Thursday, July 15, 2010

So, where ya been?

If it seems like it's been awhile since I've worked on the plane, well, it has been. It's been one of those weeks. Sick one day, then a day when I was too burned out from the paying job where my already limited patience had been worn down to a paper-thin veneer and the miserable accident-strewn ordeal getting home in a deluge, one evening spent in front of the computer ruminating (yes, ruminating! Can ya believe it??) about my idea for next year's personal vacation (in lieu of a third consecutive Oshkosh), and the day that I decided to brave the shop and put the replacement nipple fitting from Aircraft Spruce on the gascolator? Wrong size. Got fed up, ordered another, this time from Van's, and called it a day. If the one from Van's is also the wrong size, then they printed the wrong part number of the plans. Cross your fingers, because I'm gonna be some kind of irate if that happens!

Tonight, though, all conditions were favorable. I haven't received the part from Van's, but I did still have a little more work to do on the brake lines. There were two sets left to do: the pair that run from the left side master cylinders down to the wheel brakes, and the pair that run from the right side cylinders up to the fluid reservoir. I chose the long pair to do first because they would be the bigger challenge. Better to get them while fresh, I figured. These lines would be a little trickier since two of the nuts would have to be installed with the lines already installed in the plane. The order of business would be measure and cut the lines, install a nut on each, feed the lines through three bulkheads from the back of the fuselage to the front, install the nuts on the front of the lines, restrain the lines with an Adel clamp, and screw the nuts onto the fittings on the master cylinders.

The measuring and cutting were easy, as was the installation of the nuts. The feeding of the lines through the bulkhead was easy once I had decoded the correct holes to feed them through from the "looks backwards to me" drawing in the plans. That left the nuts and the Adel clamp to be installed. The nuts were only tricky because they had to be done in the more limited confines of the fuselage.

Each of the lines needed to be measured to the point where they would be clamped in place. 

I've always hated Adel clamps, but this one at least had the benefit of being easy to get at. It will not always be thus.

Screwing the nuts onto the master cylinders was trivially easy. So was the fabrication and installation of the other two lines.

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