Sunday, November 21, 2010

Loose ends

The unexpectedly temperate November temperatures we're enjoying presented a perfect opportunity to start tying up the loose ends of fuselage tasks that I have deferred. The panel shelf was ready to be riveted in, but it seemed that it might be a good idea to get the rudder pedals installed before blocking easy (well easier) access to the bottom of the firewall ledge.

But before installing the rudder pedals, I wanted to take all of the brass fittings off and reinstall them using the new Teflon-enhanced thread sealant that I bought. Way back on page 27-04, I tightened up the fittings as tight as I dared without risking breaking something. Since then I have read multiple accounts of these fittings leaking when brake fluid is introduced to the system. One builder claimed that he used a sealant with PTFE in it and was able to easily get another full turn on each fitting, and that he had suffered no leaks at all when done.

He was right. It made all the difference.

Without the shelf in the way, I was able to get the pedals installed by myself. It's a tricky job, though. I hope I never have to take them out again!

The shelf was riveted into place more or less without incident. Some of the rivet locations were a tad hard to get at, but perseverance prevailed.

I've been putting off the job of sealing the gaps between the firewall and side skins until such time as the shelf was in place. A small bead of sealant needed to be run along the lower edge of the canopy ribs and I didn't want to have to buy another tube of sealant to do that job. I figured it was better to just wait until I could do it all at once. That decision carried an element of risk with it, though, in that I might have found myself trying to get firewall sealant to flow out of the tube in the dead of winter. This stuff is a pain to deal with at the best of times; fighting to get it mixed and out of the tube because it's nearly frozen would be even worse.

An unexpected benefit of having the fuselage pointed towards the outside of the hangar turned out to be how easy it made it to look at the firewall from the inside and see if there was any light leaking in around the areas that I had sealed. There was, in the event, but I made quick work of plugging those holes.

All that's left to do now is finish the panel that will cover the gap between the firewall and instrument panel. Then it's on to building the wings!

1 comment:

Torsten said...

Great job, Dave! After all this tricky stuff you had to deal with you are going to be pretty bored with the wings!

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