Monday, August 31, 2009

Working on the Engine Kit

Time to update the builders log. Started on the engine kit. Have spent three days so far. WOW, a lot to cover.

Section 45 of the plans has you mount the battery, the master relay, the starter relay, the fuel pressure sensor, the manifold pressure sensor, and the rectifier/regulator to the firewall. All went well. Had to drill out the nutplates for the F-1201S battery channel and re-rivet with the correct nutplates. The plans have changed here. Different size nutplates are required. An adapter plate is required to mount the starter relay. Ensure you follow the plans, with respect to the adapter plate. It can be attached two different ways. If you mount the adapter plate and starter relay to far right the P154 wire is NOT long enough. (Learned the hard way!!)

I am missing the firewall forward wiring harness (backorder), so I was not able to complete this section. Will complete the section after I receive the back ordered parts. It is amazing how many steps have to skipped without this one wiring harness.

IF the missing harness was received, I would have been able to fire up the ENTIRE panel and make the required adjustments to the level potentiometers for the intercom, etc. Sigh!~!

Then started Section 46, Engine Installation.

I have to compliment Van's. The plans for the engine installation are Excellent. Follow them to the T and are will be OK. The plans have you to partially disassemble the engine. The ignition modules are removed, the spark plug wires are removed, a clamp is removed (that allows for installation of the motor mount), and the cooling hose/expansion tank assembly is removed. The plans then call for cutting one of the lugs on the starter motor. Again, that allows for installation of the motor mount.

Then it was time for more fiberglass work. The cooling shroud has to be fitted to the engine. This took quite a bit of time. One has to attach the cooling shroud and then make the required adjustments. Used the Dremel here and ended up with a gap of less than 1/16" between the engine and the shroud. Think I attached and removed the cooling shroud about 50 times. There IS a scribe line on the inner surface. Think if I removed the material to the scribe line or near it, fitting and re-fitting would of taken much less time. I do not know why the plans don't tell you to trim to the line on the onset.

With the cooling shroud fitted, it was time for the engine mount. See the photos. Was able to support the engine and attach the engine mount using the engine lift and ideas from John Bender. Used the shipping bracket (reversed) to stabilize the front of the engine. This again took a bit of time. The sequence shown in the plans does work!! Now, have to find a torque wrench that goes to 350 in-lbs before I can glue the cooling shroud down. It covers one of the engine attach bolts. Will use grey RTV here, it is also high temperature, is sensor safe and good to 650 degF (just like the red stuff). It will look much better.

Time Over the Past 3 Days - 18 hours

Friday, August 28, 2009

Engine Kit Arrived Today

The engine kit arrived and I performed the inventory. There were a couple of parts back-ordered. All arrived in great shape. Think Van's tried a new company (DB Sheckner), service was GREAT and the shipping was about $150 less than a similar shipments (size/weight) via ABF Freight.

Also received the documentation package today via US Mail allowing me to register the RV-12 with the FAA. Neat!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wheel/Tire Balancing

Reattached the nosegear and then balanced the nosegear wheel and tire using a motorcycle balancing stand that I purchased at Harbor Freight. Added some self adhesive balancing weights. Did the same with the left main wheel and the right main wheel. The left main was terribly out of balance. The right main not so much so.

Attached the wheels and then tightened them in accordance with the instructions from MATCO. This is DIFFERENT than one would expect. MATCO says to hand tighten and then TIGHTEN to the next cotter pin hole (even tho the wheel does not run free). This is to prevent the seal from spining. Did it and inserted the cotter pin. You have to put a nice sweeping bend in the pin to get it started in the hole. Re-assembled the brake calipers.

Here is a link to a VAF post explaining why you tighten these bearings DIFFERENTLY

Time Today - 4 hours

Monday, August 24, 2009

Firewall Sealant

Removed the cowling and nosegear and then applied the CS1900 firewall sealant. The sealant sure is thick, like the consistency of rubber. In accordance with the data sheet, I thinned it with a ketone (acetone). Took a lot of mixing. Applied the sealant with a refillable caulking tube (from West Marine). This worked relatively well. Applied the sealant to each of the rivets with an animal syringe. This worked OK, but would of worked a little better is I had thinned the sealant even more. Used a bunch of Popsicle sticks.

When it got dark, I checked the firewall by placing a droplight behind the firewall. Found 2 spots and filled them with some sealant.

Time Today - 3 hours

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Reworked the Radio Trays Today

A few days back when I installed the radios the first time, I had a devil of a time getting the transponder to seat in its tray. I finally got it in and correctly seated after playing with it.

It was very, very hard to install the transponder. The comm radio was a little better but something was clearly amiss.

I posted my question on the VAF forums and received a number of replies. In fact, Stein called me and told me to try a few things.

Using their guidance, because I was not satisfied, I spent the day disassembling the radio stack. When I finally removed the VHF radio and the transponder and examined them, it was obvious why, they were so hard to install or remove. There were rub marks on the side of both near the faceplate. Both were rubbing on the protrusions (caused by stamping the lightening holes) on both the left and right stack angles (F-1202J-R/L).

I used a punch and a hammer and carefully bent the protrusions back. Then filed them flat with a vixen file and primed all of my scratch marks. With the trays not yet installed I was then able to slip both the transponder and the comm radio thru the panel without any side rubbing. (This was with the trays removed).

I also filed a small notch (1/8" deep) immediately below the transponder in the panel for cam clearance. Reinstalled the trays and used four 0.025" shims on each side on the comm radio tray as it is about 0.050-0.060" narrower than the transponder.

Inserted the transponder and it slid right in. Same for the comm radio. Both were sucked right in to their final position using the cam.

Stein was right, in that, one should be able to remove the radios with finger pressure if everything is aligned.

The protrusions in the stack angles were most definitely the major contributor to my original problem.

Thanks Stein, and the rest that replied to my original question on the VAF forum. Problem solved!!

Time Today - 6 hours

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ELT is Installed

Installed the bracket for the ELT and then the ELT itself. Did all I can do as the ELT antenna bracket is on back-order. As such, the installation of the avionics is complete and it took me 5 very short days. The RV-12 kt is truly amazing!! Five or so days for avonics.....Hmmmmm......WOW!! About 30 hours. Double WOW!!

Time - 3 hours

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Panel is Complete - Need to Install the ELT

The day before yesterday, I played with the GPS panel opening. Sanded the opening for a while and then decided, to make the GPS removable, the opening would have to be so large, it would be unsightly. As such, the only way to remove my GPS 496 is to remove the top instrument panel and then loosen/remove the GPS mounting screws. As always, it is give and take. Playing with the GPS opening work took me about 6 hours.

Today, installed the GPS, intercom interface and then the ELT inteface. Had to go to the hardware store for some screws for the ELT panel as the ones supplied were far from being acceptable.

Will install the ELT body on Wednesday. Should take me about 2 hours.

It is just amazing that the installation of the avionics ONLY takes a few days!!

Time - 14 hours

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Engine Kit is on Order

Today, Van's announced the availability of the powerplant kit for the RV-12. Mine is on order. $25K.......ouch!

The good news is this is the FINAL kit!

Working on the Avionics

The first day I was at Oshkosh, I received a call from Van's and then a call from SteinAir. Was there 1 week before the show started. Both were ready to ship the avionics to me. I had to tell them to hold the kits until I got home. Last week I received both shipments but home duties prevailed and was unable to begin the avionics until this week. Started yesterday. Two days into the install.

The avionics installation has been relatively straightforward. The plans are rather good. Section 42 is 18 pages of step by step plans.

Yesterday I attempted to install the switch panel but found out 3 nutplates had to be removed as the panel would not fit. The nutplates interfered with the standoffs on the lower edge of the switch panel. A plans revision was issued, while I was on vacation, that tells you to leave the 3 nutplates out, so such should not be a problem for future builders. A nifty fuseholder was then attached to the inner door of the mapbox.

Fitted and installed the Dynon mounting tray to the left panel section. The mounting tray was far from being square. Check it, and bend it square, before installing!

Today, I installed the backup battery in the Dynon (not in the plans, but, steps are in Appendix G of the Dynon installation manual. Had to fire in up for a minute to see if all did! Then attached the wiring between the Dynon and the switch panel. Attached the static line to the Dynon.

Before I installed the transponder bracket, I noticed that 3 nutplates were not installed on the instrument panel shelf, directly below the transponder. After another quick call, I determined that the nutplates were indeed necessary and should of been installed previously. The plans will be corrected. Three AN-3 or 10-32 nutplates are required here for the throttle, choke and cabin heat cables. Install them now, otherwise the transponder will have to come out later and a pair of long forceps and a lot of bad words will be required to complete the installation.

Then installed the mounting bracket for the transponder. Slow going as the screws are hard to get to. Had to go to the hardware store to buy an offset phillips screwdriver. Then attempted to seat the transponder in the mounting bracket. It was a bear but finally got it to go in. Had to use a mirror under the unit to try to figure out what the lower cam was doing. A 3/32" allen wrench is required here. Such is not specified in the plans or in the transponder manual. Had to call Garmin.

Next was the installation of the comm radio mounting bracket. Before installing this bracket, ensure the coaxial antenna cable is bolted to the bracket as it will be impossible to install after the bracket is bolted in place. The installation of the Garmin comm radio followed. Installing it is its bracket was much easier than installing the transponder. The same 3/32" allen wrench is required.

Just finished page 42-09 of the plans. Section 42 (18 pages long) comprises the avionics installation. 50% done??

Total Time Yesterday and Today - 20 hours

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Photos From Oshkosh 2009

I uploaded my photos from Oshkosh 2009. Click on the links to view the Picassa albums. Enjoy! Can't wait till Oshkosh 2010. Note that the autopilot is installed by looking carefully at the panel picture.

Photos of Van's RV-12 at Oshkosh 2009

The Rest of My Photos from Oshkosh 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Back from OSH09

Back home!!!! Spent 16 days in OSH. Got there a week before the show to just relax! Kind of fun watching it all come together, visiting the local attractions including all of the WI wineries, and, watching all come apart. VERY nice to see Larry, Don and Joe this year. Visit DOOR County!! Lots to see. Pictures to follow. Nice to meet all of the UCAP guys, the MyTransponder guys and all of the fellow RV-12 builders. 16 days goes too fast. Can't wait till OSH10. No RV-12's other than the RED demo. Bet there will be a bunch of RV12's at OSH10!