Brake bleading, Engine run-up, compression checks

May 31, 2008

Today I back blead the brakes, so that I could run-up the engine to see if my compression came up. I had some trouble at first with bleading the right brake but I soon sorted it out and it blead just fine. I back blead my brakes because A) it is simple and B) it is perfectly bled everytime. I use a old mechanical hand crank fuel pump from my Radio Controlled airplane days to pump brake fluid up the blead valve and into the reservoir. I made sure to add oil to the engine (can’t forget that) I also hooked up the ignition leads and torqued the prop down temporarily since I still have to put the cowling on. I ran up the engine for about 10 minutes. I took some time to taxi around to see if the gear felt an different. No real difference slow taxiing around but I wasn’t expecting much at slow speeds. I shut down and played a real game of hot potato with the spark plugs. I took the comression of the cylinders and every last one of them was 79/80 PSI. As I would expect from a 61 hour TT motor.
Oh and here is a photo of the safety wire securing of the brake lines.

Time spent today 6 hours

Exhaust Channel Fairings, Brake lines, and Engine Compressions

May 30, 2008

Today, I had the whole day to work on the plane due to a glorious CWS day. Compressed work schedule for those who don’t know. At my job we work 4 – 9hour days and 1-8hour day followed by 4 – 9 hour days and Friday off. Pretty much the only schedule better is 4 – 10 hour days and every weekend is a 3 day weekend. Anyway, I started off using the shear and brake to make my cuts and bends of my exhaust channel fairing. Turns out it fit pretty darn good. I back drilled the existing wholes and drilled and installed two new nut plates on the firewall side of the fairing. I fabricated the other side just like I did the first. Don’t ask about the extra holes, Idiot me started installing the nut plates with the fairing in place good thing I caught myself before I riveted the firing the fire wall. The corner is not perfect so I will probably just fill in the corner with RTV and call it a day. I shortened the left side brake Aeroquip line just like I did the right all is well.

I completed my engine compression check. I usually do this cold to see if it will pass so that I don’t play the hot potato game with spark plugs when it is hot. The #1, #3, and #4 all came back excellent but #3 came back a little low. when I mean low it was 68/80 PSI when the rest are sporting 75 and above. So I decided I would do the compression checks with engine warm. Sound like a great Idea until this Idea get stomped all over by the fact that I don’t have my brakes installed. So there is the next logical step. I need to to route my brakes lines. I started off by flaring one side. of the tube (don’t forget to install the nut and the collar first!) I then started making the bends in the lines. Vans says you can route the line on the front or the back of the gear leg. I chose the back side of the gear leg. Anyway I routed both lines and secured them using electrical tape and a nylon tubing placed strategically in four places. My mechanic came by to see the progress and came up with safety wiring them to the gear leg. And finally she sees the light of day well at least dusk anyway.

Time spent 9 hours

Brake Flanges, On the Gear, and Mounting the Engine

May 21, 2008

Loads of progress today. I started off by installing the wheel fairing inside bracket permanently. I had to make a set of 3 stand offs out of the provided 6061 T6 seamless tube that Vans provided in the wheel fairing kit I bought a while ago. I first installed the wheel and used a piece of 1/16″ aluminum I had to set the gap between the wheel fairing bracket and the brake rotor. I marked the outside edge of the wheel fairing bracket on the brake flange. I then removed the brake flange and measured the distance, and cut the spacer/standoff to fit. Once i reinstalled the wheel the gap was a little tighter then I wanted. Vans plans say any where between 1/32″ and “.093” is acceptable. I shimmed my bracket using AN960-428L washers (these are the thin AN960 washers). I then repeated it on the other side. Below are pictures of the finished product.

I wanted to get the plane back on its wheels tonight, but I was worried I would have to do more work on the wheels. Any work on the wheels is very easy with it on the stand. I need a way to Jack up the plane in the future to do wheel maintenence ect. My old method was to insert a 3/4 Natural gas iron pipe into the axle and jack it up using a floor jack. Well my 3/4 iron pipe was too big for this axle. I went to Lowes Aerospace (this is a joke for those outside the country, Lowes is Hardware store) and bought a 12″ Long 1/2 iron pipe. This fit nicely. Now all I need to modify my axle nut so that I can remove the nut plate and insert the pipe. This will entail using a hole saw and cutting a 1″ diameter hole in the nut. There is a good explaination on this RV7 website. The only difference is is I will be using a $2.30 pipe and a floor jack I already have instead of $40 plus shipping jack kit bracket from Avery Tools and then using a bottle jack in my Jeep.

Any way I have digressed. The important part is that I am able to jack up my aircraft while it is on its wheels so that was the last item before dropping it off the stand. I picked up the plane the same way I picked it up to put it on the stand. Right from the engine mount, but this time I didn’t want to hurt the power coating so I wrapped the chain with some of my old shop rags for padding. At last she was finally supporting her own weight.

The next logical thing was to mount the engine. At this point it was around 2300 and getting late once again. Me being the usual obsessive person wanted to get the engine back on the plane. Milestones folks …milestones chop chop. So getting an engine on a dynafocal engine mount is a pain in the ass on the best days. because of the angles of the engine mount you have to have the engine almost in the exact location in order to get the bolts in. It sucks but the best way is to get one bolt partly installed with a nut at a time while moving the engine the best you can to get the other in. That sounds easy but its not. Once you get 3 in the 4th is usually ok but it is still a pain.

And the engine is mounted…Yes folks I got by engine mount back on Tuesday After noon and this is Wednesday Night and my plane is back on its feet and engine mounted, now that is some progress.

Time spent today 5.5 hours total time spent on the mod 58 hours

Installing the Engine mount and Gear

May 20, 2008

Great New today! I got my engine mount and landing gear back from the powder coating place. Some pictures before I installed them.

I got right to work getting the hardware in place to mount the engine mount. I just about had it installed when I realized I hadn’t notched out my fire wall to accommodate the pinch bolt nut. So I took it all apart to get the angle grinder in there to cut the notch. Once that was all done I started installing the engine mount again. I had ordered new bolts for the engine mount again because of the welding and multiple installs had trashed my other bolts. Plus the lower mount bosses were lengthened 0.5″ so I ordered a 0.5″ longer bolt so I thought. It turns out my bolt is about 0.5″ to long. So instead of tossing the bolt and waiting for a new bolt I just added a bunch of washers. Which is not Ideal but no big deal either. Once I got the engine mount installed I started installing the gear legs so that I could orient the brake flanges that still need to be drilled. I marked both gear legs and used a drill press again like I did when I drilled the top of the gear leg to the socket. Once again X bits are awesome. I used and 1/8″ X bit followed buy a 1/4″ X bit followed by a 1/4″ piloted to 5/16 quad fluted drill/reamer. Beautiful holes. As long as you use some cutting oil these bits will eat the gear leg 6150 tempered steel like a fat kid would a cup cake. I installed the brake flange AN5 bolt and AN364 nut remember the short bolt because of the very little room in there. I re-installed the gear legs and installed the top bolts and cinched down the pinch bolt at the the bottom. I installed the wheels just to see how the wheel fairing bracket is going to fit. I also temporarily installed the brake caliper and the axle nut to also see how every thing was going to fit. So far so good. Below are some pictures of the installation. Yes I worked from 1900 – 0130 Tonight…yes on a Tuesday night.

Time spent 6.5 hours Total time spent on the mod 52.5 hours.

Sandblasting the Engine mount

May 7, 2008

Today I was annoyed by the fact that they powder coater wanted a 1.5 weeks to get my engine mount and legs powerder coated.  Most of this time was because he need to sand blast them.  So I asked if I sandblasted them would it take less time and he said only a few days.  So anyhow I decided to sand blast them my self.  I got most of it done but ran out of sand in the in end so they will need to be cleaned up but it won’t take them long.

Time spent 1 hour total time spent on the mod 46 hours.

Final fit check prior to powder coating

May 6, 2008

Today I cut the slits for the pinch bolts and did a final fit check prior to powder coater having his way with them. I snapped a few pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Time spent today 0.5 hours total time spent on the mod 45 hours

Welding the final cross members

May 3, 2008

Today I got my welder to weld the gear leg truss and new cross members to the engine mount. Not to much more to talk about but do have some pictures to share. All done. Next I need to get it sand blasted and off to the powder coater. BTW I haven’t taken pictures of the final welding yet. My welder got a load of the welding done but wanted to take it home to finish it so the pictures you see the final welding isn’t quite done yet.

Time spent 2 hours total time spent on the mod 44.5 hours

Sand Blasting and final fit

May 2, 2008

Today wasn’t to interesting.  I got confirmation that the welder could come over to the hangar tomorrow so I ran out to get the spots were he will weld clean and free of paint and contaminants.   I used a sand blaster gun and some play sand out in the grassy area around my hangar.  I also took some time to trim up and clean up the profiles.

Time spent 3 hours total time spent on mod 42.5 hours

Fabricating Engine mount to landing gear truss x members

May 1, 2008

Today I was determined to finish the cross members from the engine mount to the landing gear truss. I was really frustrated yesterday trying to get the correct length and angles for each cross member. So today I went to Lowes to buy 3/4″ wooden dowel for mock ups. This worked pretty good however was still a little painful. Anyway I was able to get all 4 cross members done and now the whole thing has to come apart to get sand blasted and put back together for welding on Sunday. BTW the tape is just to hold the cross members in place. Tomorrow I will get some magnets to keep everything neater for welding.

Time spent today 2.5 hours. Total time spent on the mod 39.5 hours