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.