Friday, March 9, 2012


It's the end of another exhausting and emotionally draining week that didn't have much of anything good to say for itself. I've been in a bit of a funk since the bad news of Wednesday, and even if I had been in the mood to work on the airplane, the 25+ knot winds we "enjoyed" all week would have make it difficult. If I don't open the hangar door, it's dark and depressing. If I do, the high winds tend to collect anything that hasn't been put away (which, as we know, is almost everything) and blow it all around the hangar. It's hard even to keep a set page in the plans when it's windy.

It wasn't until this afternoon, when I had completed another amply rewarding week shoveling pixels in the logic foundry, that I was able to make the trip out to the hangar. This work too was destined to be exhausting, but only in a punificent way. I am beginning section 48, the installation of the exhaust system.

The exhaust headers come first. The plastic caps that have heretofore been protecting the innards of the engine are removed.

Then the headers are unwrapped. There are four different shapes, but they have no identifying numbers on them to determine which header goes on which cylinder.

As I stood there metaphorically scratching my head and wondering how I would figure out which was which, I thought this one was the most appropriately shaped for the moment:

This ended up being one of those irritating cases where you have to look forward in the plans to figure out what's going on. The latter pages of the section show one of the front headers extending out further than the other when the engine is viewed from the side. I didn't find that out until later, of course; I started with a guess.

The back two were easier since the #4 cylinder is pre-drilled for an EGT sensor.

The muffler will have to be removed because I didn't have any high-temperature, non-copper anti-seize compound lying around, oddly enough (I mean, doesn't everyone keep stuff like that handy?), but I wanted to ensure that all of the headers were in the right place first. This is really a two-man job, but I was able to hold the muffler in place with one hand while using a screwdriver to pull the attachment springs into place. It wasn't easy. In fact, it was exhau...

No, I'm not going to do it.

Everything fits just dandy. Naturally, once I take it all apart again to put the anti-seize stuff in, it will not want to go back together again. That's an immutable law of nature and I have resigned myself to it.

At this point I was able to confirm that the forward extent of the #1 header exceeds that of the #2 header as is (in)conveniently shown on the last page of the section.

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