So you remember several months ago I showed you a picture of the nice new plenum I had purchased from Sam James? I re-posted the picture below that shows the plenum in all its glory sitting on the fuselage of the airplane. Well this weekend I decided it was time to get the plenum fitted to the baffles. I figured that the quality and attention to detail that went into the cowling should be true for the plenum as well, right? Well let me tell you that it is not even in the same class. The plenum does not even come close to being usable as it is. So, I have read in a couple of other builder blogs about how others had the same issues but I (incorrectly) assumed that the product would improve with time (as the cowling has). Wrong. I have rarely seen such poor quality in an aviation related product. It is not even remotely of the same quality and workmanship that the cowling and induction system are. Will James (North Shop) makes the cowling and induction system and I have commented a couple of times in the past about how much I enjoyed working with him. He has been extremely helpful and his products are top notch quality. Sam James (South Shop), maker of the plenum, is very experienced, knowledgeable and a joy to listen to during his composite forums at Oshkosh. So I expected a lot from his products. Let me show you in pictures what I dealt with all weekend long.
|Here the plenum is after I had made my first cut to get it to fit. Note that I chose to make this cut because the form of the plenum did not fit my engine block (the one it was designed for).
|Ok, yet another round of cutting on the plenum here. As you can see I have pretty much removed the entire front center section.
|Here are a few of the pieces I had to cut off the plenum.
|I'm not sure what to think of this. See that dark reddish spot? Well, its a pool of the epoxy or gel-coat.
|Ok, final picture in my rant post.... This is my way of forming a lip that will seal against my forward baffle material. This grey stuff is clay that I am molding and will lay some fiberglass over to form the lip.