Began wiring the panel

I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching and documenting a plan to make the wiring easy. I complied a list of wiring nodes in a spreadsheet that I can use as a checklist to work my way through the project. You can see my work here… Wiring Plan

Didn’t actually wire anything today but rather did a lot of the prep work. I fabricated a center panel that will hold the fuse block in the center pedestal. I purchased the power panel option from Van’s which included the sheet metal for the center console. I purchased the 32 position Busman fuse block from Waytek.

 

Prepped everything up and painted it to match the interior.

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Removed all of the avionics and the panels. I probably could have left the stuff mounted to the sub panel and left the panels in place. But when I had mounted everything with black oxide steel screws and subsequently learned that they would rust over time. So I purchased black oxide stainless replacements. This was the most opportune time to replace them all.

 

I installed a ground block being careful to remove all the paint and scuff up the sub-panel to ensure a good electrical connection. I re-mounted the backup battery, the GAD 27, GAD 29, and GEA 24 to the sub panel.

 

I drilled a couple of new wire holes through the bottom of the stand-offs and installed snap bushings. The original holes interfered with the GTX and the switches in the bottom of the middle panel.

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Today’s Time (hours): 8.0
Finish Kit (hours): 106.0
Total Time (hours): 836.0

 

Finished Seat Backs (Section 39)

I bolted together the lower corners of the seat backs. I drilled holes in the top angles using the template provided by FlightLine interiors. I blind riveted the snaps to the angles using those holes. I attached the seat back cushions to the seat backs with the snaps and the velcro provided.

 

Love the way the seats came out.

 

I also repainted the aft canopy frame. I wasn’t happy with my first attempt. It was splotchy and had spots of pretty bad orange peel. I wet sanded it and reshot it. It still looked awful. So I ended up stripping it down using acetone and repainting the bare metal. It came out quite a bit better. I’m wondering if the problem is the P60G2 primer. I’m going to shoot the remaining interior parts over bare metal.

 

 

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Finish Kit (hours): 60.0
Total Time (hours): 790.0

 

 

Painted canopy and seat backs

Masked off the top of the skin and the outboard sides of the side rails. Painted two coats on the the aft canopy frame and the inboard sides of the side rails. Tomorrow night I’ll flip it over and paint the bottom after everything dries.

 

Scuffed the seat backs and braces. Wiped everything down with solvent and then with a tack rag. Painted tow coats on the forward side. I’ll get the aft side tomorrow night after everything is dry.

 

Fabricated the hinge pins for the seat backs and braces.

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Are we having fun yet?

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Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Finish Kit (hours): 56.0
Total Time (hours): 786.0

 

 

Painted the glare shield

I traced the forward edge of the canopy onto the skin with a sharpie. Removed the canopy from the frame and set aside in a safe spot. Removed the frame from the fuselage. Masked off the glare shield, scuffed it, and wiped it down with solvent and a tack cloth. Sprayed it with two coats of Rustoleum Painters Touch flat black.

 

Next, I’ll mask off the skin and spray the rest of the frame with dark gray to match the rest of the interior.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Finish Kit (hours): 47.0
Total Time (hours): 777.0

 

 

Finished rear window and started on Canopy Latch

I used the edge roller to break the edge of the top and side skins where they meet the rear window. I final drilled the skins #27 and dimpled the holes for #6 screws. The squeezer wouldn’t fit into the space between the top skin and the roll bar brace. After a fair amount of ass-scratching I tried using a #6 screw and a K1000-06 nut plate to press the dimple into the center hole. It worked well.

I decided to wait until later to actually install the window. This will enable better access to the fuselage and keep me from beating up the window while I’m working on the rest of the stuff. But everything’s done and all I have to do is add some sealant and screw it in. For sealant I’ve decided to try Lexel. It’s a clear solvent based sealant that is safe for acrylic. Other builders have reported good success with it.

 

I separated, deburred, and painted the stiffener angles. I’ll rivet these in place as soon as the paint dries.

 

I picked and inspected all of the parts for the rest of the canopy.

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I peeled all of the parts for the canopy latch mechanism. I separated the peices that needed parting. I deburred and scuffer all the parts. Then painted everything to match the interior.

 

I test fit the canopy latch pins in the bushings that I installed in the roll bar. I realized that I neglected to mask of the bushings when I painted the roll bar and got some paint in there. I wrapped some sand paper around a brass drift and used it to clear the paint. Everything fits fine now.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Finish Kit (hours): 18.0
Total Time (hours): 748.0

 

 

Completed the fuselage!

I started prepping the the fuselage for painting the rollover structure. I noticed that the flush blind rivets on the top of the canopy deck had little burrs sticking up. So I filed them off. Then the burrs were gone but I didn’t like the way they looked. So after some head scratching, I decided to fill them, and sand them, and repaint. I’ve never done any body work before and I don’t think I’ll quit my day job.   It tuned out pretty well though.

This completes the fuselage!

Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 227.5
Total Time (hours): 714.0