Time for that weekend update but I feel like I have said some of this before, hence the Deja Vu. See, I think I mentioned a few days ago that I was finally finished with the center console. Well that turned out to be far from the truth. One of the steps to making the console functional, and one of the main reasons I decided to install one was the fact that it makes the fuel valve up front and center. Well you would think that all I would have to do is drill a hole, install the extension and call it good right? Hah! That little bugger took me almost all day on Saturday to get installed correctly. I had to first locate the correct location for the hole which required me to do a little geometry (anybody remember SOH-CAH-TOA?) Ok, once I figured out that I had to adjust the hole location down by 5/8 of an inch I drilled my hole. Not so bad right? Well next I went to install the backing plate for the valve extension and guess what? It didn't fit. I had to drill out the rivets on the top of the console forward slope, use my Dremel to cut out some rather large slots that the backing plate "wings" could fit into, drill the holes for the backing plate attach bolts, and then try to rivet it all back together again. Yikes! I did however persevere and was able to get the backing plate installed. Done? Hardly! Next I had to cut the extension rod down to size. Anybody remember the term measure twice cut once? I know what you are thinking right now....no I did not cut it too short. I actually cut the rod about 6 times a little shorter each time until it fit because there was no darned way I could get a ruler in the opening to do the actual measurements. Not to mention I had to do all this while standing on my head inside the cockpit! No, there are no pictures of that...
Oh yea, while I had the top un-riveted I decided to go ahead and cut the holes where the flap switch and the fuel pump switch will go. I sure hope I got the correct size because I still haven't even ordered the switches!
|Here you can see the fuel valve mounted and the two holes I cut for the rocker/paddle switches. Those switches should be accessible while I have my hand on the throttle.|
|Here I am beginning the process of fitting the switch panel bar for the instrument panel to the center console.|
|Remember I mentioned something about standing on my head in the cockpit? Well this is the view, albeit right side up, that I had while trying to measure and cut that purple rod in there. Its hard to see in this picture but its the round thing that goes up and down between the three holes.|
|And here is how things looked when I knocked off Saturday evening. The switch panel is fitted to the center console but I have to drill the reinforcement angle that is attached to the back of the switch panel and bolts to the center console. You can see the angle clamped to the top of the console in the picture above with the center rod visible.|
|And here is the panel after all day Sunday work. There is a lot of work that went into getting this far including riveting some brackets, installing platenuts, fabricating angle, and a ton of other small details. Oh, I also cut the pilot control stick down by the same amount the Tosten grips increase it by. In this picture the grip is installed but not tightened down.|