Riveted Right Tank Drain Flange and Fuel Cap Flange

June 9, 2011

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Tonight was supposed to be easy. All I wanted to do was set 6 rivets in the drain flange, and 10 rivets in the fuel cap flange.

If that sounds ominous, it’s because it is.

Just like yesterday, I cleaned everything up, then goobered up the drain flange and clecoed it to the skin.

Then, I dabbed some sealant in three of the six holes, covered them with tape, and squeezed them.

The first three went fantastically. (Still sounding ominous?)

Then, on the second three, I really messed up. I was setting these with the shop heads up, so when I accidentally let the squeeze rest on the shop heads a little before really starting the squeeze, the manufactured heads pushed out of the countersinks (worse than any rivets I’ve ever set before).

Oh man, I don’t want to have to drill out rivets with proseal on them.

Oh man, I don’t want to have to drill out rivets with proseal on them.

Oh man, I don’t want to have to drill out rivets with proseal on them.

Oh man, I don’t want to have to drill out rivets with proseal on them.

Oh man, I don’t want to have to drill out rivets with proseal on them.

Oh man, I don’t want to have to drill out rivets with proseal on them.

I wrote that six times for a reason. I drilled out the three (!@#$), reset them, had to drill out two of those (!%$^&@#$%), then had to drill out one of those ($^#@*(@!^%$*#^@*&#%$&@^) and finally got an oops rivet out to fill the enlarged hole.

You can see here, the oops rivet is the bottom one, and the lower left one is not really set correctly, but it’s not structural, and for however much I WANT to drill it out to make it perfect, I’m leaving good enough alone.

4 perfect rivets, one horrible one, and 1 oops rivet. (sigh)

During this whole ordeal, there was proseal everywhere, so I had to get an MEK-soaked towel out and start cleaning up. It broke my rule about not cleaning with MEK until it’s cured, but I couldn’t leave it the way it was. After cleaning everything up, I made sure I had fresh MEK down on both sides to prevent leaks.

Oh, remember yesterday when I promised you my rivet encapsulation was improving? Check these out!

How awesome are those!?

Wash, rinse, repeat on the fuel cap flange (except I went back to backriveting).

I had to remember to use different sized rivets on different thickness areas of the flange, but I copied Brad Oliver.

On the top and bottom rivets, 2 total, (skinniest part of the flange), I used AN426AD3-4, the adjacent ones (4 total), I used -4.5 rivets, and on the middle 4, I used -5 rivets.

Easy as pie!



Of course, I had already broken my rule once, so I went ahead and cleaned the top  of the skin up.

Looks sooooo good!

The drain flange ended up being okay, too.

Not the prettiest, but you'll never notice while I'm flying.

1.0 hour. 16 rivets. 6 drilled out. (boo!)

Oh, and how great is my girlfriend!? While I was outside slapping sealant all over the garage, she was inside making spaghetti with meat sauce (and fresh basil!).

Life is good.

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Deburred and Scuffed Right Tank Skin

June 3, 2011

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Well, it’s Friday, and I had both a great and crappy week.

Enough small talk, let’s get building!

Since it was 1,000°F in the garage today, I brought the right tank skin inside (nice air conditioning) to do some deburring.

First, I deburred the outside of the skin, then moved to the interior. Per my usual, after deburring a few holes, I’d scuff up the line so I knew where I had been.

A few lines deburred and scuffed.

In preparation for dimpling (where the skin needs to slide on the workbench, I cleaned up a little, which included taking apart the vacuum to find out why it’s been making that weird noise.

Clean workbench!

Here's the scuffed skin, ready for dimpling.

I still needed to remove some vinyl from a few places, so I clecoed the drain flange on the wrong side and used it as a guide for the soldering iron.

This is on the inside of the skin, where this normally goes on the outside.

After soldering.

I did the same with the fill cap and flange. Clecoed them on the outside so I could get a nice round hole.

You can see where I've marked the flange for future positioning.

After devinyling with the soldering iron...

I don’t know what this picture is showing.

Another picture of the skin?

Oh, while the soldering iron was cooling down, I didn’t want to just abandon it to start a fire or anything, so I kept the fill cap flange out and decided to do some countersinking.

First, though, I found some 0.32″ and made a #40 hole, then dimpled with the deeper tank dimple dies.

A tank dimple to test countersinks.

After some countersinking…

After testing, I don't think these were deep enough.

I turned it a few clicks deeper and went back around.

Much better.

With the test dimple in place...now I'm happy.

Hmm. Soldering iron is still hot. Maybe I’ll fool around with some AN hardware since that stuff is coming up.

I fished out the AN hardware, both -4D and -6D sizes and screwed some pieces together based on the plans. -4 is four sixteenths, or for 1/4″ tubing and -6 is six sixteenths, or 3/8″ tubing.

On the RV airplanes, fuel vent lines are 1/4″ tubing (-4D hardware, in the background), and fuel feed lines are 3/8″ tubing (-6D hardware, in the foreground).

-4D and -6 D hardware.

1.5 hours. Proseal soon…

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