Engines and Arm Rests

Today I wanted to check the oil pressure and fuel flow gauges since that is pretty much the only thing left holding up the first engine start. Scott joined in today, always fun to have him in the hangar, not to mention very useful.

While looking at the oil pressure sensor, Scott pulled one of the wires out – another great crimp job. So a new connector was put on and eventually both wires in the sensor are in good and tight. All that said, there’s still no reading on the panel but that could very well be because there is no pressure in the system! Since this is instrument is very much needed for the engine start we plan to do another oil line purge which should give some reading on the panel.

We disconnected the fuel line to the engine, placed it in the fuel can and ran the fuel pump to see if fuel would make it out of the line. It did, though it was hardly a gushing stream. Scott was pretty sure more was coming out that the engine could possibly use so I think the fuel lines are good, and no leaks any more. All that said, there’s still no reading on the panel so I’ve written to MGL for advice on that (and on making sure all my sensors are specified correctly).

One upside – the transponder is now working. At MGL’s suggestion I swapped RS232 ports and, after a little shenanigans with the configuration settings, both radio and transponder seem to work. With that done, I added more heat shrink to the wiring and bundled them up with the other wires.

Wiring looking a lot more tidy

That picture makes it look a lot worse than it is. Everything is up off the floor and above the bottom of the panel, it just needs a few more ties to keep it up and it probably good to go.

I was explaining to Scott what things were left to do and he was curious to see the arm rests. I brought the pilot side one over and we all noticed a tiny tiny problem

Erm, don't the wires need to go through that hole?

Er, the wires coming out from the control stick need to go through that grommet when the arm rest is installed. Oops indeed. Two obvious choices, unrivet the seats, splice the wires, join and put through arm rest. Eww. Or split the arm rest from the bottom and put the wires in and up to a grommet. We went with the latter.

Split cut to allow wires through

After filing the cut down, we carefully put it in place and slid the wires up through the cut into the grommet. You can’t see any of this once installed so although it seemed bad, it turned out ok. Will have to repeat for the passenger side.

Wires through the arm rest

Speaking of arm rests and seats, there’s a real chicken and egg thing going on there because with one installed, the other is very hard to get in, not to mention getting access for riveting things. Not going to be too bad for the pilot side but there will be very little room to work with once the passenger side is in.

Also today the control grip got screwed onto the stick with the supplied bolt (after tapping the hole) and the side screws were installed to tighten everything nicely.

Control grip bolted in

The grip is rock solid and….. no wires were damaged during the drilling and installation!

Not sure if I’ve ever posted a picture of the labelled grip.

Labelled control grip

While discussing what to do next I put forward the idea that we could get the cowling marked for fasteners and then take it off to work on without impeding the engine work. It didn’t seem like that would take long at all 🙂