Boxes and boxes of Garmin avionics arrived along with my custom instrument panel and its plug-n-play wiring harness from Midwest Panel Builders. There’s lots to play with, but I still managed a few other tasks.
The upgraded cowling strips fit remarkably well. Clecos are in many of the holes at this point and that’s without having to drill anything out. Ultimately, holes will need to be lightly ‘dressed’ with a #30 reamer. This will allow the rivets be positioned and set easily in the 3 and 4 layer stack-up of parts without a fight. The good news is, it’s all a pretty decent situation to begin with.
Earlier I did a little priming of the underside and edges of fastening tabs for the galvanized steel firewall. It’s winter cold outside, and I can’t really do spray painting just now. It was a small hidden area so I brushed on the gray 2-part epoxy primer. It took several days to cure fully. I’ll probably paint the entire firewall, mostly for aesthetics, when the weather warms a bit.
Care will be needed to address some gaps between layers of the parts stack-up. I believe that by removing most (or all) of the clecos across the top edge of the firewall and then riveting around the corner, fitting and pulling one rivet at a time while the pieces are free to move and pull together will allow the gap to close where the rivet is pulled.
I’m planning to install the ballistic parachute and that means I’ll be needing to accomplish some dimpling for most of the holes across the top of CF-RIB-003 and actual countersinking with a 120 deg pilot-cutter, along the top edge reinforcing pieces of the firewall, to accept 3,2 x 8 mm countersunk rivets. More on that in a future installment.
We’ll see how it all goes. Warmer days are ahead.
Sometimes you have to go backward to go forward. Drilling out rivets is one of those things you have to do sometimes when building and airplane. Fortunately, I’ve had to do very little reverse-assembly. But, there are a couple of parts I needed to add and I’ve opted for an upgrade to the cowling fasteners that calls for replacement of narrow, factory-mounted parts, with wider aftermarket replacements. Drill baby drill!
There’s a reinforcement plate, near where the ballistic parachute rocket canister mounts. The plate rivets to the RIB that forms the back wall of the parachute compartment. Several rivets had to be drilled out and removed so that the plate could be positioned and riveted. Done.
There was also a missing attachment angle for the top right edge of the parachute compartment. It should have been installed at the factory. It’s going on now, but a few rivets had to be removed before the angle was riveted using those same holes.
To go along with the other rework, I’ve opted for an upgrade to the factory-supplied cowl fasteners. I want to use Camloc fasteners rather than the Dzus fasteners that come with the kit. The Camloc parts are more user-friendly when it comes to unfastening and re-fastening of the cowling. For best results, getting the fasteners a little farther away from the edges of the fiberglass cowl is a good thing to do. That involves replacing the factory cowl fastener strips with wider parts that I ordered from Midwest Sky Sports. They make these wider strips and use them for the planes they build and they seem like a good idea to me.
The rivets holding the factory-strips needed to be drilled out. I did it. Now I don’t have that to contemplate anymore. I did a quick fit of the new cowling fastener strips. They look like they fit pretty well. That’s a relief after removing the factory parts.