Fuel Tanks 4 (6.0 hrs)


This has been a frustrating weekend for the project.  As I noted previously, I ran out of K1000-03 nut-plates, so I was not able to finish installing the z-brackets.  I put out a call to local builders, and still no luck!  I guess Van’s doesn’t include many extra K1000-03 nut-plates with their kits. In the mean time I decided to start work on the access plate since it was easily accessible and the next logical step.  Unfortunately, neither Sears or Lowes had a fly cutter!  Foiled again. No more.  This time I went on Amazon and ordered a fly cutter, and made a promise to myself… I’m never shopping in a retail store again! By this point, Saturday was basically shot.  What I decided to do was install all the brackets and ensure the bolts properly seated in the nut-plates.  A few needed very minor adjustments, but I was able to install all the completed ones.

Thats when I realized I could at least drill out the z-brackets.  I fabricated the new inboard brackets, and just bolted them in place and then using the Checkoway Method, I drilled the baffle to the brackets. After I got that done, I final drilled both tanks in their entirety. The stiffeners are already complete as is the attachment angle.  I need to do the capacitive fuel sensors, fuel drains, and fuel caps.  Then its deburr, dimple, and seal!  School starts back up next week, so I’m really hoping I can get a lot done this week.

In an earlier post I referenced Jason Beaver’s RV-7 build for a thorough walk through on the Checkoway Method. I did not take many pictures, nor do I have the energy to type up the full procedure as he has done, but I will provide a synopsis.  Definitely use this method and do not follow Van’s instructions.

Checkoway Method: Temporarily install and align the fully clecoed tanks in order to ensure proper alignment.  By removing the outboard leading edge you can drill the innermost and outermost brackets and cleco in place.  This ensures that the baffle is perfectly aligned.  Remove the skin, and interior ribs so that only the baffle and outter ribs remain.  Now you can access the entire baffle for match drilling.

Here are some pictures mostly from when I finished for the evening. 20131229-205858.jpg

Here is the middle of the Checkoway Method.  By drilling the other brackets, and then removing the rest of the structure you can easily access the middle of the baffle.  Just remember that the ribs still need to be final drilled when you put it all back together.20131229-205912.jpg

A few pics of the shop at the conclusion of the session.  20131229-205929.jpg

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