Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving week fun

Yep this week was Thanksgiving and what a week it was.  Lots of family, friends and even a few days of nice weather (and our first snow of the year).  For Thanksgiving we had all four kids over plus a couple of refugee's (Jared and Alex).  Amy's mom and Button came along to make for a great evening of food and fun.

I had hoped to get a bit more done over the long holiday weekend but as is normal I ran into a few bumps in the road.  The work that did get done this week started with the throttle and mixture cable mount brackets.   The following series of photo's show the progress of that project.  It started with me fabricating a few different shapes in aluminum and when I found the shape that I liked the best I then changed to mild steel for the actual brackets.  What you see below is the steel bracket work.

Here the mixture cable bracket is installed and the cable hooked up.  Its only temporary but it allowed me to make sure the bracket I fabricated would hold the cable tightly yet allow full range of motion.

In this picture you can see the throttle cable bracket.
Here they are after sand-blasting and ready for powder coating.

Powder coating complete and ready for installation.
And finally the cables are installed.  I have some of the correct bolts on order to complete this install but at least this is a big item off of my checklist.

The next project was the oil separator drain into the exhaust.  I drilled the hole, had it welded, and re-installed the exhaust.

The weld is complete.  

And its installed

Another picture of the installation with check valve.

I started working on the aileron push-rod fuselage seals.

This is the rip stop material that I had to cut and sew...yes sew, with Amy's sewing machine.  The big end gets glued to an aluminum ring that gets screwed to the fuselage.  The small end gets tie wrapped to the aileron push rods.  This prevents cold air from the wing traveling into the cockpit.

Next on the agenda is the center console.  About 2 months ago I ordered a vinyl cover for it.  I got that cover last week and when I went to install it I found that it did not fit.  I guess I shouldn't have been surprised because there have been numerous issues with the console that I have had to overcome but I really want it so I will make it work.  Anyway back to the console.  I decided to pull the stitches out of the cover Abby sent me and then glue the vinyl to the sides as a start.  That way I can install the console in the airplane and work on some of the other items on the list...namely the throttle quadrant.  Next up on the list for the console is a cover for the top.  My current plan is to make one out of carbon fiber which I think will look great but I first have to build a form to do the layup.

There is a pretty heavy shadow here but you can see that I was successful in gluing the vinyl to the console.  I am actually pretty please with how it has turned out so far.  Once I get the layup form fit tested I can go ahead and install the throttle quadrant.

So I have been doing some reading online about people who use the PMag ignition system.  Turns out that there is a very strong group recommendation that those using the PMags should also use an instrument called the EICommander.  It allows the pilot to have finer control over the ignition curve which in turn makes the airplane more efficient in varied flight environments.  Namely high altitude flight is of interest to me.  It also has a few other nice features that will be important during the break-in period on this newly overhauled engine.  Anyway I ordered and installed the EICommander which required my to remove the pilot side instrument panel...again, drill another 5 holes in it and install the EICommander.  Oh, I also had to re-wire the PMags.

Just a picture of the right PMag with the new wires installed.  Keep in mind that I am doing all this re-wiring in the area between the engine and the firewall.  It's kinda like trying to do it while standing on your head and working behind your back!

Here is the EICommander in the instrument panel.  I had to order some bolts for it but I had a couple that I could use to temporarily hold it in place while I wire it up.
 On Sunday I spent most of the day wiring up the EI Commander and doing some "smoke" testing of the ignition system.  I still have a problem with the right PMag ignition not showing up on the EI Commander but the ignition itself seems to be working correctly.  As part of the the testing I also was able to test out the newly installed CO monitor.  Turns out I had a pin wrong and ended up having to rewire the DB9 connector on it.  I am happy I did because I had run out of the crimp pin DB9 backshells when I originally installed it so I ended up using the solder on kind.  Those are probably ok but it sure makes it easy to work with when I use the crimp pin type so I swapped the soldered connector for the crimp pin.