I’ve been doing a fair amount of work on the plane for the past few weekends, but I’ve been too lazy to update the blog. Working on the plane is more fun than updating a web page. On my last post, I showed how I replaced the coolant overflow tank. I was having problems, though. The overflow line kept lifting up out of the coolant and “floating” at the top of the tank. A quick trip down the Aircraft Parts aisle at Home Depot solved that. I put a “clunk” on the end of the line in the form of a nice big brass fitting. Now the hose reliably sits at the bottom of the tank where it can suck up precious coolant for the engine.
After a year of having the throttle cable zip tied to the outside structure of the plane, I finally decided to officially mount it. Now is goes through the firewall as a throttle cable should, and it’s all tied down nicely for vibration reasons.
I also did a lot of work on the left wing to shield, protect, and route the wing wiring and pitot/static lines. I’ve still got some mounting left to do (to keep them from flopping around) and I still need to provide additional protection where they pass through the wing spars (for abrasion), but the basic work is now done. Once I finish, I’ll need to do the same thing to the right wing. I did this a couple of years ago to the right wing (did that one first), but in retrospect, I did a completely inadequate job. Not something I want to have to tear open the wing and fix in ten years. I’ll swap the other wing onto the bench at some point and fix that wing wiring up the same way I did this one.
My big project has been wiring. While nearly everything in the plane is now wired, a great deal of it was done in “temporary” fashion. I used a lot of non-aircraft wiring and a lot of automotive connectors just to get everything wired and tested, and to figure out all of my routing. Now it’s time to do it right. So dang near everything behind the panel got unhooked and is hanging over the sides. Each wire will get checked to make sure it’s aircraft-grade, and all connectors that aren’t already will be swapped for aircraft-grade. Lots of wires are too long (or too short) and will need to get trimmed (or lengthened) and nicely bundled and tied down. Once this is done (and I expect it to take a few more weekends), I’ll finally be able to remove everything from the panel, then prepare and paint it. That’ll be a nice step forward.