense for electrical schematics). I am also much more comfortable in the organization and layout of electrical schematics in an electrical schematic tool (which for me makes debugging much easier).

So I decided to pay the upfront cost of using Eagle to layout my eletrical system. I started creating "packages" for all of my components so that I can appropriately make the pin connections.

I still have a lot of layout to do, but for the most part I have the rough components and pins built into my library now.

Thunderbolt IO-540 in a RV-10

With the engine out of the box (beautiful job on packing by the way) I was able to start seeing how this was going to fit in the RV-10. Putting a IO-540 in a 10 is not new by any means, but there are a couple of differences in my Thunderbolt build over the standard IO-540. Mainly, this engine was built closer to the specs of Red Bull setup rather than the stock balanced setup.

The first hiccup were the mounting ears. I had pulled out the dynafocal mounts and something didn't seem quite right. After a bit of research I found out that there are two sizes the large hole 19770 mounting ears are typically used on the 300 Extra and the Rockets. Unfortunately, the RV-10 engine mount is setup for the small hole 70456 mounting ears. In all honesty, I figured this was my problem and I was about to purchase a set on e-bay when I had sent Thunderbolt (Jeff Schans) and email with my situation. I sent that message late on Saturday and received an immediate response saying that they would get a new set of small hole ears color matched and sent out ASAP. Hurray!

Those came to my house within a couple of days and solved problem number 1!

Problem number two I was expecting, but I was not sure if it was going to be true or not until I got my mounting ears in place and the mount up next to the engine. I ordered this engine with the cold air induction. This cold air setup is again, off of the Red Bull series planes and can be found on the AEIO-540-L1B5. From a dimensions standpoint it looks a bit like the BPE setup. As you probably know, the BPE setup needs a modification to be performed on the engine mount in order to clear the sump. The Thunderbolt has similar clearance requirements.

With the top mounts in place, the oil screen boss *ALMOST* clears the engine mount. In all honesty, I did not try putting the lower mounts in first and then the top mounts to see if everything was going to clear. It may have, but when I saw this, I decided to just go ahead and lower the bar.

I had been expecting this, so a couple of weeks ago I had purchased a pre-bent bar from BPE.

If I were to do this again, I would probably the bar just a little further. Everything looks good, but there is no reason with the mount off of the fuselage at this point to not weld something in that should be compatible with other setups.

That is it for now. I just placed an order for the PlanePower vacuum pad mount alternator and a B&C oil filter spacer and adapter. Hopefully that will be the next post to detail how the rear of the engine looks with some of the accessories installed.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Thunderbolt YIO-540-EXP43

While the engine is off of the plane and none of the accessories are mounted I figured it would be a good time to take some photos of the engine. This is a YIO-540-EXP with the cold air induction off of the AEIO-540.

I had Thunderbolt remove the magnetos because I wanted to put in electronic ignition and there was no reason to pay for something that I was going to take out right away.

I will admit, I was not expecting this to be in the order. A FM-300R was a nice surprise. This is their light weight high flow unit with adjustable main jet, used on race planes (it was designed for the Red Bull race series). It makes sense, because I ended up getting a lower compression Red Bull engine from Thunderbolt... I talked a bit with Airflow if I should be running a 300R in a plane that I want to just turn the key and start after getting crabcakes in Tangier and here was Don's succinct response.  "The FM-300R is the Mac Daddy of our fuel control line.  I don't really know why you would want to switch from the FM-300R to a FM-300A.  If you are after the purge valve function you can just add the purge valve to your flow divider, of course your will need to install a return line to one of the tank feed lines and install a push-lock cable in the cockpit to operate the purge valve.  With the FM-300A you would need to use the purge valve for stopping and starting the engine (The mixture control valve is a rotary valve therefore ICO is not zero leak although it does give you the added ability to circulate fuel through the fuel injection system to purge hot fuel and vapor from the engine before starting).   The FM-300R has a different designed mixture control valve which is zero leak so the purge valve is not required for starting and stopping the engine."

Hartzel 200F-5002 Fuel Pump

The engine came with the large hole 19770 mounting ears and Thunderbolt quickly shipped me a new set of small ear 70456 models that work with the dynafocal mounts that we use in our RV-10s.

API Flow divider

Sky Tech Starter

Fly wheel and mounting boss

Chrome Rocker Box Covers

Cold Air Induction

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Getting legs

I finally got to the point where I was far enough to get the plane up onto the table in order to get the gear under it. I have been putting this off because of the order in which I needed things done. The first thing that I wanted to do was get the engine. With the engine I was able to check to see if the engine mount interfered with the engine sump. I wanted to do this while the mount was not on the plane so I could weld with everything on the table.

The mount was touching the sump screen, so I decided to lower it just like the BPE setup. In fact, I just ordered the bent pipe from Rhonda at BPE

 Everything fit-up right before TIG welding everything in place. With the engine mount modification complete I was able to paint everything and re-install the mount. The mount is a good lifting point to attach the engine hoist to. In total, I had 3 points to lift the plane and this was solid enough that I ended up doing this by myself (not recommended). On the back of the plane I put the tail on a step stool. In the middle of the plane at just aft of the baggage door I put a 4-inch strap connected to the garage rafters via heavy duty ratchet straps. On the front of the plane I used the engine hoist connected to some 48-inch (double arm length) runners. On top of that I put one more strap mid-fuselage for a fail-safe.