Log Entries

Project Location: MD US

Entry Date Summary Description
Entry Date Summary Description
2004-11-21 The turtle deck is a RR purchased part. The turtle deck is fastened to the aft fuselage with 10-32 ss panhead screws into 3/4" x 3/4" x 1/16" aluminum angle and nutplates revited to the al. angle. The al. angle was bent to about 85, 80 and 75 degrees depending on the location along the fuselage. There are 3 sections on each side of the fuselage. The al. angles are bolted through the top longeron and doublers of 5/8" x 5/8" spruce using AN-3 bolts, 970 washers, and nylon stop nuts. A bracket is attached at the horizontal stabilizer to fasten the tail end of the turtle in the same manner as above except the al. angle is about 65 degrees. The turtle deck is removable in about ten minutes for wide-open Condition Inspection of the entire aft fuselage.
2004-11-22 The vertical stabilizer was originally constructed with the Diehl skin kit. The original construction used the Diehl skin kit. I had transported the fuselage and wing spars to Oshkosh '92 to demonstrate the wing skin construction. During transit some road debris hit the vertical tail and cracked the tail post spar. The rebuild required removing the Diehl skin. Rather than trying to salvage the old skin, it was simpler to do the wet glass layup with 6 oz KR cloth, urethane foam and West System Epoxy per the KR plans. The tail post has a 1/4" plywood doubler running full length on the inside. During the rebuild a plexiglas inspection window was installed to view the rod end at the elevator bell crank during preflight. This will also allow lubrication during Condition Inspections.
2004-11-24 Trim tab Bowden cable installation Trim tab control is actuated with a Bowden cable from the throttle quadrant. Nyrod goes to the elevator trim tab per RR plans. Top of the picture shows part of the elevator push rod. One of the small cables goes to the rudder horn. The other cables go from the tail cone base to the seatback shelf to anchor the four shoulder harness attach points. Bottom of the picture shows part of the aluminum angle to bolt on the turtle deck.
2004-12-07 Rudder Pedal & Brake Master Cylinder Installation The Rudder Pedals are pivoted from the firewall shelf. The nylon bushing blocks for the arm pivots were made from a road construction warning sign I found on the highway in front of my house. RR now has nice ready-to-install nylon blocks now. The pedal plates are from RR. Nylon spiral wrap covers all exposed nylaflo brake lines to provide protection from foot traffic.
2005-03-13 Digital instruments are prefered. There is one flight instrument - a Dynon-10 - that provides airspeed with range markings and reminder bugs, altitude, rate of climb, attitude gyro, magnetic heading gyro from a remote magnetometer, turn rate indicator, skid/slip, OAT (Outside Air Temperature), g meter, and digital encoded altitude for the transponder. The Dynon is powered by the aircraft alternator, main battery, essential battery, and an emergency internal battery, all with automatic power transfer. The curved aluminum arm at the left over the panel is one of two hinge arms for the canopy. The vertical black rod is one of two gas struts to balance the canopy.
2005-03-13 The Forward Deck contains the instrument panel. The forward deck is removable for service and inspection. The instrument panel is an intragal part of the forward deck. This is a RR purchased part.
2005-03-13 N6242 started out as retract convential gear and was converted to Diehl fixed tri-gear. The Diehl legs are fiberglass slabs bolted to the back side of the main spar using a cast alminum bracket. A steel bracket bolted to the end of the leg then bolts the steel axel. Tracking geometry is fixed, but can be adjusted with suitable shims, if needed. The legs trail aft to put the CG forward of the main wheels for a tri-gear. Converting from convential retract to fixed gear lightened N6242 by 17 pounds. The nose wheel and strut weighs 11 pounds. That's a net 6 pounds weight savings.
The retract gear hardware is ready to install & for sale $200 plus shipping.
2005-03-13 A combination of purchased and fabricated fairings are used. The main gear leg fairings were purchased from Diehl and fitted to the legs. The wheel pants are home built using a plug mold to construct a female mold, in turn to make the pants. Nose and main wheel pants are identical until fitted to the particular wheel. The main wheel pant uses the tapped axel end on one side and an aluminum bracket sandwiched between the axel and gear leg adapter bracket to hold the pant in place. The bracket has four 10-32 nutplates for the inboard pant fastening. A single 1/4-28 bolt holds the the outboard side of the pant. The pant is cutout on the inboard side to clear the gear leg and the brake disk and caliper. The pant has six 10-32 nutplates floxed inside to attach the gear leg fairing to the pant. The pant bracket also holds the gear leg fairing and the pant with the same four nutplates and 10-32 ss panhead screws first mentioned above. A 1/4x1-1/2 inch ss washer is floxed inside the pant for the axel attachment.
2005-03-20 Applying UV Smooth Prime Applied 6 coats Poly-Fiber UV Smooth Prime to wheel pants, gear leg fairings, forward deck and instrument panel, canopy frame, turtle deck, horizontal stabilizer, elevator, vertical stabilizer, rudder, empenage fairings, fuselage and gear legs using a 4-inch foam roller. Poly-Fiber states that 3 coats will be sufficient for UV protection, but you will sand half of this off to get a smooth finish ready for primer.
2005-03-22 An Engine Information System is the only Engine Instrument The EIS provides RPM, EGT and CHT on all 4 cylinders, Oil Pressure, Oil Temperature, Carb temperature, fuel pressure, Peak Leaning, Manifold Pressure, Operating Hours, and external alarms.
The EIS is manufactured by Grand Rapids Technologies, Inc. www.grtavionics.com All probes are included in the $995 price. This instrument replaces about $2500 worth of steam gauges and saves 12 pounds weight in 1/5 the panel space.
2005-03-22 Poly Fiber is the finishing system of choice. The fuselage exterior was coated with glass beads and West System epoxy (micro). After setup the micro was sanded off so that the plywood pores and checks were sealed and the surface leveled. The 5/8" spruce frame can be seen in outline under the sanded fuselage plywood.
2005-03-22 Poly Fiber UV Smooth Prime was applied to all exterior wood and fiberglass surfaces. Six coats of UV Smooth Prime were applied according to the Poly Fiber application manual using a low nap 4-inch wide sponge roller purchased from Lowes. Three coats are sufficient for Ultra Violet Light protection, but half the coats may be sanded off to get a smooth surface. The Smooth Prime is easy to work with, cures quickly for multiple coates and hand sands so nice. Clean up before cure is with plain water. (Water is also the thinner that may be used.)
2005-03-23 Installation of the Wheel Pant The wheel pant must be leveled with the fuselage, centered side-to-side on the tire, at the right elevation and have clearance at the rear when the tail touches the ground. A piece of masking tape was applied on the outboard side of the pant. Then a string was sretched from the center of the nose to the center of the tail to establish a water line for streamlining alignment. The string was marked with a felt tip pen on the masking tape. A short steel angle was taped to the pant aligned with the water line. My level finder with its magnetic base sits very nicely on the steel angle. A single 1/4-28 bolt at the outer tapped axel end holds the outboard side of the wheel pant. After trial and error holding the wheel pant over the tire, a bolt location was determined and the first hole drilled for the 1/4-28 bolt. This determines fwd-aft, side-to-side and elevation location for the wheel pant. Next, the yaw, roll and pitch needs to be set. An Aluminum 6061 .063" bracket was fabricated with four 1/4 holes to sandwich between the gearleg bracket and the axel. This bracket has four fingers, two fwd and two aft, six inches long from the axel center with 10-32 stop nuts riveted at the ends. The pant is cutout on the inboard side to clear the brake cylinder, brake disk and gear leg. The cutout has to be large enough to clear the inboard bracket, but have space for holes to attach to the ends of the fingers. Placing the pant over the finger bracket is tight due to forward and after bulkheads in the pant. The fingers need to be bent and twisted to conform to the inside curves of the pant. A 1-1/2" ss washer was floxed inside the pant to provide reinforcement at the outer axel attachment point.
2005-03-23 Plans built with Diehl Vinyl EsterSkins The Horizontal Stabilizer is plans built, except using Diehl skin kit. The idea was to get a smooth skin without a lot of extra labor and sanding. The leading edges require fiber glass tapes to join and finish. All attachments and leading edges must use vinyl ester resin. The resin has lots of styrene fumes which requires wearing a charcoal respirator during application. The cured vinyl ester is difficult to sand, since the sand paper gets gummed up very quickly, especially using any power sander. If the part is kept cool (well under 60 degrees F) then reasonable sanding efficiency can be had. Advantages of vinyl ester are: about half the cost of epoxy resin and fuel proof.
For this application without question, I would use epoxy resin and conventional wet layup per the plans, were I to do it again.
2005-03-29 The instrument panel and forward deck are one piece. The instrument panel mounts the power control module with a row of switches at the bottom, a Dynon-10, a Grand Rapids EFIS 900, VHF comm, Transponder, Intercom, panel and cockpit lighting controls and two round fuel gauges. There still plenty of room reserved for a large GPS moving map display (yet to be selected).
2005-03-30 Transponder Antenna Installation The Transponder Antenna is enclosed in the fuselage behind the passenger seat. The antenna, aluminum counterpoise (ground plane) and fiber glass shelf weigh 6.2 oz. total. The counterpoise is epoxied to the 1/4" glass board which in turn is floxed to the braces in the aft fuselage. The plywood patch covers the former installation hole that had the antenna protruding from the belly skin. No more outside antennas.

In the center picture, the remote magnetic compass transmitter with a piece of yellow tape on the connector is at the top of the picture. To the right is the reversing bell crank and push tubes for the elevator.
2005-04-01 Converting from Retract to Fixed Tri-gear When the fully functional retract conventional gear was removed and replaced with fixed tri-gear, large holes were left in the bottom of the stub wings where the retract gear legs and wheel wells were. These holes were filled with 2" urethane foam, sanded to contour, wet layup glassed with KR fiberglass and West System epoxy and then finished. The UV Smooth Prime covers all the scars; it is impossible to see the old filled in holes. The forward gear leg holes were converted to inspection panels.
2005-04-04 The horizontal stabilizer is KR-2 plans-built with Diehl skins. The horizontal stabilizer uses the RR hinges and bellcrank per the KR-2 plans. Alignment of the hinges was done by using a slide projector with a 1/4" hole cardboard slide. Masking tape was put over one side of each hinge hole. A transfer punch inserted in the hinge half marked a pin hole in the tape to show the exact center of the hinge on that side. Another piece of tape was put on the opposte side. The first piece of tape was pealed back half way to insert the transfer punch to put a pin hole in the tape on the other side of the hinge. Remove the punch and smooth down the first tape. All three hinge halves were taped and pin holed. The slide projector was set across the room and the image of the slide hole was focused on the far hinge sitting on the aft horizontal stab spar. The hinge halves were wiggled around until the spot of light passed unobstructed through all hinge pin holes. The hinge halves were clamped in place and the spar drilled using the hinge mounting holes as a guide. The assembled hinge action is as smooth and free as a bank vault door. This hinge alignment procedure was done in 1987. Yeah, I know it can be tough to find a working slide projector these days. You can use a trouble light at the eyepiece of a telecope or binoculars. The big lense will project a wide but parallel beam of light suitable for hinge alignment.
2005-04-04 The elevator is KR-2 plans-built with Diehl skins. The elevator trim tab is KR-2 plans-built. The nyrod plastic push rod goes through the center of the hinge axis of the elevator and into the tail. The nyrod transistions to a small bell crank attached to the fuselage upper left side. A steel bowden push-pull cable then goes to the cockpit to attach to the trim handle on the throttle quadrant. The quadrant is a three-lever unit. Since I don't have a constant speed prop, that lever is used for the elevator trim. The bowden cable arrangement for the elevator trim saves 2.8 pounds over using the stranded cable, clevises and turnbuckles per the KR-2 plans. Were I to build the elevator again, I would: not use the nyrod at all; run the bowden cable all the way to the trim tab; and forget the transition bell crank in the aft fuselage.
2005-04-05 Elevator Control Linkage A Bell Crank was mounted in place of the cable pulleys for elevator control. This provides reversal for movement of the elevator just as the crossed elevator cables would have done. Aileron bearings and rod end bearings were used for smooth operation.
The black push rod on the bottom is attached to the bottom of the stick. Top push rod attaches to the bottom of the bell crank that holds the elevator counter balance weight.
2005-04-06 Elevator Counterweight Installation A lead counterweight was mounted on a bell crank and attaches to the elevator bell crank with a short push rod. This provides a larger movement than if the weight was attached directly to the elevator and also permits using about 1/3 the lead weight. The weight now is 2.6 pounds versus the 6.1 pounds previously needed and is also moved forward 14 inches for better CG.
2005-04-07 Elevator Bell Crank Inspection Port During the repair for a cracked installation at the rudder post, an inspection port was added to view the elevator Bell Crank Push Rod. This greatly facilitates installation of the rod end bolt and lubrication access. The port is closed with a Plexiglas window to facilitate preflight inspection.
The elevator bell crank has an extra bracket bolted on so that the rod end bolt is supported on each end for smoother and more reliable operation
2005-04-08 First round of sanding the UV Smooth Prime The six coats of UV Smooth Prime was sanded, but excess material had to be removed to level the vallys and creases left by the roller application. This left bare spots and thin areas. The rotisserie made it a simple and easy one-person operation to turn the fuselage for painting and sanding. Now I have to put more UV Smooth Prime back on to get it right. The UV Smooth Prime catylist has about a 60-day shelf life - it's use or loose!
2005-06-03 Wheels & Brakes are Lamb and Rosenhaun The axels, caliper and it's mount, disk, rims and tires are from Rand Robinson Engineering. The lower gear leg bracket is a steel weldment, part of the Diehl gear kit. I made the wheel pant bracket from 0.063" 6061 Al with several iterations to get it to work. The axel, caliper mount, pant bracket and leg bracket are match drilled for AN4 bolts.
2005-07-12 Applied UV Smooth with a paint pad In order to fill the vallys and creases left from sanding after using a roller to apply the UV Smooth Prime, I re-applied more UV Smooth Prime using a paint pad (from Lowes). This went on a lot faster and smoother. Skip Shepard, EAA Chapter 478 Technical Counselor, suggested putting a mist application of dark primer over the UV Smooth prime before sanding so I could easily see what needed to be sanded. I used the cheapist grey spray primer that Lowes had. I suppose black primer would have been better. It will all get sanded off, so no need to put much money into that.
2005-07-19 All Digital Instruments except analog fuel guages. Plenty of room in a tiny KR-2 panel. The panel is removable for annual condition inspection.
2005-10-08 Left and Right Wing Tank Repair After attaching the top Diehl wing skins on each wing, subsequent leak testing revealed a large (and whistling) leak in each wing tank approximately at the top of the outboard tank bulkhead rib. Vinyl ester resin flox had been used to seal the tanks and skins together per the Diehl instructions. A circular access hole was cut in the lower skin outboard of the tank rib using a Dremel tool, circle cutting fixture and a spiral bit (all readily available in Lowes). There was the leak whistling away due to a gap in the flox. Easy fix was to put a shop vac on the fuel outlet, apply vinyl ester flox to the offending gap with the vacuum sucking the flox in and the leak in each was permanently fixed. Leak testing is underway now.
2005-10-09 Landing Light Installation in Right Wing The leading edge of the right wing was cutout 7-1/8 inch by approximately 4 inch deep using the Dremel tool, router adapter and spiral cutout bit freehand following pencil lines layed out on the skin. Finish to the line was done with a sanding block by hand. The wing leading edge is slightly swept back, tapered and non-symetrical, so the plexiglas will need to match this complex shape.
The Brackets for top and bottom are made of flat .063" 6061 Al with (3) each 10-32 blind nut plates per bracket. Lots of 1/8-inch hole were drilled along the inside edge for better flox adhesion. The 1/4-inch foam was hogged out with a bristle brush in the Dremel in about 5 minutes.
The holding fixture to flox the brackets has a .060" plexiglas spacer to get the inset just right for flush fit for the plexiglas cover. That's another tip I picked up at the 2005 KR Gathering, thanks to Larry Flesner.
2005-10-15 Strobe, Position and Navigation Light Installation The right wing tip was cut out to install the Aeroflash combination lamp fixture P/N 156-0049-DF. The power supply will be installed on the firewall shelf since there is not sufficient room nor ventilation in the wing. Extra length strobe lamp cable was obtained from Aeroflash for the outer wing, stub wing and fuselage routing. There is a quick disconnect at the stub wing.
A foundation for the lamp fixture was made from 1/4" plywood to match the fixture. Three each 6-32 captive nut plates were "riveted" to the plywood to fasten the lamp fixture. By cutting a slightly longer slot in the wing tip at the navigation lamp clearance hole, the plywood foundation can be inserted inside the wing tip and floxed to the inside surface of the wing tip. Nylon 6-32 screws held the plywood in place until the flox had cured. The nylon screws keep the flox out of the nutplate threads and the flox will not bond to the nylon. (Another KR Net tip)
First picture has nylon screws in place. SS 6-32 screws will be used for strobe fixture installation
Second picture shows the LH Nutplate, ready for flox installation; the RH wing is upside down in the picture.
2005-10-20 Landing light cover foundation Drilled the bottom bracket and wing skin for the landing light fixture. Used a 5/16 ss carrage bolt and nylon insert stop nut (from Lowes) to secure the fixture (from Walmart). Installation is close, but still has room to pan and tilt for alignment. Installed reinforcement, from scrap Diehl wing rib material, at the leading edge for the cover support using vinyl ester flox.
The ground return wire on the lamp will need to be connected to a separate ground return; there is no chassis return through the wood and fiberglass in the wing. The 18 guage supply and return wires have been routed through the 1/2" pvc conduit from the wing root out to the tip light and back through gromments in the leading edge ribs to the landing lamp fixture. The conduit really simplifies the wire insertion through the wing.
2005-10-24 Wing tank leaks repair on right wing After fixing a huge leak between the top skin and outer wing rib/tank bulkhead, leak testing revealed a smaller but no less profound leak. I did not need any soap and water for a bubble test. Blowing some air by lung power into the fuel outlet using a vinyl tube extension, I could watch the dust get blown away from a hole in the upper forward corner of the same outer rib/tank bulkhead. That got plugged with another application of vinyl ester flox. Let cure and another leak check shows a smaller leak remaining. This is getting old, but getting closer to done.
2005-10-31 Repaired yet another leak in right wing fuel tank After the second leak repair, leak testing showed two small leaks at the site of the first repair as revealed by small but persistent bubbling of the soap solution (1/4 teaspoon Dawn dish detergent in 1 quart water). I rinsed the area with clear water, dried with hot air from a hair blow-dryer and then ground out the flox with a titanium burr bit in the Dremel tool. Reapplied VE flox with suction on the tank from the shop-vac and let cure at 95-degrees F for 24 hours. The leak tester still showed a small leak. I found one tiny leak at the vent fitting just outboard of the tank. Fixed that by tightning the gland nut. Another tiny leak at the wing tip vent. Reapplied vinyl tape to seal the vent. Checking the fuel filler cap show another leak. I torqued the filler cap and the leak stopped. These last three had been leaking all the while but were masked by the larger leaks. After 48 hours pressure is still holding; will run the leak test for seven days to confirm no leaks.
2005-10-31 Constructed a Mold to make the RH Landing Light Cover I traced the skin cutout on plywood scrap for inboard and for outboard of the right wing landing light. These were cutout and sanded to the line, then the pattern was transfered to larger pieces for the final pattern on 1/2" chip board. These end pieces were screwed to the ends of a 2x2x7" board. A piece of aluminum roof flashing was fastened around the chipboard with #6 flathead wood screws to form a replica of the leading edge wing skin at the landing light location. The screw holes on the edge of the chipboard were counter-sunk and the aluminum skin was dimpled by reinserting the flathead screws. This makes a reasonably smooth and uniform surface. The screw heads will be just outside the Plexiglas area during the "bending" process.
2005-11-21 Finishing for Paint Preparation Sanded the UV Smooth Prime bottom of fuselage and bottom of stub wings using 320 grit Mouse sander. Sanded bottom of stub wing fillets by hand with 320 grit wrapped around a rolled up stiff foam sheet. There are some thin spots, but close enough - ready for primer. UV SP on sides and tail group need sanding next.
2005-11-21 Assembled LH & RH Wheels, axels & brakes Assembled main gear. Had to use the pictures before paint had been applied. The LH & RH parts had been mixed up during painting resulting in lots of trial fitting to get them assembled correctly. Put antiseize (spark plug compound) on the 1/4-20 screw threads on the brake caliper and the 1/4-28 hex cap head screws holding the rotor disk to the rim. The caliper and rim have plain aluminum threads. Safety wired ss .041" on the two drilled 1/4-20 bolt heads for each caliper and each of the three 1/4-28 hex cap head screws for the rotor disks. Used ss bolts and ss metal stop nuts. This is the final assembly for the wheel & brake assemblies. These are ready to bolt to the bottom of the main gear legs with ss bolts & ss stop nuts (on hand now) after final paint is done on the fuselage and gear legs.
2005-11-23 Completed Leak Testing RH Wing Fuel Tank - No Leaks Leak testing final trial was done from 9:00 AM November 6 through 6:15 PM November 21, 2005. Temperature varied between 62 degrees F and 73 degrees F. Start temperature was 70 degrees F and barometer was 30.02". Finish temperature was 70 degrees F and barometer was 30.11". During the two weeks testing period, the barometer changes produced noticable but minor effects. The temperature changes produced about 12" water column variation. At the end of testing the water column was within 1/4" of the start line. Conclusion: There are no leaks in the RH fuel tank. The Tony Bingelis leak check method is slow but effective.
2005-12-12 Tie-down Anchor Installation Cut a 3-inch diameter access panel in the RH bottom wing skin behind the main spar and aft of the landing light for bolting the anchor bracket for the tie-down. A ply wood flange, similar to the Fuel Tank outboard axcess, was made and 6-32 stop nut anchors were "reveted" on using vinyl ester resin. The flange was attached inside the skin with VE flox and additional flox filled in the gap between the cover plate and the skin cutout. The gap dimension was established with 8 laps of vinyl tape as a spacer per Tony Bingelis advice.
2005-12-12 RH Fuel Vent Streamlining Made a streamline form from urethane foam. Drilled foam block with 3/8" brade point bit to match 3/8" Nyla-flo vent tube. Sanded bottom of foam to match wing skin contour and glued in place with VE flox. Next day applied more VE flox and peal ply. Ready for final shaping. The vent hole will be drilled into the Nyla-flo tube from the front and intersect the tube at right angle for maximum ram air during flight. A short aluminum tube will be floxed into the hole to provide a durable air inlet. Copied from Mark Langford.
2005-12-16 RH Fuel Vent Streamlining See previous entry. Used Urethane foam, glass cloth, cotton flox and vinyl ester resin. After cure the urethane was sanded to a streamline airfoil shape and covered with glass cloth, flox, vinyl ester resin and Dacron peal-ply. The leading edge was cut away and a 3/8 inch aluminum tube was attached on the end of the nylon vent tube with flox and glass cloth with the al tube facing into the ram air. After curing, the fairing was sanded to final contour ready for UV Smooth Prime and painting. Paper towel plug keeps the ram air inlet clear of filler, paint and dust during construction.
2005-12-17 RH Wing Skin Taped edges of fittings and put scrap screws in all access cover nut plates to keep the threads clean. Sanded bottom RH wing skin with 320 grit sandpaper and applied Poly Fiber UV Smooth Prime per the Diehl and Poly Fiber recommendations. Applied UV Smooth Prime to the fiber glass cover plates.
2005-12-17 Tie-Down Anchor Installation Primed and painted the RH & LH tie-down anchor brackets and nutplate brackets. The chrome ring is made by Bull Ring for pickup trucks and modified for KR-2 use. The small spring keeps the U-shaped ring retracted to the skin line until a tie-down rope pulls it out. Safety wire is attached to the keeper pin for attaching the retract spring. The chrome ring will latch in the extended position just like the pickup truck installation.
2005-12-17 UV Smooth Prime Sanding Continued sanding UV Smooth Prime on RH center fuselage using 320 grit sandpaper per Poly Fiber recommendations.
2005-12-18 Fuel Tank Cap Construction The fuel tank caps from RR Engineering are 55 gallon barrel bungs. They have a large recess for a bung wrench; this is not streamlined enough even when the cap is installed flush with the skin. I made a fuel cap wrench consisting of a flat piece of 0.125 6061 T6 aluminum. The waxed wrench was held in place on the cap with a C clamp. The cavity was filled with vinyl ester cotton flox. After cure the wrench was easily removed. Now the caps have a narrow slot for the wrench and are much more streamlined. The picture shows the caps ready for sanding and painting. The blue masking tape keeps excess resin off the cap top and threads for easier clean up.
2005-12-30 Sanding UV Smooth Prime I have been sanding the UV SmoothPrime for three days using an electric orbital sander and hand sanding both using 320 grit sand paper. The 320 goes a lot slower than 220 grit, but leaves a smoother surface for paint. I have the exhaust fan going and a 620 cfm shop vacuum intake right at the sander. White dust still goes everywhere. At the end of the day I look like Nanuke of the North just come in from the snow storm. The KR song by Jim Fahn has one whole verse with but three words repeated over and over: "I hate sanding!"
2006-01-02 Preparing to sand UV Smooth Prime After applying UV Smooth Prime to the top and bottom of the RH wing, I sprayed on a mist coat of cheap gray primer to aid as a sanding guide.
2006-01-18 UV Smooth Prime Problem When I sanded the UV Smooth Prime (UVSP) on the top right Horizontal Stabilizer, small chips of the UVSP started to flake off as I was just about done sanding that part. I was able to chip off small flakes with my finger nail. There were some spots that were tightly bonded, but most flaked off. No other surfaces seemed to have this unbonded problem. I cleaned the surface with acetone followed with solvent alcohol and reapplied the UVSP.
2006-01-23 Sanding UV Smooth Prime I built a sanding/painting booth in the workshop. This consists of plastic sheet curtains hung from the ceiling on three sides and plastic pined to the wall around the exhaust fan. The enclosed area is 10 feet by 20 feet. The fan is an attic exhaust fan (Lowes) rated at 62 cubic feet per minute. The bottoms of the curtains have ten-foot 1-1/2\" PVC water pipes attached with duct tape. Strings and pulleys are rigged to quickly and easily roll up or let down the curtains.
I keep a shopvac and a 650 cfm dust collector inside the booth to clean up the dust. The exhaust fan keeps a negative pressure inside the booth and pulls out the fine dust. I am amazed at how fine this dust is. I still have to keep a window open to prevent the exhaust fan from sucking smoke and fumes back down the oil furnace chimney.
3/17/06 Since January 24 I have been sanding UV Smooth Prime an additional 18.4 hours just on the fuselage.
3/18/06 Sanded an additional 3.0 hours on the fuselage.
3/26/06 Sanded an additional 11.5 hours over Friday, Saturday & Sunday on the fuselage.
3/30/06 Sanded an additional 4.5 hours Monday, Wednesday & Thursday.
4/3/06 Sanded an additional 2.7 hours on Sunday.
2006-02-06 2nd Plug Mold for Landing Light Lens Over the Super Bowl weekend (No, I did not watch the "game".) I started construction of another plug mold for a landing light lens. The previous plug mold did not have enough width, allowed the al. sheet to oil can, was to fat so as to not match the leading edge and there was no way to hold the Plexiglas in place during the heating process. The first mold produced a lot of warping in the Plexiglas.
I used thin card board to trace a pattern from the inboard and outboard cutout on the RH wing leading edge, transfered this to an Aspen board, then cut out five 'D' ribs that will support the thin aluminum sheet for the Plexiglas. The 'D' ribs were fastened to an 8.5" long Aspen board . The edges of the board were trimmed to match the wing curvature top and bottom. The amount of taper for this short section of leading edge is so gradual, it looks like I will be able to use the one mold to make both left and right lenses.
2006-02-21 Landing Light Lens Construction 10/31/05 Constructed a male mold from plywood ribs, aluminum flashing and cotton cloth to mold a 0.060 Plexiglas sheet heated to 275 degrees F in an oven. This approach yeilded a lens, but was awkward to handle the hot plexiglas, had too much warping and was not the proper shape to conform to the wing leading edge. The ribs did not properly support the aluminum flashing, which "oil canned" excessively.
2/21/05 The male mold of 2/6/06 did not properly support the al. sheet. Had too much oil-canning. Constructed another mold from solid lumber pieces screwed together and covered with cotton cloth. Narrow strips of solid lumber, covered with cotton cloth, were fastened around the mold with wood screws to hold the Plexiglas firmly in place as the heating and molding process proceeded. This second attempt, which produced much better results, still had a wave close to the apex that would not properly fit the leading edge. My molding technique still needs refinement.
2006-02-27 Landing Light Lens Construction Modified the male plug mold with another holddown strip and added holddown strips for the end of the Plexiglas. The Mold is covered with cotton cloth as is the holddown strips. Re-heated the previous piece of Plexiglas. This smoothed out the ripple at the apex. Technique is to first fasten at the apex, then progressively tighten strips toward the end edges as the Plexiglas softens and droops in the 275 deg. F oven about 25 minutes total time. This appears to eliminate the ripple effect. Must wear oven mittens for this operation. Allow the Plexiglas to cool completely before loosening the holddown strips to avoid Plexiglas spring-back
Trimmed the lens to fit the right wing leading edge false ribs and drilled the six (6) holes for -3 pan head ss screws. This produced a snug fit all around. Would like to use flat-head screws, but the .060" Plexiglas is too thin for countersinking. Final assemble after painting the wing will run a bead of RTV around the seam to seal water tight.
3/18/06
Additional 2.0 hours. Made another landing light light lens. This lens turned out with several ripples running from side to side. Closer examination revealed the edge of the Plexiglas was jammed against a screw for the end clamp. So, no matter how carefully I progressively tightened the clamps working away from the apex, the drooping Plexiglas sheet had no where to go except make ripples, something like mountain ranges on the edges of titonic plates, only on a much smaller scale. I have to either make the plexiglas sheet a little shorter or illiminate the screw. The former would risk having insufficient trim-off border for fitting, and the latter means yet another version for the mold. Gotta go with another mold mod.
2006-04-02 Converting the Sanding Booth to a Painting Booth Did a little touch up sanding on the fuselage and vacuumed all over the floor and the fuselage with a bristle brush. Moved all equipment out of the booth except the fuselage and rotisserie. Taped painter plastic sheet 0.6 mil on the floor to prevent painting the floor with over spray. Started building a frame to hold furnace filters in one of the shop windows to filter incoming air going to the paint booth and then out the exhaust fan.
2006-04-09 Fuselage - Sprayed 2 coats latex primer Applied 2 coats latex exterior house paint primer, American Heritage-$21.67/gallon at Lowes. Allowed 1 hour drying between coats per can instructions. Paint was not thinned, used straight from the can. Air input pressure was 40 psi set by a Sears inline regulator/seperator. The gun has a number 4 needle paint valve. My 6.0 cfm air compressor was working hard, but kept the air coming. Coats were thin and dried dead flat. Used about 3/4 quart for 2 coats.
Safety equipment included Tyvek coverals with hood, goggles, AO respirator with charcoal filters, latex gloves and 62 cfm exhaust fan.
Will apply one more coat for total of three coats of primer per Jon Goldenbaum, Poly Fiber, recommendation. He said nothing about using latex paint.
This is the first time I have ever pulled the trigger on a live paint gun; fools rush in...
4/10/06 The primer was rough to the touch especially within about 4 or 5 inches of the intersection of the stub wing and the fuselage. I think this was due to overspray. I sprayed another coat of primer using about 12 oz. of paint all over and will let it dry for 3 or 4 days before sanding. (additional 1.8 hours)
4/22/04 Hand sanded the primer on the stub wings and tail group with 400 grit sandpaper. Had lots of rain and high humidity. The sandpaper tended to gum up, so I had to stand down for drier weather. (additional 2.0 hours)
2006-07-03 Sanding Latex Primer Continued sanding the latex house paint primer on the fuselage with 400 grit aluminum oxide sand paper by hand. Previously I had used 400 grit silicon carbide wet/dry sand paper (used dry) because that was the only type 400 grit I could find at the hardware stores. The silicon carbide would gum-up very quickly. I went through 3 packs as I struggled to sand about 1/2 the fuselage over 9 hours. All out of 400 grit, I went back to Lowes and found 400 grit aluminum oxide. Wow! What a difference! The aluminum oxide just makes lots of white powder dust. The paper appears to get clogged, but one swipe with the dust brush and down the vacuum maw it goes. I sanded the remaining half of the fuselage with one sheet of aluminum oxide in about 1 hour.
The label on the silicon carbide sand paper says the surface is coated with resin. My theory is the resin "grabs" the latex paint dust and sticks it together for the gum-up. Every once in a while I would get a black streak on the paint. I suppose this came from the sandpaper; it is black also. Then I would have to sand more to get the black streak off.
2006-07-08 Sprayed two coats exterior latex semigloss house paint Sprayed two coats American Heritage exterior semi-gloss house paint on the fuselage and tail group. ($23.45/gallon at Lowes, most expensive latex paint they had.) About one hour between coats. Used about three cups total with #4 needle & 35 psi on the gun.
2006-07-21 Sanding second finish coat latex paint on fuselage and tail group Complained on KRnet about silicon-carbide sandpaper clogging. Advice was to wet sand. Sprayed on a mist coat of tap water using a pump spray bottle (Windex) and sanded with 1000 grit silicon-carbide wetordry sandpaper. Works great! No dust, just wipe off the water & wetted dust with a paper shop rag and throw the wet rag in the trash. Don't touch the sandpaper to the dry paint; the sandpaper will clog on the first stroke. You have to wet the surface first. I used one third of a full sheet of sandpaper to sand the entire fuselage and tail group.
2006-07-29 Spray painted third finish coat exterior latex semi-gloss house paint Used American Heritage exterior semi-gloss latex house paint, same as first two coats, #4 needle, 30 psi at the gun, required about 1-1/2 cups of paint. Need to thin the latex for more even coverage.
After 4 hours drying I can see fuzzy reflected images of the overhead flourescent shop lights in the paint. Will need to sand, polish and buff the semi-gloss paint to get the real shine.
2006-08-11 Sanding Fuselage and Tail Group Sanded with 1500 grit wet. Started sanding with 2000 grit.
An automotive paint store on Airport View Drive had the 2000 grit. I hate sanding.
2006-08-12 Sanding with 2000 grit wet. Painting with Clear Coat. Finished sanding the third latex semi gloss coat with 2000 grit. Sprayed on first coat of clear top coat; this is water based and compatable with latex paint. Got runs; this goes on fast and heavy because the clear coat has no pigment and pours like water. Held the gun off about 16 to 18 inches on the second coat; got two runs. The clear coat drys fast - about half an hour for thin coat.
2006-08-20 Sanding Clear Coat Theere were lots of runs and sags in the clear coat. They are hard to see with the white paint and crystal clear coat. Sanded entire fuselage and tail group with 400 grit dry. The clear coat makes white dust. Get into the white latex paint and it starts to gum up the sandpaper when dry sanding. Have to touch up the white latex paint in several places before applying more clear coat.
The trick is to spray a wet coat without getting runs. If I do mist coats, then the surface drys rough.
2006-08-20 Touch up Latex Paint Masked off three small areas with painter tape and applied Latex top coat to patch scuffs in the paint from sanding. Also trying to fill ONE ONERY PIN HOLE THAT LOOKS LIKE A BLACK HEAD ON THE WHITE PAINT! I can see it from 8 feet away.
2006-09-15 Thin coat of top paint needs touch-up on fuselage sides Several places on the fuselage have light gray shadowing. It appears like the brown plywood is not covered adequately. I know that cannot be with two coats of epoxy micro beads, three coats of UV Smooth Prime, three coats of Latex primer and three coats of top coat Latex exterior paint. Each coat was allowed to dry and then sanded smooth. Two coats of clear urethane were also sprayed on.
I masked off these areas, sanded off the clear coat and painted another coat of top coat with a fine bristle brush. The brush gets on a thick coat without runs.
2006-09-17 Sanding touch-up areas Sanded the touch-up areas with 320 grit aluminum oxide dry to remove the brush marks. Got a very good match with the rest of the fuselage. Pulled the painter tape off at the corner where the side meets the bottom of the fuselage. The new paint had wetted the edge of the tape. Tore off a triangle of the top coat about an inch wide and an inch long; D#mn! I guess the paint had not fully dried. So much for the safe release painter tape.
Sanded the triangle and touched up with a dab of top coat using a pipe cleaner for a brush.
2006-10-15 Finished Paint & Clear Coat on Fuselage and tail group Fuselage has total of 6 coats of UV Smooth Prime (PolyFiber). Sanded after each coat. First three were with roller; this did not work to well with excessive wrinkles that needed excessive sanding to get down to the bottom of the valleys for a smooth finish. Next three coats were put on using a fine bristle brush; still got brush marks but no wrinkle valleys. Sanded between coats.
Primer is American Heritage white Latex exterior primer (Lowes - $21.00/gal) sprayed at 35 psi. three coats (about 2 qts.) & wet sanded between coats w/black carbide paper 320 grit.
Top paint is American Heritage white (and tinted extra white) Latex exterior house paint (Lowes - $23.00/gal) used about 2 qts sprayed at 30 psi. Dry sanded between coats with 400 grit aluminum oxide. Had several small runs and one massive sag that had to be sanded out and touched up.
Top Coat is American Heritage clear urethane exterior (Lowes - $24.00/gal) sprayed at 20 psi. This stuff is thin and flows like water with detergent. Easy to get lots of runs. Have to make real thin coats. Sprayed 5 coats; dry sanded between coats with 400 grit aluminum oxide.
Lessons learned: Roller application for UV Smooth Prime goes on fast, but you cannot fill the wrinkles from the last coat. Brushing with a fine fine bristle brush works better. You still get brush marks, but these are not as deep and much easier to dry sand smooth with aluminum oxide paper. Fine dust goes everywhere.
Clear Coat has to be sanded between coats to get rid of roughness. I think these are craters remaining from popping air bubbles. Rubbed the last coat with a paper shop towel; that seemed to smooth things out.
2006-10-21 Wiring the instrument panel The panel includes a Dynon-D10 EFIS, Grand Rapids EIS with probes for 4 cylinder head temp, 4 EGT, oil pressure, oil temp, manifold pressure, carb temp, fuel pressure, alternator amps and voltage, Icom A200 VHF, Garmin GTX 320A transponder, intercom, left and right fuel guages, dimmer pots, Ameri-King AK-450 ELT control, ignition switch, alternator breaker and EXP 2V power control. A cable will also run to the remote digital electronic compass for the -D10.
The Dynon-D10 has been sent back to Dynon for upgrade to -D10A and to get a rechargable internal backup battery. The upgrade will also allow GPS inputs to a CDI display. A serial to parallel data converter will also be added between the -D10A and the transponder for mode-C altitude reporting.
Wiring has just been started.
2006-10-28 Installed main wheels on gear legs Installed left and right main wheels and axel brackets to the fiberglass gear legs with AN4C-14A bolts and ss locknuts. Used antisieze lub on the 428 hexkey drilled caphead bolts and attached the brake rotor disks to the rims. Safety wired the the caphead bolts with .032 ss safety wire. Attached main gear nyla-flo brake lines. Main gear is ready for 5606 brake fluid and wheel fairings.
2006-10-28 Removed plastic and tape after painting fuselage and tail group Removed the plastic sheet, tape on brake lines, tape on top longerons and plugs on flap and aileron push rod holes, access doors and stub wings. Sanded rough paint edges under the longerons. Vacuumed dust from aft fuselage. Cockpit needs additional cleaning.
2006-10-29 Replaced PTT wire on the control stick with shielded wire Removed the control stick. Removed the two wires installed years ago and installed a 24 gauge shielded wire for the PTT switch connection on top of the stick. Re-used the PTT switch and grip. Shielding is important for the low-level mic circuit with electronic ignition and dual strobe power supplies nearby.
2006-10-31 Fuselage Clean up Removed the plastic cover on the top fuselage after painting the exterior. I was surprised how dusty this bird had gotten. Wiped the cockpit area with shop rags dampened with water. Got those shiny epoxy painted wood grain surfaces back. Still need to do the aft section.
Re-installed the stick after the shielded PTT wire mod. Need to re-connect the aileron and elevator push rods.
2006-11-07 Reinstalled Control Stick The control stick was originally built according to stock RR plans with all cable runs for ailerons and elevator. A pushrod kit was purchased from RR and added to the stick for the elevator. An elevator bell crank was added aft of the seat for the pushrod and the elevator cables terminated at that bell crank. The elevator cables crossed midway in the rear fuselage. This arrangement sat as is for many years.
Then I decided to add a balance weight for the elevator in the aft fuselage (similar to Mark Langford). The cables had to go; they were replaced by two pushrods. See April 6, 2005, log entry. The aileron cable loop was also replaced with pushrods. Right-angle bellcranks replaced the pullys at the forward outer stub wing locations. The bell cranks used the same mounting brackets. The bell crank geometry also put the pushrods further aft to clear the fixed main gear bracket. See March 13, 2005, log entry. The further aft placement also meant a larger cutout was needed in the fuselage wall.
Pushrods were also added running fore & aft to connect to the bell crank at the aft outer edge of the stub wing. This bell crank was used as is from the cable system.
The ball & socket right-angle rod ends for the aileron pushrods provides extra rotation freedom to accommodate the two-dimension stick movement.
2006-11-10 Replaced VHF Antenna Cable Replaced RG-58U cable with RG-58CU cable. RG-58CU has a stranded center conductor and better dielectric inner insulation for lower rf loss. This means more power gets transfered to the antenna from the transmitter and better long-range reception.
2006-11-11 Replaced and re-routed rudder cables After the conversion from convential gear to tri-gear the rudder cables still had the tail wheel cables spliced on. Today, removed all the old cables and installed new rudder cables. The rudder ends of the cables were not terminated due to waiting for the rudder installation. The rudder is waiting for painting. The rudder cables are routed through 3/16" nyla-flo tubing in the cockpit area to preclude chafing on the fuselage, upholstery and people. 3/16" nyla-flo tubing has been faired into the aft fuselage wall to exit the rudder cables outside the fuselage.
Moved the right cable eye attach bolt on the pedal to give better clearance from the fuselage wall. Moved the left cable eye at the pedal from the outer to the inner side of the bracket to give better fuselage clearance. There is still plenty of room for my left shoe.
2006-11-13 Installing radio cables Fastened VHF antenna coax on left side fuselage, transponder antenna cable, ELT control cable and mic & headset cables on right side fuselage wih Adel clamps. Fastened the PTT switch wire at the control stick pivot anchor bracket, to preclude pinching and fraying dur to stick movement. Finding the right size Adel clamps is a chore. Anchor points and "riveted" metal stop nuts had been installed several years ago.
2006-11-18 Routed VHF and Transponder Antenna Cables and Headset Wiring Attached VHF antenna cable (RG-58CU)to upper left side of fuselage with Adel clamps. Attached Transponder antenna cable (RG-400U), Headset shielded wires and ELT control on right side fuselage with Adel clamps. Prepared foundation for EDC-10A Remote Compass; soldered small brass square clips to the head of 6-32 brass screws to make anchor studs.
2006-11-19 Installed EDC-10A Remote Compass & Boresight Alignment Set EDC-10A Remote Compass in the foundation behind passenger seat by placing brass screws/anchor studs on the module with nuts to hold the screws straight and rigid. Put epoxy flox (West System) in the previously prepared holes and pressed the compass module anchor studs into the flox. Leveled the module in the fresh flox and let cure.
After the flox was set about 10 hours later that day, re-leveled the compass module by bore-sight transfer from the fire wall to the module in pitch, heading and roll. Placed brass washers (3 under the right forward screw, 2 under the right aft screw and 0 under the other two screws) to get pitch and roll level. Drilled the holes oversize slightly in the module base plate to get rotation for heading alignment. Error in each axis as measured with pendulum angle measuring tool was less than 0.5 degrees. That's about the practical resolution of the tool. The fuselage must be set on the side to measure the heading alignment with the pendulum angle tool. Roll level reference was the shelf at the firewall.
2006-11-19 Strobe Power Pack installation at Aft Firewall Cut and fitted 3/4" aluminum angle for a mount for the two Strobe Power Packs to attach to the firewall shelf. The fins on the Packs must be set vertical for best cooling. Mounting directly to the firewall would not permit adequate cooling due to obstruction from the shelf on the bottom and the forward deck on top. More work is needed for this.
2006-11-20 Install EDC-10A Remote Compass Sender & Boresight This a continuation of the entry for November 19, 2006, to show bore sight measurements.
2006-11-25 Replaced the Clevis pin in the passenger shoulder harness anchor cable The clevis pin in the Y junction for the passenger shoulder harness anchor cable under the baggage shelf was to long. Replaced with a shorter pin.
2006-11-25 Replaced hinge pin bolts The elevator hinge pins are AN3 bolts. Replaced the pin for the elevator bell crank hinge with a AN3C-15, ss washers, ss castle nut and ss cotter pin. Hardware on the exterior are being replaced with stainless steel for corrosion protection enhancement.
2006-11-25 Installing OAT Sensor The Outside Air Temperature sensor is wired to the same connector on the EDC-10A compass module. Temperature data is multiplexed along with the magnetic heading data in the compass module and sent to the EFIS-D10A for display. Installation guidance says the sensor should be on the under side of the aircraft for shade from the sun, out of the exhaust gas and engine cooling streams and any other heat source. The bottom of the right stub wing, outboard of the inspection panel and forward of the main spar, was selected to meet the installation guidance and to permit simple routing of the wire cable to the EDC-10A aft of the passenger seat. The sensor has adequate cable supplied for this purpose.
The outer skin was taped to prevent scuffing the new pretty paint. Drilled a 3/8" hole using a brad-point drill bit for the OAT probe. Hogged out the urethane foam around the hole. Made a 1" square x 0.063" aluminum backup plate with lots of small holes. Floxed the backup plate under the fiberglass skin with West System epoxy and cotton flox, clamped with a 3/8" bolt and nuts coated with mold release wax.
2006-12-03 Installed EDC-D10A Remote Compass Wiring Installed wiring at the EDC-D10A remote compass connector for connection to the EFIS-D10A Display and for the OAT sensor wires at the EDC-D10A connector. Butt splice at the connector is in accordance with the Dynon installation guidance. The EDC-D10A uses a data buss to transfer data to the EFIS-D10A; this saves lots of wire. Put inspection seal dope on mounting nuts and connector screws for the EDC-D10A.
Also installed the EDC-D10A wires to the quick disconnect for the panel to fuselage junction. This may introduce a wiring failure point with another connector set, but will help with the panel installation and subsequent condition inspections.
2006-12-03 Headset wiring installation Headset jacks had been previously installed and shielded wires had been routed to the instrument panel mounting point on the right fuselage side.
Installed Headset wires and pilot's PTT switch wire from the stick to a connector at the bottom right of the instrument panel. These shielded wires could have been connected directly to the intercom in the panel, but wiring the panel this way would be a royal pain. A failure point may be introduced by this connector, but panel installation and subsequent condition inspections will be greatly facilitated.
2006-12-27 Wiring the instrument panel Installed connectors and wiring for the left and right strobes. Power packs are mounted on the C shelf at the backside of the firewall. Heat fins work best when vertical. If the power packs were mounted directly to the firewall, the forward deck would close them to tightly for proper air circulation. The power packs are mounted with aluminum angles attached to the aft edge of the C shelf. These units use 2.3 amps each for a total heat disappation of 64.4 watts. The electronic ignition will need 6 amps (84 watts) at full throttle. The alternator is rated for 20 amps, so everyting is still well within the electrical power budget.
2006-12-31 Installed connectors on the fuselage wiring for removable instrument panel The instrument panel will be removable for condition inspections and servicing brakes, instruments and associated items covered by the forward deck. Moving the panel is not intended for routine preflight checks. Molex connectors were selected for most of the disconnects due to their light weight, current handling capability, reliability and ease of use. Sub-D connectors are used where specified by the individual equipment manufacturers. For proper installation you must use the Molex and Sub-D pin crimping tools. A ratcheting splice and terminal crimping tool is also needed.
Wiring disconnects include headsets & PTT switch; nav, position, landing and strobe lights; remote mag compass; ELT control.
EIS (Engine Information System) uses Sub-D connectors.
RF cables for VHF comms and transponder use BNC connectors.
GPS antenna will be mounted on the forward deck.
2007-01-03 Painting misc. metal parts Started painting aluminum parts for locking cockpit access doors, canopy hinge arms and mounting brackets, push rods for flaps and aelirons. Used metal primer and white enamel paint.
2007-01-07 Removed the Fuselage from the Rotisserie & set on the shop floor The fuselage had been kept on the rotisserie stands for many years to facilitate interior installation of components, wiring, anchors for forward deck and turtle deck, finishing, sanding and painting. Now it is time for the Diehl nose wheel and Great Plains 2180 VW engine installation. Used an engine hoist to lift at the firewall bracket, remove the tripod, then set the nose down on the main wheels. Removed the bolt holding the tail to the rear tripod. Estimate less than 20 pounds weight at the tail bracket with the mains on the floor. It took a lot longer to think through the process than to actually do it. The hoist makes this a one-person job. The main point is not to drop and/or break something.
The fuselage looks rather small now.
2007-01-15 Started Engine Mount installation The Engine Mount is 5-point designed for a 2180 VW from Great Plains Aircraft Supply and Diehl Adapter Case with the starter at the 12 o'clock position. A RR VW engine mount had been originally intended and mounting holes had been drilled in the firewall for that 17 years ago. The two top holes are surplus. The two bottom holes in the firewall fit ok for the 5-point mount. Three additional 3/8-inch holes were matched drilled in the firewall and the 5-point mount was attached with hardware store bolts.
The Diehl nose gear mount bracket was trial fitted. The left strut brace on the gear bracket has an interference with the bottom diagonal brace of the engine mount. I tried various thickness spacers on the engine mount and nose bracket attempting to get a better fit. Used 3/4-inch wooden spacers between the engine mount and firewall for best fit; still had some interference. Dan Diehl advised by email to grind and bend the strut to fit. Steve Bennet advised go for it.
Conversation with Jim Faughn at the 2006 Gathering advised moving the VW 2180 about an inch forward on the KR-2 for better balance. I will go with the 3/4-inch spacers. Ordered (5) 2" X 2" Delrin spacers from Coffee Hill Machine Shop. This is the same material used for bed liners in heavy duty dump trucks.
Filed the left strut of the left strut on the nose gear bracket to get the fit.
2007-01-20 Attached engine mount with Delrin spacers Attached the engine mount with 3/4-inch Delrin spacers. Coffee Hill Machine Shop welded the file cut in the nose gear bracket strut. All fit up ok. Installed the nose wheel strut and fit checked the nose wheel. Cut 3/4-inch off the strut to get the aircraft to set level per the Diehl installation instructions. Noticed that the strut was canted about 15 degrees to the left. Further investigation reveled the flat attach bracket and the nose tube was welded about 15 degrees angled off to the left. Temporary shims were placed between the left side of the flat bracket and the fire wall to swing the nose gear strut to the right and into straight alignment. This action moved the brace struts out of line with the engine mount tie points. Quality control on this bracket leaves a bit to be desired.
2007-01-21 Attached the engine and the prop Attached the engine to the engine mount with Lycoming rubber isolators and hardware store bolts. Attached the prop with hardware store bolts. Measured the bolts to get the right length for ordering the pricey AN bolts. Removed the prop and engine to start a fix for the canted nose gear bracket.
2007-02-27 Brake line repair While drilling the holes in the firewall for the nose gear mount bracket, I had spent about an hour measuring the hole location defined by the bracket on the front of the firewall and translating where the drill bit would come through on the aft side. I would clear the brake line by 1/2". Wrong! I carefully managed to drill dead center through the right brake hydraulic line and protective aluminum tubing. Not only did I need to repair the Nyla-flo tubing, but it had to be relocated. Two 3/16 bolts needed to be in that horizontal line. Also, the bolts would be right on the edge of the 5/8 x 3-inch board backing the firewall plywood. I needed to add another 5/8 x 2-inch board to get the nose gear bracket mounted.
I had 3/4-inch thick boards, so I cut a piece to size and sanded to the 5/8-inch thickness. This was glued in with West System epoxy.
A new aluminum tube conduit was fabricated and put in place with adel clamps and RTV. I spliced the Nyla-flo tubing with a union. Now the firewall is ready for the reworked nose gear bracket; that's being remanufactured by Dan Diehl
2007-03-05 Sanding Right Wing Skin Moved the fuselage out of the painting/sanding booth and put the right wing along with its rotisserrie into the sanding booth. Sanded the bottom and most of the leading and trailing edges with 150 grit SandBlaster paper (dark pink resin sandpaper).
4/9/07 Sanded upper forward half of the right wing.
2007-03-12 Installing Diehl Nose Gear After receiving the re-worked upper bracket from Dan Diehl on March 7, installation of the nose gear resumed. Marked the firewall locations for the hole pattern and drilled new holes in the fire wall for the upper bracket. The new pattern is about 1/4-inch to the left and the same elevation. (4) 3/16 ss bolts are used to fasten the upper bracket to the fire wall. The left support strut lines up exactly with the engine mount; the right support strut has to be pulled by hand to the right about 1/4-inch to line up with the engine mount.
The nose gear leg was still tilted clock-wise from the first attempted fitting. The 1/4-inch bolts could not clamp tight enough to keep the nose gear leg from wiggling in the upper bracket. The 1/4 holes in the gear leg were filed to create short slots to allow counter clock-wise rotation until the lower end was setting vertical as called for in the Diehl instruction sheet. Using a drill press the holes in the upper bracket were match-drilled one at a time to 5/16-inch through the nose gear leg and 5/16-inch bolts were installed instead of the 1/4-inch bolts supplied with the kit. The gear leg and upper bracket feels like they are welded together now.
The lower bracket and nose wheel was aligned using a board clamped to the rim and pencil lines on the floor. The pencil lines were derived from the firewall vertical orientation. After marking with a transfer punch, the whole assemble was removed from the fire wall and drilled using a drill press according to the Diehl instruction sheet.
The nose gear parts need to be painted prior to final assembly.
2007-04-02 Completed Nose Wheel & Fairing Fitting Installed the nose wheel and fairing. The fairing is home-made the same as the main gear; it is larger than needed, but readily available. Used a Dremel motor and drywall bit saw to cut out the top to clear the strut and swivel bracket. Establised a level line on the masking tape same as the main gear fairing. Two bosses, taped for 10-32 screws, are provided on the gear fork. Leveled the fairing and drilled holes for the 10-32 screws. 1/4 inch spacers are needed at the bosses to keep the fairing side wall from being pulled in when the screws are tight. Match drilled (6) 3/16 holes in the Diehl-furnished strut fairing and the wheel fairing.
Floxed a 1/4 inch thick aluminum spacer on each inside of the wheel fairing and (6) nut plates at the strut through hole. Used rubber inserts through the screw holes to keep the nut plates in position while the West System epoxy cured. These rubber inserts work great. They are easily removed after the epoxy cures; parts are kept aligned just like using Clecos and no chance of getting epoxy in the screw threads.
Added a short mounting bracket for the top of the wheel fairing to prevent pitch movement; the Diehl fairing hole has a little gap around the strut that lets the wheel fairing wiggle in pitch. The short bracket is attached to the swivel yoke at the spring return 5/16 inch bolt. Attachment to the wheel fairing is with a nut plate, fender washer and 3/16" screw. The Diehl fairing has lots of clearance over the screw head and fender washer.
Now have to take it all apart for painting.
2007-04-15 Sprayed First Coat Primer on Right Wing Sprayed first coat vinyl outdoor house paint primer on right wing top.
2007-05-21 Painting Right & Turtle Deck Sprayed first coat of Vinyl house paint primer to bottom of right wing and turtle deck. The paint dries to the touch quickly and does not flow out much. The paint dries to a rough finish needing wet sanding. Dry sanding clogs the sandpaper very quickly
Sprayed white enamel (rattle can) on numerous metal pieces for canopy hinges, aeliron balance weight, access doors and inspection plates.
Made door lock stop plates and alodined same; ready for rivet and paint.
Reassembled the nose wheel fork and pivot.
2007-07-02 Attached engine to the mount and attempted to attach exhaust pipes The engine mount needs two more AN6-36A bolts. I used hardware store bolts for trial fit.
The exhaust pipes interfere at the bottom of the fire wall by about 3 inches. The ends of the pipes need to be either canted down more at a steeper angle or the vertical section coming down from the heads needs to be longer or both.
2007-07-03 Painting right wing, turtle deck, nose pant & access doors Over a six week period put two coats vinyl house paint primer on right wing and nose wheel pant, three coats primer on truttle deck and access doors, and one coat vinyl house paint top-coat on the above. Hand sanded with 320 grit between all coats after drying for a week or more.
2007-07-05 Assembled push rod and bell cranks in stub wing The push rods and bell cranks in the stub wings had been removed for painting and were now ready for re-assembly. Something changed in the geometry; there was an interference between the aft bell crank and the aft spar. A nut that secured a brace for the flap bracket was rubbing the bolt head used to secure the push rod end to the bell crank. After a day of trial fits and switching parts around and replacing the bearing on the left side bell crank, I bent the bell crank in the brake to put a joggle in the arm attaching the long push rod going toward the forward spar on each side. This action produced the needed clearance. Painted the scrapped up paint on the bell cranks. The alodin coating was still okay.
2007-07-15 Completed Painting the right wing, turtle deck, nose wheel pant & misc. parts Over the weekend of July 13, 14 & 15 sanded the last coat of vinyl primer, applied two coats of top semi-gloss vinyl house paint, sanded between color coats with 320 grit, wet sanded the top color coat with 600 grit, applied one coat clear vinyl house paint, sanded with dry paper towels (It takes off the imperfections without scratching), followed by one final clear coat.
I let the color coats dry 24 hours before sanding. The clear coat drys to the touch in about 15 minutes, but it is still soft to fingernail marks. I let the first clear coat dry two hours before sanding (buffing) with the dry paper towels. Plan is to let the paint dry for two weeks before applying decals and wax.
2007-09-22 Reworking the Intake Manifold Y Splitter The intake manifold Y splitter at the carburetor has a 90-degree V. When the pipes are all hooked up, the carburetor would sit below the bottom and to the rear of the engine. That would be fine for a tail wheel airplane. N6242 has the nose wheel strut and braces plus the diagonal brace for the five-point engine mount in the way. I took the Y splitter to Coffee Hill Welding and had them flatten the Y angle to about 20-degrees above horizontal on each side. They also cut off the bottom flange and re-welded it 90-degrees to the original GPASC orientation. The orientation change will set the carburetor intake towards the right side instead of forward. If the orientation remained forward, the intake would be directly against the Diehl case and interfere with the diagonal brace on the 5-point engine mount. The only concern for carburetor orientation is that it be upright so the float will work properly. Now the carburetor is at the rear of the Diehl case, clears all braces and has room for air hoses, choke and throttle cables and the mixture control cable.
2007-09-24 Dragon Fly exhaust pipes needed bending to clear firewall I had purchased the Dragon Fly exhaust pipes from Great Plains Aircraft Supply Company. Steve Bennett said the pipes would need some minor modification to fit my tri-gear KR-2. These were the closest fit off-the-shelf pipes for my 2180 VW. Each cylinder gets one pipe with the exit just below and slightly aft of the firewall. The compelling reason for this arrangegement was the extra braces on the 5-point engine mount and the nose gear strut. It is a relatively 'busy' set of brace pipes behind the engine. Any set of cross-over, two into one or four into one exhaust was just not feasable. Plus I did not have the welding equipment or skills to scratch build.
The end of the exhaust pipe needed to to be lowered about 2-inches to clear the bottom of the firewall by 1-inch. After marking the high side for a trial fit for each pipe, I put a rubber stopper in the exit end, taped securely with vinyl tape and filled the pipe with dry sand. Tapping the plugged end on the floor settled the sand to pack it tightly.
I tried using a hydraulic pipe bender, but the mandrels were putting dents in the relatively thin wall pipe. So, that approach was abandoned.
I rigged a jig with 2x4s in the bench vice to hold the pipe by the header end and strapped a weight to the exit end. The pipe was oriented high side up with the pipe approximately horizontal. Since the end needed to go down 2-inches, the weight was adjusted to just clear the floor for pre-load, then raised another 2-inches off the floor. The adjustable weight was the 82-pound hyraulic pipe bender. The ram was perfect to raise the bender off the floor the exact amount needed by tightning the strap in the mandrels.
Each pipe was heated with an acetylene torch over a 4-inch area about mid-length. The sand fill required a lot of heating to get the pipe uniformly very dull cherry red. The end of the pipe slowly sagged until the bender touched the floor. The actual bend amount in the heated section was very modest. Results were very consistent and repeatable both for the long and short pipes.
2007-09-25 Ceramic Coating on Exhaust pipes After fitting, bending, drilling and welding O2 bungs on the exhaust pipe, these were sent to JetHot Coatings http://www.jet-hot.com/Pages/coatings.html at their PA facility for ceramic coating with their Sterling process.
2007-10-02 Ceramic Coated Exhaust Pipes JetHot returned the pipes by ground FedEx seven days after I sent them by FedEx ground. WOW! They were gorgous looking like polished sterling silver. The ceramic is inside the pipes also. Cost was $165 plus $38 shipping. My shipping cost to them was $9. JetHot guarantees the coating for the life of the engine.
2007-10-03 Fitting Intake Manifold Cut the steel intake pipes with heavy duty tubing cutter. The cutter wheel makes a square cut, but leaves a pronounce burr at the inside edge of the pipe. I filed the burr off with round files and polished with sandpaper. The pipe sections are joined with pieces of 1-1/2-inch fuel hose and held with stainless steel pipe clamps. This system was purchased from GPASC.
2007-10-09 Fitting Carburetor Air Intake Pipes were cut to the final lengths. Coffee Hill Welding attached the 1/4-inch NPT bung to the splitter for the vacuum sensor hose and drilled a 1/64-inch hole in the manifold inside the bung. Pipes are ready for ceramic coating. Paint would do fine, but the sterling silver ceramic coat looks real nice and rust and corrosion would not be a factor.
2007-10-24 Making an adapter for mixture control The Zenith 1821 carburetor has a rotating mixture control using a fine thread needle. The needle has a roll pin set up as a T-handle. The VW speedometer cable has square fitting swanged to the end of the cable. On the car the cable is secured to the front left wheel bearing dust cover with an E clip. I am making an adapter to connect the T-handle needle and the speedometer cable. Five seperate pieces of aluminum are bolted together to make the adapter. Great Plains advises to brase the needle to the cable. The end fitting on the cable does not lend itself to that procedure and I did not want the needle to be permanent part of the cable.
2007-10-26 The intake pipes were ceramic coated Sent the intake pipes to JetHot for ceramic coating. Turn around was five days counting shipping both ways.
The fuel hose slides smoothly over the cast aluminum with the polished ceramic coating. Fit up looks good using my fabricated carb bracket attached to the rear of the Diehl adapter. There is plenty of room (now) for the carburetor. We will see when the oil cooler, oil filter, gascolator, heat boxes, heat muff, ignition, voltage regulator, lots of hoses and a battery join the party.
Need to drill the bracket for safety wire anchor holes and throttle cable sheath clamp, then paint the carb bracket.
2007-11-09 Cut opening for lights and tie-down anchor on left wing Layed off the cut-out for the left wing landing light using the plexiglas lens from the right wing. Location is the same as the right wing to correspond with the tie down anchor attached to the main spar. Layed off the cut out for the wing tip strobe and position light fixture using the 1/4-inch plywood backup plate. Position and orientation is the same as the right wing. Layed off the cut-out for the access inspection panel in the bottom of the left wing aft of the tie down anchor. Layed off the opening for the tie down bull ring and screws, same as the right wing.
Cut the openings for the above lay outs using a dremel with a router adapter and a sheetrock scroll bit. This bit cuts the double wall fiberglass & 1/4" foam like warm butter.
Drilled the (4) 3/16" holes for the bolts to fasten the tie down anchor and backup plate on the main spar. Used a 12" long bit and used the bracket as a template. The drilled holes just skim the inside face of the spar caps. The bracket and backup plate overlap the front and back of the spar caps and are clamped in place with the 3/16" bolts. The two bottom 3/16" bolts rest on the spar cap inside face.
2007-11-23 Installed inspection and wing tip backup & landing light lens brackets The inspection panel allows access to the aft spar for tie down bracket backing plate. The 1/4" plywood bracket has 3 6-32 nut-plates for the panel screws. The panel was floxed in place with Vinyl ester resin. Two simple aluminum angles and screws held the backing plate in place while the flox cured.
The backup plate for the wing tip light fixture has (3) 6-32 nut plates for the fixture mounting. The plate had Vinyl ester flox applied and then slipped in to the wing through the running lamp hole, turned with two fingers and pressed against the inside wall. Three (3) 6-32 nylon screws held the plate in place while the flox cured. Nylon screws were used so that the flox would not accidently bond the screws in place.
The landing light lens brackets (top and bottom) had been previously made from 6061 aluminum and had (3) 10-32 nut plates riveted on each bracket. The brackets were Vinyl ester floxed between the inner and out wing skin after hogging out the 1/4" foam. The aluminum brackets had lots of 1/8" holes along the edge to provide better anchoring in the flox.
Also put flox around the cutout edges to reinforce the outer skin at those edges, including the bull ring access hole.
2007-12-02 Cut hole for alternator load meter in instrument panel The alternator is build into the Diehl adaptor case. Output is rated for 20 amps. The output is run through a shunt. The voltage across the shunt is read by an ammeter calibrated to show 100 percent at 20 amps through the shunt.
The instrument panel is ready for paint. The backup aluminum sheet that goes behind the fiberglass panel is ready for alidyne, no paint, so the conductivity is maintained. Most of the wiring has been done, but then disassembled for painting. About 90% of the wiring from the panel to the rest of the aircraft is through connectors.
2007-12-29 Building Up the Carburetor Reworked the carburetor mounting bracket by removing the left side angle bracket and installing a longer and thicker aluminum angle bracket to hold the throttle cable sheath. This boden cable is a heavy duty style that was causing the previous bracket to flex as the throlle was opened and closed. Now the new bracket does not flex. Used a cable safe to secure the sheath. Worked out the throw geometry for the throttle butterfly bellcrank. The movement is total 2.5 inches at the wire attachment. The throttle lever in the cockpit is 3.0 inches total throw. The butterfly bellcrank on the carb has a spring loading to allow the extra push wire movement without the butterfly actually moving at the closed throttle position. Intalled a safety spring on the throttle bellcrank to pull the throttle to the full open position if the throttle cable fails.
Installed the carb temperature probe and secured the electrial wiring with two wraps of safety wire and rubber cushion in two places. Not very elegant, but the most durable way I could think of.
The choke cable attachment as furnished with the carb was rotated 180 and works well with the choke cable. The choke cable cockpit end has a ratchet detent to hold the knob in a set position yet allows rapid movement as needed. The carb has a spring to pull the choke in full open position if the choke cable fails.
2008-01-01 Installed D ribs for landing light, started inspection cover Reinforcement for the cutout for the landing light are two false ribs cut from leftover 1/4" glass ply used in the Diehl kit for the wing skins ribs. These ribs are exposed and recessed about 0.064" to support the plexiglas lense. Ribs were installed with VE flox. This is the same as the right wing.
For the tie-down anchor fastening nuts access and inspection flange: lined the sides and support flange for the inspection cover with vinyl tape to prevent flox adhering and to provide some space for removal after the Vinyl Ester flox sets up. Put tape on the inspection cover blank to aid finishing. Filed out the foam on the edge of the inspection cover for flox. Applied VE flox to the cover, set the cover in the hole and then filled the gap all around with more VE flox.
Filled the old boat eye anchor hole with VE flox.
Applied more VE flox to the fuel tank vent fairing.
2008-01-11 Cut holes in panel for the O2 sensor and fuel pressure gauges. The O2 and fuel pressure gauges are 2-1/8 round form factor with a behind the panel bracket to hold each in place. The O2 readout will allow precise setting of the fuel mixture at the carb. The fuel pressure gauge is electric and will allow monitoring the mechanical engine pump and the electric fuel pump. Mechanical fuel pressure gauges are considerably cheaper, but require a fuel line to be run to the back of the panel. That presented a safety concern for possible fuel leakage in the cockpit. Hence, the choice for an electric fuel pressure gauge.
2008-01-13 Prepare left wing fuel filler for painting The left wing fuel filler opening is rough around the filler cap. Clamped a plate over the fuel tank neck to keep debris out. Sanded the rough flox from the tank fabrication and hogged out the foam sandwich with a rotary wire brush and Dremel for flox installation. Vinyl Ester flox will be used for fuel proofing. This will seal the skin foam sandwitch from fuel spillage and smooth out the air flow over the wing at the fuel filler cap. The top of the fuel filler cap is flush with the wing skin. Need to make a suitable form for the flox to minimize grinding the excess cured flox.
2008-01-14 Sanding for prep prior to Smooth Prime Sanded the left wing leading edge tapes for feathering contour using 1/2-inch Dremel drum sander Aluminum oxide grit. The aluminum oxide makes lots of dust and eventuall clogs. Used 3 drum replacements for this part of the wing sanding, cost about 20 cents each. Sanded landing light housing, inspection panel for tie down anchor, wing tip light foundation, fuel vent fairing, trailing edge, and wing root area. Did some hand sanding to fair curved areas; used about 3/4 sheet of 120 grit aluminum oxide. Need to get the fuel filler area cleaned up, then ready for Smooth Prime.
2008-01-19 Sanding Left Wing fuel filler area The fuel filler was left a little rough when the fuel tank threaded aluminum insert was floxed in place prior to putting the top skin on the wing. On January 13 the filler area was floxed in. I ground down the excess flox with a Dremel 1/2-inch drum sander in about 5 minutes. The seat area for the gasket on the gas cap was still too high. Removed the metal stopper and stuffed in a rolled up foam sheet. Used the drum sander to grind off the excess flox along with the top of the foam. None of the sanding dust or foam debris got into the fuel tank. Vacuumed the area and removed the foam plug. Ready for smooth prime here.
Re-installed the metal disc stopper and taped with painter tape. Trimmed the painter tape so all the filler area will get painted except the gasket seal area.
Put sacrificial screws in the nut plates at the inspection panels and small twisted pieces of shop towel in the landing light lens and wing tip lamp foundation nut plates to keep the paint out of the screw threads.
Scuff sanded the entire wing surface for better smooth prime adhesion.
2008-02-03 Sanded Smooth Prime on the Rudder Sanded the rudder with 120 grit aluminum oxide by hand. Power sander is to aggresive for Smooth Prime.
The rudder had Smooth Prime applied about 18 months ago while finishing the fuselage.
Ready for primer (at last, hallelujah!)
2008-02-03 Sanded Smooth Prime on Left Aileron Sanded the Smooth Prime on the left aileron with 120 grit aluminum oxide. Smooth Prime had been applied about 18 months ago. Not quite finished the sanding. Also need to sand Smooth Prime on the right aileron. Yeah, I know its super bowl Sunday, but I have my own priorities.
2008-03-01 Sprayed Smooth Prime on Left Wing Sprayed Smooth Prime on Left Wing, Left and Right Aileron, fuel caps and inspection plates. Gun pressure was 40 psi. Used one quart for three coats. The wing rotiserie works well. Did not sand between coats. Touched up rough areas with a fine bristle brush.
2008-03-03 Sanded Left Wing, Ailerons, Flaps, Gear leg & Tail Group Fairings and Canopy Frame & Paint Primer After curing two days the left wing bottom was sanded with 120 grit aluminum oxide by hand. Trimmed the paper towel stuffed into the nutplate holes with a knife and Dremel tool cut-off grinder; this makes sanding a lot easier when you don't have to work around these obstructions.
Sanded smooth prime on ailerons, flaps, gear leg & tail group fairings, baggage compartment bulkhead and canopy frame with 120 grit aluminum oxide by hand.
Spray painted these items with two coats acrylic latex house paint primer, unthined. Used 30psi at the gun.
3/14/08 Wet sanded with 320 grit. Spray painted one coat acrylic latex house paint primer.
3/15/08 Wet sanded with 320 grit.
3/17/08 Sprayed one coat acrylic latex gloss house paint top coat, thinned 1/2 oz water per 16 oz paint. Paint is Valspar from Lowe's, $23/gal.
3/28/08 Wet sanded with 320 grit.
3/30/08 Wiped dust off all parts with a damp paper shop towel. Sprayed one coat acrylic latex gloss house paint.
3/31/08 Wet sanded all parts with 400 grit, wet wiped with paper shop towels, sprayed one coat acrylic latex gloss house paint @ 35psi gun pressure. This is the last coat of top paint.
4/4/08 Sprayed one coat Acrylic Latex clear coat. Looked great all wet and glassy. Half hour later, still looked great. An hour later there were runs an sags on the wing, the canopy and flaps. There was just to much clear coat at one time. I had forgotten how thin and runny this stuff is.
4/6/08 Wet sanded most of runs and sags with 320-grit. Still need a little more sanding.
4/11/08 Finished sanding dry with 320-grit. Wiped all parts with damp paper towels.
4/13/08 Painted a patch towards the end of the wing with acrylic latex gloss house paint. To get the area smooth, I had sanded into the primer; the color tone did not match the rest of the wing. Touched up other edge spots also.
4/16/08 Sanded the areas of 4/13/08 with dry 320-grit.
4/18/08 Painted the top & bottom of the left wing, canopy frame, flaps bottom, baggage bulkhead, fuel caps and inside of strut fairings with acrylic latex clear coat using a fine bristle brush. Some places flowed on nicely and dried very shiny, while others looked dull and rough.
5/2/08 Sanded left wing and canopy frame with dry 320 grit. Wiped with damp shop paper towel. Painted one coat acrylic latex clear coat with a fine bristle brush.
2008-03-22 Started fitting base plate The spinner base plate has a center hole that matches the Great Plains Force One hub. That simplifies centering. The hub and propeller use 5/16-inch bolts. My 5/16-inch transfer punch is too long to insert in the prop hub. I made a transfer punch with a 2-inch long close tolerance bolt by sawing off the head and grinding the stub while chucked in the drill press. I used a file to make a V cone with a fairly sharp point while the drill press turned. That process automatically centers the point.
Clamped the base plate in position on the hub, marked the drill locations with the short transfer punch and drilled pilot holes and then final 5/16-inch on the drill press. One hole was off slightly, preventing a smooth fit. The offending hole was elongated with four passes by a linear deburing tool. Next up will be mounting the spinner to the base plate and indexing the prop.
2008-04-07 Fitted Sterba Prop The 5/16-inch holes in the prop are to tight for the bolts. Recommendation from the Ed Sturba website is to file with "coarse sandpaper". No advice about the tightness of fit. KR builders who responded on the KRnet advised a smooth sliding fit. Filed the holes with 120 grit sand paper wrapped around a transfer punch. I am definitely not there yet. So, more of my favorite pasttime: SANDING!!!
4/18/08 Indexed the prop with the blade at 1:00 o'clock with piston #1 at top dead center (and crank timing mark at 12:00 o'clock. Also the spinner backing plate and crush plate are indexed and marked. Sanded the prop, crush plate and spinner backing plate on the crank prop hub as an assembly. Now have a smooth sliding fit. Marked and drilled the rim of the spinner backing plate and spinner for 13/64" holes for 3/16" screws and nylon stop nuts 6 places.
Make a paste board template for the prop cut-outs and marked the spinner. Cut the spinner for prop cut-outs 1/4" under size from the template using a hacksaw and drill. Then fit and file, over and over, to sneak up on the fit. Goal was to have a 1/8" gap to clear the prop all around and also allow installation and removal of the spinner. Put two wraps of vinyl around the prop in the area of the spinner contact to prevent scratching the finish during the fitting process. I should have made the first cut 3/8" under size, because my template was a too big at the corners. For the most part I have the 1/8" clearance, but a couple areas are about 1/4" clearance.
Cleaned, alodined and painted the spinner and backup plate.
2008-04-25 Closing the Head & Cylinder Cooling Ducts I am using stock VW cooling shrouds at the top along with the stock "Cool Tins" on the bottom of the heads and cylinders. There is a gap, varies about 1/2" to 1", between the top shroud and the "Cool Tins". The top shroud has a 90 degree lip on the front and back to fasten additional sheet metal, but the VW shops and mail order companies are no help. I am making some small gap fillers for these areas from 0.028" 2024 aluminum sheet. These will bolt to the top shroud and insert between the "Cool Tins" and the head and cylinder fins. Each gap filler is custom for it's location and requires some minor compound bending. The blanks are 2" X 5", bent 90 degrees down the long axis, then trimmed and bent to fit.
5/2/08 Completed metal fabrication for the four gap fillers. Changed the AN4-12 bolts for AN4-12A bolts and smaller washers on the oil cooler adapter to get a better fit for the right side cooling shroud.
5/5/08 Swapped the left and right intake mainfolds; these now stick out more to the side in a vertical line with the bails on the valve covers. The intake pipes from the carb are too short, so I got some more 1-1/2" fuel filler hose to replace the original short pieces to add an additional 2" to each side. Now there is clearance for the VW head cooling shrouds. Looks like the lower cowl will still fit; have to cut out for the nose gear and exhaust pipes before fit check.
2008-07-09 Painting & Installing hardware Painting for the Left Wing is done.
The tie down bracket has been installed. The bracket is home made from 0.063" aluminum. The rope ring is retractable; this is a modified Bull Ring commonly used on pickup trucks. The Bull Ring is mounted upside down and attached to the front face of the main spar behind the landing light. A light spring is also attached to the ring to keep it retracted until pulled out using two fingers and threading the tie down rope. I ordered the two Bull Ring tie downs from their web site; these can also be found at performance automotive stores.
The pitot static probe with nyla-flo tubing has been installed in the left wing just inboard of the landing light. The mounting bracket is attached to the skin and forward face of the main spar.
2008-08-04 Pressure Cooling Ducts Construction With the stock VW cylinder cooling shrouds, need to get air into the top coming from the front of the cowl. Made a left and right duct from 0.020" aluminum sheet. Four pieces for each duct were cut, bent and riveted to make each duct. The left and right duct pieces are each mirror images of each other, including the flipped bends. I started with paste board cutouts taped together to get the dimensions for the duct cross section, height above the engine and final dimensions, then transfered the shapes to the aluminum sheet for cutout. The duct inlet is low to meet the cowl inlet opening that will be below the crankshaft. That also means I have to modifiy the cowl as well. The idea is to get more efficient cooling by tapping the higher impact pressure just below the prop shaft level line. All of the wind tunnel studies, I have seen for this style cowl, show the change in impact pressure going from positive to negative pressure at the center of the inlets that are above the crankshaft level line.
2008-08-12 Engine Cooling Shroud ready for paint Fitted the left and right shrouds to the VW baffles. Captive metal anchor nuts, MK1000, installed in the baffles and shrouds to facilitate assembly.
Riveted 0.028" aluminum edge strips on the VW baffles to close the air gaps next to the engine case. The VW parts mechanic said the stock baffles have leaky gaps, but that does not bother the cooling on the Bug engine. Well, it bothers me, so I am closing the gaps.
The shrouds need adapters to attach to the 4" cooling hose coming from the lower cowl. I plan to make the adapters from fiber glass. Because the shrouds are set at a different pitch on each side due to baffle placement and clearing the ignition module (old distributer), the adapters will be unique for each side.
2008-08-18 Installing landing light fixture The landing light came from Walmart; it is an auxillary driving light. The fixture is to large for the anchor location. So, I ground out the top layer of fiberglass down to the metal insert in the bottom of the wing skin. Taped the area to keep stray flox off and filled the cavity with vinyl ester flox. Taped the light fixture with painter tape and squished the fixture into the puddle of flox to form a socket.

8/20/08 Removed the tape from the fixture. Need to trim some of the flox for a good fit.
2008-08-18 Upper and Lower Cowl Joining After living apart for 22 years in a crate, the top and bottom cowls are joined together. After matcheing the two parts and clamping, the drill spots were plotted to put the screws 2.5 inches apart and 3/8-inch from the edge of the upper cowl. The holes were drilled with 13/64" bit and a 3/16 cleco was installed one by one for close alignment. I was surprised how evenly the top and bottom came together.
Next will be installation of anchor nuts on the bottom cowl and counter sinking the top holes for counter-sunk washers and screws.
2008-08-20 Putting the top and bottom cowling together The cowling is a purchased part from Rand Robinson. These pieces sat in a crate for 22 years; now their time has come. I plan to join the top and bottom with counter-sunk washers and screws, and anchor nuts.
The bottom needs to be cut out to allow the nose wheel strut penetration and to install hot air exits along with the exhaust pipes. The front of the bottom piece will be modified to take engine cooling air at a lower level just below the horizontal line of the prop shaft. Also, carb, oil cooler and gascolator blast air intakes will be on the cowl.
The top needs to be modified to close off the cooling air opening. Aerodynamically, the present opening is set to high for efficient cooling. Pressure variations over the air intake opening will cause air to exit the opening at the top while air enters the bottom.
I will need to install an ugly bump just behind the prop to make room for the electronic ignition distributor pickup and the mechanical fuel pump. Everything else looks like they will hide inside the cowl ok with lots of room.
2008-08-20 Remote Oil Filter installation The remote oil filter bracket and spin-on filter were purchased from Great Plains Aircraft. The bracket is an aluminum casting. There is an insert threaded for 3/4" X 16 machine screw to connect the filter to the bracket. The bracket had not been tapped deep enough for the insert and there were shavings still imbeded in the threads. The insert had mangled threads on one end. The sealing surface on the bracket for the filter o-ring had not been machined smooth beyond the original casting; there were pits along the sealing surface from the casting process. After much fiddeling with this bracket and getting estimates from a local machine shop, I decided it would be cheaper to buy another bracket from my local NAPA auto parts store. I can checkout the new bracket before I put cash on the counter and no freight charges.
2008-08-21 Wiring the left wing Labeled the terminal strip and rung out the wing light wires. The pitot and static tubes are also in process of getting labeled; works much better if they don't get crossed.
Put the wing tip vinyl decals on and waxed the flying services.
2008-09-03 Fitting the Cowling Layed off lines on the trailing bottom edge to cut out for the nose strut and exhaust pipes. Cut these with a Dremel tool with a plastic cut-off wheel. This cut-off wheel goes through the fiberglass and gel coat like it was butter.
Made a plywood form for the top of the firewall to aid and define the fit line. This will be replaced with aluminum angle for the permanent mounting.
Removed the fuel pump, so there would be just one item to fit at a time. Made the first hole with a 2" hole saw, then sanded with a 1-1/2" drum sander on my cordless drill. Worked this hole to fit the distributor with about 3/8" clearance.
Sanded about a 1/16" each time off the trailing edge to true up the fit.
Installed the fuel pump and fuel line. Trimmed the cowl to fit around the fuel pump. Found the boss on the bottom front of the engine was impacting the bottom cowl. So, cut a small hole to clear that. Then discovered the Diehl casting was interfering on the top. Cut out another hole to clear the Diehl casting in front of the starter.
The left cooling duct interferes on the left forward edge. Need to cut the duct or rework it to fit. Have not tried the right cooling duct yet.
2008-10-17 Layed up fiberglass over the foam form to fair in the fuel pump, distributor and Diehl case. Required three attempts to get the urethane foam sanded to the shape needed without breaking through to the metal I was trying to hide. Removed the gel coat with Dremel and 1/2" drum sander. Masked off the area with vinyl tape and aluminum foil. Glued the foam to the fiberglass part of the top cowl with West System epoxy and micro. After the epoxy micro had cured, put thick miro around the cracks and edges for fillets. Before the fillets cured, layed up three layers BID & epoxy. BID was wetted out and squeeged between two sheets of 2-mil plastic.
Also layed up 4 layers BID on the forward deck left front to fair the firewall shelf on the left side.
2008-11-14 Installed Engine Air Exit Ramps; Closed Inlet Openings I closed the engine cooling air intakes. The two large holes were split between the upper and lower halves typical of most air cooled opposed piston engine aircraft. The plan is to ‘move’ the air intake holes lower down the front of the cowl to take advantage of the better positive pressure distribution for enhanced cooling and decreasing the cooling drag. I hot-melt glued ½-inch urethane foam in the openings, then put flox along with eight layers of BID and epoxy over the foam. When that had cured, I sanded away the foam and trimmed the original curved inlets to a smooth contour. While I was working that area, I glued a chunk of foam over the hole at the lower engine case, sanded that to stream line and glassed that with three layers BID and poured on micro to fill the compound curved fiberglass weave. I also repaired crack damage in the lower cowl at the spinner area. This crack resulted from poor packing when shipped from the vendor 22 years ago.

The cooling air outlets were fabricated on the lower cowl. I cut slits 13 inches long starting from the bottom trailing edge using a Dremel plastic cutoff blade. This action formed two ramps 5-inches wide and still attached at the forward end. I ground off the gel coat an inch back from the cut line for epoxy bonding. The gel coat is polyester over the epoxy fiberglass substrate. The shrinkage of the polyester compared to the epoxy became quite apparent as the newly created flat ramps proceeded to curl up immediately. Not to worry, I made a flat panel from last-a-foam and one BID epoxy on each face. After cure, triangle wedges were cut from the flat panel to form the side walls for the ramp and floxed into place to form the air outlet ducts. Two layers of BID inside and out reinforced the ducts. Each duct is 4 by 5 inches at the outlet. Curved ducts may be more esthetic and efficient, but the flat sides are considerably easier and faster to fabricate. Besides, it compliments the slab sides and bottom of the fuselage.

The curved cut out in the picture between the ramps is for the nose gear and fairing. The left filled in old air inlet can be seen at the top of the picture. Repair fiberglass for the old crack at the spinner area is barely visible.

2008-11-30 Engine Cooling Air Inlet Duct Construction The sheet aluminum ducts were abandoned as to awarkward to fit under the cowl. The compound curves needed to line up with the cowl inlets were to much for my meager sheet metal abilities.
Made plug mold forms from 2" urethane foam blocks. These were rough cut from 2'x4' foam sheets and then hot-melt glued together to get the rough shape. The foam plug was sanded using a Dremel 1/2" drum sander and finished up sanding with other chunks of foam. Clearance under the cowl is tight. I wanted 1/4" space between the cowl and the top of the duct. There was plenty of cross section volumn to work with, so I kept sanding the top until the clearance was ok. To measure where and how much to sand, the plug was put in place on the VW shroud, screws were arranged on the foam and the top cowl was put on. Where there was interference, the 1/4" diameter screw heads would be mashed down into the foam. I sanded those areas until the impressions were gone, then repeated the screw head test again. After about six iterations the screws no longer left impressions; there was at least 1/4" clearance.
Put a thin coat of micro over the entire plug molds. When this had cured, wrapped the mold with vinyl tape and a few pieces of duct tape. The vinyl tape stretches easily around the outside compound curves while the duct tape sticks better on the broad flat areas and the concave area behind the inlet mouth.
Put 3 layers BID over the vinyl and duct tape. Some areas have more layer thickness due to overlaping the strips to conform to the compound curves.
After curing and sanding the burs off the outside, hogged out the foam with the Dremel drum sander, then ripped out the tape. The foam remnants and micro came out with the tape. This is messy, but leaves a clean relatively smooth surface inside the one-piece duct for better air flow. Now they are ready for finish and paint.
2008-12-12 Constructing cooling inlet ducts Marked the centers and traced the cut line with a compass to cut six holes in the front of the lower cowl. Used a rotary zip bit in the Dremel for a rough free-hand cut for two 4-inch, two 2-inch and two 1-inch holes; sanded to final using a 1/2-inch drum sander on the Dremel. The rotary zip bit goes through the fiber glass and gel coat like slicing butter.
Made the inlet ducts with wet layup glass cloth and West System epoxy with PVC pipe forms.
The 4-inch PVC sections were cut on a wood bandsaw and then one side was saw cut to form a C. The curf was held open with small wedges to keep the pipe open to the original inside diameter. Mold release wax was applied to the inside of the pipe sections followed by 3 BID. The layups needed to be done in small sections due to the concave mold, so some locations had additional thickness due to overlaps. After curing the C was opened slightly with a screw driver and the rough duct fell out, ready for trimming to final length.
The 2-inch duct used 1-1/2-inch PVC pipe. The pipe was bandsaw cut length-wise about 4 inches. A wedge was stuck in the cut end to keep the original uncut shape. Then two wraps of vinyl tape were applied to bring out to required diameter. 4 BID wet layup was applied to the outside of the wrapped pipe. After cure the wedge was removed and one wrap of vinyl tape was pulled out to get a little space. The fiber glass shell came off with some twisting along the spirel tape lines, ready to trim to final size.
The 1-inch duct was done in the same manner as the 2-inch duct except using 1/2-inch PVC pipe as a form.
Ground the gel coat off the the front of the upper and lower cowls to prepare for fairing the cooling inlet ducts. Used a 1-1/2-inch drum sander and electric drill. Detail around the spinner area was cleaned up with the 1/2-inch Dremel.
Installed the inlet ducts with epoxy flox on the lower cowl. Used aluminum angle and 1/4-inch plywood clamped across the spinner area to set the ducts at the same depth even with the back of the spinner and square to the front of the cowl.
2008-12-20 Installed stop nuts on lower cowl Six 10-32 K100-3 anchor nuts were attached to the lower cowl adjacent to the spinner to help fasten the upper and lower cowl halves. Click-bond elastometric mandrels were recycled to hold the anchor nuts in place while the epoxy cotton flox cured. These mandrels do a superior job for attaching the anchor nuts to the fiberglass material. Spruce sells these in a 4 anchor nut kit for $23 - that is a rediculous price, but the mandrels can be recycled over and over, anchor nuts sold seperately cost 52 cents. I have had these elestometric mandrels for three years and have used them over and over.
2008-12-22 Oil Filler and Dipstick Door The oil filler and dipstick door had been cut out of the upper cowl with a plastic cut-off wheel and Dremel tool.
A door frame was made with 0.062" X 1/2" anodized 6061 aluminum, 0.062 3/4" anodized 6061 angle and a section of extruded anodized 6061 hinge. The frame and half hinge were riveted with 3/32" flat head rivets. 3/32" holes were drilled along the frame and hinge to make better adhesion for the epoxy cotton flox. The door was epoxy floxed to the hinge half along with a 6061 0.062" spacer for the Camloc 2700 door fastener.
2009-02-11 Mixture Meter Presentation ppt The Mixture Meter Presentation in PowerPoint has been updated to include 7 KR installations, status and owner comments plus new sensor technologies. Below is the list of users. Contact smwood@md.metrocast.net for a copy.

User Engine Status Link

Mark Langford Corvair Flying 2+ years http://home.hiwaay.net/~langford/corvair/o2meter/

Mark Jones (N886MJ) Corvair Flying 80 hrs www.flykr2s.com

Joe Horton Corvair Flying 2 years http://flykr2s.com/joehorton.html

John Gotschall VW 2180, turbo Installing John Gotschall [johng143@comcast.net]

Stephen Teate Subaru, turbo, injected Installing STeate@compositecooling.com

Dave Goodman Corvair Installed, not flown http://sites.google.com/a/wildblue.net/goodmans/Home/firewall-forward

Sid Wood VW 2180 Installing http://websites.expercraft.com/sidwood/index.php?q=log_entry&log_id=21302


User Comments (as of 2/9/08)
Mark Langford 1. Part auto gas, part 100LL, Replaced sensor at every 100 hours
Mark Jones 2. Exact set up as Mark Langford. very useful and accurate. run 100LL, no problems after 80 hours.
Joe Horton 3. Pep Boys universal sensor lasted about 120 hours on pilots side exhaust, run 100LL. Local speed shop meter, $90 . Building a new stainless steel exhaust, a boss on both stacks and install O2 sensor in both with toggle switch. I use the exhaust temp to lean more than the O2 and could live without the O2 at all. It is useful in adjusting the carb for winter and summer flying to know when the weather has affected the overall settings. I do use it as a cross check.
John Gotschall 4. Same as Mark Langford. Modifying meter for cockpit side wall installation. Bought two Bosch oxygen sensors for $15 on ebay.
Stephen Teate 5. Using three Bosch #BS11027 O2 sensors:One at the turbo for the computer and one in each exhaust pipe so I can read each bank separately. Same instrument as Mark and a SPDP switch to select which bank. Photos not yet available.
Dave Goodman 6. Same as Mark Langford.
Sid Wood 7. Same as Mark Langford.
2009-02-11 Fitting Upper and Lower Cowl Together The front of the upper and lower cowl halves needed to be extended forward about 3/4-inch and the flat area behind the spinner had to be extended about 1/2-inch. This was the result of moving the engine and engine mount forward from the firewall by 3/4-inch. The engine move was determined by CG calculation and the experience of other KR-2 builders.
The gell-coat on the front of the cowl halves was sanded off with a drum sander in an electric hand drill; detail was sanded with a Dremel 1/2-inch drum sander. Urethane foam blocks were glued to the bare fiberglass and when the epoxy cured, the foam was sanded to contour and glassed with 4 layers BID over both cowl halves together.
The cowl halves were cut apart with a Dremel plastic cut-off wheel. The exposed foam was glassed and the joggle overlap created. After trimming, the two halves did not quite fit; the joggle projected to much forward and the upper cowl over-hang was in to tight. To fix the mismatch, 6 layers BID were added to the outside forward edge of the upper cowl and 6 layers BID were added to the inside forward edge of the lower cowl.
Around the spinner area, 3 layers BID were put over the exposed foam and flat area behind the spinner. Two layers BID were put along the upper cowl side edges covering the existing bolt holes to strengthen these areas.
2009-03-02 Constructing Cooling Duct Inlets Due to the engine being moved forward 3/4-inch for cg purpose, the cowl has an interference with the forward part of the engine and there is a large gap between the spinner flange and the cowl. The cowl was enlarged 3/4-inch in the forward direction to make the air inlet ducts flush with the surface of the lower cowl and the upper cowl was also enlarged to match the lower cowl. With all the layup and grind down I may have been better off making a complete cowl from scratch. Some where along the way the lower cowl warped so the upper cowl appeared to have an over-bite. I spent two months getting the upper and lower cowl to fit each other.
After getting the fit right, I match drilled (6) 13/64-inch holes for 3/16-inch screws.
Installed 6 stop nut anchors in the lower cowl with epoxy flox using the rubber mandrels. These mandrels are a huge convenience and time saver for installing the anchors.
After triming the flox flash, I assembled the top and bottom cowl halves and counter sunk the outside screw holes one by one for dimpled stainless steel washers and flat head ss screws.
I still have a little over-bite on the upper cowl, but it will just have to be good enough. Next will be counter-sinking the upper cowl screw holes at the firewall, then finish for paint.
2009-03-02 Constructing Cooling Duct Inlets Installed (6) 3/16 stop nut anchors in forward area of cowl at the spinner.
2009-03-02 CHT Probe Installation Installed the CHT thermocouple probes under the cylinder head bolts at the intake area. There is one probe for each cylinder. Steve Bennett at Great Plains Aircraft Supply recommended that location as best representative for the CHT. Temperature during normal operation should be between 280 and 340 degrees F depending on throttle setting, OAT, altitude and cooling air flow. It would seem to me that the pair of probes will probably give the same reading due to their close proximity to each other.
I made copper washers the same thickness as the probe lugs with inside diameter 8 mm for the head bolt and outside diameter to match the probe lug inside diameter. These copper washers will center the probe under the head bolt washer and nut, and provide uniform bearing between the head bolt seat and the head bolt washer. The probe lugs are bent to fit into the machined well for each head bolt, washer and nut. The actual probe is in the crimped end of the lug and depends on the copper of the lug to conduct heat from the head to the thermocouple.
Retorqued the head bolts to 18 pound-feet per the Great Plains VW manual. I could feel the difference in torquing the nut with the copper washers and those without; the plain steel washer and nut comes up to 18 pound-feet quickly, while the copper washer crushes slightly for a slower approach to torque set point (click point on the torque wrench).
2009-03-18 About done fitting the cowl The upper and lower cowl were primped, fitted, sanded, layed up and generally fussed over until - that has to be good enough, 'cause it's just going to have to do.
The 6 brackets along the bottom of the fire wall hold the lower cowl edge with 10-32 ss screws and dimpled ss fender washers. The brackets were bent up from short pieces 0.063" x 1" aluminum angle. The captive stop nut is set at an angle to match the line of the cowl to evenly fair into the belly. The only gap is the ramps on the bottom surrounding the exhaust pipes ( 2 seperate ramps) for the cooling air to exit around the exhaust pipes. The exhaust and cooling air will tend to scavenge each other, hopefully, for better cooling flow and engine efficiency.
The top cowl has counter sunk holes all around the perimeter for 10-32 x 1/2" ss flat-head screws and dimpled ss fender washers; these set up about 0.015" above surface. My plan is to leave the ss bare. I have noticed other aircraft exterior painted screws usually were scared, so just leave them bare for accent. Besides, the paint on the screws and washers will just stick out more to create just a little more drag. SS does not need paint protection.
The cooling ducts were not installed for the pictures. The bump on top hides the electronic ignition pickup and the mechanical fuel pump.
2009-03-23 Fitting the Painted VW Cooling Shroud & Fiberglass Duct The standard VW cooling shrouds were modified and now painted Royal Blue with 500 F engine paint. The fiberglass ducts are smooth prime finished and painted rattle can white, ready for final installation.
2009-03-23 Additional VW Cooling Shroud & Fiberglass Duct Picture This frontal view has the cooling ducts sitting in place, so they are not fastened in their exact correct position. Note the gold colored VW Cool Tins at the bottom of the cylinders.
2009-04-08 Wiring wingtip and landing lights Wiring had been previously installed in a PVC conduit in the wing. Connected the wires to the terminal strip at the inboard end of the wing including Nav, Position and fuel guage sender. Strobe is a seperate shielded cable with a Molex 3-pin connector.
Installed the landing light fixture. The intended landing light fixture was barely fitting in the opening. On chechout, found the filament on the bulb to be open circuit. The replacement bulb at Walmart was $18. A new set of two lamps, fixtures and accessories was $17. The lamp fixture was a third the size of the old one. So, I bought the whole new set. Then had to fill in the cut out in the inside of the wing skin to mate with the now flat pedistal for the new fixture. Used cotton flox epoxy with a waxed wooden plug for the 5/16 ss bolt hole through the wing. Drilled a 5/16" hole through the new bracket to use the 5/16" ss stove bolt with nylon lock nut. Now have a spare lamp with fixture. If the lamp in the right wing fails, then I will put in the new fixture and lamp.
Connected the wing tip lamp fixture wires corresponding to the labels on the terminal strip. Bundeled the wires with lacing tape and installed the fixture base with 6-32 screws using the anchor stopnuts already in place. Lens and cover went on without incident using the 6-32 ss screws supplied with the fixture. Lamps checkout with a 12-volt battery at the wing root. Continuity checks ok on the strobe. Light-off on the strobe will have to wait until left wing and stub wing get closer to each other. Left wing only needs a plexiglass cover for the landing light to be ready to fly.
2009-04-08 Wing rotation jig I made a jig to hold the wings for finish construction and painting. The root is mounted using the WAFs attached to 2-inch aluminum angle bolted to a scrape of 1/2" plywood. A 1/2" bolt goes through the plywood and into another piec of plywood that is screw nailed to the heavy saw horse. The wing tip has 5/16" bolt, washers and pipe nipple fastened in the aft wiring hole for the wing tip light fixture foundation. The wingtip lamp foundation has a 1/4" aircraft plywood plate floxed on the inside and has 6-32 anchor nutplates inside for the lamp screws. The wing tip pipe nipple rests on a steel angle screw-nailed to scrap 2x4s in turn screw-nailed to the packing crate the VW engine was shipped in.
This jig works great for positioning the wing for painting and finishing tasks. To install the wing tip lamp fixture, the jig needs to be removed.
2009-06-05 Rigged the Engine Cooling Ducts to the Cowl The lower cowl was trimmed to allow a better fit for the engine cooling ducts. The Ducts are to close to the cowl inlets for the 4-inch SCAT hose to flex with engine movement. Tried pulling out the support wire in the SCAT; still won't fit right. Cut some of the cowl duct shorter and removed some of the old cowl to allow flex duct connection. SCAT hose needs more room to fit right. Cut and fit some pressure cowl gasket to wrap around the engine duct and secured with a hose clamp. The lower cowl fiberglass duct plugs into the pressure cowl gasket socket. Engine run up will tell the tale if this will work.
Enlarged the holes on top of the engine cooling ducts for better access to the screws that secure the duct ot the VW cooling shroud. Plugged the holes with 3/4-inch chrome snap caps from local NAPA auto supply.
Need to finish the old cowl removal work and seal the open foam with glass cloth and flox.
2009-06-05 Crankcase Vent Installation The crankcase vent and oil separator is a Great Planes stock unit that Steve Bennett installed when the engine was assembled. The top had a 1/2-inch pipe thread plug for an oil filler. A large allen wrench is needed to remove and replace this plug to add engine oil. I saw one of these in operation at the '08 KR Gathering. The KR-2 owner said he did not like the set up, but he could not do much about it.
I got Stauffer Machine shop to drill out the plug threads, insert a 1/4-inch wall aluminum pipe, weld it in place and drill that out to fit a stand replacement rubber oil stopper obtained from NAPA. It took Stauffer three tries to get it right. The first two times the pipe was set to high; not enough clearance under the top cowl. Now there is about 1/4-inch clearance and just enough room to remove the stopper. A better fit would have the pipe set flush with the casting. There is room under the casting for the 5/8-inch depth of the pipe without interfering with the baffle.
I installed the casting and baffle 180-degrees from the original so the vent hose pipe and elbow would not interfere with the engine cooling duct.
2009-06-10 Conditioning Brake Pads (This item was excerpted from an article by Steven W. Ells published in the February 2006 AOPA Pilot magazine and from the Parker Hannefin Corp, Cleveland Brake, website.)
A maintenance task often overlooked is the conditioning of new brake pads. This is an easy task, which should be taken care of after replacing the brake pads. If the maintenance facility says it's not necessary, or says it hasn't done it, then the owner should do it.
Most single-engine GA airplanes use organic brake linings. Heavier singles and twins use metallic linings. The conditioning procedure for organic linings is simple — taxi for 1,500 feet with the engine at 1,700 rpm while enough brake pressure is held to keep the airplane speed down to 10 to 15 mph. (The assumption here is a Continental or Lycoming engine. If you have a Rotax, VW, Corvair or similar higher rev-ing engine, this amounts to one third to one-half power setting.) Then let the brakes cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Metallic linings are used on heavier airplanes and the procedure is as follows: Do two full stops in rapid succession from 30 to 35 knots; do not let the brakes cool between the two stops; let the brakes cool for 10 to 15 minutes. If the conditioning has been successful, the brakes should prevent wheel roll during a full-power static runup. If the brakes aren't up to the task, go through the conditioning procedure again. An expanded explanation of the proper conditioning procedure is also online.
These conditioning procedures will wear off high spots and generate sufficient heat to create a thin layer of glazed material at the lining friction surface. Normal brake usage should generate enough heat to maintain the glaze throughout the life of the lining. Properly conditioned linings will provide many hours of maintenance free service. A visual inspection of the brake disc will indicate the lining condition. A smooth surface, one without grooves, indicates the linings are properly glazed. If the disc is rough (grooved), the linings must be re-glazed. The conditioning procedure should be performed whenever the rough disc condition is observed. Light use, such as in taxiing, will cause the glaze to be worn rapidly.

The above properly glazed condition is exactly opposite from what I had been told for many years, i.e. if the brake pads were glazed, they needed to be roughed up or replaced. The Cleveland Brake folks want you to have a glaze on your smooth brake pads for best braking action.
2009-09-08 Reworked the VW engine cooling shroud for stable mounting The stock VW engine cooling shrouds were not fastend on the inboard ends. The stock Beetle installation uses the cooling fan shroud to hold the engine cooling shrouds in position and the edges are bolted to the heater plenums. For the KR-2 installation there was a gap between the cooling shroud and the cool tins front and back on each side; I made 4 small adapters to bridge the gaps. The adapters are fastened to the cooling shrouds with screws and metal stop nuts. The adapters tuck into the cool tins to direct the air flow all around the cylinders before exiting at the bottom of the cylinders, same as the stock Beetle.
Aluminum angle was bolted to the top of the engine case at the oil adapter fitting and at the oil filler/air seperator. The ends of the cooling shrouds were attached to the brackets with 10-32 ss cs screws and metal stop nuts. The cooling shrouds are ridgedly held in place now and provide a much better foundation for mounting the fiberglass cooling ducts.
2009-09-08 Assembled the Carburetor and mounting bracket Attached the carb mounting bracket and Y splitter tube to the carb and safety wired the 3/8" bolts with .032 ss safety wire. Attached the carb temperature probe wires with DG-2 clamp and 8-32 screw secured with Locktite. The fuel pressure sender will need to be replumbed with a 45 degree nipple; the case has about 1/16" clearance from the engine mount. Engine shaking on the rubber mounts may bang the case against the engine mount strut.
2009-09-08 Attached Remote Oil Filter Bracket to the firewall Made a backup plate for the three oil filter bracket bolts from .093" 6061 aluminum. Match drilled the holes through the stainless steel, fiberfrax and 1/4" plywood of the firewall. The bracket is fastened to the firewall with 5/16" bolts and nylon insert stop nuts on the aft side. HP-1 oil filter seems large for the 2180 VW, but that is what Steve Bennett recommends for this installation.
2009-09-16 Fastened VW Cooling Shroud Attached the fabricated extensions to the cooling shrouds with 10-32 ss cs screws, ss dimpled fender washers, flat ss washers and ss metal stop nuts. Fastened the front and back of the shrouds with twisted ss 0.032 safety wire with the above 10-32 screws. All parts of the shrouds, extensions and cool tins are firmly locked in place on and around the heads and cylinders.
2009-10-21 Installed an elevator bell crank access and inspection port The elevator uses a push rod from the balance weight to the elevator bell cranks. The elevator connection cannot be observed during annual connection inspection and access to the rod end is next to impossible otherwise. The access cover is .063 plexiglass.
2009-12-12 Mounted Oil Cooler to the Firewall The oil cooler needed a mount and baffeling. The oil cooler was purchased from Great Plains Aircraft Supply. I constructed a combined mount and baffle from .025" 6060-T6 aluminum sheet. the oil cooler flange is bolted to two 3/4" aluminum angles inturn riveted to the side walls. The cooler is set a shallow angle in the box to evenly distribute air flow over the fins. The oil fittins are flush with one side wall. Hot water pipe foam insulation seals the ends of the cooler fins so that all cooling air goes through the coils. The firewall is used for the back side of the oil cooler box. The cooler box is bolted to the firewall using 3/4" al. angle riveted to the side walls. Cooling air comes 2" SCAT ducting routed from a plenum built into the lower cowl. Air inters the plenum from holes at the front of the lower cowl close to the base of the propellar spinner. The plenum was constructed on the lower cowl bottom and side with wet layup glass & WestSystem epoxy over a urethane foam core. After the epoxy cured, the foam was hogged out. The cowl serves as one wall of the plenum which is through bolted to the inside of the cowl using flat head 10-32 ss screws, ss flathead fender washers outside and 960 fender washers inside and all-metal stopnuts.
2010-01-02 Cooling for Electronic Ignition Module & Alternator Rectifier & Cabin Heat Installed SCAT ducting for electronic ignition module & alternator rectifier cooling and for cabin heat by routing waste hot air from the oil cooler to the cockpit by an air heat valve.
2010-01-16 Carb air filter & lower cowl left side plenum Installed air filter and box on the lower cowl left side plenum plus gascolator air blast cooling. The filter box is constructed from .025" aluminum sheet. The bottom wall of the box is cut out to take air from a matching hole on the plenum on the lower cowl left side. Inlet to the plenum is at the front of the lower cowl next to the base of the spinner.
2010-03-13 Engine and Fire wall ready to bolt together Preped the rear of the engine for controls connection and carb heat. Painted the brackets for: carb heat, strobe power pack mounting on back of fire wall, two battery mounts and cabin heat box. Drilled all holes in the fire wall for control cables, wires and mounting brackets. Mounted fire wall items on front and rear of fire wall.
Re-routed the cabin heat selector cable attachment to the oil cooler for better fit and not interfere with the engine mount.
2010-04-10 Completed carb heat installation The carb heat box was attached to the bottom of the engine next to the Deihl accessory case. A small heat muff is attached to the number 3 cylinder exhaust pipe. Intake air for heat muff comes from under the engine. SCAT hose routes the heated air to the carb heat box and then to the carb. Cold air to the carb heat box comes from a filter on the left lower cowl. The filter is supplied cold air routed from the front of the cowl at the spinner by a fiber glass plenum attached to the inside bottom of the cowl.
A bowden cable with ratchet detent operates the heat box.
2010-04-17 Completed oil cooler installation The oil cooler is an after market unit from Great Plains Aircraft. I constructed an enclosure from .025 6061T6 and 6061 angle. The cooler was set at an angle to facilitate air flow into the box, through the fins and exit. Pieces of high temperature foam on each end of the cooler keeps all the air going through the fins. The oil cooler box is bolted to the fire wall. The fire wall serves as one wall for the box. 2-inch SCAT hose goes to a fiberglass plenum on the right bottom and side of the lower cowl for cold air. The plenum is attached to the front of the cowl at the right side adjacent to the base of the spinner in the ram air stream.
Warm air exiting the oil cooler is routed by 2-inch SCAT hose to a carb heat box and then normally to the bottom of the cowl adjacent to the cowl exhaust duct to dump overboard. The heat box has a ratchet bowden cable to select routing the oil cooler exhaust warm air through the fire wall for cabin heat.
2010-04-20 Completed installation of fuel tank selector valve. The fuel selector valve has left, right and off positions. Selecting both wing tanks or cross feeding between the tanks are not possible. A Fauwcet electric pump is plumbed at the outlet of the fuel selector valve and bolted to supporting al. angle braces for the valve. The valve and pump are bolted to the front center of the main spar. All fuel plumbing in the cockpit is 3/8-inch aluminum tubing with flared 37-degree AN fittings. A shield was built over the valve, pump and associated plumbing to guard these components from heavy feet during entry and exit from the cockpit. The only thing that sticks out is the valve stem and handle.
2010-04-21 Completed mixture cable hook up to the carb The Zenith carb mixture is adjusted by rotating the high speed jet needle valve, clock-wise for lean, counter clock-wise for rich. As suggested by Steve Bennett at Great Plains, I bought a new VW Beetle speedometer cable and rigged it to attach to the T on the needle valve and with a knob at the instrument panel. The speedometer cable will handle lots of torque, but will wind up like a spring. So, resistance from bends in the routing need to be minimized. The carb needle valve exits down about 45 degrees and to the left. I routed the cable from the instrument panel left lower side through the fire wall above the C brace at the top of the fire wall to clear the rudder pedals, then down and back up to the carb. I put a brass tube over the carb end of the cable and bent the brass in a U shape to make a smooth turn transition. The brass tube is supported by several clamps and stand-offs so the speedometer cable transitions straight into the T on the needle valve.
A cable safe clamps the cable at the fire wall. The standard cable is too small for the VW cable. So I drilled the clamp to fit. The VW cable is just the right length for my installation.
The knob attachment in the cockpit consists of an aluminum C channel bolted to the angle bracket. This captures the fitting on the sheath of the cable and provides support for the rotating cable. A spring pin was jammed onto the square end of rotating cable to provide a shaft to attach the knob. A short piece of Nyla-flow tubing provides a bearing for the knob and shaft.
The attachment between the carb T needle valve consists of single piece of 6061 1/2-inch solid rod drilled to the diameter of the T needle shaft on one end and drilled to the diameter of the VW fitting on the cable. (4) 6-32 set screws hold the VW fitting in the 6061 rod. A hole drilled through the side of the rod accepts the spring pin for the T on the needle valve.
2010-06-23 Finished painting the cowl, forward deck and wheel fairings All of the parts had two coats of smooth prime, brushed on and sanded with 120 grit between coats, one coat latex acrylic house paint primer and sanded with 220 grit, one coat primer and sanded with 300 grit, one coat semigloss latex acrylic house paint sanded with 600 grit, one coat house paint sanded with 1000 grit, two coats clear latex acrylic exterior house paint buffed between coats with a blue paper shop cloth then waxed with Turtle wax per the can directions. All paints are Valspar from Lowes. The finish is certainly not the high gloss, $400-a-quart enamel, but I could spray it my self without fear of gassing myself and the neighborhood, and the price is right. Clean up and thinner is plain tap water. For the whole airplane I have $147 invested in paint, all from Lowes. The Smooth Prime is pricey at $156 per gallon. I think that epoxy with glass beads would have been a more durable and easier sanding undercoat, and a lot cheaper. The Valspar paints have the same ultra-violet sunlight protection that Smooth Prime advertises.

Also Smooth Prime and painted the interior of the cowl with the same process as above. The finish shows the fiberglass weave. Just wanted the make that surface a little easier to keep clean.
2010-06-24 Installed Cabin Air Ducts Installed air ducts on both side of the cabin using chet ducting. Round hole was cut into lead edge of stub wing using a 2-inch hole saw 18 inches from the fuselage side wall. Made a fiber glass duct by laying up 3 BID on a mandrill spiral wrapped with vinyl tape. After the West System epoxy set green, pulled the tape out to release the tube. Cut the tube to fit and floxed in place to the wing skin. Floxed a plywood bracket to support the inboard end of the tube. A duct goes to each plastic valve, left and right, fastened to the cabin side wall forward of the main spar. Air valves are just below pilot left knee and passenger right knee.
2010-07-02 Installed the rudder Installed the rudder using stainless steel drilled bolts, washers, castle nuts and cotter pins. All exterior bolts and associated hardware are ss to preclude rusting and subsequent wear on hinge bearing surfaces. The aileron piano hinge pins are also ss. Reworking the tail skid plate due to interference with the rudder.
2010-07-05 Installed Left Flap Installed left flap with ss AN3C-7 bolts, washers, castle nuts and cotter keys. Lubed the hinge bolts and bushings with Turtle wax.
Had to file some paint and the edge of the aileron transfer bell crank bracket due to paint build up at the flap.
Installed the left flap actuator push-rod. Will need to adjust the push-rod length to equalize left and right flaps so as to not induce a roll bias.
The flap, as shown in the picture, does not line up with the fairing on the fuselage because the flap is deployed one notch.
2010-07-07 Installed right flap Installed right flap same as left flap. Adjusted flap push rods to track within 0.5 degrees at each notch setting. Angle Finder accuracy is +/- 0.5 degrees. Had to sand some paint on the corners of the flaps at the wing contact points for paint buildup interference. Touched up the paint primer, top coat and clear with a small brush.
2010-07-09 Fitted Seat Back The seat back was made years ago from a single sheet of 1/4-inch plywood. Trimming was needed to clear the rudder cables and electrical wires now installed. Also the fit at the seat bottom needed adjusting. The top uses 10-32 X 1-inch flat head screws; the bottom uses 8-32 X 1/2" flat head screws. The extra length on the top screws accommodates the thickness of the brace for the baggage shelf. Captive nut plates on the top at the baggage shelf and revnuts on the bottom aluminum pipe simplifies installation and removal for inspections.
Applied one coat of West System epoxy thinned with MEK to all plywood surfaces.
2010-07-10 Brake Fluid Installed 5606 brake fluid in left and right brakes. Used a new pump-type oil dispenser to pump hydraulic fluid through a clear plastic hose from the bottom of the brake caliper, through the Nylaflow 3/16-inch lines and into the brake pedal master cylinder reservoir. Put a paper shop cloth on top of the reservoir vent as a full indicator. When the cloth started showing wetting, the reservoir was full. There is no other indicator for these master cylinders. Both pedals are firm on the first try and no leaks.
11/3/10 Correction: Got a very slow weep leak at the pipe thread fitting at the bottom of the left master cylinder. About 1 drop every three or four days. Have to reinstall the fitting and bled the line again.
2010-10-23 Started assembling instrument panel The instrument panel and forward deck is one piece, attaches to the firewall with a curved bracket, to the side rail longerons with slightly curved brackets, a center brace directly to the C-box at the firewall and at the side wall braces. All screws use captive 10-32 stop nuts.
I made a bracket to mount the 14point7 mixture meter at the old 2-inch round hole originally intended for the LED bar display. The 14point7 meter is a rectangular box with a 4-digit display. The extra width meant nudging in the space for the Load meter. I made a spacer from 1/4-inch plywood for the Load meter to get the mixture meter mounting screws to fit.
All of the openings needed to be filed to clean off the paint build-up so all the switches and instruments would fit.
Did a fit check with the newly assembled panel on the fuselage. Looks good mechanically, now for some serious wiring.
2010-12-27 Instrument Panel Wiring is complete. All wiring for the instrument panel is done. All lacing is done.
Sub-D 25-pin connector for CHT and EGT to the Grand Rapids EIS has stiff iron thermocouple wire. The cable bundle is quite stiff with little flex; will need to fasten the connector after the panel is bolted in place. (That will be a contortionist under the panel exercise.)
2011-01-04 First power up of the Instrument Panel Installed the instrument panel and attached all connectors. Running on a battery charger for alternator input power. Dynon D10A and EIS are alive and well. No smoke. Fuel gauges are pegged on empty (no senders attached).
Installed rf connector for the transponder on the RG-400 coax and rf connector for the VHF RG-58.
Electric fuel pump runs ok, but no fuel in the system yet. Tried cranking the engine. The starter will spin, but the pinion will not extend to engage the fly wheel. Removed the starter to measure the mounting dimensions per Steve Bennett's advice. He was concerned that the wrong pinion had been installed. While on the bench, the starter pinion could not be pulled out. Finally got a clamp on the gear teeth with the Vice Grip Pliers. After some tugging it finally came loose and slid out on the spiral shaft, smooth as could be. Gave it a squirt of WD-40 anyway. Re-installed and the engine cranks good now. All it now needs is fuel and a prop to be mounted to make real airplane noise.
2011-01-06 Seats interfere with the aileron push rods While seated in the cockpit, the sling seat (original RR product) rubs on the aileron push rods. With no weight on the seat, clearance is ok. I tried re-arranging the aileron control linkage, but that would mean reworking the whole stick assembly. To get the clearance, will need to make a rigid seat bottom like several I have seen on the KRnet sites. Removed the sling seat assembly. In doing that, had to cut the PTT shielded wire; so that needs to be spliced.
Everytime you change something, the ripple goes on and on...
2011-01-08 Made cover lens for left landing light Made a Plexiglas cover lens out of .063 plexiglas sheet. Cut the plexiglas over size, layed it on the form used for the right wing, put in the oven at 250 degrees F. When the the plexiglas drooped about 45 degrees each side, smoothed it down with oven mitts and let cool. Trimmed to size and drilled holes over-size for 10-32 pan-head screws. The lens is not water tight. Will seal with clear RTV.
So why is the lense huge and the lamp small? The original lamp broke the wire at the bulb during initial installation. So had to get a replacement. A set of the small lamps and fixtures was cheaper than a replacement bulb, same wattage. Now I have a spare lamp and fixture for either wing.
2011-01-10 Made forms to construct fiberglass seats The RR sling seat rubs on the both the left and right aileron push rods at the stick someone sits in the seat either side. Stick and elevator push rod clearances are ok. To get clearance need to build a rigid seat pan. Copied the form from a plastic chair to make sanding guides for the seat bottom and the seat top. These forms are complimentary with the identical screw patterns to hold the urethane foam in place for sanding top and bottom. The overall layout is similar to those referenced on the KRnet.
2011-01-12 Rigid foam set up for seats Cut 2-inch urethan foam 26 x 33 inches and fitted into the sanding fixture. Used 2-inch deck screws through the 1/2-inch sanding form to secure the foam block in place. Needed to cut the foam and rejoin with hot melt glue to get conformation with the curve of the sanding jig. Also added a piece of foam to the end to complete the overall pattern. Sanded the bottom of the seat foam using a 2 x 36 inch board with roll self-stick sandpaper (100 grit). The sanding goes faster if the board is tilted at 45 degrees to cut deep grooves almost to the top of the plywood forms. Then sand with the board flat until the grooves get filled with dust. Brush off the dust, re-do the grooves and sand again. The groove technique gives some place for the dust to go so the sand paper can cut better without riding on dust.
2011-01-13 Made a cover for the aileron balance weight access Copied the cover made about two years for left wing now for the right wing. Used the same mold.
Match drilled holes for 6-32 screws in the cover and on the edge of the access cavity rim on the left wing. Fitted captive 6-32 anchor nuts in the access cavity.
2011-01-14 Installed cover for right aileron balance weight. The right aileron balance weight cavity in the right wing did not have room for a rim flange. Each wing construction was done about two years apart and the false rib lay out was done differently. Stuff happens. Fabricated an aluminum angle bracket that bolts to the underside of the upper wing surface with (2) 10-32 ss truss head screws. The cover fastens with a single 6-32 screw in the middle of the cover. Every thing clears the moving balance weight by at least 1/4-inch and the cover is rigid in place.
2011-01-17 Glassed the bottom of the seat Put 2 BID 9.7 oz layup on the bottom of the seat. Covered with Dacron peal ply.
Trimmed the seat bottom around the edges at the rib form using a Dremel plastic cutting disc. Removed the form and reattached the foam and laup to the top rib forms. Sanded the top foam to contour. Glassed with (3) BID and West System epoxy, then (2) more BID in the seat pan area, then (1) BID over the entire top. Covered with peal ply. The bottom fiberglass will always be in tension and the top in compression. So, the top was beefed up to take the concentrated loads when the pilot or passenger steps on the seat pan getting in and out of the cockpit.
2011-02-10 Seat is too high; need to lower. The new rigid seat is too high. The torque tube for the flap deployment is in the way for lowering the seat. So, need to move the flap torque tube to a forward location allow room for the lowering seat and still remain clear of the elevator and aileron controls. Mapped out a new location for the torque tube and the flap handle.
2011-02-15 Lowering seat for room to close the canopy. The rigid seat is too high. Made rear suspension straps for the seat to lower the seat to 1/4 inch off the plywood bottom of the fuselage. Still not quite room to close the canopy and sit up straight. I am 5' 10".
2011-02-18 Reworked the rigid seat bottom. Cut away the lower bottom of the rigid seat to inset the attachment hardware to allow clearance for the brackets, nuts and ends of the bolts. Re-glassed the cut-away area. This lowered the seat 5/8-inch. I can still lower the seat another 1/2-inch, need to make new suspension brackets.
2011-02-20 Installed plywood for flap torque tube bearing anchor. The new location for the flap torque tube had 3/32-inch plywood. This not strong enough to support the loads from the flaps. Added 2 layers of 1/4-inch plywood at each location using epoxy and flox to glue in place.
After the epoxy was set, cutout slots for the flap torque tube and and nylon bearing supports (Triangle Mfg. FMN-12 from A/C Spruce). The FMN-12 can be tilted to allow for angled shaft entry; the KR-2 sides of the fuselage are not parallel and are slightly curved at that point.
2011-02-21 Made new flap torque tube The new location on the fuselage walls for the flap torque tube is slightly wider by 1/2-inch and the handle location and movement needed to be altered to remain clear of the left aileron push rod in the cockpit. Re-used the original bell cranks, flap handle and detent sector. Reversed the orientation of the bell cranks to account for the new angle of the flap handle and filed a slight notch in the bell cranks to clear the push rod at extreme flap retract position. Modified the flap detent sector to bolt to the fuselage side wall and at the left nylon bearing bracket (FMN-12). Shortened the flap handle by 1-inch to clear the throttle quadrant. Used a hex head bolt in place of the screw to attach the handle bell crank to the flap torque tube. Used a nylon insert 6-32 stop nut in place of the original plain nut furnished by RR for retaining the flap handle on the handle bell crank.
The only items not modified, replaced or reworked from the original RR flap handle and torque tube assembly are the spring on the push-button release and the handle grip.
2011-03-02 Installed new Flap torque tube and push rods. Set the rod ends on the outer side of the bell crank at the flap torque tube to get better clearance from the fuselage side wall and at the rear spar. Gerald Stauffer, Stauffer Machine LLC, made modifications to the flap push rods to allow easier installation and adjustment.
I modified the flap lock sector to allow easier installation. The new push rods permit simple tracking adjustment for the flaps; the flaps are now tracking with in 0.5 degree of each other over the full range of movement.
2011-03-05 Modified Seat Back The seat bottom is set 1/4-inch off the plywood at the bottom of the fuselage. That is about as low as I can get it. Still do not have adequate head room with the canopy closed.
Cut 3-3/8 inches off the leading edge of the baggage shelf that supports the top of the seat back. Made a new bracket for the top of the seat back attachment to the baggage shelf using 1/16x2x2 Al. angle. Bent one side of the aluminum angle in the brake to match to the intersection with the top of the seat back. Match drilled the flat side of the aluminum angle to fasten to the baggage shelf with FH 10-32 screws. All holes in the spruce and cut ends were painted with epoxy. Put K1000-3 stop nuts on the bent side of the aluminum angle. Filed the mounting holes for the lower mounting bracket next to aft spar to accomodate the increased angle of the seat back. Net result is to tilt the seat back top 3-inches further aft.
Relocated the seat back cushion attachment anchors to match the new seat back angle.
With the new seat back position I have adequate head room. Still could use another inch or two to the side; would have to widen the fuselage for that, not going to happen on this bird now.
2011-03-08 Repainted and installed the spinner The color (to much orange) on the RR spinner did not match the red in the fuselage decals. Sanded the previous paint for smooth finish and spray painted (raddle can) enamel. Not a perfect color match, but fairly close. After the paint dried for 4 days, installed on the prop with matching stainless steel hardware. Concern is to maintain balance for the prop and spinner.
2011-05-16 Re-installed Wings for Aileron Rigging Installed left and right wings using elastic stop nuts.
Connected push rod links from stub wing bell cranks to ailerons. Could not get full up and down movement of ailerons without hitting counter weight balance against the upper wing surface. Stick was noticeably left of center. Made a stick hold-down from a two-inch board with a 1-1/4 inch hole drilled through the center. The stick fits through the hole and the ends jamb on the fuselage said walls.
I disconnected the aileron link from the left side and adjusted the fore-aft stub wing push rod and aileron link to center the right aileron at neutral and also to get full +20 degrees up and -10 degrees down movement. The differential amount of movement comes from the stub wing bell crank being in just the right position when the aileron is at the neutral position. There is about 1 degree play in the system if the jamb nuts are not tight on all the rod ends. This is a long drawn out process of making an adjustment, putting all the hardware back together, tightening the jamb nuts and then checking for proper centering and range of movement.
After the right side was done, then disconnect the right aileron link and do the left aileron. Same process as for the right aileron.
With both ailerons aligned, connected aileron links and checked for proper movement. The stick will cause the aileron counter weights to hit the top wing skins, going about 1.5 degrees beyond full required movement. Now need to install a left-right aileron stop at the stick.
2011-09-12 Verifying weight and balance with industrial scales The weight and balance was done in August 2011 using digital bathroom scales. To get the CG in the forward range 30 pounds were needed in the nose. The new empty weight with the 30-pound ballast installed was verified using a set of industrial scales on loan from Jeff Test, Chapter 478. The weight numbers are with in 0.1 pounds for the two sets of scales.
Empty Weight & CG
Weight(lbs) Arm (in.) Moment (in.lb.)
Left wheel 285.6 18 4998
Right wheel 286 18 5005
Nose Wheel 189.2 -22 -4068
Aircraft empty weight = 760.8 5935
Empty CG = 7.80

Putting people and fuel in the airplane moves the CG aft.

Max Gross Weight & CG, Minimum Fuel, Standard Pilot & Passenger
Weight (lbs) Arm (in.) Moment (in.lb.)
Aircraft Empty 760.8 8 5935
Pilot 170 27 4612
Passenger 170 27 4612
Baggage 10 54 535
Fuel left wing 19 24 447
Fuel right wing 19 24 447
Weight = 1149 16589
CG = 14.44
The design CG range is between 8 to 16 inches aft of the datum (leading edge of the stub wing). Max Gross Weight is set at 1149 pounds. The only way to exceed the max aft CG is to load the aircraft more than the max gross weight.
2011-11-26 Going to the Airport Transported N6242 to St. Mary's County Airport using a converted boat trailer. A few boards were bolted to the trailer frame for the wheels to sit. Then the gear legs were strapped to the trailer. The wings were transported seperately in their paded rack in an enclosed motorcycle trailer. Two days later Bernie Wilder and I put the wings back on. Then the real fun began.
2011-12-03 Performed fuel flow tests - first attempt Attempeted to start the engine first time on the air frame. Steve Bennett, Great Plains, had assembled the 2180 VW engine and ran it for 1.5 hours nearly 5 years ago. In my shop and on the firewall, I had turned the crank 30 turns every 2 weeks and changed the oil every year. At the airport the engine would not fire. Troubleshooting revealed no fuel getting to the carburetor. The VW mechanical fuel pump was not pumping and would not allow the Facet electric boost pump to flow fuel to the carb either. After lots of try this, try that, simply removed the input and output hoses from the VW pump, connected them together and proceeded to start the engine using the electric boost pump. The 2180 fired up on the third blade through and ran just like the day Steve shut it down.
Shut down early due to oil leaking from the valve covers, dripping on the exhaust pipes and creating enough smoke for an aerobatic routine. Oil was spattered on the windshield and dripping off the firewall and fuselage. The new paint got Christened then and there.
2011-12-05 Repaired the rudder damaged moving to the airport The top trailing edge of the rudder was damaged when the loaded trailer was backed into the shop garage door. Sanded off the paint to the bare skin using a wire wheel and Dremel tool. Broken Spruce rib and crushed fiberglass was easily visible. Filled the gap with epoxy flox and clamped two flat aluminum plates to each side to get the flat contour. The aluminum caul plates were waxed first so they would not stick.
Refinished the repair area with epoxy micro, painted with latex acrylic house paint and clear house paint. Applied new Flag stickers and reinstalled the rudder on the vertical stabilizer.
2011-12-21 Fuel Flow Test - second attempt Put new gaskets on the valve covers and installed a 'T' in the fuel hose at the carb for the fuel flow test. Started the engine and ran for less than 30 seconds due to oil leaking at both valve covers. More oil to clean up.
2011-12-28 Reworked the fuel system firewall forward Installed a new VW mechanical fuel pump and an Andair check valve to by-pass the VW pump. There are 3 different VW pumps for this series engine with corresponding spacers on the block and 3 different push rods. I had the wrong combination. I needed the pump for a 1974 Beetle with alternator. I purchased the pump, spacer and push rod as a set from M&T Industries, RI.
The hose hookup allows the Facet electric pump to prime the VW pump, pass fuel around the VW pump and push air out of the system through the carb. The carb float bowl gets filled in the process. Also retained the test hose for the flow test.
Used the original valve covers that Steve Bennett had shipped with the engine. Painted the valve covers Ford Blue to match the cylinder shrouds.
2011-12-30 Fuel Flow Test - third attempt Set up for a fuel flow test: Fuselage tilted back on the tail for 14 degrees max angle of attack and 1 gallon of fuel in each tank. A 5-gallon full fuel can on the horizontal stabilizer keeps the tail skid on the ground. Turned on the Facet pump and caught fuel at the test hose valve in a 1-quart mason jar for the left tank. Took 38.7 seconds to flow 1.0 quart.
Do the math yeilds 23.25 gallon per hour.
Right tank test took 35.9 seconds for 25.06 gallon per hour.
Out on the tarmack did the same setup and ran the engine for a pump test at 3400 static RPM.
My able assistant, Bernie Wunder, did the catching and timing: Left tank took 42.5 seconds and right tank took 41.4 seconds for 21.2 gal/hr and 21.7 gal/hr, left and right respectively.
There may be up to +/- 10% error in the timing and +/- 5% error in volume calibration.
The 2180 requires 3.6 gal/hr at 75% power and 6.0 gal/hr at full throttle for 76 hp.
Conclusion: The fuel system is capable of delivering 3 to 4 times the fuel flow needed by the 2180 engine in worse case scenarios. The required 150% safety margin is measured at 350% safety margin worst case.
2011-12-31 Restoring fuel system to flight ready status Removed the test fuel hose and re-routed the fuel hoses for an airworthy condition. Still need to secure the hoses for vibration.
Tightened the oil line fittings on the oil filter to stop leaks found during the full power run on 12/30/11. Zero oil leaks at the valve covers.
Trouble shooting the oil pressure sender wiring. Problem is zero oil pressure reading on the Grand Rapids EIS.
Trouble shooting below zero reading on the left fuel tank gauge.
Need to rework the quick-drain valves for the left and right fuel tanks.
2012-01-08 Left fuel tank sender The sender for the left fuel tank reads below zero. The symptons indicate an open circuit from the sender. Verified that the wiring from the gauge to the sender is ok and the ground circuit is ok. Disconnected the sender wire from the circuit and measured directly at the sender. Resistance should vary depending on fuel level from 20 to 200 ohms. Measured resistance is 7.8 megohms, essentially open circuit. Need to remove the sender from the wall of the fuel tank to check for broken connections inside the tank. One hazzard is being able to re-seal the tank. Previous pressure leak testing verified a gas tight seal for the fuel tanks.
2012-01-10 Fixed oil pressure sender wiring The oil pressure sender is installed at the inlet for the remote oil filter on the fire wall. The blue anodize fittings are non-conductive and do not provide a ground for the sender case. During the initial installation, I installed a ground wire on the sender case and clamped with a hose clamp. This ground wire was routed back through the fire wall along with other sensor wires for the Grand Rapids EIS. The oil sender ground wire was intended to be attached to the instrument panel frame at the central ground point. The jumper wire from the EIS in-line connector was never installed. So, no oil pressure reading during engine runs.
The jumper ground wire is now installed and the instrument panel wire bundle is re-laced.
2012-04-06 Installed mechanical ASI and wet compass During scheduling phone calls with the FAA inspector, the inspector determined that the aircraft needed a mechanical airspeed indicator and a wet compass in addition to the all-electronic flight instruments. This was because I had requested day/night VFR operations. The FARs require the extra standby instrumentation for night VFR operations.
I purchased the Falcon ASI and wet compass from Aircraft Spruce.
I had considered a panel mount compass, but the wire bundle in that available location on the panel created excess magnetic interference. Relocating the wire bundle was not practical. The wet compass is a pedistal model. I made a bracket that is bolted to the front of the panel and the compass is mounted on the bracket. The wet compass heading sits steady as a rock when any or all power is switched on and off.
The 3-1/8" ASI is flush-mounted on the panel below the wet compass. Pitot/static tubing is T connected off the Dynon flight display.
Calibration of the ASI and wet compass will be done as part of flight testing. The FAA inspector is satisfied with the installation and calibration plan.
2012-04-12 Airworthiness Inspection Airworthiness inspection was completed by the two FAA inspectors on April 12, 2012. A test area was assigned sandwitched between the Washington ADIZ and Patuxent River Navy restricted areas and mostly over the Chesapeak Bay and marshy wildlife refuges on the Eastern Shore. If the engine ever quits, there is a good possibility I will get wet. The airplane is now legal to fly for Phase I testing.
2012-05-04 Brakes were binding Attempted taxi after fixing the last oil leak (at the oil cooler fitting). No oil leaks!
Finding it very difficult to apply the brakes either side. Turns out my shoes are too wide to fit in the narrow space between the master cylinder and the pedal arm. Pedals are hinged at the C box at the top of the firewall. When the left brake is applied, the pedal jambs against a bolt that anchors the bearing for the rudder cable. That holds the pedal depressed and keeps the left brake partially applied. So, I can only make left turns; lots of pedal stomping with my feet will shake it loose until the next time.
Need to make some other arrangement for the brake pedals. Larry Flesner sent some pictures of his brake set up. This looks like this approach will work for my top hinged pedals.
2013-03-16 Installed Mixture Meter I gave up trying to get the 14Point7 mixture meter (Air Fuel Ratio AFR) to work. Took that out and installed an Innovate MXT-L gauge. This is an automotive after market unit that includes the 2-1/16" gauge with built in computer and prewired pigtails with molded connectors, 8' or 3' extention cable, heated O2 sensor with pre-wired molded connectors, a 4130 welding bung and a pre-wired computer adaptor cable. The display has both a 3-digit numerical display and a rotating LED light display. Only wiring needed to play is power from the ignition switch, system ground, and either ground the dimmer cable or connect this wire to a 12-volt source for dimming the display at night. I did not have a handy source available, so I elected to connect to ground for steady bright display. Two analog outputs (0-1 volts and 0-5 volts) are provided for external data logers or remote gauges.
The mixture meter works great. Response is immediate and allows me to set the mixture with the carb mixture control for any throttle setting - just dial it in.
I also found during ground runs that the carb mixture tuning is way out of track. There is a manual mixture adjustment screw just below the mounting flange that will help linearize the mixture from closed to WOT.
2013-03-18 Weight & Balance after installing welded aluminum fuel tanks Performed a weight & balance measurment after completing installation of welded aluminum fuel tanks in the wings. The aircraft increased weight by 10 pounds due to the addition of the tanks. Also found that at fuel fuel the CG had shifted forward such that I could remove the 30 pounds of ballast in the nose. The ballast was bolted inside the cowl just behind the spinner. The net decrease was 20 pounds for an empty weight of 760 pounds. Gross weight remains at 1130 pounds.
The small ramps for the scales allows one person to pull the aircraft onto the scales. Rolling on also keeps the main gear splayed out so that there is no side load on the scales. The small chocks are taped to the top of the scales to preclude the aircraft from rolling off the scales. Been there, done that.
2013-03-26 First Flight Issues A moment after lift off on the first flight, the elevator went to full nose up trim. Trim control in the cockpit did not respond to any inputs. The elevator control was very responsive, but firm forward pressure on the stick was required to keep level flight. Stick position was held about neutral for level flight. Nearly lost complete control of the airplane in the first few seconds of this event. During the climb to altitude the oil temperature spiked at 240 degrees F. Aborted the flight and glided to an idle power landing at the airport still holding firm forward pressure on the stick. Bounced three times on the runway and damaged the nose strut.
Trouble shooting after the flight revealed the epoxy seal on the Nyrod trim cable sheath had broken. The center control cable was not damaged in any way. This allowed the sheath to move pulling the trim tab to full elevator up. The trim control would not return the tab to any other position.
2013-03-26 First Flight Issues Due to a broken trim tab cable sheath elevator control was very difficult. Bounced three times on the runway and bent the nose strut. The fix is replacement of the nose strut and of course repairing the trim tab cable. No other damage was found.
2013-03-27 Re-worked the trim tab Nyrod On first flight the anchor point for the Nyrod sheath broke loose. This moved the trim tab to the Full Nose Up position. The cockpit control had no effect on the trim tab. Had to hold constant forward pressure on the stick to maintain level flight.
Installed a 1/2 X 3/4 inch Al. angle to support an Adel clamp. Wrapped the Nyrod sheath with vinyl tape for a snug fit in a 1/4 inch fuel hose. With the Adel clamp fastened in place the Nyrod sheath was captured with no possibility of slipping and not pinching the cable.
2013-08-19 Balance CG is too far aft. CG is at 14 inches with full fuel and me on board. This is a marginal situation for safe flight. Decided to move the engine total 2-inches forward to get better CG. Since the nose wheel strut braces are attached to the engine, the nose wheel moves forward also. Had a local machine shop, Stauffer Machine, make 2-inch aluminum spacer blocks from 2-inch diameter bar stock plus a 1-1/4" thick aluminum spacer block for the nose strut at the fire wall. The first flight configuration had 3/4" spacers at the fire wall for the engine mount and no spacer for the nose strut base.
2013-08-19 Had high oil temperature for first three flights Oil temperature exceeding 250 degrees. On third flight kept the oil temp below 240 degrees F by keeping engine speed below 2800 RPM: not a safe way to fly and to seat the rings on a new engine.
Decided to install a Revmaster oil cooler, higher capacity oil pump, engine-mounted oil filter and a bottom-mount fuel pump. This change eliminates the long hose run to the oil cooler and filter on the fire wall. Running fuel hoses at the bottom of the engine will help preclude vapor lock when the engine is shut down on the ramp.
2013-12-11 Making a new cowl Making a replacement cowl after moving the engine 2-inches forward over the KR-2 plans dimension. The old cowl was sold to replace another cowl on a tail-dragger KR-2 in Michigan.
Used Styrofoam insulation from Lowes 2-inches thick, sawed in blocks and hot melt glued in place for rough shape. Hot melt glued the foam block edges together for a stable plug.
Cut the corners off with a hacksaw blade and sanded to shape with a rasp and Dremil drum sander. Hand sanded to final shape. Power sanding builds up to much heat and melts the Styrofoam. The Styrofoam insulation is about 6 pounds per cubic foot versus 2 pounds per cubic foot urethane foam normally used in wing skin construction. The 6-pound foam is more stable to work with and will be discarded when the cowl shell is completed.

Applied micro balloons and West System epoxy to seal joints and fill voids.
Power and hand sanding the cured micro to get a smooth surface for Wet fiberglass lay-up.
2013-12-13 Plug for a new Cowl Sanded the micro. Need to touch up some bare spots with micro.
Removed the nose wheel to get access for the power sander on the bottom.
2013-12-31 Sanded and taped plug mold Sanding and filling on the plug is done. Taped fuselage aft of the firewall to keep resin and glass cloth off the paint.
Waxed the parting area at the firewall mounting brackets.
Not very exciting stuff, but that's the prep needed.
2013-12-31 Cutting Fiberglass Preparing for the wet layup for fiberglass on the Plug Mold. Fiberglass is cut on the 45-degree bias for best rigidity. Pieces are nominally 18 x 22 inches for ease of handling. Smaller cut-off triangles will be used on sharper contours at the nose. Plastic sheets are 0.31" to be used to wet out the glass with minimum resin and to place the wetted cloth on the Plug. The plan is to use two layers and overlap about one inch at edges of the pieces. While the resin is still wet, will cover the whole thing with micro to fill the weave and overlaps.
2014-01-02 Laying up Fiberglass for new cowl Cut 12 pieces of 5.7-oz. fiberglass cloth 18 by 22 inches on 45 degree bias plus all the triangle cut-offs. This is about 4 yards off a 60-inch roll. Cut 42 pieces of 0.037" plastic sheet approximately 28 by 22 inch.
Lay a plastic sheet on the cutting board. Lay a piece of fiberglass on the plastic. Mix 4 oz. epoxy and dump it on the glass cloth. Lay another plastic sheet on top. Use a squeegee to spread the epoxy to wet the cloth. Drag excess epoxy off the cloth. Cut the plastic and cloth using the pizza cutter for final dimension. Peel off the top plastic sheet and discard. Use the bottom sheet to carry the glass cloth and place in position on the cowl. Repeat the process to lay up 2 layers of cloth on the cowl, over-lapping all seams by 1-inch. Some areas will have 4 layers due to the over-laps.
Apply micro slurry to the green fiberglass lay-up to fill the weave and fair the edges of the cloth. Take care not to disturb the green fiberglass. The cured micro will be easy to sand to prepare for paint primer.
Bernie Wunder provided nine hours labor for this task.
2014-01-05 Cut out cooling air inlets on new cowl. The air inlets for the engine cylinders is approximately 2-1/4 x 6 inches each.
The single inlet for the oil cooler, is 2-1/4 x 10 inches. SCAT hose attached to the oil cooler shroud conducts air for the carb air, cabin heat, transponder cooling, electronic ignition cooling, alternator regulator cooling and gascolator. Carb heat comes from a muff on the number 3 cylinder exhaust pipe via an air selector box. Alternator cooling is by under cowl ambient air pumped by the flywheel through the Diehl adapter case.
For these functions, the new cowl has to make it happen.
2014-01-08 Cut cowl to make top and bottom Sanded the top and sides of the cowl. Leaving the bottom sanding until the bottom cowl is removed; then can turn it over for much easier sanding.
Drew out the seam line for the top and bottom using an extension of the top longerons and curved over the engine cooling air inlets. Cut the cowl to form a top and bottom cowl. The bottom cowl has fiberglass overlaid onto the fuselage over masking tape. Working to free this overlay plus the foam hot-melt glued to the firewall.
The top cowl had stuck to the aluminum foil on the edge of the firewall and tore most of it off; will need to re-apply foil to seal the plywood.
2014-01-14 Removed foam from cowl The Styrofoam plug has served it's purpose and was removed from the fiberglass shell using a Dremel oscillatory tool with a scraper blade. The Dremel tool slices through the foam like warm butter, but, with care, does not cut into the fiberglass. The scraper also easily removes excess micro and hot-melt glue. The scraper blade has a 1-1/2 inch reach; cannot go completely through the 2-inch foam. So, had to remove the foam in two layers.
Trimmed the top and bottom to prep for another layer of fiberglass on the inside of the cowl plus 4 layers of fiberglass to support the edges for screw fasteners and captive nut-plates.
2014-01-22 Added fiberglass layup to the inside of the cowl The cowl (top & bottom has a thin layer of micro and a film of Styrofoam from the plug mold. Put one BID KR fiberglass & West System epoxy to the inside of the cowl for increased rigidity. Amazing what one lay up of glass will do for a sandwich construction.
Next up is trim the edges and put on a glass band inside at the mating edge to accommodate screws and captive stop nuts.
When the bottom of the cowl is firmly in place, then make the air ducts for the oil cooler and cylinder cooling.
2014-01-29 Building up the cowl Added one BID to the inside of top and bottom cowl. The scrim layer of Styrofoam and micro along with this single layer of fiberglass does substantially stiffen the parts. Put Dacron peal ply along the edges to prepare for additional fiberglass lay ups to re-enforce these edges for fasteners.
2014-01-29 Installed a Revmaster side oil drain Part of the Revmaster oil system is the side drain fixture. The stock VW drain plug would require removing the Revmaster oil cooler in order to change the oil. The side drain facilitates this very nicely. The bottom of the VW oil pan also has a large groove that accommodates the Revmaster side drain fixture. Coincidence? Not likely.
2014-02-05 Fitting the top and bottom cowl together Put 4 BID epoxy fiberglass on top edge of the bottom cowl to form a joggle to mount the top cowl. Used the top cowl as a form, clamped to the bottom cowl. Put mold release wax on the top cowl to prevent the two parts from bonding. Drilled holes for mounting screws before separating the parts. Required some persuasion, but the two parts did separate cleanly after the epoxy had cured. Cut off the extra fiberglass and epoxy flash.
2014-04-25 Final fitting of cowl before paint prep Put all the cowl parts together to check fit, make sure all the screws and nuts are sized right.
Lower cowl has a closure fairing for the nose gear strut and an access door for the gascolator. Upper cowl has an oil service access door.
Some nut plates were breaking loose, so drilled out all the rivet holes and installed flush-head rivets; kept the same flox, just added rivets.
Spinner back plate clearance to the cowl is a uniform 3/16-inch. Love it when a plan comes together.
2014-04-30 Painting the new cowl Sprayed exterior latex house paint primer on the top and bottom of the cowl, inside and outside, plus the air inlet fiberglass parts for engine cylinder cooling and for the oil cooler. Oil cooler plenum also takes inlet air for carburetor, cabin heat, transponder cooling, electronic ignition module, alternator regulator and gascolator.
A turquoise blue bleed-thru shows up in several spots coming through the white primer. I think this may be coming from a red pen marker I had used to mark spots for filling.
Amazing how the parts get blown around from the air blast from the paint spray gun.
The exterior latex house paint is the same as used on the fuselage and wings. The price now at Lowe's is about $30 a gallon.
2014-05-26 Moved the fuselage back to the airport Loaded the aircraft fuselage on the boat trailer for the move back to St. Mary's County Airport, K2W6, after changing the engine location 2 inches forward of plans call-out, installing a RevMaster oil cooler and oil pump, setting the idle to 700 RPM, and building a new cowl.
Move went okay. Now need to re-install the wings, do a weight & balance, get the pitot-static calibrated, then get on with flight testing.
2014-12-22 Repair Brake Bleeder On flight number 4 ran off the left side of the runway and scuffed the brake bleeder valve on the left wheel when the tire went off the edge of the pavement. Replaced the bleeder valve with ACS BRAKE BLEEDER ASSYMBLY Part # 11225 $9.75 each plus shipping. Replaced the right bleeder valve also while I was at it.
2015-02-01 Made adapter for push throttle knob control Removed the throttle lever from the left wall of the cockpit to install push throttle knob mounted on the bottom of the instrument panel. The purpose was to get more elbow room in the cockpit and permit better throttle control especially during short final and touchdown. Rotated the control arm on the carb throttle shaft 180 degrees. Made a new mount for the Bowden cable sheath on the carb and a mounting plate for the knob end in the cockpit at the bottom of the instrument panel. Bowden cable run will be essentially the same as previous. The new throttle cable has a Teflon coating for much smoother action and has a twist lock to prevent throttle creep. Relocated the fuel pressure sender for better fit of the new cable. Choke and temperature sensor remain the same.
2015-05-08 Added 49 pounds ballast for cg control Made ballast weight from a 30-pound free weight. (on sale at Target $8.89) Cut the handle off and trimmed the bottom to fit under the cowl. Installed weight is 26 pounds including the 4130 mounting plates and bolts. Installed this on the nose wheel support struts under the engine.
Made another ballast weight from (6) 1/4-inch 5 x 12 inch 4130 steel plates purchased from Stauffer Machine, $36.00. Installed weight with bolts is 23 pounds on the right hand side of the engine mount. Had to cut out some notches to clear the engine mount bolt, cabin heater air selector box, first ballast weight and exhaust pipe.
Ballast is attached to the steel strucuaral pipes of the engine mount and nose wheel strut braces with AN4 bolts in a clamping action. No modifications were made to the engine mount or nose gear struts.
2015-05-21 Removed the elevator balance weight for better cg After much discussion on the KRnet, the conclusion was the elevator on the KR-2 did not need to be balanced. I removed the elevator balance weight. The lead mass weight plus the bolts and mounting arms weighed 4.71 pounds and was centered at +95 inches from the stub wing leading edge datum. I had previously determined using an Excel spread sheet for my KR-2 weight and balance, that 49 pounds would be needed at the engine location (at -23 inches from the datum)to move the cg 3 inches further forward for improved flight stability. Removing the elevator mass balance represents 4.71 x 95 / 23 = 19.45 pounds not needed for ballast.
I moved the ELT from the rear of the baggage shelf to the floor of the cockpit forward of the main spar. The new location was at the 0 inch arm location. The ELT and rack weighs 3.5 pounds. The old location was at 60 inches from the datum. This represents 3.5 x 60 / 23 = 9.1 pounds not needed for ballast.
So, the total ballast needed is now 49 - 19.45 - 9.1 = 20.5 pounds. I dislike adding ballast, but this is needed to make my KR-2 a stable airplane.
Relatively small weights on a long moment arm do have a large effect on weight and balance.
2015-06-08 Young Eagles pre-flight briefing EAA Chapter 478 held a Young Eagles Rally on June 6, 2015, at St. Mary's County Airport, K2W6. For a Young Eagles flight the pilot is supposed to explain how the aircraft flies and show how the parts of the airplane function prior to getting under way. The Chapter also noted that none of the Young Eagles get to see the aircraft engine, since all of the Rally aircraft are buttoned up ready for flight. In order to save each pilot the ten minutes or so required to do the pre-flight brief for each flight, I used KR-2 N6242 for pre-flight briefing for the 155 Young Eagles signed up that morning. Each group consisted of 4 to 8 kids at a time and with some of their parents. This procedure helped speed up our flight operations and still give a quality flight experience for our Young Eagles. We managed to fly 132 Young Eagles with 14 aircraft before we were forced to shut down due to thunder storms.
2015-06-19 Revmaster head fail Andy at 2W6 hangar O2 has a Sonex with a Revmaster 2300 cc engine. He had issues with # 3 cylinder not making power. Today he opened it up and found the push rod for the exhaust valve was bent. The valve push rods are aluminum tubes with steel ends attached to the tube. He also found a crack in the head between the exhaust and intake valve seats on both #3 and #4 cylinders. The engine had 70 hours operating time.
2015-07-11 Fixed #8 oil leak at the oil pressure regulator I had installed a Revmaster oil cooler and oil pump on the Great Plains 2180 VW. I had search for this leak for months. Finally tightened the gland nut on the oil pressure adjustment screw for the oil pressure regulator. The gland nut has a fiber washer that seals the adjustment screw at the edge of the thread boss on the pump casting. Subsequent engine runs showed no further leakage. The adjustment screw squeezes the internal spring that in turn presses on the shuttle valve that will by-pass oil from the oil pump back to the oil pan. The oil pressure steadily rises with engine RPM from 22 psi at idle up to 42 psi at 2700 RPM and remains steady at 42 psi up to WOT at 3180 RPM.
The picture shows the gland nut in the center.
2015-07-13 Loose nose wheel strut The Diehl nose wheel strut on my KR-2 is a bent pipe; that slides into a socket bolted to the firewall and engine mount. The strut is pinned in place with (2) 5/16-inch AN5 bolts and metal stop nuts. The bolts are in close fitting holes match drilled through the strut pipe and the mounting socket per the Diehl installation instructions. The AN5 bolts are 90-degrees cross and about 1-inch apart. The strut pipe and socket are a smooth sliding fit.
The strut has a very small wiggle in the socket even with the AN5 bolts very tight. With weight on the nose wheel and pushing on the front, there is a quiet rubbing sound due to the strut wiggling.
Does this indicate some wear action that may eventually cause major problems later on?
2016-02-08 Installing an electric flap actuator Could not deploy flaps using the manual flap handle without flight upset due to the confined cockpit. Stick control is sensitive; my right leg pushes against the stick if I move to get room to deploy the flaps. Low and slow in the approach to landing is not the time for upset drama. The solution is to install an electric flap actuator.
Purchased an actuator from NV Aero; took three months to get it. Had no wiring diagram or installation drawings. The LACT-4, manufactured by Concentric International, has a 4-inch stroke, built-in limit switches at end of stroke and a built-in precision potentiometer to indicate the actuator position. Steve Glover at NV Aero said the potentiometer was not used in KR-2 installations. For my retrofit installation the full stroke would have to be limited to about 3-inches. Rigging up external limit switches was going to be awkward and prone to unreliability issues. In researching the web, I found that Concentric makes a controller, LA-Controller, specifically for the LACT series. The LA-Controller can be preset for three actuator positions and called by push buttons on the supplied push button display that has LED indicators for each position.
I constructed a mount for the display and three position switches. An external LED lamp is also installed on the mount to give a continuous indication that flaps are deployed.
Installation is on-going.
2016-02-27 PS-1 Power Control While making the power connection for the new electric flap actuator, I found 2 each AN970-3 fender washers on the PCB: One was laying loose on some components on the PCB; no apparent problem there. The second washer was wedged between a grounded brace on the PCB and the output lug on the GPS power switch. Whenever the switch was turned on, the circuit would short out and trip the electronic circuit breaker. So, no power for the GPS. The GPS had always worked on internal batteries. After removing the washers, normal electrical operation resumed.
Have not a clue how these washers came to be on the PCB. Stuff happens.
2016-04-18 Flap Actuator Installation Installed the flap actuator, controller and control head in the cockpit. Actuator and linkage is under the pilot's seat. Fabricated a bell crank and push rod on the flap torque tube, and a bell crank attached to the bottom of the main spar. The end of the actuator is attached to the foundation of the control stick with a hinge assembly and pin. The Controller module is fastened to the under side of the actuator using 0.040" aluminum plates and (4) AN-3 bolts. A micro switch is attached to the end of the actuator to turn on an LED on the control head when the flaps are not fully retracted. The control head was fabricated to mount the programming switch set for the controller, three push buttons and the LED indicator. The programmer will set the extension of the actuator for any point from fully retracted to fully extended. The actuator is capable of 3.9 inches total movement with up to 110 pound force. Static force is 500 pounds. I needed 3.1 inches movement; so the controller acts as a built-in limit switch. The programmer also has LED indicators on each switch that are on when the actuator is moving to that programmed position. The added pushbuttons will also cause the actuator to move to the programmed position; the programmer LEDs will also light as well. The programmed positions are Retracted, Half and Full Flaps. Full flaps is 45 degrees.
In flight operations, the programming switches are not used; their built-in LEDs are to show Actuator movement when one of the three push buttons are pushed.
The actuator was purchased from NV Aero for $325 plus shipping. NV Aero did not furnish any wiring or technical information. NV Aero knows nothing about a controller for the actuator. Northern Tool has the identical actuator for $125 and the controller for $68. Complete technical specs are found on the Northern Tool and Concentric International web sites. Concentric International is the OEM and sells only to retail dealers.
2017-01-29 Air-to-air - not Was planning for some air-to-air photos of N6242 this Spring. A Chapter member said he could fly the photo ship using his Tri-Pacer. On January 28, 2017, while attempting to return from a lunch fly-out he had an in-flight fire seconds after leaving the runway. He set it back down on the same runway and jumped out of the Tri-Pacer while it was still rolling on the runway going about 30 miles per hour. He hit the pavement on his feet, but slammed into the pavement face down. He sustained a broken nose, broken bone on an eye socket, throat and lung damage from inhaling smoke and flames, 1st and 2nd degree burns on his face and scalp. The Tri-pacer coasted to a stop in the grass next to the runway fully engulf in flames.
Looks like the air-to-air photo shoot will need to wait a bit longer.
2017-03-15 Molds for VW fiberglass cooling shrouds Picture of the molds for VW fiberglass cooling shrouds. These were not used for N6242.
2017-03-29 Sitka Spruce Kit Given a KR-2 Boat and most of the remaining Spruce kit. The boat fell apart when it was moved; do not know what the glue was. The lumber needs a home.
2018-03-02 Jet Hot ceramic coating rusting exhaust pipe interior The photo shows rust flakes that fell out of two VW exhaust pipes after light tapping with a plastic screw driver handle. The other two exhaust pipes are in the same condition. The outside of the exhaust pipes look like the day they were received from Jet Hot. Apparently the Jet Hot ceramic coating on the interior of the exhaust pipes is not living up to the vendor's claims.
The engine has 12.4 hours TT, but has not been run for 19 months. The exhaust pipes are 4130 steel.
2018-05-17 Single Seat Conversion Fit-check After months of trials and try again, finally got the seat and elevator control linkage to agree. I made a slider to go under the seat and all moving parts are smooth operation without any interference. The fit check with seat belts fastened, cushions in place, headset on, and canopy locked, has 2.5 inches headroom to the Plexiglas. Sight picture over the cowl remains the same as with two-seat configuration.
2018-05-23 Single Seat Conversion stick slider details Converted the aircraft from two-place to single place. The conversion allowed more head room for the pilot, but required a different control stick linkage that connected the stick to the elevator bell crank behind the seat back. Both the stick and the bell crank would raise the push-rod vertically 3/4-inch during control movements. Five various bent and off-set push-rods were constructed in attempts to prevent interference with the seat bottom. The minimum seat bottom to fuselage bottom clearance is 1.5 inches in this area. The fore and aft movement for the elevator push rod is 2.5 inches. A Bowden style push rod was considered, but no suitable commercial unit with enough sturdiness could be found. Boat steering controls were evaluated, but the shortest unit was 6-feet long and not practical for me to shorten.
A slide was constructed to eliminate the vertical movement caused by the bell cranks. The stationary part consisted of two 3/8-inch aluminum rods fastened to the inside of the fuselage bottom. Flat head screws with countersunk fender washers secure the brackets to the inside of the fuselage hull plywood. The bearings are nylon snap rings. The carriage is two pieces of 3/4 by 3/4 by 3/4-inch aluminum channel, pop-riveted together. The riveted channel assembly was too thick for clearance. So, de-riveted and cut down the channels to 1/2 by 3/4 by 1/2-inch. The 1/4-inch difference in the re-assembled carriage became the final 7th unit.
New push rods were constructed to connect the sliding carriage to the aft bell crank and the stick. Right angle ball rod-ends were used to provide offset movement and to more center the thrust line on the linkage. The right angle ball rod-ends are the same as used on the aileron push-rods. The aft push-rod has a right-angle off-set to provide clearance over the lower aft spar cap; minimum clearance for the aft push-rod is 3/16-inch from the spar cap. The seat bottom pan had to be bumped out about 3/8-inch to provide clearance for the aft push-rod right-angle off-set. The bump out was done with a ballpeen hammer on the 6061 0.061" aluminum cover. Although quite obvious, the bump is not noticed when I am seated on it; it is too far aft. The seat is not adjustable and is a comfortable fit for me. How this will workout for long cross country flight will be determined in due course.
2018-06-12 Documenting the gear leg shape The main gear legs are made from a Grumman gear leg blank. This piece is composed of unidirectional glass strands with an epoxy resin. The blank is 1-inch thick, 28 inches long, and trapezoid - 8 inches and 3 inches at the ends. I planed the blank to 3/4-inch thick with a power bench planer. The finished shape was worked out to get the bolt pattern at the spar attachment bracket, sweep back to get 20 inches for the main wheel axle aft of the aft face of the main spar, and the bolt pattern for the axle attach brackets. The lower edge of the leg is trimmed to clear the brake rotor disc. The bolt pattern for the axle attach bracket will determine the toe for the wheel. The intend is for "0" toe. Shims at the base of the axle could be used to fine tune, but were not necessary.


The front of the gear leg is rounded for streamlining. The rear of the gear leg has a plastic tube (McDonald's milkshake straws) imbedded under a urethane foam fairing and glassed with two BID fiberglass with epoxy resin. The tube serves as a conduit for the Nyla-flow 3/16-inch brake line.
2018-06-18 Taxi check for elevator push rod and seat change Did a taxi check after installing a prototype push rod under the seat. This was in conjunction with using the airplane for pre-flight briefing for 86 Young Eagles at the Rally at 2W6 on 6-18-18.
The new push rod was binding under the seat as a result of weight on the seat and bumping along on the taxiway. Need to re-work the elevator push rod under the seat.
2018-07-10 Repairing Nose Wheel Fairing The nose wheel fairing was damaged during a hard landing on the first flight and removed for flights 2, 3 and 4. The fairing has been repaired and modified for easier installation and removal. The nose section was made as a separate piece and fastens to the main section with 6 truss head screws and captive stop nuts in the main section. The separation between the two sections is at the swivel area. The top cap portion of the fairing has been cut to allow installation and removal without removing the wheel swivel. Truss head screws and captive stop nuts remain as in the original installation.
The new fiber glass nose section along with the old main section and top fairing have been painted with two coats of latex acrylic exterior house paint primer.

The fairing attachment pad on the nose wheel swivel fork was modified to accept 1/4-28 bolts instead of the original 10-32 screws. That change will enable the added shoulder bushings for a tow bar similar to Cessna aircraft. I made the shoulder bushings from 6061 rod stock using my mini lathe. The bushings have shoulders 1-inch diameter by 3/16 thick, 1/2-inch tall by 1/2-inch diameter bush with 1/4-inch center through hole. The bushings are bolted at the outside of the wheel fairing. The next phase will be to construct the tow bar similar to the Cessna style tow bars.
2018-08-07 Installed Bowden type elevator push rod Tried several different push rods to go under the seat to convert from two-place to single-place operation. Previous mechanisms were not low enough to clear the bottom of the seat pan. The present push rod is used on power boats to steer the outboard motors. The rod is manufactured by SeaStar and rated for 300 pounds push or pull. SeaStar makes these Bowden-type cables in 1-foot increments from 2-foot to 56-foot long, end to end. I ordered the 2-foot unit CCX43002 from a marina in Lusby, MD. Cost was $108.00 for the part, tax and shipping. I cut off 1/2-inch from each end and adjusted the rod-ends for the rigid push rods in the system to get a good fit. For the Bowden to function properly, the sheath must be held firmly in place. The ends of the sheath for this unit have a rigid support for the solid stainless steel ends of the push rod. Threads are 1/4-28. Maximum travel is 2-5/8 inches. This application uses 2-1/2 inches travel. I fastened the sheath at mid-point using (2) 1/2-inch copper pipe clamps (Lowes) with rubber cushions from 2 Adel clamps DG-7 (AC Spruce). The clamp placement allows 2-dimentional movement for the stick end and also for the rear bell crank behind the seat. For clamp support, epoxied 2 layers 3/32-inch by 4x7 inches plywood on the 3/32 plywood floor. 10-32 ss screws with ss counter-sunk fender washers go through the bottom of the fuselage.

Minimum clearance between the seat and the sheath is 1/2-inch. The sheath movement up/down and side to side due to bell crank movement is a non-issue. Any structure touching the sheath is a non-issue.

Elevator stick action is smooth throughout the travel with no discernable play or stiction. High speed taxi and flight test will determine the viability of this Bowden cable application. This type of flight control was also used on the Lancair 320/360 aircraft as I recall.
2018-08-12 Trimmed seat pan bottom to clear the elevator push rod & plywood reinforcement The seat pan needs to clear the elevator push rod and the plywood reinforcement epoxied to the bottom of the fuselage skin. Cut the pan with a Dremel, sanded edges with 100 grit aluminum oxide sandpaper and applied West System epoxy and cotton flox to seal the urethane foam. Previously applied flox, to seal the foam at the rear outboard edges for the cutouts for the lap seat belts, was trimmed with the Dremel rotary sander.
2018-08-14 Cut the seat bottom to clear the plywood reinforcement Re-assembled the seat components after cutting the seat bottom to clear the plywood reinforcement on the fuselage bottom. Used epoxy cotton flox to seal the urethane foam.

Re-installed the turtle deck and seat cushions.
2018-08-28 Lug corrosion on wires connected to the negative battery terminal Replaced the main battery and standby battery after 4 years use. Found lots of corrosion on the wire lugs that are attached to the negative terminal of the main battery. No corrosion on the battery terminal. Plus terminal lugs are like new. Standby battery lugs are like new.
Replaced the corroded lugs with new lugs. Lost about 3/8-inch of wire during the cut-off of the old lugs. No problem for wire length.
New battery is the same size and brand as the old (Powersonic PS-12180), but now rated for 19 amp-hour instead of 18 amp-hour.