Archive for the ‘Fuel Tanks’ Category

Installed Fitting In Fuel Tank Access Plate – 8 hrs

April 13, 2014 Leave a comment

Sunday April 13, 2014

When I ran the purge line to the right fuel tank access cover I had to remove the cover to install a fitting. That is when I realized that the fitting interferes with the anti-hangup guide on the inside of the cover. So I ordered another blank cover from Vans along with a ProSeal kit and some Poly-Gone AG300 ProSeal remover. Yesterday I put the right wing on the work bench so I could get to the cover to work on it. It is not accessible in the wing rack.


PolyGone is a jelly-like substance that breaks down ProSeal. I brushed it onto the rib of the fuel tank and let it work for a few minutes. Then I scraped it off with a piece of plastic. After a few iterations and cleaning with acetone it looked pretty good. It should be adequate for a good seal. I also went over it with scotchbrite again to make sure to get good adhesion with the new ProSeal.


I had to remake the flop tube anti-hangup guide inside the cover. Since the purge line fitting ended up right in the middle of the guide I put a hole in it to allow the fuel to pass through without significant obstruction. I put a bulge in the guide to compensate for the area removed by the hole. I also used the guide support to capture the AN fitting so it cannot rotate on the inside of the cover (since I’ll never be able to put a wrench on it again). The support is riveted to the cover so the fitting cannot turn.


I mixed up the small ProSeal kit and applied some to the interfaces as I riveted the cover and guide parts together so there should be no leaks around the rivets. Then I applied a layer to the mating surface on the rib and screwed on the cover. I put a dab of ProSeal on each screw also. I tightened up the screws and let it sit for the ProSeal to set up. I will leak test it in a few days.


I also started modifying the nose of the engine cowl to provide a tiny bit more clearance for removing the lower cowl with the 3-blade prop. I had between 0.20 and 0.25 inch clearance all around and the gap looked nice but it makes it that much harder to remove the lower cowl. Since I will be removing the cowl frequently during Phase 1 I decided to modify this now while it is easier to do. I want another .06 to .12 clearance if possible. I sanded the nose down with a long sanding block. Since I sanded through the top layer of fiberglass into the foam wedge I had added a long time ago I chipped out the foam.


After I sanded down to my goal I mixed up some flox and filled the open area where the foam was as a base for a top coat of micro.



Followup: On Tuesday night 4/15 I finished filling, sanding and priming the cowling. It’s hard to see the difference in the photo but here is the finished modification with the spinner plate on. The gap is now a little bigger and it is slightly wider toward the lower cowl since that is the hard one to remove. In this process I also learned that half the battle of installing and removing the lower cowl is getting the rubber seal strips on the inlets out of the way. I found that if I pulls those back with blue painters tape I could raise and lower the cowl much more easily without scraping the spinner as much. Eventually I’l get the process down to where it is not a pain.





Categories: Cowling, Fuel Tanks, Wings

Installed Purge Line Fitting on Right Tank – 8 hrs

March 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Sunday Mar 30, 2013

Staying with my strategy to get as much done in the garage before moving to the airport as possible I remated the right wing to the fuselage this weekend in order to install fittings for the fuel injection purge line to the right tank. This was necessary because I needed to determine the precise location to install an AN832 fitting on the tank access cover so it will line up with the existing purge line exiting a hole in the fuselage and the tubing had to be cut to the precise length to install a AN818 nut. Moving the wing around is a big deal so I asked my friend Scott to come help me. Here you can see the fuselage and wing set up to mate together.


After bringing the two together I marked the location for the An832 on the access cover. When I did I realized that the fitting was going to interfere with the anti-hangup bracket on the inside of the cover so I concluded I would have to replace the cover with a new one that has the anti-hangup bracket shifted slightly to make clearance. Taking off the access cover was no easy feat since the ProSeal was doing a good job of bonding it on place. We used a putty knife sharpened on the end to cut through the ProSeal by holding the blade as parallel to the wing rib as possible. After getting it off I installed the fitting at the marked location and put it back in temporarily for a fit check.


We remated the wing again and I marked the tubing for the proper length then cut it and installed a flared AN818 fitting. Here is the tubing exiting the fuselage.


While the wings were off the rack we also installed the non-skid wing walk material I bought from We had to trim the corner to clear the wing gap fairing and the aft end to keep if from hanging over the weak section of the skin.


Categories: Fuel Tanks, Wings

Preping Right Wing Skins – 2 hrs

February 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Thursday Feb 10, 2011

I’ve been struggling with a cold this week. That’s why my posts have been absent since Saturday. I got a couple of things done this week. For example, I riveted the right leading edge section to the main spar using the squeezer.

Leading edge spar rivets

I installed the right fuel tank using about half the bolts and some of the flat head screws.

Right Fuel Tank Installed

I removed the vinyl on the inside surfaces of the right wing top skins in preparation for priming these.

Devinyling wing skins

I made the scarf joint on the outboard top skin for the right wing. I still need to scarf the inboard skin.

Scarf joint

And I dimpled the skin holes in the ribs on the right wing using the squeezer.

Dimpling wing ribs

Backtracking for 7 Missing Rivets – 1.5 hrs

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Thursday, Jan 27, 2011

I hate to backtrack but sometimes you just have to. I had already started riveting the inboard top skin to the left wing skeleton when I noticed an empty rivet hole that shouldn’t be there. It was at the very top of one of the wing ribs at the main spar but it was under the fuel tank skin and you have to look from the inside of the skeleton to see it was missing. It is one of those mystery rivets that I can’t find on any of the drawings and it’s not mentioned in the plans. There are seven of these rivets on each side of the wings. I had identified them on the right wing and installed the rivets but I had forgotten these.

So tonight I removed the left fuel tank and install the rivets that should have been there. Fortunately I have an electric screwdriver to help take out all those flat head screws. The picture below shows one of the mystery rivets. The red arrow points to one of the rivets after I installed it. Well at least I’m back on track now.

Arrow highlights the missing rivet

Categories: Fuel Tanks, Skins, Wings

Right Tank Sealed Up – 5 hrs

January 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Saturday Jan 1, 2011

The major accomplishment today was sealing up the right fuel tank. That includes installing the access cover and the fuel level sender. My days of messing with ProSeal are hopefully coming to a conclusion. Yea! Here is the tank with the fuel sender and access cover installed and sealed up.

Right fuel tank sealed up

The primer was cured on the inside of the aileron pushrods so I put in the end fittings and drilled six equally spaced holes on each end for the rivets. I wrapped a strip of paper around the tube and marked off the circumference. Then I divided that distance into six equal segments and marked that on the paper. Then I wrapped the paper around the tube again and transferred the spacing to the tube. Then I just drilled the holes 1/4 inch from the end of the tube using the drill press.

Pushrods drilled

Then I installed the MSP-42 pop rivets wet with primer.

Pushrods riveted

Next I finished constructing a poor man’s paint booth out of 1×2’s and plastic sheeting. It’s not sealed so its only good for light work on small parts but it will keep me from getting spray onto nearby stuff in the garage.

El cheapo paint booth

Categories: Fuel Tanks, Pushrods, Wings

Right Tank Baffle Installed – 5.5 hrs

December 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Wednesday Dec 29, 2010

This morning I installed the baffle on the right fuel tank. I have to say that this is one of the most onerous parts of building the wing so far. It takes a major block of time to complete and once you start you can’t stop until its done. Total time for prep, mixing sealant, assembly, riveting, clean up, etc., takes at least four hours working solo. Working with a partner would make it go faster.

I had enough sealant left over in my first quart to finish this job, but I used about 100 grams and that took just about the last bit of the black component. Fortunately, my new quart kit arrived today from Vans.

I didn’t take pictures along the way because I documented the process last time on the left tank. But here is a shot of the finished job. The last step will be to install the fuel sender and access cover, then leak check. I’m praying for no leaks!

Right Tank Baffle sealed and riveted

I didn’t install the fuel sender yet but I crimped the terminals onto the wires and applied heat shrink sleeving so this is ready to go when I mix up another batch of ProSeal.

Fuel sender wires prepared

I called Stein Air this morning to check on my Dynon heated pitot tube order along with some electrical supplies for wiring it. Unfortunately the pitot tube is on back order from Dynon. Looks like I’ll have to work around that for a week or so.

Categories: Fuel Tanks, Wings

Left Leading Edge Final Assembly – 3 hrs

December 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Monday Dec 27, 2010

I made a run out to aircraft Spruce today to pick up some supplies for the wing. I needed an AN833 fitting for the flop tube to replace the cross threaded one and some other electrical wiring stuff. I had a chance to drive by Corona airport only to find it closed still from the flooding last week. There are still airplanes parked in the ball park parking lot across the street. The airport is closed to all but tenants.

Later I crimped the contacts to 18 AWG wire for the stall warning switch. Here is the switch assembly ready to be installed.

Stall warning switch assembly

And here it is riveted into the skin. I had to take the switch out of the bracket to get it riveted in, then reinstall the switch.

Stall warning switch installed

Before riveting the ribs into the skin I performed a fit check of the leading edge and the fuel tank on the left wing. I know that some builders have had to make shims to get the skins flush at the seam. Fortunately, this seam is almost perfectly flush and shims are not needed. It is as good as I could reasonably expect it to be.

Leading edge and tank seam looks great

I shot rivets on the leading edge skeleton, at least as much as I could easily do solo. The last five or six closest to the forward edge will wait until Denise can give me a hand.

Riveting partially completed

Then I switched my attention back to the right fuel tank. I first replaced the AN833 elbow fitting that got cross threaded last week. Here you can see the new fitting installed and safety wired along side the stripped fitting and nut.

Elbow fitting replaced and safety wired

Then I removed one screw in the left tank fuel sender and installed the ground lug for the sender.

Fuel sender ground wire attached

Then I installed and sealed the flop tube into the right tank and torqued the fitting to 115 in-lbs. It looks like the installation of the baffle is the next step on this tank.

Flop tube installed

Two Steps Forward, One Back – 3.5 hrs

December 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Wednesday Dec 22, 2010

The objective today was to get the inboard rib installed with the flop tube and vent fitting. The good news is I got the rib installed and sealed. The bad news is the flop tube fitting cross threaded while I was installing it and the threads were damaged so I will have to replace the AN fitting. I admit I was in a bit of a hurry because the ProSeal was setting up. This is the most challenging rib to install because you have to shoot all the rivets for the flange to skin joint then install the T-405 bracket and T-410 doubler and rivet them to the skin, then install the flop tube with ProSeal and torque it, all the while the ProSeal is getting thicker.

Inboard rib installed

I also riveted the anti-hangup bracket to the second rib and a stiffener. You can just see it through the access hole in the picture above. I cleaned the area around the flop tube hole with MEK so I won’t have any problem installing the fitting later. Since I don’t have a spare AN fitting on hand I may have to reshuffle my work plan until I order one or pick it up at Spruce. I’m also running out of ProSeal and don’t think I can finish the tank with what I have so I ordered another quart from Vans. A pint would be more than enough but the only options are 1 ounce and 1 quart, except for the 3.5 ounce tube which is a one-shot deal. You have to mix it all in one session and that won’t work for me.

Where the flop tube fitting goes

Categories: Fuel Tanks, Wings

One More Tank Rib and More – 3.5 hrs

December 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Tuesday Dec 21, 2010

I installed the outboard end rib into the right fuel tank today. That includes riveting and sealing the doubler on the inside leading edge end of the rib. You can just barely see the six rivets near the very bottom edge in this view. It’s nice to be able to squeeze the rivets along the edge of the tank rather than having to buck them.

I mixed 37 grams of ProSeal but that came up slightly short and I didn’t have enough to cover about 8 or 10 rivets. No sweat, I’ll cover those next time.

Outboard rib installed and sealed

I ordered some electrical wiring tools and materials from Stein Air last week and they arrived yesterday. So I made up a short twisted pair cable to run from the fuel level sender to the inboard end of the tank where I will mount a 2-pin Molex connector. The cable is very simple having terminal lugs on the sender end, on #10 and one #8. I don’t want to mess around with cheap tools that might lead to poor electrical connections so I bought an Ideal Stripmaster wire stripper, a lug crimper, and a terminal crimper for the Molex pins and sockets. And of course I bought aircraft quality Tefzel wire.

Lug Crimper, Stripper, and Molex Pin Crimper in that order

Here you can see the lugs after I crimped them onto the wire with a piece of shrink sleeving over the terminal to provide additional strain relief. I also used tie bases to route and secure the wires. That zip tie is temporarily attached in this view. I will probably buy some lacing tape to tie these off securely before I bolt that tank to the spar.

Fuel sender wiring

The blue wire is the sender signal and the green is a ground return. I intend to tie the ground to chassis back on the fuselage instead of relying on the conductivity of the sender mounting which is iffy given all the ProSeal and besides the conduction through the wing root is questionable since the spar is anodized.

I need to remove one of the sender screws and use it to tie down the ground wire. I’ll do that when I have a batch of ProSeal mixed so I can reseal that screw.

Here is the general routing of the cable to the end of the tank. I may get some outer sleeving later to put over the twisted pair to provide additional abrasion resistance. The plan is to attach a 2-pin molex connector on the cable and mount it on the end of the wing. Then I will be able to install or remove the wing without cutting any wires. Kind of modular, you know.

Sender wires routed to the inboard end of the wing

Categories: Fuel Tanks, Wings

Last Two Interior Ribs – 5 hrs

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Monday Dec 20, 2010

I installed the last two interior ribs on the right fuel tank today with Denise’s help. I can install the two end ribs solo. The end of the ProSeal tunnel is in sight.

Categories: Fuel Tanks, Wings