Sunday, August 6, 2017

Fathers day

I forgot to post this the other month. This was from fathers day. My dad helping me do the finishing kit inventory!

Trim motor connectors

I originally was going to take the stein air approach to the trim motor connectors and just use some heatshrink and dsub connectors to build a removable connection to the trim motors. That was until I started working on the horizontal stablizer service bulletin. If I ever had to service one of the connections in the tail, I quick realized how big of a pain in the butt it was going to be. I decided on the following series connectors for tail and wing connections. (EDAC Connectors)

Thankfully I have some fairly nice Molex crimpers ;)

I need to start documenting these things, but for my own future reference: Orange, White, Green, White, Blue.

The wires were bare, so I protected the wires with some standard expandable sleeving.

 The assembled connector.

Organizational skills

I spent a good 2 hours the other day going through every washer that I had looking for 2 washers for the nosewheel axle. I broke down and was about to order them off of vans when in a last ditch effort to establish sanity I pulled out my inventory sheet. Low and behold, the washers that I could not find were B/O ordered on my last kit purchase!!!

Andair Fuel Valve

A while ago I ordered an Andair valve direct from Andair. I finally got an adapter plate fabricated and had a chance to install the valve.

Everything at this point is great in terms of fit of the valve. The one thing I have to do is send my valve to filter line back to TS Flightlines to get a shortened version. The standard line length from Tom is about 2 inches too long in my scenario, and rather than have the lines and fittings under stress, I am going to get a shorter line.

Com1 Antenna Doubler

I am going to put COM1 under the left rear passenger seat and COM2 on (or behind) the cabin top. I built a doubler for COM1 but need to wait until my wife gets home so I can shoot the rivets. I did have an annoying slow down on this one. I ran out of 6d nails for use with the dimpler dies (the ones you use with a blind rivet puller). So I had to run to ace hardware for some 6d nails for the plane. (I just like saying I had to run to the store to get some nails for the plane).

Static System

Everyone seems to put their static system up the left side of the plane. That probably makes sense, because my pitot and AOA tubes will be coming out of the left wing and it would be nice to keep all three tubes in the same run. As I was routing everything though I did not really like how the run was looking. The left side of the plane has the baggage door, so you are forced to drop down to under the rear baggage floor and seat following the battery cable. I went back and forth in an internal debate on this for more time than I care to share. I think ultimately I am going to make the static run up the right side of the plane to not have to drop under the floor. I ordered some clickbonds and will make the decision when they show up.

Cabin Top drilling

One of the things that I really have been looking forward to. Match drilling the cabin top holes to the fuselage!

Cable conduit runs

A lot of people use the blue 1" cable conduit from HomeDepot, and for some reason, every home depot in my area is showing a stock of 4 or 5 rolls and not a single home depot could actually locate the items. I finally found some 1" black lightweight conduit on amazon.

I ended up punching some 1.5 inch holes in my ribs to accept some locking grommets that I ordered off of McMaster (5269T62). On top of that, I had ordered some nylon 1" cable clamps from SteinAir to lock all of the conduit along the ribs.

Sorry for all of the fiberglass dust. You can imagine the other section that I am currently working on.

Beringer Wheels

If you drill back a couple of months in the blogs you will see that I picked up a full Beringer set of wheels and brakes. I finally got around to getting my nose wheel duracoated (yeah, I still have a bunch of duracoat left over so I am using it in any location that is going to get really dirty).

SB08-6-1 (Part 2)

A couple of weekends ago I realized that I had fallen into the trap where I have too many active 50% complete sections going on. One of the first ones that I had been putting off was the Service Bulletin 08-6-1. A couple of months ago, I drilled out all of the deck rivets and got access to start drilling out the doublers. Everything was at the point where I could finish up the drilling, deburring, priming, and riveting.

Match drilling the doublers.

Starting to rivet the doublers in place.

A couple of months ago I picked up a CP alligator rivet squeezer. I really had no use for it, at the time, but I ended up winning it for $45. While the rest of my air tools are Sioux, I guess I can live with some older solid CP tools in the box.

Anyways, the top row of rivets could not be squeezed with any of the yolks I had. The angles were just not right. I was going to hit these with the gun, but I was able to squeeze all the rivets with the alligator squeezer.

A couple more rivets and the deck can go on!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Initial Cabin Top Fitting

My father was around for fathers day and I had the day off. What better way to spend it than taking the cabin top down from the ceiling and getting its initial fitup done! I am happy to say that with a fair bit of sanding and cutting everything fits perfectly. I know everyone has horror stories of dealing with fiberglass, but I found it to cut like butter with the right tools (25K 3M cutoff disks) and a dust mask.


I need to actually do the write up here, but I was finally able to do the final assembly on the rudder pedals / brakes!  Attached are some images of the progress.

Rod end bushings:

Drilling the bearing blocks

Drilling the center bearing block

Cutting the center bearing block

Monday, April 17, 2017

Step clean-up and paint

The steps are pretty straight forward. Most people tend to recommend step bushings, others hate them and tell you there is no need. I began by cleaning up the welds on the steps. A lot of the Vans welded pieces look really great, my steps look like a 9th grade welding research project. I ground down a bunch of the excess metal and TIG welded a couple of areas that I was not happy with. From there I hit the steps with red scotchbrite on my 3 inch 90 degree grinder.

I took the primer that was on the steps down to give my paint/primer a little tooth.

I was wondering what to do in terms of paint, but then in my gun room found an extra can of duracoat paint/hardener. I have been pretty dang happy with duracoat on guns, so why not paint my steps in them. This is probably way overkill, but it is a really good coating that should stick up to the abuse that they are going to take. On top of it, Tactical Extreme Grey is going to match my paint scheme well!

Finished step.

Inserting the TCW step bushing (yes, I did put a loop of 550 cord around this before tapping them down the tube. To my surprise both of the bushings lined up perfectly with the hole and neither needed any clocking post install [I am not sure how that happened]).


 I intend to install the Aerosport center console and Andair fuel valve so one of the obvious "upgrades" is providing side access to the tunnel near the fuel boost pump so that I don't have to dissassemble half of the plane to inspect or change the fuel filter. At this stage, this is a pretty easy task and I am glad I did it now rather than at my first annual. I feel pretty bad about the fact that I purchased this access plate cover. This is the access plate from airward. I thought it was a great idea because everything was set and ready to go, no measuring (in theory). I say in theory, but I ended up with one of the plates where the rivet holes do not match the rivet holes in the floor pan. So I ended up offsetting the backing plate and match drilling new holes. Given that, I would not recommend the cost of purchasing a plate from airward. Sorry airward.

Finding the location / offset

Marking and cutting

I drilled the corner holes with a step drill and then used my Sioux mini reciprocating saw to cut the straight lines. From there a little touchup with a disc sander and everything was ready to be riveted.

Installed and ready to go! Too easy.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

SB08-6-1 (Part 1)

One of the things I have been dreading is applying the SB08-6-1 service bulletin. There are a lot of rivets to remove, and to make it worse most of those rivets are in the longerons or the bulkhead angle

I started with center punching and drilling all of the deck rivets.

Using an angle drill I drilled the 8 rivets connecting the aft deck to the F-1009 bulkhead. These did not turn out as nice as I wanted and I will end up enlarging the holes for some larger -5 rivets.

With the aft deck up, I filed down the rivets to flush with the Longerons and then used a punch to knock the remaining part of the rivet out of the longerons.

From there I tackled the F-1010 bulkhead. The service bulletin called for drilling out the outer most two rivets in order to put the doublers in.

After removing the two outer rivets I decided to remove all of the rivets from the horizontal stablizer attachment angle in order to properly clean up the angle and rivet holes.

That is it for the dis-assembly. All of the rivets are not removed and I can start adding the doublers and putting things back together.

The disassembly was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. That is probably because I had a great helper today!

Parking Brake

I installed the parking brake today. Nothing too big to note, a lot of people have already covered installing the PVPV-D, so enjoy the photo: