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Finished Mounting Oil Cooler – 14 hrs

March 17, 2013 Leave a comment

Sunday Mar 17, 2013

Thursday: I attacked the cut-out in the #4 rear baffle for the oil cooler on Thursday night. I don’t have a decent metal cutting blade for my jigsaw so I drilled holes in the four corners and cut the opening with a cutting wheel on my rotary tool. I cleaned up the rough edges with a file. This photo is when I put the oil cooler doubler back on to check the fit.

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Next I put it all back on the engine so I could check the fit again and make sure the position of the oil cooler looked good relative to the #4 cylinder – not that I could do anything about that now except start over with a new rear baffle. But the position looked fine and the clearance of the oil cooler flange to the engine mount tube is good also. I don’t think I’ll even need to trim the flange. You can see the oil cooler brace sticking up in this picture well above the profile I trimmed to earlier. I went after that next.

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Friday: I marked a rough trim line on the oil cooler brace by eye just to remove enough material so that I could put the top cowl back on and measure for a final cut using the paper clip method. Turns out my eyeball cut line was just about right and I only had to remove about another 1/8 inch of material after that to get a gap of about 7/16 between the oil cooler brace and the cowl. After finishing that I scrubbed up a few new parts, put on a coat of alodine, and began riveting the left rear corner baffle assembly together. I started by riveting the new custom flange onto the oil cooler brace.

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I also made a cut out in the rear baffle for the ignition wire seal. You can see it in this photo next to the oil cooler doubler. It is the oval hole with two small holes above or below it. This is the only logical place for this on the left side. I continued riveting but I could not find two K1000-3 nut plates in the kit so I left the two closest to the ignition wire cut-out unriveted for now.

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Saturday: I put the left rear baffle assembly back on the engine to confirm that everything looks good. I’m sure I could make faster progress if I didn’t keep doing this but it builds confidence when the plans are a little light on detail.

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The next step on my short list was to make the cut-out for the ignition wires on the right side and start installing blast tubes for the P-Mags and the alternator. The plans don’t say where to put the ignition wire seal on the right side so I measured it out about the same distance from the centerline as the left seal. That looked good as far as wire routing is concerned. I also played around with potential routing for the blast tube for the right P-Mag and marked a location on the right rear baffle. I stopped to search the forums to get advice on where to locate these items but I could find nothing. So I went ahead and cut the holes. It was only after I put the parts together for a fit check that I realized I had done this without having the oil filler tube installed. When I put that in I saw that the ignition wires are uncomfortably close to the filler tube. In fact the tube blocks the logical path to the P-Mag. Why didn’t I think of that before cutting the hole for the wires? This is not a complete show stopper issue but it is not ideal either. I stopped there for the day and thought about it overnight.

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Sunday: Well I found the K1000-3 nutplates I was looking for on Friday. They were in a bag with AN fittings for the baffle subkit. I looked in the logical place -the hardware bag for the baffle subkit – but I didn’t think to look in the AN fitting bag. Just as well because I needed to make a bracket to attach to the rear baffle for a diagonal stiffener and those two nutplate locations are the ideal place to attach it. The diagonal brace is another element of reinforcement for the left rear baffle to head off the cracking issues that some people have seen. So today I made the bracket from 3/4 x 3/4 x .032 angle stock, alodined it and riveted it on with the newly-found nutplates. It is visible in this picture next to the cut-out for the ignition wires.

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Another task was to make tubular spacers for the oil cooler flange bolts. These permit the oil cooler to be bolted on with both the front and rear flanges. Made from 5/16 aluminum tube they are just cut to length (and I alodined them). But another modification recommended in the forums is to make washer plates to go between the tubular spacers and the cooler flanges. These spread the load out over the surface of the flanges instead of concentrating it in a thin ring around each bolt. Some people use steel for these plates and I am sure that is stronger but I used 1/16 aluminum sheet cut 1/2 inch wide. Since the oil cooler flanges are aluminum and the spacer tubes are aluminum I prefer to make the plates out of aluminum also to keep the materials similar for galvanic corrosion reasons and aluminum is much easier to work anyway. So here you can see the results of my efforts. The parts are all alodined and installed except one bolt which I need to order from Spruce. The kit includes three long bolts and one short bolt for the inboard flange but I have enough clearance to the engine mount that I can use four long bolts which is stronger so I will order one more from Spruce.

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Here is a photo of the left rear baffle installed with the ignition wires in place and the bracket installed for the diagonal stiffener (barely visible behind the ignition wires). I still need to decide how to make that brace. Thin wall aluminum tubing with flattened ends is one option. You can also see how the ignition wires fit snugly on the ends of the dessicant containers in place of the actual spark plugs. That’s nice that they made them that way. You can also see the hole I drilled for the blast tube for the left P-Mag.

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Overnight I figured out a plan to recover from my mistake in locating the right ignition wire seal. It was clear that I should have cut the ignition wire hole further outboard to avoid the oil filler tube. I could cut a new hole for the seal in a more outboard location but what about the hole I already cut? Well I still need to install an AN fitting for the fuel purge line though the right rear baffle so I decided to make a cover for the badly located ignition wire seal and install the fuel purge fitting there. That fitting can have a 90 degree turn on the aft side of the baffle so it will not interfere with the filler tube. I removed the right rear baffle and made the modifications. I made two cover plates; each .032 thick with holes for bolts through the existing holes in the baffle and a new hole for the purge line fitting. I also cut a new hole for the ignition wire seal further outboard. In this photo you can see it assembled temporarily. I had the AN fitting on hand so I installed that also. The hose run from the purge valve to the fitting is pretty direct but I may change the fitting on the purge valve to give an L-bend run instead of an S-bend because the distance is rather short.

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This photo shows the new setup from the aft side. You can see that the ignition wires are well clear of the oil filler tube now and the AN fitting is pointing almost straight down. A hose will run from there to the firewall. Although not perfect I am satisfied with this redo. The only evidence of my mistake is the doubler plates on the baffle for the purge fitting.

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Started Installing Oil Cooler – 3.5 hrs

March 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Tuesday Mar 12, 2013

I got a decent view of the engine baffle clearance tonight by removing the lower cowl and installing the upper cowl alone. Looking up from below I could see that the gap is pretty uniform meaning the baffle edge follows the contour of the cowl pretty well.

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With the cowl in this configuration I took the opportunity to trial fit the oil cooler. The plans say to mount the cooler as high as possible without hitting the cowl. I take that to mean with about a 1/2 inch gap to the cowl. Doing this will maximize the air flow through the oil cooler because the lower portion is blocked by the #4 cylinder. So this is why I have not installed the oil cooler to this point – because I first needed to trim the tops of the engine baffles to allow the upper cowl to be installed in its proper position so I could then locate the oil cooler on the #4 cylinder rear baffle as high as possible. This photo shows the cooler as high as I dare mount it.

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With the cowl off you can see how high the oil cooler is placed and in this photo I have cleco’d in the oil cooler brace which mounts in front of and above the oil cooler. This part strengthens the rear baffle and provides a continuous surface along the aft baffle for the rubber seal material, eliminating the jog which would be difficult to seal. You can also see the spark plug wires in this photo because I started looking at how to route these.

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In this next photo you can see the oil cooler brace from the front. I found a problem with this part. If I mount it high enough that it does not block the oil cooler there is not enough overlap with the side baffle to attach it and to attach the rubber seal material. Conversely, if I lower it so I can get at least one rivet on the outboard side flange into the side baffle the lower flange overhangs the oil cooler air passages by about 1/2 inch.

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I decided to modify the oil cooler brace by adding a new flange that turns upward on the rear baffle rather than downward. I made this angle from .032 sheet and match drilled it to the brace and the rear baffle as you see here. This will allow me to cut off the flange that hangs down so it will no longer block the oil cooler.

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This led me to tweak the position of the oil cooler slightly downward so everything would line up nicely with adequate edge distances. So now it is slightly further away from the upper cowl but not by more than 1/4 inch so cooling should not be impacted much. In this photo I have match drilled the oil cooler doubler to the rear baffle and marked the opening for the cutout which I will attack next time.

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