Carved the pivot blocks and floxed into place, holding with nails. Cut the 2024 T3 Aluminum on the band saw and drilled the 1/4″ hole . Verified with Dennis that this hole gets AN3 hardware, and not AN4 bolts, like I will be using to connect the tubes to each other.
Riveted the nut plates on the aluminum and 5 min epoxied on the pivot blocks after drilling the holes to make space for the nutplates. Note that when drilling the half inch deep hole into the pivot blocks, you want to go slowly. Once the drill bit punctures the glass behind the pivot block, the 1/4″ bit grabs on to the glass, and shoots out the side of the urethane.
Glassed over the pivot blocks with 4 plies of BID and started drilling a hole to add a grease nipple into MKNG6. After testing my tap set on a scrap piece of aluminum to be sure the threads were correct, I used it on the MKNG6 assembly. As it turns out, it wasn’t correct after all. Upon further inspection, I had a set for n.c. (National Coarse Thread), instead of n.f. (National Fine Thread). Will have to stop by Harbor Freight tomorrow at lunch to pick up a set.
Was able to get the grease fittings in and picked up a grease gun while I was shopping. Cut the steel tube for making the CS-13 spacers. Took a long time. That stuff is hard to cut, and I now recommend picking up already machined from the Cozy Girls instead. Also the tubing had to be drilled out a bit to receive the AN3 bolt, and the end of the rudder pedals had to be drilled out slightly for the spacer to fit into. Bolted into place for a trial fit. Got into the fuselage to test fit the rudder pedals, but it looked like the pedals closest to NG30 needed to be closer to NG30 so my shoes would clear each other when using them. I removed 1″ of the white powder coating from the control tubes, and that did the trick. Now I just have to be sure they will clear the hardware for the worm gear assembly. Drilled the holes through the control tubes to lock the rudder pedals together and assembled. Cut the “U” channel for the brake cylinder to fit into. Then I cut a birch platform 2″ x 4″ for each side with 45 degree angles along the edges. Then I screwed the slider on the brake cylinders about half way on the threads. Positioned it on the bottom hole of the rudder pedals, and positioned the slider fully toward the nose and marked where the wood plate will be positioned on the floor, and where the U-Channel will be on the plate.
Drilled holes into the U-Channel for the brake cylinder bolt to fit into, and also two holes on the bottom, to connect to the wood platform. Added nut plates to the back side of the birch platforms with pp rivets. Drilled holes in the nose to act as a recess for the nutplates to fit into. Did this by putting some grease on the bottom of the nutplates, and pressed into position. The grease transfers onto the floor to mark where the holes need to be drilled. Tested for fit, and added 4 layers BID on the floor under where the birch plate will be. The BID was longer and wider by 1″ around, with the exception of the side by NG30, as there is no room for excess. BID was 3″ x 6″, and finished with peel ply. I will open up the holes after cure.
Opened up the holes on the fuselage floor where the birch pad will be floxed in. After verifying a good fit, I floxed the pad in place, and added 4 layers of BID at 45 degrees. Finished up with peel ply.
Lots of mods in this chapter, and a long chapter at that. (Fitting that it’s Chapter 13) Headlights are not in this chapter, but if putting them in the nose (not per plans), one has to complete during this chapter before the nose cone goes on. I decided to go with the HID Xenon upgrade, similar to how John Basol did. The original driving lights I purchased from Blazer were the exact size I was looking for to fit in the nose cone, but as it turned out, the housing was not deep enough to fit the xenon bulb assembly, which has wires that stick out further behind the bulb. I found a replacement made by Pilot that look as though they will work. Not exactly the shape I was looking for, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers. This size will certainly be easier to remove after the nose cone is on, and I am already becoming more attached to this type of light already. I drilled a test hole to mount a light temporarily, so I could see if the nose cone would fit past the light. It didn’t on the first attempt, but did after I moved it back a half inch. The holes ended up being 2″ from F0. After I had the mounting holes set up, I put a xenon bulb into just one of the lights, and left the halogen bulb in the other. Then I connected to a battery to see the difference. I have to say, the xenon is certainly brighter, but I also noticed that is seems to be a more evenly spread light. They seemed to put off a bit of heat, so I will have to check to see if I will need to protect the fiberglass in those areas or not. Then I drew a cut pattern on NG31 around the mounting holes and cut out. The screws on the sides of the lights interfered with NG32 a bit, so I also removed some material there to accommodate, and cleaned up all my edges. After giving this a little more thought, the pitot tube I purchased may not be able to fit in a way where I will still be able to remove the lights should they ever need replacing. I may have to consider a few options as a solution to that…