A Cornucopia of Things

I took Friday to off so I could enjoy a long weekend (having lost my Memorial Day to work travel) and lucked out with some decent temperatures to work in. Not the case this coming weekend, back to 119F (48C). Anyway, this is a jumbo post for the weekend’s effort.

Seat belt support
The upper seat belt brackets have been installed for a couple of years and I’ve always wondered just how the belts get fitted. First problem is the bolt size as it isn’t specified in the plans or in the photo guide. A quick email to Zenith got me the answer that the bolt size can be found in the packing list! An AN5-something or other.

I knew this was coming so wasn’t surprised when I found that I couldn’t easily drill the hole in the bracket while it was installed, at least not drill and stop before going the rest of the way through the side of the fuselage, so I had to take out the rivets and drill the 1/4″ hole on the bench. A little primer and it was back in, bolt included.

Upper seat belt bracket with bolt

I also put the arm rests back in, not least because I want to know what the spacing is like in that area when considering wire runs.

Arm rests back in plane

I still can’t really picture how the seatbelts work, but I’m reluctant to take them out and try as they are so clean and shiny and the hangar is so dusty.

I completed the slats first install by drilling out the holes in the brackets to their proper size for an AN3 bolt. Found that I didn’t have enough of the right size, so must have used them for something else. Will order more when I order some wire.

Drilling out holes for slat brackets

With the slats securely in place I drew a rivet line on the overlapping surface

Laying out a rivet line


Clecoed the slat halves together

and riveted the two halves together.

Slat halves riveted together

I put them back on the plane with the bolts in but not tight since they have to come off for some red vinyl.

Slats bolted to wing

Vinyl Wrapping

I wrapped one set of struts in white.

Struts wrapped in white

And I wrapped a portion of the bottom where the fuel drains are.

White vinyl under fuselage at fuel drains

I did this because once the seat bracket is riveted on it would be very hard to get to the interior part of the fuel drain to remove it for the wrapping. I still can’t rivet the seat belt bracket (though I dearly want to) until all my wiring is done just in case I need to do more with the access holes.

Wire and Cable Holes
So speaking of, I removed the seat brackets and drilled holes in the passenger side one, and enlarged the ones in the pilot side (they were quite a tight fit on the tubes).

Cable holes and grommets

Here’s the passenger side clecoed in place with the fuel sender, nav lights and elt cable passing through.

Pax side cable pass through

I stupidly broke the connector for the elt cable while I was untangling it. It is just a standard telephone cable so I can buy another (shorter) one, but annoying none the less.

On the pilot side we have the fuel sender, nav lights, electric trim and the pitot/static tubes.

Pilot side cable pass through

Fuel line cover
Not the right name for it, but I also took care of the cover that goes over the space where the fuel line and wires come in from the wing. With the position of the fuel cable it is impossible to get it in the right place because the connector is in the way. So I trimmed the side away so that it would fit and I drilled an access hole for the tubes and wires to go through to enter the channel.

Trimmed the cover for a better fit

The bottom hole is the one I drilled, the top one is pre-drilled and used to access the stud that is used to attach the rod that holds the door up. Not shown in the picture is that I also trimmed off a fair bit off the top too so that it got a good fit, and it will give access to the fuel connector without having to remove it.

This worked pretty good except I hadn’t given any thought to the location of the hole

First attempt at access hole on pilot side

so I had to drill another one at the top which was a much better fit for the cables and tubes, and they no longer appear in the rear window.

Pilot side cables going into cover

I then repeated this for the passenger side but with a smaller hole since there are no tubes going through.

Wing wires going into cover on pax side

Unfortunately I will have to enlarge that hole because the coaxial cable from the antenna for the radio will need to pass to the front through that channel and along with the other wires.

All in all it seemed like a decent weekend’s worth of work, though as I type this it doesn’t seem nearly as much as I thought, but every little thing done is one step closer to completion.

I really need to get the wire routes sorted out and wires ordered. I have finally determined the location of the transponder (under the pilot seat) and antenna (under the passenger seat along with the magnetometer). That pretty much means everything is set so I can lay out route diagram, wire sizes etc. Then hope for another few “cool” weekend days where I can steal an hour here and there to run the wires. Of course I also need to put the panel back together but I might do that at home in the a/c.