Engines and Instrument Panels (3 hr)

Most of this session was investigating where and how the various hoses go. We put the muffler in place for some ideas and then messed with the various hoses and plugs. One thing I learned is that socketless hoses are a pain to connect up, in fact unless you are Popeye himself I don’t think it can be done.

Short version of the day we took the engine back off, deburred the holes in the mount and safety wired the bolts (took a while for me to remember how to use the safety wire tool, and by a while I mean a YouTube video).

Engine mount safety tied

Then we put the engine back down and put the bolts back in, took quite a struggle to get the holes lined up. The bolts aren’t tightened because I want to use shorter ones than the supplied ones which are way too long, need two washers to get a suitable bite.

Just as we were done, Alan noted that we hadn’t loosened the banjo bolt underneath the engine so we had to take it up again and then put it back down, with similar struggle for the holes. When finally lined up and bolted, we removed the hoist in the hope that we wouldn’t need it any more.

Engine without a hoist

In messing with the oil cooler, there are three hoses that all go into a very small space and the space is made even smaller by the socketless connectors that stick out way too much. In the video they suggest using a banjo fitting instead and that’s what I plan to do, if I can determine what fittings to buy. The video says “any auto parts store” but now I realise that the video is Canadian, our local Napa may not have metric banjo bolts.

On Sunday I took the panel and panel pieces to the hangar to see if I could do a trial fitting. For reasons unknown to me, it was a real struggle to get the panel clecoed back in place but eventually I got it. A couple of the panel holes needed enlarging, and it turns out I don’t have an ignition switch in the kit (presumably so I can choose the one I want) so it is missing from the picture. Also quite disappointed to find that some of the pieces didn’t come with screws – pretty bad when you pay big bucks and still have to supply your own hardware.

Anyway, here is badly lit picture of the panel inside the plane, with most everything in it.

Instrument Panel trial fit

I must say it is quite a thing of beauty, and when I sat inside and made airplane noises, the controls all seemed quite natural from where I was sat. Next up is planning the wiring layout and then actually doing it. Wish me luck.