Final door gaps and misc

Starting off from where I left off.. I slobbered a fair amount of micro around the bottom of the door openings to blend it with the adjoining structure and the previously done sections of the cabin top.

After sanding smooth. Another application of micro.. rinse and repeat a couple time, mostly just filling in little divots and/or imperfections.

I also used micro to cover over the screws attaching the cabin top to the structure.

Of course in between sessions of sanding and applying micro.. I got to painting my overhead panels that house the lights. I think it came out really good and hope it blends in well with the dark natural look of the overhead console.

Some other goodies arrived as well. Tires and tube along with my Matco wheels and brakes. I went with Desser Retreads and their 90 degree stem tubes. The items I purchased are listed below:

SKU: 15/600-6 6 RT
SKU: 500-5 6 PLY RTO
315/600-6 AERO CLASSIC TR-87-70 *BUTYL EASY VALVE (GL-1587)
SKU: GL-1587B
SKU: GL-5087B

Here are the wheel, brake, axle, and spacer combos from Matco that I purchased..

WHLNW511.25 – NOSEWHEEL, 5″ 1.251
MSCTRA1.5 – WASHER; A6 1.502

I’m still a little ways away from putting the plane up on the gear, but it won’t be too terribly long from now.

Then it was back for one last skim coat of micro around the doors and I placed a strip of fiberglass over the gap between the aluminum skin and the cabin top. Lots of bouncing around working mostly off plans for now.

There was also one other thing that I’ve been meaning to do prior to getting too much further along and installing the upper forward fuselage sections and buttoning up the tunnel… I wanted to pressure test my brake and fuel lines to make sure there were no leaks. It would be much easier to fix now while things are still generally accessible. I used my air compressor with an inline regulator and a shut off valve to decouple the air compressor from the lines. I placed a pressure gauge on the other end. The procedure was to get pressure in the lines (I used 20-25psi for the gas lines and 50psi for the brake lines). Make note of pressure reading on the output. Shut off the ball valve and let it sit for about 5 minutes. There should be no loss of pressure. If there is.. you’d spray with soapy water to find any leaks, which I did anyways just to give me peace of mind.

Inlet to the return line on firewall
Pressure gauge on other end
Still holding 22psi after 5-10 minutes

I then tested the fuel supply line. I had to reverse things and measure at the firewall and insert the pressure from the wings. The fuel filters and pump are uni-directional and doing it the other way.. I couldn’t get any pressure to the other end of the line.

I used a slightly different setup for the brake lines. I got a 1/8″ to 1/4″ NPT adapter to connect into the brake fluid reservoir. I used a 1/4″ NPT tee to connect the gauge into and capped off the AN fittings that go to the gear.

Picture of the brake setup

Then it was time to final gap the doors. I’m shooting for an approx 1/8″ gap. This will allow some space for paint, which will narrow that gap down significantly. To prep for that involved a lot of sanding. I re-installed the door handles and McMaster seals for this step so the door would be as close to its final position as possible. Then sand sand and more sanding. I used some thick scrap metal and wrapped 50 grit sandpaper over it to use as a gauge and to also sand back the last little bit by running it back and forth in the gap. Below are some pics during that sanding process.

Here you can see the top part is the typical gap I started with

This was repeated for the left side..

So now it’s time to get the foam tape I ordered and place it between the door and the cabin top and micro on either side of the tape to get a really nice final gap. Micro will also be used to build up a couple of low areas of the cabin top to match the height of the door.

Brake Lines Complete for now

Since the last post, I’ve finished the brake line section of the plans.

I modified the brake line locations coming off of the parking valve. I had originally put both through an existing hole in the rudder pedal brace with a grommet, but it was very tight due to the firewall recess blocking about 1/4 of the hole. I was concerned with vibration causing the lines to rub together and possibly rubbing on the firewall recess. So I decided to drill 2 additional holes to support each line separately.


I then installed the remaining brake lines that run from the bottom skins near the gear leg to the tunnel bulkhead where they will attach to the lines that run to the parking valve. I also had to enlarge the system support brackets to accommodate the larger flexible lines as compared to the hard lines per plans.

Brake line under left seat

Brake line under right seat

That wraps up the brake line section until we get to section 38 and work on the rudder pedals. Now it’s onto Section 37.

Seeing I’m doing an SDS EFII fuel system and also using the flexible stainless braided telethon fuel lines, I’m not going to be following much of this section per plans. Instead I’ll be working on some things off script. One thing I need to do is to modify the fuel valve mount to work with the Andair fuel valve as the stock one isn’t correct. I started by cutting the stock bracket off, but leaving the riveted part of the bracket attached to the tunnel bulkhead with a bit of a flange for attaching my own bracket to.

I then started to fabricate my own custom bracket for the Andair valve. This will sit on top of the cut off brackets that remain on the tunnel walls and I’ll rivet the two together.

Finished product

In order to cut the center hole of that custom bracket, the current biggest unitbit I had was just shy of being able to support the diameter of the Andair valve. So I had and excuse to buy a new tool. A massive unibit!

New tool on left, previous biggest unibit I had which maxes out at 1 3/8″

This puts the size in perspective. Attached to my cordless drill.

Brake line progress

I’ve finished cutting up both forward tunnel sidewalls for AirWard access panels to allow for easier access later to the fuel pump and filter area.

I’ve managed to get the parking brake installed and start running the lines.

Parking brake bracket

Valve attached to bracket

Lines hooked up

View down the tunnel

I haven’t secured the back portions of the lines yet as I have some work to do with mounting the fuel pump coming up soon and I’ll just have to move them out of the way. I’ll tidy them up later.

Access Panel and Misc Update

Since the last update, I’ve completed the access panel section. I’ve also started the brake section, which required a little research on best methods to torque fittings etc.. In the meantime I’ve started to tackle a couple of other miscellaneous items. I cut 2 NACA vents in the rear side skins to accomodate fresh air to the overhead console. I’ve also started to install Airward access covers for the sides of the tunnel to make it easier to access/inspect the fuel pump and filter there.

I’ve also started working a little closer with TS Flightlines to get going on my fuel line configuration using the SDS EFII system.

All tunnel access panels in place.

NAVA vent template

All cut on the right side

More Goodies

While on vacation in Park City, UT , a number of items arrived.

Baggage door and main door locks. These will be used to lock the baggage door as well as both doors to the cabin in unison with the Planearound 180 door latch system.

VOR/LOC/GS antenna. I plan to mount this on top of the Vertical Stabilizer. Something I didn’t do while working on that originally. I figure I’ll have some time here and there to get this going while waiting for other things.

Locking fuel caps. I’ve never been a fan of the original gas cap. It seems to be very difficult to even get your fingers under the mechanism to open the cap up. These collars proseal into the existing tank opening. The only downside is the fuel opening is a little smaller as a result.

Stainless braided teflon brake line hoses.

And finally, the Andair duplex fuel selector, 6″ extension, and valve