FIREWALL FORWARD - Page 53.
September 7, 2004: It was raining today from
the remnants of Hurricane Frances, now just a low pressure area of swirling rain across my
home turf here in East Tennessee. I managed to get some work done on the hinges that
mount the top half of the cowling to the firewall. That required me to put the
forward top skin in place for the back-drilling of the hinges and the shims behind them.
Along the way today, I found time to finish the last fuel line from the electric
fuel pump to the gascolator. That's the line in the photo below. Yes, I was
down on my stomach laying in the passenger seat area with my legs and feet going backward
through the baggage area. That gray cross bar at the top of the pix below is one of
the rudder pedals and part of a gold anodized brake cylinder visible on the other pedal.
After all that work, here is the result, all the hinges taken off and ready for
priming, which hopefully will be sometime on Thursday, weather permitting. I made a
call to Penn Yan Aero Services and learned that my engine was tested today. It
should be shipped tomorrow (Wednesday) and here in Chattanooga by Friday if FEDEX Ground does their job as
It doesn't look like much happened today, but the work time totaled 5.8 hours. I just realized that the time reported at the bottom of page 52 was for the total project, not just the airframe. That has now been corrected showing both totals as of yesterday.
September 8, 2004: I rented a Greenlee
knockout punch set in order to get a good round 2" hole in the firewall for cabin
heat. I installed the control cable and put the heat door in place on the firewall.
I also removed most of the black plastic plugs from the firewall to sand the metal
around them in hopes of getting a better bond to the red RTV when it is time to seal those
holes for wires and control cables.
There is a trap door in the box in the center of the photo above. That door allows heat into the cabin area, or when closed, passes the warm air back into the area ahead of the firewall. The cable that controls that trap door is shown in the photo below. I placed this cable to the right of the smaller instrument panel. I can reach it from the pilot seat.
And this close-up of the inside of the door and the cable attachment to the arm
riveted to the door. This thing came from Van's fully built. All I had to do
was cut the 2" hole in the firewall and drill the two mounting holes.
Here is a shot of the sub panel that will have the carburetor heat, throttle,
propeller control, and mixture control mounted to it. I checked each cable before
drilling the holes. I painted it with the same color that I am using on the
And now you see it installed under the instrument panel. I spent some
time sitting in the left seat thinking about where I am going to mount the fuse panel.
I have an idea that you should see come to reality soon. I also put back the
short conduit I made some months ago to pass the static air line to the instrument panel
area. The static line is visible in this photo on the left.
While I was crawling around doing my thing under the panel with the heat access
door, I figured I would go in the tail cone to secure the steel cables that hold the
shoulder harnesses in place. Here is a look at those in the back. I also put
the elevator trim cable out the back end of the fuselage. You can see it going out
the big hole at the back. The ELT antenna cable has yet to be secured to the
bulkhead and routed to the actual ELT unit to be installed soon.
I received a call from Roadway freight lines today. They will be delivering my Hartzell propeller Thursday morning. I called Penn Yan Aero at 5 PM and was told the engine shipped today and should be here Friday as planned. Talk about milestones! Another 5.3 hours were added to the log book today bringing the work time on the airframe to 1202.0 hours.
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