Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Day hangover

Here it is, the first day of 2012. If the Mayans are correct, this will be the last time we all have to endure the fallout from New Years Eve partying. Myself, I'm just fine this morning since I long ago parted ways with the late night partying crowd. I was comfortably settled in for a night of NCAA football last night until about 9:30.

That's when I received a phone call from Co-pilot Egg.

Just to set the stage, Egg just recently had a birthday and is now old enough to be considered an adult for the purposes of voting, fighting a war, or going to prison for knocking over a liquor store, but not yet old enough to (legally) drink alcohol. That's just fine with both of us, frankly. For me it's because I'd prefer to not have to worry about her any more than I already do, and for her it's because she just doesn't seem to have any desire to imbibe.

Or so she says. There's a lot riding on trust here.

In any event, recognizing that she will be out on her own in less than a year, I've begun trying to loosen the leash a little bit with regards to her comings and goings. Sure, I still like to know where she is and when she will be back, but when she said she was going to a friend's house for a New Years Eve get together, I didn't probe too deeply for details regarding which friend, where he lived, the arrest history of his parents, currency of rabies shots, percentage of allowance spent on pornography, or any of the plethora of things I used to try to determine before granting permission. I did refuse her request to drive my car instead of hers, though, since it wasn't supposed to get cold enough for her to really need the heated seats that she likes so much.

That turned out to be a fortuitous refusal.

So, the phone call: "Hey, Dad, I'm at... wait, the sheriff is here. [click]"

Ah, nice. Nothing to worry about then.

The inevitable follow-up call came in soon (not soon enough to keep my nerves from getting seriously frayed, though) and further details were provided, albeit in the breathless, faster-than-light, deeply dramatic narrative style of a teenage girl. Which, to be perfectly honest, I have developed the ability to completely filter out.

At this point, I'm still not yet sure that I have the entire chain of events straightened out, but the gist of it is that her host's younger brother doesn't seem to think much of Ms. Egg and through some series of escalating events took it upon himself to express his displeasure with her through the convenient proxy of her car.

Now, Ms. Egg wants a new car and has for awhile, but that by no means diminishes the affection she has for her current ride. Infuriated with the damage that had been done to her baby, she decided to call 911 to request the assistance of some law enforcement officials. (We will have a little discussion regarding the appropriate nature of 911 usage later.) The net result in this case, however, was the arrival of a pair of Sheriff's deputies. They were out of their jurisdiction, so referred her to the local gendarmes. Rather than have them dispatch a cruiser to the scene, they suggested that she just go to the station to have a criminal damage report filed. As the spouse of the legal owner of the car in question and the only one willing to forgo the pleasures of NCAA football, my attendance was required at the station as well.

The report was completed by a courteous and professional young officer who let the veneer of professionalism slip just a little after speaking to the perpetrator on the phone. I overheard enough of the conversation between the officer and the vandal to fully agree with the officer's observation: "That kid is as dumb as a box of rocks."

So, that was my New Years Eve.

If the Mayans have their way, next year will be only slightly worse.

This morning dawned cloudy, windy, and down right dismal. A perfect day to work out in the hangar! I want to finish up as much wiring as I can before hanging a big obstructing engine in the way. Wiring an RV-12 is about a thousand times easier than any of the other RVs since 98% of the work is already done at the factory, but there are still a few wrinkles now and then.

The first of which is that I still don't have the cushion clamp set-up shown in the drawings.

I've been told that those are provided with the avionics kit which neither I, nor anyone else, have right now. Luckily, I keep a few different sizes of cushion clamps around in the hangar in support of periodic needs on the RV-6, so between that and the big "spare nuts/bolts" order I placed a few months ago to amortize down the shipping cost for some small thing, I was able to put together a solution. I tried different sized clamps until I found one that held onto the engine mount tightly. I guessed that the second one that the wires would pass through would be the same size. I must have been right, considering that it was a tight fit to get all of the wires through.

Oh, and I really need to secure that cotter pin!

The most challenging part of all of this wiring is, as it usually turns out to be, selecting the correct wires out of the bunch. The first couple were easy - those thick white wires branched together were easy to find. They're very stiff, though, so it took a little wiggling around to get both of them into the connector.

We're then supposed to find the yellow and red wires from each of the EGT probe wires. I had no problem with finding the EGT wires, but there were no yellow or red wires in sight. I figured if they're not in sight, they must be inside:

And there they are!

They get stripped and then have male terminals crimped on.

The directions then directed me to "find the EGT probes." Man, those folks at Van's really know me - how else to explain that they knew that "finding" anything is half of where my time gets spent.

The terminals already in place on the EGT probes get cut off ("preserving as much wire as possible," making me think that this is going to be a tight stretch at some point) and the wires stripped for new terminals. Oddly, the stripped wire is the same color on the inside as the outside.

That didn't seem right, so I scraped at the wires with my thumbnail. That exposed the actual wires:

With the extreme close-up photo, I imagine those wires look plenty big to you, but they are, in fact, quite small. Small in the same way the wires to the trim motor are. Small in the way that means a crimped on terminal will not stay on. I had to use my invented method of beefing up really thin wires, which involves using a short length of 22 gauge wire wrapped around the original wire.

That method makes the wire thick enough to provide a good grip for the crimp.

The EGT probes get tossed back into the parts bin for later usage, presumably once there are some exhaust pipes for them to probe. I'll have to find them again, someday.

The next set of wires are easy to separate out because 1) two out of the three have fairly distinctive coloring, and 2) they have these nifty little green collars on them:

In a separate bag, there is an orange shell that will hold the wires. In the same bag, there were three more pins and collars, leading me to believe that Van's (or Stein, the outsource for the wiring harness, I think) put those connectors on the harness for us. That was nice! The pins just click into the back of the shell:

The shell snaps shut and the finished connector plugs into the manifold pressure computer mounted just below the antenna shelf:

This is followed by one of those occasions where Van's provides too much instruction and muddies the mental waters a little bit:

"Locate the ES 24115 Master Relay. (Hint: it's right where you left it after you bolted it to the firewall - DG) Remove the outer nut and washers from each of the three studs on the relay. Do not remove the nut that lies against the relay body."

I spent a lot of time looking for "the nut that lies against the relay body."

There isn't one. What they really mean is "Remove the outer nut and washers from each of the three studs on the relay." That's all they needed to say. Their over-explanation just confused me; I would not have tried to remove the three nuts left behind after the outer nuts were removed:

"Locate the ES DIODE MASTER Master Relay Diode." Say that three times fast!

It gets paired up with another wire in one of the pesky wire condoms:

The pair of them get attached to the master relay:

Now we encounter two steps that would have been easier if reversed. I followed the provided step order and found the correct wire, stripped it, and crimped on a terminal. Had I been thinking more clearly, I would have reversed the steps and fed the wire into the wire condom first, rather than encountering an all too familiar problem from my distant past: the item to be protected was too large for the protective device:

Wait! It gets better! In the unicorn-populated world that Van's lives in, it looks to be a simple matter to take the loose end of the ES DIODE MASTER Master Relay Diode and pair it up with the newly terminated wire and attach them both to the center post of the master relay:

Yeah, right. Remember that too small condom? Well, it really complicates matters:

A rather uncomfortable arrangement, eh?

But wait! I gets even better! Remember the starter relay adapter plate that caused such a rift between me and the snarky Mr. Ken S. at Van's and how it moved the started relay a little bit lower on the firewall? Well, as it turns out there is a precisely sized wire that is somewhat, well, inconvenienced by the new distance:

A slight tug was enough to get it to fit. It doesn't seem to be overly strained, either, so I guess it's okay.

There is another wire that goes on that post, but it needs to have a terminal attached to it. This resulted in a quandary: which of these terminals is the ES 324082? Both fit on the post, and both fit the wire, although the red one fits it very loosely and the blue one fits it very tightly.

I opted for the red one for the most critical of reasons: the blue would have clashed with all of the other red terminals.

There it is, all attached and ready to go:

Well, not quite. There's another odd combination that gets separated out:

It plugs into the almost-hidden spade at the bottom of the starter relay:

Done? Not quite. There's one more, and it requires that a bolt be removed and replaced on the starter relay:

There! All done and ready to mount the engine.

Well.... no. A wise man shared with me that it is much easier to install the oil cooler assembly and the cockpit heater cable before the engine gets mounted. "Easier" doesn't mean "easy," as we all know, but we still take "easier" whenever we can get it!

1 comment:

KLewis said...

there are alot of wires with this rotax .. hmmmm

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