Project Log - December, 2003 
 Home

 Project News
 January 20, 2021

 Project Log

 Empennage
  Horizontal Stabilizer
  Vertical Stabilizer
  Rudder
  Elevators
  Rudder II

 Wing Kit
  Wings
  Fuel Tanks
  Ailerons
  Flaps

 Fuselage Kit
  Bulkheads
  Aft Section
  Foreward Section
  Top Fuselage
  Cabin

 Finish
  Canopy
  Cowling
  Electrical

 Firewall Forward
  Fuel System
  Engine
  Baffles
  Misc

 Miscellaneous
  Fiberglass
  Assembly
  Panel
  Finishing Up!

 FAQ
 Project Notes
 Project Summary
 Guestbook
 Other Stuff



  
December, 2003

December 1, 2003 - 0.5 hours
All I did tonight was fiberglass over the cut in the top cowling.

I fiberglassed the inside of the top cowling.

December 2, 2003 - 1 hours
I sanded off the bondo that was holding the top cowling together and then I mixed up a batch of SuperFil and filled the crack.

After removing the popcycle stick and sanding off the Bondo I have a crack to fill.

December 2, 2003 - 3 hours
I still hadn't ever gotten around to finishing the brake installation on the main gear. So I spent some time tonight getting all the parts made and putting the rest of the main gear parts together.

December 3, 2003 - 4 hours
Sanded the filler that I put in the cut on the top cowling. Drilled the top cowling to the hinge at the firewall and started fitting the bottom cowling.

It's hard to tell from this picuture but there is some Super-fil in the crack that has been sanded nicely. I am really happy with how this turned out.

The top cowling half is clecoed to the hinges at the firewall.

Another shot of the top cowling, also the oil filler door cutout.

December 4, 2003 - 3 hours
Drilled the hinges that attach the bottom half of the cowling to the bottom of the fuselage and started fitting and sanding the bottom cowling half. I put a little bit more filler up front where I had to cut the top cowling.

It took a while but I think I am finally happy with the fit between the two cowling halves.

December 5, 2003 - 3 hours
I trimmed the back of the lower cowling half and drilled the bottom of the cowling to the hinges. I spent a lot of time fitting and sanding.

The bottom of the cowling is held on by hinges as well. Some say these will break easliy and I guess if they do then I'll replace them with screws then.

The fix that I did on the top cowling has caused the cooling air openings to be misaligned. The great thing about fiberglass is things like this can be fixed fairly easily.

December 6, 2003 - 3.5 hours
More sanding on the bottom half of the cowling and I managed to get the hinges on the side drilled.

The bottom half of the cowling is drilled to the side hinges.

December 7, 2003 - 3.2 hours
I think I managed to install and remove the top cowling a hundred times today, but I think they fit pretty well. I drilled one of the hinges along the horizontal seam to the bottom cowling half.

Here you can see the Duck (Yes Duck) tape that I used to hold the two halves together while drilling the hinges.

December 8, 2003 - 1.75 hours
Finished drilling the hinges along the seam between the top and bottom halves.

The last of the hinges on the cowling are drilled.

December 8, 2003 - 2.2 hours
Started on the engine cooling baffles. I managed to get the four pieces that make up the side walls trimmed and fitted.

Here are the side baffles pretty well fit to the engine.

December 9, 2003 - 1.75 hours
Worked on the rear baffles a little bit. The one on the left doesn't fit well at all and I am having a hard time figuring out exactly how it is supposed to go in there.

The rear baffle meets the flange near the motor mount at an angle. If I trim it around the motor mount I will have to take off a lot of material. I think I'll just build a small, tapered spacer for that thing.

December 10, 2003 - 3 hours
Finished trimming the left rear bulkhead and started on the right inlet floor.

December 11, 2003 - 0.5 hours
Smeared some Super-fill on the top cowling to help fix the misalignment.

I am building up the gap on top cowling half with Super-Fill. I'll put a little glass cloth over it after I get it shaped to give it some strength.

December 11, 2003 - 1.2 hours
Drilled holes in the axles for the cotter pins, and installed the brake calipers.

Here is an outside view of the finished wheel.

The brakes are installed and safetied.

December 11, 2003 - 3 hours
I worked on the right front inlet some more and once I had it all drilled I started working on the right one.

December 12, 2003 - 3.5 hours
More trimming and tweaking on the baffles.

December 13, 2003 - 4 hours
Still more trimming and tweaking on the baffles. I have most of the forward right part trimmed and I am starting on the left side. I'll have a lot of riveting to do once I get them all to fit right.

December 15, 2003 - 2 hours
I'm pretty much finished fitting the front parts of the baffles. Now all I need to do is get the back parts tweaked and then I can start trimming them to fit the top cowling.

This is the left front inlet area.

Here you can see the reinforcement plate where the two front sections bolt to the crankcase bracket.

Right front inlet area.

December 16, 2003 - 2 hours
Finished trimming the rear baffle parts so that they would fit just right over the top of the engine. I drilled the hole in the rear baffle sections to the crankcase bracket. I also added a piece of angle to the right rear section instead of the bent flange that comes with the part.

This is the left rear baffle section. You can see the little spacer that I made.

The original part had a bent flange here, but it did not fit well so I cut it off and replaced it with this piece of angle.

This is a picture of how the right rear baffle bolts to the crankcase. It doesn't fit real well I may cut it off and make my own.

December 20, 2003 - 1.4 hours
Started trimming the baffles to fit the top cowling.

I used some scrap that had evenly spaced holes to hold the top cowling above the bottom cowling a fixed amount. I think this is about 1 1/2"

While I had the top cowling spaced above the bottom cowling I reached in everywhere I could and put these little posterboard pointers all around. Now all I have to do is to measure down 1 1/2" from the tips of these pointers and that should give me a line that is pretty close to the bottom surface of the top cowling. It worked okay, but I still had a lot of trimming to do.

December 21, 2003 - 7 hours
I just about have the baffles trimmed to fit the cowling now. They still need a little tweaking in the area around the inlets though and I am right at 3/8" all the way around so I may have to carve on them a little bit more.

December 21, 2003 - 0.7 hours
I discovered that I need to have the inlet ducts epoxied to the cowling before I can finish fitting the baffles so I went ahead and did that so they cure overnight.

December 22, 2003 - 2 hours
Trimmed on the inlet ducts of the top cowling to get them to fit the baffles. I couldn't decide whether to trim the cowling or the baffles so I trimmed the cowling to see how that works out. If not it's easier to add fiberglass than to add aluminum. I also did some more work on those areas of the top cowl that have to be enlarged to fit the bottom. I layed a couple of layers of glass cloth over the filler that I had put on previously.

Here is a shot of the inlet duct epoxied to the top cowling.

I sanded the filler down until it was smaller than it needs to be to fit the bottom cowling

This is a really bad picture of two layers of glass BID layed over the filler on the top cowling.

While I was at it I decided that if these things were supposed to smooth the airflow into the cowling the joints may as well be smooth. I like this Super-Fill stuff.

December 23, 2003 - 1.1 hours
Spent most of the evening scratching my head. I am having trouble figuring out how to seal the baffles to the inlet ducts. I think I'm gonna do some more fiberglass on the ducts but for now I'm going inside to look at other's websites.

December 29, 2003 - 1.1 hours
I layed up a couple of fiberglass parts for the top cowling. I am closing off the inlet ducts.

December 30, 2003 - 1 hours
I made the other two parts of the inlet ducts tonight. I also realized that I left my digital camera in Littlefield so I am taking pictures the old fashioned way. I really wanted to show how I am closing off these inlet ducts so I will probably scan them when I get the film developed.

January 1, 2004 - 1 hours
Today I trimmed and epoxied the new inlet duct parts that I made to the top cowling. I am going to need to do a lot of filling and sanding to get them perfect but for now at least I have enough of it done so that I can finish the baffles.

January 1, 2004 - 3 hours
I spent some time fiddling with some firewall forward stuff. I am not happy with where I mounted the capacitor for the SD-8 alternator because the wiring get's in the way of removing the battery. I'll either move the capacitor or change the wiring somehow. I also moved the ground strap to the engine since it also made it impossible to remove the battery. I made a bracket for the purge valve control line that attaches to one of the engine case bolts.

January 3, 2004 - 5 hours
Trimmed the front of the baffles to fit the new inlet ducts that I glassed into the top cowling. I also riveted on most of those little mounting hole doublers and some of the reinforcement angles for the baffles.

January 4, 2004 - 5.5 hours
After getting the cowling back on after the whole adding inlet duct seals thing I decided that most of the baffles needed a little more trimming. I also cut the hole for the oil cooler and drilled the oil cooler doubler plate to the back baffle. I made some reinforcements for the oil cooler to (hopefull) keep it from cracking the back baffles.

January 8, 2004 - 2 hours
Don came over tonight and made me a beautiful prop governor oil line. The engine came with a hose that was WAY too long (It looks like was probably for an O-540), and I never liked the hose idea anyway. So since Don is one of the best instrument hands on the planet I traded him some BBQ for his skills. I am very happy with it. It's made out of 316SS 3/8x0.035 seamless tubing.

This the governor tubing that Don made for me.

Another shot of the governor line.

January 10, 2004 - 1.75 hours
Drilled the flange for the cabin heat to the baffle and riveted it on with the stainless screen.

Rear looking view of the cabin heat inlet.

This is the back of the right aft baffle where the cabin heat flange is mounted.

January 11, 2004 - 3 hours
Started fitting the rubber baffle seal material to the baffles. I also made the hose for the return fuel line and drilled the hole in the baffle for it to pass through.

This is the doubler plate for oil cooler.

This is the fuel inlet to the AFP purge valve. The other end of this hose is the outlet of the fuel servo.

The seal material is going on quite nicely. This is trickier than I thought it would be but it's not so bad.

The grommet in the rear baffle is where the purge line will pass through on it's way to the bulkhead fitting on the firewall.

January 12, 2004 - 1 hours
Put on some more baffle seal material.

January 13, 2004 - 1 hours
Riveted the baffle seal material on the front left baffle.

January 14, 2004 - 1.5 hours
Riveted the rear left baffle sections together and started cutting the baffle seal material.

February 9, 2004 - 2 hours
Finished the hose that connects the AFP purge valve to the firewall bulkhead. I also managed to get the oil cooler installed.

This is the end of the AFP purge hose that I made. It took me a while to figure out that hose clamp but a pair of vice grips and a small crescent wrench did the trick.

Left side view of the oil cooler.

Here you can see how the hoses are routed to the oil cooler.

February 12, 2004 - 3 hours
Still working on the rubber seal material for the baffles.

February 14, 2004 - 1.5 hours
Riveted the seal material to the bottom cowling half. I think the baffles are finished but I am going to wait a little before I install them permanently just in case I need to take them off for some reason.

This is how I intend to secure the hinge pin along the side of the bottom cowling.

The rubber on the bottom cowling. I may cut some of the excess off, but I want to see how if fits.

This shows the detail of how I backed up the rivets holding the seal material to the bottom cowling.

February 14, 2004 - 4.5 hours
Started finishing up the cowling work. I countersunk all the rivet holes, deburred all the rivet holes and started riveting the hinges on with some epoxy/microballoons slury to help smooth out the rough spots.

February 15, 2004 - 0.6 hours
I mixed up another batch of microballoons and epoxy and riveted on a couple more hinges to the bottom cowling. One more session and I should have the hinges on the cowling halves.

February 17, 2004 - 1 hours
Finished riveting the hinges to the bottom cowling half and smeared another coat of Superfil on the top cowling half to try and get the front to fit together better.

February 19, 2004 - 1.75 hours
I got a little carried away with the microballoons on some of the hinges and the cowlings didn't want to fit together very well. So I scrapped a little bit between the hinge eyelets to get them to fit better. It is much better but I should not have put so much on. I did a little sanding and mixed up some more Superfil and put it on the inlet ducts to get them nice and smooth.

February 21, 2004 - 1.5 hours
Fiddled with the cowling some more. I really made a mess of those hinges with the micro / epoxy mix.

February 22, 2004 - 2.5 hours
Still messing with the cowling. I managed to get it to the point where it fits together okay. The hinge pins are still a little hard to install but they'll loosen up. Now I am just trying to get the inlets on the front to look just right, and hide all the rivets. So there is some fiberglass and filler in my future.

February 22, 2004 - 2.6 hours
I never finished up the covers that go over all the AFP fuel system stuff in the floor. I really got it all messed up with the fuel flow transducer, so today I spent some time putting it back together so that I can get it finished. I started making a fiberglass cover for the fuel line and fuel flow transducer. I decided that I could make it look better with fiberglass than I could with aluminum.

I made a real mess of the floor cover when I installed the FlowScan fuel flow transducer for my EIS 4000

I decided to make a mold out of a piece of PVC Bondoed to a piece of wood.

I used wax paper as a mold release. This works well as long as there are no compound curves.

Put some Peel Ply over the layups to make sure that it will be nice and smooth when cured. (Append: This thing wound up being too small so I am going to have to make another one but I don't have the right size pipe. It turned out really good otherwise)

February 24, 2004 - 1 hours
More sanding and filling on the front of the cowling. It's coming along slowly but it's getting there.

February 24, 2004 - 1 hours
Fiddled with the fuel flow transducer cover that I made and it turns out that it is too small. Back to the drawing board.

February 26, 2004 - 1.6 hours
More sanding, more filling on the cowling.

February 28, 2004 - 1.8 hours
More sanding / filling on the cowling. I also fiddled around with the baffles a little bit.

February 29, 2004 - 5 hours
I need to get the firewall arrangement sorted out so I started installing as much of that stuff as I can. I figure that the wiring will be the easiest to route around stuff so I want the controls and hoses to be installed before I get too carried away with wiring. I spent today installing the fuel servo and the throttle, prop and mixture controls. The throttle control I bought requires a smaller hole than what I had drilled so I had to make another mounting plate, then I ran the prop control to the governor since this was the one that really had me worried since it runs right past the oil cooler hoses and the spark plug wires on the left mag. The prop cable fits like a glove but when I put the throttle and mixture cables in I realized that they were probably too long. I'll play with them later to see if I can make them fit better but I may re-order them.

I temporarily mounted the engine controls to the panel so that I could get a feel for whether they were all going to work or not.

I was a little worried about how the governor control was going to make it's way past the oil cooler line and the mag. It looks like it was meant to go there.

Another shot of the governor control cable going past the oil cooler line.

Here is the throttle side of the AFP fuel servo. I just clamped the brackets together just to see how it would fit. I may get a new throttle cable.

The mixture side of the fuel servo looks the same except different. It doesn't fit well at all, that bracket has to be at an angle to line up the cable properly which makes me think that I messed up placing the hole in the firewall, but if I move the hole over then the engine mount will be in the way.

I decided that there needs to be a spring return on the AFP purge valve. If the control cable ever was to come loose it would be possible for this valve to shut the engine down. The spring pulls the valve to the R position which runs the fuel into the divider.

March 1, 2004 - 1.7 hours
I made the little bracket to mount the mixture cable to the fuel servo. Rerouted the mixture and throttle controls to try and get them to fit better. Ran the control cable for the AFP purge valve.

March 2, 2004 - 1.4 hours
Prepred the holes where the cowling hinges and firewall attach to the fuselage for riveting.

March 3, 2004 - 1.75 hours
Riveted the cowling attach hinges, forward fuselage and firewall flanges together. Also spent some time sanding on the cowling.

The forward fuselage is riveted to the cowling attach hinges

When I was home for Christmas I got my Dad to help me make this bucking bar. It made getting in that tight area between the hinges and the engine mount real easy. Thanks Pa, it worked GREAT!

March 9, 2004 - 3 hours
I can't believe it took me 3 hours to install a few nutplates but these things are a pain when they are on the firewall. I managed to get the nutplates for the inside cover, the oil pressure line and the crankcase vent line drilled I got most of them installed and I noticed that I had used nuts to install the sender manifold. That will never do, so I put some nutplates there too. I also put the pipe fittings in the sender manifold for the oil pressure and fuel pressure. I almost got it installed again when I realized that I had installed the wrong nutplate on one of them. One day I'll learn to go to bed when I get tired.

This is where the crankcase vent line attaches to the engine.

The vent tube runs down the firewall just to the pilots side of the governor recess

Here is the fuel pressure line attaching to the fuel pump.

March 11, 2004 - 0.7 hours
Replaced that nutplate behind the sender manifold, mounted the manifold and attached the hoses.

The manifold is mounted and the oil pressure (top) and fuel pressure (bottom) hoses are attached.

March 12, 2004 - 0.6 hours
Bondo'd the new piece of PVC pipe to a board for the new improved (read larger) cover for the fuel flow transducer.

March 13, 2004 - 3.5 hours
Today I put the cowling back on so that I could figure out how much room I had for the EGT probes and wires and I while it was there I decided to install the little brass tubes where the hinge pins are going to run to secure the top and bottom half of the cowling together. Mine is going to run back into the cabin through two small brass tubes (bought at the hobby store) to the forward bulkhead. I managed to get both tubes JB Welded to the fuselage side and it seems to work pretty well. It is tight but I expect that it'll loosen up over time.

Here is the small brass tube that will guide my cowling attach hinge pins through the firewall.

After the initial little spot was cured I marked and drilled the hole.

It's not pretty from the inside but you can't see any evidence of hinge pin anywhere on the outside.

March 13, 2004 - 0.4 hours
Layed a couple of layers of fiberglass on the mold for the cover.

March 14, 2004 - 4 hours
I pulled the exhaust and drilled the holes for the EGT probes. I installed the bayonet fittings for the CHT probes and then installed the the exhaust, EGT prbes and CHT probes. I also put the oil temperature sensor in oil filter adapter.

Here is a horrible picture of the bayonet fitting for one of the CHT probes.

This is a better picture of the CHT fitting after the thermocouple has been installed.

This is the EGT probe on the #2 cylinder.

March 14, 2004 - 0.5 hours
I pulled the cowling off and finished bolting the baffles to the engine.

This is how the bottom of the baffles are tied together. It's just 030 safety wire run through a couple of washers.

I added a little bit of support to the rear baffle in the hope that it would help keep the baffles from cracking around the oil cooler mount.

March 15, 2004 - 1.5 hours
Pulled the new piece out of the mold for the fuel flow transducer cover, and fit it between the firewall and the AFP pump cover.

March 27, 2004 - 3 hours
I finished the second cover for the fuel lines. It fits pretty good. I also made a template for the armrests. I want padded armrests so I am going to cut some model airplane plywood to fit the armrests so the upholster has something to staple / glue the fabric too.

Transducer cover number two. This one fits much better. I thought about making it bulge on the front to cover the small opening that I made for the fuel line, but when the thing is installed it is not nearly as noticeable as it is here.

March 27, 2004 - 1 hours
Started working on the little oir filler access door in the cowling.

Once I got the little oil filler access door to fit I duct taped it to the cowling so it wouldn't go anywhere.

March 28, 2004 - 2 hours
Finished working on the oil filler door. I think I will wait to rivet it, at least until I decide how best to paint the thing. After I got that done I went ahead and mixed some thinned microballons / epoxy and smeared it on the top cowling to help fill the pin holes.

I used some hinges from McMaster Carr that will stay hidden and a Hartwell latch for the oil filler door.

This is what the door looks like from the outside.

The thickness of the door is less than the cowling and it was causing the door to bulge a little bit. I needed a little bit more shim between the hinges and the door so I used this piece of angle. It should make the whole thing a little stiffer too.

March 28, 2004 - 2 hours
Started work on the spinner. The first step was to get the spark plugs out of the engine so I could turn it over safely. Then turning the prop over and over to check that the spinner turns true, with no wobble.

The high tech way to get the spinner true.

March 29, 2004 - 1 hours
I sanded on the cowling a little bit. Also did some more work on the spinner. Still trying to get it lined up just perfect. I have had to sand a little bit of the inside.

April 1, 2004 - 1.5 hours
More work on the spinner.

April 3, 2004 - 4.5 hours
Made the gap covers for the spinner and finished up all the drilling and riveting of the nutplates on the spinner. There are 22 screws holding that thing on. That is a lot of holes. The spinner is finished except for paint.

This is what the gap cover looks like before riveting.

A trick to these K1000-8 nutplates is too leave the screw hole #30 and use the nutplate itself as the pattern and then drill the screw hole out to #19. This is the front bulkhead for the spinner.

Here is the finished spinner. I can't wait to see it turning.

April 4, 2004 - 5 hours
Removed the prop and stored it away. I will probably wait until the airplane is at the hangar to put it back on. I had to go back and fix something that I missed on the baffle. The rear left part of the baffle needs to have an added piece of angle reinforcement when using the baffle mount oil cooler like I am. This was pointed out to me by a couple of guys through email. BTW thanks guys for the notes and if anybody else sees something in these pictures that could be a problem, please don't think that I will be offended if you point them out to me. That is part of the reason that I have this website.

This is the angle reinforcement that I had to redo. On the baffle. The seal material really doesn't look that bad, I promise.

April 4, 2004 - 0.75 hours
Cut out the wood for the arm rests. I couldn't find the thickness that I wanted so I cut two pieces of 1/16" model airplane plywood and then sandwiched a piece of fiberglass between them with epoxy resin.

April 5, 2004 - 1.5 hours
Finished the armrest upholstry backing. I drilled three holes through each of them to the armrests. Then I riveted nutplates to them so that I can attach them after the foam and upholstry are on.

I made the armrest backing out of some model plywood and fiberglass. The three black spots are the nutplates.

April 5, 2004 - 0.5 hours
I still needed to safety wire the bottom of the new baffle piece on so I did that.

April 6, 2004 - 0.2 hours
Shannon took the arm rest backs to the upholstry shop and they were through with the seats. So I reinstalled the seat backs and tried out the new seat cushions.

Yes I made airplane noises.

April 15, 2004 - 1.5 hours
Worked on mounting the Hall Effect current sensors and re mounted the capacitor for the SD-8 alternator. Replaced my 10 slot main buss fuse block with a 20 slot version. 10 was going to work but it was going to leave me with no spares, so I now have a 20 slot fuse block for both the e-buss and the main buss.

April 16, 2004 - 4 hours
I finished mounting the the current sensors. Cut a hole and installed a snap bushing for the wires to go through the firewall on the right side of the plane. I piddled around with some of the smaller wires on the contactors. I also worked on the control cable brackets.

This is the hall effect current sensor for my GRT EIS 4000 engine monitor.

This is the current sensor for the SD-8 backup alternator.

I installed a small plastic snap bushing for the wires on the right side of the aiplane to pass. I'll eventually fill this with high temp RTV.

April 16, 2004 - 3 hours
Still cutting square holes in the panel. I also got the spots laid out for the round holes so that I can borrow that instrument hole punch from Marshall. Drilled the holes for the switches.

April 17, 2004 - 5 hours
Finished and remounted the control cable mounts. Installed the exhaust mounts, and while I was at it I put the cabin heat muff on. I had forgotten about the cabin heat muff and had an interference issue that I had to work out. Those exhaust mounts were far more difficult that I thought they would be and I advise everybody to do it earlier in the process than I did.

This is the finished throttle cable bracket. I had the throttle cable there temporarily just to make sure everything would work.

It's hard to get a shot of the mixture cable bracket but here it is.

Left side exhaust mount.

Left side of the crossover exhaust mount

Right side exhaust mount bracket.

Right side exhaust mount

This is the cabin heat muff.

April 19, 2004 - 2 hours
I had to cut the adjustment arm down on the alternator. This is the long arm with the curved slot in it that allows you to adjust the belt tension. It was too long and with the correct belt installed I couldn't get the bolt in, so I drilled another hole in it on the end that mounts to the engine and cut the old hole off. I went ahead and mounted the alternator and then spent some time tidying up some of the wires on the engine. I also started working on the alternator blast tube.

The alternator is finally in it's permanent home

I used an Adel clamp, clamped to the governor oil like to secure the alternator and thermocouple wires.

April 20, 2004 - 0.75 hours
Finished the alternator blast tube.

I decided to put in a blast tube for the main alternator. It is internally regulated and doesn't have a fan so I wanted to get some air on the diodes and the regulator.

May 11, 2004 - 3.5 hours
Finally started working on the panel. I started by building the map box and cutting the hole in the panel.

May 14, 2004 - 1.5 hours
Spent some time on the map box. The panel hole wasn't quit big enough and needed to be enlarged.

May 15, 2004 - 4 hours
Worked on the structure around the sub panel for the map box and started cutting square holes in the panel for radios.

This is the map box hole with the map box clecoed on.

The sub panel has to be cut and reinforced where the map box passes through.

The first square hole I cut was for the MP3 player.

This is a shot of some of the parts that I have to find a place for in the panel. It's all so very exciting.

The transponder and the comm fit quite nicely.

This is the EIS 4000 Engine monitor.

Another shot of the transponder and comm

The beginnings of how I am going to secure the radio tray in the back.

May 22, 2004 - 0.5 hours
Marshall called and asked if I wanted to fly to Brenham and have lunch. After we flew all over SE Texas looking at airplanes I got a chance to borrow that instrument hole punch and we knocked out the holes for my Dynon, Tru-Trak and my EI fuel gauge. It's hard to believe that is all the round holes that I have but that's it.

May 23, 2004 - 2 hours
I drilled the screw holes for the round instruments with my trusty instrument hole jig. I also laid out where I wanted to put the AOA indicator. Oh and went sailing too.

This jig is used to drill the four mounting holes around either standard sized instrument hole.

I just couldn't resist mounting the D-10, the autopilot and the fuel gauge just to see what they looked like.

May 24, 2004 - 2.1 hours
Cut the hole for the AOA indicator. I also punched the hole for the 25-pin D-sub connector that I may use on the control stick wiring. The more I think about this the less I like the idea though.

At first I thought I would drill a hole in the sub panel for the pitot static lines to pass through and this was how I was going to mark the holes but after I tried the elbows, I decided that they would work well enough, so I never drilled the holes.

This is the Proprietary Software Systems Angle of Attack indicator.

I am thinking of using a 25-pin D-sub for the Inifinity stick grip functions. This is a D-dub punch that I borrowed from work.

The punch makes a perfect hole for a D-sub connector. Now I am thinking I might rather put a terminal strip here instead.

June 5, 2004 - 2 hours
Cut the holes in the panel for the trim indicators

June 6, 2004 - 3 hours
Built another throttle / mixture / prop cable mount for the panel. I also drilled holes in each side of the panel for the parking brake cable (pilot side) and cabin heat cable (wife side).

June 7, 2004 - 1 hours
Cut the holes in the panel for the Matronics trim controls. Also layed out the holes for the intercom.

June 12, 2004 - 2.5 hours
Finished cutting the last of the holes in the panel and riveted the map box on. I put a coat of primer on it all.

The panel has all the holes it's gonna get. Nothing to do now except paint it.

June 13, 2004 - 4 hours
Sanded the panel again and put another coat of primer on it. After that coat set up I wet sanded it and put a coat of black paint on it. I think I'll put one more coat on it and then see how it looks. While paint was drying I mounted the Lightspeed EI module, and started trying to figure out where I am going to run those wires. I also removed the canopy and started taking stuff out of the cabin so that I can get a coat of paint in there.

June 14, 2004 - 1.5 hours
Removed the canopy rails, the seats, seat backs, air vents, fuel vents, the sticks and all kinds of really small pieces of aluminum from the cabin in anticipation of putting a coat of paint in there. The wife and I decided that the primer grey color just wouldn't do.

June 19, 2004 - 2.5 hours
Finished assembling the panel. It's really exciting and now if I only had the cabin painted I could install it and start wiring.

Here is the painted panel and I have started assembling it.

I used a Brother P-Touch 2600 Label Maker to make these labels and used a piece of masking tape to help me keep them straight. The great thing about the 2600 is that it can be connected to a PC and you can do whatever you want with the labels.

Instead of drilling holes in the panel for the anti-rotation rings on the switches I made these little plates. The switches go through the plates and then through the panel. It worked okay but it would have been better if I had thought of this before I drilled the panel. I had to tweak them a little to get the alignment just right.

Here is the left side of the panel. There is a pretty big glare from the flash but you can see what's what.

And here is the wife side of the panel.

The only thing missing at this point is the annunciator and a few labels.

Here is the annunciator that I made. It is basically some LED's behind a photo negative that is behind a piece of tinted plexiglass.

I could not get a good picture of what the annunciator looks like with all the indicators lit up. It does not look like this. First they are crystal clear and second I wouldn't be caught dead with anything orange in my airplane. (Being an Aggie and all). They are LED red. You'll just have to get me to push the test button at a flyin sometime. Trust me it looks really cool. And special thanks to my Aunt Terri for shooting the negative for me.

Lots of room behind my solid state panel. You can see my home grown annunicator with the AOA indicator between it and the Dynon which is the long black cylinder.

June 26, 2004 - 2.5 hours
Started sanding all the covers and stuff that I removed from the cabin in anticipation of another coat of primer. The grey epoxy primer that I had in there will cure and not accept a topcoat after a few days so I have to sand it and put another coat of primer on then the paint.

June 27, 2004 - 4.5 hours
Finished sanding and cleaning all of the interior parts. I also managed to get the primer and paint on them all. This is the first that I have seen of the colors that Shannon picked out and I must say I really like them.

June 28, 2004 - 1 hours
Started sanding the inside of the cabin to get it ready for paint.

June 29, 2004 - 1.5 hours
Finished sanding the cabin.

July 1, 2004 - 1 hours
Vacuumed out the cabin and started masking stuff off.

July 3, 2004 - 6.3 hours
Finished masking off the airplane and covering up all the things in the shop that I did not want to get painted. I cleaned everything and sprayed the primer and paint on the cabin. It turned out pretty good. I wouldn't be too happy with that kind of finish on the outside of the plane but for the cabin it will be okay.

The airplane goes in the plastic wrap again.

It sure seems like I have done this before.

It's hard to tell the exact color but you can see that it looks much better than the battleship gray primer.

July 4, 2004 - 2.5 hours
I took the panel into my mad scientist lab and tried to get everything wired that I could on the bench before taking it outside to mount in the plane.

July 5, 2004 - 0.5 hours
I decided that I wasn't going to be able to get all the wire bundles to look like I want without having the panel in the airplane, so I moved all the tools and the panel out of the mad scientist lab and into the airplane factory. I mounted the panel in the plane with clecos.

The cool factor rises sharply as the panel goes in.

July 5, 2004 - 3.5 hours
I spent a little time today finishing up a few details that I wanted to get done and couldn't until the panel was in. I made the new throttle and mixture cable brackets. The old ones were made from 062 angle and I wasn't sure they'd stand up to the vibration. I replaced them with 0.125 angle. I also fixed the cabin heat muff. It was loose on the exhaust after tightening the hose clamps all the way. Then I mounted the throttle/prop/mixture/purge controls under the instruent panel and ran the cables through the firewall. I wanted to have those installed before getting too carried away on wiring. Wires are easy to route around control cables but control cables aren't so easy to route around wires.

This is where the mixture (left) and throttle (right) cables go through the fuel pump / cabin heat cover. This photo makes it look like those are really sharp bends but they are not as bad as it looks.

This picture shows the throttle cable coming through the firewall, and attaching to the AFP servo.

July 6, 2004 - 2.4 hours
Finished up the control cable support bracket that attaches the control cables to the sub panel. Started running wires. I had to punch a few holes and I think I spent more time scratching my head trying to figure out where the wires are going to go than I did running wires.

July 7, 2004 - 1.75 hours
Spent most of the evening soldering really small wires to the back of the intercom.

July 8, 2004 - 3.2 hours
I have to leave to go offshore later today so I decided to piddle around with the plane some. I mounted the GRT manifold pressure transducer to the sub-panel and finally got around to installing the bulkhead fitting and the hose to the manifold pressure port on the engine. I tubed up the line to both the manifold pressure sensor and the Lightspeed electronic ignition. I cut some more holes in the firewall for the electronic ignition cables as well as some other wires.

I took this picture of the Manifold Pressure sensore because the way I'm mounting it this sticker will be covered up and I need those numbers to calibrate it.

Here you can see the hose going from the manifold pressure port on cylinder #3 to the bulkhead fitting.

This is a shot of the Lightspeed Electronic Ignition box and the manifold pressure sensor for the GRT EIS-4000 engine monitor.

July 21, 2004 - 3.5 hours
Connected the Mixture, Governor and Purge control cables to the AFP and prop governor. Reinstalled the fuel tank vents (hopefully this will be the last time). I also started scratching my head trying to figure out the best way to get the cabin heat control cable through the firewall without interfering with too much stuff. The jury is still out.

July 24, 2004 - 2.5 hours
Started working on mounting the magnetic sensor for the Dynon D-10.

July 25, 2004 - 6.5 hours
Finished mounting the Mag sensor and pulled all the wire to wire it up. Also finished all the power wiring to the Dynon. Finished wiring up the Lightspeed Electronic ignition and the strobe power supply stuff as well.

I made a couple of little U-brackets out of stiffener material. They have to be at an angle because the magnetic sensor needs to be in the same orientation as the EFIS. And the panel is at an 8° tilt from the rest of the plane.

Here you can see the Dynon OAT probe. This will allow the EFIS to display OAT, True Airspeed and Density Altitude. It's back here because the interface requires it to be wired to the magnetic sensor.

Here is the magnetic field sensor for the Dynon EFIS D-10. This thing will tell the Dynon which direction the airplane is pointed. There is a magnetometer (the technical term) inside the D-10 but the word on the street is that this works better.

And here is the final product installed complete with a space age moisture barrier. That would be a zip-lock bag and a ty-wrap.

July 27, 2004 - 1.75 hours
Mounted the brain box for the Proprietary Software Systems AOA indicator. Glued some more of those little stick on wire holders to different places on the panel.

I mounted the AOA box with some left over stringer material.

July 28, 2004 - 0.8 hours
Wired up the master contactor to the switch and turned it on. After checking that all the right voltages were going to all the right busses I checked the pins on the connector for the Dynon and then put a fuse in and turned it on.

It's Alive!!! After checking a few things I put the fuse in for the Dynon D-10 and turned it on. This is too much fun.

July 29, 2004 - 1.2 hours
Wired up the Aux feed to the essential buss. This is the switch that feeds the e-buss if the master buss is down. I also piddleed around with that cabin heat cable again.

July 31, 2004 - 5 hours
Today I built a bracket and hooked up the parking brake cable. I started wiring the AOA indicator. I also hooked up the static an pitot lines to the AOA and the Dynon. While I was in the back of the plane I pulled the rudder cables back through the cabin again.

Here you can see the static and pitot connections to the back of the Dynon. The other fitting is for the Dynon AOA which I am not using.

I made a simple bracket from some angle stock that I had around for the parking brake valve. The small brass 'knob' on the cable is just a stop to keep me from pulling the valve handle over center.

August 1, 2004 - 5.3 hours
Finished enough of the AOA wiring to power it up and see if it works. I still have to hook up the annunciator, flap switch and audio. I uploaded the latest firmware into the Dynon EFIS-D10. It worked flawlessly. I played around with the checklists a little bit. I still have some configuration to do to get it perfect but I think I'll be really happy with this box. I started wiring up the GRT EIS-4000 Engine monitor. I managed to get all of the EGT / CHT's wired as well as power and the manifold pressure sensor.

August 4, 2004 - 1.2 hours
Mounted the fuel pressure and oil pressure senders. Pulled the wires through the firewall for these senders and hooked up all but the grounds. I also hooked up the P-lead wires and pulled them through the firewall.

August 7, 2004 - 2.75 hours
Hooked the P-lead up to the switch in the cockpit. Wired the tach input to this same switch. I also put the OAT sensor for the EIS into the NACA duct on the passenger side and wired it up.

August 8, 2004 - 5 hours
Finished all the wiring on the EIS engine monitor (except the annunciator output) and powered it up. It showed a few temperatures that seemed about right but without any calibrations I really couldn't test much. It does work though. I hooked the power up to the MP3/CD player and I also installed my cargo lights, which are nothing more than those cold cathode tubes that people put inside glass cased computers to fancy them up. I mounted them under the seat-back bulkhead.

August 10, 2004 - 1.9 hours
Built a bracket under the co-pilot seat for the two relays that I will use for the flaps.

August 11, 2004 - 1.8 hours
I thought that I could get the flap wiring finished up tonight but it turned out to be a bigger job than I thought.

August 12, 2004 - 2 hours
Finally finished the flap wiring, and actually moved the flaps. It's fun to see stuff move.

These are the flap relays. The third relay gives me an indication of when the flap motor is turning so that I don't forget when I raise the flaps.

This is a shot of the wiring for the flaps and the cargo lights. The blue box is the inverter for the cold cathode tubes that I am using as cargo lights.

Here is the stick grip wiring. The D-sub on the back of the bulkhead is the machined pin type so it is easy enough to move the functions around.

August 21, 2004 - 2 hours
Finished wiring the Landing / Taxi lights. I also wired up the postition lights. I rigged up a way to test the Wig Wag flashre on the L/T lights and I don't think that I am going to be happy with it. I will probably redo it.

August 23, 2004 - 1 hours
Finished the last of the Lightspeed Electronic Ignition wiring by hooking the coax up to the coils. I then started scratching my head about where to put the headset jacks.

I used right angle Fast-on connectors for the coil wiring since the coils are so close to the baffle. I intend to watch these closely and if they show any sign of wear I'll make a new mount for the coils and move them forward. I think this will work okay because the wires have good support due to the fact that they are 3" out to the side of the coils. I may even put an adel clamp on the baffle to hold it even better.

August 24, 2004 - 1 hours
I think I may use a couple of little platic boxes from Radio Shack to put my headset jacks in. This will give the cables some support and eliminate the need to have the little isolation washers. I plan to mount them to the bottom of the sub panel.

The headset jacks fit nicely in those small ABS plastic experimenter boxes that Radio Shack sells. This will keep the jacks isolated from the metal airframe as well as offer some support for the wires.

August 25, 2004 - 2.2 hours
I drilled the holes in the sub panel for my little headset jack boxes and I finished soldering the wires to the DRE intercom connector.

This was some pretty tedious soldering. It is the connector for the DRE-244e intercom that I bought from E-bay. If you buy it from DRE it comes with a pre-made harness. DRE would have made me one but I decided that the cost was more than I was willing to spend since I am perfectly capable of doing this.

August 26, 2004 - 2.1 hours
Still soldering on the intercom wiring. I managed to get the relay done that I put in for switching com 1 to com 2. (I don't have a com 2 but I think I may expand so I put the relay in just in case.) It is a passive mixing circuit that I got from Garth at DRE. I also started soldering the wires to the headset jacks. When I screwed one up I decided that I had breathed enough lead vapor.

August 27, 2004 - 2 hours
Finished soldering the headset jacks in the little boxes and put the intercom wiring harness into the panel. I started hooking up power running the wires around to where they need to be.

You can see here why I wanted all this to be in a box. It makes it look nicer and it protects this rat's nest.

Here is the finished intercom wiring harness. You can see the two boxes that the headset jacks are in, the RCA plugs for the CD/MP3 player and the 4PDT relay that has the passive mixing and com radio switching circuit soldered to it. If I ever add a com radio to this plane I simply wire the coil of that relay to the panel switch and when the relay has power it's com 2 and otherwise it's com 1.

August 28, 2004 - 3 hours
Finished mounting the headset jack boxes under the panel, connected the CD/MP3 player to the intercom and hooked up the PTT wiring to the pilot side stick grip (co-pilot grip is in the mail). I plugged my headset in and gave them to Shannon to put on, then turned on the MP3 player. When her head started bobbing I knew it was working. Once all that was working well I hooked up the audio output of the AOA to the passive mixer circuit and it worked.

The finished headset jack box. I think I'll be happy with this and if I ever want to move the jack location I can just make some extension cables and plug them in here.

Here is my Pioneer CD/MP3 player that I bought. The pre-amp outputs are hooked up to the music input of the DRE intercom. It sounds AWESOME.

There's not much to look at on the intercom but it sure works good. The blue knobs are of my own choosing. I bought this unit from Ebay and it didn't come with knobs or a wiring harness. I am still searching for knobs that I like.

August 29, 2004 - 7.2 hours
Hooked up the flap switch to the AOA and that completes the AOA wiring. I made a plate for the comm antenna mount and Daryl came by and helped me rivet it to the plane. He also brought another headset so we could test out the intercom some more (I only have one headset). That DRE-244e works as advertised. If it works that well with all the airplane noise I'll be thrilled with it. Once I got the antenna mounted I finished all the rest of the wiring to the ICOM A-200 com radio and turned it on. Nothing :-(. Look at the drawings again, and see the text "jumpers MUST be installed" DOH!! Okay install the jumpers and try again. WHOO HOOO!! I dialed in the CTAF for West Houston and actually heard somebody in the pattern. I pushed the PTT and the TX light came on. It's all very exciting.

The com antenna is mounted just below the co-pilot's seat.

Here is the doubler plate on the inside where the com antenna mounts. Yes I got a little carried away with the rivets but it's been a while I wanted to make sure I hadn't forgot how to rivet.

August 31, 2004 - 1 hours
Tonight I worked on the Electronics International Dual Fuel Level guage. I got the power and the backlight hooked up but I am still debating on where to punch a hole in the side of the airplane for the probe wires to pass through. They can't go through the other holes because the fuel probes are forward of the spar and I ain't drillin' no holes in the spar to pass wires through.

September 8, 2004 - 1.5 hours
I replaced the Push-on/Push-off switches in my stick grip with momentary switches. I wired up the com flip-flop and memory buttons to the stick grip and started assembling the co-pilot stick grip that I bought from Ray Allen Company.

September 9, 2004 - 1.6 hours
I messed around with the little solid state flasher that I have been toying with for the last few weeks. I make a little circuit board with a microcontroller on it to drive a couple of solid state relays to flash the landing / taxi lights. I'm not real happy with the solid state flasher that I bought from B & C that clicks. Where I come from solid state stuff shouldn't click. So I made my own. It's a little bit of overkill to have a microcontroller on it but it gave me some more programming experience and it keeps the part count low on the board.

September 10, 2004 - 2.2 hours
Finished installing the little solid state lamp flasher that I made. It works pretty well. It's ugly as it can be but it works. I also managed to get power run to my autopilot and turned it on to see if it would work. It did.

This is the circuit that I made to flash the lamps. The big black things are solid state relays.

September 11, 2004 - 2.1 hours
I couldn't bring myself to do any wiring today so I piddled around 'under the hood' I reset my mixture cable according to info that I got from AFP. I don't quite have enough travel to move the mixture arm. I am talking just a little bit too short like 1/32". I had it where I got ICO but not full rich. AFP said do the opposite since I'll be killing the engine with the purge valve. I also installed the fuel pump drain line.

This is the fuel pump drain line.

September 12, 2004 - 7.5 hours
I spent most of the day installing the transponder. The Encoder wires were already installed but I put the antenna in and hooked it up and wired power and dimmer control wires to it as well as tightening up the mounting screws. It's good to see it work. I am also trying to share the GPS signal from the GPS-35 that the Tru-Trak autopilot uses so that I can get the automatic ALT / STBY functionality from the GTX-327. We'll see if that works. I had to take the panel trim switches apart and re-wire them so that they would work with my trim set-up and I installed the rear mounting screws for the comm radio. I had left them off because they were a pain and I didn't know whether I would need to take that tray out while messing with the transponder.

I put the transponder antenna on the right side of the plane right behind the firewall

Here is the antenna connector for the transponder.

The antenna connector mounts to the transponder backing plate like so.

Well it lights up. It's all so very exciting.

September 13, 2004 - 0.5 hours
Didn't feel like doing much on the project tonight, but I did remember to borrow the little 4-40 tap from work so I went ahead and put the stick grip on the right stick.

The right side control stick complette with the Ray Allen stick grip.

September 18, 2004 - 1.5 hours
Hooked up the starter circuit and Main alternator circuit.

September 19, 2004 - 3.5 hours
Today I decided to change gears a little bit and go back to work on the canopy. I had decided that I was going to do the aft skirts in fiberglass but I didn't feel like getting the epoxy out today so I put the first skirts that I made on and I've about decided that I may be able to make them work. It seems that I had the canopy too far back when I did the initial fitting so I may be able to trim them down and get them to fit. I'll work on it for a few nights and if it doesn't go my way then I'll go back to the fiberglass idea.

It doesn't look so bad. I may be able to trim this to fit.

This is as far as the canopy will close because the aft canopy skirt extends too far.

September 20, 2004 - 1.5 hours
Trimmed on the aft skirt of the canopy. I think it may work out.

September 22, 2004 - 1.6 hours
Still more trimming on the aft canopy skirts. It's looking like it will fit okay but I sure am taking a lot of material off of those skirts. I think it'll look okay when it's all said and done.

September 25, 2004 - 3.5 hours
Decided that the aft skirts weren't going to work after all. I simply have them too tight and the canopy isn't going to close until I trim the completely away. So today I started laying up fiberglass skirts. We'll see how that turns out.

I bridged the gap between the canopy and the fuselage with wax paper glued down with 3M spray adhesive. In hindsight this probably wasn't the best idea but it was the best that I had at the time.

I made a paper template of the aft canopy skirts and cut them out of a piece of 8oz cloth

And the first layup is done. There is a low spot where the wax paper sagged a little bit but I think I can fill it and make it work.

September 26, 2004 - 0.5 hours
I smeared some Super-Fil on the canopy skirs to help fill the low spot caused by the gap betweent the canopy and the fuselage.

September 26, 2004 - 1 hours
Ran the cabin heat cable through the firewall and hooked it up. I also started putting those stainless firewall penetration sheilds around the grommets where the cabin heat cable and the purge valve cable come through the firewall.

<<November, 2003  Top  January, 2004>>

Disclaimer:
This web site and the infomation contained within it are for entertainment purposes only. The opinions expressed on construction techniques are my opinions only and should not be confused with proper construction techniques. There is undoubtedly more than one way to build an airplane and some methods that I use may or may not work in any given circumstance. If there is any question please call the kit manufacturer. I love to help but I am not responsible for the misuse of any information contained on this web site.

 January 20, 2021
 Email
 Home